Durham Cricket Academy face Dukes ECB North East Premier League champions-elect South Northumberland, who need just 20 points from their last two games to secure their first title triumph since 2015.

The Academy have had an excellent season and blooded some promising youngsters in the side, who have all done well in the circumstances.

Chester-le-Street travel to Stockton and skipper John Coxon said: “Alex Fothergill is away this weekend, so Kyle Davis will keep wicket in his place. Tynemouth batted superbly against us last week to beat us and deserved their win. We will be hoping to bounce back with a good performance at Stockton.”

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Hetton Lyons travel to Tynemouth, who both have the same number of points. The Lyons have been difficult to beat this season, losing only six of their 20 games. Tynemouth have lost nine, but won a game more than the visitors.

Eppleton travel to South Shields who are deep in trouble at the foot of the table.

Visiting director of cricket John Smithson said: “The current team will have the task of maintaining the positive results of late and to keep the side in the top six. An example of that was Luke Henderson’s splendid knock of 146 last week. The rest of the side have not stood and watched, but chipped in across the board to keep things ticking over!”

Division One leaders Sacriston travel to Boldon and director of cricket Iain Bestford said: “We have a couple of changes, with Chris Rushforth returning to Durham duties and his excellent replacement is Will Gidman, who is back from his stint at Kent. Johnny Bushnell is back too, as Melvyn Betts is on holiday. A slight hiccup last week should ensure the side, do better in the last two fixtures in our aim to remain top of the league and be champions.”

Burnmoor are second, 19 points behind the leaders. They are at third-placed Burnopfield.

Home skipper Gareth Breese returns and said: “A tough fixture is in the offing, so it is hoped that last week’s disappointing performance was only a one off! Burnmoor are a good side, as their league position shows, so it is imperative that all hands are on deck and everyone makes a contribution to the team, in their attempt to overhaul the opposition immediately above them.”

Mainsforth host Washington and the visitors will be unchanged. Skipper Ash Thorpe said: “The side will be looking to improve its consistency in the last two fixtures. This has cost us dear throughout the season, which should have seen the side in the top half. This can still be achieved with two final victories and other results favouring us.”

Mainsforth are 27 points adrift at the bottom and must win one of their remaining games, to try and stay up.

In the Go North East Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League, Shotley Bridge are seven points behind Swalwell and will fancy their chances at relegated Ponteland.

Shotley know that the title race is out of their hands if Swalwell win their last two games, but they must be ready if they slip up.

Leaders Swalwell travel to Tynedale with Ross Sinclair and Gary Johnson back, but Lee Innes is unavailable and Richard Shotton is going back to the second team.

Fixture secretary Paul Dumighan said: “Tynedale is a must-win game, as is next week. We can’t rely on Shotley Bridge to slip up. We have got to win ourselves and not rely on anybody else. Tynedale have a good, young side and have done well this season. It’s going to be hard, but a challenge we are looking forward too.”

Ryton host Lanchester and skipper David Howorth said: “We’ll be looking to build for next season, put in a good performance and get a victory like we did last week.”

Lanchester fixture secretary Bob Gardiner said: “We have had a good run, and are up to fourth. If the results go our way we could still finish third.”

Readers Durham Cricket League leaders Castle Eden make one change, with Alan Unsworth coming back in for Mark Dunn, against second-placed Durham City.

Chairman John Spellman said: “Last week, Esh Winning could have been problematic, and it did prove to be a difficult game. I feel that if we get one more win this weekend, then we should win the league.

“We have a good record against Durham City at home and beat them at their place earlier in the season, so we’ll be going into the game with a lot of confidence.”

City have make up 36 points, with only two games left, so they must be positive. A win for the home side, would just about see them promoted and champions.

Tudhoe, in third, could still win the title and promotion, but results need to go their way and they face a difficult game at Philadelphia. The home side are unchanged for their penultimate game of the season, with their first choice line-up, so this will be a big ask for the visitors.

At the bottom, Littletown face the biggest challenge. They are well adrift by 35 points and travel to Dawdon, who are the team ahead.

Head of cricket and club development Greg Arundel said: “We’ll be looking to be as strong as possible. We have been on the wrong side of the small margin of teams who have lost this year, with tied games etc. If we were on the right side, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in, so this game against Dawdon is a must win game. If we lose, our fate will be sealed for us. Joe Dodd is back in the team, but I am missing for rest of the season.”

Horden welcome second-bottom Bill Quay, in a crucial relegation encounter, with only 18 points separating the two teams.