Third bottom Sunderland in need of points against fourth-placed Willington in Dukes ECB NEPL First Division

Premier League Cricket action between Seaham Harbour CC v Washington CC, played at New Drive, Seaham.  Seaham batsmen Mark Marwood and Michael Nunn.

Premier League Cricket action between Seaham Harbour CC v Washington CC, played at New Drive, Seaham. Seaham batsmen Mark Marwood and Michael Nunn.

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Sunderland are third bottom of the Dukes ECB NEPL First Division, are in dire need of points to get themselves away from the relegation trapdoor.

They travel to fourth-placed Willington, who will be looking to get their title aspirations

back on track, which took a severe setback with the loss at Boldon last week.

The Ashbrooke outfit are just 11 points ahead of bottom-placed Tudhoe and may be able to welcome back Usman Arshad this weekend, Otherwise, they have a full squad to pick from.

Willington welcome back all-rounder Daniel Nelson, which will add strength to their team, although Jake Louth is not available.

Club spokesman Mike Smith said; “We are playing hot and cold at the moment and we need a win to get away from the bottom.

“We need to start scoring more runs on a regular basis, this is what is costing us at present.

“We know they are a strong team and we will have to perform better than our recent form suggests to get a result.”

One game Sunderland will be keeping their eyes on is the six-pointer between Washington and

Blaydon, two teams who are currently sandwich them.

Blaydon, relegated last year, are finding life

difficult in the First Division.

Club spokesman: Craig Wallis said: “We are unchanged and give everyone another chance after last week’s batting debacle.

“We lost five wickets for three runs when in a good positon to win the game and we need to put the batting right.

“The team is built around a nucleus of local lads, including 15-year-old Josh Burke, and we need a few results to get some confidence going and hopefully move up the league.”

Washington are without Andy Ebdale, but welcome back Graeme Race.

Ash Thorpe, from the club, said: “This is the big one, we need to perform and play better cricket than we have done recently.”

Bottom placed Tudhoe, on the back of an encouraging winning draw against Mainsforth last week, travel to in-form Sacriston who are pushing for the title.

They elcome back Andrew Carrick to their batting line up, although Alex McGrath will be out for some considerable time, after his hip operation.

Skipper Danny Thexton said: “This is our hardest game of the season and we will really have to play well to get anything from the match.

“However, we have been playing well recently and remain positive in our approach to the game.”

Seaham Harbour unbeaten in three, are still looking over their shoulders and travel to Mainsforth.

Stuart Lacey, the club’s cricket manager stated: “We need to keep scrapping and show some consistency in our game and just keep going.”

They welcome back Andy Boal from holiday and Mainsforth have Toddy Cummings and Mark Snowdon back from holiday.

Burnmoor, with only one win in six league games, have fell away a little bit in the title race.

But they need to start putting a run together, to start challenging again towards the second half of the season.

They welcome Brandon to The Village Ground, who are comfortably in mid-table.