Houghton Harriers are relegated to Division Three after finishing bottom of Division Two.
Houghton Harrier Will Bellamy showed a good turn of speed to win the under 11s race in a sprint finish. Clubmate Anna Piggford was second girl.
But the action at the bottom of the table was just as intense as Sunderland, who have never been in this position before, had to dig deep to ensure their survival.
Their counters were Lynn Cullen in eighth, Kay Snowball ninth and Jenna Maynard 16th. The race winner was Durham City Harrier Kim Simpson.
Sunderland Harriers provided the second, third and fourth finishers in the under 17 men's race to win the team race. They were respectively Mark Smith, Aaron Mason and Sam Harris.
Sunderland Strollers are back in the Second Division after finishing bottom of the table.
" While many thought we had an impossible task, I knew once I saw the team assembled we could do it.
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They went into the six mile handicap cross country race having to claw back five points on Tynedale, who were one place above the city club in third off the bottom of the table.
seventh in the match with Liam Taylor their first runner to finish in 22nd.
"And they did not let me and the club down.''
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title from Morpeth Harriers, who had a disaster, finishing last of the 10 competing club's.
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The fastest runner on the course was fast pack man Dan Jenkin of Durham, who charged through to seventh from the fast pack (29.44).
Club secretary Michael Hill said: "I can't praise the lads enough.
Then came fast pack man Mark Hood in 29th (30.56), Noel Hitchcock 37th (33.47) and sixth and last counter was veteran Tim Field, who pegged back a couple of runners in the home straight to claim 73rd (34.27) and a glorious team victory.
The Wearsiders, who have never been out of the First Division since the league was split into divisions nearly 20 years ago, overcame a mighty challenge to secure their status.
He slipped back to a gallant final third (34.12), to set the Harriers' up for their remarkable win.
Next home for the royal blue vests was Craig Isherwood (left), who had just come off a night shift to lend the club a hand in their relegation fight. He stormed into fifth from the medium pack (actual time 31.57) and was followed by Matthew Fearn in 17th (35.43).
The 22 man Sunderland team ran their socks off to win the team race by the skin of their teeth by just one point from Durham City Harriers.
Final table: Durham 13pts, Tyne Bridge 15, Morpeth 18, Wallsend 30, South Shields 37, Low Fell 41 Gateshead 41, Sunderland Harriers 42, Tynedale 43, Sunderland Strollers 50.
Brian Rushworth, the Harriers' most renowned cross country runner, with 10 record breaking wins in the North East Cross Country Under Armour Curry 1
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Sunderland Strollers won the women's match to climb to fourth in the First Division.
Championships, added himself to the fray, despite being on the injured list and having not raced for nine months.
SUNDERLAND Harriers staved off the threat of relegation with a superb win in the final North East Harrier League First Division match at Wrekenton on Saturday.
Now aged 51 and his best years well behind him, he can still be relied upon to stir things up at the front of the field, even though he has knee and calf problems that have greatly interfered with his training.
Running from the slow pack, he had a 30 metre lead on the opening lap, but his fitness caught up with him on the second and third laps.
The cathedral club came up on the rails to steal the Under Armour Apollo Twist
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They finished Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 2 Black
Rushworth and co save the day for Harriers
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