Castleford climb into top four after extending winning run over Wakefield

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Castleford continued their dominance of neighbours Wakefield with a hard-fought 24-4 victory that moved them back into Super League’s top four.

Trinity were in the contest for much of Friday’s match at the Jungle but the Tigers pulled clear in the closing stages to record a 10th straight win in the West Yorkshire derby.

Luke Gale got the ball rolling for Castleford with three early penalties but he did not appear in the second half after sustaining a knee injury.

Greg Minikin, Adam Milner and Paul McShane crossed for the Tigers’ tries as they bounced back from last week’s defeat at Wigan.

Tyler Randell got Wakefield on the board before half-time but they are six points adrift of the play-off positions after another disappointing performance.

Rain fell steadily throughout the afternoon and the greasy conditions were evident inside the first minute when Joe Wardle came up with an unforced error.

Gale did not hesitate to point to the posts after Pauli Pauli caught Adam Milner with a high shot and the England scrum-half added another two points from in front of the posts when Wakefield were penalised for interference.

Trinity suffered a blow when Chris Annakin was helped from the field with a leg injury on his first appearance of the season and they had to dig deep in defence as Castleford forced a series of drop-outs.

Wakefield were perhaps relieved when Gale opted to slot over a 30-metre penalty but that made it 6-0 after 20 minutes and the visitors were yet to lay a glove on the Tigers.

Castleford continued to turn the screw and finally broke through the Wakefield defence in the 27th minute.

Trinity full-back Max Jowitt made a mess of Gale’s kick in behind and from the resultant scrum Jamie Ellis’ superb long pass was well finished in the corner by Minikin.

Ellis missed the touchline conversion with Gale receiving treatment on his knee and the problem forced the half-back off at the break.

Wakefield went into half-time with hope thanks to a try from hooker Randell, who had dropped to the bench as Chris Chester made a raft of changes following last week’s heavy defeat at Salford.

Randell dummied his way over from acting-half after spotting a big hole in the Castleford defence but it remained 10-4 after Ryan Hampshire somehow hit the post from the tee.

Wakefield picked up where they left off after the restart and thought they had crossed again through Jowitt following a one-two with Tom Johnstone, only for the video referee to spot an obstruction in the build-up.

Minikin then had a spectacular effort ruled out for a knee in touch as the Tigers sought a crucial second try.

Ellis spurned a golden opportunity to push Castleford two scores clear when he missed a straightforward penalty, but it did not prove costly as Milner forced his way over from acting-half two sets later.

Wakefield asked questions of the Tigers as the game entered the closing stages but the hosts held firm and the impressive Liam Watts ensured they won the territory battle.

Ellis made no mistake from a penalty following a ball steal and then added another two points from the touchline after McShane raced clear down the touchline to the biggest cheer of the night.

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