Dream start for promoted Eppleton, with opening day game at Emirates ICG

Eppleton's 2015 side line up
Eppleton's 2015 side line up
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Eppleton have been handed the dream start to life in the North East Premier League’s Premier Division.

The Church Road side enjoyed a season of success this year, clinching the First Division title to move up to the top flight for the first time.

And Eppleton have been given a memorable debut on Saturday, April 16 – taking on the youngsters of Durham Academy at the Emirates International Cricket Ground. Their first home game in the top division is against Newcastle on April 23, and they do not have to wait long for a tasty derby against Hetton Lyons, as they visit Lilywhite Terrace on April 30.

Whitburn face a daunting task on opening day, visiting defending Premier champions South Northumberland, while Hetton Lyons host Chester-le-Street.

Whitburn’s first home match sees them up against Durham Academy on April 23, while Hetton Lyons go south to Stockton and Chester entertain Benwell Hill.

In the First Division, Burnmoor – promoted as champions of the Durham Cricket League, will be away on the first day of the 2016 campaign, tackling Blaydon, who were relegated from the top division this year.

Sunderland have a home clash with South Hetton at Ashbrooke to open their campaign, with both sides looking to improve on a miserable time in 2015.

Elsewhere, Seaham Harbour entertain Brandon, Boldon take on Sacriston at Sunderland Road and Washington head to Tudhoe.

The second week of fixtures sees Washington hosting Seaham Harbour, Burnmoor at home to Felling, Sunderland at Sacriston and South Hetton welcoming Tudhoe.

Opening day fixtures (April 16) – North East Premier League, Premier Division: Benwell Hill v Gateshead Fell, Durham Cricket Academy v Eppleton, Hetton Lyons v Chester-le-Street, Newcastle v Stockton, South Northumberland v Whitburn, South Shields v Tynemouth

Division One: Blaydon v Burnmoor, Boldon v Sacriston, Felling v Willington, Seaham Harbour v Brandon, Sunderland v South Hetton, Tudhoe v Washington