Widnes Vikings 12 Hull FC 25: Tom Lineham hat-trick nudges Airlie Birds into top eight

TOM LINEHAM: The Hull FC winger collected a hat-trick of tries against Widnes last night.
TOM LINEHAM: The Hull FC winger collected a hat-trick of tries against Widnes last night.
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HULL FC winger Tom Lineham grabbed a hat-trick as the Airlie Birds leapfrogged Widnes in the Super League table and took a place in the top eight.

Lineham touched down for an impressive first half double to put Hull on their way and finished Widnes off in the second.

They had to weather an intense Vikings’ storm early on as the home side raced into a 12-0 lead through tries from youngsters Jack Owens and Matty Whitley, but it was never going to be enough.

Hull dragged themselves back into it and that came from Lineham, who crashed over on the right flank after a brilliant break from captain Gareth Ellis.

The visitors pulled another one back just after the half hour mark through Leon Pryce, who bustled his way over after a relentless Hull attack.

Marc Sneyd couldn’t land the conversion but his side were back in business at 12-8.

The Hull heartbeat of Pryce and Sneyd began to tick and there was just enough time for the experienced half-back pair to lay on another try for Lineham.

The duo swapped passes and Sneyd put in a chip that had Vikings winger Pat Ah Van scrambling for position, but it was too late for the former Bradford man as his opposite number Lineham gobbled it up and dived over.

Sneyd sneaked over the conversation to edge Hull ahead at the break.

Hull were beginning to gain the upper hand around the ruck. Sneyd’s confidence grew and he spotted a tiny opening in the 
Vikings line and dabbed it through for himself to chase and ground.

He added the extras from in front and at 20-12 it was beginning to look precarious for Denis Betts’s Widnes.

Hull cranked things up again and Lineham broke away on the right edge to race in for an easy score.

The conversion was missed by Sneyd but he made amends with a one-pointer to sew things up at 25-12.

Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Owens, Marsh, Whitley, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, Dudson, White, Gerrard, Clarkson, Galea, Isa. Substitutes: Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Joseph, Heremaia.

Hull FC: Shaul, Lineham, Whiting, Yeaman, Michaels, Pryce, Sneyd, Paea, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Minichiello, Westerman. Substitutes: Paleaaesina, Green, Thompson, Abdull.

Referee: P Bentham (RFL).