League leaders Seaham are in a confident mood ahead of Durham City encounter


Seaham Park are looking to continue the great start to the Readers Durham Cricket League Division One season that has seen them rise to the summit when they host Durham City this weekend.

Fixture secretary David Moorhead said: “We were disappointed that our game was rained off last week. We are top of the league at the moment, so will hopefully be going into the game full of confidence.

“Our young overseas professional, Angus McKenzie from Australia, has been fantastic for us. Of course, we are hoping it stays dry.”

Easington in second place, welcome Whiteleas in third, to the Welfare Grounds.

Arthur Broxson said: “All games in this league are tough games, there are no easy games these days.

“Whiteleas have just come up, they were promoted last year and are up among the top few in the league like ourselves, so we are expecting a close game.”

“We have started the season well and are competing very well at the moment.

“We are in the top two, and are very pleased with the start we have had. At the same time it has been a tough start, with some teams we’ve played being more challenging.

“We hope our performance continues and we want to finish as high as possible, but anything can happen in this league.”

Following their low scoring draw last week, Leas dropped a place, however, after six games, the point’s margin is narrow between the top seven teams and therefore Owen Peterson’s side will be hoping for a positive return, to stay in touch with the early season pacemakers.

Skipper Peterson, who returns for the clash, has praised the resilience of his side to remain unbeaten this season.

He said: “The last two games have resulted in low scoring draws, but there’s been some real positives to take from them.

“Everyone is doing their bit and chipping in, which is making us hard to beat.

“However, there’s an awful lot of cricket to be played until the end of the season, so we need to maintain this resilience going forward.

“Vice-captain Scott Oliver also returns for the clash, but unfortunately all-rounder Rob Scorer is unavailable.”

Castle Eden travel to Philadelphia and Phili chairman Malcolm Pratt says: “The selectors have opted to strengthen the batting following a disappointing performance last Saturday, although the side was caught on a difficult batting track.

“It will be a difficult game, it always is against Castle Eden. They have a strong side, but we’re looking to win our first game. The side have played a lot better than recent results suggest.”

Phili make one change with Matthew Noble promoted as a batsman, and Gary Embleton drops down into the second team.

Horden entertain Dawdon with Sheb Akhtar returning, but Lee Jackson is unavailable.

Tudhoe make one change to their team at home to Littletown, Edward Fenwick will return after injury, replacing Stephen Brown.

Finally, Bill Quay host Esh Winning.

Division Two leaders Crook Town host last season’s relegated Hylton.

Ushaw Moor are away at Silksworth, and Secretary George Thompson said: “We are away but we are hoping to get a win.

“We are second in the league and want to carry that on. They’re all difficult games in this league, but we want to stay in the top two.”

Murton are unchanged at home to Boldon CA and Fixture Secretary Alan Welburn said: “We are at home and hopefully it will be a straight forward game, and we’ll be looking to get a win after last week’s performance.”

Ryhope Chairman Ian Lawrence said: “We are looking to bounce back at home to Evenwood, after last weekend’s game and have Matthew Jane back in the team, which is a big boost.”

Langley Park who are fourth bottom, welcome unbeaten Marsden who are fourth top, with both teams eager to pick up points for different reasons, in an intriguing tie at Low Moor Road.