Super League: Widnes Vikings 38-42 Castleford Tigers
Widnes Vikings (18) 38
- Hock 4, Mellor, Hanbury, Winterstein 2
- Marsh 2, Owens
Castleford Tigers (24) 42
- Carney 2, Boyle, Massey, Ellis, Milner, Hauraki, Channing
- Dixon 5
Gareth Hock scored four tries for Widnes but Castleford came out on top in a high-scoring encounter.
The Vikings trailed 24-18 at the break, despite Hock's first-half treble and another from Joe Mellor.
Winger Justin Carney scored two of Castleford's eight tries, although the game was not safe until they crossed three times in the final 10 minutes.
Adam Milner, Weller Hauraki and Michael Channing ended Widnes's shallow hopes of a late dash for a play-off spot.
The Vikings, who were thrashed 72-10 by Hull in their previous outing, led by 10 points with 12 minutes to go but had no response to Castleford's late heroics.
Carney's brace, along with scores from Ryan Boyle, Nathan Massey and Jamie Ellis, gave Cas a six-point advantage at half-time.
That was cancelled out by Rhys Hanbury's effort, and when Frank Winterstein went over for the first of his two scores, followed by Hock's fourth, the Vikings looked in control.
However, Kevin Brown of Widnes and Castleford's Rangi Chase were sent to the sin bin for their parts in a flare-up and it was the Tigers who responded the better.
Daryl Powell's side crossed for three tries without reply and Widnes fell short of a comeback, despite Winterstein's second score - the 16th and final try of the game.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts:
"We have worked so hard but conceded more than 40 points - this game was the story of our year.
"We were 10 points up and all we just needed to keep doing but we were doing but crumbled mentally and Cas got their tails up.
"Gareth Hock is a world-class player and showed that today but we lacked discipline at times and conceded silly penalties.
"[Kevin Brown was sin-binned] but if someone throws a punch at you what are you supposed to do? Kevin was only protecting himself."
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"We look one of the best teams in the league when we are on the front foot but we do get rattled at times.
"It was a crazy, topsy-turvy game and it took a big effort from us to get the job done.
"It was a game we needed to win and it was a massive effort from Adam Milner to charge down that late kick for Weller Hauraki to score and put us back in front.
"Rangi Chase was special for us today too - I was on the edge of my seat whenever he had the ball."
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Isa, Marsh, Phelps, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; O'Carroll, Clarke, Kavanagh, Hock, Leuluai, Cahill.
Replacements: Gore, Joseph, Winterstein, Owens.
Sin Bin: Brown (65).
Castleford Tigers: Owen; Dixon, Shenton, Channing, Carney; Chase, Ellis; Boyle, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark.
Replacements: Massey, Thompson, Fleming, Martin.
Sin Bin: Chase (65).
Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL).