Castleford Tigers ran out convincing winners 28 - 6 in their Challenge Cup semifinal match against Widnes Vikings yesterday, to set up a mouthwatering final with Leeds Rhinos later this month. The two teams have never played each other in the final and it will be the first all Yorkshire final since 'Cas' last won the cup in 1986. There looks to be little to choose between the two finalists, as acknowledged by such luminaries as the former GB coach Brian Noble when interviewed on BBC5 Live yesterday, as both are currently flying high in the Super League table with the same number of points. There may be more pressure on Leeds after several near misses in recent years in the cup and they can expect heightened media spotlight in the weeks leading up to the final.

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Not that Cas will just be happy to have their big day out, they will go there with confidence after yesterday's great team performance and will be confident as they look forward to their first Challenge Cup final since losing in 1992.

In stark contrast to the sunny and hot conditions for the previous day's semifinal between Leeds and Warrington, Leigh welcomed the two teams on a damp and breezy afternoon.

Against Widnes, the Tigers were too strong from the start, establishing a 10 point lead early on, through tries from Liam Finn and Daryl Clark. They matched Leeds' 14 nil half time lead from the previous day (Kirk Dixon adding a further try before the break) but unlike Warrington, there was to be no comeback from Widnes who battled on gamely but never seemed likely to get back into the match.

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Their fans never wavered in their support, drawing praise from the neutrals in doing so as they applauded and cheered every effort by their team, singing their hearts out in a loyal tribute right to the end. It was in vain though as Castleford added further tries in the second half from Jamie Ellis and Jake Webster, plus a penalty Goal from Marc Sneyd without reply.

Even a disallowed try (held up) in the second half for their team failed to dampen the Widnes' fans enthusiasm and the rapturous acclaim they greeted their consolation try from Jake Owens near the end was worthy of winning the cup itself. Sadly that will have to wait for another year at least, with Castleford running out convincing winners by the final whistle.

For Castleford, Luke Dorn was a worthy winner of the man of the match, in stark contrast to his experience at the same stage twelve months ago when his London Broncos' team were knocked out of the cup. Leeds will have a tough job to blunt the Tigers' fangs in the final. #Rugby