Boldon out to Harbour vital winning spirit

Whitburn batsman Ross Carty in action against Hetton Lyons.
Whitburn batsman Ross Carty in action against Hetton Lyons.

With five games to go before the end of the season, it’s all to play for at the top of the Dukes NEPL first Division, with just one slot for promotion up for grabs.

Realistically, there are four teams who can still make it, but time is running out for Boldon and Willington, in third and fourth places respectively.

They probably need the top two to slip up at some stage in the run-in, and both teams will hope to finish on a winning run to be there, if they do slip up.

Boldon, who must win, are at home to Seaham Harbour, who are not quite safe yet from relegation, so it will be a tough game for the home side.

They are without Calum MacLeod, who is playing for Scotland, and Philip Shakespeare and Gareth Welsh are unavailable, while Harbour are unchanged if Stewart Pattison passes a late fitness test.

Whitburn, unbeaten in their last two outings, have probably done enough to survive the drop from the Dukes NE Premier League again this season and they welcome bottom club Gateshead Fell to the Village Ground.

Fell are desperate for survival points and must make up ground quickly on Benwell Hill, with only five games left.

Whitburn skipper Ross Carty said: “If we win we will be safe, but we are not complacent at all. We have a decent run-in and are looking upwards, not downwards.”

Marsden, in terrific form of late having won their last six league games, are at home to Langley Park in the Readers Durham Cricket League Division Two.

The home side have Conor Elliott back, who replaces Adam Sneller. Skipper Chris Mann said: “We are in good nick at present, but we need to stay focussed, confidence is sky high after the winning run.”

Boldon CA entertain Ryhope, with the visitors needing to win to have any hopes of finishing second with a late winning surge.

The home side have Thomas Jubb, Andrew O’Connell and Ben Reay back to replace James Patterson and Dominic Slater and Adam Slater.