NE Premier League: Eppleton out to pile the pressure on struggling South Shields

Hetton Lyons bowler Josh Coughlin has Durham Academy batsman Liam Trevaskis caught by wicketkeeper Jarvis Clay last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady
Hetton Lyons bowler Josh Coughlin has Durham Academy batsman Liam Trevaskis caught by wicketkeeper Jarvis Clay last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Eppleton travel to South Shields on Saturday, lookng to add more misery on their opponents, who are in deep trouble and facing relegation at the foot of the Premier Division.

John Smithson, Eppleton’s director of cricket, said: “The team will have the task of maintaining the positive results of late and to keep the side in the top six.

“An example of that was Luke Henderson’s splendid knock of 146 last week.

“The rest of the side have not stood and watched, but chipped in across the board to keep things ticking over!”

Durham Cricket Academy face champions elect South Northumberland, who need just 20 points from their last two games to secure the title they last claimed in 2015.

The Academy have had an excellent season and blooded some promising youngsters, who have all done well in the circumstances, so the game could be a cracker.

Chester-le-Street travel down to Teesside to play Stockton.

Ropery Lane skipper John Coxon said: “Alex Fothergill is away this weekend, so Kyle Davis will keep wicket in his place.

“Tynemouth batted superbly against us last week to beat us and deserved their win. We will be hoping to bounce back with a good performance at Stockton.”

Hetton Lyons are away to Tynemouth, with the sides level on points in mid-table.

The Lyons have been difficult to beat this season, losing only six of their 20 games so far, whereas Tynemouth have lost nine but won a game more than the visitors.

Whitburn host Newcastle and skipper Dan Shurben said: “We have two changes this week. Paul Shields and Ian Elliot return and the two to give way are Craig Henderson and Luke Smith, who drop back in to the seconds, after some sterling work in the first team.

“Though the relegation pressure has eased, the side needs to keep focused and gain some points from the remaining fixtures to ensure their status next season.”

Elsewhere, Benwell Hill host Felling, with Rory Hanley and Anthony Hunter back to boost captain Kyle Coetzer, with Peter Jones heading back to the seconds.

First Division leaders Sacriston, looking to seal promotion, travel to fourth-placed Boldon without Chris Rushworth, though Will Gidman is back from his stint at Kent.

Johnny Bushnell also returns, while Melvyn Betts is on holiday.

Burnopfield, in third, could still win the title, but it is unlikely. They entertain second-placed Burnmoor, who are 18 points behind the leaders.

Burnopfield skipper Gareth Breese returns at the expense of Jack Self and said: “Burnmoor are a good side, as their league position shows, so it is imperative that all hands are on deck and everyone makes a contribution to the team, in their attempt to overhaul the opposition immediately above them.”

Fifth-top Brandon have fallen away towards the end of the season and they journey to lowly Seaham Harbour, who still need points to guarantee survival.

Brandon skipper Chris Peareth commented: “Nathan Adamson and Oscar Dewhurst return to the squad, after differing reasons for their unavailability.

“Hopefully our Durham player, Ryan Pringle, will be available, but that will be decided nearer matchday.

“There is still work to be done and should all play to their true abilities for the last two fixtures, they should be victories.”

Willington host Gateshead Fell, with Max Bailey and Peter Leggett returning, while Sunderland visit Blaydon, with Quinton Boatswain looking to build on his seven-wicket haul last week.

Washington will be unchanged when they travel to bottom club Mainsforth.

Skipper Ash Thorpe said: “The side will be looking to improve its consistency in the last two fixtures.

“This has cost them dear throughout the season, which should have seen the side in the top half.

“This can still be achieved with two final victories and other results favouring us.”

Mainsforth are 27 points adrift at the bottom and must win one of their remaining games to have a chance of staying up.