The Hawks’ defence constantly frustrated the Vikings and with a little more composure in possession, Paul March’s men could have won more convincingly.
The visitors’ victory was built on a superb first-half effort which saw them completely shut out their hosts. And although Hunslet came under severe pressure in the second period, they showed great tenacity to hold on.
A delighted March said: “The lads dug in for 80 minutes. We’d spoken about it all week and we knew if we could put a performance together the result could follow. That was exactl;y what happened.
“The first half I thought we dominated for the full 40 minutes and in the second half we just hung in there.”
The Hawks got off to a flyer as loose-forward David March stole over after Tommy Haughey before Danny Ratcliffe’s penalty made it 6-0.
On 26 minutes, stand-off Danny Grimshaw doubled the lead with a converted try after profiting from an offload close to the line.
The Vikings piled on the pressure early in the second half and got their reward when Richard Varkulis crashed over. The Hawks just could not get possession and Widnes made it 12-10 when Anthony Thackeary went over.
Widnes prop Steve Pickersgill was sin-binned on 63 minutes for a late hit on Ratcliffe but he had returned to the field before the Hawks struck the killer blow.
Waine Pryce was in the wide-awake club as he latched onto an ill-judged pass from Vikings hooker Kirk Netherton to race between the posts from 35 metres.
Ratcliffe’s goal made it 18-10 and it was effectively game over as the Vikings’ increasingly desperate attempts to hit back came to nothing.
Widnes Vikings: Flynn; Gaskell, Ford, Tyrer, Gardner; Thackeray, Coyle; Kavanagh, Netherton, Pickersgill, Allen, K Haggerty, Finnigan. Substitutes: I’Anson, Heckenberg, Varkulis, Grady.
Hunslet Hawks: Kain; Pryce, Haughey, Oakes, Barnett; Grimshaw, Ratcliffe; Sullivan, Haigh, Yates, Kelly, Dooler, D March. Substitutes: Houston, Blakeway, Lowe, McLocklan.
Referee: W Turley (RFL).