If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Onions hopes for Ashes call
Durham seamer Graham Onions is hoping for a winter Ashes call-up to add to the euphoria of winning the LV= County Championship title.
Onions has taken 66 wickets at an average of 17.68 to help his side wrap up the domestic title with a game to spare.
And he will be eagerly anticipating Monday's announcement of England's tour party for the second of the back-to-back Ashes series.
"That would be a dream, it would be fantastic," he said after the Championship was clinched with victory over Nottinghamshire.
"You play for days like these, and to play for England. I know that if I perform well in county cricket then I've always got a chance of playing for England.
"I still feel I've got a part to play and could potentially force my way into the England side.
"But it's not easy, as we know from the last few years I've not played a great deal of cricket for England."
Onions recovered from a long-term back injury to win his ninth Test cap in last June's clash with the West Indies at Edgbaston.
He was around the squad for much of this summer's action against Australia and New Zealand but failed to break into the XI, even when he was widely tipped to do so at his home ground of Chester-le-Street.
He remains hopeful, though, and said: "I've still got a dream, I know I'm 31 now but I've still got huge aspirations to play one more Test.
"I'm not going to lie and say I'm going to play another 50 Tests, but I want to play that one more game.
"I remember when I had my back injury, I just said 'I want one more game'. I've had that one, but of course you want to be greedy and play one more.
"I'm convinced that if I do get into that side then I've got a chance of staying in there, it's up to myself to stay in there.
"County cricket is good for me, I enjoy getting into rhythm and bowling lots of overs but the most important thing for me is I enjoy playing in this (Durham) team."
While Onions has now played in three title-winning Durham teams over the last six years, this week was the first time he has been around to join in the celebrations. He was left out for the final game in 2008 and absent with England the following year.
"I've missed out a little bit," he acknowledged.
"It's special, it really is. It's quite emotional and it's quite hard to put into words how you feel.
"There were a lot of doubters, a lot from the press were saying we'd probably get relegated. That's from Sky and from all the pundits that obviously know what they're talking about.
"It's nice to be standing here saying that we've actually won it, that's special."
Consistently bowler-friendly conditions in the north-east have played into the hands of Onions and fellow seamer Chris Rushworth but Onions saluted a team effort.
He said: "The batters have played phenomenally hard on wickets here that we all know do a little bit - but they're not impossible to bat on. But equally our bowlers here have done fantastically well."
On his new-ball partnership with Rushworth, who has passed the magical 50-wicket mark in the Championship for the first time in his career, Onions said: "He pitches the ball up a little bit more and maybe swings it a bit more than me, I think I hit the deck a little bit more, so we do complement each other really well.
"We don't go for a great deal of runs so we put (batsmen) under pressure straight away and I'm pleased for Rushie, he worked hard in the winter and he's had a good season.
"As long as he keeps on improving and wanting to get better, I can see 50 wickets potentially turning into 60 next season - he might get 60 this year, you never know. He's done fantastically well."