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Widnes 38 Castleford 42

Gareth Hock grabbed four touchdowns for Widnes but was on the losing side as the Widnes Vikings tossed away victory by conceding three late tries to Castleford Tigers.
Widnes 38 Castleford 42

Gareth Hock grabbed four touchdowns for Widnes but was on the losing side as the Widnes Vikings tossed away victory by conceding three late tries to Castleford Tigers.

Widnes were behind 24-8 before fighting back to lead 34-24 until 12 minutes from time.

Then Castleford stunned Widnes with Adam Milner, Weller Hauraki and Michael Channing crossing for tries converted by Kirk Dixon.

The win moves Castleford level on points with Widnes after a 16-try thriller.

Widnes were thrashed 72-10 in their last match at Hull FC but boss Denis Betts refused to make wholesale changes.

Willie Isa returned on the wing against his old club for Jack Owens, who moved to the bench with Frank Winterstein back for Adam Lawton and Dave Allen also dropping out.

Castleford winger James Clare was still missing alongside Keith Mason with a nasal infection.

Rangi Chase was in commanding form and his teasing kick led to Justin Carney's opening try after eight minutes, but too far out for Dixon to convert against a strong wind.

A surging break from skipper Kevin Brown lifted Widnes, with Jon Clarke's short pass from dummy-half sending Hock over but Patrick Ah Van missed the straightforward conversion.

But Castleford regained the lead after 17 minutes with Chase feeding Milner for Ryan Boyle to crash over, with Dixon's goal making it 10-4.

Hock was involved in a couple of skirmishes before the Vikings fell further behind, with Chase again the instigator for Michael Shenton's looping pass to send Carney over in the corner.

It got even worse for Widnes after 27 minutes when Isa failed to collect Chase's kick and substitute Nathan Massey accepted the gift to stroll over, with Dixon's conversion stretching the lead to 20-4.

Widnes did manage to cut the gap with Joe Mellor picking up a loose ball to dart 70 metres and cross for his 11th try of the season, but Ah Van again missed the easy goal attempt.

Castleford were in a hungry mood with Jamie Ellis scampering over to extend the lead to 24-8 before the Vikings fought back.

Hock showed his class for Widnes after being put through a gap by brother-in-law Brown and then taking a return pass from Rhys Hanbury to notch his second try. Stefan Marsh took over the goal-kicking and was on target to make it 24-14.

There was no stopping Hock, who took Hep Cahill's pass to complete his hat-trick and cut the arrears to 24-18 at the break.

Daryl Clark limped off for Castleford early in the second half before a high tackle by Craig Huby put the Tigers under pressure and it proved costly, with Clarke sending Hanbury over and Marsh's conversion levelling the scores at 24-24.

The Vikings went in front for the first time with a Winterstein try and Owens adding the extras. Widnes had their tails up and Hock notched his fourth try from another Clarke pass on the hour to make it 34-24.

Chase and Brown were involved in a flare-up 15 minutes from time that saw referee Richard Silverwood correctly sin-bin both players.

Milner scrambled over for the Tigers' sixth try after 68 minutes, with Dixon's conversion cutting the gap to 34-30.

A Mellor kick rebounded off a team-mate for Hauraki to pounce and dart over to level the scores before more accurate kicking from Dixon edged the visitors in front. Castleford wrapped up a dramatic victory with Channing taking Richard Owen's pass to cross, with Dixon again on target for the extras.

Winterstein notched his second try for Widnes in the last minute but it was too late.

Widnes Vikings 38
Tries: Gareth Hock 4, Frankie Winterstein 2, Joe Mellor, Rhys Hanbury
Goals: Stefan Marsh 2, Jack Owens

Castleford Tigers 42
Tries: Justin Carney 2, Ryan Boyle, Nathan Massey, Jamie Ellis, Adam Milner, Weller Hauraki, Michael Channing
Goals: Kirk Dixon 5

Date: Sunday 11th August 2013
Venue: Select Security Stadium Halton
Crowd: 5,155
Referee: R Silverwood
Half Time: Castleford 24-18

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