With only eight games left in the Darlington Building Society NYSD ECB Premier League, Richmondshire sit in pole position with a 10-point lead over their challengers for the title.

They entertain an in-form Thornaby, who are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions, so confidence is high within the Teesside club.

Richmond vice-captain Robert Carr said: “We had an absolutely fantastic result last Saturday, to extend our lead at the top and we have one change as Matt Cowling is available again, so he comes in for Darren van der Vyver.”

Thornaby skipper Steven Purcifer said: “Lewis Beaumont will miss out due to holidays, and Jonathan Rickard has a hamstring injury. However, Jeremy Boyle and Danny Wade return from and Dale Metcalfe comes back into the side to provide us with a second spinner.”

Barney welcome Stokesley and skipper John Coxon said: “We are unchanged from last week’s game against Darlington, and will be looking to reverse the result from our visit there earlier in the year. It’ll be a tough game.”

Darlington travel to Hartlepool and official Garry Moody said: “We bring back experienced batsman Lee Hutton, at the expense of Jonny Pears. Our games against Pools are usually close and we are hoping for some much-needed points.”

Hartlepool secretary Michael Gough snr said: “We have always had very tight games over recent years against Darlington, and this game will no doubt be the same.”

In the Dukes ECB North East Premier League, Hetton Lyons face high-flying Burnmoor at their Lilywhite Terrace ground and skipper Jonathan Malkin has Jarvis Clay in for Cameron Grimwood.

Burnmoor are without Marc Symington and Ross Hodgson, with Riley Blunt and Graham Stoker in.

Skipper Alec Linsley said: “Having closed the gap to four points at the top, we will be looking to try and get revenge on the Lyons who beat us earlier in the season. Both teams have some great individuals and I’m sure it’ll be a tough game, but I’m confident we can do enough and come away with a win.”

Chester-le-Street are at Eppleton and skipper John Coxon said: “Having had half of our games abandoned is not ideal, but it sets up an exciting finish to the season. We are still confident of finishing top, but we will have to win all the games.

“We will be missing George Harrison for the next couple of weeks, as he is injured, and Andrew Bell is away this weekend. We are hopeful we will have Ben Whitehead available, but that will depend on his Durham commitments.”

Sacriston welcome Benwell Hill and visiting skipper Kyle Coetzer is away after joining the Montreal Tigers in the Canadian Premier League. Rory Hanley is with the Scotland U19s for the World Cup qualifiers.

Sacriston are without both Will Gidman and Mel Betts due to work, whilst Matty Potts remains unavailable due to Durham duties, and Chris McBride continues his recovery from a knee injury. Callum Appleby is available and Jonny Bushnell returns from a hamstring strain.

Coetzer said: “The lack of availability of some of our most consistent performers means we'll be looking for a few others to step-up to the plate. It's another big game against a side in and around us, so hopefully we'll be able to secure a positive result.”

Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League leaders Lanchester travel to Morpeth, with a commanding 32-point cushion at the top. However, four teams below them chasing including their hosts.

Division Two leaders Leadgate journey to second-placed Cowgate and make one change, with the return of Lee Innes. Skipper Rob Hockaday said: “Form is so good amongst the team that it is going to be a difficult decision to make about who makes way.

“It could well be Harry Lovell who became a father midweek, and so may have other duties to perform other than turning out. A win at Cowgate would enhance Leadgate's position and make the league title a little nearer.’’

Readers Durham Cricket League leaders Easington travel to Horden, who are just a point above the relegation trapdoor. The unbeaten visitors hold a healthy 34-point lead at the top.

Tudhoe travel to Esh Winning and home skipper David Lawlor said: “Daniel Wilkinson has not fully recovered from his thumb and has not responded to treatment, so his return is on hold. The side has delved into the second team ranks and his replacement is Jon Gott. We predict a close game with the sides close together in mid-table.”