Whitburn’s confidence high ahead of crucial Chester-le-Street clash

Whitburn Cricket Club 2018: Back, left to right, Craig Smith, Mark Elliot, Brydon Carse, Phillip Bell, Matthew Muchall and Craig Stewart. Front, left to right, Kieran Waterson, Lee Henderson, Paul Shields, Jackson Edmonstone and Chris McBride.
Whitburn Cricket Club 2018: Back, left to right, Craig Smith, Mark Elliot, Brydon Carse, Phillip Bell, Matthew Muchall and Craig Stewart. Front, left to right, Kieran Waterson, Lee Henderson, Paul Shields, Jackson Edmonstone and Chris McBride.

Whitburn travel to Chester-le-Street full of confidence, sitting in second place of the Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division.

Whitburn captain Paul Shields said ahead of the encounter: “A few of our players still require a fitness test, so we are unsure of our team yet, but we go into the game at Chester-le-Street in a confident mood.

“We are currently second in the league and they are fourth.

“It should be a really good game, we know it’s a tough ground to play at, but we are looking forward to it.”

Chester-le-Street skipper John Coxon said: “We welcome back Andrew Smith this week and he is very keen to put in a big performance!

“Whitburn have a very strong side, so I’m sure both teams will be going hard for the win. It should be a good one to watch!”

In the First Division, struggling Boldon welcome Castle Eden, who are fourth, and captain Chris Ellison said: “Our team will most likely be the same as last weekend, with no expected changes.

“We’re struggling at the minute and desperately need to pick up some points.

“We normally play a bit better at home, so that could be an advantage.

“We just want to give it a go and hopefully get something from the game.”

South Shields entertain Washington with both teams looking for a crucial win to push themselves away from the dreaded relegation zone.

The visitors should be fresh after a weekend off, while Shields have won two of their last four outings, including an impressive four-wicket win at Willington last Saturday.

Seaham Park, who are fifth in the Readers Durham Cricket League Division One, welcome Marsden, who themselves sit in sixth place.

Marsden Chairman Paul Snaith, who himself faces a late fitness test on an injured hamstring, said: “Paul Hobson is pushing for a recall, having recovered from a broken finger.

“Conor Elliott comes into contention following a string of impressive displays for the second team, while Patrick Jackson will be missing.”

Seaham vice-captain Michael McNicholas said: “Tomorrow, we will be missing bowlers Anthony Watson (injured) and Dave Gilbert (work), but John Sample returns from holiday and Umar Akhtar is back after having to work last week.

“On Sunday, the home game against Seaham Park, Umar Akhtar and John Sample are unavailable.

“These matches will be another two tough games, but ones we have got to be looking to win, if we want to mount a serious challenge in the second half of the season.”

In Division Two, Hunwick host Boldon CA and chairman John Pratt said: “We’re looking forward to hosting Boldon CA tomorrow, with only one player missing with a broken finger.”