The pressure is building, as the title Darlington Building Society NYSD ECB Premier League race moves into the final five games. Richmondshire hold a five-point cushion at the top as they travel to Darlington, who in danger of relegation.

The Dalesmen are without Matt Cowling, Stu Mather, Josh Dawson and Craig Swainston.

Darlington official Garry Moody said: “After an excellent win at Seaton Carew, we hope to start with the same side, but we have a big concern about Liam Coates.”

Champions Barnard Castle can do Richmondshire a favour, as they welcome second-placed Marton, to Vere Road. The visitors have wicketkeeper Chris Veazey back in the side and skipper Alex Wardell said: “There are five massive games left in the season, we are looking to play some good cricket and see where it takes us.”

In the Dukes ECB North East Premier League, second-placed Burnmoor are 10 points behind leaders South North, and they entertain third-placed Tynemouth, who are a further 10 points behind. Burnmoor have McKenzie Wright in for Ross Hodgson.

Burnmoor skipper Alec Linsley said: “We owe Tynemouth, as they beat us in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Needless to say it’ll be a tough game given their strength. Let’s hope the weather stays fair, but it’s still all to play for in.”

Chester-le-Street certainly cannot be discounted out of the title race, as they are just 29 points behind South North in fourth place.

They welcome unchanged Hetton Lyons to Ropery Lane and skipper John Coxon said: “It was great to get a game in last Saturday and full credit must go to the groundsman, umpires and both teams. It was very difficult to force a win in such a short game, having lost the toss, but Andrew Smith gave us a great chance with his superb century.”

Whitburn entertain Sacriston and skipper Paul Shields said: “We go into the game virtually back to full strength, after a few weeks of holiday commitments. The only absentee is Jack Burnham who continues to be part of the Durham T20 squad.”

The visitors have Graeme Wrightson returning to take over captain and wicketkeeper duties. Will Gidman is unavailable and is replaced by Jack Keall.

Wrightson said: “We continue to miss influential players, but look forward to seeing our young side match up against another strong side, knowing that we still need another win or two to secure survival.”

Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League leaders Lanchester entertain Tynedale and skipper Kieron Taylor said: “Dan Storey is back in for Jonathan Hames. It's a big game as Tynedale continue to chase us at the top, but one the lads are looking forward to after a bit of a break.”

Division Two leaders Leadgate travel to struggling Bates Cottages. The visitors are 48 points ahead of third-placed Cowgate Sports, and with just five games to go are odds-on to secure promotion.

Readers Durham Cricket League leaders Easington are at Littletown, and the host Director of Cricket Gregg Arundel said: “We are expecting another close outcome. A big performance is needed by us, in front of our supporters.

“Easington are undoubtedly talented, as they have proved by being table toppers, but we have a point to prove and welcome back captain Dan Pearson’’

Horden travel to Philadelphia and skipper Wayne Birks is missing along with Ben Green, replaced by Paul Watson and Aran Scott.

Visiting chairman Malcolm Pratt said: “The wheels have come off for us, with chances of promotion have all but ended after two poor results in the last couple of weeks. Before we lost against lowly Bill Quay hopes were high of finishing in the top two and qualifying for the Premier League.”

“We will aim to rekindle winning form at Horden and there's a chance that opening batsman Shaun Hauxwell may return. A definite starter is captain Shaun Smith, by far the club's leading batsman.”