Sunderland Squash Club’s tough start to the season continued as they were beaten 4-1 at home.

It was always going to be a tough ask for the Ashbrooke side, as they faced potential title contenders Westoe.

The visitors had strengthened well over the summer, signing Paul Lord from Newbiggin. The former US Open finalist will prove a dominant performer in the first string for the South Shields outfit.

They were quickly into a 1-0 lead as Mike Burton produced an error free performance to overcome Simon Cliff 3-0.

Richard Hodges and Alex Storey provided some resistance for the Wearsiders.

However, when Hodges let a 2-0 lead slip to be beaten by Richard Elliot and Storey was ground out 3-1 by Steven Prested the match was sealed.

In a season where every point will be crucial towards Sunderland surviving, there was still pressure on the final two matches.

Peter McLeod produced a brilliant display to beat Chris Boyer 3-2. The current club champion went into the match as the underdog but battled through a thrilling game, using all of his trickery and class.

However, Lord proved a bridge to far for Mackem skipper Paul Dodsworth, who suffered a convincing 3-0 defeat.

Sunderland will look at this as 6 points gained as they prepare for next weeks trip to Newbiggin.