Darlington Building Society NYSD League: Guisborough's challenge is to achieve what no other side has managed during the 112 years the League has been in existence and make it five titles in a row.

Only two clubs, Guisborough and Darlington, have won the title in four successive seasons.

The Feethams side dominated between 1920-1923 while earlier Guisborough performed the feat during the years 1909-1912.

Ninety two years on and Guisborough again celebrated four consecutive titles and this summer their sights are set on becoming the first club to win the championship during five successive campaigns.

"We already hold one league record as the only club to twice chalk up four wins but obviously it will take a super effort if we are to make it five on the trot," observed secretary Stewart Clarke.

Although there have been numerous changes elsewhere it is much the same at Fountains Garth increasing Guisborough's chances of reaching a new milestone.

Imran Jan, who has been living in Blackhall, has appealed against a two-year ban imposed by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board but even if it is rejected, Guisborough are confident he can play.

"I'm unaware as to why he was banned but informed that it will not apply to him in this country, so we should have everybody available who played last season including captain David Towse," added Clarke.

Last summer Towse claimed 55 wickets at an average of 11.5 but almost as important was the fact that he conceded fewer than two runs an over.

Bishop Auckland, runners-up in 2004, will again be strong contenders.

The Kingsway club has been busy recruiting a number of players having signed Matthew Brown from Norton, Andrew Bowman (Stockton) and Blau Kristien (Rockliffe Park). In addition former captain Mark Romaines, who has not played recently, has made himself available.

Richard Hawthorne has moved to Florida while Keith Stones has made a much shorter journey to Willington.

"We have brought four in and lost two. I'm very happy with the balance of the side and confident that we will challenge all the way," enthused director of cricket Paul Furby.

Bishops trump card could be Indian Amul Mazumder who last year was the leading run maker with 1084 averaging 60.2. Paul Timmens starred in the attack capturing 79 wickets at 12.4.

Recently, Bishops went on an eight-day tour to India, taking in matches in Goa and Bombay. "A party of 15 made the trip and it was certainly worthwhile both from a playing and bonding point of view. It was a great experience," enthused Furby.

Northallerton were dark horses during 2004 and after leading the table eventually finished third. They have the ever-reliable Jonathan Barnes back again and if he reproduces the form which earned him 99 wickets last year, Northallerton will pose problems.

Albert Aurelius has moved into the Nidsdale League while Alan and George Kay have joined Great Ayton. Richard Bentley has come in from Thirsk and Chris Cowton has switched from Kirby Sigston.

Saltburn, always one of the strongest sides, did not fulfil their potential last summer but will be in the running.

Adil Ditta will lead the team and their overseas player is Indian Navdeep Singh. Although Umar Rashid has joined Thornaby, Mahmood Fazal has switched from Blackhall.

There is little change at Feethams, but Mark Jobling has stepped down as captain and Neil Pratt will lead Darlington for the first time.

Neighbours Darlington RA have Phil Crowther as skipper and they have signed Indian Reetinder Sodhi in a bid to continue their progress.

New Zealander Rob Nicol returns to Marske where he scored 890 runs at 59.3.

He has completed a successful season in Auckland and will be joined by Chris Nichols, the former Thornaby and Gateshead Fell player, who has returned as captain.

Lee Beaumont, captain at Philadelphia last year, also comes in but another spinner Stuart Mackay has moved to neighbours Redcar.

Richmondshire captain Andy Mollitt is confident they can emulate the top five finish of the last two seasons, especially as Sri Lankan Shanuka Dissanayake has returned.

"Because of the Tsunami disaster, Shanuka has not been able to play much cricket but I am confident he will again do a very good job," said Mollitt who is keen to keep a young side together.

The Layfields will again be prominent. Clive will play in the first team while Mark will captain the seconds and his two sons, Chris and Mike, will also be involved.

Adam Smith, who scored around 500 runs last season, may not be able to play on a regular basis because of work.

Local lad Alex Roberts has become professional at Middlesbrough who have recruited Chris Veasey and Mark Croft from Normanby Hall but Jack Conway has returned to Marton.

In addition to signing Stuart Mackay from Marske, Redcar have engaged Australian Steve De Bolfo together with Ewan Williams and Tom Urwin who are both at Durham University.

Darren Nalton is making a comeback after having a year out while Jason Boardman has returned to neighbours Marske.

Great Ayton, who made a useful start to their first season in the Premier Division, again have Thara Gunnaratne as professional together with Darren Hickey who on his day can take any attack apart. He spent some time last season with Darlington RA.

Hartlepool have signed John Daniel, an off-spinner from the Lancashire League, and Steve Sargeant from Blackhall.

Ashley Day has turned amateur and Michael Gough will be professional with Gary Tebbett again leading the team.

Chris Veasey and Mark Croft have left Normanby Hall for Middlesbrough and local lad Saj Rashid has signed.

Mohamed Zahid, who claimed a useful 59 wickets last season and scored almost 400 runs, returns with David Cross taking over as captain.

It will be interesting to see how Billingham Synthonia fare during their first season in the Premier Division.

They have engaged top order batsman and leg-spinner, Australian Brenton McDonald and in addition Chris Harrison, Gary Crawford and Dave Fairley are all available again.

Denis Wing, who captained the side for 17 years and will start his 20th season with the club, is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's a big year for the club and a step up from Division One but we are confident we can retain our new-found status. We're all excited at the prospect of playing in the Premier Division," said Wing.

Blackhall, demoted last season after winning only two of their 26 games, aim to bounce straight back from Division One.

They have made a significant signing in Shoaib Akhtar who was sought by several clubs after topping both the Durham Coast League batting and bowling averages with Dawdon last season.

Steve Hanson has returned and Richard Watts will captain the Colliers.

"We're stronger this time and hopefully can make a challenge for the championship and secure an early return to the Premier Division," observed official Paul Webster.