Wearside Combination League: Seven-up Farm’s final flourish as 70 years of history ends

Squad members from Hall Farm (Red/Blue) and University of Sunderland (Orange/Black) following the last Wearside Combination League game. Picture by David Wood
Squad members from Hall Farm (Red/Blue) and University of Sunderland (Orange/Black) following the last Wearside Combination League game. Picture by David Wood
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HALL Farm will go down in history as winners of the last ever game in the Wearside Combination League.

Farm met University of Sunderland at Herrington CW to end the season, with the league folding after 70 years, and they put on a good show to run out convincing 7-1 winners.

Farm manager Lee Bogan, in his 10th season running the club, took the opportunity to rotate his squad and, in a tight first half, they were lucky to turn around 2-0 up.

Jake Baker broke the deadlock on 30 minutes after good work by veteran Andrew Steele, then Farm increased their advantage with an unfortunate own goal.

Steele lobbed in Farm’s third just after half-time before the home side introduced their regular strike force of 43-goal Dean Smith, Lee Pearce and Mark Mhlanga.

Between them, they shared four goals in the final half hour, Mhlanga getting one then Smith added two sharp finishes before Pearce, Farm’s top performer in recent months, grabbed the last ever goal in the Combination after 88 minutes.

In between, the plucky students grabbed the goal of the game with a superb 35-yard effort from David Brown to make their own mark on the final match.

Frank Opoezie stood out for University, with Chris Bewick man of the match for Hall Farm.

Victory saw Farm finish only two points behind champions Hendon. They also scored 20 more goals than the winners, and a better goal difference too.