Castleford 52

Skipton 0

SHORT-handed Skipton lost 52-0 at Castleford in their final league match of the season on Saturday.

The Skipton team were shorne of players, with eight missing from the previous weekend's encounter, including the two New Zealand players.

Skipton have not beaten Castleford for several seasons and, coincidentally, the influence of their two New Zealand players was instrumental in Skipton's defeat.

Skipton kicked off with the strong wind at their backs and the game fluctuated from end to end with some great tackles from Jamie Carroll and Joe Stapleton to halt the flow of the Castleford backs.

However, Skipton were pressured into playing in their own 22 and eventually a forward drive resulted in Castleford's first score. The conversion rebounded off the post.

A good re-start kick from Hamish Munro was returned by Castleford and a high tackle from Skipton led to a penalty in front of the posts, but strangely Castleford decided to kick for touch, and the ball ended out behind the kicker.

The resultant throw, due again to the wind strength, gave Skipton a scrum and a good clearance kick from Tom Harrison, playing in the centre instead of the back row, put the ball up field.

However, constant pressure on the Skipton line continued and a converted try by Castleford after a forward drive gave them a 12 -0 lead.

Another good re-start kick was followed up by Munro with a great tackle on the Castleford centre, but the recycled ball was eventually run into touch by the Skipton backs. A long kick by the Castleford No 10, Hiscock, who amassed 17 points from conversions and a try, kicked long and Carroll was forced to touch down behind Skipton's try line.

A five yard scrum ensued, but a turnover ball and a full field length kick by Carroll ended beyond Castleford's dead ball line. The consequent return for a scrum resulted in a penalty to Castleford and a drive by Rice for his first try.

Jordan Wilson had already had to leave the field for attention to a head wound, with Tom Allsopp replacing him and at a later stage Tony Spensley.

Mark Davison, who had an excellent match with several takes at the line-out and breaks from the scrum, tore up the pitch, but a chip over the Castleford defence was taken by their No 10, who sprinted unopposed for a converted try under the posts.

Despite all of the tackling efforts by the Skipton players and the breaks that they had orchestrated from their own half, they failed to score.

Eventually Castleford recycled the ball for a Skipton break, got a penalty for a high tackle, took a scrum and scored with a back movement. An off the ball incident led to James Akers being yellow carded as the first half ended with the score at 31-0.

Good forward play by Skipton despite being a man short kept the ball in the Castleford half.

However, another high tackle led to a penalty scrum and score by the Castleford prop.

Another good re-start kick by Skipton followed up by an excellent tackle by Carroll gave Skipton a scrum, but the resultant break ended with the ball being passed in to touch.

Harrison had another rampaging run up the middle of the field but was tackled, the ball was turned over and Castleford 'whizzed' the ball through their backs in to the left corner and as a result of a scrum Rice scored again.

Some scrappy play then led to another Castleford scrum and a further converted try by Rice.

Whilst there was still five minutes to go, the ref blew up for the end of the game with the score at 52-0.