Rugby league: Cas enjoy fun in the sun

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The Independent Online
Castleford 50 Warrington 22

CASTLEFORD SWITCHED this match to a Saturday to avoid a clash with a local carnival, and that was the mood of the afternoon at Wheldon Road.

By contrast with most of a disappointing Super League season, this was fun in the sun for Cas, who still harbour the slimmest of mathematical hopes of making the play-offs.

Any hopes an injury-hit Warrington had of a victory to lift their own sagging season ended when they had their centre Mike Eagar sent off for a high challenge on the recently arrived Castleford substitute, Jason Critchley, 12 minutes into the second half.

Warrington had dragged themselves back to within six points with two tries earlier in the half, but that over-eager tackle stopped their revival in its tracks. Within seven minutes, Andrew Schick and Dean Sampson had both powered their way through a depleted defence that had never looked convincing when fully manned and Castleford had a lead that was too big to squander even in such a freewheeling match as this.

Warrington did hit back with a second try from Jason Roach, but Francis Maloney and Mike Smith, with Danny Orr completing a tally of seven goals, rounded it off for Cas.

Warrington only had their noses in front at the very start, Danny Farrar sending Lee Briers away and then arriving to complete the attack from the play-the-ball. But Danny Ellison, Adrian Vowles and Brad Davis all took advantage of the visitors' hesitancy to wipe out that lead without trace. Lee Penny replied for Warrington, but two tries from Jon Wells put Cas in control at half-time.

Almost to their own surprise, Warrington fought back after the break through Brendon Tuuta and Roach, but were ultimately left to ponder the irony of a man being sent off in a good-humoured spree.

Castleford: Gay; Wells, Mather, Maloney, Ellison; Orr, Davis; Sampson, Russell, Sykes, Schick, Harland, Vowles. Substitutes used: Smith, Ford, Flowers, Critchley.

Warrington: Penny; Roach, Fawcett, Eagar, Forster; Wainwright, Briers; Chambers, Farrar, Nutley, Knott, Tuuta, McCurrie. Substitutes used: Pechey, Causey, Stevens. Not used: Cowell.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).