South Shields face a huge ask if they are to get their season back on track as they travel to North East Premier league Premier Division leaders South Northumberland tomorrow.
Shields have come unstuck in recent weeks, with their batting the main cause for concern.
In the absence of Gordon Muchall – who will again miss out due to his Durham commitments – Shields initially responded well.
But recently, their top order has failed to deliver and against a South North attack which contains former Shields ace Jonny Wightman and the experienced Stephen Humble, they must bat a lot more carefully if they hope to get anything out of the game.
Australian opener Tim david is in a difficult run of form, but he’s not the only one as the batsman must step up and give their bowlers something to work with.
Ollie Stedman should be available, meaning Shields will be unchanged.
South North had Durham star Phil Mustard in their ranks last week as they beat Whitburn, but he steps down tomorrow as Marcus North is free from his Sky Sports duties and therefore replaces him in the Bulls’ starting line-up.
The second team, meanwhile, should return to winning ways when they host rock-bottom South Hetton at Wood Terrace (1pm).
Anth Marshall should have Uzi Afaq and Alan Stephenson available again after they missed last week’s tight defeat against Boldon.
Meanwhile, the Under-15s get the weekend’s action under way tonight when they travel to Tudhoe for a County Cup semi-final.
Should they be victorious, they will play the final on Sunday morning at Wood Terrace.
Elsewhere in the NEPL, Whitburn – who found South North too difficult to handle last week and slumped to their sixth defeat of the season – are off to Jesmond this Saturday to tackle in-form Newcastle.
With Mike Turns unavailable the return of Neil Ayre solves the one selection dilemma for Whitburn.
In the First Division, Boldon host Seaham Harbour. The home team have Bangladeshi international Mosharraf Hossain back for this one. and he will be joined by Phil Shakespeare and Ian Male in the starting line-up. With Stu Poynter still on Ireland duty, 15–year-old Oliver Sampson-Barnes will open the batting in place of suspended brother Nick.