Super League: Castleford Tigers cling on to beat Hull FC at home
Last Updated: 21/06/13 11:55pm
Ben Crooks scored four tries but still ended up on the losing side as Castleford rallied from a 10-point half-time deficit to defeat Hull FC 30-28 at the Wish Communications Stadium.
Having trailed 16-6 at the break the Tigers, inspired by influential half-back Rangi Chase, came roaring back to lead 24-16, only to then allow the Airlie Birds to get back on level terms in a see-saw second half.
In the end the Super League slugfest was settled by James Clare with 10 minutes to go, the winger racing the length of the field for a try that made sure new Cas coach Daryl Powell would enjoy a successful home debut.
Clare's 100-metre effort meant Crooks - watched on from the stands by his dad, and Castleford legend, Lee - ended up on the losing side, even though Hull scored six tries to the hosts' five.
The young centre broke the deadlock inside two minutes when he finished off a break by ex-Castleford man Joe Arundel down the right, though the hosts responded when Richard Owen claimed Chase's up-and-under.
Hull had the odd moment of concern in defence, particularly in dealing with the high ball, yet survived before hitting their hosts with a quickfire brace.
Aaron Heremaia got the first after Andy Lynch, making his 50th appearance for the Black and Whites against the club where he started his career, had put Liam Watts in the clear with a wonderfully-timed short pass.
Before the Tigers had time to recover their line was breached again, a Clare's knock-on allowing Crooks to burst over from a move off the back of a scrum.
Yet anything Hull could do Castleford could do better, scoring not twice but three times in the space of six second-half minutes to storm in front.
Chase capped off a break he had initiated with a bullet of a pass and then set up a try with a 40-20 that led to Jonathan Walker barging his way through some soft tackles. Sandwiched in between was a try for Daryl Clarke and with Dixon converting them, all the hosts were eight points to the good.
Awoken from their second-half slumber by conceding 18 points in a hurry, Hull fought their way level to set up a grandstand finish.
Heremaia got his second out on the left following a Tom Lineham break and then debutant Jacob Miller showed just why Peter Gentle had snapped him up from Wests Tigers with a burst down the middle that put Crooks in the clear.
He would cross again before the final hooter too, from Miller's cut-out pass, but Daniel Holdsworth's inability to land any conversions after the interval proved costly in the final reckoning.
It looked like the misses wouldn't matter when Lineham threatened the line only for Clare to come up with a crucial tackle that finally secured the two points.