Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Leagues Preview

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Leagues Preview

Article excerpt

Two sides have so far totally dominated the opening weeks of the Foster's Durham Senior League season and at some point they had to meet.

This mouthwatering meeting takes place today at Whitburn where the home side are just seven points behind Burnmoor despite the visitors' staggeringly successful points return so far.

Whitburn will certainly miss Neil Johnson who has been in fine form with the ball, although they have 16-year-old Michael Turns deputising, while the visitors also have one player out in the shape of Alex Lindsley ( Alex Ludlow steps in. Both sides face tough Monday games as well, Whitburn playing at third-placed Boldon and Burnmoor at home to fourth-placed Philadelphia. Boldon are so far adrift of the top two in points terms they know that they need to get something from their two games, but their first match at Hetton Lyons will also be a tough assignment. Philly face Felling in the first of their matches with a settled side selected, although keeper Phil Empson misses Monday's match and is replaced by Ross Galley.

Marsden will hope to pounce on any slip-ups above them when they take on Eppleton and Seaham Harbour, two sides below them at the moment, while Hetton Lyons will be looking for the game with Boldon, and Monday's trip to Durham City, to get them back on the rails after last week's heavy defeat ( they have the comfort of turning out a full-strength side with Steve Errington available again.

Durham City need points for a different reason ( they currently sit only one point off bottom place, and with a match at Horden today and the Lyons visiting on Monday they need to start performing.

Bottom-of-the-table Seaham Harbour play at South Hetton today, then entertain Marsden and are not helped by having three players out ( David Thompson Simon Brown and David Leslie. They bring in Adam Young, Ryan James and Michael Riche. Horden welcome back Adrian Hedley for the City and Eppleton games, while Felling and South Hetton meet on Monday to round the weekend double programme off.

The Reader's Durham County League also has a double programme over the holiday weekend, although leaders Esh Winning sit the second day out as they lose their game in hand over nearest challengers Kimblesworth.

Today's games, therefore, take on elevated importance with an unchanged Esh at home to mid-table Evenwood and Kimblesworth facing the tough prospect of entertaining an improving Shildon Railway. Shildon complete their Bank Holiday programme with a game against Ushaw Moor who themselves could be up with the challengers if they beat bottom club Mainsforth today and then win the match they have in reserve.

Tudhoe will be anxious to return to their earlier form after the manner of last week's loss, but they won't find it easy at Willington whose early-order batsmen were in outstanding form last week. …

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