Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northumberland Leagues

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northumberland Leagues

Article excerpt

TWO dramatic results in last week's NTSL programme have set up a nervetingling end to a season which seemed to be meandering to a fairly mundane closure. Sacriston's shock defeat of leaders Swalwell threw the championship door wide open again with Shotley Bridge now right back in the picture - a waferthin four points behind the reigning champions.

Of equal importance was Lintz's successful run chase against Percy Main which set up an intense run-in for the three teams fighting to avoid the two relegation places at the foot of the table.

Both title contenders face tricky away trips this afternoon as they take on sides with almost identical playing records in the current season.

Swalwell seek to get back in the groove in the soothing surroundings of Longhirst Hall, where they come up against a team who have blown hot and cold this season.

Morpeth have won two more than they have lost and are safely ensconced in lower mid-table.

However, with just 14 points separating six sides in the group, they are in they have a clear chance to finish third if they can win their final games.

Unsurprisingly Swalwell keep faith with the same team as they try to recover their composure.

Shotley's game is at Percy Main, another team locked in the same midtable group as Morpeth.

Main have a doubt over wicketkeeper John Lindley, who faces a late fitness test on a knee injury, while Steve Peart returns in place of Barry Curtis.

Bridge have everyone available, so put out an unchanged side as they look to turn the heat up on Swalwell.

There is no doubting the game of the day - despite the ding-dong going on at the top.

Ashington and Leadgate will be playing for their top-flight future when they meet at Langwell Crescent this afternoon. The Colliers have Graham Whitworth and Ross Sample back in the reckoning for this crucial match, while Leadgate stick with an unchanged line-up.

Lintz almost certainly need to win today's match at Sacriston if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop, given they have to face the leading pair in their last two games of the season. …

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