SUNDERLAND look to have selection issues for Saturday’s home clash with lowly Gateshead Fell in the Dukes North East Premier League Premier Division.
The Ashbrooke men have to reckon without Simon Brown, who has a prior engagement at the altar on Saturday.
With Arsalan Rahim still away, and Chris Rushworth likely to be on Durham duty, the Ashbrooke squad will be somewhat stretched despite the return of Craig Burdon.
That said, Fell are on a desperate run of form that sees them rooted to the foot of the table. With Rammy Singh missing because of a broken finger, Sunderland should have enough about them to return to the winning trail.
Rejuvenated South Shields looking to continue their climb away from the danger zone when they entertain Hetton Lyons, but having to do so without their two main stars.
The game comes just a week after the two sides featured in a magnificent T20 tie at Wood Terrace, the highlight being another Tom Latham century.
The New Zealand international crashed 15 fours and four sixes in a breathtaking knock of 112, the next top scorer on the Shields side making just 14.
The Kiwi already has 412 runs in five games for Shields, but he misses out on Saturday as he is on duty with the New Zealand T20 squad. With Gordon Muchall also missing because of his Durham commitments, both Chris Dorothy and Gareth Dunn make timely returns.
Lyons have their own overseas star, with Pakistani Lal Kumar high up in the batting rankings and also taking wickets, although he will not have Durham’s Ryan Pringle as his sidekick for this one, and there remains a slight doubt about Gary Scott as he struggles to shake off his hamstring problems.
It’s third versus second at Denton Bank where Chester-le-Street tackle in-form hosts Benwell Hill who, since losing on the opening day of the season, have been on a hot streak.
Andrew Bell makes his long overdue return from injury for Chester, but they have to make do without the league’s leading wicket taker, David Foster. The off-spinner, who has 24 wickets already, is unavailable for this one.
Elsewhere, Durham Academy visit Blaydon, South North go to Tynemouth and Stockton entertain Newcastle.