Newbiggin add to Sunderland woes

Newbiggin condemned Sunderland to an eighth straight defeat with a 3-2 victory over the Wearsiders.

Ashbrooke had fought back from a 2-0 deficit, but unwell skipper Paul Dodsworth was well below his usual self and was beaten comfortably by Cai Younger to seal another defeat for his side.

It leaves the Mackems 18 points adrift of Northern 2, both teams with five games to go.

Credit must go to Newbiggin, after their narrow escape last year they also lost Paul Lord, one of the finest players in the region, to Westoe. However, they were able to bring in Cai Younger from Northern and Stu Hovvels. With improved performances from captain David Jackson they have turned themselves into a good Premier League side.

And they were quickly into a 2-0 lead. Hovvels ground down Simon Cliff for a 3-1 win, and Matthew Youngman won in five sets over Alex Storey.

It was unusually cold conditions on Court four, and initially it looked like Storey’s superior attacking skills would be enough to win the rubber. But Youngman showed typically tenacious play to overturn a 2-1 deficit and double his sides advantage.

The wearsiders needed to fight back, or be cut adrift in the race for safety, and they did just that through Richard Hodges and Peter McCleod.

Hodges picked up his first win of the season with a 3-0 win over Rob Black. McCleod continued his form from the County Closed with a 3-1 win over Jackson in by far the best game of the night.

An exciting finish was promised but Dodsworth was well below par, visibly struggling with an illness and the nights final game was a one sided affair, with Younger taking it 3-0.

Sunderland next match is on February 22 when they visit bottom of the table Northumberland 2, while Newbiggin welcome the same side on February 8.

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