Marc Edmundson’s brace of tries helped book Sunderland’s place in the Durham Junior County Cup final after dominating Sedgefield in last night’s 27-12 semi-final success.
Sunderland’s youthful back-line, all teenagers bar two, proved the difference as the Ashbrooke side’s forwards capitalised on their dominance at neutral Hartlepool Rovers.
Flanker Grant Edmundson opened the scoring after dancing through Sedgefield’s defence, with Leon Ryan adding a conversion.
With a pick and go, lock Luke Victory added to the scoring when he touched down, followed by a Ryan penalty, to take Sunderland into a 15-0 half-time lead.
After the break, fly-half Marc Edmundson cut through a gap in Sedgefield’s defence to score a third try for the Wearsiders, converted by Ryan, and the fly-half capped a great performance when chasing a box kick from scrum-half Brad Fish in his own half to cross the whitewash and take the Wearsiders into the final.
Delighted Sunderland chairman Paul Geehan said: “The first 5-10 minutes were very edgy, but eventually our forwards dominated the scrums and line-outs and our line defence was really good.
“The young lads in the backs played well above their years and they were just too quick and too good for the opposition.”
Sunderland will face Ryton in the final next Wednesday at Durham City (7pm kick-off), following their final league game at Hill View against Whitby on Saturday.
Ryton edged a narrow win over Sunderland last weekend, so the final promises to be a thriller.
Sunderland’s bid to rebuild their main stand at Ashbrooke – dubbed the Last Stand as a memorial to former players, including those who died in both wars – has received a major boost.
Club bosses have received £5,000 from the John Drummond Trust towards the work.
The charity are raising money in memory of former Sunderland RFC player John, who died aged just 33 in August 2016, with other good causes to benefit including Macmillan nurses, SEN and high-achieving pupils at Oxclose Community Academy, where John taught.