Village cricketers ready for start of new season
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
Darlington and District Cricket League
THE area’s village cricketers will unpack their whites and dust off the boots as the new season begins this Saturday.
Once again, the league is operating three divisions, with ten teams in the top tier, 12 in the second and just six in the third.
Barningham face a tough opener with a visit to defending champions Haughton, who will once again be among the favourites to lift the silverware.
Barningham, meanwhile, will be led by a new captain this season, with Jake Black taking over from Rob Stanwix.
Raby Castle are another team with a new leader this season, as Mark Humble takes the reins from Dan Lee.
Raby, who finished runners-up last season, visit East Cowton for their opener and will be hoping for a good start to the campaign.
Lands, who were promoted from the B division after a successful 2021 season, face a tricky opener away to Aldbrough, who finished third last season and are expected to make another strong showing this season.
Off the field, Aldbrough has had to contend with severe damage to the club pavilion in one of the winter storms.
The A division’s other new-boys, Eryholme CC, start their season with a home match against Cliffe CC, who will be hoping to build on an encouraging showing in 2021.
The final match of the opening weekend sees the always dangerous Middleton St George first team host Cockerton, who secured a sold mid-table position last time round.
In the B division, Middleton-in-Teesdale CC begin with a home match against Haughton’s second team, while Oxbridge are the visitors to Staindrop to take on Raby’s second team.
Richmond’s remaining side in the district league – the 5th XI – welcome Middleton Tyas to Richmond School, while Cliffe II take on relegated Catterick Village.
Elsewhere, Barton start with a home match against Spennymoor and Witton le Wear, the other side relegated from the A division take on Aldbrough II.
In the C division, there is a local derby as Etherley welcome Ingleton-based King James CC. Northallerton III, the only team to join the league this season, begin with an away fixture at Barton II, while Middleton St George II host Cockerton II.
All games start at 1.30pm this weekend, and, as previously reported, teams are no longer required to provide teas.