Durham Cricket League: Dench makes Littletown debut against leaders Ryhope

Ryhope bowler Alex Catcherside runs in against Marsden last week, watched by visiting batsman Isaac Conway
Ryhope bowler Alex Catcherside runs in against Marsden last week, watched by visiting batsman Isaac Conway
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Durham Cricket League Division Two leaders Ryhope travel to Littletown on Saturday and are yet again able to put up the “same again” signs on the team sheet.

But Littletown, who have made a decent enough start to life in their new surroundings with just one defeat in their seven outings to date, will be unveiling new signing Mattie Dench, who has joined from Sunderland.

The former Bill Quay favourite will bolster the Town batting as they attempt to become the first club to upset the Ryhope applecart.

Seaham Park, in second, enjoy home advantage against neighbours Murton, who expect to be unchanged, while third-placed Burnopfield are likely to prove too powerful for hosts Langley Park, who have already lost seven times.

Gareth Breese expects to have Stu Atkinson back in place of Dean Almond for Burnopfield.

Whiteleas have much to do if they are to push their way back into the promotion race, but skipper Ray McRae is hopeful. “The last two games have been disappointing and we’ve come out with a low return,” he said.

“However, we are still in fifth place and I’m confident that, if we can string two or three wins together, we’ll be back in contention – starting on Saturday when we play Evenwood.”

Owen Peterson returns alongside Lee Gilbert, who dropped out of the previous game with illness. The player missing will be Bob Scorer.

Peterlee go up to Marsden with the re-signed Tommy Nicholson making his second debut for the club after 12 months away. With Darren Bill free from work commitments, they should be at full strength against a side who have fallen below the performance levels expected of them in recent weeks.

With this downturn in form has come some team changes for Marsden, with spinner Callum Amess handed an opportunity and Matthew Sneller promoted for his first-team debut.

There are some injury concerns over hamstring victims Paul Hobson and Paul Snaith, although skipper Chris Mann rates their chances of playing at better than 50-50.