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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Friday, 4 June 2010 15:34 UK

Batley Bulldogs Paul Handforth keen to reach cup final

Paul Handforth
Handforth formerly played at Wakefield

Batley Bulldogs' Paul Handforth say the heartbreak of losing the 2005 Northern Rail Cup final will spur him on to go one step further this season.

Handforth was part of the Castleford Tigers side that lost to Hull KR in the Blackpool showpiece five years ago.

His current team Batley host Sheffield Eagles in Sunday's quarter-final

"The Northern Rail Cup is a fantastic competition and it's another bit of silverware for the teams outside of Super League," Handforth said.

"I don't remember much about the 2005 final. I know it was a good day though, apart from the result.

"The gulf between part-time and full-time players is now so big that this competition means an awful lot to the clubs in the Championships."

The 28-year-old Ireland international believes Batley are hitting form at exactly the right time as their crunch clash with Sheffield approaches.

"On our day we know that we can give any team in the competition a game and beat them.

"It's just a matter of us all turning up on the day, concentrating on the job for 80 minutes and pulling in the same direction.

"Sheffield are a strong side and they've got a lot of good players but we were disappointed not to finish them off last time in the league. We'll be hoping to make sure we do the job properly this time around."



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