London keep challenge rolling

Castleford 13 London Broncos 22
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The Independent Online
London improved their chances of finishing second in Super league and clung tenaciously to the mathematical possibility of winning it as they defied their tiredness to win a highly-satisfying encounter at Wheldon Road.

Following a hard game against Castleford's relegation rivals Oldham in midweek, the Broncos were understandably weary last night, but showed great character to get ahead of equally determined opposition in the latter stages and stay there.

London began with a strong suggestion their central brains trust of Terry Matterson, Peter Gill and Shaun Edwards would have too much guile.

After only three minutes a slick piece of deception saw them open the scoring, Edwards taking the defence one way and Matterson exchanging passes with Gill to go through the other channel.

Castleford's equaliser came when Dean Sampson kept the ball alive and Brendon Tuuta's pass gave Richard Gay room to touch down in the corner.

They then took the lead in spectacular style, Adrian Vowles picking off Gill's long pass near his own try-line and going 90 yards with Tony Martin in pursuit, leaving Danny Orr an easy kick in the process.

There was a further set-back for London when Edwards was sin-binned for holding down Tuuta and Orr added two more points from the penalty.

Gill had a try disallowed for losing control of the ball, but Matterson's penalty edged them a little closer before Cas registered once more through Brad Davis' drop goal.

London started the second half refreshed, with Edwards' pass giving Josh White space in which to beat the defence and Matterson's conversion bringing them within one point.

Gill continued his personal chronicle of misadventures by again dropping the ball going over the try-line and Castleford's slender lead remained intact.

Graham Steadman was sin-binned for stealing the ball - one of a number of refereeing decisions that enraged the home crowd - and while he was off Robbie Beazley's fine pass sent Edwards in for a converted try that seemed to have a hint of obstruction about it.

London had done just about enough to win and two late penalties from Greg Barwick, allied with some heroic defence, made it look more comfortable than it had been.

Castleford: Flowers; Smith, Critchley, Vowles, Gay; Davis, Ford; Sampson, Orr, McKell, Lidden, Schick, Tuuta. Substitutes used: Harland, Sykes, Russell, Steadman.

London: Mardon; Roskell, Martin, Krause, Fatnowna; Beazley, Edwards; Mestrov, Matterson, Bawden, Salter, Toby, Gill. Substitutes used: Howard, Hamilton, White, Barwick.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).