Foster keeps cool with late kick to put St Helens top of the table

St Helens 22 Castleford 20

A nerveless touchline conversion of an equalising try nine seconds from time took Saints to the top of the Super League table yesterday. Saints were heading for their second narrow defeat of the Easter weekend when they staged one of the great escapes they have made a club tradition.

First Ade Gardner got over for a try to cut Castleford's lead to four points with seven minutes to play. Then, with the Tigers out on their feet after a heroic defensive display, Jon Wilkin opened them up down the left for Francis Meli to celebrate his 150th game for the club by touching down.

There was still work to be done, but the cool 20-year-old Jamie Foster landed the winning points with aplomb. "You're never 100 per cent sure, but his average says he's going to kick it," said the coach Royce Simmons, who had seen his side on the wrong end of an equally dramatic finish at Wigan on Good Friday.

Cas had seen the double prize of the league leadership and a first win at Saints in Super League dashed away. "I couldn't ask for any more," said their coach, Terry Matterson. "We were outstanding, we were the better team but we didn't get a call all day."

The first half saw both sides ask plenty of questions, with their defences generally capable of providing the answers. The first near-exception was the Saints' try disallowed for Wilkin's forward pass to Foster. There was no argument about the one that did put them ahead, however, Sia Soliola getting a beautiful one-handed pass out of the tackle to release Tom Armstrong, who had just come on as a replacement for injured Saints back Tommy Makinson.

Foster converted, but was at fault when he fumbled Rangi Chase's kick to concede the field position from which Cas equalised. After Kirk Dixon and Craig Huby had both been stopped on the line, they finally got over through Stuart Jones from Chase's pass. The Tigers edged in front when Dixon added a penalty to his conversion, but a typical Saints' surge, built on the speed of their play-the-ball, put them in front by half-time.

Soliola appeared to lose the ball in a tackle near the try-line, but it finished in the arms of Armstrong, who claimed his second try. Cas were back ahead after the interval, thanks to Chase's brilliant dummy and looked to be on their way to a famous victory when Jordan Thompson got over. Not only did they finish Easter without a point, however, they finished it with their prop, Huby, left with what is feared to be a serious knee injury.

St Helens Makinson; Gardner, Shenton, Meli, Foster; Wilkin, Lomax; Graham, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Ashurst, Puletua. Substitutes used Moore, Dixon, Magennis, Armstrong.

Castleford Mathers; Dixon, Thompson, Arundel, Owen; Chase, Orr; Jackson, Milner, Huby, Jones, Holmes, Aspinwall. Substitutes used Hudson, Emmitt, Snitch, Ferres.

Referee P Bentham (Warrington).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower