IT was touch and go for Widnes in a predictably close second-round Fairclough Homes League cup-tie.
Rossendale, having come from six points behind to equal-ise at 12-12, saw a drop kick hit a post and go wide.
From the restart, Widnes surged upfield and slick handling by props Vickers and Duffy released Tommy Ledson on a 40-metre run to the corner.
The conversion failed almost on the whistle and an exhausted Widnes celebrated a hard-fought victory over a side just above them in the league.
Widnes had appeared well in control in the first quarter but a couple of missed penalty kicks and squandered try-scoring opportunities allowed the home side to stay in the hunt.
Sub Andy Shaw had an early chance to show his paces due to a leg injury to centre Leedam.
Shaw did not waste it - he went over from 10 metres after taking a quick tap.
Widnes for a spell again looked extremely dangerous and a rampaging run by Andy Ruane led to Ledson going under the posts for his first try.
Mark Brick converted but Rossendale capitalised on Widnes indiscipline by kicking two penalties to reduce their arrears to 12-6.
They added two more for good measure after a dominant start to the second half.
Mark Chambers and Andy Highfield were both strong and impressive as Wids kept their line intact.
This week's game is at home to Wigan (ko 3pm).
Trafford Hawks U16 5 Widnes U16 52: Lancashire winger Jonathan Fleming ran in four of the eight tries which downed the Hawks.
But the victory was marred by a serious neck injury to Andy Griffiths which saw an early finish.
After Fleming got the first two scores, Danny Harrison dummied through to score - followed by Barton, whose effort stemmed from a neat chip by Morgan.
Barton went over for his second from good work from Williamson, Dennett and Whit-field. Morgan's four goals left the Wids 33-5 up.
Fleming scorched down the wing for his third, Harrison went over for his second - after good forward drives from McNally, Giles and Loftus.
Morgan added the goal while Fleming rounded off the scoring by racing in from 50 yards.
Widnes U14 0 Waterloo U14 3:
All is not lost for Widnes despite them losing this tense Lancashire Cup tie - full of un-characteristic errors by both sides - to a well-taken drop goal 10 minutes from time.
Widnes can take a lot of heart from their performance against a very good Waterloo outfit and can still top their group by beating Manchester.
The Heath Road youngsters came agonisingly close to snatching victory in the dying seconds.
Stand-off Schofield made a 40-yard run to touch down at the corner but was adjudged to have hit the flag first.
Only heroic first-half tackling had kept Waterloo out with Widnes' attacking efforts being restricted at that stage to a Daryl Bold run ended by desperate defence.
Forwards Adam Armstrong and Mike Truman, aided by Rob Brennan and Chris Birch-all, got Widnes going after the break.
Even so, Lewis Jones had to pull off a try-saving tackle before the deadlock was decisively broken.