Ball's side hold Everton to goalless draw.
Everton U21 0 Sunderland U21 0
Sunderland's U21s secured a useful point on Merseyside as Everton sealed qualification for the final league phase on Monday evening.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a string of saves for Kevin Ball's side to deny a strong Toffees outfit at Southport.
Jordan Laidler, Liam Marrs and Mikael Mandron all played having been on the bench for the first team last weekend, but it was Pickford who was busiest.
Everton generated three early chances before Chris Long was denied one-on-one by Pickford just before the quarter-hour.
Long then headed over just after the break before Francisco Junior swept a shot into Pickford's arms.
The Sunderland keeper then made another good save to deny Long after the Everton man had previously fired wide.
But the visitors almost nicked it late on when Jan Mucha was beaten following a counter-attack and a desperate clearance was required to prevent the Black Cats finding the net.
Sunderland: Pickford, Marrs, Ferguson, Laidler, Harrison, McNamee, Mitchell, Gorrin, Ryan Noble, Mandron, Knott.