Mead fires winner to clinch league title for Black Cats

Beth Mead (centre) celebrates Sunderland winning the league with her team-mates and boss Mick Mulhern'picture: Susan Gutteridge
Beth Mead (centre) celebrates Sunderland winning the league with her team-mates and boss Mick Mulhern'picture: Susan Gutteridge

WHITBY Community College student Beth Mead fired the winning goal as her Sunderland ladies’ team clinched the Women’s National Premier League title on Sunday.

The 16-year-old from Hinderwell and her team-mates could make it a glorious double this Sunday when they take on Leeds United in the final of the League Cup at Northampton.

The game at Cardiff was played in torrential rain but Sunderland bergan brightly and their early pressure paid off when Nicola Devine scored. Cardiff grabbed an unlikely equaliser from a soft corner

Sunderland regained the lead early in the second half when Mead, who had gone close with a header moments earlier, pounced on a loose ball to steer it beyond the despairing dive of Rhian Nokes in the home goal.

The Bluebirds were reduced to 10 players when Mead was hauled down on the edge of the box and goalscorer Terri Beddows was shown a red card.

A delighted Beth told the Whitby Gazette this week: “I have enjoyed my first year so much.

“Just playing for the club has been a dream come true as well as winning the league on top of that.

“I’m really looking forward to the cup – it will be another great experience and a big, big game.”

Manager Mick Mulhern was delighted after the game as he spoke amid the bubbly: “It was fantastic to win this league last year but the real challenge was to retain it.

“We’ve done that after a hard and challenging season and that’s the mark of true champions. I’m very proud.”