Beating a Munster XI 2-1 in our first pre-season friendly was an acceptable start to the build-up to a new Premier League season. Now for mighty Darlington.
Martyn Waghorn’s encouraging performance – scoring both Sunderland goals – was marred by a late injury that meant he left the field on a stretcher. I have no precise news on how serious it may be, but Steve Bruce said afterwards that the immediate thinking was that “he’ll be OK”.
Connoisseurs of these occasions will want to know that the starting line-up was as follows:
Simon Mignolet, Teemu Tainio, George McCartney, Jack Colback, Anton Ferdinand, Nyron Nosworthy, David Healy, Andy Reid, Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Noble, Daryl Murphy.
… and that we started the second half (at that stage a goal down) like this:
Carson, Bardsley (C), Liddle, Turner, Kilgallon, Henderson, Richardson, Cattermole, Malbranque, Campbell, Waghorn.
In other words, two different 11s but each containing names we would not expect to see often, or in some cases at all, in action for the first team in the coming season.
The Irish broadcaster RTE’s report of the match included this:
… Steve Bruce’s Black Cats were in Limerick to take part in a fundraiser for the Shane Geoghegan Trust.
The trust was launched by Niall Quinn last October in memory of a young man shot dead in a case of mistaken identity, with the aims of providing children with an alternative to criminal or anti-social behaviour by making a range of sporting and cultural activities available to them.
Striker Waghorn hit both goals for the visitors but left the pitch on a stretcher in the final minute with an injury.
The Barclays Premier League side fielded a strong line-up featuring the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Andy Reid and Anton Ferdinand but fell behind inside 12 minutes as John Tierney rifled home.
Waghorn entered the fray at the interval and pulled the Black Cats level 15 minutes from time when he fired home from Steed Malbranque’s pull-back, and the 20-year-old doubled his tally with a fine free-kick just two minutes later…
Bruce’s verdict (to safc.com): “a decent workout against a decent team who gave it everything.”