Flowers inspires rare victory

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
Castleford 22 Leeds 18

The young full-back Jason Flowers inspired a makeshift Castleford side to a rare but richly deserved victory last night. Beaten on Leeds's last five visits, Castleford appeared to be heading for another defeat when they trailed 18-10 midway through a match of invigorating ebb and flow.

But after the former Leeds hooker Colin Maskill had brought them back into contention with an opportunist try, Flowers struck twice in nine minutes to set up an unlikely win for a side that looked short of players in their prime.

Maskill and another former Leeds man, Gareth Stephens, paved the way for Flowers's first, but his second was a solo effort.

Leeds had their chances after that, but Castleford's tigerish tackling took both Jim Fallon and Francis Cummins into touch when the wing man seemed certain to cross the line.

Castleford scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes, Maskill grabbing his first, Simon Middleton racing over from Tony Marchant's pass and Lee Crooks kicking his only goal from six attempts.

The rest of the first half confronted Castleford with the possibility of losing in the most galling way, with Tony Kemp, who left for Leeds this summer, scoring one try, acting as the foil for Kevin Iro's try and then providing the pass for Mike Forshaw to score a third.

It was to Castleford's great credit that they hung on after that, and in Flowers they had the match winner to break their depressing home sequence against their big city neighbours.

Castleford: Flowers; C Smith, Coventry, Marchant, Middleton; T Smith, Stephens; Crooks, Maskill, Sykes (Palmer, 75), Harland (Eden, 45), Hill, Smales.

Leeds: Tait; Fallon, Iro, Innes (Cook, 60), Cummins; Kemp, Gibbons; Harmon (Morley, 54), Lowes, Fozzard (Harmon, 63), Mercer (Schofield, 68), Mann, Forshaw.

Referee: S Cummings (Widnes).

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