Four-try Ford ‘happy to be here’

Date published: Monday, June 17, 2013
TEENAGE centre Jon Ford scored FOUR tries for Oldham in South Wales  —- then declared his allegiance to the Roughyeds for the next month at least.

He had scored four in five match-by-match dual-reg games for Scott Naylor’s men, but doubled his tally in his first appearance since signing on loan from Salford City Reds.

“I’m very happy to be at Oldham on a more regular basis now,” said 19-year-old Ford. “I enjoyed it here when I was on dual registration. I would have signed loan forms earlier, but I had one or two things to sort out with Salford first.

“It was good to score four tries in one game. I can’t recall having done it previously.It’s a big help, of course, to be standing 6ft 5in tall.”

Assistant coach Lee Spencer lauded Ford’s performance and said it confirmed what many pundits had believed for a long time — that he has what it takes to go far in the game.

He added: “Jon was in the right place at the right time, but that in itself is a skill. He read Anthony Bowman perfectly and as a consequence Bowman put him through some nice holes.”

New-boy Bowman, also on a month’s loan, slotted effortlessly into his new role, but things didn’t work out so well for the other newcomer, Dan Brotherton, who had to quit with an ankle injury early in the second half.

That was the Roughyeds’ only injury of note, although some players reported bumps and bruises at the end of another tough, physical encounter.

They will be checked out before the visit to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm) of Hemel Stags, who made the entire division sit up with their home win against previously unbeaten league leaders North Wales Crusaders.

Oldham believe that has opened up the race to finish top, given that second-placed Rochdale are only three points behind the leaders now and Roughyeds are only four adrift.

Rochdale have to play Crusaders at Wrexham, while the Welshmen have still to come to Whitebank at the end of July.

Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “Results continue to show how competitive Championship One is. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Hemel’s win has opened things up. The race to finish top is wide open.

“One of our strong points is the team’s mental toughness. We never know when to stop and that was again in evidence at Neath in a game that could have gone either way.”