Gaskell ready for fourth final

Widnes Vikings winger Dean Gaskell is looking to maintain his 100 per cent winning record in Northern Rail Cup finals as he prepares for his fourth final in five years.

Gaskell appeared for Leigh in their victory over Hull KR in 2006 and then followed that up with 2007 and 2009 triumphs for the  Vikings against Whitehaven and Barrow, respectively. The 27-year-old is hoping for a repeat against Batley Bulldogs in this year’s final at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool on Sunday July 18.

“All of the finals seem to be like a blur but I do recall the atmosphere from each match, which is what really makes the memories and makes the occasion so special,” said Gaskell, who returned to the Vikings’ starting line in late May after missing the start of the season through injury.

“My second game back was against Batley at the Stobart Stadium and, to be honest, we were awful and ended up well beaten. We’ve been firing hot and cold this season so far but seem to lift our game for the big Cup matches such as the win at Keighley in the Northern Rail Cup semi-finals. I personally feel as though I’m hitting a bit of form now.

“I don’t know why we, as a team, have been so inconsistent  but I do know that everyone will be up for this game. Batley are a very tough side and you simply have to match their effort and commitment. If we do that I believe we have the creativity to break them down.

“These are the kind of days that you can look back on in years to come and make your career so special and it would be very special indeed if I could play a part in winning this trophy in four years out of five.”

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