Castleford Tigers blew a 24-6 lead to lose 40-30 to title contenders Warrington Wolves at the Wish Communications Stadium.
Daryl Powell’s men looked set to pull off a surprise victory when they ran in four tries in 11 minutes in a red hot first half spell, but a try for Warrington just before the break proved the turning point.
On the back of a run of penalties the Wolves then scored five second half tries with the hosts replying only once and it all ended in disappointment for the Tigers.
A remarkable first half saw Cas come from 6-0 down to lead 24-12 after a burst of four tries in 11 minutes.
After Lee Briers had jinked his way over for the opening Wolves score, converted by Stefan Ratchford, it was mostly one-way traffic at the other end.
First Justin Carney went over on 20 minutes after Weller Hauraki’s fine break and good support by Grant Millington and Jamie Ellis.
Then it was Hauraki himself who scored after Ratchford had lost the ball in a tackle after initially catching Ellis’s high kick.
Ryan Boyle’s strong break and smart offload to Jordan Tansey led to a third try when Adam Milner finished the move in good style.
And a fourth try in this purple patch followed as Rangi Chase brilliantly set up Kirk Dixon to go over in the corner.
With Dixon kicking four goals from four attempts, including one from each touchline, it was 24-6 and the Wolves were seriously rattled.
The visitors were given a lifeline three minutes from half-time, however, when Garreth Carvell stretched out in a tackle to get the ball down with home fans booing the decision as they thought the Wolves player had knocked on.
The last action of the half saw Chase make another break and he then attempted a drop goal with no success with the last touch of the ball before the hooter sounded.
Warrington struck first after the interval when Brad Dwyer was allowed to wriggle over from close range and within six minutes the game had changed completely round with Richie Myler and Mickey Higham scoring further tries and Ratchford converting both to put the visitors 30-24 in front.
Cas hit back as Craig Huby touched down Daryl Clark’s low kick and Dixon’s goal levelled the game.
But it was the Wolves who finished the stronger with Higham scampering over for his second try and Joel Monaghan also going over in the corner.
Ratchford finished with six goals from seven attempts and Warrington were home for a 40-30 win that keeps their hopes alive of winning the league leaders’ shield.
Scorers - Castleford Tigers: Tries Carney, Hauraki, Milner, Dixon, Huby; goals Dixon 5. Warrington: Tries Briers, Carvell, Dwyer, Higham 2, Myler, Monaghan; goals Ratchford 6.
Castleford: Tansey; Dixon, Shenton, Channing, Carney; Chase, Ellis; Boyle, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Massey. Subs: Clark, Fleming, Martin, Mason.
Warrington: Ratchford; Riley, Grix, Bridge, J Monaghan; Briers, Myler; Wood, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison. Subs: Morley, Carvell, Dwyer, Laithwaite.
Referee: Robert Hicks.