County U18s still unbeaten after Durham draw

Northumberland County Schools Under 18s kept their Northern Counties unbeaten record intact and qualified for he semi-finals after a 2-2 draw against local rivals Durham.

Northumberland broke the deadlock after only four minutes when a terrific corner from Tom Potter (Whitley Bay) was met by skipper Jack Byerley (St Thomas More) who headed past the Durham goalkeeper.

Durham fought back and were twice denied by goalkeeper Callum Straker (Tyne Met) who touched goalbound shots past the post and then over the bar, but a fine individual run and unstoppable shot from Nathan Watt (Gateshead College) saw Durham equalise on the half hour mark.

Only five minutes later Northumberland restored their advantage after a corner from Luke Balmer (RGS) found Paul Dunn (TyneMet) who smashed home the ball from close range.

Ten minutes into the second period Durham equalised with a penalty by Andrew White (Darlington College) before Northumberland were reduced to ten men when a second yellow card led to a sending off.

Durham finish top of the East League, guaranteeing a home draw in the Northern Counties’ Championship semis, while Northumberland must travel to King’s School, Chester, on March 8, to face Cheshire.