Sunderland First team’s confident start to the season hit a bump as they were beaten 3-2 by struggling Northumberland Seconds at home.
Confidence would have been high for the home team after their away win at Newbiggin, and they boasted a full strength side.
Meanwhile, their opponents had lost all of their first four matches.
The Wearsiders were off to a flying start, Peter McCleod quickly dispatching Matthew Carr 3-0, and Simon Cliff racing to a 2-0 lead over Harry Little.
But, Little turned the match around, and overcame a weary Cliff, to win 3-2.
There were then two very one-sided matches, one in favour of each team.
Richard Hodges was comfortably beaten 3-0 by David Breakey, the Jesmond youngster looking on top form.
But Mackem skipper Paul Dodsworth was able to level up the scores, outclassing Patrick Williams to win 3-0.
This left the tie hinging on the fifth string game between Alex Storey and George Swyer. It looked to be comfortably going the way of the visitors when Swyer took the first game 11/4.
But Storey fought back, taking the second in a tie break. It took a real effort to finally break down the Ashbrooke man, but he was edged out 3-1 in a nervy game.
This result, combined with Northern Seconds’ victory against Newbiggin has thrown open the relegation battle.
Sunderland will look to bounce back next week as they travel to Northern Seconds.