League leaders Ryhope ready to lock horns with Evenwood
Readers Durham Cricket League Division Two
Readers Durham Cricket League Division Two League leaders Ryhope travel to second placed Evenwood this weekend for their crucial top of the table clash.
Chairman Ian Lawrence said: “They are a very good side, but we have a great team spirit and have kept a steady team for the games so far.
“Johnny Hayes is back and will be the only change.
“Our batting has been our strong point this season and we hope our good form continues into this game.”
Evenwood secretary Luke Bannister said: “We are unchanged and this will be a hard game, as Ryhope are one of the teams expected to do well this season.
“The first half of the season is all about working out the teams you haven’t played for a number of years.
“We expect a good game and hope for a win, which would take us to the top of the division.”
Boldon CA in third, take on Ushaw Moor, who are one place below them.
Fixture secretary David Thompson said: “Unfortunately, we are without Rajan Kumarasamy for three weeks, which is a big blow, but we are hoping to have Shanaz Halaldeen back in the team.
“David Towns returns following his injured thumb and will keep wicket.”
Littletown travel to Silksworth without head of cricket development Gregg Arundel, who is unavailable.
Gregg said: “We’re awaiting availability on the rest of the team, but we expect a very tight game.
“We were beaten closely at Peterlee last week, so it’s imperative we bounce back and get ourselves back on track.”
In-form Hunwick have climbed to seventh, following two wins on the trot and travel to Langley Park, one place above them.
Four teams in the bottom five play each other this weekend, no doubt vying for crucial points at this stage of the season.
Bottom club Hylton, who have lost all their games to date, welcome Peterlee, after they won their first game last weekend.
Peterlee Chairman Michael Garraghan said: “It was good to get a win under our belts and our young team are growing in confidence, after that result.”
Murton, who are fourth bottom, host Dawdon, one place above them.
Both teams have one won, drawn one, from their first five games, so a win for either side will be most welcome.
The Division One match of the day is at second placed Crook Town, for the visit of league leaders Easington.
Secretary Alan Stewart said: “The only change to our team this weekend will be if our 19-year-old fast bowler William Angus is required by Durham Cricket Academy.
“Angus is currently playing for Durham seconds in their three-day game at Nottinghamshire.
“We are currently level on points at the top of the table with Easington, so this game is very important for both teams and promises to be a good tight game.”
Tudhoe entertain struggling Whiteleas and have an unchanged, full strength squad.
Whiteleas have skipper Andrew Potts unavailable, while vice-skipper Nathan Ullah is also away.
Owen Peterson will deputise and welcomes back all-rounder Rob Scorer. There is also a recall for youngster Sid Corner jnr, following an impressive six-wicket haul for the Seconds last weekend.
Bill Quay welcome fourth placed Marsden, but are without Jeff Tudor, Liam Brophy and Dan Clayton.
Returning to the team will be Paul Bentham, Nathan Drewery and Cameron Sweeney.
Secretary Chris Little said: “We want to try and win, but this will be a tough game against Marsden, who were promoted last season.
“They‘re an unknown quantity as we haven’t played them for a few years, but we hope to get a good result.”
“We are very pleased with the excellent form of our new overseas professional Daniel Doram.
“He is a 20-year-old Dutch International left arm spin bowler and aggressive left-handed bat who comes from Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles, a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.”
Esh Winning play host to Seaham Park and have Jonathan Hodgson and Stuart Hall missing, but Michael Oughton and Michael Robson step up to take their places.
Seaham, who are sixth travel with an unchanged squad, and vice-captain Michael McNicholas said: “We’re hoping to build on our good performance against Philadelphia last weekend, which was our first good all round performance this season, with everyone contributing. We hope for more of the same this weekend.”
Horden take on Durham City in a crucial clash at the wrong end of the table, and chairman Wayne Birks said: “Obviously, it’s a crucial game at this stage of the season.
We have been a bit hit and miss so far, but we remain positive going into the game. Adam Scott returns to the team.”
Philadelphia welcome Mainsforth and chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “We’ve made the sort of start we did at the beginning of last season but then came good, shot up the table and finished third.
“Hopefully, we can repeat that performance and start to put pressure on the leading teams.”
“A big blow as we attempt to kick start the season, is the news that captain Shaun Smith will be side-lined for probably three weeks after breaking fingers in both hands, attempting to take a boundary line catch, at Seaham Park last Saturday.
“His replacement is Thomas Raine, who has a century and a half-century to his credit in the second team.
“Another change sees the returning Adam McGuire replace Jack McBeth.
“Losing our captain is a huge setback, especially as Shaun has been in scoring mode so far. In his absence the team will be led by Steve Wright.”