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Sunday, 10 March, 2002, 18:46 GMT
Cas crushed by Vikings
Widnes half-back Barry Eaton takes the ball forward
Barry Eaton was crucial to the Widnes cause
Castleford 24-31 Widnes

Widnes belatedly announced their return to the Super League with a dazzling first-half display to end Castleford's winning start.

The Vikings chalked up their first league win after storming into a 30-8 interval lead at The Jungle.

The Tigers clawed their way back in the second-half but had left themselves with far too much to do.

Nathan Sykes tries to breach the Vikings defence
Nathan Sykes tries to breach the Vikings defence

Widnes rocked the home side by taking a second minute lead when Barry Eaton, Craig Weston and Daniel Frame made the opening for Jason Demetriou's score.

The Tigers quickly replied when Andy Lynch and Richard Gay set up a ninth-minute try for second-rower Kyle Warren, and Wayne Bartrim kicked his second goal to put them 8-4 up.

But Castleford's defence then fell apart as the Vikings raced into a big lead with four more tries.

The victory against Castleford will do us the world of good
Widnes coach Neil Kelly
Lively half-backs Eaton and Weston sent in full-back Stuart Spruce after 13 minutes.

Eaton then went over from close range, Weston's kick created a try for Chris Percival and Weston shot through a massive gap to score himself.

Eaton finished the first half with five goals to put the Vikings virtually out of sight.

To allow a team to score 30 points in the first half is extremely disappointing
Tigers coach Graham Steadman
Castleford's fightback started when Jon Wells capitalised on Mitch Healey's kick to score after 43 minutes, Bartrim converting from the touchline.

Bartrim then converted his own try to reduce the arrears to 10 points.

But Eaton edged Widnes further ahead with a drop goal, and Castleford's only further reply was a 68th-minute try from captain Danny Orr.

Castleford: Gay, Wells, Johnson, Eagar, Rogers, Orr, Healey, Sykes, Bartrim, Lynch, Smith, Warren, Harland.
Replacements: Lennon, Sampson, Hudson, Godwin.

Widnes: Spruce, Munro, Demetriou, Hughes, Percival, Weston, Eaton, Relf, Cantillon, Stone, Farrell, McCurrie, Frame.
Replacements: Atcheson, Richardson, O'Neill, Mills.

Referee: Karl Kirkpatrick (Warrington)

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