Originally published by SportsByte on October 29th 2013.
A depleted Sunderland City Predators side battled valiantly to win one and lose one in their Womens Division 3 North double header at the weekend.
Sunderland breezed past City of Salford 2 for the second time this season, winning in straight sets (13-25, 14-25, 21-25) to give them their third win of the campaign.
However, Yorkshire side North Riding Eagles provided Sunderland with a more strenuous test, coming from two sets down to eventually win a tense final set 16-14.
Sunderland had earlier won the opening sets with two 20-25 wins, but the Eagles returned emphatically with a 25-11 set win before edging the fourth set 25-23.
Various illnesses and work commitments meant that the squad lacked numbers and were missing key players but to come away with a win from a tricky double header will be of great relief to the side.
There will have been some frustration for the Predators as they know that, with a full-strength squad, they maybe could have held out against the Eagles – but the Predators remain firmly fourth in the Womens Division 3 North in full knowledge that returning players will improve them later in the season.
Predators’ Hollie Patterson said: “The sets (against the Eagles) were pretty close and we came back strongly during the sets, but we had strong players missing and people playing out of position.
“We won the first two sets but then we started making silly mistakes and they are fantastic at picking up everything. They never gave up and neither did we.”
The Predators next face Team Durham and Haughton Darlington in another double-header on November 17.
The day will be quite contrasting given that Durham are currently four points clear at the top of the table and Darlington are two points adrift at the bottom, and the Predators have already played both sides: beating Darlington 3-0, and losing 3-0 to Durham.