Castleford Tigers 23-22 St Helens

Luke Gale was the hero as Castleford Tigers held off a late fightback from St Helens to reach their first Grand Final.

Returning to the side just 16 days after having his appendix removed, the England scrum-half scored a try and kicked four goals to put his side into what appeared to be a winning 20-10 lead after 64 minutes.
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However, in a dramatic finish to an outstanding semi-final, Saints roared back with three tries in the last 10 minutes to edge in front before Gale kept his nerve to kick a last-minute penalty to send the game into golden-point extra-time.

He then demonstrated more composure to land the winning drop goal that earned his side a 23-22 victory that set up a first all-Yorkshire final for 12 years.

Castleford, who will meet the winners of Friday’s semi-final between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC at Old Trafford on October 7, have become the seventh club to reach a Grand Final and will be favourites to become only the fifth team to win a title held by just four teams in the 21 years of Betfred Super League.

Zak Hardaker crossed inside the first minute and Gale converted before kicking a penalty to give Castleford an 8-0 lead.

But they trailed 10-8 at the break following tries from Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles, the latter’s converted by Mark Percival.

Gale and Adam Milner scored in quick succession to give the Tigers a cushion, only for Saints to come roaring back through Tommy Makinson, Percival and Ryan Morgan before the dramatic finale.