Inspirational captain Matt Dench to stand down

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MATT Dench is standing down as captain after leading Sunderland to an eighth-place finish in their first season in the North League’s Second Division North.

Dench was an inspirational leader in last season’s impressive North East League First Division title success and enjoyed an excellent first half of this campaign, with Sunderland as high as third earlier in the season.

Sunderland are also preparing for a major change, with a full merger planned with Broom Ladies Hockey Club which will breathe a new lease of life into the sport in the city.

Sunderland firsts concluded their campaign with a 1-1 draw at Leeds side Chapeltown, though the lack of a cutting edge in front of goal denied them a deserved victory.

Chapeltown made the breakthrough from close range, but Sunderland dominated the second half, only to manage just one goal to clinch a share of the spoils.

H Broom finished ninth in the North Women’s League First Division, on 21 points from 22 games, after losing their final game 2-0 to Pendle Forest.

NORTH LEAGUE, Division Two East

P W D L F A Pt

Gateshead I 22 18 1 3 129 53 55

Harrogate I 22 14 7 1 98 44 49

Lincoln Roses I 22 15 3 4 83 48 48

Sheffield Uni II 22 10 4 8 58 51 34

Chapeltown I 22 10 3 9 59 62 33

Univ of Leeds II 22 9 4 9 48 45 31

H’sfield Dragons I 22 9 1 12 61 95 28

Sunderland I 22 8 3 11 56 63 27

Doncaster II 22 8 2 12 52 83 26

Leeds Adel I 22 7 3 12 52 67 24

Durham City I 22 5 2 15 31 81 17

*Wakefield II 22 2 1 19 49 84 4

* denotes points deducted