TIM SPEARS will hope to draw on the experience of one of his greatest memories in rugby league to help York City Knights shock bogey side Barrow in Sunday's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup clash.
The Cumbrians are flying high in League One, their five wins from five including a 28-0 whitewash of York in the Craven Park mud, plus three half-century scores - the last being a 50-6 away walloping of much-fancied Newcastle.
They have also not lost to the Knights in a decade, a run stretching back 11 games home and away.
But pack star Spears knows all about cup shocks, having been part of the Featherstone side that stunned Super League neighbours Castleford in 2012 before running mighty Wigan close in the next round.
And, having played a starring role in the Knights' surprise win over Championship side Rochdale in round four, he is hoping James Ford's young troops can get more taste of cup magic this year - and not just this weekend.
He said: "It goes without saying that in the cup you don't get second chances, but it will be great to get a big Super League club down to Bootham Crescent, not just for the finances but for the occasion.
"I've played in a few of those games and they're special games that live long in the memory.
"That (Featherstone v Cas) game is probably the most memorable - Tommy Saxton (York winger) played in it as well - and we ran Wigan really close a few weeks later, leading with 10 or 12 minutes to go.
"Producing something special like that is something blokes talk about for the rest of their lives.
"For some of the younger players at York it would be great if they get to experience that, and the cup gives you that opportunity."
Spears, 32, is happy to go into Sunday's tie as underdogs again, but says a key to success is backing up the battling Good Friday win against Doncaster with a similar - if not improved - display of grit and determination.
"Delivering back-to-back performances is the aim," he said.
"We don't want to be up and down - we've had some good performances but backed them up with poor ones - and consistency in our preparation and what we deliver on the field will be key.
"We were on the wrong side of the scoreline last time against Barrow. I don't like to say there are wrongs to put right but we weren't at our best.
"They'll come down full of confidence, and we'll have to show a similar mentality to that against Rochdale and Doncaster.
"The crowd got behind us against Doncaster - over a thousand of them - and that backing helped our defensive efforts.
"Barrow are a big, powerful team who have spent a lot. We've lost Adam Robinson to injury and that's a big loss up front, and their physicality and ruck speed will be the first big challenge.
"We'll have to be somewhere near our best to get a result."
Asked if Barrow were favourites, he said: "You would've thought so. They've started like a house on fire and they did a job on us last time.
"But flipping that around, from experience in these kinds of games, being the favourites is not always a good thing, particularly in games that are close.
"It almost creates more pressure. You feel you should be in front and you start forcing passes and can get frustrated and flustered as things go against you.
"I'm comfortable with us being underdogs. Let Barrow try to manage the long journey and manage a much-improved performance from us, and we'll see where we go."