IT was a day of records in the Dukes ECB North-East Regional Premier League last weekend.

South North batter John Graham overtook Allan Worthy's all-time run scoring record of 10,451, only for Simon Birtwisle to overtake that landmark less than an hour later, to be set the benchmark at 10,460.

In the same match, Lee Crozier took his 700th NEPL Premier Division wicket, the first player to reach the mark.

South North today take on the Durham Academy and official Duncan Stephen said: “These landmarks are a tribute to their commitment to sustain a high level of performance since the inception of the Dukes ECB NEPL Premier League in 2000 and should be recognised and applauded.’’

Two clubs trying to avoid the dreaded drop meet at Grangefield, as Eppleton travel to Stockton.

Eppleton have Connor Whitelock missing, with Tyler Easton back after six weeks out with a dislocated thumb.

Visiting secretary John Smithson said: “The side travel with optimism having won last time out, but so did the opposition. Only 14 points separate the two in the league, so all is to play for.”

Sacriston have slipped to bottom spot. They head to Tynemouth and secretary Iain Bestford said: “It’s up to ourselves to put it right and we need a few results going our way. We are good enough and the players are backing each other, to get us up the league. Graeme Bridge is out with a broken finger, so Ben Hall steps in.”

Hetton Lyons, in fourth, travel to Benwell Hill and Hill secretary Fenwick Marley said: “The squad are all fit and ready to go, with Phil Nicholson added and he will probably replace one of the juniors from the seconds. Frustrations are rumbling from last Saturday’s fixture when it seemed a win was on the cards, but we couldn’t quite finish off the opposition.”

Chester-le-Street are second and 40 points behind leaders South North. They travel to Newcastle and skipper John Coxon said: “We were delighted with the win over Whitburn last Saturday. Kyle Davis and George Harrison were superb and got us into a great position and then the bowlers did well to bowl them out.’’


Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League leaders Shotley Bridge welcome Lanchester and captain Paul Greenwell: “We are back to full strength as Jack Rowley comes back from holiday and Phillip Mellons misses out. We are hoping to get back on a winning track after a disappointing result last weekend.”

Lanchester make one change, Bryan Potts returns and replaces Nav Ahmed.

Leadgate are second in Division Two, two points behind leaders Annfield Plain and entertain Ponteland at Garden Place. The top four all have a chance of promotion this season and Morpeth and Bedlington are breathing down their necks, so it’s a must-win game.

Secretary Paul Hockaday said: “The standards this season have definitely improved in this division and we go into the game without skipper Gary Innes, who is out with broken fingers.”

Leaders in the Readers Durham Cricket League, Easington welcome Seaham Park, and expect to have a full-strength team, the same XI which beat Esh Winning last weekend.”

Crook, in second, entertain Horden and secretary Alan Stewart said: “David Embleton is struggling with a knee injury but is hoping to be fit. We are waiting to see if the Durham Cricket Academy require William Angus to play for them, as they did last Saturday. Horden are struggling this season, but they won on Sunday, so we will treat them with due respect.”

Tudhoe, in fourth, welcome Esh Winning in third place and will be at full strength. The visitors will be without injured Connor Surtees, but Billy Storey moves up from the seconds. Secretary Brian Gott said: “We hope to get back to winning ways after a good batting performance saw us beat Durham City on Saturday, but unfortunately we then lost to the top of the league team, Easington on Sunday. Hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

Durham City are only 13 points above the trapdoor and are at home to bottom club Mainsforth. The pressure is on the visitors, as they are 66 points adrift and must win.

In Division Two, Evenwood are at Murton and the home side are without Josh Greenfield. Stuart Harrison and Alan Welburn return.

Dawdon, in third, are at Littletown, in fifth, and will be unchanged.

Littletown are again missing Bryan Conlon and Matthew Nixon, when they play host to Dawdon and Patrick Stephenson is a doubt.

Head of Cricket development Gregg Arundel said: “We had a good win against a strong Hylton side last weekend, with a few lads missing. This weekend will be a really tough game.”

Peterlee are third from bottom and just 28 points above Silksworth. They have a tough encounter on their hands, as they entertain league leaders Ushaw Moor. The visitors have won their last four and hold a 60-point lead above third placed Dawdon, in the race for promotion.