Durham Cricket League: Testing double-header awaits Division Two sides

Houghton batsman Matthew Lovett goes for a single against Seaham Park last week
Houghton batsman Matthew Lovett goes for a single against Seaham Park last week
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Yet another double-header beckons in Division Two, with games on Saturday and Sunday

But that won’t worry runaway leaders Seaham Park as they seek to protect an advantage that currently extends to 61 points over second-placed Burnopfield.

They have just the one game, a home meeting with second bottom Langley Park who have lost 10 of their 12 matches to date, so the target will no doubt be a maximum points haul to offset the fact that the other promotion contenders will be playing twice.

Skipper Dave Hanson returns and replaces Ian Cassop.

Despite going three matches without a win, Ryhope are still very much in the hunt for what now looks like the one other promotion spot alongside the Park.

They are one point behind Burnopfield, and they play them on Saturday at their own ground, before ending the double with a difficult trip to Ushaw Moor who are only another 12 points back in fourth spot – quite a weekend double, and perhaps a season-defining one.

Ryhope are two men down, with Chris Errington facing an operation on his knee and out for the season, and Mickey Thorpe unavailable, so Andrew Scollen and Scott Lawrence earn call-ups.

Burnopfield hope to have their leading batsman, Matty Young, back for their double, while the Moor have to reckon without the considerable services of Scott Nattrass.

Two teams still hopeful of muscling their way into the promotion reckoning are Marsden and Whiteleas, with both looking forward to the possibility of fruitful weekends as they tackle struggling sides on both days.

But it really is a case of both aiming for maximum points returns if they are to catch the leading quartet.

With Aussie Isaac Conway and Paul Snaith both back in Marsden’s team after overcoming injury, they are at full strength for the home game against Silksworth and the trip to Houghton, while Leas are still without injured batsmen Andrew Potts and Lee Gilbert, although new signing Ryan Dowens is a welcome addition to the top order.

They host Houghton and then make the long trip to Langley Park.