LEAGUE secretary Ray Matthews believes last week’s run-fest, when six individual centuries were scored, was almost certainly a record for the most number of hundreds scored on one day.
What is even more probable is that it has never been done before on the first day of a season when the late April pitches tend to heavily favour the bowlers. Not so on this occasion when the marvellous spring weather meant pitches were perfect for batting on.
And nowhere more so than at Boldon, where three of those tons were recorded and, quite remarkably, the champions won without managing to take a wicket – another record surely?
With a victory under their belts, negotiations to fill the vacant professional slot in the Boldon side are at an advanced stage, but, if nothing materialises before the weekend, they will field an unchanged team at Burnmoor.
The one century that did not raise any eyebrows came at South Hetton, where Jimmy Daley added yet another notch to his heavily scarred bedpost of tons. The Burnmoor maestro will give the Boldon bowlers a couple of sleepless nights in the run-up to the game as they ponder where their first victim of the season will come from.
Moor’s David Lowther misses out due to work commitments, but Barry Dews is back.
Philadelphia were flying last weekend, so Saturday’s trip to Norton should hold no fears for them, even though they are another team having difficulty pinning a professional down.
With their initial target having falling through, they are actively seeking a replacement, yet they still have a pleasant selection dilemma with Andrew Robinson and Chris Noble added to their opening-day match-winners.
Perhaps the most intriguing match is at Castle Eden, where Kimblesworth are the visitors. The two sides matched each other blow for blow last week with almost identical nine-wicket victories, so it’s game on. The home team are bolstered by Ross Kirtley’s availability to make his seasonal debut.
Durham City acquitted themselves well with the bat at Bunker Hill, but their attack took a bit of a pasting as the Phili fliers took off, and their problems in that department appear to be mounting with two bowlers missing this week.
Steve Brooke is injured, while Dani Hazell is playing for Yorkshire. City draft in Jim Mathewson and Josh Toal for the home match against an unchanged Whitburn.
Eppleton are hopeful that Sura Malinga will arrive in time for next week’s league double header, but he will not be in the side on Saturday when they entertain Horden.
Much went right in that staggering defeat at Boldon, so they keep faith with the same team, but their visitors have lost three players to various social engagements and draft in Paul Dixon, Matthew Billyard and Stephen Brett.
South Hetton travel to Felling, where the home side will parade new signing Connor Elliott from Marsden.
Felling veteran Chris Pleasants has a slight niggle but is expected to play against a settled South Hetton team.