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A Macmillan final repeat
Just six days after their meeting in the Macmillan final Richmondshire and Great Ayton lock horns again in the NYSD's match of the day.
Title favourites Richmond found cup kings Great Ayton in unbeatable form last Sunday, but both contributed hugely to a spectacular day of short format cricket.
The Dalesmen looked dead and buried in their semi-final against hosts Guisborough until Bradley Elsworth and Craig Swainston unleashed a five-over blitz that produced 75 runs and won the game in sensational fashion.
But Richmond were on the receiving end in the final as Stephen Pennock smashed 62 from 24 balls to put his team in an unassailable position.
But with Richmond the only side retaining an unbeaten league record, and Gary Pratt back from his own success in steering Cumberland to the MCCA final with a match-winning innings against Dorset, they view this encounter as the chance to put some clear water between themselves and the third-placed villagers.
Swainston's form earns him a place in the home line-up, while spinner Ali Raper also returns with Mattie Cowling on holiday.
Ayton have their own absentees with Chris Witherley and Mattie Wilkinson away, so they put the accent on youth with batsman Ryan Tuck and pace bowler Joe Marsay earning call-ups.
Darlington saw their lead whittled down to six points last week, but with the two sides just below them locking horns, and possibly depriving each other of points, they should be well placed to take advantage as they entertain an under strength and struggling Marske team.
The Quakers are boosted by the return of Stephen Lister from university, and he goes straight into the side along with the returning Jack Vickerman. The Seasiders have been sucked into the relegation battle and with the Carroll brothers still sidelined by injury, and Joe Wing and Karl Bramwell working, reliance will be placed on second teamers being able to step up to the mark.
The dogfight at the foot of the table sees Billingham now 18 points adrift of the teams above them, but there are four in that group separated by just two points.
The Synners have Craig Symington back in harness but face a tough trip to Acklam Park where Boro have been showing signs of a return to former glories.
They've eased their way up to a solid fifth place in the table, and with Paul Johnston expected to be back from his trip to the States, and skipper James Lowe in full flow, they could have too much in the tank for the bottom club.
Lowe was the other outstanding batting success in Cumberland's semi-final victory last Sunday, that following just 24 hours after his one-man demolition of Guisborough.
One player who won't be turning out for the home side is Shaz Mahmood who has jumped ship and transferred to Thornaby.
Mahmood has taken 17 league wickets for Boro so he represents a useful acquisition for the Mandale Bottoms club who face a crucial relegation battle with fellow strugglers Sedgefield.
But they have a glut of absentees with skipper Marc Bould, Danny Wade and Danny Burns all missing.
Mike Muldowney becomes the third skipper in as many weeks, while Adil Shahid joins brother Omar in the home dressing room. James Kemp is out of the Sedgefield side with Phil Heslop set to play his first match since giving up the captaincy.
It's derby day at Marton with Normanby Hall making the short trip to Stokesley Road to tackle the champions who still haven't given up hope of stringing a run together similar to the one that brought them title glory in 2011.
They are boosted by the return of Chris Veazey, John Glendenen and Chris Simpson, although Mattie Connolly is missing.
Hall expect to be unchanged but they are facing up to the impending departure of Sri Lankan Janaka Gunarathne who's wife is due to give birth in the next couple of weeks.
Hartlepool have John Cannon and Adil Arif back for the Park Drive meeting with unchanged Guisborough, while same again Stokesley take on Barnard Castle at the SCG tomorrow, Barney able to include promising youngster Bret Upton in their line-up.
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