Durham Cricket League: Horden skipper fires relegation warning ahead of Bill Quay crunch

Jack McBeth - unavailable this weekend as he celebrates his 21st birthday - plays safe in Philadelphia's recent clash with Easington at Bunker Hill.
Jack McBeth - unavailable this weekend as he celebrates his 21st birthday - plays safe in Philadelphia's recent clash with Easington at Bunker Hill.
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Horden’s players have been told to turn their form around – or face a relegation battle.

Skipper Carl Watson has been very disappointed with the campaign so far, after being one of the favourites for the title.

“We have had a poor start to the season,” he admitted ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bill Quay. “It’s getting to the stage now where all games are must-win games, if we want anything out of the season - otherwise we’ll find ourselves in a relegation battle.

“Bill Quay are a competitive side and it’s usually a tough game against them.”

Horden travel without Adam Dixon, who is injured.

Esh Winning, in sixth place, will be at full strength at home to leaders Easington.

Secretary Brian Gott said: “It’s always a hard game against them, they play very well and they are doing well at the moment too.

“We’re also starting to recover after a disappointing start. We’re looking forward to the game, it will be a good, competitive game.”

Skipper Stuart Hall added: “We will be fielding an unchanged team this weekend and are expecting a tough game, but are really looking forward to the challenge after an excellent win last weekend at Castle Eden.”

Littletown are also at full strength, at home to Dawdon, and head of cricket Greg Arundel said: “We are currently bottom of the league table, but we were unlucky again last week, a different day could have ended with a different result and it shows you how tight the league is.

“Anything can change in a couple of weeks, if we get some good results.”

Tudhoe, fresh from a good win, will be at full strength at home to Philadelphia and chairman Steven Thexton said: “Philadelphia have had a poor start to the season, but are a much better team than their results have shown. We will have to play really well to get a result.”

Phili are without Peter Greenwell, who is away, and Jack McBeth, who is celebrating his 21st birthday. In come Michael Hall, who is having an outstanding season in the second team, and Stephen Robinson.

Whiteleas & Harton, in fourth, are unchanged as they go to title-chasing Seaham Park. Skipper Owen Peterson said: “Confidence is high in the camp, but we face an extremely tough task against Seaham Park. This will be our biggest test to date.

“Seaham have recruited well and are flying, therefore if we are to get anything out of the game, we have to be at our best in all departments.”

Castle Eden journey to Durham City and chairman John Spellman said: “From our perspective, we’ve got our best side out this week, and we can’t put a stronger side out. It’s tough against Durham, but we always have a good game.

“If we can get Jacob McCann out, we’ve got a good chance of winning, but we need to win it regardless.” James Wilkes-Green replaces Liam Brown.

In Division Two, Murton travel to Ryhope and fixture secretary Alan Welburn said: “Ryhope have always had a good side, so we’re expecting a tough game.

“Everyone is becoming available for us again, so that is making things much easier. We have one change, with Ian Keane replacing Mark Gray.”

Fourth-top Hylton visit Evenwood, while bottom club Silksworth have a tough task at home to second-placed Marsden.

Elsewhere, Peterlee host Boldon CA and leaders Crook visit Langley Park.