Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUES

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUES

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WEST

AT the moment it appears that the weather is the only thing that can halt Swalwell in the Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League.

The champions' record reads ten wins and two draws - the draws both being wash-outs. Tynedale, themselves no strangers to league glory after a hat-trick of titles from 2004 to 2006, are the latest to try and topple the top dogs, and they will be sweating on the outcome of a late fitness test on professional Stuart Graham.

Graham struggled with a thigh problem prior to taking some much needed rest and treatment a couple of weeks ago. Despite carrying the injury for some time the talismanic Graham's value to Tynedale is underlined by the fact that, despite his lay-off, he is second in the league bowling averages with 19 victims at just 13.11 each, and eleventh in the batting list with 309 runs at an average of 38.63.

Second-placed Shotley Bridge face a tough trip to Leadgate. The Bridge name an unchanged and full-strength side but will come up against former player David Jackson who returns to the home line-up. Lee Innes is also back for the hosts although Davey Richardson is unavailable.

At the opposite end of the table bottom club Backworth will have their work cut out at Annfield Plain, but the home side do have some major selection headaches with John and David Newstead, Lee Harrison and Graham Stevenson all missing.

Replacements include Adam Phillips and Michael Allan with skipper Andrew Donnelly also returning to lead the side.

Elsewhere, Backworth's colleagues in distress, Benwell and Walbottle, have David Anderson back in the team to entertain Ashington who have delayed selection of their side.

Lintz welcome back Michael Edmunds for the home game with Ryton who also have returning players in the shape of Lewis Barr and Shoaib Akhtar. …

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