Seaham Park are building up a tremendous head of steam in Division Two of the Readers Durham Cricket League, with three consecutive 30-point victories keeping them in the top two ahead of Saturday’s trip to one of their main rivals, star-studded Burnopfield.
As expected their hosts have leaned heavily on the skills of former Durham duo Gareth Breese and Callum Thorp, but Breese admits that the team have struggled a little to come to terms with the playing format and points system since moving from the Northumberland and Tyneside Snior League at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, Park have been in tremendous form, with Siddharth Chitnis, in particular, performing even better than expected.
The Indian all-rounder has 451 league runs already, at an average of 75, with no fewer than four 50s and one century included in that tally, as well as 14 wickets at 17 apiece.
He is backed up by a formidable trio in the shape of John Sample (237 runs and nine wickets), Dave Hanson (212 runs and 10 wickets) and Alex Ludlow (18 wickets at 15 each).
All four will feature at Burnopfield, although the sad news is that Craig Brammer is out for the season after suffering a broken leg in an accident.
There will also be a late decision made in respect of Michael McNicholas, who is struggling to recover from a broken finger.
This match carries additional significance for both teams as the winner is likely to go to the top of the table, with leaders Ryhope taking their turn to sit the weekend out – there is little doubt about the result they will be hoping for!
Elsewhere in the division, the two bottom clubs clash when Silksworth entertain Houghton, the good news for the hosts being that they will be at full strength following the of Mark Foster and Paul Bradford.
Also returning to action, but after a much more lengthy lay off, is Nick Quinn, a “cracking all-rounder” who hasn’t played for three years, but has decided to don his whites again with Marsden.
He goes straight into the first team in place of hamstring victim Paul Snaith and will debut at Evenwood.
Whiteleas hope to keep in the promotion hunt when they go to Murton, and they’ll have hamstring victim Andrew Potts back in harness as well as Rob Scorer, although Ryan Hale is unavailable.