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Trophy fever at Crook
10:59pm Friday 29th July 2011 in News
It's league cup final day tomorrow, when 12-time winners Crook Town entertain six-time winners Tudhoe in the Hunter Cummings Memorial Trophy showdown.
Crook are in great form after becoming the first side to lower league leaders Brandon's colours last weekend when Steve Chapman was in brilliant all-round form.
And Town are taking no chances with the big man's fitness for the final as they are resting him from today's league match against Shildon to try to ensure the injuries he is carrying will not hamper him tomorrow.
Tudhoe have been flying in cup competitions this season and have their own match-winner in overseas star Shawn Findlay.
The West Indian has been in scintillating all-round form in recent weeks and he is accompanied in the side by record-breaking Simon Davies.
Both teams expect to be at full strength, with Ross Hodgson and Dan Mahaffey back from holiday to boost Tudhoe, and Umer Rashid also starting after his recent return from Pakistan.
In the league, Brandon are back to full strength for this afternoon's trip to Ushaw Moor, with Lewis Newby and Craig Hewitt returning from holiday and Dean Crampton recovered from the hamstring strain.
But they will face a revitalised Moor, who gained a morale-boosting victory over Willington last time out, just their second win of the season. Only Stephen Hancock will be missing from that victorious line-up.
Esh Winning are now, remarkably, in the position of knowing that if they win all their remaining six matches they will be champions, and if the form book is anything to go by they should record the first of those this afternoon.
A run of four defeats and a rained-off draw make up hosts Mainsforth's recent record, but they do have a stronger side in the field with Shaun Poulter, Ian Thompson and Dan Craggs all returning. Esh are not problem free as they have an injury doubt over leading player John Carmedy, who damaged a hamstring a couple of weeks ago and is unlikely to be risked. Paul Chivers returns.
Langley Park travel to Evenwood, where Sky TV are filming the match to feature in their Test Match lunch time series on club cricket.
The home side are at full strength while Park have skipper Jamie Winn back, as well as Anthony Brown.
Tudhoe limber up for the cup final with a home match against unchanged Willington.