Ford wins player-of-the-week status

Date published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
JON Ford’s four tries in South Wales earned him Championship One player-of-the-week status.
Aged 19, he’s the youngest of eight men to top the Premier Sports weekly ratings and the second Oldham player to do it behind captain Lewis Palfrey.
His four-try haul included a genuine, 14-minute first-half hat-trick which paved the way for the Roughyeds’ dramatic, last-gasp 36-32 win at The Gnoll.
“It was a team effort, but I’m pleased to get this recognition nevertheless,” said Ford, a product of St Helens amateur club Blackbrook, who joined Salford City Reds on scholarship when he was 15.
Currently on loan at Whitebank, he is contracted to Salford for two more seasons.
He toured Down Under with England Academy last year and played in the first of two youth internationals against Australia in Canberra.
“He’s only young and he’s slowly and surely improving,” said Lee Spencer, Oldham’s assistant coach, who worked with him during his academy days at The Willows.
“His tries took some scoring. For the first one he took three defenders over the line with him.”
Ford is now looking ahead to Sunday’s game at Whitebank (3pm) against Hemel Stags, who have taken everyone by surprise in their first season of Championship One rugby.
Their latest achievement was to become the first side in the league to beat leaders North Wales Crusaders, which earned them recognition for ‘best team performance’ of the week.
Said Ford: “We beat them at Hemel and I think we’ll do it again, but they’ll take a lot from their great win last Sunday and it will be a very tough game.”
Roughyeds also won Premier Sports try-of-the-week billing thanks to Mark Hobson’s sparkling match-winner in the dying seconds.
Said Spencer: “Hobbo (Hobson) won it for us because, even in the 80th minute, he was alert enough to pop up in the right place.”
The mythical Championship One team of the week included Ford at left centre and his Oldham team mate Jason Boults at prop.
* HEMEL are at Whitebank twice this weekend, with Oldham under-20s at home to them on Saturday (2.30pm) when Phil Costin’s boys will be chasing their fourth win in five games.
* THE venue for Oldham’s game at Gateshead on Sunday, June 30 is not yet known, but the game will not be at Thunder’s usual home, the International Stadium. Thunder expect to confirm an alternative venue within the next few days.