Patrick Ah Van touched down twice as bottom club Widnes Vikings recorded a first home win of the season with a 16-14 victory over St Helens in the Betfred Super League.
The winger, who has missed most of the year through injury, powered over in the corner for the decisive try nine minutes from time having already crossed in the first-half for the Vikings’ second score.
The first try of the night came from Joe Mellor as he got on the end of Rhys Hanbury’s inside ball that deflected fortuitously off Saints back-rower Zeb Taia.
Tom Gilmore struck the conversion but the lead was quickly cancelled out by Theo Fages burrowing under and over for a solo score and Mark Percival adding the extras.
Ah Van then got himself on the scoresheet for the first time when he dived over in the corner to finish in style, with Gilmore converting from the touchline.
The Vikings were excellent value for the 12-6 lead and they should have registered more points before Saints hit back through scrum-half Matty Smith, whose try was converted by Percival to leave it level at the break.
A second-half Percival penalty had Saints on course for victory, but Ah Van intervened to ensure it would be the Widnes fans going home happy.
Full-Time: Widnes Vikings 16-14 St Helens! Vikings grab first home win of the season!! #SLWidStH— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) April 21, 2017
Widnes head coach Denis Betts said: "The home win is important and both sides were desperate (for the win) tonight.
“This year we have to get the home fortress mentality back here. The game against Warrington, Leeds away and now tonight’s win, these are all green shoots – we just need to kick on now.
“We thought 12-6 would have been a fairer scoreline at half-time as we felt good but we let them in and made it hard for ourselves. But we worked hard and we dug in. I just hope it’s not another false dawn."
St Helens coach Sean Long said: “I’m very disappointed as Widnes wanted it more than us. To put in two good performances over the weekend and then turn up with the attitude we did was disappointing.
“Full credit to Widnes they played with lots of energy. We got out enthused. We had enough sets in that second-half to post more points and we didn’t execute.
“Widnes defended really well and we got mugged a bit in the ruck. The last few weeks we’ve been really good in that area. We couldn’t get on the front foot. We’ve had plenty of chances but we failed to execute."
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