Swift Treble Beats Cas

SAINTS solidified their top four spot with a crazy 42-38 win over Castleford.

Adam Swift grabbed a hat-trick whilst Luke Walsh continued his fine form with 14 points as the Champions dug deep.

All after they’d blitzed to a 18-0 lead after just 14 minutes.

Josh Jones had a hand in all three tries – providing the killer touch for Adam Swift’s brace and Mark Percival’s 13th of the season.

But the Tigers’ hit back with two from Luke Dorn and a Ben Roberts’ try as the half closed.

The second followed a similar pattern until Tommy Makinson mopped up Alex Walmsley’s offload – but Saints still had to endure a nervous 50 or so seconds following Junior Moores’ late try.

Cunningham’s men brushed off a slightly uncertain start when Mark Percival was bundled into touch on only the fourth tackle of the game.

They defended the set – but had to concede a drop out – and then had the video referee to thank as he chalked one off from Luke Gale’s kick.

But Saints turned that defence into attack through Josh Jones – and he was at the hub of what his side did for 15 minutes.

His first vital interaction was to break down the left hand side and set Adam Swift away.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was held up over the line but seconds later a high ball to the corner was spilled by Ashley Gibson kindly for Jon Wilkin to put Swift over in the corner.

Walsh banging it off the touchline.

Next up on 13 minutes Jones took Wilkin’s flip pass to feed Swift once again.

And on 15 minutes he produced a sublime line ball for Mark Percival to go over after James Roby’s scintillating run.

Walsh adding his third conversion.

Saints could have been further ahead but Jon Wilkin was held up over the line by some desperate defending on 18 minutes – although Cunningham was convinced after the match it was a certain try.

From there, Cas got back into game through Luke Dorn and then the fullback tagged his second at the half hour mark.

Saints needed to stem the flow and a Tigers’ error on half way gave them a chance to repel borders.

Greg Richards went close and then McCarthy-Scarsbrook just couldn’t gather a Burns’ kick through.

Duly, Cas scored through Ben Roberts who slipped a couple of poor tackles to go under the sticks.

Both sides began the second half conservatively but an error from Saints – whilst they were in attack – allowed Cas to go ahead for the first time.

Walsh chipped the ball on the last but it was collected by Mike McMeeken who returned it 65 yards.

Saints seemingly had him wrapped up but he offloaded to Roberts who didn’t have anyone touch him all the way the line.

It was a shocking moment for Cunningham’s men but they hit back on 50 minutes as both Quinlan and Walmsley were held up over the line before Percival was caught on a great run for his second.

Walsh levelling it up with the boot.

Moments later Gale landed a long range penalty attempt but Saints won the ball from the restart and instantly regained the lead.

Walsh’s pass was superb, splitting open the Cas’ defence for Adam Quinlan to ghost in.

And within seconds this topsy turvy game had firmly swung Saints way once again as Walmsley offloaded for Makinson to cross after good work from Percival.

Castleford scored on their next set though through Denny Solomona after a high kick to the corner was knocked on giving the home side a repeat set.

But Saints replied with a cracker right down the centre of the field. Swift found Captain Wilkin with a wonder pass, he broke and then bided his time for the originator to gain his hat-trick.

Percival then had his hat-trick unfairly checked by the video referee who ruled a knock on in the final ten minutes.

Saints then head to defend four nervous sets and on the last Junior Moors took full advantage to give the home side a 50 seconds crack the win.

But a knock on finished their chances and Saints deservedly secured a top four spot.

Match Summary:

Tigers:

Tries: Dorn (2), Roberts (2), Solomona, Moors

Goals: Gale (7 from 7)

Saints:

Tries: Swift (3), Percival (2), Quinlan, Makinson

Goals: Walsh (7 from 7)

Penalties:

Tigers: 8

Saints: 6

HT: 18-18

FT: 42-38

REF: Ben Thaler

ATT: 5,253

Teams:

Tigers:

1. Luke Dorn; 26. Ashley Gibson, 24. Mike McMeeken, 4. Michael Shenton, 20. Denny Solomona; 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Adam Milner, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 16. Junior Moors, 19. Scott Wheeldon.

Subs: 15. Ryan Boyle, 28. Will Maher, 34. Gadwin Springer, 35. Paul McShane. 

Saints:

37. Adam Quinlan; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 12. Jon Wilkin, 3. Jordan Turner.

Subs: 15. Mark Flanagan, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 21. Joe Greenwood.

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