Hull FC winger Tom Lineham scored a hat-trick of tries tonight at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his side going down 20-14 to a determined Castleford Tigers.
Hull were without their head coach Lee Radford, who was suffering from a throat abscess and had been advised by the club’s medical staff not to attend the game.
The Tigers were inspired by a man-of-the-match performance from Luke Gale, who scored two tries and two conversions, while the Tigers also scored tries from Justin Carney and James Clare.
The early stages of the game were tightly contested, with Clare coming closest to scoring after nine minutes, when he lost the ball diving for the line.
Gale opened the scoring after 24 minutes, when he supported a fine break and offload by Grant Millington, and he converted his own try.
Lineham was then bundled into touch trying to score from a Marc Sneyd grubber, but he was more successful after 33 minutes on the back of some enterprising play by Leon Pryce and Steve Michaels, although Sneyd couldn’t add the goal.
The Tigers went further ahead immediately after half-time, when Gale finished off an Andy Lynch break, and again goaled his own try.
But Hull came roaring back into the game with two more tries from Lineham, the first when he took a long pass from Danny Houghton and the second when he collected Sneyd’s pass. Sneyd converted the second to give Hull a 12-14 advantage.
But Justin Carney restored the Tigers’ lead after 63 minutes to restore a two-point home advantage, and Hull suffered a blow when Sneyd was injured and had to leave the field shortly afterwards.
The Tigers scored their fourth try through Clare, who took advantage of a Gale kick, and although Gale couldn’t convert the score the Tigers held on for their third win of the season and a vital two points in front of 8,744 fans.
A full report and photos will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.