Spirited Castleford win season opener at Sandylands
Skipton start season with a defeat but plenty of positives to be taken
A slick Castleford performance proved to much for a well drilled and impressive Skipton in their opening encounter in the late summer sunshine at Sandylands.
Hard early exchanges saw a kick and chase almost put Skipton winger Jamie Carroll over but a break away reply by Castleford gave them the first points of the day with a converted try.
A penalty to Skipton for a Castleford off-side at the re-start gave stand-off Ra Neha the chance to claw back three points. A long range return kick from the re-start by Neha put the ball into touch close to Castleford's line. Skipton stole the line-out and a chip through by Neha saw Carroll just short again.
A great assault on the line saw Skipton hooker Ryan Cafer held up. The ball was spun down the line from the scrum and Skipton gained a penalty at the break down. They opted for the scrum and gained a text book push-over try, No. 8 Mark Davison touching down. Neha added the extra points and Skipton had taken the lead.
Excellent forward work by Skipton flanker Jordan Wilson from the re-start gave Skipton a quick tap penalty, with Davison being held up on the line. From the resultant five metre scrum the ball was shipped down the line to put outside centre Hamish Munro over for Skipton's second try, Neha again adding the extra points. Castleford came back strongly from the re-start and, despite dogged defence from the home side, were soon over for their second try. An attempt at goal from a Skipton penalty for a high tackle just before half-time was not successful and the sides turned round at 17-14.
An early penalty to Castleford in the second period saw the ball put sweetly down the line for their third try. Skipton gained a penalty from the re-start and a tap and run brought them close to Castleford's line but they conceded a penalty for holding on at the break down and a chip through gave Castleford their fourth try.
Frenzied play from the re-start, with Charlie Brown to the fore in the Skipton forwards, put the home side down field. A knock-on gave Skipton the put-in and a strong run by Davison put Munro over for Skipton's third try. The conversion attempt was not successful.
The last five minutes of the game saw Castleford over for a fifth unconverted try. A late Skipton penalty was to no avail but the home side impressed and have much to take away and build on for the season.