Dawdon skipper fired up for title assault

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LAST week’s 3D Durham Coast League rollercoaster ride ended with the thrill of victory for Dawdon over leaders Murton, and they now stand poised to push for the title.

Dawdon skipper Stephen Gale is confident of championship success after reflecting on the ups and downs of a remarkable afternoon for his team last week.

Gale told the Echo: “Obviously, in such a big game, it’s vital to get off to a good start, so it was an even better win having been reduced to 8-4 batting first.

“To have eventually scored 106, given our perilous start, was beyond our expectations.

“When we went out to field, we really had our tails up and the bowlers were magnificent, not letting up at all.

“We backed them up with some superb fielding and really cranked the pressure up on them.

“We thought that we had made a competitive score, but to bowl the leaders out for just 28 was incredible.

“It has set everything up for a great run-in and with us just six points behind Murton, and Easington on our shirt tails, it’s going to be an exciting climax to the title race.

“We feel we have the momentum with us. We have lads in great form with bat and ball and can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings us. There is a belief within the club that this can be our season.”

Jamie Greenwood returns to the Dawdon side to put them at full strength for the trip to Bill Quay, while Murton will have key man John Sample, who missed last week’s disaster, returning alongside Richard Lowes at Ryhope.

They say fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, and the story behind Boldon CA’s first victory of the season perhaps confirms that.

Skipper Lee Jackson was the hero, making a match-winning 32 not out, batting at eight, to secure his side a nerve-jangling two-wicket win over Hylton – but he shouldn’t really have been there as he was suspended and also playing with a broken leg!

The unique story began a couple of years ago when he was keeping goal for The Shack’s football team.

He suffered an insect bite in that game that led to complications and hospitalisation, and his leg has been prone to injury ever since.

Jackson simply thought that was the case again last week when it was playing up before the match and went ahead and played because his side was desperately short of players.

So short that the league executive provided special dispensation for him to play after he was originally due to start a suspension imposed on him as captain because of a team disciplinary offence.

Having being given this unique clearance, he then ironically won the game for his team and hobbled off home to awake the next morning in agony.

A trip to the hospital ascertained that he had a hairline fracture of the heel and he is now in a plaster cast up to his knee. The cast will come off just around the time his 21-day ban will be completed.

Although you can never tell in Jackson’s case, it is fair to assume he won’t be playing at Easington on Saturday.

But with Tommy Nixon, Brian Conlon, Owen Gwyn and Gary Critchley all available again the player shortage problem appears over.

Title-hungry Easington keep the same team who won so well at Peterlee last week.

Seaham Harbour head to Hylton, while Seaham Park will be confident of overcoming visitors Peterlee. Washington host Silksworth.