A last-gasp try by Chichi Ihejieto saw Team Sunderland snatch victory in a thrilling encounter against Leeds 2nds.

A topsy-turvy game saw Leeds surge into a 10-0 lead within the first 15 minutes, Sunderland then responded with two of their own – one converted – either side of a further Leeds score to go into the break 15-12 down.

Sunderland then went ahead within five minutes of the restart as Ihejieto again went over, followed by two more tries which were converted by the impressive Jess Avery to put hosts 31-15 ahead going into the last 20 minutes.

Leeds then came back with a remarkable three tries in five minutes, one of which was converted meaning they went into the last minute with a 32-31 lead, only for Ihejieto to clinch victory with the last play of the game.

Team Sunderland went in the game on the back of their first win of the season while the Leeds were searching for the first win after a defeat at Durham last time out, and it was the visitors who started the brighter.

Within the first minute, Sunderland were 5-0 down as they struggled to deal with the speed of the Leeds players with the number 16 making the most of an overlap on the right wing, then doubled their lead after a quick breakaway from their second row after 14 minutes.

Ihejieto then responded for Sunderland after 18 minutes as Sunderland began to get into the game, her try was then converted by Lauren Watson to take the scored to 7-10.

After a further unconverted try apiece before half time, Sunderland looked to take control. They raced out the blocks in the first half as Ihejieto grabbed her second within four minutes of the restart after relentless Sunderland pressure.

Lorna Blenkin got her second of the game on 55 minutes as Sunderland again overpowered the Leeds defence, followed by a further Ihejieto try five minutes later. Avery converted both with kicks that would later turn out to be crucial as Sunderland went 31-15 up.

Going into the last quarter of the game, Sunderland looked comfortable however Leeds, to their credit, as they turned the game on its head.

As in the first half, Sunderland struggled to handle their opponent’s speed, with the Leeds 14 outpacing the home defence down the left side with the wing then converting her own kick. Sensing an opportunity, Leeds then targeted the same side again as their 12 went over, then grabbed her second to put Leeds 32-31 ahead.

Sunderland attempted to rally and looked to have blown their chance of coming back again as they were penalised for a forward pass when presented with a fantastic opportunity to score just two minutes from the end.

However, they were not to be denied, and as the clock hit 80, the Leeds defence could not hold out as Ihejieto went over to win the game for Team Sunderland.