BARNARD CASTLE head to Feethams in the very best of spirits after their midweek success in reaching the Kerridge Cup final for the first time in their history.
The convincing seven wicket semifinal win over Great Ayton has put Barney within one match of winning their first major trophy.
Now in their fourth season of Premier Division cricket, they are also well-placed to record their highest finish in the league, after their first three seasons saw them complete a successful bedding in process with comfortable mid-table finishes.
Their previous best ranking was seventh in 2011, but they are currently in fifth place and could well present a major stumbling block to Darlington’s ambitions when Barney lock horns with the leaders tomorrow.
The Quakers have to make two enforced changes with Ben Wicling away and James Dobson injured.
Matty Wheeler and Danny Morgans are called up to fill the breach, while 16-year-old Alex Simpson retains his place after an excellent performance at Marske last week.
Second-placed Richmondshire will be hoping neighbours Barnard Castle can do them a favour by upsetting Darlington. Their surprise home defeat at the hands of Stokesley in the other Kerridge semi-final shattered dreams of a double, and after failing to beat bottom side Sedgefield in their last league outing they trail the Quakers by 23 points.
The Dalesmen travel to Hornby Park tomorrow to tackle a Seaton Carew side who are making good progress towards their primary ambition of cementing their place in the top flight.
Cup finalists Stokesley are in third place in the league, three points behind Richmond, and continue their league campaign with a home game against Marton.
Sedgefield welcome Marske to Station Road tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Guisborough face Middlesbrough at Acklam Park where struggling hosts Middlesbrough welcome back Brett Roberts and Mike Cook, while Neil Coverdale and Chris Harrison miss Hartlepool’s Park Drive clash with Redcar through injury, and are replaced by James Piper and Anthony Fawcett.
It’s Premier Division Super Sunday in the Teesside University NYSD Fifteens competition Sunday, with four venues hosting three matches each.
The action begins on each ground at 1.15pm, with further games at 4pm and 6.30pm, so Barnard Castle, Guisborough, Middlesbrough and Redcar are the places to be Sunday.