Castleford Tigers 13-12 Widnes Vikings

Castleford Tigers 13-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk
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11th February 2018

Widnes Vikings were narrowly beaten 13-12 by Castleford Tigers on a cold Sunday afternoon at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Both sides started by going set-for-set, and outstanding goal line defence from the Vikings allowed the scores to remain scoreless for most of the half.

Mike McMeeken thought he had opened the scoring for the Tigers as he crossed the whitewash after spotting a gap in the Vikings defence, but the play was pulled back for obstruction.

Ben Roberts also thought he had opened the scoring for the home side as he received the ball on the Tigers’ left edge, but a miraculous 1-on-1 steal from Stefan Marsh prevented the score.

The half looked to be ending scoreless in a tense affair, but the Tigers were able to nudge themselves in front in the final minute of the half through Greg Minikin. Jake Webster did well on the winger’s inside, offloaded to him, and Minikin was able to beat Ashall-Bott to touch down. Luke Gale missed the conversion 

Half-Time: Castleford Tigers 4-0 Widnes Vikings 

The Vikings started the stronger in the second half, and capitalised by making pressure count when Matt Whitley crossed for his first try of the season. On the back of a Tigers mistake to put the Vikings into position, Gilmore’s outstanding reverse grubber kick was picked up by Whitley to score. Tom Gilmore added the extras. 

The Vikings defended superbly following Whitley’s try, and somehow managed to prevent a Castleford score in the left corner, despite a three-man overlap, with superb scrambling defence.

The field position told, and Daryl Powell’s side got the score and regained the lead through Jy Hitchcox. A cross-field kick was patted back by the Tigers into the path of an attacker, and it was spread out wide to Hitchcox for a walk in. Luke Gale converted the try.

The Man of Steel extended the Tigers’ lead shortly afterwards with a penalty from in front of the sticks, before adding a drop-goal to stretch the score to 7 points, but the Vikings rallied. 

After Ashall-Bott had superbly regained possession with a short kick off, Jay Chapelhow charged onto a Danny Walker pass to touch down under the sticks. Tom Gilmore added the extras to set up a tight finish.

The Vikings tried to level it up in the final moments, but Tom Gilmore narrowly missed two attempts at a drop-goal, as Castleford held on for victory. 

With 500 away passsionate supporters in attendance, real commitment on the field, and home grown talent stepping up to the Super League, the Vikings can find real pride in the narrowest of defeats.

Full-Time: Castleford Tigers 13-12 Widnes Vikings

Castleford: Roberts, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Hitchcox, Ellis, Gale, Millington, McShane, Foster, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner. Interchanges: Moors, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Cook

Widnes: Hanbury, Ashall, Runciman, Inu, Marsh, Mellor, Gilmore, Chapelhow, Walker, Burke, Dean, Whitley, Houston. Interchanges: Wilde, Wellington, Cahill, Olbison.

Castleford Tigers 13-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk