Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Durham Leagues

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Durham Leagues

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WEST

WITH many eyes on Lord's today it would be easy for attention to be diverted from the engrossing battle going on at the top of the Fosters Durham Senior League, but the two season-long contenders will be fully focused on their own task of taking another vital step towards the title.

The championship is now Burnmoor's to lose, but the change in rule that came in this year whereby teams can get 30 points for a win if they bat first adds an intriguing twist to the final battles of the season, and it certainly means the 24-point lead that the top club holds does not make them immune from being overhauled.

And while full-strength Burnmoor have home advantage today when they entertain South Hetton, their visitors have suddenly had their spirits lifted again by both reaching the Saunders Cup final and the return of players who have been missing in the last few weeks. With Ash Patel, Gary Burlinson, Paul Davison and Dave Conway back in the side Hetton will be confident of giving the leaders a real game. Whitburn go to Bunker Hill where Philadelphia are unchanged, which means that Gerry De Bruin has still not recovered from his shoulder injury and Andrew Robinson remains a key absentee.

Outside of the top two the main interest centres around Seaham Harbour's battle to get out of bottom spot. With a series of fighting performances they have gradually clawed back ground on the team just above them and they are now only 14 points behind Felling. The wooden spoon is between these two and Harbour must have a chance of making home advantage count when they take on Horden.

Felling will also feel they are in with a chance of boosting their points tally in their home game with a Marsden side who have only won two matches themselves this season. Dave Stewart returns for the visitors but Brett Horgan is unavailable, while Felling welcome back Chris Pleasants who is so vital to their attack.

Having successfully distanced themselves from teams at the bottom of the league Durham City are looking to push on and do have an outside chance of ending the season in the top half of the table. …

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