MATTY Dawson grabbed a brace as Saints deservedly beat Castleford 28-22 for their third win of the season.
The centre popped up with the vital scores to go alongside efforts from Adam Swift, Atelea Vea, and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Saints defence was good too as they weathered long periods of Tigers’ pressure but it was the kicking game that separated the two sides.
Led by Luke Walsh and Jon Wilkin they forced nine drop outs … and were held up over the line on at least seven occasions.
Saints started on the front foot with two penalties and two drop outs – but they failed to find a telling pass that would break the line.
Castleford were then piggybacked up the field thanks to the whistle of James Child and made Saints pay for their lapse in discipline. Grant Millington bulldozing over from short range.
Luke Gale tagged on the extras and then added a penalty in the 15th minute.
Strong kicking from Jon Wilkin two minutes later had Cas on their heels and within seconds Adam Swift was over in the corner.
Walsh kicking a fine kick off the touchline to make it a two point game.
Saints were struggling to stop Cas’ strong forward play and it was no surprise when Mike McMeeken took a nice offload to restore the visitor’s advantage in the 25th minute.
But the seesaw nature of the match continued when the home side forced their third drop out of the evening.
Wilkin’s kick was met with even better defence to grab a repeat and then Turner’s superb pass to Vea put the second rower through a lovely hole.
Moments later Saints came again and it was following another piece of fine defensive play.
Walsh’s kick won them another drop out; Saints got the ball left and Matty Dawson bagged his second in as many weeks.
Saints continued to pile on the pressure and won their sixth drop out of the half – but they couldn’t make it pay.
The second half began with high kicks from both sides before Ben Crooks slotted a penalty to level matters.
Saints then weathered Cas’ best spell for the opening quarter of the second half and then struck again.
On the last Luke Walsh put up a high ball, Dominique Peyroux plucked it out of the air and offloaded into the welcoming arms of Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
A piece of brilliance by the centre.
Saints forced another batch of repeat sets and then scored with a free flowing move to the left – Dawson putting down in the corner for his second under great pressure.
Adam Milner scored late on to set up a barnstorming finish but it would have been an injustice to Saints had the visitors got anything out of the game.
The final act seeing Jordan Turner held up over the line.
Tries: Swift, Vea, Dawson (2), McCarthy-Scarsbrook,
Goals: Walsh (4 from 5)
Tries: Millington, McMeeken, Milner
Goals: Gale (4 from 4), Crooks (1 from 1)
REF: James Child
23. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Tommy Makinson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 21. Matty Dawson, 5. Adam Swift; 3. Jordan Turner, 7. Luke Walsh; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Subs: 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages.
1. Luke Dorn; 25. Jy Hitchcox, 19. Ben Crooks, 3. Jake Webster, 5. Denny Solomona; 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Andy Lynch, 15. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 17. Junior Moors, 12. Mike McMeeken, 14. Lee Jewitt.
Subs: 9. Adam Milner, 13. Nathan Massey, 16. Matt Cook, 23. Will Maher.