Sunderland finish with a real flourish

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SUNDERLAND Broom firsts completed their season with a third successive victory to finish in eighth place in the North East League’s Premier Division.

The Ashbrooke outfit followed up wins over Wilton and Stockton seconds by edging home 3-2 away to Jesmond Parish Church, climbing above their final-day Tyneside opponents to end eighth on 23 points, six points clear of Stockton seconds, who face a play-off to preserve their status.

Sunderland hit 45 goals in 22 league matches, conceding 74, with seven wins, two draws and 13 defeats.

Sunderland seconds finished their dismal campaign off with an 8-2 defeat at home to Tynedale at Sandhill View – a 19th defeat in 22 league matches in Intermediate 2.

Broom managed just two wins and a draw, scoring only 15 goals and conceding 89.

They ended only one point behind second-bottom Stokesley seconds, one of the two clubs they managed to beat.

H Durham University firsts have a difficult final game of the Now Pensions League’s Conference North season away to second-top Bowdon on Sunday.

Hugh Robinson’s side can finish no higher than third, but could be overtaken by fourth-top Olton and West Warwickshire if they fail to win.

Bowdon, meanwhile, cannot catch leaders Brooklands Manchester University, who will enter the promotion play-offs.

Durham go into the game having suffered only their second league defeat last weekend, 3-2 to second-bottom Deeside Ramblers.

Ali Ghazanfar’s opener for Deeside was cancelled out by James O’Neill on 17 minutes, but the visitors rallied to lead 3-1 at the break, thanks to Ben Lamont and Umer Bhutta.

Matthew Murphy’s penalty corner strike gave Durham hope for the final 13 minutes, but Deeside held on to claim three points which guaranteed their survival.