Castleford lose out to old boy in thrilling finish

Michael Shenton, who opened the scoring for Castleford Tigers.
Michael Shenton, who opened the scoring for Castleford Tigers.

Castleford Tigers played a full part in another thrilling First Utility Super League contest, but left the John Smith’s Stadium empty handed after a late drop-goal by Danny Brough sealed a 29-28 win for Huddersfield Giants.

Daryl Powell’s men led 12-0 in the first 20 minutes before losing their way in the middle of the match to trail 28-16.

A comeback turned the game again with the scores level before former Cas player Brough came up with the decisive one-pointer five minutes from time.

Even then the Tigers had one last chance, but centre Michael Shenton was tackled after being unable to free Justin Carney on his outside and the opportunity went begging.

It was captain Shenton who gave Cas the start they were looking for as his burst of pace took him clear to score the opening try.

Within three minutes they scored again as Carney came up with a superb solo effort from his own half. With Marc Sneyd converting both as the Tigers were 12-0 up.

They could have been further in front as Weller Hauraki was held up on the line. But the Giants found their feet and hit back when Brough sent Joe Wardle over.

The hosts then levelled as Leroy Cudjoe crossed and Brough landed his second conversion.

It stayed 12-12 to half-time, although Brough missed a penalty from near half-way.

Huddersfield made a strong start to the second half with winger Jermaine McGillvary going over for a try on his 100th Giants appearance, but back came Cas straight away as winger Kirk Dixon collected Sneyd’s chip kick to touch down in the corner, too far out for Sneyd to goal.

The hosts then appeared to take control when Scott Grix and Aaron Murphy went over for tries to open up a 12-point lead.

However, Cas showed again what spirit they have this year as they did not give up and forced their way back into the game.

First, Jake Webster showed pace and power to race over from half-way then Daryl Clark was first to reach his own grubber kick for another fine try. With Sneyd converting twice it was 28-28 with seven minutes left.

Both sides made errors in a tense finish, but it was Brough who managed to stay cool to land the drop-goal that broke Tigers hearts.

Scorers - Huddersfield: Tries Wardle, Cudjoe, McGillvary, Grix, Murphy. Goals Brough 4; drop-goal Brough. Castleford: Tries Shenton, Carney, Dixon, Webster, Clark; goals Sneyd 4.

Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Robinson; Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Chan, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Subs: Bailey, Faiumu, Wood, Mullally.

Castleford: Clare; Dixon, Channing, Shenton, Carney; Sneyd, Ellis; Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington. Subs: Webster, Milner, Mariano, Wheeldon.

Referee: James Child.

Half-time: 12-12.

Attendance: 7,195.