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The men in the Middle.

Byline: By Bob Moreland

The bowlers of Northumberland, basking in the glory of a trio of triumphs, received a warning ( and a boost ( from arch-rivals Durham today.

Victories in the Muras and Alsop Cups, plus the Armstrong Trophy, have set up Saturday's Middleton Cup showdown with Cumbria at Gosforth (2.00).

The Muras win over Yorkshire at St George's in Morpeth means Northumberland have clinched that prize for the second time in three years.

The Alsop victory, also over Yorkshire, was completed at Alnwick, while the Armstrong win came at Collingwood.

While Northumberland may be in the mood for another win this weekend, Durham's EBA secretary Foster Johnson has warned Cumbria will be a tough nut to crack.

He said: "Northumberland's squad have a great spirit and it would not surprise me to hear they have beaten Cumbria.

"But Durham lost 16-6 to Cumbria earlier this season and skipper Steve Harvey and his men face a tall order."

Harvey, meanwhile, is hoping Durham beat Yorkshire in their Middleton Cup match at Kirby Moorside.

He said: "Durham cannot win the Cup now but they could take some wind out of the Tykes' sails."

Northumberland must win four of out six rinks at Gosforth.

They are boosted by the return of Paul Ging, who was not available last weekend.

Portland's George Watson, called up at the last minute last weekend to replace Adam Trinder, keeps his place in the team after a good performance in the Muras competition.

Trinder returns in place of Neil Harris.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2004
Words:253
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