“Bloomers” aims high

Date published: Thursday, April 24, 2014
DALE Bloomfield’s personal target this season, his second at Whitebank, is to finish the campaign as Oldham RL Club’s top try scorer.
The former Rochdale winger has established an early lead with five from seven games, including a hat-trick in the 52-16 win against Gateshead Thunder.
He also scored in each of the first two league games against South Wales Scorpions and Hemel Stags to show that he means business in his quest to fly past his 2013 total of 11.
That put him in fourth place behind Jon Ford (21), Adam Files (15) and Richard Lepori (12) — two backs who are no longer at the club and a hooker, Files, who has missed the last four matches with a knee injury and may well be sidelined for a few more weeks yet.
“As a winger, try-scoring is a big part of my job and it’s what I like doing best,” said 26-year-old Bloomfield, who scored 30 in two seasons at Spotland and won a place in the 2011 Championship One team of the year.
Oldham’s early-season leaders (league and Challenge Cup) are Bloomfield (five), Kenny Hughes (four) and Josh Crowley, Danny Langtree and Steven Nield, each on three.
Bloomfield’s consistency is also reflected in his run of 30 consecutive games for Oldham in all competitions — one fewer than joint divisional leaders in Oldham’s Crowley and Hunslet’s David March.
With Michael Ward on 25, Roughyeds can boast three players in the division’s top six — testimony to their fitness and durability. 
Having drawn a blank at Hunslet on Good Friday, Bloomfield is especially keen to add to his try tally next time out against Tony Benson’s Oxford at Whitebank on Sunday week, May 4 (3pm kick off).
Not only are Roughyeds determined to avenge last season’s 18-16 loss in the corresponding fixture, but ‘Bloomers’ will be going head to head with two more of the division’s top finishers in Sean Morris and Michael Crabtree.
Full-back Morris, who played at centre when Oxford won here last year, is one of four players in Championship One on six tries, while Bloomfield and Crabtree are one behind.
Crabtree, a winger, is among many new signings at Oxford, who no longer have the services of eight who figured in last year’s win at Whitebank.
They include ex-Oldham men John Clough, Danny Halliwell, Lucas Onyango, Shaun Robinson and Martin Roden as well as stand-off Brett Robinson, who is now an integral part of Scott Naylor’s squad.