Gateshead Fell welcome back Graham Onions for Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division clash with Chester-le-Stret

Marsden opener Jacques Porter hitting out against Silksworth at Silksworth on Saturday
Marsden opener Jacques Porter hitting out against Silksworth at Silksworth on Saturday
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Chester-le-Street travel to bottom club Gateshead Fell who will be fighting for their lives.

They desperately need to start picking up some vital points, if they are to avoid the drop. from Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division

Not winning in the league since May 28, has left them precariously 61 points adrift, from second bottom Eppleton.

The Cestrians on the other hand have now won their last three league games and seem to be gathering momentum just at the right time of the season.

They welcome back opening pair, George Harrison and James Thompson who, two weeks ago, put on 162 together, for the first wicket against Benwell & Walbottle.

Skipper John Coxon said: “We are playing well, winning vital moments in the matches.

“Just like last week when we took vital wickets at the right time and our batting is very steady and, with George and James back this weekend, we are at full strength, to hopefully carry on our good run.”

Gateshead are delighted to welcome back Graham Onions to the team and this will be huge boost for them, in their quest for crucial points.

However, Michael Elliott is out with an injury to his knee.

The Durham Academy, who had a fine win last week over reigning champions South North, the first time since way back in 2001, welcome back Eddie Hurst and are likely to hand Alex Simpson his Academy debut. Alasdair Appleby is out with a broken finger for around four weeks, Josh Coughlin is away with the England Under 19s for three weeks and Asher Hart has a knee injury and will not feature this weekend.

They face Tynemouth who are currently second after defeating Gateshead Fell last weekend and John Windows, the Academy coach, is in buoyant mood after the win last week.

He said: “The lads are starting to believe in themselves and last week’s win shows just how far they have come this season.”

Promoted Eppleton just above Fell, travel to Benwell Hill who are just six points above them.

Both teams need to win to push themselves towards safety, but perhaps Fell would prefer a draw.

Eppleton welcome back Craig Scurr and John Smithson, the clubs spokesman, said: “There is a lot of fighting spirit within our club and we are really looking forward to the game.”

Hetton Lyons welcome Whitburn to Lilywhite Terrace in a mid-table clash, where both teams will be looking for points, to concrete their position within the league.

In the other remaining fixture, South Shields who are fifth entertain Stockton, who are sixth and

both teams are in reasonable form, going into their clash at Dean Road.