NE Premier League: Turner and Turns back as Sunderland look to maintain perfect Ashbrooke record
Sunderland entertain Washington at Ashbrooke as they look to make it three home wins out of three in Division One on Saturday.
Sunderland are eager to make amends for last week’s drubbing at Willington, with chairman Mike Smith saying: “We were heavily beaten last week and batted poorly, but we have Mark Turner and Andy Turns back, so we hope to get back to winning ways.”
Washington batted well at Boldon last weekend, with Adam Hickey outstanding, but went down by six wickets.
Third-bottom Boldon, boosted by last week’s win over Washington, are at home to South Shields, who are second-bottom after three successive defeats.
Sunderland Road skipper Chris Ellison has a few players missing for the derby.
He said: “Ian Pattison has a knee injury, Gary Scott is still out and Barry McCarthy is not available due to his county commitments, but Anthony Brown does return.
“The team has not performed poorly during the early season, but inconsistently. One or two individuals come up trumps, but the rest of the team have not backed them up as a unit.”
Castle Eden travel to bottom club Blaydon. Skipper Jonathan Brown said: “Ryan Ball and Liam Brown are both missing due to work commitments, so Connor Crute and Jeremy Warner replace them.
“The former has been away, whilst the latter has now completed his exams.
“The side showed a return to form last week with a good draw against then table-toppers Brandon, so hopefully this can continue into this game.”
Blaydon captain Geoff Stewart said: “Gary Stewart, Jamie Whiteman, plus Phillip Miller, the main spin bowler are all back.
“The side acknowledges that the batting department is currently a bit short on runs and big totals are in short supply, but the bowlers can offset this with much better form with the ball.”
Second-top Burnmoor take their unbeaten record to Gateshead Fell.
Fell skipper Thomas Pinkney makes two changes. He said: “Richie Smith and David Daley both return and this should give the side more balance and means the batting is stronger.
“We need to show the same application as shown at Blaydon the last time out, a solid total produced which allowed the bowlers to do their work.”
Willington, in fourth place, travel to third-top Brandon.
Willington skipper James Stock said: “We should be unchanged, but it’s early days yet and some of the squad have yet to declare their availability.
“It’s been a good start to the season to date, but Brandon will be the toughest test so far as they are in form and at home. Nevertheless, the side are confident and know, if all do their jobs, they are in with a good chance of victory.”
Leaders Burnopfield have a bye this weekend.