Ford boost for Scott’s men

Date published: Friday, May 30, 2014
OLDHAM have again acquired the services of dual-registered Jon Ford for Sunday’s clash with London Skolars at Whitebank (3pm).
The 20-year-old Salford Red Devils centre made his first Oldham appearance of the season in the 31-30 home win against York and followed up with two tries in last week’s 30-22 victory at Gloucester.
Coach Scott Naylor has confirmed that Ford is again available to him this weekend as Roughyeds strive to extend their unbeaten record at Whitebank and go level on points with current leaders York, who have no game.
With the season not yet at the half-way stage Naylor’s men are the only team in Championship One who haven’t been beaten on home soil.
They drew their opening home game with Hemel Stags 20-20 and have since turned over Gateshead Thunder (52-16), Tony Benson’s Oxford (48-28) and York (31-30) thanks to a winning try three minutes from time by full-back Steven Nield.
The big talking point at Gloucester was Naylor’s decision to rest club captain Lewis Palfrey and introduce on-loan Rochdale half-back Steve Roper.
Naylor won’t drop any hints about his team selection for the London game other than to reaffirm that he is leaning towards a continuation of his rotation policy in order to keep as many players as possible match fit and primed to go at short notice.
Currently out injured are Adam Files (knee), Liam Thompson (jaw and eye socket) and Edwin Okanga-Ajwang, who has an ankle problem.
The 19-year-old Salford centre has made three Oldham appearances on dual registration, but he is now back at the Red Devils temporarily while the Super League club’s medical staff work on getting him ready to play again.
Said Naylor: “It makes sense for one club, rather than two, to help him over his injury and to get him out on the field again, but as soon as he’s fit he will be coming back to us.”
Young prop Paddy Mooney, who has been out for several weeks with a back injury, will have a late check in the hope that he can return to action tomorrow (sat) for the under-20s against Sheffield Eagles Academy at Whitebank (kick-off 2.30pm).
Mark Hobson and Ben Wood may also be given a run-out in the second team.
That leaves the Oldham boss with a panel of 19 for the London game, comprising the 17 who were on duty last week plus Palfrey and Alex Davidson.
Oldham (from): Nield, Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Bloomfield, Roper, Robinson, Palfrey, Boults, Davidson, Whitmore, Hughes, P Joy, Ward, Mason, Crowley, Langtree, Gee, Tyson.
Skolars have released half-back Matt Bradley and back-row forward Danny Burgan.
Bradley moved to the London club from Gloucester at the start of the season, but has never settled in the capital and will be going back to the All Golds.
Burgan, a former Widnes Vikings academy player, asked for his release.
London (from): Tuffour, Greenhalgh, Paxton, Bryan, O’Callaghan, Woodburn-Hall, Druce, Williams, Smith, Pelo, Worrincy, Lovell, Purslow, Macdonald, Dollapi, Robinson, Mvududu, Davies, Bishay,, Thomas, Sykes, Wellings.