Castleford storm back from 18-0 to snatch second half victory
Castleford left themselves a mountain to climb in their final home game in Yorkshire Three against Thornensians.
However, they held their nerve, dug in and showed their fighting qualities, so evident throughout the season, to secure a famous victory over the side just below them in the league.
Castleford were set back on their heels as the visitors stormed into an 18-0 lead with ten minutes of the first half remaining.
Starved of possession, the home side were living off scraps and were unlucky not to go further behind as the Thornensians waggon continued to pressurise the Castleford defensive line.
With the ball in hand the Castleford threes looked sharp and a slick blind-side move resulted in winger, Chris O'Gara taking play to within five metres. From the resulting ruck, skipper, Darren Walker emerged with the ball as the pack powered over for the try that began the fight-back. Ian Mattison, Castleford's trusty marksman added the difficult conversion.
Whatever was said at half time, had a stinging effect on Castleford because they began to exert pressure from the off, but too their credit the visitors defended well until Castlefrd were awarded a penalty mid-field. Centre. Daniel Price took a quick tap before feeding fellow centre, Steve Hayward. A couple of side-steps created the space for full-back, Thomas Dobson to sprint powerfully to the line unopposed. Mattison's conversion reduced the deficit to four points and the home side were hunting the unlikely win.
With ten minutes remaining, Castleford edged closer with a Mattison penalty. With five minutes of extra time remaining, further Castleford pressure gave Mattison the opportunity to grab the victory which he duly obliged.
This was a whole team second-half revival and ensures the Willowbridge Laners of a top-four finish. Castleford complete their Yorkshire Three season away at Aireborough with a Yorkshire Silver Trophy quarter final match against the same opposition away on Easter Saturday.