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Castleford 34 Widnes 22
7:16pm Sunday 25th May 2014 in Sport
WIDNES gave it their all but they were ultimately outgunned by Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Vikings actually had the better of the opening 40 minutes and were good value for a two-point lead.
But an early second half blitz by the home side proved decisive in taking the game their way.
Skipper Michael Shenton got the scoreboard ticking for the Tigers on six minutes when he followed up a Luke Dorn grubber kick to touch down.
The home side also had a Dorn try chalked off for a forward pass before Widnes hit back with a superb try.
Rhys Hanbury sent Cameron Phelps surging up the left flank and he in turn released Jack Owens on his inside.
The young winger evaded Cas fullback Dorn before finding Kevin Brown with a superb round-the-man pass allowing the Widnes skipper to cruise in at the posts.
Danny Tickle's conversion gave the Vikings a 6-4 lead.
It didn't last long, however, as centre Jake Webster scored a converted try wide out for Cas despite suspicions of a knock-on in the build-up.
Denis Betts' men regained the lead nine minutes before the break when Stefan Marsh crashed over for a six-pointer after slick passing by Brown, Tom Gilmore and Rhys Hanbury.
A further spell of Widnes pressure yielded two goal-line drop-outs but no further points as they took a 12-10 lead into the break.
A spilled ball by Owens close to his own line just a couple of minutes into the second period allowed Tigers substitute Scott Wheeldon to rumble over with Sneyd adding the extras.
Cas tried to move the ball wide straight from the restart and when the move fizzled out a fight between Paddy Flynn and opposite number Justin Carney saw both men sin-binned.
The home side increased their advantage to 22-12 on 47 minutes when Dorn ghosted in and the same player was on hand just two minutes later to finish off a Sneyd break to add six further points.
If the gate wasn't already closed as far as a Widnes comeback was concerned, it certainly slammed shut on 68 minutes when hooker Daryl Clark tricked his way over for the Tigers to make it 34-12.
There was no question of the Vikings throwing in the towel as a Brown bullet pass sent Phelps scything through to pull four points back.
And they again showed their fighting spirit three minutes from time when scrum-half Gilmore followed up his own chip and regathered before rounding Dorn for a fine individual try converted by Tickle.
But in the end it was too little too late.
Castleford: Dorn; Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Carney; Sneyd, Finn; Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington. Subs: Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Jewitt.
Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Marsh, Phelps, Owens; Brown, Gilmore; Clough, White, Gerrard, Allen, Tickle, Leuluai. Subs: Gore, Isa, Johnson, Kavanagh.
Referee: B Thaler Attendance: 5,576