Sunderland captain Phil rudd was unable to lead his side to cup success at Chester. Credit: Jamie Goodenough

Sunderland captain Phil Rudd was unable to lead his side to cup success at Chester. 

Sunderland’s University tennis team suffered a narrow defeat as they were knocked out of the Northern Conference Cup by Chester men’s 2nds.

It was always going to be tough for a travelling Sunderland side, who were forced to make the long trip with only three players due to several members being unavailable.

That meant Sunderland were forced to start the match 2-0 down – conceding one singles and one doubles rubber. Even so, the win was still well within their reach.

The visitors made a strong start, as their number one, Andrew Waddell, reduced the deficit by comfortably beating Chester’s Zachary Broad 6-0 6-3.

In the second singles match Sunderland’s Paddy Horne was also triumphant, recording a 6-4 6-4 victory over Matthew Daley.

The match on court three was an even closer affair, as Sunderland captain Phil Rudd and Chester’s Jonathan Swede played out a pivotal rubber.

Swede took the first set by six games to three, however Rudd responded in the second which he eventually won on a tie break.

Nevertheless, the deciding set was more one-sided and, after securing an early break, it was Swede who raced to the victory- winning 6-3 6-7 6-2.

That result put Chester 3-2 ahead with one doubles match left to play. A win for Sunderland would have resulted in a sudden-death tie break to determine which team progressed to the next round.

That was nearly the case. However, Waddell and Horne were unable to claim a closely contested double match.

After dropping the first set to the Chester duo of Broad and Swede, the Sunderland pair fought back to force a deciding set tie break.

However, it proved a step too far as Chester prevailed 7-6 5-7 1-0.

Sunderland will now turn their attentions back to the league, with their next match coming at home to Bradford on November 16.