Challenge Cup: Daryl Clark lives up to his billing as Castleford book Wembley date

Widnes 6 Castleford 28

Leigh Sports Village

Castleford’s season, already their best for almost 30 years, got even better as they  qualified for the Tetley’s  Challenge Cup final in 13 days’ time in some style.

The Tigers, for whom life has been a precarious roller-coaster of late, were last at Wembley in 1986. There was never a minute’s doubt yesterday that they would be making a belated return against a Widnes outclassed 28-6.

Crowd trouble marred their moment of glory as disgruntled Vikings supporters invaded the pitch after the final hooter and approached rival fans at the opposite end in a provocative manner.

Some violence did break out as police and stewards attempted to quell the disturbance. When the pitch was cleared the Castleford players returned to pay tribute to their fans – but by then the heavy rain which had affected much of the game had returned.

Their victory owed much to a big contribution from one of the men they fear they might lose this winter, Daryl Clark.

The 21-year-old hooker twice showed in the first 10 minutes why he is one of the sport’s hottest properties. First he raced out of dummy-half in the defence-splitting way he has made so familiar this season. Luke Dorn supported and Liam Finn finished off. If Widnes were hoping Jake Webster might be penalised for obstructing Kevin Brown in the build-up, they were hoping in vain.

The second Castleford try was like an excerpt from Ye Olde Book of Rugby League Set Moves. Clark passed from dummy-half and went on a wide runaround to take the ball from Marc Sneyd and touch it down.

If that was a training ground move, it was one that would have looked more at home at training on a Tuesday or Thursday night when rugby league was still a part-time occupation, such was its simplicity.

The Tigers could have had a quick third, but Kirk Dixon was denied by Webster’s knock-on. A more serious setback, though, was the loss of prop Craig Huby, the cornerstone of their pack, with a dislocated elbow.

That did not stop them going further ahead by half-time, lovely handling from Frankie Mariano and Dorn putting Dixon over in the corner. It was typical of  Castleford’s expansive play.

There was even more  misery for the Vikings seven minutes into the second half when, after a couple of penalties had cranked the pressure up, Jamie Ellis sold a big dummy to go over.

A conversion and penalty from Sneyd made the score look as comfortable as it was even before Webster’s  converted try, created by slick inter-play with Dixon. Jack Owens’ try averted a  whitewash near the end, but it was of little consolation.

Widnes Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Marsh, Owen; Brown, Mellor; Gerrard, Clarke, Kavanagh, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.

Substitutes used Allen, O’Carroll, White, Isa. 

Castleford Dorn; Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Clare; Sneyd, Finn; Huby, Clark, Lynch, Holmes, Massey, Mariano.

Substitutes used Wheeldon, Ellis, Jewitt, Carvell. Referee R Silverwood.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
voicesBy the man who has
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?