PLENTY of effort, loads of determination and a never-say-die spirit, but in the end Roughyeds were well beaten by a better side.

Watched by a crowd for the first time in 15 months, Matt Diskin’s men gave their all on a scorching-hot day at Bower Fold, but in truth they never looked like ending a run of consecutive defeats that now stretches to four.

After a poor start to the season, even though they are only one game from Wembley in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the Vikings showed glimpses of their true form in a high-scoring win against Whitehaven last week.

With only one change in their 17, they produced a repeat performance here.

They won the toss, elected to take first use of the slope and swept aside Oldham’s brave challenge by storming into a 22-0 lead in little more than half an hour.

A superb Oldham try on the stroke of half-time, goaled beautifully off the touchline by Dan Abram, gave their supporters a glimmer of hope.

Declan Gregory, who had replaced Gareth Owen off the bench after half an hour, made a stunning break from dummy half and carried play into the Widnes 20-metre zone. Realising he had no support as defenders closed in, he swung away to his right and floated a long overhead pass that dropped perfectly into the hands of on-loan centre Louis Spencer, who scored in the corner.

Such moments of attacking incisiveness from Oldham were few and far between, however.

The home side trailed 22-6 at half-time. They desperately needed to score first in the second half to give them some momentum, to increase their self-belief and to put a smattering of doubt into the Merseysiders, but Widnes delivered the coup-de-grace by quickly scoring two more tries to lead 34-6 after 50 minutes.

Roughyeds rarely looked to have the power or the footballing know-how to break down the visitors’ rugged, well-drilled defence.

However, a Danny Langtree interception created a try for winger Tommy Brierley and then, on the stroke of full time. Langtree himself scored a third Oldham try - a consolation - after quick right to left handling by Owen and Hewitt.

The Oldham forwards battled hard to more or less hold their own with a Widnes pack that had stand-out performers in prop Matt Cook and second-row Adam Lawton, a huge fellow, but it was in the halves and outside backs that the Vikings commanded their big advantage.

Classy full-back Jack Owens and right-wing Deon Cross each scored two tries, while left-wing Jay Hatton and both centres, Jake Spedding and Steve Tyrer, also crossed for tries.

Tyrer, with six conversions from seven attempts, and stand-off Danny Craven, who created two 40/20s in the first half and constantly created havoc with his high, hanging bombs, kicked Oldham to death.

Scorers: Oldham - goals, Abram 3/3; tries, Senior, Brierley, Langtree; Widnes - goals, Tyrer 6/7; tries, Hatton, Tyrer, Cross (2), Owens (2), Spedding.

OLDHAM: Abram; Brierley, Senior, Roberts, Ince; Charnock, Hewitt; Nelmes, Owen, Kirk, Bridge, Langtree, Bent. Subs: Gregory, Pick, Dupree, Reilly.

WIDNES: Owens; Cross, Spedding, Tyrer, Hatton; Craven, Lyons; Cook, O’Neill, Baker, Grady, Lawton, Smith. Subs: Clough, Farnworth, Tilleke, Else.

Referee: Jack Smith