Yorkshire Division Three: Castleford 39 Baildon 7

FOR 60 minutes, Baildon played like a side that could compete against any side in Yorkshire Division Three, but in the final quarter they looked like they would struggle to hold their own at octogenarian tiddlywinks.

The visitors' defensive performance in the first half ranked with their season's best, although they struggled to get out of their own 22 in the first five minutes before playing percentage rugby and looking assured.

Cas scored first, with a well-taken catch and drive that was not stopped early, but the rest of the half belonged to Baildon.

John Pickersgill stole Cas ball at the line-out, while scrum half Ollie Williams chopped everything that ran down his channel.

Joe Robinson and Harrison Strauss won turnovers, while Robbie Hill and Luke Strauss put in some direct running.

Baildon also had their chances, with Hayden Peers held up short in the corner, while prop Adam Hewitt looked certain to score only for the final pass to be knocked on after Hill did a wraparound move with Dan Cookson before Hill sent Joe Robinson and Pickersgill up the left wing before the ball was popped back inside to Guy Price.

Despite crucial tackles by Pickersgill, Hewitt, Harrison Strauss and Cookson, Cas started the second half with renewed vigour and kicked over a flat defence for their inside centre to collect and score a converted try.

However, with the penalty count swinging Baildon's way, Cookson drew defenders and got his hands free to release Josh Strauss, who, short of space, somehow spun and pirouetted his way over the try line for Williams to convert. Trailing 12-7 after an hour was a fair reflection of Baildon's effort, but it all turned to dust in the final 20 minutes.

Suffering from a lack of fitness and perhaps a lack of confidence in the referee after some high or tip tackles, the visitors conceded five tries as they needlessly forced plays and gifted the hosts some scores.

However, the spirit showed by players such as Phil Wilson (displaced and fractured metacarpal that was strapped so that he could go back on), Chris Peel (who limped off the bench to return to play) and Dan Fletcher (who played on despite a blow to the jaw) gives Baildon hope of avoiding the drop.