PUB regulars raised a glass to The Northern Echo last night after their cup final plans were saved.

Locals at The Wheatsheaf Inn at Leadgate, near Consett, were crying in their beer after learning the plug was about to be pulled on the big match.

Northern Power Grid has planned essential maintenance to coincide with Sunderland’s Capital One Cup final showdown with Man City at Wembley on Sunday.

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But regular Tonia Cain, 44, from Leadgate, contacted The Northern Echo, to plead for help to keep the power on.

After a quick call from the paper at 5pm yesterday (Friday, February 28), the energy company promised an emergency generator so the pub can screen the action.

Ms Cain said: “The Northern Echo has pulled the strings and got the generator in. I can’t thank them enough. We are very grateful.”

The pub opens at 11am with kick off at 2pm and landlady Angela Williams will be laying on food to mark the occasion.

Northern Power Grid has planned to replace a low voltage overhead network and will switching off power in the area between 9am and 4pm.

Paul Whiteley, a manager with the company, said: “We managed to arrange a generator for the pub after hearing about the problem from The Northern Echo and we are happy to do it.

“It is good customer service and it is not very often Sunderland get into a cup final.”