Hat-trick by Best ends Castleford's Cup hopes

Hull 26 Castleford 0
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Colin Best has already declared his intention of being the game's top try scorer this season. On this showing, he has every chance, because his three tries yesterday all bore the hallmark of an exceptional wingman.

Colin Best has already declared his intention of being the game's top try scorer this season. On this showing, he has every chance, because his three tries yesterday all bore the hallmark of an exceptional wingman.

Castleford crashed ignominiously out of the Powergen Challenge Cup because they had no answer to Best's searing pace and no cutting edge themselves. This was a strangely two-tone affair with an often dour match lit up by some truly remarkable finishing.

The Australian struck first after 24 minutes, backing up a glorious break by the Hull captain, Richie Barnett Snr, to complete an 80-yard spectacular. Best's second was the result of some delightful use of the ball by Richard Whiting, Hull's close-season signing from Featherstone, and Peter Lupton. Once they had contrived to show him some space, Best's speed made the rest a formality.

With Paul Cooke landing three goals, Hull were cruising at 14-0, but the game might just have been dragged away from them if Ryan Sheridan's surprising burst of speed had brought Castleford a try immediately before half-time.

Instead, Best - who else? - prevented him from grounding the ball and, worse still for a Castleford side badly in need of direction, Sheridan played no further part in the game because of a shoulder injury. "It's all ifs, buts and maybes,'' the Castleford coach, Graham Steadman, said. "The bottom line is that we weren't good enough today.''

Cas were clinging on in the second half with the former Hull forward Craig Greenhill fortunate only to concede a penalty for a high tackle on Sean Briscoe and Tom Saxton, and equally lucky not to go to the sin bin for holding back Whiting.

Hull comfortably absorbed any pressure from their visitors and they made sure of their place in the quarter-finals when Whiting, who looks a real prospect at Super League level, kicked cleverly for the wing and the ball sat up for Best to glide home and complete his hat-trick.

Most of the Castleford contingent had already left by the time the elder Barnett kicked through for Best. This time Castleford managed to stop him getting over, but the impressive Whiting finished the job.

The Hull coach, Shaun McRae, characterised it as a mixed display illuminated by some superb individual performances. "Colin Best has got to be in the top echelon of players for finishing off plays,'' he said. "It will take someone with a bit of pace to pick him up and catch him.''

Hull: Briscoe, Best, Barnett Snr, Yeaman, Barnett Jnr, Cooke, Horne, King, Swain, Dowes, McMenemy, McNicholas, Lupton. Substitutes: Chester, Bailey, Whiting, Higgins.

Castleford: Saxton, Rogers, Clayton, Maloney, Gibson, Rudder, Sheridan, Greenhill, Hudson, Jackson, Smith, Ryan, Harland. Substitutes: Hepworth, Lynch, Godwin, Thackray.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

CHALLENGE CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Wigan v Wakefield
St Helens v Hull
Huddersfield v York
Whitehaven v Warrington

(Ties to be played on Sunday 28 March)

Comments