Under-16's reach Home Farm final

by Stuart Vose

Round-up following youngsters' Ireland trip.

A Sunderland under-16 squad reached the final of the Home Farm 85th Anniversary Tournament in Ireland last weekend.

The young Black Cats recorded two wins and a draw from three group games before suffering a narrow defeat to Irish side Linfield in Sunday’s final.

The group, led by assistant Academy manager Elliott Dickman (pictured), got off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City on the opening day of the tournament, which kicked off last Friday.

Results at a glance

  • Sunderland 2 Birmingham City 1
  • Sunderland 0 Home Farm 0
  • Sunderland 3 Linfield 0
  • Sunderland 0 Linfield 1

Luke Molyneux fired Sunderland ahead with a fine individual goal and Charlie Wigley secured the victory with a near-post header after City had levelled.

A rotated team drew 0-0 with Home Farm on Saturday morning and did everything but score against a determined home outfit who defended well.

The young Black Cats were in action again later in the day and scored three fine goals to beat Linfield 3-0 and make sure of qualification for the final, with Elliot Embleton, Daniel Wright and Jake Hackett all on target.

With Sunderland and Linfield finishing as the tournament’s top two teams, the sides faced each other once again in Sunday’s final.

Linfield edged it in a narrow 1-0 win to secure the trophy at the expense of a Sunderland side who created a number of chances and saw the Linfield keeper made several good saves.

And Dickman was pleased with the trip overall, telling safc.com: “It was a good experience for the lads.

“Home Farm were very hospitable and we were looked after very well and made to feel extremely welcome.

“Playing against different kinds of opposition can only benefit the players.”