NE Premier League: South African ace ace Erasmus signs up to bolster Eppleton

Whitburn captain Dan Shurben
Whitburn captain Dan Shurben
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Eppleton open their top-flight campaign at Newcastle on Saturday.

Secretary John Smithson said: “We will be competitive after our first season in the Premiership last season.

“We have added South African Jandre Erasmus as our professional. He is a quick bowler and hard-hitting batsman, who will make a big difference for us.”

Hetton Lyons entertain South Shields at Lilywhite Terrace and have Josh Coughlin as their Durham player, alongside opening batsman Matthew Whaley, who has joined the club, with professional Dominic Thompson arriving next week.

Chairman Paul Walker said: “We have a young team and will be looking to consolidate our season. We are really looking forward to the challenge again.”

Champions Chester-le-Street open their campaign at home to Whitburn.

Captain John Coxon is looking forward to the season.

He said: “We are raring to go and have kept the majority of the squad together, but added Kyle Davis from Eppleton, who will open the batting and also Mark Hickey from Durham.

“Andy Fothergill will keep wicket for the early part of the season.”

Whitburn captain Dan Shurben said: “We are looking to be positive and improve on last year. We have signed Gary Burlinson from Eppleton and James Thompson from Chester-le-Street.”

Newcastle have added Australian Joshua Phillipe, Cameron Steel and Alistair Appleby from Durham, and Sam Roseby from Gateshead Fell.

South Northumberland take on Stockton at Roseworth Terrace, with Adam Cragg coming in as skipper and Calum MacLeod signing up.

Felling host the Durham Cricket Academy at High Heworth Lane, in their first ever season in the Premier Division.

Barry Norman stated: “We have kept the nucleus of the squad together and added Craig Stephenson from Seaham Harbour and Freddie Simon from Durham and are working on an overseas professional at the present time.”

Benwell Hill entertain Tynemouth at Denton Bank and have signed Craig Wallace and Gavin Main.

Wallace is an explosive opening bat who has represented Scotland in seven ODIs and joins from Forfarshire CC and will provide impetus at the top of the order. Main, 21, will bring a much-needed cutting edge to the bowling attack and has represented Scotland in T20 internationals and also made his first-class debut for Durham in 2014.

Tynemouth chairman Graham Hallam said: “The team is well prepared, having netted well in recent months and have added all-rounder Sam Dinning, who was released by Durham.”

Captain Ben Debnam added: “The side is maturing and our young players have all played around four to five seasons together and perhaps last year didn’t reflect how well we played.”