First Utility Super League: Castleford Tigers leave it late against Salford Red Devils
Last Updated: 28/06/14 9:39pm
Jake Webster's last-gasp try earned Castleford a dramatic 14-10 victory over Salford, the Tigers' first win in three games.
Trailing by two points with just seconds left, Cas dug deep to end their losing run and cement their position in the top four.
Salford looked the more dangerous early on in the wet conditions - with returning England international Rangi Chase providing most of the attacking threat - as the Red Devils enjoyed the bulk of the possession without finding that killer blow.
Castleford have become renowned for their attacking ruthlessness in 2014, though, and with their first meaningful bit of field position, they managed to take a lead - well against the run of play.
Liam Finn's towering kick was not dealt with by Greg Johnson, which left the prolific Justin Carney the simplest of takes to put the home side in front.
That was the way it would remain at the break - for all their dominance with ball in hand, the Red Devils could not muster any points.
Unfortunately, the trend continued after the break, as defence continued to dominate proceedings on a turgid night in West Yorkshire.
Cas went close on a couple of occasions, but after Daryl Clark had created some space out wide with a smart run, Weller Hauraki's pass to Kirk Dixon was way off - summing up the limp attack of both sides in one move.
Niall Evalds - arguably the man warming Kevin Locke's shoes before he arrives from the New Zealand Warriors - provided a spark from absolutely nowhere after 55 minutes, though.
He skipped through the Cas line with ease, but again the Red Devils could not support the player making the break, and the chance passed.
With just 20 minutes left, that six-point lead was looking more and more precious by the second, and when Castleford were awarded their sixth penalty of the evening, they could not resist having a go at goal.
Marc Sneyd kicked it with comfort - despite the conditions - to nudge Cas' lead out to eight.
However, Salford would eventually bite back with 15 minutes remaining. After Carney spilled the ball carrying it away from defence, the Red Devils pounced when Junior Sa'u went over in the corner to reduce the arrears to four points. With time running out though, Salford needed another score badly.
They got it within five minutes when Gareth Hock barged his way over from close range right next to the sticks. That levelled it up at 8-8, but Chase's routine conversion made it 10-8 with 10 minutes left.
However, there was still time - with literally seconds left on the clock - for Cas to nick it. Daryl Clark was the architect; he broke down the right before sending Webster over for the game's winning score. Sneyd goaled, but by that point, the hooter had already sounded.