Hetton Lyons have only been beaten once this season in the Dukes North-East ECB regional Premier League and are proving very difficult to beat.

They are at South Shields and captain Jarvis Clay said: “Josh Coughlin is missing, but we are unchanged apart from that. South Shields away is always a difficult task, but we hope to do well.”

Eppleton host Newcastle at Church Road and secretary John Smithson is delighted with the season so far.

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He said: “We have only lost three games in the first half of the season.

“The first team is very young and they are learning each game, but I have every confidence in them. In general, the whole club is on the up, including the second team and the juniors.”

Durham Cricket Academy in fifth position, welcome Felling to the Emirates and have all-rounder Matthew Potts returns from county duty and Matthew Oswell, a quick bowler, makes his academy debut having improved in some impressive performances for Burnopfield this season.

Felling have Freddy Simon back at the expense Peter Binton.

Chester-le-Street journey to Whitburn. Jack Harrison returns to the team and skipper John Coxon believes the current champions need to get their season, going again: “We had a good win last week, which hopefully will give the team some momentum.”

Stockton welcome leaders South North and the visitors are without Tom Hodnett, but Johnny Whiteman is back. Skipper Adam Cragg said: “This will be a tight game, as they play really well at home. They are strong, however, we have our strongest team out. If we play near the best of our ability, we should win the game.”

First division leaders Sacriston have a healthy 40-point lead over second-placed Brandon and entertain Washington. Iain Bestford, the club’s secretary, said: “Callum Appleby is still out and Graham Hubber will be missing with a broken finger. We await to see if Will Gidman is free from county duty.”

Boldon, in third, welcome Brandon in second, and secretary Peter Crane said: “We are 13 points behind, they are a good side and Gordon Muchall is such a big danger. We had a poor result last week at Sunderland, but it shows you that anybody can beat you in this league.’’

Barry McCarthy should return from his Durham duties.

Burnmoor in fifth are at Blaydon and hope to get their season going and finish the second half strongly. They will be without Gareth Harte and Paul Craig is away.

In the Go North-East Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League, third-placed Shotley Bridge travel to second-placed Tynedale, separated by a point. Secretary Thomas Cant said: “We have a good friendly rivalry with them. Both teams are playing hard and there’s only a point between us.

“At the start of the season we set out to stay up, after losing half of the team. We set out to get six wins, and we got them. So we want to keep going and see where we end up.”

Leadgate, needing points to get out of the bottom two, take on near neighbours Lanchester, at Ashley Park, with the visitors unchanged.

Fixture Secretary Bob Gardiner said: “This weekend we are looking to get back-to-back wins, but we are taking nothing for granted. At the moment we have been winning cup matches, but the league is the important one to keep on top of.”

Readers Durham Cricket League leaders Seaham Park travel to Dawdon and club official David Moorhead said: “This game is our derby and cup final and we will welcome back Michael Walker and Thomas Ferguson.”

Tudhoe, in second, travel to unchanged Castle Eden. Skipper Jonathan Brown said: “We are looking to continue our good form after beating Durham City last week. Tudhoe had a good result last week too, so we’re expecting a tough game.”

Easington, who are third, entertain bottom club Littletown. Head of cricket and club Development Greg Arundel said for the strugglers: “Our ongoing issue with overseas players has continued and South African Justin Stevens has had to go home due to injury. We have brought in Siddhesh Kinalekar from Mumbai. He’s highly-recommended from our last year’s overseas player Shashi Kadam.”

Esh Winning, in fifth, host sixth-placed Durham City and skipper Stu Hall said: “We are looking forward to another competitive game. We have one change, Danny Wilkinson is away, so Michael Bussey will replace him.

Horden welcome Philadelphia and both teams will be keen for points, to get away from the relegation zone. Skipper Carl Watson said: “We are expecting a tough game with them being near us points wise. Our professional has said that their professional is a really good player, so it will be interesting to see him play.”

Philadelphia have Peter Greenwell and Jack McBeth back and Greg Halliday, a promising right arm spinner and batsman, plays his first game of the season.