Goulding kicks Saints into gear

St Helens 62 Castleford 24
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St Helens reopened a four-point gap at the top of Super League with one of their most fluent displays of the season so far at Knowsley Road last night.

They have, however, lived dangerously recently and again gave themselves a deficit to make up when Castleford took an eight-point lead. A splendid double kick-through by Graham Steadman created a try for Adrian Flynn, and the assured Frano Botica kicked the conversion and an offside penalty.

Saints' reply was typically dashing, a break from Karle Hammond sending Steve Prescott on his way and Danny Arnold arriving in support to step inside Steadman and score his first try for four games.

Bobbie Goulding's kick, also followed by a penalty, brought his side level and they never looked back. Tommy Martyn put them ahead. Taking a pass from Goulding, his acceleration through a gap in the Castleford defensive line was stunning.

There was real quality in Saints' next try as well. Started by a break from the irrepressible Keiron Cunningham, it ended with Goulding's switch of direction to send Apollo Perelini charging over. Before half-time, Castleford were opened up again, Martyn's angled run and pass releasing Prescott.

More slick handling produced an early try in the second half for Paul Newlove, and he soon struck again, taking Martyn's pass and side-stepping Flynn in one movement.

Castleford's Brendon Tuuta and Derek McVey of St Helens were sent to the sin bin for a furious exchange of blows, Castleford responding immediately through Nathan Sykes. Their revival continued with Lee Crooks sending Tony Smith through, but Saints soon registered another try through their substitute, Chris Morley.

Vila Matautia was next, Goulding's ninth goal from as many attempts bringing up the half century before Prescott went 90 yards for his second. There was still some resistance left in Castleford, Simon Middleton going over after Steadman had made the running. But Andy Haigh rounded it off for Saints, the faultless Goulding finishing with 11 goals.

St Helens: Prescott; Arnold, Hunte, Newlove, Sullivan; Martyn, Goulding; Perelini, K Cunningham, Pickavance, Joynt, McVey, Hammond. Substitutes used: Haigh, Matautia, Booth, Morley.

Castleford: Steadman; C Smith, Anderson, Flynn, Middleton; Botica, T Smith; Crooks, Maskill, Sykes, Harland, Schick, Tuuta. Substitutes used: Edwards, Chapman, Paramore.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).