CHESTER-LE-STREET take on the Durham Cricket Academy, who are buoyed by back to back victories.

And the Academy’s director of cricket, John Windows, is ready for a tough game as he tries to make it three in a row: “It is always a difficult game at Chester-le-Street, but we have won our last two games and will be confident going into the match.”

Windows has Tom MacIntosh replaced by Daniel Pratt.

Chester skipper John Coxon remarked: “We were delighted with our performance against Benwell Hill last Saturday. Jack Campbell was outstanding with the ball and then Jake McCann and George Harrison batted superbly, to get us over the line against a very strong team.’’

Andrew Smith and Alex McGrath are absent, but Kyle Davis returns.

Hetton Lyons make the short journey to Eppleton, and Carl Watson (hamstring), Chris Martin (finger) and Stuart Walker (side), all face late fitness tests.

Sacriston are at Newcastle and are missing Reece Carr, Daniel Anderson and Jack Keall who are away on holiday. Peter Scaife play and they hope Mel Betts and Graeme Wrightson recover from injuries.

Stockton won their first league game in eight last weekend, against fellow strugglers Felling, but will face a different challenge as champions South North arrive on Teesside. The Bulls are unbeaten at the halfway stage and have a 29-point lead at the top.

Burnmoor are second in division one after their excellent win over Burnopfield last Saturday. They host Boldon and will be keen to reduce the 22-point gap at the top.

Secretary Ian Linsley said: “We were delighted with the win last weekend and we are doing very well, with everyone ‘clicking’ right now. Paul Craig is out, but Gareth Harte is likely to be available this weekend.”

Castle Eden, in third, welcome the leaders Burnopfield to Parklands. Secretary Leo Taylor said: “To be honest we came into the division with thoughts of just staying up, but we are over the moon with our position and have played some terrific cricket.”

Brandon are fourth and 33 points behind leaders Burnopfield, and they travel to Blaydon. Captain Chris Peareth said: “Karl Turner is back and we will need two players from the seconds to step up. It’s always tough going to Blaydon and try forcing a win.”

Willington welcome South Shields with Steven Alderson and Bobby Whitehead in for Jake Dickinson and Jake Thompson.

Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League leaders Shotley Bridge welcome unchanged Ryton and captain Paul Greenwell said: “We are back to full strength, with Joe Gibson back. It’s important that we carry on our winning streak.”

Lanchester welcome Swalwell who are second and the visitors have Stephen Smith back from injury.

Division two leaders Leadgate, welcome Cowgate and Joe Banks and Paul Hockaday are missing, replaced by Gary Dixon and Lewis Fletcher.

Readers Durham Cricket League leaders Easington travel to Tudhoe. The home side will be without Ben Wicling and James Curry.

Chairman Stephen Thexton said: “We were very disappointed with our performance against Durham City last weekend, where we lost by six runs. We’ll be looking to bounce back.”

Crook Town, in second, welcome basement club Mainsforth and Secretary Alan Stewart said: “We struggled on Saturday with players missing, but we expect one or two back this weekend. It was disappointing to lose at Seaham Park, but we did not perform well.”

Esh Winning, in third, travel to Marsden with opening batter John Carmedy, returning after missing last weekend with a hand injury. He will replace Connor Surtees, who fractured his arm playing Friday night cricket and will be out for six weeks.

Marsden chairman Paul Snaith said: “We were delighted to get back to winning ways against Philadelphia last weekend, but it’s a tough test against Esh, who have a really strong batting line up. Opening bowler Steven Nelson is in fine form after a sluggish start.”

Seaham Park, in fifth, travel to Horden without two of their bowlers, John Sample and Anthony Watson. Bradley Robinson, who has been playing well for the seconds, steps up and Neil Young is also back.

Vice-captain Michael McNicholas said: “We’ll be under strength in the bowling department for the first time this season, but hopefully it won’t affect our game. We need to get some consistency in our results.”

Horden skipper Scott Birks said: “Adam Hall and Wayne Birks will be missing, and we know that Seaham are a good side, so a draw would be an excellent result.”

Philadelphia host Durham City and need to make one change, but the final decision will be between Thomas Raine, Michael Hall, or Gary Embleton.

Chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “The first team are struggling somewhat this season, but overall the club has had a good first half to the season. They have reached the finals day in the Profound Cup and the final of the Frank Lees Cup, so we still have a lot to look forward too.”