SILKSWORTH are out to put a spanner in the championship works of title-chasing Seaham Park, just as they dented Bill Quay’s ambitions the last time they played.
Given their comfortable position in lower mid-table, many clubs would be switching off at this time of the season, but not Silksworth.
Vice-chairman Paul Smailes explained: “Our last league outing saw us topple Bill Quay and virtually end their hopes, and we hope to repeat the feat at the Park on Saturday.”
And in a rallying cry that will be music to the ears of defending champions Boldon CA, Smailes has a clear target in mind.
He insisted: “We still have plenty to play for – we are playing local rivals Ryhope in our last match, and we are close to them in the table, so we’re chasing as many points as possible to try and ensure we finish above them.”
Silksworth are boosted by the unexpected return to fitness of keeper/batsman Michael Nicholson who was thought to be out for the season after a footballing injury.
Anthony Bell also makes the team, although Craig Nield (work) joins brother David (ankle) on the sidelines, and the injured Eddie Wood, along with Paul Bradford, are still unavailable.
The clear indication of Seaham Park’s desire to win the title was the fact that the whole team was at the ground last Saturday morning from 7am onwards, trying to mop up after the previous day’s deluge – and they were one of the few in the North East to get their game on.
Skipper Mike McNicholas actually thought they were wasting their time, but when he was dropped on the very last ball of the game against Ryhope, it was the most crucial spill of the whole weather-beaten weekend as news filtered through that Boldon CA had swamped Peterlee to pick up 25 points.
The dropped catch meant that Park salvaged a draw instead of losing, and the extra five points kept them three crucial points ahead of Boldon.
On such moments titles can turn, and the Park will face the Silksworth challenge with a full side in the field.
Boldon CA’s aim is a simple one – well, it looks simple on paper – and that is to go for maximum points in both remaining games and see what happens.
They begin at Bill Quay on Saturday, not the easiest place to pick up a result, particularly as the Albion are at full strength and seeking a powerful end to their own season. Skipper Gary Hewitt is back for CA.
Seaham Harbour are not necessarily out of the championship equation, but they need a highly unlikely combination of results if they are to pip the other two at the post – as they need both to fail significantly on at least one occasion.
They play at Ryhope this weekend where their hosts have to reckon without suspended skipper Micky Thorpe – Lee Gilbert stands in as captain.
Harbour will be missing Benidorm-bound Stuart Lacey and Neil McKinney and draft in Michael Agar and Nathan Corkhill.
Meanwhile, Murton have a glut of players returning for their home game with Hylton, as do Peterlee when they entertain a Washington team missing James Thompson.
Dawdon, fresh from lifting the league’s 15/15 title, are unchanged for the visit of Easington.