Lowly South Shields facing up to must-win games

Whitburn batsman Ben Markham in action against Stockton in a recent North East Premier League match played at Whitburn Village.
Whitburn batsman Ben Markham in action against Stockton in a recent North East Premier League match played at Whitburn Village.

South Shields find themselves deep in trouble at the foot of the Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division table, and they welcome Eppleton to town this weekend.

However, the visitors are ready to turn the screw on the home team with Eppleton’s John Smithson wanting to continue their recent run of good form.

Smithson said: “The current team will have the task of maintaining the positive results of late and to keep the side in the top six.

“An example of that was Luke Henderson’s splendid knock of 146 last week. The rest of the side have not stood and watched, but chipped in across the board to keep things ticking over!”

Whitburn host Newcastle and skipper Dan Shurben said: “We have two changes this week, Paul Shields and Ian Elliot return and the two to give way are Craig Henderson and Luke Smith, who drop back into the seconds after some sterling work in the first team.

“Though the relegation pressure has eased, the side needs to keep focussed and gain some points from the remaining fixtures, to ensure their status next season.”

First Division leaders Sacriston travel to Boldon and director of cricket Iain Bestford said: “We have a couple of changes, with Chris Rushforth returning to Durham duties and his replacement is Will Gidman.

“Johnny Bushnell is back too and just in time, as Melvyn Betts is on holiday.

“A slight hiccup last week should ensure the side, do better in the last two fixtures in our aim to remain top of the league and be champions.”

In the Readers Durham Cricket League Division Two, Silksworth need points to avoid the ‘wooden spoon’ and they welcome promoted and likely champions, Marsden.

Marsden’s James Sneller said: “Should be another easy 30 points if the weather holds off. The team is pretty much unchanged, however Paul Cook is unavailable.”

Boldon CA who hold a five point advantage over Silksworth, entertain Peterlee and visiting secretary Roy Simpson said: “Boldon CA are a welcoming club and we look forward to travelling to play them.

“They are having a terrible season, but try very hard to play the game as it’s meant to be played, so it should be a good game.”

Crook Town are also promoted and are 23 points behind Marsden. They should be unchanged, when entertaining Langley Park.