RYHOPE CW will be crowned Wearside League champions tonight if they defeat Willington at Hall Lane.
With three games to play, the Wearsiders need just three points to equal the maximum number which second top Easington Colliery could achieve, but their goals difference is so superior that the celebrations will start if they defeat Willington.
Martin Swales’s side has hit peak form in the closing weeks of the season and tonight could see them lift their third trophy.
They have already won the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup and the Sunderland Shipowners Cup and on the last day of the season pay a return visit to Willington for the final of the Wearside League Cup.
Tonight though, Ryhope could have a fight on their hands especially as three key players are out.
Goalkeeper Neil Atkinson was withdrawn after only five minutes of Saturday’s game and is replaced by the experienced Lenny French.
Leading scorer John Butler and Martin Metcalfe are banned, while Jonathan Davis and David Anderson are rated extremely doubtful.
There is some good new for Swales, however, with the return of Nathan O’Neil and Jordan Thompson.
Willington are near to full strength and their only absentee is Paul Thorns.
New Marske still hope to pip Easington Colliery for the runners-up position and in tonight’s top six clash at home to Jarrow, await news on the availability of twins Sean and Michael Mackin, and Jamie Jackson.
Jarrow manager Dave Bell welcomes the return of Daryl Donnelly, Liam Clark and Peter Kane, but Chris Lunn and Tony Chilton are both sidelined.
Hartlepool go to Stockton Town boosted with the inclusion of Marc Ellison, Craig Hutchinson, Shaun Ross, Ian Davies and Rob Ferguson.
Stockton name Mick Waller, Mattie Hyson and Andy Westwood but David Dowd will need a late check on his fitness.