St Helens secure derby delight

St Helens have edged Widnes 12-10 in a defence-dominated encounter at Langtree Park tonight.

A Mark Percival penalty with nine minutes left was enough to secure victory for the home team.

Luke Walsh was absent for St Helens, with Jordan Turner partnering Jon Wilkin in the halves.

And it was Turner who crashes over after just three minutes, barging through after a right foot step.

Richards almost got Saints’ second four minutes later but he lost the ball as he tried to plant it over the line.

It was a poor start from Widnes, who bombed a try soon after when Patrick Ah Van held back his opposite number as the chase was on for a Rhys Hanbury kick.

It was Hanbury who looked to have scored on 12 minutes, but somehow the fullback was held up over the line.

Great defence was being dished up by both sides with Jack Owens held up over Widnes’ try-line seven minutes later.

The Vikings were on the board in the 20th minute as Kevin Brown broke through the middle of the line, went on a mazy run and found Corey Thompson out wide to score.

Hanbury added the extras and Widnes were 4-6 in front.

The Vikings pushed for a second try, forcing a goal-line drop-out, but St Helens defence held firm.

Tensions started to rise, with Turner and Kevin Brown having a bit of push and shove.

Saints took back the lead with four minutes left in the half. Shannon McDonnell flicked the balll back inside for Matty Fleming to score.

Percival nailed the conversion to make it 10-6. The four-point gap remained at half-time.

In the second half defence continued to rule the evening, with first James Roby stopped inches from scoring.

Then St Helens thwarted Brown twice as he marched and fought for the line with ball in hand.

Widnes almost got over in the 52nd minute but Charly Runiciman’s offload to Ah Van sailed into touch.

But they made no mistake four minutes later when Ah Van touched down. The pass to him looked questionable, but the referee awarded it and Hanbury couldn’t convert from the sideline.

The match was poised at 10-10 for the final quarter.

In the 71st minute Widnes were penalised for a high tackle on Jonny Lomax.

Percival stepped up and nailed his pressure kick, giving the home team a precious 12-10 lead.

The Vikings threatened in the final minutes but Saints held on to close out the game.

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