Castleford could not end a forgettable week on a high note but a drop goal from Gareth O’Brien rescued a point against Catalan Dragons at the Wish Communications Stadium.
The hosts, for whom chief executive Steve Ferres resigned due to differences with the club’s board, trailed on three occasions but battled back to lead 16-12 with 15 minutes remaining.
However, Damien Blanch’s converted try and a drop goal put the Dragons ahead by a single point but O’Brien ensured the spoils would be shared with a one-pointer of his own from 20 yards.
The Tigers defeated Super League champions Leeds in their last home game and made a decent start this afternoon although Grant Millington dropped the ball from Jamie Ellis’ offload at the crucial moment when it looked like he was clean through.
The visitors, still smarting from their first loss of the season at Warrington nine days ago, started to dominate proceedings thereafter but were time and time again beaten back by a resilient Tigers defence.
Remi Casty and Mathias Pala were held up over the line, while hooker Ian Henderson thought he had opened the scoring after grounding the ball but was inches short of the whitewash.
Undeterred, the Dragons continued to exert relentless pressure and it seemed only a matter of time until they crossed
That they had to wait until the 26th minute to get the first points of the game was the only surprise as decent passing along the left wing allowed Vincent Duport to cross in the corner, with Thomas Bosc converting.
To Castleford’s credit, substitute Jordan Thompson made an instant impact after coming on by picking a hole in the Dragons defence to cross under the posts with his first touch of the ball.
Jamie Ellis levelled the scores but his side could not go on from there and it was the Dragons who took a 12-6 half-time lead.
Louis Anderson latched on to a suspiciously looking forward pass from Leon Pryce before shrugging off the challenge of Jordan Tansey to go over.
The start of the second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Dragons very much on the front foot but unable to find a gap in Castleford’s robust defence.
But while the difference was only one converted try, Ian Millward’s men were always likely to pose problems.
And the gap was reduced to just two points when Millington burst through into open space before passing to Michael Shenton and he held off the challenge of Steve Menzies to go over in the right corner.
Nathan Massey then looked to have put the Tigers ahead for the first time in the match when he profited from Daryl Millard’s slip to touch down from Shenton’s grubber.
However, referee James Childs - who was already unpopular with the home fans over several decisions - risked further ire by ruling Massey offside.
They would not be denied and sensed a weakness down Catalans’ left-wing, with Weller Hauraki providing the initial break before Dixon went over.
Ellis added the extras to give the Tigers a 16-12 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
Predictably the Dragons immediately went on the offensive and Blanch, who scored a hat-trick when these two sides met in east Yorkshire last season, went over in the right corner.
Bosc and Tigers stand-off O’Brien traded drop goals to set up a thrilling finale and although both teams had their chance to claim victory, they had to settle for a hard-earned point.