Durham Cricket League: Hylton ready for Main attraction

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HYLTON’S bright new future was put on hold for seven days when their opening game at Philadelphia was completely washed out last Saturday.

But they are on the road again this week to take on one of the pre-season title favourites, Mainsforth.

Skipper Alan Mustard takes his new-look side to Morrison Terrace, with former West Indian international Marlon Black expected to make a delayed debut and lead the attack.

Also in line for their first matches are the returning Adam Bewick and Gary Frater, while Ryan Dowens, who joined from Marsden in the close-season, should add strength to the batting line-up.

If Hylton pass the Mainsforth test, it will be a real boost, but their hosts, who became embroiled in a bowler-dominated opening day encounter at Crook that ended in stalemate after 19 wickets crashed for just 182 runs, have their own reasons to be happy, with influential Pakistani Mohammad Nawaz set to play after missing last weekend’s game through illness.

However, Mainsforth do have to make two enforced changes, with Martin Lower, who took five wickets in the opener, and John Sweeney, unavailable. Stuart Ord and Mark Snowdon step up to replace them.

Two teams chomping at the bit are Castle Eden and Philadelphia. Both have yet to see a ball bowled in anger, so the Parklands clash between the pair is effectively the start of their season.

The hosts make one enforced change from last week’s selection, with New York-bound Alan Unsworth replaced by the returning Ryan Ball.

The youngster took 28 wickets in his first full season of first-team cricket in 2014 and his inclusion will make it a triple spin attack, which also includes South African Aat Lindeque and new signing Dan Baldwin. Talented youngster Thomas Gorham is in line to maintain his place in the middle order.

Skipper Shaun Smith is back for Phili – even though he did not miss much thanks to the rain last week – and he will field James Davison, who will be playing alongside his 15-year-old brother Alex.

The two missing out through unavailability are Peter Greenwell and Michael Hall, who would have made his debut last week.

Horden keeper Connor Dickinson will miss the next couple of weeks, so Cameron Miller is promoted to keep in his absence, with Bill Quay this weekend’s visitors.

Easington, still without the suspended Gary Ward, name the same side as last week when they entertain Crook,

Dawdon are also unchanged for their tester at Esh Winning, and Durham City have to reckon without Andrew Hutchinson and Will Allum for the home game with Boldon CA, although they have delayed naming their replacements.