Firsts to respond

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SUNDERLAND Broom firsts will look to bounce back from last-gasp heartache when they welcome Leeds Adel Carnegie to Sandhill View on Saturday (2pm).

The Wearsiders will be favourites to overcome the second-bottom students in the North League Division Two East clash, despite sustaining a first home defeat of the campaign last week.

Leeds seconds snatched victory with a last-minute penalty corner, with Sunderland rueing their own failure from set pieces, not capitalising on eight penalty corner attempts.

Andrew Wilkinson made a good save to keep Leeds at bay early on, before Sunderland skipper Andy Gayner went close in a one on one, denied only by fine goalkeeping.

Matt Dench rounded the keeper, but had an effort cleared off the line, and Gayner suffered the same fate.

The chances kept coming, with Mark Wilkinson, Pearson, McGinley and Brown all missing out, while Leeds found it hard going against a defence of Sparrowhawk, Richardson, Evans and Brown, with Wilkinson maintaining his clean sheet – until the final few minutes when Leeds grabbed the opener.

Brown had a last-minute chance, from a penalty corner, but fired straight at the keeper as Leeds celebrated their success.

Sunderland also have an EH Trophy tie at Gateshead on Sunday (1.30pm). Gateshead will be a tough challenge, as they are unbeaten in Division One.

Broom seconds lost 2-0 to Gateshead seconds in the North East League’s Intermediate One. Richard Whitham’s side face another testing game at fourth-top Stokesley firsts on Saturday, the reverse fixture from a 3-1 opening day defeat.

In Intermediate Two, Broom’s thirds were beaten 3-0 by Durham City thirds, who were the stronger side.

A change of formation to 4-4-2 brought an improvement from Sunderland in the second half, with Robin Wilson impressing on the right of midfield, alongside Steve Crute, Janek Prodhecki and Eric Matters, while Chris Vaughan and Ed Winship battled manfully in attack.

The thirds – with just one point from eight games – host second-top Morpeth seconds on Saturday (noon).

H Durham University firsts fought back for a 1-1 draw at Belper in the England Hockey League’s Conference North. Nick Morris had the Derbyshire side ahead in just four minutes, but Matthew Murphy levelled from a penalty corner six minutes before half-time.

Third-top Durham will join table-toppers Sheffield Hallam on 18 points from nine games if they beat the Yorkshire side at Maiden Castle on Saturday (noon).

The students’ seconds – still without a win after seven matches – drew 2-2 with fellow strugglers Alderley Edge in the North League Premier Division, but still climbed off the bottom.

Laurie Hill’s side entertain City of York at Maiden Castle on Saturday (1.30pm).