Hanson absence is a blow to Murton’s hopes

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THERE has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the Olympic legacy, but officials in the Durham Coast League are more concerned about the weather legacy which has severely disrupted plans for the playing of their various cups.

The two main first team competitions are in significant arrears, with the Andrew Dixon final, originally scheduled for July 15, still waiting for Bill Quay and Boldon CA to complete a semi-final that has been abandoned on numerous occasions.

With Washington awaiting the winners, it is now hoped to play that final on August 19 at Murton.

The Frank Lees Rose Bowl still had one quarter-final to be completed yesterday, and with other commitments preventing the winner completing the subsequent semi-final either today or tomorrow then the final scheduled for this coming Sunday has had to be postponed.

In the other semi-final, Seaham Harbour are due to meet Washington and that match will now be played next Wednesday with a decision having to be deferred on the possible new final date.

Among all the cup chaos, both the two leading sides have their minds free to concentrate on the main task in hand – the league championship. Murton lead Dawdon by a single point, and both clubs have no involvement in the two major cups to sidetrack them.

On Saturday, Murton face a potentially tricky fixture when they entertain Seaham Park, their task made more difficult by the fact that skipper Davey Hanson, as well as Graeme Robson and Keith Chapman, is away.

On the plus side, they do expect to have Richard Bentley back against a Park team who have hit the buffers in recent weeks, having gone nine games without a win.

Park skipper Mike McNicholas misses this match, but Michael Watson will play.

The ex-Dawdon man has been persuaded to come out of semi retirement and start playing again to help the club who have just lost promising youngster Dale Shaw to NEPL big boys Sunderland.

Dawdon won’t find things easy in their home game against a Ryhope team whose form tends to fluctuate between the very good and the not so very good.

Dawdon are a side comfortable in their own skins after four successive victories have thrust the mantle of title favourites on their shoulders, and they put out a full strength side for this one. Ryhope have to reckon without Connor Pearson and James Summerside, so the return of Paul Howe and Tom Lemon will provide additional zest.

Easington are still in with a shout, but two defeats in their last three games have turned them into outsiders. They take an unchanged team to Seaham Harbour where their hosts are still missing Jack Lacey and Andy Boal, with Jeff Laws (Olympics – not competing) also absent. Promising youngster Nathan Corkhill is handed an opportunity.

In Saturday’s other matches, unchanged Boldon CA entertain a Bill Quay side that has Will Gardner, Neil Cuskeran and Chris Malley back in harness.

Peterlee take on Washington, who hand a debut to new signing Dan Woolston (Sunderland) but have injury concerns over Jak Gaff, Ian Elliott and Nick Thompson.