Durham Cricket League: Confident Ryhope ready to take on fired-up neighbours Silksworth
Second-placed Ryhope entertain old rivals Silksworth in Division Two on Saturday and chairman Ian Lawrence can't wait for the game.
Lawrence said: “It’s always keen rivalry against them and this is just one game of a hard run we have coming up.
“However, we are confident and joint top of the league and it’s going well at the club presently.
“We have some promising young players starting to play well, which means our youth policy is beginning to work.”
Silksworth skipper Andy Barrass said: “We are missing Greg and Scott Davison, plus Mark Barrass, but we are hoping to have Glen Davison back.
“It’s a big game and we are definitely up for it. We will be competing for everything.”
Boldon CA, in fourth position, host Murton and fixture secretary David Thompson said: “We had a little blip, losing off the last ball of the game at Evenwood last weekend.
“Home advantage is key this weekend and we will be at full strength, hoping to get back to winning ways.”
Hunwick chairman John Pratt is looking forward to welcoming bottom club Hylton, who are without a win in their first three games.
Pratt said: “We won our first game last week at Littletown, by just one wicket, which we very pleased about.
“We are enjoying playing at all the new grounds and the lads are beginning to settle into the new league.”
Hylton are preparing for the annual Marlon Black’s Super 6 Family Fun Day at the Billy Hardy Complex on Sunday, with free admission from 11am-5pm.
Dawdon, fresh from a convincing success at Hylton last week, play host to Langley Park this weekend.
Faz Hussain revelled in a five-wicket haul for Dawdon last Saturday, as the hosts were dismissed for 125, in reply to 201-4 declared, when Steven Gale’s 64 was backed by good knocks from Jamie Greenwood, Nathan Newton, Hussain and Craig Price.
Leaders Evenwood travel to Ushaw Moor, who are third, in arguably the division’s game of the day.
Evenwood have Andrew Rowell and Colin Cook returning, but Jonathan Gill is unavailable.
Secretary Luke Bannister said: “This will be a big game, with us both sitting high in the top three of the league, but we hope to come out on top.”
Littletown, rocked by defeat to Hunwick last week, travel to Peterlee.
In Division One, Seaham Park are at home to Philadelphia, with just one change to last week’s team.
Umar Akhtar will be working, but Park hope that Marty Stephenson will have recovered from his broken finger and will take his place.
Vice-captain Michael McNicholas said: “It’ll be another tough game. Phili are one of the stronger teams, but they haven’t had the start they wanted either.
“We just need to start playing better as a team. We’ve had some good individual performances, but the team need to gel.
“We’ll be hoping for more of the same from our new professional, Virat Singh, who arrived at the airport at 10am last Saturday.
“His baggage was lost, but he still managed to arrive in time to play for us, scoring 150 not out!”
Philadelphia will be unchanged and chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “Adam McGuire is still unavailable and this will be a tough game on a usually good batting track, which should be good for getting lots of runs.”
Horden travel to Marsden and official Ray Matthews said: “We have had two defeats in a row now, which has knocked the lads’ confidence a bit, but we want to get back to winning ways and will be unchanged for the game.
“Adam Dixon is doing well and the new professional, JP Meade, has settled in nicely, so we remain positive.”
Whiteleas & Harton face a difficult trip to high-flying Easington tomorrow.
With four games of the season gone so far, Easington hold a 100% record in top spot.
In contrast, Leas are one place off the bottom spot, having only won their first game of the campaign last Saturday.
Skipper Andrew Potts was delighted with the victory over Durham City and is urging his players to take confidence in tomorrow’s clash, despite being underdogs.
Potts said: “Easington are flying right now and have an excellent overseas player in Duvindu Tillakaratne.
“We will be unchanged. It’s always a tough place to go, but hopefully our excellent run chase last week will give us a bit belief.”
Esh Winning welcome Bill Quay, with David Watson replacing Jonathan Hodgson, who is unavailable.
Secretary Brian Gott said: “We hope to get a win under our belts, after a few frustrating games. We were on top against Phili last week, but they came back strongly.
“We just want to manage to bowl a team out and get some points on the board.”
Bill Quay’s Liam Brophy and Chris Mally replace Dan Clayton and Michael Towns.
Mainsforth welcome Tudhoe, with Liam Hickey making his first-team debut and Curtis Bihari returning from injury, while John Sweeney and Connal Marron make way.
Tudhoe’s only change sees Matt Travis replacing Max Parry.
Chairman Stephen Thexton said: “Our local derby with Mainsforth is always an interesting game. Our batsmen are playing well and are very confident.”
Second-top Crook travel to Durham City, with George Westlake, Jamie Mills and Ed Wells all back, after missing out last weekend.
Will Barnham and Michael Tinkler drop back into the second team.
Secretary Alan Stewart said: “We will be more or less full strength this week. Durham City had a bad start to the season, but they have improved in recent weeks.
“We expect a fairly tough game, but hopefully we’ll play well.”