SUNDERLAND Primary Schools Boys start their defence of the Harrison Cup league championship on Saturday, boosted by victory in the annual Peter Dunn Trophy.
The new-look Wearsiders impressed in their first get-together at Darlington, topping the four-team group to retain the pre-season trophy without conceding a goal.
Sunderland kicked off against Redcar and Cleveland, taking the game to the Teessiders from the opening whistle, with keeper Ben McDonald a virtual spectator in the Wearsiders’ goal.
Despite hitting the woodwork on four occasions and laying siege to the Redcar goal, Sunderland just could not make the breakthrough and had to be content with a 0-0 draw.
Next up, Sunderland secured a 2-0 win over Darlington, who had opened up by beating Chester-le-Street.
Sunderland took the lead when great footwork from Jude Percival saw him create space to cross to the back post, where Brandon Goldsmith fired home from close range.
The three points were guaranteed when Percival got on the end of a James Harrison cross to head home from close range.
That victory left the Wearsiders knowing that a win over old adversaries Chester-le-Street would secure the silverware.
Harry Gardiner’s 30-second opener ensured the best possible start and when Goldsmith quickly added a second, the game began to slip out of Chesters reach.
Defender Lewis Connolly headed powerfully home from a corner kick to make it 3-0 before Gardiner’s second goal of the game increased the lead.
Connolly then flicked on a cross which took a deflection from an opposition defender to leave the Chester-le Street keeper flat-footed to complete a 5-0 victory and an excellent team performance.
The league season begins at Derwentside on Saturday.