Maximum effort needed in battle

With only 16 points separating the three clubs every bonus point could be vital as the trio battle it out for the title.

With only 16 points separating the three clubs every bonus point could be vital as the trio battle it out for the title.

Clara Vale are marginally ahead before their home game with Alnmouth and Lesbury and skipper Chris Mee is in no doubt how vital it will be for his team not only to win but to win well.

He said: "It is essential we gain the maximum 22 points since it looks as if the race for the title will go right to the wire."

A blow to the Vale is the news that opening batsman Sajjad Akbar will miss the last three games of the season. However, John McIntyre is available to open the innings and also returning is Mark Lilliecrap.

Chopwell are second just three points off the top. Skipper David Anderson is back for the visit to Stocksfield and so too is strike bowler Adam Tams.

Stephen Brown has been promoted from the seconds to give strength to the batting line-up but Chris Mawson cannot play.

Belsay are still in the frame but a blow to their chances at home to Blyth is the unavailability of Shane Lennard and Scott Leeson who are both out.

With Jason Ritchie and Craig Lawson also sidelined, Belsay name Jason Dale and Richard Chapman.

Blue Flames require just two points from their game at Stobswood to clinch promotion from Division One.

They go into the crucial fixture minus Sayyaz Ahmed and Khalid Mahmood who will not play again this season. Skipper Richard Kilner is hoping to lead the club into the Premier Division for the first time.

Blagdon Park are already promoted from Division Two with Civil Service and St George's Rovers battling it out for the other spot.

They are equal on points and Civil Service face the stiff challenge of taking on champions Blagdon Park.

Pakistani Noman Sattar has been out for six weeks but is back and so too is Duncan Scott.

St George's Rovers visit ORP strengthened by the inclusion of Richard Munroe.

Tomorrow's fixtures (1.00): Premier Division: Belsay v Blyth, Clara V v Alnmouth and Lesbury, Cowgate v Warkworth, Kirkley v Corbridge, Riverdale Spits v Bedlington, Stocksfield v Chopwell.

Division One: Cramlington v Bates Cottages, Heaton P v Northern Social, Monkseaton v Bomarsund, Stocksfield v B Flames. Division Two: C Service v Blagdon P, N Hartley v Hebburn, ORP v St George's R, Whitley Bay v Tynemouth.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer