Sunderland Primary Boys crowned Harrison Cup champions again – for the fifth time in six years

Sunderland Primary Schools Boys celebrate their Harrison Cup success
Sunderland Primary Schools Boys celebrate their Harrison Cup success
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Sunderland Primary Schools Boys are champions again, winning the Harrison Cup for the fifth time in six successful years.

Two victories at the Academy of Light sealed the league championship, with a 100 per cent record, for the young Wearsiders, with Sunderland AFC chairman Ellis Short taking in the first success against Darlington.

There was disappointment, too, though as Sunderland’s hopes of lifting the Derwent and Medomsley Cup were dashed by a semi-final defeat to East Northumberland, ending a run of nine successive final appearances.

But the lads still have one more challenge - the first ever Premier League National finals at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground on Saturday, July 9.

Sunderland have been drawn to meet Stevenage, Thurrock (Essex) and Erdington and Saltley (Midlands).

Sunderland tied up the Harrison Cup by beating Darlington and North Tyneside.

A tight clash with Darlington saw Sunderland thankful to keeper Ethan Baillie for a magnificent, instinctive one-handed save to tip a rocket of a shot over the bar.

The Wearsiders made the breakthrough with a screamer from Logan Herron, who collected the ball in midfield and advanced before firing a right-footed strike into the top corner of the net.

Spencer Scott made it 2-0, swivelling to hit a shot across the keeper after the ball ricocheted around the box, but Darlington pulled one back to ensure a nervous finale.

The home defence, marshalled by the excellent Joe Errington and Eden Page, held out to clinch three vital points.

Sunderland clinched the title with a 4-2 win over North Shields.

Scott poked home the opener, and Bryan Taylor doubled the lead in the second half with a fine finish. North Tyneside rallied with a fine, long-range strike, but Taylor restored the two-goal lead with an excellent individual goal.

The visitors cut the deficit again, but Mason Tarrant put the result beyond doubt when he raced onto a through ball to fire beyond the advancing keeper.

In the Derwent and Medomsley Cup, goals from Scott, Oliver Thompson and Tarrant sunk North Shields 3-0 to seal a semi-final date with East Northumberland at Castletown Primary.

Captain Joe Errington, who had skippered his Hill View side to Watson Cup success an hour before, had to miss out through injury, and the ensuing reshuffle had a big effect.

Nevertheless, Sunderland stormed ahead when Ellis Stanton’s fantastic free-kick from 30 yards beat the excellent visiting keeper all ends up.

Missed chances proved costly as East Northumberland equalised five minutes from time to force extra time, with their centre-half heading home a corner.

Sunderland could have led again when Scott drove a delicious centre across the face of goal, but neither Daniel Collins nor Josh Martin could reach it at the far post.

The deciding goal came in the second period of extra time when Sunderland stood off an East Northumberland midfielder, allowing him to drive into the box and beat the exposed Baillie.