Castleford’s Super league top-four hopes faded with a fourth successive home league defeat on Thursday night.
Winger Paddy Flynn’s hat-trick of tries were in vain against his parent club Widnes Vikings as the Tigers were made to pay for a mistake-ridden display at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Widnes survived a late Castleford fighback to come out on top 38-28 after they led 38-12 with 12 minutes left.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell said: “We were poor. We showed a fair bit of energy at the back end but where was that for a big chunk of the game so it was really disappointing.
“Credit to Widnes, they picked us apart a little bit in some areas tonight and we didn’t handle it too well.”
The Tigers struggled to put the game together against a Vikings side who had won only one of their last 10 league games and had not won at Castleford since 2007.
Tigers missed an early chance when Flynn failed to take full-back Denny Solomona’s low pass with the try line wide open.
Widnes half-back Kevin Brown had an effort ruled out by the video referee for a knock on before the Vikings took an eighth minute lead when Junior Moors fumbled Brown’s kick and Macgraff Leuluai pounced for a try that Rhys Hanbury goaled,
Patrick Ah Van’s 19th minute try put the visitors 10-0 ahead as the Tigers made far too many errors.
Castleford lacked composure when they got near the Widnes line and looked as though they were trying to score off every play.
They eventually hit back in the 32nd minute when Solomona put in on-loan winger Flynn for his first.
Gale added the conversion but the Tigers then fell further behind shortly before half-time when Flynn failed to deal with Joe Mellor’s kick to the corner and Chris Bridge scooped up a loose ball to score.
Flynn grabbed his second try eight minutes into the second-half after Gale and Adam Milner made the opening.
Gale added the goal to put the home side only two points behind but the Vikings then took a firm grip with four tries in 10 minutes, all converted by Hanbury.
Ah Van grabbed his second, Lloyd White went over twice and Mellor also crossed to put the Vikings 38-12 up.
Castleford rallied in the last 12 minutes.
Larne Patrick celebrated signing a three-year Tigers contract with a try, Solomona sent Gale racing over and Flynn completed his treble six minutes from time.
Gale surprisingly failed to convert Patrick’s try but goaled the other two to give Tigers a glimmer of hope but time ran out.
Castleford Tigers: Solomona; Monaghan, Crooks, Webster, Flynn; McShane, Gale; Jewitt, Milner, Patrick, Moors, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Millington, Springer, Tickle, Cook.
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Thompson, Runciman, Bridge, Ah Van; Mellor, Brown; Cahill, White, Buchanan, Whitley, Dean, Leuluai. Subs: Chapelhow, Manoukafoa, Walker, Heremaia.
Referee: Jack Smith.