Durham Cricket League: Ryhope spirits high for attractive clash with Dawdon
Ryhope host Dawdon on a high on Saturday after their opening-day Second Division win at Langley Park.
Secretary Alan Mason said: “It will be a tough game. With no overseas professional at our club this season, we will be promoting and relying on our younger players.
“There will be between three and four each week.
“We were delighted with the signing of David Craig, who made a great start last Saturday, with both bat and ball.
“We will be unchanged and I can’t remember the last time we could say that!”
Silksworth started the season with a narrow one-wicket win against Murton last weekend.
Skipper Andy Barrass said: “It was a bit nail-biting, to be honest, but it gives us a good start to the season and we are hoping for a much better season than last year.
“Hopefully we will be unchanged (at home to Evenwood), with new signing Greg Davison, from Seaham Harbour, hoping to be available from May 12.”
Murton entertain Hylton and batsman Alan Welburn said: “We have strengthened the squad this season, with John Leslie and Sam Sanderson who have improved us.
“As for as the game on Saturday, Hylton are a good side and they have very good players.
“We want to compete this season for sure and the big goal for the club is ultimately promotion to Division One.”
Peterlee entertain Boldon CA at the Helford Oval but are struggling with players this weekend, as David Laidler is having his stag do and will be accompanied by his brother and skipper of the team, Andrew Laidler, who is also their opening bowler!
Paul Griffiths will also be missing.
Chairman Michael Garraghan said: “We hope to compete at the top again, but losing David Craig was a blow.
“However, we have brought in West Indian Zachary McCaskie, who is a genuine all-rounder who we hope will have a good season.
“Boldon CA started with a good win last weekend, beating Hunwick by 52 runs at home, so they will be in a positive frame of mind.”
Littletown’s aim is to get straight back into Division One this summer.
Skipper Gregg Arundel said: “We showed good character last week, winning our first match at Hylton by two wickets. We face Langley Park, who lost at home to Ryhope, despite them scoring 201.”
Newcomers Hunwick, who lost their opener last week at Boldon CA, entertain Ushaw Moor, who won by three runs at Dawdon.
In Division One, Philadelphia will not have professional Rameez Shahzad available to make his debut away at Tudhoe on Saturday.
The Pakistani, who plays for the United Arab Emirates and recently scored a century against a full-strength West Indian side, was a big miss in the opening game when Phili were bundled out for a meagre 78.
But he will not arrive in time to play this weekend.
Chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “We have engaged an outstanding all-rounder who also bowls off spin.
“He has played four seasons in the North East for three clubs, so is accustomed to our wickets.”
Whiteleas & Harton entertain Horden and having started with a hard-earned draw last weekend against Crook, Leas will be hoping to register their first victory against the East Durham side - but expect a tough encounter.
The visitors started their campaign with a high-scoring draw against Mainsforth last Saturday and will also be confident going into the game, according to official Owen Peterson.
He said: “Skipper Andrew Potts will have to do without four players tomorrow, including overseas addition Biliwal Iqbal, who has been called up for Punjab in the PCB national finals.
“Batsman Ray McRae (work), Scott Oliver (football commitments) and Lewis Surtees (injured) are also missing. However, Potts will be urging his players to demonstrate the same positive attitude as last weekend.”
Horden were just two runs short of an exciting victory last weekend, with nine wickets down at home to Mainsforth, chasing 152, so they will be keen for a positive result at Whiteleas.
Skipper Scott Birks said: “We will probably have an unchanged side and are really looking forward to the game.”
Durham City welcome Seaham Park looking for a big improvement after putting just 36 on the scoreboard against Esh Winning last weekend.
Easington had an excellent five-wicket win at Philadelphia last week and will be looking to continue that positive start at home to Esh Winning.
Esh’s team will be unchanged.”
Marsden host Mainsforth at Jack Clark Park.
Official James Sneller said: “We realise that all the games are tough at this level, but we didn’t seem too rusty in our batting last week (making 186-6 against Seaham Park). Matthew Evans is unavailable, but Paul Cook will come back into the team.”
Crook Town travel to Bill Quay, having had Whiteleas nine wickets down last Saturday.
Secretary Alan Stewart said: “We’re still without a professional, as he will not be arriving until May 8. We should also have a couple of players back who missed last weekend.”
Bill Quay had a winning start last weekend, beating Tudhoe by 72 runs. Secretary Chris Little said: “There will be two changes this weekend, with Nathan Drury in for Paul Bentham and Mark Cuskeran in for Liam Brophy.”