The Wildcats won the derby decider with Castelford Tigers thanks to a last minute hat-trick try from Liam Kay.
Trinity had levelled the score at 32-32 with three minutes left courtesy of a try from man of the match Ali Lauitiitiand when Lee Smith’s conversion hit the post, the game seemed destined for a draw.
Smith still had time to snatch a drop goal wide and when Castleford were presented with the opportunity 30 metres out, the stage looked set for Rangi Chase to sign off from the Tigers with a match winner.
However, Lauitiiti forced the ball loose, scooped up and sent Kay on a 60 metres run, fending off Jordan Tansey en route to placing the ball down in the corner and sending the Wildcats fans into scenes of jubilation.
Trinity came out of the blocks with plenty of energy in the opening minutes but were hit with a sucker punch as Amor lost the ball over the line and as the ball found it’s way to Chase on his own line, he popped up a ball for Clare to race 100 metres.
If the Wildcats could feel a bit sorry for themselves after that then they were their own worst enemies minutes later as Fox lost the ball coming away from his own line and the Tigers ruthlessly got the ball to Chase who jinked his way in.
The home side were looking threatening in attack and it was Player of the Year Paul Aiton who sparked the hosts into life with a dart from dummy half, giving an offload to Wildie who handed on for Mariano to score.
Castleford restored their ten point lead when Chase looped a long ball to the left wing where Chase had acres of space to get in for his second score of the afternoon.
Wakefield responded themselves when Cockayne took a high bomb on his own line and raced 50 metres. The ball went to Kay who in turn helped it onto Smith and although the replacement handed off Clark at the first time of asking, he got back to haul him down. Kay picked up at dummy half and had the footwork and strength to get over from ten metres.
It was soon back-to-back tries as Trinity ran the last and a stunning offload from Lauitiiti put Mariano in for his second try and gave Agar’s men the lead.
The entertainment continued as Jamie Ellis launched a huge 40/20 and from the first play, Tansey teased thedefensive line before putting Clare in fror a first half hat-trick.
There was still time for Cockayne and Weller Hauraki to exchange punches and spend ten minutes in the sin bin but the final score of the half went to the hosts. Aiton forced a repeat set with a grubber and following a penalty, Mathers found Trout on a great arcing run to go over.
Wakefield also drew first blood at the start of the second half as Kirmond got a quick play of the ball to spring the hosts into life, Lauitiiti’s offload key as he freed Mariano who made the decisive pass for Kay to dive in at the corner.
Castleford were reeling and needed to mount some sort of response. They got it after a period of sustained pressure ended with Hauraki swotting away a tired tackle to go in. Dixon’s conversion brought the Tigers within two points with a quarter of the game remaining.
Castelford began to dominate possession and territory, and found the breakthrough again with a superb individual try from Clare, the winger chipping on for himself and beating Amor to the ball to score.
With Castleford leading by four points and with ten minutes remaining, the Wildcats looked down and out but the spirit of the players came to the fore. There was little finesse about the score that brought them level as Lauitiiti carried four defenders over the line to mark a superb personal performance.
Smith saw his conversion effort hit the post and when he snatched at a drop goal effort from 35 metres it presented the Tigers with a chance to steal the game. But rather than take the drop goal effort, Chase opted to run the ball and when his options were limited he looked to grubber through but Lauitiiti got to him in time, knocked the ball loose and popped the ball up to Kay who raced away for a memorable match winning score.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.