NE Premier League: Hetton Lyons up for the fight against champions Chester-le-Street

Silksworth opening batsman Ben Sims in action against Ryhope at Silksworth last Saturday.
Silksworth opening batsman Ben Sims in action against Ryhope at Silksworth last Saturday.
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Hetton Lyons host Premier Division champions Chester-le-Street at Lilywhite Terrace on Saturday, looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season.

The Lyons are unbeaten so far this season, while Chester are four points ahead of them in their defence of the title.

Washington bowler Josh Wilson in action against Burnmoor in last weekend's fine First Division win

Washington bowler Josh Wilson in action against Burnmoor in last weekend's fine First Division win

Skipper Jarvis Clay said: “I am happy that Robert Talbot has returned and maintains the form he was in before his absence, and his inclusion means Vaibhav Tiwari will return to the second team.

“Chris Martin is still injured, but hopefully should return next week. Though still unbeaten, there is room for all-round improvement.

“Players need to build on their starts and ensure all contribute to the team effort.”

Chester are four points ahead of Lyons. Skipper John Coxon said: “We hope to have Adam Hickey back from injury and it was good to see his replacement last week, 15-year-old Ollie Barrett, take two wickets on his debut!

“We need to build some momentum, after two wins on the trot. last week’s win was an excellent all-round performance from the team.

“Hetton Lyons are always competitive and will be tough to beat.”

Eppleton face a tough encounter when they travel to leaders South Northumberland.

Official John Smithson said: “We have a full-strength squad and the game will be a very tough one, but, if we all play to our strengths, there is a good chance the team will take something from the game.”

Durham Cricket Academy take on Whitburn, with both teams at the wrong end of the table, though the Villagers have been heartened by last week’s impressive effort to beat high-flying Benwell Hill for their first win of the season.

Elsewhere, Benwell Hill welcome Newcastle to Denton Bank, Tynemouth entertain South Shields and bottom-placed Felling make the journey to Stockton.

In the First Division, Sunderland will be unchanged for their visit to Brandon.

Usman Arshad is still out with an ankle injury and may well be three weeks from re-appearing.

Ashbrooke chairman Mike Smith said: “The team are doing well, with three positive results and all departments are producing the goods, at present.”

Burnmoor lost to Washington last week and face a testing home game against Sacriston. Skipper Ian Linsley stating: “Owen Lancaster is still missing therefore, the team should be the same as last weekend.

“Our form is patchy and the top order needs to show their mettle as a unit, though improvement was evident in Tuesday’s cup match.

“The bowling frequently has few runs to bowl against, so, all in all, the form needs to improve throughout the team.”

Willington lead the early charge and have a 22-point lead at the top.

They welcome Washington to Manor Road and visiting skipper Ash Thorpe must do without Colin Myers, who was among the wickets last weekend.

Thorpe said: “His replacement has not been chosen yet.

“Apart from that change, the team should remain as last week, after the first win of the season. This has seen the players’ confidence boosted for the game at Willington.”

Winless Mainsforth travel to Burnopfield, while Seaham Harbour, also without a victory this season, host Boldon at New Drive. Blaydon host Gateshead Fell.