Hull restore two-point advantage at Super League summit by edging out Castleford

Castleford's Denny Solomona took his try tally for the season to 24

Leon Pryce rolled back the years to help Hull beat Castleford 24-22 in a thrilling see-saw battle to restore their two-point lead in the First Utility Super League.

The scores were locked at 18-18 when the 34-year-old former Bradford, St Helens and Great Britain stand-off, recalled after a month's absence, produced a telling half-break to get Jamie Shaul over for what proved to be the match-winning try.

Castleford had a chance to claim a share of the spoils when left winger Denny Solomona, Super League's leading tryscorer, went over for his 24th touchdown of the season six minutes from the end but Danny Tickle's touchline conversion attempt bounced back off an upright.

The Tigers outscored the table-toppers by five tries to four but goalkicking proved decisive, with former Castleford scrum-half Marc Sneyd converting all four of Hull's tries and Tickle and Paul McShane succeeding with just one from five between them in the absence of injured regular marksman Luke Gale.

A fifth successive home defeat leaves Castleford nine points adrift of fourth-placed Catalans Dragons and perhaps now more concerned with ensuring their place in the Super 8s, with just four games left before the split.

With an eye on next Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final against Catalans Dragons, Hull went into the game without regulars Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis, Sika Manu and Fetuli Talanoa and Castleford, who had won their previous four home meetings with Hull, could hardly have made a better start as they caught their visitors cold with two tries in the first 15 minutes.

Full-back Shaul was punished for his inability to diffuse a high kick from his opposite number Luke Dorn, who cut through the visitors' defence from the next set of play, and although Shaul survived another uncharacteristic fumble, he was powerless to prevent second rower Jake Webster powering over for the Tigers' second try.

McShane was unable to convert either try and the misses soon began to look costly.

Second rower Frank Pritchard, making only his first start since April, proved unstoppable from 10 metres out as he went over for Hull's first try on 19 minutes and Sneyd's goal brought his side to within two points.

Hull then went in front on 26 minutes when hooker Danny Houghton, skippering the side in the absence of Ellis, scooped up the ball after Sneyd's grubber kick on the last tackle rebounded off a post and touched down for a fortuitous try.

But the Airlie Birds deserved the lead, which they increased four minutes before half-time through centre Mahe Fonua, who had been twice held up over the line before taking Sneyd's pass to make it third time lucky, with Sneyd's third goal making it 18-8 at the break.

Hull were forced to work hard in defence to keep their lead intact as the Tigers stepped up their efforts at the start of the second half and they blew the game open on 58 minutes when right winger Paddy Flynn forced his way over at the corner for his fourth try in his last two home games.

Not to be outdone, Solomona produced a trademark flying finish at the other corner three minutes later to register his 23rd try of the season and f ormer Hull forward Tickle, who took over the goalkicking duties, landed the touchline conversion to level the scores.

Hull sent on Pryce for the last 25 minutes and he struck the decisive blow on 64 minutes with a half-break that got full-back Shaul over for his side's fourth try.

Sneyd kicked his fourth goal but was wide with a drop-goal attempt and also off target with a penalty from just inside his own half as he attempted to make the game safe.

Castleford deserved something out of the game after dominating the second half and with luck would have gained at least a point.

Flynn dropped the ball with the line open before Solomona took Webster's pass to grab his second try in the other corner but Tickle was unfortunate to see his kick strike the woodwork.

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