Saints Scholars returned home from Yorkshire with an impressive 24-44 win over Castleford Tigers on Wednesday evening.
Five minutes into the game the Saints struck to put themselves ahead after a great dummy from O’Keeffe right on the Castleford line saw him confuse the markers of the Tigers and go over and score to the right of the posts. Kian McGann converted the kick, 0-6.
However 6 minutes later the Tigers responded. After a set of six on the Saints line following a penalty on the last tackle for a late shot, they eventually found themselves scoring when the ball was moved left and James Potter went over in the corner. Alfie Wall missed the kick, leaving the Saints with a 4-6 lead.
16 minutes in, Saints extended their lead. Derek Traynor’s men were gifted the ball from a Tigers error and attacked from the scrum to the right where Nathan Stafford went close before Keagen Allibone dummied the ball from dummy half and went down the short-side over right in the corner to score. McGann nailed the sideline conversion, 4-12.
Just as the 20 minute mark hit, the Saints were in again after going close earlier in the set, the ball was played left where full back Reilly Cosgrove got the ball out the back and went through the Castleford line and crossed over in the corner. McGann converted again, 4-18.
The Saints were in again in the 24th minute as Mcgann got the ball from dummy-half, and stepped back on the right before racing through a gap to score in the right corner. He missed the conversion as it narrowly went wide of the far post, 4-22.
The tries kept on coming as the ball was played left brilliantly through the hands, where Cosgrove came in from the back and delivered Matthew Penketh with the ball to go over in the corner for his first try of the game. McGann converted again from the sideline, 4-28.
32 minutes into the game the Tigers got one back. After getting the ball back from a knock on from kick-off, Mitchell Beedle dived over from dummy half after the Saints held the tigers out twice previous. Wall converts, 10-28.
The last action of the first half saw Castleford go over again. The Tigers went right where Wall dummied the line and raced away to score from 30metres out from the line and scored. He couldn’t convert his own score, sending the game into half-time with Saints leading 14-28.
Just 2 minutes into the second half the Saints reaffirmed their dominance in the game with a try. A great kick from McGann put the Tigers in their own 10, before making an error on the first tackle that presented the Saints with an early opportunity. They attacked to the left where a short ball to Penketh saw him go over for his second of the game, and with McGann successful with the boot the lead was extended to 20 points, 14-34.
Just as the 57th minute hit, Castleford got over for a try of their own. The Tigers are presented with a scrum 30 metres out and after being held out twice, the ball is played to the right to Wall who goes over in the right for his second of the game. He converted from out wide, 20-34.
But it only took the 6 minutes for a Saints reply when McGann looped a ball to Penketh who gave it to Stafford who dived over brilliantly in right in the corner to score. McGann’s conversion just went wide of the posts, 20-38.
In the 73rd minute a great step from McGann on half way as he shaped to kick saw him beat three defenders, before putting in a perfect kick for Austin Daniel who was supporting up the middle to muscle the fullback off and score under the posts. McGann converted, 20-44.
Three minutes later a Tigers consolation try followed. A kick to the corner saw Wall claim it and bat the ball to Travis Tennant who went over in the corner. Wall missed the kick out wide, leaving the final score at 24-44 and see’s the young Scholars side bring back a sizable victory!
Castleford team: Fletcher Rooney, Dylan Stones, James Potter, Alfie Wall, Travis Tennant, Corey Jay Sharpe, Alfie Horwell, Harry Elgey, Leon Nestor, Harry Tunningley, Alfie Salmon, Samuel Darley, Jay Seal.
Bench: Mitchell Beedle, Daniel Clarke, Woody Walker, Jenson Windley.
Tries: Alfie Wall (2), James Potter, Travies Tennant, Mitchell Beedle.
Goals: Alfie Wall (2 from 5).
Saints team: Reilly Cosgrove, Rory Holliday, Austin Daniel, Keagan Allibone, Nathan Stafford, Kian McGann, Thomas Humphreys, Matthew Evans, Jamie O’Keeffe, Liam Smethurst, Will Cowen, William Keeley, Oliver Garmston.
Bench: Alfie Tate, Oliver Stankevitch, Oliver Polec, Matthew Penketh, Alfie Shearer.
Tries: Matthew Penketh (2), Reilly Cosgrove, Austin Daniel, Keagan Allibone, Nathan Stafford, Kian McGann, Jamie O’Keeffe.
Goals: Kian McGann (6 from 8)