Key man Meek returns to lift Moor

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BURNMOOR look well placed to consolidate their position as leaders of the Readers Durham Cricket League First Division when they travel to struggling Easington on Saturday, writes Chris West.

Their hosts have so far been a pale shadow of the team that finished in the top six last summer, and, with just one win in nine matches, they are currently just one place and 11 points above the drop zone.

Conversely, Burnmoor are unbeaten and appear on course to retain their title and gain promotion to the North East Premier League.

Moor have the influential Stephen Meek back in harness this week, although whether his shoulder problems will allow to him bowl will not be known until nearer the game.

One man who didn’t mind last weekend’s rain too much was Martin Thursfield who didn’t miss as many matches as expected while he recovered from the broken thumb suffered more than a month ago.

His return to the side is timely as student Will Philips is away with his university team. There has been no news from the Easington camp although it is understood their skipper Dane Wilson will miss this match.

Second-placed Dawdon face a tricky encounter at Mainsforth against a side capable of causing upsets.

With Jamie Greenwood missing again, Dawdon call up James Dent, while their hosts have to reckon without Rob Chismon and Ryan Cummings, and they draft in Mark Snowdon and Michael Bowron.

The return of the bad weather last weekend could not have come at a more inconvenient time for Boldon CA, who continue to battle the elements along with the drainage system on their ground.

They are racing against time to get their home game against Horden played this Saturday and the verdict is – “at this moment in time we are hopeful of playing”.

Work started on the new drains last week, then the weather interrupted, but it’s back on course with the drains being rerouted to outside the boundary so the work does not affect play so much.

The postponed league match a fortnight ago against Esh Winning has now been classed as a draw rather than the teams being asked to play it later in the season, and that adds up to a record of two wins and seven draws for frustrated CA.

Skipper Tommy Nixon is back to lead the side against high-flying Horden.

With James Waller available again, Hylton enjoy the unusual luxury of being able to choose from a full squad for the visit of Philadelphia, and they will no doubt be relieved to hear that Stephen Robinson will be missing from the Phili dressing room.

Robinson, who has been in tremendous form with the ball for the Bunker Hill outfit, is unavailable, so David Craig steps up to replace him.

Marsden have the chance to put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone when they entertain an Evenwood side who are winless and down among the dungeon dwellers.

With Patrick Jackson away at the moment, Paul Snaith’s recovery from his knee injury provides the opportunity to bring him straight back into first team action.