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Final chance for Washington
Washington have only an outside chance of a late title bid, but they can inflict pain on the leading contenders as they have all three of the top teams to play in the final five-game countdown.
That run begins this afternoon when they tackle new leaders Dawdon who will need to be wary of the only other side in the league to have suffered just a single defeat this season.
As last year, Washington have proved stubborn opponents, and even though they haven't won as many games as they would have liked in the last couple of campaigns the fact that no team has lost fewer matches than them over the course of those two years suggests host Dawdon will have their work cut out to extend their five-point lead at the top.
Washington are without the services of Durham over- 50's player Nick Thompson who's badly fractured finger requires an operation which means his season is over.
Also out is new signing Dan Woolston who is taking in the final weekend of the Olympics. Dawdon go for gold with an unchanged side.
Shell-shocked Murton have suffered two horrendous defeats in their last three games, their batting lapses costing them their season-long leadership.
Dawdon drop points, Murton look well placed to regain the top spot as they are playing at Peterlee, their hosts yet to taste victory of any sort, form that sees them 30 points adrift of the rest at the foot.
And the bad news for Peterlee is that Murton have most of the players back who missed last week's shocker, with inspirational skipper Davey Hanson in charge again and Graeme Robson, Richard Lowes and Keith Chapman returning.
Peterlee have a change of skipper, Andrew Laidler taking over from Dale Butler who has had to stand down because of work commitments.
With Dawdon hogging the headlines recently the other two Seaham sides have a chance to grab a bit of the limelight themselves today when they meet in a derby hosted by the Harbour.
Park welcome back skipper Mike McNicholas, while Harbour are able to include the returning Andy Boal, Jeff Laws and Jack Lacey.
David Batty, Brian Conlon and Jason Jones bolster revitalised Boldon CA when they entertain a Silksworth team that includes newly wed Steve Wright, Easington bring in Brian Fenwick to face Ryhope who have Connor Pearson back, and Hylton have to overcome the loss of Graham Shovelin to injury when they visit Bill Quay.