Ashbrooke let down by call-offs

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SUNDERLAND will look to rock visitors Ryton as the chase goes on for their first win of the season in Durham and Northumberland Division One.

Leaders Alnwick ran out comfortable winners over Sunderland last week, scoring nine first half tries in a 47-7 victory.

Once again, Sunderland were let down by a number of players withdrawing from the squad late in the day, meaning their preparation for the game was heavily disrupted.

They again had to name forwards in the backs while also having to play the game without any subs.

Those who did pull on the shirt put everything into the game, but, as expected, the Alnwick back line blew Sunderland away with three tries in the opening 10 minutes without a hand being laid on them.

The score could have been higher had the strong wind not played havoc with kicks, even conversions in front of the posts.

Alnwick did not need to worry about that too much as they ran in another six first-half tries as Sunderland had no answer to the pace and power of the home backs.

Sunderland, 47-0 down, got a consolation try towards the end of the half as Andy Mackie had a simple touchdown when the Wearsiders’ pack pushed their opposite numbers over the try line from a five-metre scrum.

The second half was a much different game, with Sunderland arguably having the better of the play.

Despite the game being over as a contest, Sunderland battled hard and managed to keep Alnwick scoreless and the scoreline remained unchanged.

In what has become an extremely challenging season for the Ashbrooke outfit, credit must go to those players who turn up week in, week out to put their bodies on the line for the club, especially players such as Jake Belfield, Adam Reay, Clive Fish and Chris Geehan, among others, who have sacrificed their own enjoyment to repeatedly play out of position for the better of the club.