Sunderland are primed for return

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SUNDERLAND firsts hope for the green light to restart their North League Division Two East hockey campaign on Saturday.

Frost wrecked hopes of playing last week’s match at lowly Wakefield seconds, and the Wearsiders slipped to sixth place as Leeds University beat the bad weather to defeat Doncaster 2-1.

Matt Dench’s men visit Leeds this Saturday, with a chance to immediately move back up to fifth if they repeat their 2-1 home success earlier in the campaign.

Sunderland will be desperate for the go-ahead, as they have not played a league match since December 10, due to the weather and the Christmas break.

Sunderland thirds did manage to play their game in Intermediate 2 last week, but probably wish they hadn’t.

They succumbed 8-0 to rampant Richmond seconds and face another hard task at fourth-top Redcar this weekend. The Teessiders have already beaten Sunderland 5-0 this season.

Richmond were much stronger than in October’s clash, which they edged 7-4, but Sunderland, to their credit, gave everything in a vain attempt to match a fitter and more skilful side.

Sunderland created a number of short corner opportunities but failed to capitalise on them for a consolation goal.

Struggling Sunderland seconds are scheduled to play a North East League Premier Division double header, away to Newcastle University thirds on Saturday and away to Durham University fourths the following day.

H Third-bottom Broom went down 3-0 to Lancashire outfit Longridge in their North League First Division game. Anne Blissett’s side welcome bottom club Crewe Vagrants to the Raich Carter Centre on Saturday (noon).