Sunderland reach final

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

Sunderland Women 8 Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0

Sunderland are through to the final of the FA Premier League Cup for the first time after a runaway semi-final romp at home to Blackburn today.

A Keira Ramshaw hat-trick, plus two for young strike partner Beth Mead, eased the Lady Black Cats into the final against their only rivals for the league title, Leeds United, next month.

Mead came back from a knee injury to fire Sunderland into an eigth minute lead with a long range volley against their lower division opponents, at the former Eppleton CW ground, at Hetton-le-Hole.

There were further first-half goals for Kelly McDougall, from the penalty spot, and two for Ramshaw.

Having scored her second, less than quarter of an hour after the re-start, Mead was replaced by American midfielder Robin Chidester, who almost immediately made it six.

Sophie Williams scored the seventh before England Under-19 international Ramshaw completed her hat-trick and Sunderland's Sunday afternoon stroll.

It keeps Mick Mulhern's side on for a Premier League and cup double over the next two weekends.

Victory at Cardiff City in their last league fixture on Sunday will see Sunderland pip Leeds to retain the Premier National Division title.

Sunderland and Leeds then meet in the League Cup final at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium, on Sunday, May 6 (2.30pm kick-off).

United had a tougher semi-final, beating Coventry City 2-0 with goals by Tanya Rich and Emma Johnson, at Rugby Town yesterday.

In their three matches so far this season Sunderland beat Leeds in both league fixtures and drew a League Cup first round group game, 1-1.

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