NE Premier League: Whitehead back for Hetton Lyons’ tough Academy challenge

South Shields batsman Salman Ahmed plays it safe against Whitburn last weekend.
South Shields batsman Salman Ahmed plays it safe against Whitburn last weekend.
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Hetton Lyons are wary of the threat from in-form Durham Cricket Academy in Saturday’s Premier Division clash at Lilywhite Terrace.

Lyons fixture secretary Gary Adey said: “We have gone a few games without a win, so hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

“The Academy are a decent team who had a good win at the weekend, so we know it will be a tough game. Ben Whitehead, who used to play for the Academy, returns as he has recovered from his back injury.”

Chester-le-Street travel to Tynemouth, with Liam Simpson and Andrew Ball back in.

Skipper John Coxon said: “We had a poor game last weekend and will be hoping to bounce back. It’s a really important game for us and ideally we need to get a win.”

Whitburn, third from bottom, welcome winless Felling to the Village Ground.

Whitburn official Dan Quinan said: “We had a good win last week against our rivals South Shields – taking maximum points in a derby game was very pleasing.

“It’s a bottom-of-the-table clash for us against Felling, so hopefully home advantage will help us take the victory.”

Durham bowler Brydon Carse has signed from Burnmoor and will make his Whitburn debut, with Paul Shields returning to the seconds as captain. Kieran Waterson is unavailable, so Dan Quinan taking his place.

Eppleton head to Stockton, with director of cricket John Smithson saying: “Hopefully we can continue to move forward and push up the league, as we are getting some decent performances and good results. We want to continue that for as long as possible.”

Wicketkeeper Tyler Easton is out with a fractured collarbone sustained last weekend.

Elsewhere, second-top Benwell Hill entertain leaders South Northumberland and Newcastle travel to South Shields.

In the First Division, winless Seaham Harbour are at home to Sunderland.

Secretary Neil Swainston said: “It is a case of looking to try and get our first win of the season, against a good Sunderland team.

“We are still trying to get more players in to bolster the team. Jack Lacey will be back this week – he was unavailable last week.”

The Ashbrooke side will look for another big performance from on-song West Indian bowler Quinton Boatswain.

Boldon, with the same points as Sacriston, are second in the table, but with one less win. They are at home to Washington, who have had a mixed start to the season, with three wins, three losses and two draws.

Fifth-placed Burnopfield, hit by injuries, entertain third-top Brandon, with Lawrence Wood, Callum Thorpe and Lee Whitfield all doubts.

Willington, in fourth, welcome sixth-top Burnmoor, with Steven Bradwell replacing Elliot Foster behind the wicket.

Willington official Karl Brown said: “This is a big game for us, but we know we are up against a good side and we will have to be at our very best, to win.”

Second-bottom Mainsforth will be unchanged at home to Gateshead Fell, while Blaydon are at home to leaders Sacriston and include new signing Neil Browne, a batsman from Barbados.