Broom’s boomtime booster

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SUNDERLAND Broom firsts hope to make it three league wins on the trot this weekend to further ease their relegation fears.

The Ashbrooke club built on their breakthrough victory over Wilton to defeat hosts Newcastle University thirds last weekend.

Now Sunderland, third bottom in the North East League’s Premier Division, will look to overcome second-bottom Jesmond Parish Church at Sandhill View on Saturday to move six points clear of the drop zone.

Away to Newcastle, Andy Gayner’s side started brightly, looking dangerous on the counter-attack.

The students worked hard to create an opening, but Sunderland took the lead from a penalty corner, with Duncan Stevens able to scramble the ball home.

Newcastle pressed hard for an equaliser but were punished again on the break. Chris Brown fed Stevens, who beat the defence down the right wing and crossed to an unmarked Matt Dench, who coolly chipped the onrushing goalkeeper.

Newcastle were rewarded for their determined efforts when a deflected cross fell to a forward to convert from close range.

Sunderland, though, benefited from another penalty corner to restore the two-goal advantage, Brown scoring with a direct strike.

The students made a tactical change for the secona half and immediately began to take command, with Sunderland pinned back in their own half.

A poor pass across goal was intercepted as Newcastle got back to 3-2, but the inspired students were denied an equaliser by a magnificent series of saves from keeper Nemo.

Sunderland capitalised to break late in the game to clinch victory with a fourth goal, finished off by Andy Brown from close range,

Sunderland’s Pensions Men’s Vase hopes were dashed by a 4-3 home defeat to Keswick.

Sunderland seconds, thumped 7-0 by Darlington firsts in Intermediate 2, visit table-topping Tynedale firsts on Saturday.

H Durham University firsts endured a first defeat of the season in the Pensions England Hockey League’s Conference North, going down 4-3 to third-top visitors Bowdon.

Durham looked in control as Matthew Murphy and a penalty stroke from Ollie Davies had them two up by the 19th minute, but two goals in three second-half minutes from Bartosz Zywiczka and David Egerton hauled Bowdon level.

Sam Driver soon put Durham back on top, but two goals in three minutes in the closing stages, courtesy of Egerton’s second penalty stroke and a Thomas Ainsworth penalty corner winner left the students shattered.

Brooklands climbed to pole position, by two points from Hugh Robinson’s side, with their victory.

Durham visit Olton and West Warwicks on Sunday (1.30pm).