Sunderland need a win to keep their survival hopes alive.

The University of Sunderland basketball thirds return to BUCS league action this Wednesday as they travel to face Durham thirds.

Having never faced each other in a competitive fixture before, the all North Eastern tie has the ingredients to become an early Christmas cracker.

However, with the Wearsiders still in search of their first win this campaign, relegation is a real possibility. With only one victory in 2016, Sunderland will hope they can finish a disappointing calendar year on a high note.

Opponents Durham, meanwhile, sit comfortably in second place following a strong opening period – winning three of their first four matches. But, on the back of two defeats in a row, they will not want to extend their loosing streak.

Last weeks narrow BUCS loss to Leeds ended their 100 per cent start to the league season and a heavy 123-37 thumping by Lancaster meant cup elimination.

As both sides prepare for their last game of the year, a positive result is vital at both ends of the Northern 5B table.

Victory for the home outfit could see them go into the new year as league leaders – stark contrast for Sunderland, as a win will not be enough to lift them from the foot of the table.

Tip-off is set for a 8:00pm start at the Maiden Castle sports hall, The Graham Sports Centre, Stockton Road.