Denny Solomona scores hat-trick as Castleford stun Hull FC
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/02/16 6:37am
Denny Solomona scored a hat-trick as Castleford maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a thrilling 31-24 win over Hull FC at the KC Stadium.
It was Hull's first defeat this season as Castleford withheld a Black and Whites comeback that saw the game level after 73 minutes.
But nine points in the final seven minutes saw the Tigers home after a quick start to the game.
Within 90 seconds Castleford scored as Jy Hitchcox, a late replacement for Joel Monaghan who was injured in the warm-up, marked his debut with a try with his first ever touch in Super League. Luke Gale's conversion gave the visitors a 6-0 lead.
Castleford extended their advantage to 12-0 when Solomona strolled through the Black and Whites' defence to make Gale's conversion a formality.
There was plenty of time for Hull to turn their fortunes around and they got on the scoreboard in the 16th minute when Jordan Thompson went over from close range against his former club. Marc Sneyd, another ex-Tiger, converted to make it 12-6.
While Hull have been getting plenty of plaudits for their 100 per cent start to the season, Castleford have been flying under the radar with three points from four.
The Tigers' third try of the half showed they deserved to be talked about as much as their opponents, Hitchcox grabbing his second after collecting Luke Dorn's cross-field kick to silence the KC Stadium.
Back came Lee Radford's side with two tries in the final six minutes of the first half to send the sides into the half-time interval level at 18-18.
Steve Michaels went over on the right-hand side after good work by Gareth Ellis, four minutes before Danny Washbrook broke through a tackle to send Jamie Shaul over under the posts. Sneyd converted both scores.
Hull came closest to scoring at the start of the second half but Frank Pritchard's reaction to a tackle, pushing Adam Milner in the face, let the Tigers off the hook while defending their own line.
It was to prove costly as Castleford went up the other end to regain the lead. Solomona had enough space to squeeze in on the left-hand side.
The lead did not last long as Hull scored on their next set. Houghton broke and offloaded for Shaul to romp home from 30 metres. Sneyd's conversion gave the Black and Whites their first lead of the game.
Solomona was denied a hat-trick try when the video referee disallowed his acrobatic effort for an earlier obstruction.
Michaels then had a try disallowed for placing a foot in touch moments later as both sides served up a feast of entertaining rugby.
Gale drew Castleford level at 24-24 with a 73rd-minute penalty before his 35-metre drop goal edged his side in front.
The onus was on Hull now to find a moment of magic to rescue something from the game. They tried but eventually came up short.
Trying to run the ball out with time about to expire, Solomona intercepted Carlos Tuimavave's pass to score under the posts. Gale's conversion made it 31-24 with the last act of a pulsating game.