Ballymena under-13s impress despite defeat by Ridgeway

Matthew Lorimer of Ballymena Utd U14s bends a free kick around the Dungannon wall during Saturday game at the Showgrounds. INBT 43-188CS
Matthew Lorimer of Ballymena Utd U14s bends a free kick around the Dungannon wall during Saturday game at the Showgrounds. INBT 43-188CS

Ballymena United under 13 side faced Ridgeway on Friday evening at Solitude and despite defeat, the boys enjoyed their night under the lights.

United under 17s continued their confident run on the same evening,with a victory over Larne, sending the lads top of their National league.

Ballymena Utd U14's Ross McCausland (11) is congratulated by his team mates after scoring a goal in Saturday's game with Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds. INBT 43-186CS

Ballymena Utd U14's Ross McCausland (11) is congratulated by his team mates after scoring a goal in Saturday's game with Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds. INBT 43-186CS

The 14s played out a draw with a top Dungannon side in a high quality game at the Showgrounds.

There was an unfortunate ankle injury to United’s popular centre half Oliver Hampshire but he is already on the road to recovery and will be back before long. All at the Academy wish Ollie a speedy recovery.

The 16s had a day to forget in Limavady, the 15s game was disappointingly called off, the 12s and 11s were in Lisburn.

Johnny Humes and John McClean’s under 11s were 3-0 down at half time but what a superb second half from the lads, six goals and some brilliant football along with it.

Ballymena United under-11s, who staged a remarkable comeback at the weekend.

Ballymena United under-11s, who staged a remarkable comeback at the weekend.

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BUYA 6, Ridgeway Rovers 3: The literal game of two halves at Lisburn where United went in at the break three goals down.

What a second half from the boys however who played some superb football to fire in six goals unanswered.

Matthew Millar hammered fired home immediately after the restart followed by goals from a brilliant hat trick from Joshua Stewart, another from Millar and a great effort from Mark McClean.

Under 11 player Ben Davidson was the only player from the town to reach the final stage of the Swansea City Academy trials at Civil service on Sunday and will hope to progress.

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BUYA 1, Lisburn Youth 4: The under 12s went out of the Shield on Saturday against a strong Lisburn Youth team. Although they were strong and dominant in the first half, ultimately could not respond to two refereeing decisions that Ballymena felt had gone against them.

Billy Ewart put Ballymena ahead but we’re unable to add to their tally.

Ben Dallas had a glorious free kick ruled out and had two efforts saved.

Timmy McCoy was strong in defence and goalkeeper Ryan Mcgrath made some fantastic saves and his handling was superb all day.

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Ridgeway Rovers 6, BUYA 3: A cracking game at Solitude, both teams had chances in an end to end game where some excellent football was played.

Ridgeways football was a pleasure to watch at times, their outstanding captain the perfect example of how size means nothing if youth football is played the right way.

United had plenty of moments of their own, two great goals from Taylor Adger who had other chances and used his pace brilliantly at times against a tough defence.

A long range special Blake Douglas special so was a United highlight, the Belfast boys however had the edge in the end with some lightning counter attacks.

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BUYA 1, Dungannon Youth 1: Ballymena hosted Dungannon on Saturday morning and took the game to the visitors from the first minute.

The Sky Blues got into their passing rhythm quickly and forced a number of corners and from one of these deliveries Ross McCausland looped a header over the keeper, no further score in the first half but injuries to Charlie McCurdy and Max Davidson took the shine off a great team performance.

Into the second half and worse was to come on the injury front when Oliver Hampshire made another great tackle but unfortunately the impact and fall led to Oliver sustaining a broken ankle.

This led to another change to formation and defending deeper Dungannon pressed and equalised late in the game.

All at the academy send their best wishes to Oliver and his team mates will miss him come match days.

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Limavady Youth 6, Ballymena United 1: Jack McMurray on target again but a late collapse cost Ballymena dearly.

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Ballymena United 4, Larne Youth 1: Ballymena played neighbours Larne at Moyola and ran out 4-1 winners.

United started the brighter and had early chances but found themselves behind when they failed to clear a corner.

Ballymena equalised with an excellent volley from Luke Stockman.

The skies took the lead when substitute Sam Armstrong scored with his first touch. Rhys O’Mullan extended Ballymena’s lead with a header.

An excellent ball by Zac Herbinson put Sam Armstrong through for his second.

Simon Evans went close with a header and Sam Armstrong almost completed his hat trick when his first time shot on the turn from the touch line bounced over the bar. Just before the end Larne hit the crossbar.