A first-half Connor Bailey hat-trick helped Wakefield Trinity Reserves to a comprehensive 38-26 victory over Widnes Vikings at the DCBL stadium.
A quick start from the stand-off opened the floodgates early on, however, the Vikings hit back as Jayden Hatton levelled after four minutes. Bailey then added two more tries either side of a Josh Wilde try to give the visitors a half-time lead.
Despite Widnes winger Hatton completing his hat-trick in the second period, it was to be Trinity’s day as Dane Windrow, Jordan Schofield and Daniel Barcoe all ran over to complete a hard-fought victory.
Boosted by the inclusion of notable first-team players, Trinity raced out of the blocks and it didn’t take long for Bailey to open his account for the afternoon.
After a knock-on in the Widnes half, Trinity made their fresh set of six count, as Bailey darted over the line.
However, the lead didn’t last long. Just moments later the Vikings worked the ball down the short side to Hatton, who was able to finish smartly in the corner.
With Chris Chester sat in the stands, the visitors were producing some top-class rugby league and it didn’t take the young half-back long before he doubled his tally.
An unbelievable bit of skill broke the Widnes line and Bailey was able to race to the corner and touch down.
Celebrations remained short-lived, though, as the Vikings wasted no time in hitting back. The ball was worked down the middle and Wilde was able to bulldoze through the Trinity pack to race away under the posts.
The Wakefield youngster has been included in Chester’s first-team set-up as of late and with performances like this, he will be staking his claim for a start.
As Trinity started to assert their dominance, it was the half-back who shone again. The ball worked down the line to left where it eventually found Bailey, who was able to squeeze through the Widnes defence complete a very professional first-half treble.
Just like much of the opening 40, both side’s play lacked consistency as both Trinity and Widnes registered early second-half scores.
Schofield struck first for the visitors after a low kick to the goal sat up perfectly for the forward to go over from close range six minutes after the restart.
While Sean Findlow’s high kick to the corner was superbly taken and executed by Hatton before Lewis Hulme dived through a sea of Trinity bodies to decrease Wakefield’s advantage to four.
The try-scoring pendulum was swinging back and forth, but it was the visitors who reinstated their 10-point cushion. After a great passage of play down the right, the ball fell nicely into the hands of Windrow, who was able to dive through a sea of bodies to score.
Hatton was able to complete his hat-trick late in the contest to reduce the deficit once again, but it was Trinity who would take maximum points back to West Yorkshire.
Barcoe adding a try in the dying embers, before Bailey asserted his authority with the boot with the last kick of the game to complete a comfortable 38-26 win.