Second-rower James Batchelor helped himself to a brace of tries as Wakefield Wildcats Under 19's edged out a tense local derby, beating Castleford Tigers 18-14.
A try from Frazer Morris to go alongside Batchelor's double was enough to see off a spirited Tigers outfit who scored tries through Callum Turner, Dec Sheehan and Russ Barton.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, the Tigers were the first side to strike, as Turner linked into the line from full-back and sneaked in at the corner. He was unable to convert his own try leaving the score at 0-4.
It didn't take long for the Wildcats to hit back though; Batchelor, who's strong running caused problems for the Castleford defence all evening, ran a good line to break the defence before rounding Turner with ease for the first Trinity try. Tom Megretton added the conversion to nudge his side 6-4 ahead.
Despite the Wildcats having eight penalties compared to the Tigers' three in the first forty, they were unable to post further tries and opted to take the two points on offer when awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time. Megretton made no mistake from in front of the posts.
HALF TIME: Wildcats U19's 8-4 Tigers U19's.
The second-half started in similar fashion to how the first-half ended, with the Wildcats piling on the pressure and pinning the Tigers deep in their own half. And despite three defenders around him, Morris had the strength to get over the line and extend Wakefield's lead. Megretton added the conversion which saw Wakefield lead 14-4 after 44 minutes.
Trinity remained on the front foot and immediately charged down field to apply more pressure. Scott Flemming's kick on the last tackle forced the Tigers to settle for a goal-line drop-out and on the next set, Batchelor proved too strong from five metres away and stretched out for his second try. Megretton was unable to convert leaving the score at 18-4.
The Wildcats had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead further but none of them were capitalised, and once the Tigers settled down and went back to basics, they started to enjoy some good field positon deep in Wakefield's half. On 57 minutes Sheehan managed to squeeze in at the corner and bring his side back into the contest after good hands from Aiden Ineson. Turner was unable to convert leaving a 10-point deficit for the Tigers to try and claw back. 18-8.
Just two minutes later, the Tigers went close to grabbing another try as Turner found himself in acres space down the left, only for a knock-on to prevent him grabbing his second of the evening. Despite that chance going begging, they soon forced their way over as Russ Barton showed good feet to finish off a neat Castleford move. Turner added the difficult conversion to make the score 18-14 with ten minutes to go.
At this point, the Tigers had their tails up and were not afraid to throw the ball around in an attempt to salvage something from the game. By doing that, the visitors came up with a few handling errors and Trinity managed to hang on to claim the two points.
FULL TIME: Wildcats U19's 18-14 Tigers U19's
WILDCATS: Megretton, Kershaw, Mazive, Senior, Capless, Flemming, Ackroyd, Morris, Moules, Gledhill, Batchelor, Brown, Yorke. INTERCHANGES: Blake, Wray, Metcalfe, Arnold.
TIGERS: Turner, Diskin, Southern, D. Dixon, Sheehan, Ineson, Barton, Douglas, Million, Holmes, Cooke, Johnson, Fitzsimmons. INTERCHANGES: Adamson, Kear, R. Dixon, Ray.