Despite strong, crosswind conditions, Castleford and Hemsworth combined to serve up a classic, fiercely contested local rugby union derby.
The result was in doubt until the last quarter when Castleford sealed victory with a bonus-point try that lifts them up to fourth in Yorkshire Three.
The game started at a brisk pace with the home pack in the ascendency, ably led by captain Adam Brown and player-coach Phil Watson. Their pressure paid early dividends when they were awarded a penalty in a kickable position. Instead they opted to kick for touch which outside-half Thomas Egan found five metres out from the visitors’ line. Back rower Chris Purdy rose high to take a clean catch and set up a driving maul. Hemsworth were penalised and scrum-half Jake Crossland surprised the visitors’ defence, by taking a quick tap before sending a pin-point cross-field kick into the waiting arms of centre Thomas Dobson who side-stepped his way over for the opening try. MOM Egan added the conversion and produced a cameo kicking performance, despite the difficult conditions.
Hemsworth quickly took up the gauntlet launching their own pressure, but Crossland intercepted and raced, unopposed, the length of the field to cross in the corner. Egan added the touchline conversion.
From the re-start, Hemsworth regained possession and forced a scrum 15 metres out. Back-rower Rob Taylor broke from the base to send outside-half, Joe Thompson clean through for an unconverted try.
Defences ruled until five minutes before the break as Watson took a clean line-out catch and a crisp, cross-field move ended when Dobson fed full-back James Wick who dived over in the corner. Although Egan narrowly missed the conversion, Castleford looked comfortable with a 19-5 interval lead.
Hemsworth started the second half in determined mood and Thompson intercepted 40 metres out to power through for a try that was converted by Ben Brailsford.
They now looked the more likely to prevail and only last- ditch Castleford defence kept them out. Substitute Craig Jeffels helped to steady the ship with some powerful runs and solid tackles.
Finally, Castleford played to their strength, using width and their pace to unlock the visitors defence for the final time. Egan sent Dobson on one of his trade-mark, mazy runs and he split the defensive line before sending Wick clear for the bonus score that sealed the victory.
This Saturday Castleford now face a difficult away trip to Aireborough who always provide a stern test.
Elsewhere in Yorkshire Three, Knottingley slipped down to tenth place after they went down 48-24 at Skipton. They are back at home this Saturday, entertaining Leeds Corinthians (3pm).