SUNDERLAND paid the price for another lacklustre first-half display as they lost 41-27 at home to Stockton in Durham Northumberland One.
There was little chance of ending their losing streak after a slow start left them with far too much after the interval.
Sunderland got off to a great start with Greg Littlewood giving them the lead with an early drop goal. Stockton replied with a penalty and both sides added a further penalty to level the scores after 15 minutes at 6-6.
Sunderland then went into self destruct mode as they have so often of late as individual errors and slack tackling saw them concede three tries before half time.
Sunderland were bitterly dissapointed with at least two of the tries they conceded as they allowed the Stockton outside centre to run amok brushing off numerous would-be tacklers to score two tries.
Trailing 27-6 at half time it looked like another comprehensive defeat was on the cards and when Stockton extended their lead with another converted try things looked to be going from bad to worse.
However, Sunderland rallied and powerful driving from their forwards through several phases allowed them to crash over with Stu Matthews taking the credit for the forward’s hard work.
Youngster Elliott Lewandowski was next on the scoresheet as he was on the end of a pass from the mercurial Pete Harrison. Harrison timed his pass perfectly to take advantage of the two on one and allow Lewandowski to stroll over untouched to make the score 34-20.
If Sunderland had thoughts of a comeback they were quickly put to bed as Stockton’s substitute centre burst through a gap and powered over to seal Stockton’s victory.
Sunderland weren’t done though and Martin Watt added to his impressive try tally for the season with a great individual try holding off two Stockton defenders as he crossed to make the final score 41-27.
With a much improved performance on last week Sunderland know that if they can play the way they did in the second half of their last two games, there is no reason they can’t chalk up a couple of extra victories before the season ends.
H Sunderland thirds took a weakened side to take on their Durham City counterparts and were easily beaten by 60 points to twelve.
Sunderland’s points came through tries for Jossie Wright and John Grainger with Grainger adding one conversion.