SUNDERLAND Broom Ladies were made to work hard to secure the Durham Plate title with a 3-2 victory over Whitby.
Sunderland started strongly and pierced Whitby’s defence on several occasions and solid attacking play from Fleming and Phelan stretched Whitby’s midfield.
Sunderland opened the scoring when they were awarded a short corner.
Laidler injected the ball to Middleton, who took a quick shot that was saved by the keeper.
However, the ball was pushed back out to Middleton, who in turn found Laidler at the far post.
Laidler effortlessly placed the ball between the keeper’s legs in to the back of the net to give Sunderland a slender lead at half-time.
A quiet start to the second half saw Sunderland lose concentration, which Whitby took full advantage of.
A Whitby forward swept the ball into the goal to draw themselves level.
The Brooms responded by putting Whitby’s defence under immense pressure with attacks coming from Bowerman and Edmunson.
Sunderland’s efforts paid off after being awarded many short corners.
A strike at goal saw the ball bounce off the keeper’s pads and onto the stick of Brewster, who slipped it back to Middleton.
Middleton passed it across the goal to Cassap, who slapped it into the goal.
Sunderland continued to pierce Whitby’s defence, while Thirtle and Burrows comfortably dealt with counter attacks from the opposition.
However, Sunderland’s defence were caught short when Whitby were awarded a short corner.
Patton ran out to block the straight strike, but the ball was moved around her only to find the foot of Thirtle on the goal line and a penalty flick was awarded.
Whitby stepped up to take the flick and steered it just out the reach of Patton’s pads to make the score 2-2.
With the prospect of extra time looming, both teams battled for possession.
With four minutes to go, the ball found its way to Cassap, who drove the ball sweetly into the bottom corner to put Sunderland 3-2 up.
Sunderland worked hard and saw the game out to clinch victory over a strong Whitby side.