NE Premier League: Now is the time for Washington to start winning, says Thorpe

Sunderland batsman Greg Applegarth will hope to shine against Mainsforth this weekend
Sunderland batsman Greg Applegarth will hope to shine against Mainsforth this weekend
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As the halfway point of the season approaches, the fixtures again throw up some mouth-watering clashes this weekend.

Although the whole First Division programme was decimated by the weather last weekend, the forecast looks brighter for this weekend.

At the foot of the table, Washington entertain second-bottom Tudhoe in their ‘six-pointer’ clash.

They welcome back Gavin Main after recovering from his back injury and club spokesman Ash Thorpe believes it’s time to start winning a few games.

“We have recently started to play some really good cricket, but just not getting the results or rewards for our efforts,” Thorpe commented.

“The new groundsman is in place and doing a great job in helping improve things in general around the club and we can’t wait for the game against Tudhoe.”

Just above them both is Seaham Harbour, who travel to Brandon and are looking to push themselves away from the danger zone.

Ian Pattison from the club stated: “We could do with a win or two and have a full squad to pick from.”

Craig Stephenson returns after missing out last week.

Sunderland, who are fourth-bottom, travel to Mainsforth, who have Jonny Barnes back fit again, after his hamstring problems.

Third-placed Willington, who gained eleven points from their abandoned game at Burnmoor last week, entertain leaders Felling, who only managed seven points at second placed Sacriston.

Anand Singh, who has over 750 runs for Willington this season, is in terrific form and blasted a quite brilliant 147 not out last week.

Backed up by Jack Howell, with 468 runs this season, and William Phillips, 426 runs plus 25 wickets to his name, the team is certainly shaping up well on the form front.

So, Felling will have a stiff test ahead and will need their own batsmen to perform and with opener Gary Scott leading the run statistics with 506 runs and Mark Turner with 479 runs so far this season, they certainly have the armoury to do just that, as the league position suggests.

While those two teams battle it out at Manor Road, Sacriston will be looking to gain some ground on them both when they entertain Boldon at Front Street.

Still smarting from last week’s abandonment against Felling, Sacriston’s captain Ian Jones was in defiant mood.

Jones said: “We were in complete control of the match and looking likely to win against the leaders.

“We were 79-1 chasing their total of 146 with plenty of overs left and were really disappointed when the weather came along.”

Sacriston will be at full strength and are awaiting news on Will Gidman, who will come straight in if available.

Jones added “We have a few of our (Sacriston) lads back at the club who have come through our junior set up and have tested themselves elsewhere, but they are back in the fold now and they have helped enormously with our performances this season.

We aim to continue this form and maintain our current position throughout the season, starting with Boldon this weekend.”