NE Premier League: Whitburn’s four newcomers face testing home debut against powerful Chester-le-Street

Hetton Lyons. Back, from left: Chris Martin, Jack Burnham, Jonny Malkin, Ben Whitehead, Victor Spencer, Stuart Walker Front: Carl Watson, Robert Talbot, Jarvis Clay (captain) Chris Ralston, Cameron Grimwood, Connor Grimes (scorer). Picture by Kevin Brady
Hetton Lyons. Back, from left: Chris Martin, Jack Burnham, Jonny Malkin, Ben Whitehead, Victor Spencer, Stuart Walker Front: Carl Watson, Robert Talbot, Jarvis Clay (captain) Chris Ralston, Cameron Grimwood, Connor Grimes (scorer). Picture by Kevin Brady
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Whitburn are ready for a testing first home match of the Premier Division season against powerful Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

The Villagers held firm to grind out a draw at Tynemouth on opening day, when their opening bowlers, Kieran Waterson (5-55) and Craig Smith (4-25) impressed.

Whitburn will look to the pair to cause problems for Chester.

Secretary Dan Quinan said: “We are looking forward to the game and it’s our first at home, against very tough opposition.

“Matthew Muchall has signed for the club, alongside Chris McBride from Durham.

“Phillip Bell has moved into the area and joined the club and the overseas amateur is Jackson Edmondstone from Australia.”

The Cestrians secured an excellent 26-point win against the Durham Academy youngsters last weekend.

Captain John Coxon said: “Everyone chipped in and contributed to the win.

“I was really impressed with Kyle Davis and George Harrison, with their opening stand, continuing where they left off last season. Debutants Jake McCann and Liam Burgess also showed they will be a real asset to us this season.”

Coxon added: “We are looking forward to the game at Whitburn.

“I will be expecting the lads to carry last week’s form into the game, plus we have Liam Simpson back from holiday.

“Whitburn are always a competitive team, particularly at home, but we will be going into the game full of confidence, looking to put in another good display.”

Eppleton will look for a better weekend at home to newly-promoted Sacriston, having been outgunned by neighbours Hetton Lyons last Saturday.

Sacriston official Iain Bestford said: “We have a full-strength team available for the third attempt to start the season, after the extreme weather experienced during the spring.

“The club is waiting to see if either of their county players are able to play. We are all looking forward to the start of the season, weather permitting of course.”

Hetton Lyons, encouraged by their derby triumph against Eppleton, travel to Stockton.

Lilywhite Terrace kipper Jarvis Clay said: “On the back of an initial win, the side hoped to retain the same starting 11, but Victor Spencer is unavailable.

“All-rounder Chris Winn replaces him after his return from Australia, working in the main, but also finding time to play club cricket. It’s his first match.”

The Durham Academy welcome Felling to the Riverside and will be keen to get a win on the board, following last week’s defeat away at Chester-le-Street.

Felling will be raring to go, as their game at home to Benwell Hill last Saturday, was lost to the weather.

Benwell Hill begin their season at home to champions South Northumberland, who got off to a winning start by beating Stockton.

Newcastle did not play last week, with their game called off, so they make a belated start at home to Tynemouth, who had a winning draw against Whitburn on opening day.