3D Sports Durham Coast League preview

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THE 3D Durham Coast League reaches the halfway stage this weekend with the second double programme of league matches in a month.

And with just 24 points separating the top nine sides, there could be some big movements in the league table come Sunday night.

In terms of significant movements, the town of Seaham has already experienced some in the last few days with the surprise news that Ryan Consitt has returned to his home club Dawdon after one and a half years with local rivals Seaham Harbour, where he was the skipper.

Harbour are disappointed to lose their captain, though stress there are no hard feelings over the move.

And they have signed Dawdon’s young batsman Ryan Martin, so it’s one in and one out as they prepare for a home game against Ryhope, followed by a trip to Murton.

Stuart Lacey has been appointed Harbour skipper following Consitt’s departure, with Martin being handed an immediate debut.

Neville Gustard returns from holiday to take his place in the side again, while Michael Rich deputises on Sunday for the unavailable Adam Fairley.

Consitt goes straight into the Dawdon team to play at full-strength Easington and with Jamie Greenwood also back, the side is at its strongest for the two matches, the second of which is a home game against leaders Hylton.

While that Sunday clash represents a difficult hurdle for the leaders, Saturday’s home match against struggling Murton should present an opportunity to strengthen their top ranking, as the visitors expect to be desperately short of players.

Jordan Vout is getting married and at least five members of the first team will be at the wedding, so it is a head count job, although most do return for the Harbour game.

There will be no bigger match across the weekend than at Boldon on Saturday, where CA will lock horns with Bill Quay.

The visitors are second, just two points behind Hylton, while Boldon are only another seven points back in fourth.

David and Michael Towns come into the Boldon team for this one, while Quay are at full strength. On Sunday, Boldon go to Easington, while Quay entertain Washington.

Peterlee face a tough weekend – two away games going hand-in-hand with several selection issues which mean they will be some way from having a strong side in the field.

Matches at revitalised Washington and Seaham Park, both in the title-hunting pack, make for a difficult 48 hours.

And with Micky Garraghan sidelined by a broken hand, Paul Griffiths suspended and Micky Buckingham working, the final teamsheets are some way from being decided.

In other team news, Park welcome young quickie Ali Watson back from injury, Washington are buzzing along with a full-strength line-up and Silksworth draft in Mark Forster and Anthony Bell to replace the unavailable Michael Nicholson and David Nield.