Sunderland Primary Schools Boys have made the perfect start to the season, lifting the Peter Dunn Trophy for the third consecutive season.
Captain Joe Errington, outstanding alongside Eden Page at the back for the city side, received the trophy from Durham County Schools FA secretary Tom Baker.
The Wearside youngsters travelled to Darlington for the first get-together of the season for the new-look squad, and, in their opening round-robin game, Sunderland began well against the much-fancied Darlington side, taking the lead after five minutes when a tremendous corner from the busy Bryan Taylor saw Jake Hutchinson outjump the home defence to head home at the near post.
Sunderland remained in the ascendency and continued to dominate, with Taylor missing a good chance to increase the lead when he fired wide at the back post with only the keeper to beat.
This proved to be almost the final action of the game and the final whistle blew shortly after to ensure a winning start for the Sunderland squad.
The second game saw Sunderland up against Redcar and Cleveland, who had also made a winning start, courtesy of a 3-0 win over Chester-le-Street.
Again, the Wearsiders proved to be the strongest side and had the better of the exchanges, but they found the elusive opening goal difficult to find, with Hutchinson firing wide when through on goal shortly before the final whistle.
The 0-0 score meant that the boys had to better Redcar’s result in the final round of matches to retain the trophy.
Sunderland were quickly on the front foot against Chester-le-Street and opened the scoring when Josh Martin crashed the ball home from close range after five minutes.
The lead was increased shortly before the end when a Martin shot was parried by the keeper and Mason Tarrrant followed up to force the ball home from close range.
With no further goals, the 2-0 success was sufficient to see the squad finish top of the table, with Redcar held to a 1-1 draw by Darlington in the other final round game.