Littlewood says Belmont must ignite

SUPPORT: Belmont captain Mark Littlewood needs more runs from his teammates to make a late push for the finals. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.BELMONT captain Mark Littlewood said his side must start winning or theirNewcastle district cricket semi-final hopes will be extinguished.

The Lake Macquarie boys are seventh with39 points, seven behind fourth-placed Toronto.

On Saturday Belmont host the sixth-placed Stockton-Raymond Terrace (40 points) at Cahill Oval,before they meet Cardiff-Boolaroo in their second Twenty20 game on Sunday at home.

“It’s a big weekend and hopefully the weather holds out,” Littlewood said.“We really need to start winning.We’re still in the hunt, but we need to start playing some good cricket.”

Last week Belmont lost their twilight Twenty20game to University and in their most recent two-day matchthey were flogged outright by Merewether, after being rolled for 78 and 155.

Belmont will be at full strength against Stockton and Littlewood is particularly pleased about the return of all-rounder Ray Cooper, who was away for the Merewether loss.

“The side looks OK on paper,” he said.“We need to start putting some runs on the board, but it might be tough if the rains keeps up.”

Littlewood has scored 464 runs at 66.29 this season, but needs greater support from his teammates. Englishman Chris Whittock (256) is the club’s next highest run-scorer.

The game also holds major significance for Stockton, who will be hoping Toronto are defeated by leaders Merewether at No.1 Sportsground.Sam Jenkinson, fresh off his match-winning 60 not out off 36 deliveries in Stockton’s T20 win over Wallsend on Wednesday evening, will take over the captaincy of the Seagulls in the absence of Jeff Goninan.

Hamilton-Wickham will be without skipper Josh Trappel due to work commitments, giving Sam Webber the captaincy for their game against Newcastle City at Learmonth Park.

In other games, Cardiff-Boolaroo host Wallsend at Cardiff Oval, Wests will look to follow their T20 winby beatingCharlestown at Harker Oval and Waratah-Mayfield play University at Waratah Oval.

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