Dixon Cup’s last chance to stay on course

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BOLDON CA take on Bill Quay tonight in the Andrew Dixon Cup semi-final.

With the final scheduled for Sunday, it looks like the last opportunity to find out who will face holders Washington in the showpiece decider.

The two sides have been trying for a month to get this one sorted out, their first attempt ending in a tied match just to complicate matters, with all subsequent attempts to resolve the outstanding semi thwarted by the weather.

With heavy rain earlier this week on already saturated ground, there is a clear question mark hovering over the fixture again. If it does not go ahead, the final, scheduled to be played at Murton, will have to be put back.

Two league venues known to be good drying grounds host key league matches on Saturday, with second-placed Easington taking on leaders Murton, and third-placed Dawdon hosting neighbours Seaham Park.

Easington are on a tremendous run, with six consecutive victories under their belts in matches where they have been able to play.

They are unchanged and at full strength for a game which could see them end Murton’s season-long domination of the top spot if the result is positive enough. The visitors also have a full squad at their disposal, with Richard Bentley definitely back.

Seaham Park are just desperate to play a game of cricket, with their last six matches all affected by the weather, although they have to reckon without Alex Ludlow for the derby dingdong at Dawdon. Anthony Laidler returns to fill the vacancy.

Dawdon have several absences to contend with as the Purewal twins are tied up by football commitments, while Mark Ewart and Ryan Consitt are away at a stag do.

Promising young bowler Thomas Spinks is handed an opportunity, while Kam Hamid and Tabs Shah turn out alongside young batter Nathan Newton, who retains his place.

Four days before the event, Bill Quay were pessimistic about the chances of playing on their ground this Saturday, such is the havoc caused by the downpours, but if they do play they will have a settled side for the visit of a depleted Silksworth squad, who have six unavailable, including vice-skipper Chris Pringle and Paul Bradford.

In perhaps a sign of these weather-beaten times, it is indicated that Michael Waterson has lost his love of the game and has decided to retire. Second-team skipper Glen Davison is one of those to step into the breach, Anthony Bell is also called up and Michael Kelly returns from holiday.

The match at Ryhope, where Seaham Harbour visit, should see two strong line-ups competing. Just seven days ago, both teams were a number of men down for their respective matches, but both have everyone back for this one.

Hylton skipper Kit Allan junior is back in charge for his team’s home game against Peterlee, while Washington, minus Andrew Ebdale and Jak Gaff, take on a full-strength Boldon CA in what could be a dry run for the Dixon final – well, perhaps not dry!