WHITEHAVEN bowed out of the Betfred Challenge Cup following a comprehensive 34-10 defeat by Widnes Vikings at the Halton Stadium – exiting the 1895 Cup at the same time.

They will be left to rue a short spell before the break when a missed opportunity by Lachlan Walmsley at one end, was compounded by a swift Vikings riposte which meant going in at half time 16-6 down instead of 12-10 up.

Haven never really got back on top in the game after that as the second half became ruined by errors and penalties.

There was nevertheless plenty to draw comfort from and a few bits for coach Gary Charlton to tidy up ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener at Dewsbury.

It all started so differently with Whitehaven not being afraid to chance their arm with the ball on the fast 4G pitch.

Haven were rewarded for their bright start when hooker Callum Phillips backed up Connor Holiday’s line break for an eighth minute score, which Walmsley improved.

Haven were playing some adventurous rugby and were arguably on top in the opening stages, but after one too many passes were pushed Vikings’ experienced halves began to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Matty Smith and Danny Craven combined to send powerful centre Ste Tyrer over to open the Vikings account.

Although Haven responded, some desperate defending from three Vikings tacklers stopped full back Walmsley from grounding.

Walmsley was the centre of attention again in the 25th minute when he was subject to a biting allegation on Connor Dwyer, whose hand was in the Haven man’s face. The referee placed the incident on report.

Widnes hit the front for the first time just before the break when Craven dummied and straightened up for a try converted by Owens.

Just before the break Walmsley had the chance to put Haven back in front, but he juggled and dropped the ball over the line.

Widnes made them pay, with Craven’s smart pass to Dwyer creating the chance for Lewis Else to back up and score to make a 16-6 deficit at the break.

It was one-way traffic in the increasingly scrappy second half with tries from Owens, Will Tilleke and Else before Sean Croston grabbed a late consolation for Haven.

Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens; Deon Cross, Jake Spedding, Ste Tyrer, Owen Buckley; Danny Craven, Matty Smith; Owen Farnworth, Joe Lyons, Paul Clough, Connor Dwyer, Adam Lawton, Kenny Baker.

Subs: Lewis Else, Matt Cook, Will Tilleke, Josh Wilde.

Whitehaven: Lachlan Walmsley; James Worthington, Sean Croston, Jesse Joe Parker, Andrew Bulman; Karl Dixon, Nikau Williams; Glenn Riley, Callum Phillips, Dean Zammit, Connor Holiday, Ellis Gillam, Tom Wilkinson.

Subs: Liam Cooper, Ethan Kelly, Oscar Thomas, Andy Thornley.

Referee: Jack Smith.