Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUES

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUES

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WEST

SWALW ELL travel to Ashington today in the knowledge that victory will almost certainly ensure retention of the Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League title.

The reigning champions hold a 41-point lead over Shotley Bridge, and even the most ardent Bridge supporter would have to hold the white flag up if the leaders chalked up win number 15 of an unbeaten season.

Swalwell go into the game at full strength with Chris Mee returning after missing last week, while the Colliers welcome back keeper Daniel Grant.

And it could be a double celebration for the top dogs as they entertain second division Morpeth tomorrow in the Wellstream Trophy Final. Skipper Paul Dumighan is not counting any chickens, saying: "Although Morpeth are in the division below ourselves we have to respect their strong batting line-up. With it being a five bowler competition we may have the edge in that department but we need to maintain our high standards if we want to win the trophy."

Benwell and Walbottle face a severe test of their new-found form today when they entertain Shotley Bridge. Benwell are currently 11 points clear of a relegation place and are unchanged, while the visitors have skipper Neil Burdon back to take up the reins again.

Newcastle City will be hoping that Bridge can topple Benwell as that could provide them with a relegation lifeline. City put out an unchanged side for the visit of Ryton . Club spokesman Bob Brar is only too aware of the importance of the match: "We must pick up points to move away from the drop zone, and if we can enjoy a little rub of the green that has gone against us recently that will certainly help," he said.

Elsewhere, Backworth's relegation will be confirmed if they lose at Sacriston, unchanged Annfield Plain seek to ensure a third place finish at home to Tynedale, and Lintz entertain Leadgate . …

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