Hull FC beat Castleford 32-24 on a hot sunny day at the KCOM stadium to set up a Challenge Cup clash with 2015 Treble winners Leeds Rhinos .
The Tigers were the bookies favourites going into the game but it was the black and whites that scored 1st , Castleford looked set to score in the corner but a great interception from Carlos Tuimavave saw him run 80 metres and score , this was followed up Talanoa holding off 2 defenders to score , both tries were converted by Jake Connor to give the Airlie Birds a 12-0 lead .
Daryl Powell has put a never say die attitude into his 2017 Tigers side and despite being 2nd best for most of the half they fought back to level thanks to tries from Ben Roberts after a Sika Manu mistake had given them field position and a try from Full Back Zak Hardaker , after great work from Luke Gale , With Gale converting both tries . A Connor penalty gave the black and whites a deserved lead at half time but they’d have wanted more than a 2 point lead for their efforts
As expected the league leaders came out strongly for the 2nd half and despite another Connor penalty giving FC a 16-12 lead Castleford took the lead thanks to another great try from Ben Roberts , Gales goal giving Castleford an 18-16 lead , and it looked like they might take control of the game .
Poor discipline cost them though and another Connor penalty levelled the scores again , and this was becoming an enthralling cup tie .
After a penalty was sent wide of the sticks from Connor poor discipline from the Tigers gave him another opportunity which he took to put FC up 20-18 , despite only scoring 2 tries to the Tigers 3 .
The game breaking moment came in the 67th minute when a great Minichiello run and offload set up man of the match Mahe Fonua to score , the conversion giving Hull an 8 point lead
8 became 14 with the try of the game from Jamie Shaul , Hull throwing the ball about in true Castleford style to send the Full Back over to make the score 32-18 , surely that was the game done with only 9 minutes left .
This Castleford side showed their spirit with a Minkin try a minute later to have the Hull fans biting their nails for the last 8 minutes with the score 32-24 .
Castleford were done though and didn’t really threaten in the last 8 minutes and Lee Radford’s men hung on for a deserved win which put the cup holders back in the semi final .
Hull FC coach Lee Radford was suitably impressed with his sides effort and was excited now we’re at the ‘juicy part of the season ‘ .
Castleford coach Daryl Powell lamented his sides poor start to the game and criticising the ‘crazy offloads’ when they got their heads in front , he went onto say about today’s opponents ( who have now beaten them twice this season )
“Hull were too good for us but we have an opportunity against these boys again in the season. They have beaten us twice now this season and we have to find a way to knock them off.”
After the game the semi final draw paired Hull with an Yorkshire clash against the Rhinos with World club champions Wigan taking on 2017 surprise packets Salford . The Million Pound game seems along way off now for the Red Devils . A guaranteed Yorkshire v Lancashire final is great for RL purists .
The 2 Cup ties this weekend have certainly been a great advert for our sport in front of the BBC Cameras .
The semi-finals will take place at neutral venues , likely to be Doncaster and Warrington , on the 28 and 29 July.