Whitburn must be on form to get over Benwell Hill

Whitburn bowler Kieran Waterson in action against Durham Academy, at Whitburn Village.
Whitburn bowler Kieran Waterson in action against Durham Academy, at Whitburn Village.

Whitburn will be looking to continue their promotion push again this weekend when they face Benwell Hill.

Whitburn, second in the Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division, find themselves just seven points behind league leaders South North.

Skipper Paul Shields said ahead of the encounter: “We are unchanged against Benwell Hill, as a good win last time out has made the selection committee’s job quite easy this time round.

“It will be a tougher game this week, so the whole team needs to be on their toes and produce their best form.

“We also have our eyes on a little bit of revenge after a 20/20 reverse against Benwell earlier in the season.

“All is going well with our league form and it’s certainly better than our cup form at the moment!”

Benwell official Fenwick Marley said: “Kyle Coetzer returns after his long commitments with Scotland!

“However, Adam Heather will be missing and it will probably be Ben Mussett who replaces Adam after fine form with the bat has seen him bag 600 runs in the Seconds so far this season, so he is in pole position for a promotion.

“Another replacement is needed for Gavin Main, who is required by Durham.

“A fierce contest is expected at Whitburn, so it may well be a no holds barred match up as the points on offer are vital to both teams.”

In the First Division, Boldon entertain Sunderland boosted by the return of two key players.

Boldon skipper Chris Ellison said: “Ian Pattison returns after a longish spell out, as does Barry McCarthy, who is returning from Durham duties and Mick Barnes keeps his place.

“We look forward to the Sunderland fixture and the chance to reduce the current points deficit!”

Greg Applegarth, the Ashbrooke skipper, said: “Boldon are just behind us in the league, so top form is required to maintain the 30-point gap now present.”

South Shields are just one point above the relegation zone and welcome Blaydon.

Visiting skipper Geoff Stewart said: We have five first teamers missing from last week’s defeat, who make their return, so the second teamers who gave valiant performances, revert back.

“The game should be close as the teams currently find themselves in ninth and eleventh, respectively, in the table, and one good win would see them change places.”

Marsden make the trip to fourth placed Tudhoe in the Readers Durham Cricket League Division One.

Tudhoe chairman Stephen Thexton said: “Marsden are only two places below us in the league, so it should be a good competitive game.”

In Division Two, Boldon CA travel to Hylton with chairman David Thompson stating: “We were very pleased with the win against Littletown last weekend, as they have been doing well this season.

“We are looking to consolidate our position in the league at present.”