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SPIRIT of 55: Visions of Wilderspool
5:36pm Wednesday 7th August 2013 in Wolves news
AFTER all the drama and excitement of a cup semi final came a trip to the small, tranquil and comfortingly traditional rugby league town of Castleford.
Once inside the old stadium it’s difficult not to get images of Wilderspool, and after about 30 minutes of this match we were getting flashbacks to some of the big defeats suffered by Wire towards the end of the Wilderspool era.
Never did this look like it would be the comfortable win that Wire’s points difference could do with.
They did manage to score first when Briers wriggled over from close range and Ratchford converted.
But any ideas of Wire being able to coast along in second gear and still win by 20 or 30 points were well and truly dismissed in an 11-minute spell in the middle of the first half, when Castleford couldn’t have scored more points if they had magically morphed into the Australian national side.
Four tries in that brief spell put Wire well and truly on the ropes and covering up to avoid taking any more blows.
It could easily have been five tries in 15 minutes had Joel Monaghan not managed to latch on to an intercept on the second attempt, that would left the score at 30-6 and Wire with an even bigger mountain to climb.
As it happened Carvell pinched a try before half time and the mountain became a much more manageable 24-12 deficit.
Castleford saw their 18-point lead turned into a six-point deficit just as quick as they had built it.
Dwyer was impressive at hooker. Rather than letting the losing position stifle him he seemed to take it as a personal challenge to turn it into a win.
He more than deserved the first try of the second half, his twist close to the line almost balletic before sheer perseverance did the rest.
Now it was Wire dominating possession and close range tries from Higham and Myler followed, Myler’s coming from a majestically delayed short pass from Briers.
Castleford levelled the scores at 30 points all, meaning Wire still couldn’t coast.
But Higham barged over again and Joel Monaghan stretched out to score in the corner to seal the win.
A game that could so easily have turned into a nightmare turned out to be another reason to believe the season could end with glory at the theatre of dreams.
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