Widnes Vikings took a big step towards securing a place in the Super League top eight with a 38-28 victory over Castleford Tigers on Thursday.
The Vikings were among the early pacesetters in 2016, but headed to The Jungle having tumbled down the table courtesy of nine defeats in 10 matches.
However, Denis Betts' men were able to record a valuable win and open up a five-point lead over ninth-placed Hull KR, who host Wigan Warriors on Friday, as Castleford served up a dismal performance prior to a dramatic late rally.
The visitors led 14-6 at the interval - Macgraff Leuluai, who signed a new contract earlier in the day, Patrick Ah Van - returning from a five-match ban - and Chris Bridge touching down to offset a sole score from Paddy Flynn, on loan at Castleford from Widnes.
When winger Flynn crossed again early in the second half, the Tigers looked more than capable of coming from behind to prevail, as they had in the reverse fixture.
However, Widnes then stormed clear with four tries in 12 minutes, Ah Van grabbing his second four-pointer before Lloyd White (2) and Joe Mellor capitalised on some awful defending.
Trailing by 26, Castleford suddenly found their mojo in the closing stages - Larne Patrick and Luke Gale scoring in quick succession and Flynn completing a hat-trick against his parent club - but it was too late.