NE Premier League: Nunn hopes the heavens stay clear for Harbour to start their season

After two blank Saturdays, Seaham Harbour are eager to get their season under way this weekend when they host NEPL First Division new boys Mainsforth.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 2:00 pm
Durham Academy opener Matthew Potts about to be bolwed by Whitburn's Kieran Waterson in last week's Premier Division clash. Picture by Kevin Brady
Durham Academy opener Matthew Potts about to be bolwed by Whitburn's Kieran Waterson in last week's Premier Division clash. Picture by Kevin Brady

Harbour saw their hopes of a game sink along with the rest of the league on April 16, but they were then unlucky to be involved in the only match to fall by the wayside last Saturday at Washington.

They are able to call upon a full-strength team, with close-season signing Michael Nunn, who joined from Sunderland, making his debut.

Mainsforth, who were an eleventh hour replacement for South Hetton following their resignation a couple of months ago, opened their NEPL account with a convincing home victory over Tudhoe.

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They know there will be tougher tests to come, but they have a clean bill of health and stick with the players who got them off to a flier.

Sacriston scraped out a victory over Sunderland in their opener, and they now go to Tudhoe.

The hosts are still without last year’s skippe,r Ross Hodgson, but other than that are at full strength, while early leaders Sacriston have everyone available and stick with the team who delivered opening-day success.

Second-placed Willington are the first visitors to Ashbrooke this season.

Robert Gibson, who played for South Shields last year, is pencilled in for his debut, while Elliott Foster takes over the wicket-keeping duties from Steven Bradwell.

Sunderland are expected to be unchanged, although they will have to wait on news about the availability of Durham bowler Usman Arshad.

A century in the second team was enough to earn Ryan Little an immediate call-up to the Boldon first XI.

Little was a close-season signing from Marsden and his immediate impact provided the selectors with options following the disappointing batting display at Willington, when several batsmen got starts, but failed to kick on.

Little comes into the team to face Felling, but, with Gary Hewitt deciding to retire just one game into the season, and Darren Hickey injured, the home team could face another stern examination of their credentials from an ambitious Felling side.

They got the better of a drawn encounter at Burnmoor last week, and, with the likes of Gary Scott, Mark Turner and Ian Hunter on their books, they will prove a handful.

Burnmoor play at Brandon, both teams having drawn their opening games.

The Moor were a little disappointed with their display against Felling, but more than delighted with the performance of 17-year-old spinner Liam Burgess, who bagged six wickets in his first game for the club following his move from Crook.

Burnmoor stick with the same side for this one.

In the day’s final match, Washington, like Seaham Harbour, will just be pleased if they manage to play a game after two April washouts.

They visit Blaydon, who, despite losing a number of players, are still confident that they can be competitive in their first season at the lower level.

They have named an unchanged side after their opener finished in a weather-curtailed draw.