SKIPTON let a 10-8 half-time lead slip in extremely warm, energy sapping conditions at Sandylands on Saturday.

An early penalty for Skipton handling on the floor saw Castleford into the corner. They gained a further penalty at the line-out and slotted the kick to take an early lead.

Five ex-colts in the starting line-up gave Skipton pace and, from forward surges down field, second-row Brad Nicholson was over for Skipton's first try of the afternoon. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

A free kick from the scrum and two consecutive penalties lead to a yellow card for Castleford. Skipper Josh Nkwo put Skipton down field and a well worked move from the line-out saw centre Anthony Chapman over for Skipton's second try. The conversion attempt again drifted wide.

Despite a scrum against the head to Skipton, Castleford countered with their opening try, again not converted, just before half-time and the sides turned round at 10-8 in Skipton's favour.

A great break from the re-start by forwards Andrew Wooler and Charlie Brown was ended with a high tackle. Skipton put the ball into the corner but no points were forthcoming from the line-out. The heat was now beginning to tell and, from his first touch of the ball, Castleford's pacey full-back sliced through the Skipton defence to score an impressive individual try. The try was converted and the momentum of the game had shifted to Castleford. A stolen ball at the next line-out gave them a third converted try. The re-start kick went straight over the dead-ball line. Castleford took the scrum back and gained a penalty down field within kickable range which they slotted to take their lead to 25-10.

A series of high kicks from Castleford put Skipton's back three under pressure. They gained a further penalty which was converted to take their points tally to 28.

Skipton would not give up and several excellent phases of play took them down field, where a great break by winger Chris Wilkinson saw him over for Skipton's third try. Anthony Chapman drop-kicked the conversion, but time had run out and the final whistle blew with a score of 28-17 in Castleford's favour.