A clever solo try by Ashley Gibson sparked Castleford’s second-half fightback in a 22-14 win over Bradford Bulls in Sunday’s pre-season game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers looked to be heading for a surprise defeat in Andy Lynch’s testimonial match when they trailed 14-6 at half-time after a disjointed first-half display against a much sharper Bradford side.
But Daryl Powell’s men turned the game round in the second period after Gibson weaved his way over from 30 yards out for the first of two Castleford tries in three minutes.
Bradford’s Adam Brook was then sin-binned and the Tigers quickly capitalised when Gibson’s fellow substitute Scott Moore forced his way over from close range and Luke Gale kicked his third goal to put them 18-14 up.
A breakaway try by Mike McMeeken in the final minute sealed Castleford’s second successive pre-season victory in front of a crowd of 3,844.
Bradford, who are odds-on favourites to top the Kingstone Press Championship table this season, were the better team in the first-half and built a 10-0 lead with tries from Jay Pitts and Ryan Shaw.
Justin Carney opened Castleford’s account with a 34th minute touchdown but the Bulls led by eight points at the break after former Salford full-back Jake Mullaney, who had an outstanding game, set up a score for Adrian Purtell.