Sparrowhawk sparks veterans’ Plate romp

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SUNDERLAND Broom’s Over-50 Palatinates enjoyed a convincing 11-0 success against a depleted Gateshead team to progress in the National Veterans Plate.

The Wearsiders cruised to victory at the Raich Carter Centre with a series of magnificent goals, with the pick of Neil Sparrowhawk’s four-goal salvo being a real team effort, featuring good work from Stewart Douglas, Steve Crute and Robin Wilson.

Midfielder Mike O’Neill made his presence felt with a well-taken hat-trick, while Steve Lovell and Tony Cuthbert both capped impressive displays with two goals apiece.

Keeper Paul Finch had little to do, but will undoubtedly face a busier time when Sunderland visit Keswick Whitehaven this Sunday in the next round of the national competition.

The Over-50s will look to match the feat of the Over-40s who won 2-1 at Keswick Whitehaven the previous week, thanks to strikes from Paddy Steel and Eric Matters.

Broom Over-40s are away to Harrogate on Sunday in their National Veterans Plate clash.

Sunderland Broom thirds are finally celebrating a first win of the season in the North East League’s Intermediate 2 - but only thanks to a walkover, when bottom club Stockton fifths failed to turn up. The Ashbrooke side are now four points clear of the Teessiders.

In Intermediate 1, Sunderland seconds went down 4-1 to visitors Whitley Bay and Tynemouth seconds to stay second bottom. They face a tricky trip to third-top Jesmond Parish Church on Saturday.

Sunderland firsts lost 4-2 despite a fighting display at third-top Doncaster in the North League Division Two East. Andy Gayner’s side, third bottom in the table, are away to mid-table Leeds seconds on Saturday (noon).

H In the England Hockey League’s Conference North, Durham University made it two wins out of two on their return to action after the winter break.

Sam Driver’s brilliant hat-trick, added to by Matthew Murphy, led Durham home 4-1 at Doncaster to follow up their 5-3 success against Olton and West Warwickshire. The fourth-top students entertain Midlands club Khalsa at Maiden Castle on Sunday (1.30pm).