Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Cricket League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Cricket League

Article excerpt


MARSDEN have a great opportunity to consolidate their place among the top four as they prepare to tackle Coast League champions Murton.

Their hosts haven't found any easy pickings in the Durham Cricket League and are currently well off the pace in 12th place, and their resources are stretched today with Paul Smailes, Keith Chapman, the Vout brothers and Phil Grimwood all missing for a variety of reasons.

Murton hope to have Graeme Robson and Richard Lowes back in harness to help fill some of the vacancies, but will otherwise have to dip deep into the second-team pool. Conversely, Marsden have the luxury of a settled team which probably has much to do with their splendid form, and they make just one change with Gary Malcolm out but Lee Bays making a timely return.

Whiteleas have been the surprise package of the season to date, the former NE Durham League minnows punching well above their expected weight in the first six weeks, but they are set for a real examination today when they welcome current league leaders Esh Winning to the Welfare ground.

Leas recruited well during the winter months, and their bowling attack in particular has been the key to a record of four wins and a top-10 placing. However, they faltered against Ushaw Moor last week when their batting let them down so Scott Baxter's return from a broken ankle couldn't have come at a better time, the batsman set to make his seasonal debut. There is also a first senior outing for Andrew Bell as he replaces Iain Jones.

It's a day for fresh faces, some new and some returning after absences from the game. Second-placed Burnmoor pitch new signing Karl Bellerby straight into action in their game at Peterlee, the all-rounder just signed from Boldon CA and providing an immediate replacement for Matthew Sampson-Barnes, who went the other way through the revolving transfer door when he joined his former team Boldon. …

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