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Super League: Castleford beat Hull FC 19-16 at the MAH Jungle
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Frankie Mariano scored a late try as Castleford made it five Super League wins out of five with a thrilling 19-16 victory over Hull FC.
The match was in the balance right up until the final hooter but Mariano proved the match-winner as the Tigers won at the death for the second week running, following their 36-31 victory over Wigan last Sunday.
Fetuli Talanoa gave Hull a dream start in front of a strong travelling contingent at the MAH Jungle but Castleford responded almost immediately through a brilliant Michael Shenton try.
Local lad Gareth Ellis punished a mistake by Jordan Tansey in his own in-goal to put the visitors back in control and give them a half-time lead.
Marc Sneyd brought Castleford level once more at the start of the second half after Daryl Clark had kept the ball alive but Hull were soon back in front through Liam Colbon's try, only to be denied late on.
Jake Webster made his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury for the Tigers, whose coach Daryl Powell recalled Tansey and Jamie Ellis.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford handed former Wigan and Hull KR winger Colbon his debut in place of the injured Tom Lineham and brought Ben Crooks back in at centre.
Grant Millington charged down Richard Horne's kick on halfway at the end of the first set of the match and Hull crossed from the resultant scrum through Talanoa after good hands by Kirk Yeaman.
Castleford did not get their hands on the ball until five minutes in but they made the wait worthwhile for the home fans as Clark broke through the Hull defence before Millington fed Shenton to race clear.
The Tigers were almost in again on 17 minutes after another strong run by Clark but Weller Hauraki's offload could not be gathered by a diving Richard Owen.
Castleford had to be at their best defensively as the Black and Whites threatened their line on the back of successive penalties but they could not prevent Ellis from crashing over from close range on the half-hour mark.
Crooks added the extras from out wide and 12-6 is how the scoreline remained as the players made their way off for half-time.
Tansey looked set to atone for his earlier error when he broke through the Hull defence just after the break but his pass was gratefully received by Chris Tuson.
Hull were not so lucky just minutes later as Mariano charged upfield to lay the platform for Sneyd to dummy and go over, with the half-back converting his own try.
The game swung back in Hull's favour on 56 minutes courtesy of an excellent finish in the corner by Colbon after good play by Richard Whiting and former Tiger Joe Westerman.
Crooks missed the conversion and he was in a heap soon after following a huge hit by Justin Carney.
The tough tackling continued but there was no stopping Shenton in the dying stages when he broke through to find Mariano for the game-breaking try.
Sneyd goaled and then slotted over a drop goal to give Castleford a three-point cushion and they held on for another two points.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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