Warrington 12, Widnes 39: LEADERS Widnes, travelling the short distance to Walton Lea Road, showed they are continuing to develop.
Against a home team determined to knock the Wids off the park, they showed restraint and maturity in the South Lancs/Cheshire One.
For the first 30 minutes, Warrington attempted to intimidate the visitors and the Wids' cause was not helped by what they felt was weak refereeing.
But they kept to playing rugby and scored four first-half tries, through Tommy Ledson, Paul Borg, Gareth Riley and Matthew Riley.
Wing-forward Mark Godwin was magnificent throughout, although subjected to some rough-house tactics in the first half hour. It was 20-0 at the break.
When Warrington concentrated on rugby, they looked a far better side and, four minutes into the second half, No 8 Steve Williams scored their first try.
This stung Widnes back into gear and the Riley brothers started to revel in the space awarded them.
A flowing move involving several Wids players was finished by full-back Matthew Riley for his second try and Stu Hussy converted.
Warrington scored again on 48 minutes when scrum-half Matty Drinkwater forced his way over and tagged on the extra points.
Again, Widnes lifted themselves and another great handling move resulted with Paul O'Connor stepping off the touchline to force his way over.
Widnes saved the best until last when Gareth Riley finished off a sweeping 80-metre move by placing the ball under the posts. Hussey knocked over his second conversion.
With Wilmslow losing against Leigh, the last three games of the season for the Wids are the most important for a long time.
Widnes have two weeks off before meeting championship rivals Wilmslow at Heath Road on March 13 (ko 2.30pm) Widnes 2nd 18 Warrington 2nd 5: Wids ran out winners although not as easily as the score line may reflect.
Two tries from stand-off Shaun Cookson and two penalties and a conversion from Peter Kenworthy saw the second string to victory - which makes it three wins from four.
Success had to be earned and top defensive performances in the pack helped to stop a classy Warrington.
Strong running from a rejuvenated 'Tank' Smith, Rob Council and backs Brian Gill and Paul McGeever meant Warrington also had to on their guard. But it was the visitors who scored the first try, replying to a Wids penalty
Just before the break, Cookson kicked ahead and won the footrace for the first of his brace.
A penalty kick just after the restart gave the Wids a six-point lead, which was only increased late in the second half when Cook-son scored another opportunist try.
Wingers Martin O'Neill and Danny Foran were a thorn in Warrington's side, both in defence and attack.
This Saturday sees the visit of Merseyside Police to Heath Road - all players meet at the club for 1pm.