Durham Cricket League: Peterlee hope to pip Whiteleas to promotion in last-day drama

Ryhope, who face promotion-chasing Whiteleas on the final day of the season, line up. Back, from left: Sagar Udeshi, Josh Dix, Harvey York, Tom Lemon, Paul Jenkin and Jack Tomlin. Front: Jon Hayes, Conor Pearson, Lee Gilbert, Johnny Errington and Scotty Lawerence
Ryhope, who face promotion-chasing Whiteleas on the final day of the season, line up. Back, from left: Sagar Udeshi, Josh Dix, Harvey York, Tom Lemon, Paul Jenkin and Jack Tomlin. Front: Jon Hayes, Conor Pearson, Lee Gilbert, Johnny Errington and Scotty Lawerence
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It is going to be a very exciting end to the Division Two campaign.

Either Whiteleas or Peterlee will join already-promoted Littletown in Division One on Saturday.

Leas currently sit in second place, 15 points ahead of third-placed Peterlee.

They will be hoping that they can join their former North East Durham League compatriots in securing the step-up after what has been a fascinating season.

Owen Peterson’s side, who will be unchanged for the fourth game in a row, face a tricky trip to Ryhope knowing that, mathematically, a win will secure second spot.

The skipper is urging his side to remain calm and focus on the job in hand for what he believes would be an unbelievable achievement for the club.

He said: “If you had have said in April that we’d be going into the last game of the season knowing a win would see us promoted, I’d have snapped your hand off.

“It’s a pressurised game, but for teams to be successful, you’ve got to handle pressure and I’m confident we have the players to see us over the line.”

He added: “Whilst it’s in our hands and we don’t have to rely on the results of others, Ryhope are a very good club with some dangerous players, therefore it’ll be a tough and closely contested game.

“Whatever the outcome, I’m proud of how the players have done this season”.

Peterlee are at home to Ushaw Moor and will be going flat out for the win. They have Paul Griffiths back, a big boost for them, although Joe Spalding is unavailable because of work.

Griffiths said: “It’s been a good season for us and, to be honest, we were not expecting to do so well.

“We need 30 points to finish with and, providing Leas don’t beat Ryhope, that will be enough for second place.”

Marsden had hoped to be in the running for promotion – they were 16 points adrift of Whiteleas – but their hopes are over following the deduction of 29 points for breaking the rule on using the correct match ball in a recent clash with Evenwood.

Marsden, who have dropped to fifth place as a result, will be at full strength for their final game against second-bottom Boldon CA.

Littletown, already promoted after last week’swashout, need just six points to be crowned champions in their home game with Houghton.

They will be without experienced bowler Joe Dodd, who is unavailable.

Gregg Arundel, the club’s head of cricket development, said: “We will be going out all guns blazing to get the points to win the title.”

In the other two games, Murton entertain Evenwood and Langley Park face bottom club Silksworth at Low Moor Road.

In Division One, Crook Town still have a very small mathematical chance of survival, when they entertain already-relegated Hylton at Dawson Street.

They are currently 30 points behind Bill Quay, but if they take maximum points from their game and Quay are heavily beaten and take no points from theirs, then Town would stay up on games won five to the Tynesiders’ four.

Quay, who flirted with relegation last season, escaping by just 20 points, are obviously firm favourites to beat the drop and they are at home to Esh Winning, needing just the one point to guarantee survival for another season.

Skipper Jeff Tudor said: “We are unchanged from last week and need a point to stay up, so hopefully we can secure that point and look to improve next season.”

Champions Burnopfield entertain third-placed Dawdon, in what should be a fitting finale at the home of the title winners. However, Dawdon will be looking to spoil the party as they chase down Horden, to try to finish as runners-up.

The Green Drive men are currently 18 points behind them and face a very tough task in making that amount of points up, but they will be looking for their 11th win of the season.

Horden host fifth-top neighbours Easington at the Welfare Ground and, with only 23 points separating the two teams, it should be an interesting game.

Philadelphia, in fourth, also have hopes of finishing as runners-up and they travel to Seaham Park, sitting just 13 points behind Horden.

It has been confirmed that they have re-signed Indian professional Armajeet Singh for a second successive season. With just one game to play, the paceman has taken 47 wickets at an average of 12.6 and scored 417 runs, with an average of 30.

Captain Shaun Smith said: “Amar has done very well for us during his first time in England and we are delighted to have him back for next season.

“There’s no doubt he has played a big part in the team’s revival and we look forward to him again being an integral player in the team next season.”

The Bunker Hill men have experienced their most successful campaign in years.

They defeated four Premier League sides in lifting the Hedworth Williamson Cup and are through to the semi-finals of the League’s Fifteens competition, with finals day rescheduled for this Sunday at Philadelphia, and the Roy Coates Cup.

Meanwhile, work is expected to start later this month on improving the draining to the square and outfield as part of an on-going programme of improvements.

“Thanks to a grant from Sport England, we will have better wickets and the outfield will also drain more quickly, thereby helping to get more matches played,” said chairman Malcolm Pratt.

Durham City welcome Castle Eden to Green Lane, in a mid-table clash.

City have fallen away since last season when they finished fourth and are now fifth-bottom, while Eden can finish as high as fourth, if they win and results go their way.