Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: COUNTY DURHAM LEAGUES PREVIEW

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: COUNTY DURHAM LEAGUES PREVIEW

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WEST

THE last day of the 2008 season arrives in the Warmseal Durham Senior League with plenty of issues still to be decided at both ends of the table.

However, Burnmoor look virtually certain to retain their championship and if that is the case there will be no demotion from the NEPL as only a Hetton Lyons title win would trigger the new North East pyramid system into action.

One glimmer of hope for Hetton Lyons is they appear to have the easier task on paper today, enjoying home advantage against a struggling Seaham Harbour. Lyons will turn out the same team as last week, which means Gary Adey misses the end of the campaign because of his broken fingers, and Gary Dawson continues to deputise.

A full-strength Burnmoor side search for the six points that would guarantee a second successive title in their home match against an improved Felling outfit, who are also unchanged.

At the other end of the table the threat of relegation has also been removed following Castle Eden's failure to win the Coast League title. But no club wants the stigma of finishing bottom and with Harbour no doubt simply content to avoid a mauling by the Lyons the opportunity will be there for Durham or South Hetton to end the season with a smile on their faces.

Currently bottom, South Hetton have a home game against Philadelphia.

Durham City, six points clear of Hetton, go into their final home match against an unchanged Marsden .

The fear of the leading teams in the Readers Durham County League is that the weather will have the last laugh in a season during which it has been the dominant player. With two games to go just three points separate the top three teams and without exception they all want to play for the title rather than have it decided in the clubhouse.

The mood was reflected by Kimbleswo rth secretary Malcolm Bartle who said: "Everyone's in the same boat - or at least they probably will be if the weather forecast is anything to go by. …

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