Foster's Durham Senior League: Durham Senior League clubs have been rejuvenated by the news that Newcastle Federation Breweries will be the new sponsors for the coming season.

The League will now be known as the Foster's Durham Senior League. A two-year deal with an option for another two has been agreed and at a ceremony held at Eppleton cricket club, regional sales director Tony Clark said he was delighted the league had become the third in the region to be supported by the Tyneside-based brewery.

"We are proud to be associated with a prestigious league adding to the sponsorship arrangements we have with the Foster's ECB North East Regional Premier League and the Foster's Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League.

"The Brewery is keen to be involved with grassroots cricket. The initial agreement is for two years but the deal could roll over to four years," added Clark.

Meanwhile, with Horden and Burnmoor having shared three titles apiece in the last six seasons the other clubs will be looking to break the stranglehold.

However, both Moors and Horden will not be easily beaten and both have significant changes in personnel.

Champions Burnmoor will miss the regular runs of South African Mark Benfield. His guaranteed contribution will need to be found from elsewhere in their ranks - possibly from new professional Nigel Brouwers. The 28-year-old from Port Elizabeth is a left-handed bat and left-arm spinner.

Paul Burn has decided to retire, but Burnmoor hope to have Mark Blunt available.

Horden will again have Nadeem Khan as professional, his wicket-taking last summer which produced only a modest 32 was in sharp contrast to the previous four when he averaged 78 per season.

Andrew Robson takes over as captain and he will have Min Mahil (from Murton) to bolster the batting. Moving out are wicket-keeper Jeff Laws and Carl Watson who have opted to join Premier League club Philadelphia.

Hetton Lyons have a change in professional. Gerry Strydom only just missed out on 1,000 league runs last summer and is replaced by Shaun Birbeck from Eppleton.

Felling will be depending on the same squad captained by Graeme Wright. David Coulson will be a late starter due to football commitments with Whitley Bay and Felling will be hoping for decent displays from youngsters Alex Brook, Peter Vinton and Paul Leonard.

There has been an injection of new players in the South Shields camp. Former Kimblesworth player Michael Fishwick joins and takes over the captaincy from John Dunn. Lindsay Cullen a 24-year old from Perth, Australia is the professional and he is joined by David Robson (Chester-le-Street) and Jon Schofield (Tynemouth).

Returning to the fold is Lee Whalley after a season at Marsden and Owen Peterson should play.

Eppleton have lost Shaun Birbeck and David Lowther moved to Philadelphia but Graeme Anderson and Jim Daley return. Australian Sean Izzard, a seam bowler, will make his debut on arrival.

Whitburn, whose bowling disappointed in 2004, have paceman Tony Grieves available.

With John Dunn's arrival from South Shields, the villagers have a formidable batting line-up.

Marsden have lost the services of Graeme Fox after ten years. He moves to Boldon to join brother-in-law Grant Forster. Two players from Northumberland University, Simon Curtis and Rob Lawrence, have joined and Marsden expect a professional before the season begins.

Seaham Harbour will have the same players again and will be led by David Thompson.

The only change at South Hetton is the signing of former South Shields player Ashok Patel.

Durham City welcome back Australian professional Tom Meriedith who topped the 500 run mark last season.

Boldon will have West Indian Orlanzo Jackson returning after being the leading wicket-taker and hitting 700 runs during 2004 joining him will be Graeme Fox and the Lamb brothers, Alan and Chris.