Gannon looking to break his Bradford duck in Cup
Halifax prop Jim Gannon is seeking to end his unlucky streak against Bradford as he prepares to face the Bulls in a Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at The Shay on Sunday, May 8 (3.15).
Gannon, in his second spell with Halifax after first joining them in Super League in 1999, has never been on the winning side of a contest against Bradford and having played in England for 12 years, he’s hoping to break his long-standing duck on Sunday.
“Of all the teams I’ve come up against in England, Bradford are the only side I’ve never won against,” said Gannon.
“I was involved in a draw with them at The Shay a few years ago now, but I never managed to beat them so that’s a huge motivational factor for me personally and fingers crossed I can break that duck.
“I’m really looking forward to the game. They are our local rivals and it will be great to play against them again. I have played against them quite a few times in my career so it’ll be nice to do that again and there’s going to be a bumper crowd so hopefully it will be a great day.
“I used to get really pumped up to face Stuart Fielden when he was at the Bulls and now I’m looking forward to going up against Andy Lynch. Then there’s also Shad Royston who played here last season and I’m sure there will be some bragging rights to play for between him and the other lads here at the club, so it should be a tasty afternoon on the field.”
Halifax were crowned Co-operative Championship winners last season following a dramatic Grand Final victory over Featherstone Rovers and Gannon says there is a strong pressure on the players to emulate that success in 2011.
“There are a lot of players still here who were around last season,” he said. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to emulate that success and there’s no reason we can’t repeat it.
“We have the potential to perform and we’ve some really talented players who can give every side a good run. Bradford are in a poor run of form currently so hopefully we can rise to the occasion and spring a surprise on them.
“A win would be massive for the club and for the fans. The rivalry between the clubs is fierce but they haven’t had the chance to go against each other in recent years so we’ll be looking to impress on our crowd.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round contest between Halifax and Bradford Bulls at The Shay Stadium cost from £15.50 adult, £10.50 concessions and £5.50 juniors and can be purchased by calling 01422 342792.
Tickets for the 2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 costs from £21 to £76 and are selling fast. Last year’s final was a sell-out and fans are advised to move quickly to secure their seat at the historic showpiece final. To book tickets call 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
For more information about the Carnegie Challenge Cup visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk