NE Premier League: Whitburn await fitness checks ahead of tough task at Chester-le-Street

Sunderland's Dan Shurben has enjoyed a good season, with two league centuries so far in Division One.
Sunderland's Dan Shurben has enjoyed a good season, with two league centuries so far in Division One.
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Second-placed Whitburn travel to fourth-top Chester-le-Street in what should be Saturday’s Premier Division match of the day.

Whitburn captain Paul Shields said: “A few of our players still require a fitness test, so we are unsure of our team yet, but we go into the game at Chester-le-Street full of confidence.

“We are currently second in the league and they are fourth. It should be a really good game. We know it’s a tough ground to play at, but we are looking forward to it.”

Chester skipper John Coxon said: “We recovered well in last week’s game against the Durham Academy and that was pleasing, as we under pressure.

“Quentin Hughes showed his class, with both bat and ball, to help us get a positive result.”

Coxon added: “We welcome back Andrew Smith this week and he is very keen to put in a big performance.

“Whitburn have a very strong side, so I’m sure both teams will be going hard for the win. It should be a good one to watch.”

Durham Academy journey to Felling and director of cricket, John Windows said: “Matthew Oswell returns to the team this week, alongside Will Angus.

“Angus Guy, a wicketkeeper from Scotland, makes his debut this weekend and we know it will be a tough game against Felling, who are a good side.”

Hetton Lyons welcome Stockton to Lilywhite Terrace and captain Jarvis Clay said: “Chris Martin (holiday), Jonny Malkin (finger) and Ben Whitehead (back) all miss out and Carl Watson faces a late fitness test.

“Vaibhav Tiwari is likely to keep his place and club legend Shaun Birbeck is likely to play. We’re looking for a fourth, straight win, but it won’t be easy against a Stockton side who find themselves in a relegation battle.”

Sacriston are at home to bottom club Eppleton andsecretary Ian Bestford said: “We expect to be back at full strength for our most significant game of the season to date, as we host fellow strugglers Eppleton.

“Reece Carr, Daniel Anderson and Jack Keall return from holiday, to replace Phil Peel, Dominic Scott and Peter Scaife.

“We hope that Jonny Bushnell and captain Graeme Wrightson recover from side and calf injuries in time, with Ian Jones and Matthew Brown making way.”

Benwell Hill travel to South North and captain Kyle Coetzer said: “We have three changes this weekend.

“Joe Anderson, Ben Mussett and Anthony Hunter all come in to replace Phillip Nicholson, Joe Kilpatrick and Aqeel Tassawar.”

Newcastle go to Tynemouth and captain Jacques du Toit said: “We are hoping to have an unchanged team, after our win against Sacriston. However, we are still waiting on Ryan Davies’s availability from Durham.”

Tynemouth captain Ben Debnam makes just one change, with the injured Finn Lonnberg replaced by Andrew Smith.