A jubilant Sunderland RFU U16s signed off their regular season with silverware, lifting the Durham County Plate with a 25-13 victory over Gateshead on Sunday.
Gateshead had the better of a nervy start for both teams and crashed over to take a 5-0 lead early in the first half.
Stung, Sunderland then went on the attack and following sustained pressure, Matt Sanderson split the Gateshead defence and went in under the posts.
Michael Holder added the conversion for a 7-5 lead. Shortly afterwards, Holder slotted a penalty to stretch the advantage to 10-5.
With confidence high, Sunderland scored again when Shumirai Katerere pounced on a handling error.
However, the Tynesiders hit back and were next to score making it a narrow 15-10 lead to Sunderland at half time.
After the break Sunderland had a strong period of possession eventually getting the ball out wide for prolific pace man Luke Carroll to touch down for his 18th try of the season.
Gateshead were not about to lie down though and pressed a resolute Sunderland defence until they were awarded a penalty, which they converted.
Then followed a prolonged period of nail biting for the large band of travelling Sunderland supporters before Dean Edmundson broke through after a well worked wraparound move to score wide right.
Sunderland held out for the last couple of minutes to take the silverware 25-13.
The result was reward for an noteworthy season for Sunderland, winning 19 of 25 games and scoring over 800 points in the process.
In their final game of the season, Sunderland Colts pushed Ryton Colts all the way before losing 29-17.
Tries from Clayton Walker, Mark Tallentire and a first of the season for John Turner, with a conversion from Joe Hodgson were not enough as the home side capitalised on some defensive lapses to run in five tries.
In a high scoring game, a much-improved Sunderland U13s outfit pushed Whitley Bay Rockcliff all the way, before the home side sealed a 45-35 victory in the closing minutes.
Zak Kennedy and Vincent Hessel both scored trebles, with Josh Jobling also touching down.
Sunderland U12s travelled to Ryton on Sunday morning to play the hosts, Houghton RFC and Westoe RFC.
The first game against Ryton ended with a convincing 45-0 win for Sunderland.
The next match saw Sunderland register a 15-5 win over neighbours Houghton, but in their final outing, went down 35-10 to Westoe.
There were superb performances on the day from Kai Haikney, Jack Carr, Harrison Wayman and Kyle Tyrens, who all got their names on the score sheet.