Super League: Widnes Vikings 24-10 Wigan Warriors
|WIDNES (14) 24|
|Tries: Ah Van 2, Flynn Goals: Tickle 6|
|WIGAN (10) 10|
|Tries: Manfredi, Charnley Goals: Smith|
Wigan's hopes of claiming the League Leaders' Shield were wrecked by a derby defeat at long-standing rivals Widnes.
Widnes carved out an early 14-0 lead with converted tries by wingers Patrick Ah Van and Paddy Flynn, allied to the first three of six Danny Tickle kicks.
Wigan hit back with quick tries from Dom Manfredi and Josh Charnley, Matty Smith kicking the second conversion.
But Ah Van's second try, bolstered by three more Tickle goals, keeps Widnes on course for the play-offs.
Wigan welcomed back hooker Michael McIlorum (two months out a broken arm) and centre Iain Thornley (four months out with a torn pectoral muscle) from long-term injuries.
|Super League top try scorers|
|24 -Tommy Makinson (St Helens),Joel Monaghan (Warrington)|
|21 - Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons)|
|19 - Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield)|
|17 - Justin Carney (Castleford), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Michael Oldfield (Catalans), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield), Elliott Whitehead (Catalans)|
|16 - Rhys Evans (Warrington), Michael Shenton (Castleford)|
|15 - Ryan Hall (Leeds), Rhys Hanbury (Widnes), Jamie Shaul (Hull)|
|14 - Joe Burgess (Wigan), Omari Caro (Hull KR), Luke Dorn (Castleford), Paddy Flynn (Widnes), Dom Manfredi (Wigan)|
But with Tickle enjoying a 100% success rate with the boot against his old club, it was Widnes who rounded off the regular season on their own patch with a second home win over Wigan in three seasons.
It was also an emotional farewell for their skipper Jon Clarke, the former Wigan and Warrington hooker, in his final home match.
Wigan, who swamped Widnes 48-4 at the DW Stadium in June, have now won just once in four Super League matches as they go into a tough run-in, with home games against their main rivals for a top four finish - Leeds and Warrington.
Widnes still need a point from their final two games - at Bradford and Salford - to be sure of a first top-eight finish since returning to Super League in 2012.
Warriors had Liam Farrell sin-binned in the second half for a late challenge on Joe Mellor, but boss Shaun Wane had no complaints about being outwitted by his old Wigan team-mate Denis Betts.
Widnes coach Denis Betts:
"We were composed from the start and handled the conditions well. We've put ourselves in a strong position with only two games to go. We can now smell eighth spot.
"Wigan set the benchmark. If you switch off for a second they will get you. But they didn't score any points in the second half which was a great effort by us.
"Jon Clarke was one of the first players I wanted to sign. His contribution on and off the field has been outstanding.
"Danny Tickle strikes the ball superbly. He has been fantastic for us all year with his enthusiasm."
Wigan coach Shaun Wane:
"We made 19 errors and conceded 17 penalties and you are not going to beat anybody with those stats.
"They handled the conditions better than us and were worthy winners.
"I'm privately fuming because that was unacceptable and not a Wigan performance.
"We were poor against Hull KR in our last game and this was way below our standards."
Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Marsh, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; O'Carroll, Clarke, Gerrard, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.
Replacements: White, Joseph, Allen, Leuluai.
Wigan: Sarginson; Charnley, Gelling, Thornley, Manfredi; Green, Smith; Dudson, McIlorum, Crosby, Bateman, L Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Taylor, Pettybourne, Clubb, Doran.
Sin Bin: L Farrell (51).
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).