WHAT a disappointment!
Sluggish Huddersfield fluffed a great chance to go back into the Tetley's Super League play-off positions as Castleford kept their survival hopes alive.
And to add to the frustration of Giants chairman Ken Davy, the clash was watched by just 3,231, more than 1,400 down on an already-disappointing average at the Galpharm Stadium - despite the club responding to the supporters' requests by bringing the kick-off forward to 3.00 from 5.30.
Both Mr Davy and coach Jon Sharp have some thinking to do over where to go from here, because a losing side certainly won't attract more fans.
Huddersfield have now suffered defeat in 11 of their last 15 matches and the last five in succession, and Sharp admitted that yesterday, his side were second-best in the enthusiasm stakes.
In the first-half especially, they were also second best in terms of ball retention, with the visitors making an impact by doing the basics well and making the most of Huddersfield errors.
The tone was set when scrum half Paul March, playing despite being ill for most of last week, knocked on in the first set of six after Castleford kicked off.
And when Stuart Donlan, filling in for the injured Paul Reilly at full-back, did the same as the Tigers attacked from the resultant scrum, the ball was quickly switched from left to right, with Castleford's former Moldgreen prop Nathan Sykes supplying the pass from which winger Waine Price zipped through with just two minutes on the clock.
Hooker Wayne Godwin was unable to add the goal, but he did collect two points two minutes later when loose-forward Stanley Gene was pulled up for obstruction, the first of 15 penalties awarded against Huddersfield by Oldham whistler Ian Smith.
Foot-injury victim Gene wasn't expected to make this match, and five minutes later, he must have half-wished he hadn't as his loose pass allowed Price to steam through for an interception try.
Once again, Godwin missed the goal, but when stand-off Brandon Costin re-started the game by sending the kick-off out on the full, Godwin notched the penalty.
Home fans thought their side had got back into the contest on the quarter hour, when Hefin O'Hare crossed from close range, but Mr Smith ruled centre James Evans' pass to be forward.
O'Hare's fellow winger Marcus St Hilaire did well to hold an awkward high kick from scrum half Francis Maloney in the 20th minute, before, in the 22nd, Godwin stretched his side's lead to 14-0 with yet another penalty, this time for ball stealing.
Even when Huddersfield did manage to make inroads into Castleford territory, their attacks were ended by mistakes.
Half-time couldn't really come quickly enough.
And it seemed Sharp's interval pep talk was working when, after St Hilaire had made the early ground with a fine break, Costin's grubber kick on the sixth tackle bounced nicely for substitute half-back Paul White to mark his newly-awarded contract for 2005 by sprinting in to touch down under the posts.
Costin converted, and it looked like Castleford might collapse as they had in the second half at Wakefield the week before.
But boosted by the knowledge that Widnes's defeat at Salford on Saturday night meant they could close the gap at the bottom to two points, the Tigers showed they were in no mood to roll over, and they secured the spoils with two touchdowns in four minutes.
Giants old boy Ryan Hudson's 57th-minute effort had the look of a triple, never mind double movement - Donlan was the player hanging on to his legs - but Mr Smith pointed to the floor and Godwin added the goal.
Then Hudson turned creator, making the most of defensive disarray in the home ranks to flick out a pass for heavyweight Aussie forward Mark Tookey to force his way over from close range.
Godwin's conversion attempt hit a post, and Evans kept hopes of a fightback just about alive by scorching through in the 69th minute from a pass by Costin, who added the conversion.
But when substitute prop Jim Gannon fumbled a deep kick-off by ex-Huddersfield half-back Brad Davis, the home side were forced to drop out from under their own posts, and the ball was worked to Maloney, who dropped the goal which put the Tigers 13 points ahead in the 71st minute.
Godwin completed the scoring with further penalties in the 75th and 77th minutes.
And on hearing play-off rivals Wakefield, the side who leapfrogged them into sixth the week before, had lost 38-24 at Hull, Huddersfield were left to rue their inability to reclaim a place in the play-off zone.
TETLEY'S SUPER LEAGUE
Huddersfield 12 Castleford 29
Tries: White Evans
Goals: Costin 2
Tries: Pryce 2 Hudson Tookey
Goals: Godwin 6
Drop goal: Maloney