Castleford's field operation too good for Medics


This must-win Yorkshire Three game was always going to be a close affair against a spirited, youthful Sheffield Medics outfit if Castleford were to consolidate their top four position.

The heavyweight home side pack dominated the lightweight students' as they pushed them all over the field but needed to withstand a barrage of cross-field forays from the pacey Medics' three-quarters.

The students set off like a train, but their concentrated pressure was not able to breech the dogged Castleford defensive line until thirty minutes into the game when their right winger crossed in the corner for an unconverted try.

This acted as a wake-up call to Castleford and their back-row forwards, James Catton, skipper Karl de Rosario and Nathan Hammond reacted with several upfield thrusts that took them into the visitors' half. The pack trundled the resulting scrum forward allowing scrum half, Ian Mattison, and outside half, James Fox, to combine sending antipodean winger, Brad Reeves on a jinking run to within ten metres. From the resulting melee, hooker, Miller McCoy, gave a delightful short pass that opened up the visitors' defence, giving centre, Jordan Cockerham a clear run to the side of the posts.

Mattison added the easy conversion as Castleford snatched a 7-5 lead.

Mattison added a long-range penalty deep into injury time to extend the lead to 10-5 at half time.

Castleford carried their pressure into the second half with piercing runs from second-rowers, Jamie Owens and Jonty Aveyard

The front row forwards, Alex Fordham, Ryan Johnson and McCoy continued to secure the platform as the pack dominated. An excellent long, centre-missing, Mattison pass was snapped up by full-back, Mark Poppleton, who skated in at the corner. Mattison narrowly missed the touchline conversion but the home side were well on top now.

All that was to change, when the referee yellow-carded two Castleford players in quick succession, reducing them to thirteen players,

The visitors were rejuvenated and reduced the arrears to 15-10 with an unconverted try. They continued to pressurise the home defence but the return to fifteen players steadied the ship. However, winger Reeves saved Castleford blushes when he caught and tackled a interception player just two metres from the try line as the home side held out until the final whistle to seal a 15-10 victory.

The MOM award must go to the combined Castleford pack who worked tirelessly throughout the game.