Tigers beaten after failing to snap up chances

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CASTLEFORD slipped to their first Stobart Super League defeat under new coach Ian Millward with this afternoon's 20-12 loss against Bradford Bulls at Probiz Coliseum.

The Tigers, aiming to build on their opening victory at Salford, dominated territorially for long periods in heavy conditions but were unable to make it count.

They created numerous chances but were foiled by a combination of shaky finishing and Bradford's magnificent defence.

Josh Griffin (pictured), making his home debut, and Richard Owen were Castleford's try scorers.

In the early stages, the Tigers had difficulty retaining possession on the slippy surface.

Bradford took a ninth-minute lead when Luke Gale's high kick was collected by Brett Kearney who put in Jarrod Sammut for a try that Gale converted.

Castleford rallied strongly. Adam Milner went close to scoring from Rangi Chase's kick before Stuart Jones and Chase were tackled just short.

With Chase pulling the strings, the Tigers were soon pressing again and Jason Crooks did well to smother a dangerous kick in his own in-goal area.

James Donaldson and Elliott Whitehead made strong runs to set up a rare Bradford attack which fizzled out when Owen gathered Elliot Kear's kick.

The Tigers then had several more chances but were unable to snap them up and they were punished shortly before the interval when the Bulls doubled their lead.

Jamie Langley sent substitute Tom Burgess plunging over from close range and Gale converted to put the visitors 12-0 up at the break.

Bradford had a let off early in the second half when Tigers prop Nathan Massey lost the ball after making a powerful run.

But the Tigers finally opened their account 10 minutes into the half when they capitalised after Gale failed to find touch from a penalty.

Chase, with a clever delayed pass, Owen and Ryan McGoldrick made the opening for Griffin to score near the corner and Kirk Dixon kicked a difficult conversion to reduce the deficit to six points.

The Bulls nearly scored five minutes later but Castleford's cover got across to bundle Crooks into touch at the corner.

Brett Ferres was stopped just short when play switched to the other end in a game that suddenly sprung to life.

Bradford substitute Heath L'Estrange was sin-binned for holding down in the 56th minute before Castleford went close again when Griffin was unable to catch Chase's kick when a try looked certain.

Gale edged the Bulls further ahead with a 66th-minute penalty after Castleford's Jake Emmitt was sin-binned.

Bradford sealed victory three minutes from time when Kearney darted over from a scrum 15 yards out and Gale tagged on the goal.

Owen's late try from Chase's delightful pass and Dixon's second goal came too late to rescue the Tigers.