Durham Cricket League: Seaham Park back to full strength at last for visit of table-topping Crook
Fifth-top Seaham Park are delighted to be at full strength for only the second time this year, when they play host to First Division leaders Crook on Saturday.
Bowlers John Sample, David Gilbert and Anthony Watson all return to the squad, with vice-captain Michael McNicholas, James Taylor and Umar Akhtar making way for them.
McNicholas said: “It’ll be a hard game against top-of-the-league Crook, but we need to put a run together now.
“With a full-strength side, we’re confident of beating anyone on our day.”
Crook are without Andrew Burgess, who will be away. University student Ed Wells will also be taking a break, but will return later in the season.
Secretary Alan Stewart said: “It’ll be a tough game, as Seaham Park are one of the better sides in the league and have a good professional. We’re hopeful of getting something from the game and keep going the way we are.”
Easington, in second place, journey to Bill Quay, who have Paul Bentham and Kevin South returning from holiday, alongside Neil Cuskeran.
They will replace Joe Oliver, Liam Brophy and Nathan Drewery.
Secretary Chris Little said: “We’re having quite a good run, with two wins and a winning draw, from our last three games.
“Easington are a strong side, flying high in the league, but we’re feeling confident and hope to give them a good game.”
Tudhoe, in third, travel to Durham City with a full-strength squad.
Chairman Stephen Thexton said: “Durham have been struggling lately, but they have some good University players and a lot depends on which ones have gone home for the summer.
“Danielle Hazell, who plays for England Ladies, may be back playing for Durham this week. We hope to get a win this weekend, but, regardless of that, it’s always nice to play down at Durham City.”
Esh Winning, in fourth, welcome Horden without opening batsman John Carmedy, who will be missing for up to two weeks, after an injury to his finger required stitches.
Jamie Robinson returns from holiday and will replace him.
Secretary Brian Gott said: “We need to try and get back to winning ways after being beaten by top-of-the-table Crook last weekend. We were on a good run prior to that and need to find that form again.”
Philadelphia are at Marsden and have Steve Wright and Gary Embleton both available.
Chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “Our professional, Rameez Shahzad, has run into form with bat and ball, taking 6-13 against Horden last Saturday and 93 not out against Marsden in the Profound Cup on Wednesday night.”
Bottom club Mainsforth welcome Whiteleas & Harton, who are three places above them. The home side are without Curtis Bihari, Aidan Cummings and Will Reynard, but Glenn Donaldson, Adam Thompson and Danny Hooper return to the squad.
Chairman Tony Johns said: “We’ll just have to keep battling, after losing by only two runs last weekend against Bill Quay.”
In Division Two, Littletown, in second place, travel to Ryhope with a growing injury list.
Head of cricket Gregg Arundel said: “We go into this game off the back of a good win over Ushaw Moor, which moved us above them into second place.
“Unfortunately, the win wasn’t without incident, as our opening bowler, Patrick Stephenson, sustained a slight fracture to his elbow, which will keep him out for five weeks minimum.
“We face a Ryhope side that have had a great start to the season, but we need to make sure we keep in touch with the teams at the top of the table and we expect a good game.”
Leaders Evenwood travel to on-form Dawdon with Daniel Wilkinson back in the team.
Secretary Luke Bannister said: “We’ve got to try and make sure we don’t get beaten, but it’ll be a challenging game as we’re both at the top of the table.”
Third-top Dawdon will be at full strength. Secretary Steve Dent said: “We hope to play better than our opponents Evenwood, who are top of the league.
“We’re in third and are hoping to build on this with another win.”
Ushaw Moor, in fourth place, host Hylton at the Recreation Ground. Ushaw have only lost two games all season and are just three points away from a promotion spot.
But Hylton have shown some improvement of late, with two wins from their last three outings.
Boldon CA are in sixth position, 25 points short of the promotion positions.
They entertain Langley Park at New Road. CA will be disappointed with their defeat last week to Hylton and, after an encouraging start to the season, need to get back on track with a win.
Hunwick host Silksworth and chairman John Pratt said: “We’re looking forward to the game, as we have a full strength team out.
“We’re anticipating a good, competitive match.”
The bottom two teams meet up at the Welfare Ground, as Murton host Peterlee.
Both teams have really struggled this season, with only two wins apiece from 10 games, but Murton go into the match in good spirits following last week’s excellent success against Ryhope.
Both sides need to stay in touch with the teams above them, as only 22 points separate the bottom five.