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NE Premier League: Table-topping Hetton Lyons wary of unbeaten Whitburn in match of the day

Boldon bowler Nick Sampson-Barnes attacks against Washington on the way to a three-wicket haul last week. Picture by Tim Richardson.
Boldon bowler Nick Sampson-Barnes attacks against Washington on the way to a three-wicket haul last week. Picture by Tim Richardson.
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The Premier Division’s game of the day sees leaders Hetton Lyons hosting unbeaten, fourth-placed Whitburn on Saturday.

Lyons moved top thanks to last week’s crushing victory over the Durham Academy and skipper Jarvis Clay is looking for a fourth win of the season.

Clay said: “The team is likely to be unchanged after a good start to the season, with just one blemish.

“It should be stressed that it’s one game at a time, particularly for this week’s fixture when Whitburn are the visitors.

“They, too, have also had a good start, so the Lyons must be on their guard and seek to reproduce the form shown so far in the first four fixtures.”

Whitburn have two players returning to the side for their visit to Lilywhite Terrace.

Ross Carty is back to keep wicket and Paul Shields, the skipper, also returns, replacing Craig Henderson and Ben Markham.

Shields said: “We are looking forward to the game and it is seen as an early table -topping clash, with both teams are in excellent form. If that is repeated, the expected vast crowd will be in for a treat!”

Eppleton face a potentially pivotal clash with Durham Academy in a battle of the winless bottom two.

John Smithson, Eppleton’s director of cricket, said: “It is another tough game, though the Academy are in very similar circumstances to ourselves and it’s only a matter of time before they click and get back on track. Much the same as Eppleton in fact!”

Luke Henderson, in good form, is back to boost Eppleton after returning from Leeds University exams week.

Chester-le-Street, in third, have an intriguing derby at newly-promoted Sacriston and hope to have Stephen Cantwell returning from his University commitments to see them at full strength.

Skipper John Coxon said: “We are excited to be visiting Sacriston for the first time in the Premier League and will be hoping to continue our good form.

“They have have made a good start, so we certainly won’t be underestimating the challenge ahead.

“Everyone has made some good contributions so far this season, but I will be looking for the lads to build on their starts – match-winning performances are the targets now.”

Sacriston hope that all-rounder Matthew Potts will be made available by Durham, having impressed last weekend.

Nathan Hall was injured during last week’s win at Stockton, but should recover to retain his place in the team.

Official Iain Bestford said: “They have the same record as us at present, but they have accumulated a few more points, so sit just above us in the table.”

Unchanged Felling, boosted by their first win last weekend, welcome Tynemouth to High Heworth Lane.

Official Simon Wood said: “Tynemouth are currently a bit ahead of us, but we are at home, are full of confidence and ready to produce the goods again.”

Newcastle journey to champions South North and hope to have two new signings on board for the game.

Chairman Phil Hudson said: “One definitely playing is Max Shenton, an opening bowler who has been plying his trade in the Nottingham Premier League.

Hudson added: “Ben McGee and Rob Thompson both return from work commitments and there is one more potential newcomer, but that is under wraps at present.

“James Carr, Dan Humble and Andrew Heron all make way and return to the seconds after sterling work holding the fort in the first team.”

Stockton face Benwell Hill at their Grangefield ground, with both teams sitting in mid-table.

* The first XI T20 competition starts tonight. Hetton Lyons visit Sunderland, while Whitburn are away to Benwell Hill and Eppleton go to Tynemouth.