Castleford 38-14 Salford: Greg Eden injury mars Tigers' win
Last Updated: 15/07/17 12:06pm
Castleford continued their march towards a first Super League title but their 38-14 win over Salford came at a cost, with prolific winger Greg Eden set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Super League's top try-scorer was forced from the field in obvious discomfort after injuring his shoulder as he finished spectacularly in the corner.
Eden's two first-half tries either side of Ben Roberts' determined finish underlined his importance to the Tigers but Daryl Powell's men still had more than enough to record their 11th league victory in a row.
Joel Monaghan scored twice after the break, while Zak Hardaker also crossed as Castleford comfortably maintained their 100-per-cent home record on Friday night.
While the Tigers appear certain to secure a home semi-final in the early weeks of the Super 8s, Salford's place in the top four looks increasingly insecure.
The Red Devils could only add Jake Bibby's try to first-half efforts from Gareth O'Brien and Kris Welham as they suffered another blow to their play-off hopes.
Salford edged out Castleford 13-12 on home soil in the rain in March but they arrived at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle smarting from a 50-24 hammering by Leeds, their fourth defeat in five games.
The Red Devils conceded 36 points in the first half of their latest loss and the travelling supporters must have been fearing the worst when the competition's best attack opened the scoring after just three minutes.
Niall Evalds made a mess of Luke Gale's high kick and after Michael Dobson was penalised at the ruck, the Tigers half-back's cut-out pass put Eden over for his 36th try of the season.
But Salford are in the top four on merit and they responded within five minutes as O'Brien dummied his way over out wide after a mistake by Eden gave them perfect field position.
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Paul McShane got Castleford going again with a 40/20 and Roberts took his team-mate's lead by shrugging off several attempted tackles to power his way over.
The Tigers are the masters of taking games away from sides in the blink of an eye and they looked set to do just that when Eden finished in trademark fashion to extend their lead.
But the prolific winger injured his shoulder in the process and left the field with his left arm in a sling.
Gale's second successive conversion made it 16-4 and he was on target again when Ben Murdoch-Masila was penalised for a high tackle on Jesse Sene-Lefao.
The game was in danger of slipping away from Salford but they went into the break only 18-10 down after Welham finished Robert Lui's break.
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Rain greeted the players as they returned for the second half and the greasy conditions contributed to Bibby spilling the ball as he tried to ground it in the corner.
Bibby's error proved to be the turning point as Monaghan - Eden's replacement on the wing - scooted down the touchline after the Tigers worked the short side with precision.
Gale's conversion restored Castleford's 14-point lead and the hosts were out of sight when Shenton raced clear and gave Hardaker an easy finish under the sticks.
Bibby cut back inside from Josh Jones' pass to finish out wide but Salford were 30-14 down heading into the final 20 minutes.
Evalds had a try chalked off for a knock-on by Welham and their frustration was compounded as Shenton put Monaghan over for another try with his third assist of the half.
A miserable evening for Salford was complete when former Tigers forward Weller Hauraki was sin-binned for a late tackle on Grant Millington.