SUNDERLAND Broom firsts slipped to a 6-1 defeat in their North League Division Two East opener.
The Ashbrooke club found Leeds Gryphons (a new team combining the second teams of Leeds University and Leeds City) too hot to handle, although the margin of defeat was harsh on the Wearsiders.
Sunderland started brightly, but Leeds grabbed a 15th-minute opener, firing home the rebound after a short corner shot struck the bar. Leeds quickly added a second, and Sunderland rued a couple of missed chances just before half-time.
Leeds dominated possession on the restart and duly stormed into a 4-0 lead before Sunderland rallied well, with Peter Renshaw’s excellent flick into the corner of the goal finishing off a good team move.
The Wearsiders twice went close to cutting the deficit further, but they lacked finishing power and paid the price. A yellow card for Ian McGinley, for a frustrated, wild swing at a defender, killed off their revival, with the hosts adding two more goals.
Skipper Andy Gayner admitted that it was a “disappointing first result”, adding “there are certainly areas that need to be improved”.
This Saturday, Sunderland host Huddersfield Dragons at Sandhill View (2pm).
The seconds endured a chastening 6-0 defeat from Jesmond Parish Church in the North East League’s Intermediate 1, but will hope to bounce back at Marton Furness seconds on Saturday.
The thirds have their first home game on Saturday, with Darlington firsts the visitors to Sandhill View (12.15pm).
Last week’s scheduled game at Richmond seconds was postponed.
H In the England Hockey League’s Conference North, Durham University maintained their 100 per cent record with a 4-3 success against Leek.
Incredibly, all seven goals came in the final 27 minutes, with five in a sensational finish. Edward Peel’s Durham opener was levelled by Daniel O’Neill, then Jack Curd (63) and Matthew Hodgson (67) put the students in control.
Ben White cut the deficit, but Mark Galloway ensured victory on 69 minutes, though O’Neill grabbed a last-gasp reply for the Staffordshire side.
Durham head to Olton and West Warwickshire on Sunday (1.30pm).
Meanwhile, Durham University women’s hockey team climbed to top spot by edging a thrilling win over previous leaders Beeston in the Investec Women’s League’s Conference North.
The students squeezed home 4-3 thanks to captain Sophie Hawkins six minutes from time, following a topsy-turvy showdown at Maiden Castle.
Durham led with Philippa Lewis’s 11th-minute opener, but then conceded twice in five minutes as Nikki Ward and Sophie Robinson pounced for the Derbyshire visitors.
Emma Onien levelled on 17 minutes, then Cherry Seaborn put Durham ahead right on half-time. Ward’s second goal, early in the second period, looked to have clinched a point for Beeston, but Hawkins came up trumps to fire a penalty corner winner.
Durham visit Doncaster on Saturday (noon).
H In the North League’s Division Two North East, Sunderland Broom began their campaign in fine style, defeating Norton 6-3 at Sandhill View.
This Saturday, Steph Edmundson’s side visit Stockton (11am), who were thumped 7-0 by Newcastle in their opener.