BURNMOOR have moved swiftly to address their bowling problems and will parade a new signing when they visit Castle Eden on Saturday in the Readers Durham Cricket League.
With Martin Thursfield continuing to be sidelined by a broken thumb, Owen Lancaster having work commitments every so often, and Stephen Meek unable to bowl because of a shoulder problem that requires a minor surgical procedure, and also away for four matches after this weekend, Burnmoor have brought in Durham University student Will Philips.
Philips, a seam bowling all-rounder who is likely to bat in the middle order, has played Premier League cricket in his home county of Hampshire, and has featured for the University in their games.
With Lancaster also back this week, the champions are aiming to be kings of the Castle come Saturday night.
Dawdon sit proudly on the top of the First Division table after their excellent display at Esh Winning last week, and they have the chance to consolidate that position when they entertain a Crook Town team that has yet to really spark into life.
The hosts have to reckon without the honeymooning Jamie Greenwood, who will miss the next two weeks, so Tabs Shah steps into his shoes.
Crook’s one win came in a remarkable game against Evenwood which highlighted both their frailties and strengths – after being skittled for 57 they then shot their opponents out for 45, mainly courtesy of Andrew Robinson, who claimed 6-24. He missed last week as he was at Wembley watching West Auckland, but returns for this one.
High-flying Horden are one of only three teams yet to suffer defeat, and they will look upon a trip to bottom club Hylton as an opportunity to enhance that record and possibly improve their third-place standing and ease into one of the promotion slots.
Wicketkeeper Connor Dickinson is at a wedding and his replacement has yet to decided. Regular first-teamer Matty Billyard has kept wicket before and could be handed the gloves, although second team glove man Cameron Miller may also earn a call-up.
There hasn’t been a single match of any kind played on the Boldon CA ground this season, with the club suffering major drainage problems that occasioned the visit of lots of councillors to the council-owned ground.
There is some hope on the horizon with a big new drainage system planned in the short term, meanwhile the official view of the state of the ground yesterday was “wet”.
With the forecast somewhat better over the next few days, the hope is it will dry up sufficiently for Saturday’s game against Evenwood to go ahead. What certainly is the case is that the CA squad are all available and they are “itching to go”.
Philadelphia have disappointed to date, with two defeats and just one win in four games. Their batting, which was so strong last summer, has been poor, with batsmen failing to adapt to difficult rain-affected wickets.
Phili are unchanged for the trip to Mainsforth, with Lee Innes continuing to play as a batsman only. Their hosts include fit again Robert Chismon, while young Ryan Cummings makes his first-team debut after finishing his Blyth footballing commitments.
Easington are at full strength for their home game against Esh Winning, while Marsden promote Ryan Little in place of Mark Symington when they host Tudhoe.