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Rugby League: Hardman the hero as Vikings prove too strong.

Byline: BY IAN CHEVEAU

Doncaster 12

Widnes 38

FORMER Saints star Ian Hardman crossed for a brace of tries as Widnes had too much power for Co-operative National League Two Doncaster in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

The Vikings centre was in top form managing to power over for two tries in the first half which gave Widnes the breathing space they needed to turn on the style against Ellery Hanley's men.

Last time the Vikings visited the Keepmoat Stadium winger Gavin Dodd chalked up a hat-trick and 13 goals as Widnes nearly hit a century of points but it was a different affair this time round as Doncaster gave the Vikings a decent test.

But the Dons were never going to overturn upwardly mobile Widnes, despite digging deep in the opening exchanges.

They did manage to take an early lead but as soon as Widnes re-addressed the balance through Hardman they maintained their stranglehold on the game and were runaway victors.

Widnes' unbeaten run now stretches to six games without defeat ahead of the league clash with Super League licence rivals Celtic Crusaders on Sunday.

The star man for the Vikings in yesterday's cup clash was half-back John Duffy. It's no surprise that the Vikings are showing the form they are capable of on a regular basis, since the arrival of Duffy from Whitehaven.

The former Super League scrum-half has been in excellent form for his new club since his early season switch and he was pivotal against the Dons and had a hand in the majority of Widnes' tries.

Dean Gaskell was also a stand-out performer yet again for the Vikings and he too has made a huge difference and massive impact in the Vikings line-up since head coach Steve McCormack gave him an extended run in the side this season. Gaskell, Dodd, Tommy Gallagher, Scott Yates and Dayne Donoghue were also on target for the visitors as Doncaster struggled to keep up with the relentless Widnes attack.

Tim Hartley was also in fine form with the boot and he landed four goals to add to Doncaster's woe.

The home side's only tries came from a Kyle Briggs double and centre Andreas Bauer.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 21, 2008
Words:368
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