Sunderland held out to claim their first Durham Junior Cup triumph in 14 years thanks to a 20-18 win over Ryton last night.
in the showpiece final at Durham City’s Hollow Drift ground, Sunderland lifted the cup, capping a wonderful night in front of a packed house.
Despite Ryton having finished one place ahead of the Ashbrooke outfit in Durham/Northumberland Division Two, the young Wearsiders claimed the honours in style, with Dean Edmundson claiming a try double.
Sunderland started the match on the front foot, exerting pressure from the interplay between backs and forwards.
From a midfield ruck, Sunderland’s teenage scrum half Ben Hutchinson put in a defence-splitting grubber kick, chased down by fellow colt Dean Edmundson from outside centre to touch down. Full-back Leon Ryan missed the conversion.
Ryton conceded a string of penalties as Sunderland’s dominance told, but both of Ryan’s attempts to extend the lead drifted wide.
From a 22 drop out, Ryton moved the ball wide and, in a rare foray into Sunderland’s half, their blindside flanker scored in the right hand corner to make it 5-5.
As half-time approached, Ryton’s tight head prop was sin-binned for not rolling away.
But, from the kick-off, Sunderland were penalised for not rolling away and Ryton fired over a penalty to go 8-5 ahead..
Ryton added three more points in the second period to stretch their lead to 11-5.
However, Sunderland’s forward domination paid dividends as their scrum and maul continued to wreak havoc.
Ryton conceded a string of penalties, leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty try to Sunderland on 48 minutes.
In the ascendancy, Sunderland set up a ruck on Ryton’s 22 and, with a penalty advantage, fly-half Marc Edmundson broke and offloaded to brother Dean, who scored his second try, taking the Ashbrooke side 17-11 up.
In the 75th minute, Ryan added a penalty to extend Sunderland’s advantage to nine points.
As the clock counted down, Ryton drove upfield to score a converted try, leading to a nervy finish, but Sunderland held on for the win and the cup.