Tynemouth Firsts too strong for Sunderland

Tynemouth pushed Sunderland further into the relegation mire with a convincing 4-1 win at home.

The points were split 19-4 to the home side, who are now all but certain of a solid mid table finish.

Missing Nick Hale through injury the hosts brought in Paul Millington, while the Wearsiders made one change from their defeat to Newcastle University, Dave Lumsden in for Alex Storey.

It was these two who started the night off in the fifth string match, Millington taking the win 3-0. Lumsden showed some fight to take the second game into a tie break but once he lost that 15-13 the writing was on the wall.

The fourth string game was equally one sided. Richard Hodges faced Hannah Cliff. The Sunderland man battled hard to force a tie break in the first game, losing out 13-11. However, as the match wore on Cliff showed her class, to take the next two games 11/4, 11/6 and give her side a convincing 2-0 lead.

The game of the night then followed. Sunderland’s Simon Cliff took on Toby Cockill. Both men set their stall out early for what was a long, physically brutal match. Cliff took the first game 11/9 before Cockill used his superior front court skills to take the second 11/5. The match was tied at 2-2 after two more testing sets were shared at 1 apiece, 11-9 to Cliff before Cockill levelled 12-10.

It looked as though Tynemouth would seal the win as Cockill raced to a 6-2 lead in the decider. However, Cliff showed his metal, fighting back to win 11/7 and keep his side hanging on in the tie.

This hope was soon extinguished, as Jon Evans beat Peter McLeod 3-0. The Welshman looked in top form after winning the recent club championships and continued this with an impressive display.

With the tie sealed for Tynemouth there was another long battle in the first string game, as Paul Dodsworth and Jamie Todd looked to add crucial extra points for their sides.

The youngster ran out a 3-1 winner, a 15-13 tiebreak in the first proving crucial.

Next up, Sunderland face a tough encounter at home to Northumberland Firsts, while Tynemouth will be confident of another win as they visit Northumberland Seconds.

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