SUNDAY will be a landmark day in the long and distinguished history of the Durham Senior League.
With plans now well advanced for the formation of the new Durham League in 2013, the last ever Senior League Cup final is scheduled to be played this weekend, with a new name certain to be inscribed on the trophy.
Castle Eden, who only joined the league in 2010, won through to the final when they defeated Burnmoor on Tuesday in the much postponed semi-final, providing very swift revenge for the loss to Moor the previous evening in the Armbrister Trophy semi.
Now Castle Eden face a trip to another relative newcomer, Kimblesworth, on Sunday afternoon (2pm) in the historic occasion.
Kimblesworth will present formidable opposition. They won the championship at the first time of asking in 2011, and if they could add the League Cup to their honours board it would represent a tremendous achievement in their two-year association with the Senior League.
The hosts will miss one key player, Andrew Biggs suffering an unusual injury in last week’s match against Durham City when he fractured two fingers on his right hand when fielding a ball, and in the subsequent fall took the weight on his left hand and broke his wrist.
With both arms now swathed in bandages, he is set to be out for six weeks which means his season is just about over.
On the positive side, Michael Fishwick’s school commitments are now at an end and he comes straight into the cup final team.
Castle Eden expect to be at full strength – Alan Unsworth misses out on Saturday’s home league game against Horden but will play in the showpiece.
Their two close cup tussles with Burnmoor, which ended with one win apiece, demonstrated how closely matched the two sides are and nicely sets up the championship race in which they are the two main protagonists.
After having to sit out last Saturday’s programme, which was ironically played out in fine weather, Castle Eden saw their season-long leadership pass to Burnmoor.
Even though they now have a couple of games in hand, their rivals have a 29-point lead and it sets up nicely the meeting between the two sides on August 5.
Both teams have tough games this week. Horden have their tails up and are on a four-game winning streak and they are sure to test Castle Eden’s resolve, while Moor travel to third-placed Felling, who still feel they are in with a shout of the title.
Both clubs like to try and go for the opposition’s throat by batting first and racking up maximum points where possible. Whether discretion will take over from valour in this match remains to be seen, but Felling have one key absentee, with Danny Clark unavailable. He is the side’s leading run scorer by a distance, so the possible return of skipper Chris Taylor is some consolation for the hosts.
Burnmoor field an unchanged side, with Ian Conn still unavailable.
Elsewhere, Whitburn host Norton, South Hetton take on Philadelphia and Marsden head to Boldon.