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Richmondshire on the brink of title
Richmondshire stand just four games away from retaining the league crown they won so dramatically in the dying moments of the rain-ruined 2012 season.
Having won both of their Bank Holiday games in convincing fashion they now hold a 16-point lead going into their home game against Great Ayton this weekend, but the villagers can be a dangerous side - six days ago they toppled the Dalesmen in a tense and feisty NYSD Fifteens final.
Richmond must not allow the frustrations of that defeat to spill over if they are to be successful in their primary goal - winning the league championship. They have a full squad to choose from and start as favourites, but they did so last Sunday and came up against a team at the top of the tactical tree in terms of short format five bowler cricket.
Having already won two of the season's four major trophies, Ayton will be in fairly relaxed mood given that they are out of the title race, and they take a full squad to Hurgill Road.
Many people found Monday's game at Feethams between Darlington and Marton an enthralling affair, but the Quakers lost out in a tense finish to slip further behind the Dalesmen, and they will probably now need to win at least three of their remaining games to stand any chance of catching the leaders.
And that won't be easy at Sedgefield where the home team are still in a survival fight, despite holding a 28-point margin of safety over the relegation positions. They have been hit by a blow in that Sri Lankan Nisal Randika has returned home, and he will miss the rest of the season. Darlington bring in Matty Brown and John Watson to replace Lee Hutton and James Sutton.
Defeat at Feethams would have virtually ended Marton's league season, but victory has kept them in touch with the top two and they take a full strength line-up to the SCG with Danny Kitching getting another opportunity after impressing in Monday's match.
Stokesley make one change with George Robinson back in after his holidays.
At the opposite end of the table, Thornaby aren't mathematically down yet, but just one point from Sedgefield in any of their games will seal their fate. They have a home game against Saltburn which has an early start so everyone can get back to see Aussie legend Merv Hughes speaking at the seaside club tonight.
Normanby Hall's own bid to escape the bottom two should be boosted by the availability of both Kent's Mark Davies and Yorkshire's Dan Hodgson for their game at one of their second homes this season, Redcar. Both this week excelled for their counties in YB40 matches.
The other two games have an end of season feel. Unchanged Guisborough take on Middlesbrough with both skippers enjoying outstanding seasons.
Chris Nicholls, the Priory captain, stands second in the amateur bowling averages with 53 wickets at 13.21, while his Boro counterpart, James Lowe, moved to the 50-wicket mark last Monday and also has 1,000 league runs in his sights with just 64 more needed.
Unchanged Hartlepool have Marc Symington just seven wickets shy of reaching 50 which would give him another double of 50 wickets and 500 runs, and they welcome Barnard Castle to Park Drive with world first-class record holder Aamer Sajjad needing 34 runs for his 1,000.
Outside the top flight there are some crucial games, nowhere more so than at Windy Hill Lane where second-placed Marske take on third-placed Seaton Carew in a first division promotion battle, and Great Ayton, where visiting Richmondshire are vying with their hosts for the second teams championship salver - five points separate the two.
Tomorrow is a day of historical significance in the NYSD as the league have three representative sides in action, all in finals.
The senior side go to Stoke to take on the North Staffs & South Cheshire League in the LCC national final, the Under-21's go to Whitburn to play the Northumberland League in the North-East final, whilst the Under-17's entertain the Heavy Woollen at Acklam Park in the Yorkshire championships Jack Lee Trophy play-off.