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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Salford lose top-flight status
David Highton put Salford ahead
David Highton scored the game's first try
Salford 10-20 Castleford

Castleford sent Salford spinning out of Super League as they claimed the sixth play-off spot with a hard-fought win at The Willows.

The Tigers now take on Wigan at the JJB Stadium when the play-offs start next week while the Reds must plan for life in the National League One.


I really feel for Karl and his troops because they gave everything but in the end were beaten by the better side
Castleford coach
Graham Steadman

Salford had gone into the game knowing victory would secure their top-flight status for another season.

But defeat coupled with Wakefield's 50-10 demolition of Warrington at Belle Vue meant Karl Harrison's men dropped down a division.

The Tigers, with six wins in their last seven matches behind them, went ahead after 12 minutes with a penalty from Wayne Bartrim after Mike Wainwright had been caught offside.

Darren Rogers
Darren Rogers touched down just before half-time
But the Reds clawed their way into the lead in the 19th minute when Darren Treacy, Steve Blakeley and Ian Watson combined for David Highton to go over.

Blakeley tagged on the conversion to put the Reds 6-2 in front.

Both sides battled hard in a gripping affair but it was the Reds who had to do the most defending.

They were eventually caught out just before the break when Darren Rogers broke through.

Bartrim fed Orr, whose pass to ex-Salford winger Rogers looked suspiciously forward, but the try was awarded, with Bartrim tagging on the goal to make it 8-6.


I hope I can keep the same staff at the club - I want to keep everything together
Salford chairman
John Wilkinson

The Reds went ahead 10-8 with two Blakeley penalties early in the second half, but the Tigers grabbed the crucial try when Bartrim powered over from dummy half.

The Aussie winger added the conversion to fire the visitors 14-10 ahead.

Salford tried desperately to snatch a winning score but the Tigers added a third try in injury time through Ryan Hudson.


Salford: Gibson, Reardon, Nicol, Maloney, Arnold, Blakeley, Watson, Baynes, Alker, P. Highton, Wainwright, Treacey, D Highton. Replacements: Broadbent, Southern, Coley, Ebrill.

Castleford: Rogers, Wells, Johnson, Eagar, Pryce, Orr, Healey, Sykes, Bartrim, Lynch, Smith, Fritz, Hudson. Replacements: Warren, Lennon, Mather, Harland.

Referee: Robert Connolly (Wigan).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Woods
"Heartbreak for Salford"
Salford chairman John Wilkinson
"We played well but we had to win"

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