Well established club Widnes - founded in 1875 - were the visitors at Kingston Park, still a relatively new venue rugby league as the home of Newcastle Thunder, on the Monday night championship game televised by Premier Sports
The teams drew on their previous meeting and always looked likely too produce a tight game again.
Widnes were the team with the early pressure on the back of a penalty and set restart conceded by the Thunder.
But the first - and as it turns out only - score of the half came to Newcastle after 19 minutes.
The Thunder rolled forward near the Vikings' line and half-back Jesse Dee floated a pass out to Sam Halsall outl wide and the centre crossed for a 4-0 lead. Jake Shorrocks couldn't nail the conversion from out wide and the score stayed at 4-0.
The main talking point of the first half though was the sin-binning of Widnes sub Eribe Doro – on loan from Warrington – after a clash with team-mate Olly Davies, reported to referee Aaron Moore by the touch judge and involving a clash of head.
That could lead to an interesting report from the disciplinary panel on Thursday.
The hosts opened the second half with possession from the Widnes kick-off and almost doubled their score when they found the ground with their end-0f-set kick Widnes couldn't deal with the bounce.
But Newcastle attacker were offside from their second kick-through after regathering the ball and Widnes started their set on the 40m mark from frhe resulting penalty.
The game went end to end for the first five minutes of the half, but with six minutes played the Thunder moved the ball smoothly to Giden Boafo hugging the right-hand touchline with space in front of hims.
He crossed the line and then ran towards the posts in the in-goal to double the score - and this time Shorrocks kicked it for a 10-0 lead.
Newcastle made all the running for the next 20 minutes with halves Shorrocks and Dee regularly making metres but with nothing to show for it when it came to the scoreboard as Widnes kept showing up in defence.
The Vikings had their scoring chances though, including a kick cleared off the line and their own score came on 70 minute when second rower Adam Lawton spun out of two tackles and powered through the Newcastle defence to slide over the line and bring the first points up for the visitors.
Ste Tyrer converted and with 10 to go the gap was down to four points at 10-6.
A frenetic period ensued until Thunder got a kickable penalty 20m out with five minutes to go and moved the scoreboard on to 12-6.
The Thunder held on to the lead until the final whistle to win a game they largely dominated, much to the joy of the hardy Newcastle fans - against a team that were nobody's walk-over.
Score Progression: 4-0. HT: 8-0, 10-0, 10-4, 10-6, 12-6 FT.
Newcastle Thunder: Mullen; Boafo (T), Nokes, Halsall (T), Miski; Shorrocks (G, P), Dee; Chaplow, Eaves, Clark, Gallagher; Nicholson, Hallas. Subs:Peachey, Bailey, Wilde, O'Neill.
Widnes Vikings: Owens; Fleming, Tyrer (G), Spedding, Ince, Smith, Farnworth, Fozard, Maker, Wilde, Davies, Addy. Subs: Roby, Lawton (T), Doro (SB 26), Wells.
Referee: Aaron Moore
Venue: Kingston Park, Newcastle