Reading legend Graeme Murty 'took his hat off' to the 'relentless' Royals despite his Sunderland side winning 4-3 at the SCL Stadium to book their place in the PL2 final.

Murty, who played almost 300 times for the club from 1998 until 2009, has been Lead Development coach on Wearside since departing Glasgow Rangers.

In the dugout for a return to Berkshire, up against former teammate Noel Hunt, his Black Cats came out on top in a topsy-turvy semi-final clash.

Right-back Ellis Taylor bagged a hattrick, including a 99th-minute equaliser, while Trey Ogunsuyi converted in the 120th-minute to seal a dramatic win.

Jayden Wareham, Adrian Akande and Matty Carson were on the score sheet for the Young Royals, roared on by almost 3,000 in attendance.

Respectful of his former club throughout, even holding back celebrations in stoppage time, Murty spoke highly of Reading in defeat.

"I’ve got the take my hat off to Reading, I thought when we handled the 10 minutes after the second half, I thought we were going to accelerate away from them but they’re relentless, physically intense and imposing," the former Scotland international told club media. "They’re really good at what they do and there are some really good players. Our players have been in a test."

Hunt, who joined the club as a player back in 2008, has already led the Academy to a sixth-placed finish in the league, European qualification next season and a Berks-Bucks Senior Cup title.

"I'm just gutted for everyone," he said. "The fans turned out and the atmosphere was amazing, it sounded like 10,000 at times. It's just the disappointment. 

Sunderland will travel to Tottenham Hotspur in the PL2 Final next weekend.