“Sniffer” Ford hits try trail

Date published: Thursday, June 26, 2014
JON Ford, Oldham’s top try scorer last season, won’t give up his crown without a fight.

Still a teenager this time last year, Ford finished with 21 tries in 15 games — and in the whole of Championship One only Rob Massam of promoted North Wales Crusaders, with 25, scored more.
Fast forward 12 months and wingers Mo Agoro and Dale Bloomfield are hogging the Whitebank limelight with 13 and 12 respectively, Agoro having touched down in eight consecutive games to boast the longest try-scoring sequence in the sport.
Last year they finished well behind Ford — Bloomfield on 11 and Agoro on nine.
The 20-year-old former Leeds Rhinos winger has come on in leaps and bounds this season and is in sizzling form.
The other big difference is that he and Bloomfield have played in every game, 14, while left-centre Ford didn’t join the club on dual registration from Salford until the middle of May.
His first appearance was in the 31-30 home win against York on May 18.
He didn’t score in that one, but in the five games since then he has appeared on the scoresheet every time to record seven tries in total.
Agoro has totalled nine in his last five, but Ford is giving chase and has posted notice that he still knows the way to the line.
Three of his seven were interceptions, against Gloucester away, London at Whitebank and in last Sunday’s 32-14 win at Gateshead.
An opportunist with an instinct for anticipating opponents’ passes and timing his attack to perfection, Ford can be expected to score many more such tries over the coming weeks.
“The ball just seems to come my way,” he said. “I guess its uncanny that I should score three intercepts in so few games, but rugby league’s like that; you never know what a game is going to throw up.”
Agoro and back-row forward Josh Crowley are included in the Championship One team of the week.
Team: Thomas (Gloucester); Agoro (OLDHAM), Ford (York), Cowburn (Gloucester), Dent (York); Reynolds (York), Connick (Oxford); Barron (Gateshead), Cook (Gloucester), Brennan (York), Crowley (OLDHAM), Backhouse (York), Fairbank (Gloucester).
Roughyeds, meanwhile, will be seeking their eighth win in ten games when they take on Tony Benson’s Oxford at Iffley Road on Sunday.
Promotion rivals Hunslet and play-off aspirants Hemel have each suffered at the hands of the sport’s disciplinary committee following a bust-up near the end of their game in Leeds on June 15.
Hunslet winger Jamaine Akaidere was banned for six matches and fined £50 after pleading guilty to “sustained, violent and aggressive” punching.
Aaron Small, the Hemel centre, got a four-match ban and a £50 fine.