Workington Town 18 Widnes Under-19s 22

Workington Town might not have picked up a win in their opening pre-season fixture against Widnes Under-19s - but there was promise of better things to come.

A young side, that was predominantly Cumbrian, brought a breath of fresh air to Derwent Park.

After a flat end to the previous term, it was encouraging to see the desire on display throughout the side.

Scott Rooke made an explosive debut at full-back, catching the eye with great breaks from within his own half.

The potential of Sam Dowsett looks unlimited, he was another to make an impact on fans with his turn of pace, along with a solid performance from the on-loan Ed Chamberlain and Scotland international Brett Phillips.

New coach Dave Clark has brought in eight local trialists for the clash and they all stepped up their game.

Billy Southward carried on the proud tradition of his family, following in the footsteps of grandfather Ike as he took to the field on the wing.

And his opposite winger, another Seaton amateur Kieran Mewse, did not look out of place, adding a superb touchline conversion.

Town started with a bang as Brett Phillips took a short ball to crash over near the posts and Carl Forber converted.

And brother Callum could have put Town further in front just minutes later but he dropped the ball over the line.

Widnes kicked into gear and got the ball down to the danger end of the field and good hands saw Owen Buckley go over in the corner but the conversion was missed by Sam Freeman and Town held a two-point lead.

New boy Rooke showed a great turn of pace as he burst up the field, showing a clean pair of heels for 50-metres.

And then Joe Hambley raced to try and get on the end of an angled kick from the boot of Callum Phillips but it just went over the dead ball line.

Widnes were looking sharp and they attacked the Town line with vigour, Chamberlain putting in a great tackle to wrap up one such foray.

But the ball was then whipped out to the left-hand side of the field where winger Buckley was there again to touch down in the corner.

This time, Freeman made no mistake with a touchline conversion and Widnes edged ahead 10-6.

Brett Phillips tried to push Town forward with a couple of runs that lacked support and then Widnes struck a timely blow on the stroke of half time.

Joe Lyons sneaked through the Town defence to score and Freeman converted to put the visitors 16-6 ahead at the break.

And they built on that lead at the start of the second half with Danny King going over after just four minutes and Freeman put the goal over.

The action swung from end to end. Rooke again showed his potential with another storming break up the field, followed up by Chamberlain but the attack fizzled out.

And Lloyd Roby went close as Widnes camped out on the Town line, with only some desperate defence keeping him out.

Town got their rewards for hard work when Chamberlain touched down after a good run from Jamie Doran, who drew in several defenders as he powered forward.

And young Mewse showed an old head on young shoulders as he calmly slotted over a great touchline conversion to close in on their opponents.

Widnes nearly killed the game off when they attacked down the left flank through their wily half-back Joe Lyons.

He shipped the ball out to Jake Alder but his final pass to Dan Norman was judged to be forward with the line beckoning.

But Town fought back and Rooke was unlucky to be held up over the line when a try would have been just reward for his performance.

Then, with three minutes remaining, another Seaton youngster Jonathan Cameron got on the end of some good passing from Town to dive over by the corner flag.

This time, it was Forber who stood up to take the touchline kick and he made no mistake.

The final hooter sounded and Town may have lost the game 22-18 but there was delight in the effort and enthusiasm shown with plenty of food for thought for coach Clark.

Town: Rooke, Mewse, Chamberlain, Hambley, Southward, Forber, C Phillips, Coward, Dowsett, Curwen, B Phillips, Wood, Singleton. Subs: Scholey, Doran, Fearon, Barker, Reid, Cameron, Ritchie, Tierney.

Tries: B Phillips, Chamberlain, Cameron.

Goals: Forber 2/2, Mewse 1/1.

Widnes: Freeman, Knox, Alder, Brand, Buckley, Lyons, Wilson, Dudley, Roby, McCarroll, Walsh, Norman, Glover. Subs: Else, Rutledge, Draper, Jones, King, Davies, Burns, O'Neil.

Tries: Buckley (2), Lyons, King.

Goals: Freeman 3/4

Half time: 6-16.

Penalties: 9-8.

Referee: R Dolan.

Crowd: 479.

Star Man: Scott Rooke.