Super League: Leeds 24-31 Castleford

Luke Gale
Luke Gale is in his first season with Castleford
First Utility Super League
Leeds (16) 24
Tries: Ablett, Hall, Cuthbertson, Keinhorst Goals: Sutcliffe 2, Sinfield 2
Castleford (18) 31
Tries: Millington, Finn, Shenton, Solomona 2 Goals: Gale 5 Drop Goal: Finn

Castleford scored three tries in the first 16 minutes to set up an exciting win over leaders Leeds at Headingley.

The scores from Grant Millington, Liam Finn and captain Michael Shenton, to take him to 500 points for the Tigers, converted by Luke Gale put them on top.

But Leeds hit back through Carl Ablett, Ryan Hall and Adam Cuthbertson to cut the deficit to 18-16 at the break.

Two Denny Solomona tries and a Finn drop goal clinched the win despite Jimmy Keinhorst's reply.

Leeds briefly levelled at 24-24 when replacement Kevin Sinfield kicked a penalty.

But Finn struck back almost immediately before Solomona's second try, after an error by Ash Handley, secured a third straight victory as Castleford stayed fourth in the table.

It was the second week in a row that the Tigers had opened up an 18-0 lead.

Michael Shenton
Michael Shenton celebrated scoring his 500th point for Castleford during the first half

Millington opened the scoring from Nathan Massey's pass before Gale and Scott Moore set up Finn for the second and Shenton dispossessed Ablett to race through and score on his 300th career appearance.

Ablett got the better of Gale to start the Leeds recovery before Danny McGuire fed Ryan Hall, who added to his two tries against the Tigers on Good Friday with another touchdown, although Liam Sutcliffe missed the conversion.

When Paul Aiton created the chance for Cuthbertson to bring the scores closer together, it set the second half up perfectly.

Shenton set up Solomona for his sixth try in three matches to stretch the visitors' lead with Gale's kick putting them eight points ahead again.

Sinfield then entered the fray and converted Keinhorst's try before keeping his cool to equalise.

But Finn's kick and Solomona's second wrapped up Castleford's first win at Headingley for five years.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott:

"In all honesty I did think we had a foothold in the game.

"I know we had some momentum for the last 25 minutes of the first half, but I didn't think we were ever convincing, especially defensively.

"Yet to come from 18-0 down we've got to take some credit in that we found a way to come back against a Castleford team that's in form.

"We've got some work to do."

Castleford coach Daryl Powell:

"It was an edgy win. Obviously any win you get at Headingley is a big one.

"We got off to a pretty unbelievable start and we've done that three games on the spin now, where we've rattled the opposition.

"They got a bit of a foothold and we struggled. I'd like to see us have a bit more control of games at times, but the reality is when you play a team like Leeds they are going to put you under some pressure and they are going to score some points.

"Our belief is growing that we can go anywhere and win games. We've got some key players to come back in the coming weeks and I don't see why we can't challenge anybody."

Leeds: Sutcliffe, Handley, Watkins, Keinhorst, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Singleton, Aiton, Peacock, S. Ward, Ablett, Cuthbertson.

Replacements: Leuluai, Sinfield, Walters, Yates.

Castleford: Roberts, Gibson, Webster, Shenton, Solomona, Finn, Gale, Lynch, B. Moore, Millington, O. Holmes, McMeeken, Massey.

Replacements: Milner, Boyle, Moors, Bailey.

Att: 15,089.

Referee: James Child (RFL).