Sunderland lost to a strong Keele side after a long round trip.

Sunderland lost to a strong Keele side after a long round trip.

Sunderland Spinners ultimate frisbee side face perhaps their most important fixture of the campaign as they travel to Middlesbrough to face Teesside University on Wednesday.

The Spinners have had a tricky start to the campaign with two losses and a win in the league and being knocked out the cup. The first loss came in their opener against promotion favourites Durham Uni who won convincingly 15-3.

This was then followed by an underserved 13-12 loss to York St John 1sts who survived a late Sunderland barrage and managed to run down the clock to hold onto the win despite Sunderland having the better chances of the game. However, the boys in red got revenge the following week with a comprehensive 15-0 win over York St John 2nds. The most recent fixture saw the Spinners lose in the cup to a far superior Keele University who are strong favourites to win the competition.

With already one win their last league fixture, captain Kieran Thirlwell will be looking for his side to make it two on the trot against a Teesside side who haven’t notched up a point all season and are as new to the league as the Spinners.

“I mean no disrespect to Teesside but we have to win tomorrow,” he said, “Anything else will be a disappointment and it’s as simple as that. They’re a new team just entering the league like we did last year. We can’t underestimate them but I want to win.”

And despite the defeat last week he is confident that his team will be able to bounce back well and have learnt a lot from the cup loss.

“The defeat against Keele can only be a learning curve. In our first two seasons as a team we have never played a team as good as them. However, we did make them work for their points and played for just under an hour,” he added.

“I only found out about the cup game the day before and that it was four hours away in Keele, Stoke on Trent. I initially didn’t know what to expect, but their experience and athleticism showed from the off. I have nothing to be disappointed off, especially with the fact we were able to organise a team on such short notice – something which many sports at the university wouldn’t be able to do.

“Keele spoke about how they used to be like us, if we can follow in their footsteps the future is very bright.”

“The season has been a bit mixed so far. I was disappointed to lose against York St John but I know how much they wanted to beat us. Hopefully a win here will give us something to celebrate, boost team morale and spur us on for some of the more challenging games in the second half of the season.”

First pull on Wednesday will be at 2pm with the game being hosted at Saltersgill Playing Fields.