TWO scores in the final seven minutes saw Betfred Super League leaders Castlford Tigers snatch the two points against a heroic Widnes Vikings at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

It was a great effort from Denis Betts' injury-hit side who led 22-20 late in the piece.

But Cas produced just enough of their renowned class in the end to take the game.

In addition to their longer term injuries, the Vikings went into the game without Rhys Hanbury, Jack Buchanan, Gil Dudson and Eamon O'Carroll.

Into the side came Corey Thompson, Ted Chapelhow, Brad Walker and Danny Walker.

The Tigers dominated the opening exchanges but some robust, and smart, defence kept them at bay.

Eventually the dam broke when an intricate scrum move created space for Greg Eden to score in the left hand corner.

Widnes finally gained a foothold at the other end and a flat pass from Lloyd White was key to allowing winger Ryan Ince to squeeze in at the flag with Ed Chamberlain's fine goal giving his side a 6-4 lead.

On 28 minutes, a further Vikings raid saw on-loan fullback Jack Johnson somehow wriggle free from several tacklers to score a great solo six-pointer at the posts.

Just when it looked like the Vikings would take a 12-4 lead into the break, Cas substitute Gadwin Springer powered through from close range to pull six points back for the home team.

The Tigers came out breathing fire in the early tackles but it was Widnes who increased their lead as Charly Runciman's flick pass was brilliantly taken in by Thompson to score in the corner.

Just three minutes later, the Vikings scored a superb try as White and Chamberlain combined to send Jordan Johnstone in just to the right of the posts with Chamberlain's goal making it 22-10.

The inevitable Tigers response came with quick-fire tries from Zak Hardaker and Eden again to bring the score back to 22-20.

Widnes twice went close to scoring the try which might have brought them a win as Greg Burke and Runciman were both held up over the line.

In the end it was Eden's hat-trick try which effectively took the spoils for Cas as he latched onto another fine handling move to scorch with Luke Gale converting.

Matt Cook's late touchdown for the home side gave the final scoreline a flattering hue.

Castleford: Hardaker; Monaghan, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Milner, Cook, Springer, T Holmes.

Widnes: Johnson; Ince, Chamberlain, Runciman, Thompson; Heremaia, Johnstone; Burke, White, Gerrard, B Walker, Olbison, J Chapelhow Subs: Manuokafoa, Cahill, D Walker, T Chapelhow.

Half-Time: 12-10 Referee: Mr C Campbell Attendance: 7,648