It’s first against second and third against fourth in the Dukes ECB North East Premier League.

Chester-le-Street sit in second and if they are to have any hopes of winning the title they have to see off leaders South North at home today.

Skipper John Coxon said: “We are really looking forward to the match and will be looking to win the game and make up ground on them. We still feel we can win the league, but realistically we know that this is a must win game - it should be a cracker!”

Hetton Lyons are one place below the Cestrians. They travel to Tynemouth in fourth who are ten points behind.

Stockton travel to Whitburn and the Teessiders are not safe from relegation. Whitburn skipper Paul Shields said: “We need to be on our mettle in the league fixture, as Stockton have been running into form recently, though they did suffer a reverse last week.”

Durham Cricket Academy face Benwell Hill and the Hill have Kyle Coetzer available, but James Schofield is out, while young quick bowler Luke Mussett may return from a side strain.

Sacriston travel to Felling, in a crucial relegation encounter. Secretary Iain Bestford said: “We are within reach of Felling, but others around us are running into form. Things are getting tight.”

Eppleton are also in trouble and they travel to Newcastle. Secretary John Smithson said: “There is a full-strength squad to select from, and only 16 points split the sides, so we travel with optimism.”

In the Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League, Shotley Bridge, in third, visit leaders Consett and skipper Paul Greenwell said: “We have a full-strength team to select from and the best side for the day has been chosen.”

Lanchester are at third-bottom Percy Main. Skipper Stuart McPhail said: “We make one change, Daniel Storey replaces Johnny Green and we need to shape up after the loss last week, particularly the top order. Bowlers and middle order did their jobs, but the side just came up short. Percy Main need the points, so all is to play for.”

Leadgate lead the way in Division Two by nine points and are at home to second-placed Bedlington. Vice-captain Robbie Hockaday said: “We are pretty much at full strength, with Lee Innes, Joe Banks and Jack Thackeray are all back in, but Gary Innes is still out with a broken finger.”

Bedlington captain Chris Younger said: “This will be one of our toughest and most important games this season, against the current leaders and I’m confident.”

Easington lead the Readers Durham Cricket League title race by 20 points and travel to Horden, who need vital relegation points.

Crook are second and face Tudhoe at home. Secretary Alan Stewart said: “We were frustrated to only draw at Easington last Saturday, especially as their last two batsmen played out 16 maiden overs in a row to hang on for a draw.”

Evenwood are hanging onto a promotion slot in Division Two and are five points ahead of Littletown, who they welcome to the Welfare Ground.

Secretary Luke Bannister said: “This is a really big game, one where we have to make sure we don’t get beaten. We’re capable of winning, and we need to win if we want to stay in contention.”