Daryl Powell celebrated a victory in his first home match as Castleford Tigers head coach as his team won a thrilling Super League contest 30-28 against Hull FC.
The action and drama went right down to the final play with Hull inches away from a match clinching try, but it was the Tigers who held on for a cracking victory,
Three tries in seven second half minutes proved crucial as Powell’s men turned round a 10-point half-time deficit to lead 24-16 then held on against a strong Hull comeback.
The first half was a tight affair with Cas showing some good defence at times only to let it slip in the closing stages.
They recovered from an awful start when the visitors scored from their first set as ex-Tiger Joe Westerman broke from his own half and passed inside for Ben Crooks to score a try converted by Daniel Holdsworth.
Cas responded quickly when Rangi Chase’s high kick to the corner was collected by Richard Owen, who collected a try on his return to the starting line-up. Kirk Dixon, back on kicking duties with Jamie Ellis absent, added the extras.
A long period of stalemate followed with the hosts unlucky with a couple of bounces from inquisitive kicks and a strong period of pressure for Hull seeing them only denied by some desperate and committed Tigers tackling.
But it was Hull that broke through as Aaron Heremaia backed up Liam Watts’ break to score a try that went unconverted on 33 minutes.
They followed up with another try just before the break with Crooks going over again and Holdsworth’s second goal made it 16-6 at half-time.
Castleford needed a strong start to the second half and got it as Chase, Daryl Clark and Jonathan Walker all blasted over for tries and Dixon kicked three goals.
Back came the visitors as Heremaia and Crooks scored tries either side of some good defence to keep Owen out.
But crucially Holdsworth missed with his two conversion attempts to leave the scores tied at 24-24.
Hull looked to turn the screw and Jason Crookes was held up over the line, but ironically from their attack it was Cas who scored as James Clare collected a loose ball near his own line and sidestepped his way clear to show fantastic pace for a thrilling try converted by Dixon.
Hull hit back again with Crooks scoring his fourth try five minutes from time, but another missed kick by Holdsworth left the Tigers two points in front and they held on in a tense finale.
The visitors launched one last attack and Tom Lineham went for the line only to be stopped inches short by Clare’s tackle. Moments later the final hooter went and Cas had a memorable win.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Owen, Chase, Clark, Walker, Clare; goals Dixon 5. Hull: Tries Crooks 4, Heremaia 2; goals Holdsworth 2.
Castleford: Tansey; Owen, Shenton, Dixon, Clare; Hauraki, Chase; Boyle, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Millington, Massey. Subs: Walker, Clark, Davies, Thompson,
Hull FC: McDonnell; Lineham, Crooks, Arundel, Crookes; Holdsworth, Miller; O’Meley, Houghton, Green, Whiting, Westerman, Pitts. Subs: Galea, Lynch, Watts, Heremaia.
Referee: James Child.