Sunderland looking to get back to winning ways against high-flying Ponteland

Sunderland Seconds' Ryan Gibson breaking through the Stockton defence last weekend.
Sunderland Seconds' Ryan Gibson breaking through the Stockton defence last weekend.

There is no let up for Sunderland this weekend as they return to league action against high-flying Ponteland on Saturday.

The Ashbrooke side, sitting firmly in mid-table in Durham and Northumberland Two, have lost three successive league games by a single score and are looking to be more clinical as they face the second placed Northumberland team.

The home game is a re-arranged fixture from earlier in the month, and management hope to name an unchanged side from last weekend’s narrow 25-21 loss at Sedgefield.

Sunderland chairman Paul Geehan said, “The reverse leg was a closely contested encounter with Ponteland edging out us and preventing any losing bonus points being claimed at the death despite our mounting pressure.”

In recent losses to Blyth, Sedgefield and Darlington, Sunderland have been guilty of failing to capitalise on clear cut scoring opportunities, only to lose out on fine margins.

Elsewhere, Sunderland Flames host Birkenhead Park Ladies on Sunday at Ashbrooke in North Division Two.

With players returning from lay-offs, the team are expecting a boost against a tough Mersyside outfit, following a month-long break from league action, only openside flanker Saskia Ryan-Munden missing.

The Flames, promoted last season, sit in seventh place four points below Birkenhead Park Ladies.

Geehan added: “Birkenhead, who are a physical team, will not relish the trip to Sunderland.

“The ladies have stepped up training ready for their run in until the end of the season and we are able to welcome players who are returning to injury.”

Sunderland Minis, aged 6-12, are away to Acklam in Middlesbrough, the Under-13s host neighbours Houghton, while the Under-14s are in County Cup action at Hill View.

H Sunderland RFC volunteers are among those being recognised by Durham RFU in their Value the Volunteer evvent ahead of England Under-20s clash with Italy U20s at Mowden Park’s Northern Echo Arena in Darlington tomorrow.