Daryl Clark scored his first hat-trick as Castleford moved to within two points of top spot in Super League with a comfortable win at Widnes.

Luke Dorn, Oliver Holmes and Daryl Clark scored in the first 12 minutes, and Michael Shenton touched down after Widnes tries for Paddy Flynn and Danny Galea as Cas led 22-12 at the break.

Widnes winger Patrick Ah Van closed the gap to six points on 51 minutes.

But hooker Clark, 21, scored either side of another try from Shenton.

Victory was Castleford’s second over Widnes this season, and the sides meet again in next month’s Challenge Cup semi-final.