Horden devastated as rain rocks their ambitions

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WITH eyes cast anxiously skywards, Warmseal Durham Senior League clubs contemplate another double header this weekend.

The frustration is palpable as the worst start to a season in living memory looks all too likely to extend its watery tentacles into the mid-June set of back-to-back league fixtures planned over the next few days.

Bring back Wincey Willis, it was never like this in her day!

The mood of despondency among club administrators was starkly illustrated by Horden spokesman Dennis Gorman, who, when announcing that his team would be unchanged and at full strength for both their games, said: “This team is capable of beating anyone, but it can’t beat the weather!”

Sitting fourth, Horden face two tough games, with a visit to Whitburn on Saturday being followed by a home tie against Burnmoor, whose game on Sunday is their only one of the weekend. Moor are unchanged from the side that didn’t play last week.

Whitburn are able to include opening bat Neil Ayre for the first time in several weeks following his recovery from an elbow injury, while a debut is handed to Andrew Brown following his recent move from Boldon.

Two players miss Saturday’s game, with Neil Johnson and Peter Marshall both being unavailable, although they are back for Sunday’s derby at Marsden.

They will meet a much-changed home side for that one with Marsden welcoming back Connor Elliott, Paul Cassell and Ryan Little, and also handing a debut to new signing Richard Cox. The former York student has moved into the area recently, and has had Yorkshire Premier League experience – he is described as a “fast leg-spinner in the Anil Kumble mould” by skipper Chris Mann.

Philadelphia have just one game, and it’s a tough one. They entertain champions Kimblesworth on Saturday and have Tom Skilbeck available again, with Bill Brownsword hoping to make his delayed debut at the second attempt.

Kimblesworth field a full squad following the return of Stephen Meek and Andrew Biggs.

Michael Walker has been playing over the last few weeks with a persistent back injury and it has been decided the only cure will be a couple of weeks complete rest, so he is out as Boldon comtemplate a double header.

Bolton visit same-again South Hetton first, then host Felling 24 hours later. Richard Dawson takes Walker’s place while former Boldon CA player Andy McCord makes his bow in the second game, with Grant Forster unavailable.

Durham City were not overly worried by last week’s washout as they had seven players missing for one reason or another. City are at home twice this weekend, against Norton and Eppleton, and all seven are back, including Subhan Christudas and Tim Stonock.

Eppleton’s two-day fixture list is a mixed bag – before they go to bottom club Durham they entertain unchanged table-toppers Castle Eden. Craig Scurr is out of the first match. but Liam Mallaburn returns.

Eppleton face a testing three days as they travel to Kimblesworth tomorrow night for the Armbrister Trophy semi-final, with the other semi seeing Burnmoor hosting treble-chasing Castle Eden.