Sunderland Mens 1sts put up a valiant show in the 5-3 defeat to league leaders York in the badminton clash on Wednesday.

Doubles pair Nicholas Cheu and Gerald Kenedy paired up for the men’s doubles for the first time in the league, and yet, showed encouraging communication and partnership.

When discussing the fixture against York, Cheu lamented making several mistakes but believes with more training, can forge a stronger partnership, he said: “It was a good game, but we made a lot of mistakes. But with more training, I think we can improve.”

“We communicated with each other pretty well, and before the game, discussed what we need to do and what we need not. This is only our first game together, so mistakes happened,” reflected Kenedy.

York side posed a strong challenge and Cheu acknowledged the team’s strengths as he said: “We played against a good opponent. They are really strong; they know how to change directions and do it really fast. And more importantly, they are first in the league standings. A loss feels bad, but York’s a formidable opposition. And it’s alright, we’re gaining experience.”

Cheu said Sunderland will now have to beat Durham in the next game to clinch top spot and the team is already looking forward to it, he said: “Our captain (Maw) has laid out a good training structure, we are going to follow it with conviction and also, me and Kenedy need to play more as this is only our first time in a match playing together.”