Bradford 38-40 Castleford

Paul Deacon missed a last minute conversion as Bradford Bulls succumbed to another narrow defeat, and added a nail into their fading play-off hopes.

Ben Jeffries scored a late try to give Steve McNamara’s men a chance of snatching a draw in the topsy-turvy game, but Deacon’s conversion missed the left-hand side of the post.

The Bulls were searching for revenge after the Tigers snatched a last gasp victory at The Jungle ealier in the season, but they were forced out once more.

They had opened up a 22-12 lead at half-time, but a scintillating first 20 second half minutes gave Castleford a 34-22 lead.

Michael Shenton gave Castleford an early lead after just six minutes, but Semi Tadulala scored five minutes later to get Bradford up and running.

An outrageous dummy from Rangi Chase – by far the Tigers most outstanding player – handed the Tigers the advantage again, before three tries from the Bulls put them in a seemingly commanding position.

Firstly, Dave Halley crossed the whitewash, followed closely by Nick Scruton scoring. And Michael Worrincy added to the Tigers’ misery when the Bulls sliced through poor tackling to score yet again, two minutes prior to half-time.

But the Tigers came out ferociously in the second half, scoring 22 points in a ferocious 12 minute spell.

Youngster Jordan Thompson got his first try in Super League after Tadulala made a mess of a Chase high bomb, and Shenton grabbed his second try of the game three minutes later.

Bradford looked to have folded completely when Joe Westerman surged over, and the game looked to be almost over when Chase grabbed his second try. Westerman converted all but Chase’s try to give the Tigers a 34-22 lead.

Ben Jeffries squared matters up with 15 minutes remaining, but Terry Newton gifted the Tigers a 12-point lead when his pass was intercepted by Dean Widders, who ran 60 metres to score a phenomenal effort.

But the drama was not complete and Jeffries scored right in the corner with just ten seconds remaining and Deacon was unable to add the extras to get the Bulls a point.

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