Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Two Wins Is Target

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Two Wins Is Target

Article excerpt

Byline: Local Cricket Preview

Stockton head into the double weekend looking for two wins which will catapult them back into the top half of the table.

They are not used to being down towards the bottom end of the Foster's North East Premier League.

Having finished third last season, they won their opening game of the current campaign, and looked all set to continue their successful run.

But they haven't won since beating Philadelphia, and have since suffered the blow of losing veteran all-rounder Alan Walker.

The calf he pulled in a surprise call-up for Durham has cleared up, but the shoulder he hurt in the same fall, is causing him problems.

"He has no strength in it, and could be out for at least another couple of weeks," said coach Peter Worrall.

"He's had scan on the shoulder, and there's no chance of him playing in either game this weekend.

"Even when we get him back, it may be as a batsman only for a while.

"But he will play again as soon as he feels able. It's doing his head in not being able to play.

"It's that enthusiasm as much as his ability that we are missing. He is a huge presence on the field for us, particularly as we have a few youngsters in the side."

Stockton have also missed a couple more influential players.

Andrew Bowman has been otherwise occupied with university studies, while Peter Howells has been playing for Durham University.

But wicketkeeper Howells will be back this weekend, while Bowman will be available again soon.

As both this weekend's opponents - Tynemouth at home tomorrow, and Norton at Station Road on Monday - are below Stockton in the table, a couple of wins is the target.

One thing Stockton can rely on is runs for Richard Waite, who has amassed more than 300 already, a tremendous effort before the end of May.

"He's done brilliantly," said Peter. "But it's a bit disappointing from a team point of view that nobody has offered him enough support in the middle. …

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