NE Premier League:Boldon aiming to Harbour winning spirit to claim vital win

With five games to go before the end of the season, it's all to play for at the top of the First Division, with just one slot for promotion up for grabs.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 12:30 pm
Seaham Harbour bowler Ian Pattison appeals for a wicket against Sunderland batsman Greg Applegarth during the match at Ashbrooke.

Realistically, there are four teams who can still make it, but time is running out for Boldon and Willington, in third and fourth places respectively.

They probably need the top two to slip up at some stage in the run-in, and both teams will hope to finish on a winning run to be there, if they do slip up.

Calum MacLeod will be missing for Boldon this weekend

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Boldon, who must win, are at home to Seaham Harbour, who are not quite safe yet from relegation, so it will be a tough game for the home side.

They are without Calum MacLeod, who is playing for Scotland, and Philip Shakespeare and Gareth Welsh are unavailable, while Harbour are unchanged if Stewart Pattison passes a late fitness test.

Willington, in fourth, must also win to maintain the pressure on the top two. They welcome Brandon, who held Sacriston to a draw last week, so it promises to be a difficult game for the home side.

Jonathan Davis is back to replace Dan Nelson. The visitors are without Ryan Pringle, who is on Durham duty, but Dean Crampton returns.

Calum MacLeod will be missing for Boldon this weekend

Sacriston are in second place, just eight points behind the leaders Felling.

They welcome in-form Washington to Front Street and the visitors have won their last three league games to push themselves clear of any relegation worries.

The home side have Callum Appleby back, but skipper Ian Jones is unavailable.

Iain Bestford, from the club, stated: “It’s another big one and to add more spice to the game. We have three ex-Washington players back with us where they started playing and we have to keep plugging away.”

Felling, who won their last two games, entertain Blaydon. The visitors have concern for their status in the division as they precariously sit just above the relegation trapdoor, but do have a 29-point cushion.

Tudhoe are in deep trouble at the foot of the table and really need to put some sort of run together if they are to avoid the drop.

They travel to Ashbrooke to play a Sunderland side who lost last week to Burnmoor, but had previously been unbeaten in three games before that.

However, the Ashbrooke outfit were themselves in trouble a month ago and Tudhoe need to do the same as them, to try and get moving.

The visitors have Steve Newton and Mark Davison back and Jonathan Stephenson will keep wicket, but will be without injured Sam Taylor-Gell.

Burnmoor, unchanged, welcome Mainsforth, with both teams sitting in mid-table.

The visitors have three changes to last week, with Dan Smith, Danny Hooper and Jonathan Colledge back to replace Matty Brown (injured), Robert Chismon and Nigel Milner.