Gannon has Northern Rail Cup fever

Halifax prop Jim Gannon is gearing up for his fourth consecutive Northern Rail Cup final appearance this weekend.

Gannon, 35, won the trophy with Widnes back in 2009, but has suffered back-to-back defeats with the Vikings in 2010 and Halifax last season.

Halifax were beaten by a last-minute try from Leigh Centurions in 2011, and Gannon and his team-mates will be looking to put that loss behind them when they take on Featherstone at Bloomfield Road on Sunday.

The Australian said: “I can’t wait for the final, this will be my fourth year in a row. I’ve lost two and won one so I want to equal out the scores on Sunday.

“There’s not just me who has experience of the final, we have plenty of players who were in the Batley Bulldogs side that won in 2010 so we know what to expect and will help some of the younger lads prepare for the game.”

Gannon also experienced the pain of a last minute defeat in 2010, when Widnes were pipped 25-24 by Batley.

He added: “It’s always a hard task against Featherstone, they are a very physical side.

“At the start of the season winning the Northern Rail Cup was one of our targets and now we are so close to achieving it.

“It would be great for our fans, especially after we lost in the final minute of the final last year against Leigh, it was a cruel way to lose.

“Karl (Harrison) has really good man-management skills and we all have so much respect for him. This year there has been a lot of competition for places in the team and that’s kept us on our toes we know that we have to play well to keep our place.

“We realise that if we are going to win the game we need to be at our best, if we play to our potential then who knows what can happen.”

The Northern Rail Cup final will be played on Sunday July 29 at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool. Tickets cost from just from just £14 for adults, and £8 for concession and are available by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

For more details on Northern Rail visit http://www.northernrail.org/ and for information on Blackpool, offers and where to stay visit www.visitblackpool.com/rugby

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