BALLYMENA United Youth Academy front man Daniel Black was in top form for United under 15’s last week in an impressive league victory for the Academy’s most senior team against Trojans.
Few sides will travel to Londonderry this season and come way with the three points but the Sky Blues played some of their best football of the season in recording a comprehensive victory.
The 11s progressed without any fuss in the Northern Ireland cup with a similar victory in the North West at the weekend while the 14s lost out to a late extra time goal to exit in their derby with Carniny.
Coleraine 7, BUYA 2: United lost out in their league encounter after leading 2-1 for a period in this game.
There were good performances from Matthew Worthington and Robbie Gilchrist getting two excellent goals but United struggled to contain a livewire Coleraine striker and along with some defensive mistakes, the Bann boys capitalised with a number of late goals.
A disappointing day for United whose compatriots in the Town side also lost out to Ballymoney.
Oak Athletic 0, BUYA 2: Ballymena got off to a good start and had Oak Athletic on the back foot from the kick off forcing a couple of corners.
United got the first goal from one of these corners with Shaun McAllister picking the ball up on the edge of the box with a great first touch and finishing in to the top corner.
The coaches made a few changes at half time but Ballymena started the second half strongly and when the Oak keeper made a good save only to push the ball out to the edge of the box, Ross McCausland arrived with a great finish low into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
Ballymena had keeper William Crockard to thank with a great save near the end to keep a clean sheet.
A great team performance from everybody to progress to the quarter finals. Matthew Shaw and Shaun McAllister were best on the day.
Carniny Youth 3, BUYA 2: United suffered extra time heart break in their cup derby with Carniny at Ballykeel where both sides put on a great display.
United started the strongest and it was no surprise when a Glen Swann corner was finished well by Jamie Timms.
Carniny upped their game and went ahead before the break with two goals.
United equalised in this nip and tuck tie after good work by Cameron Neilly and Sam Armstrong and then a finish from the impressive Jack Walshe.
Into extra time this thriller went and Carniny edged ahead as the game came to a close.
There was nothing between these two sides on the day in a game played at a great tempo,a great advert for youth football in the town.
Trojans 2, BUYA 3: The Sky Blues started well and Matthew Armstrong put them ahead with an excellent header in the first minute.
Trojans soon got on top in midfield and drew level on 5 minutes and went ahead 6 minutes later.
Ballymena worked hard to get back in the game but found it hard until the 22nd minute when Sam Cummings hit the post with a good header from a corner.
This encouraged Ballymena and just before the break, Daniel Black broke down the left and cut inside the box before finishing strongly and bringing the game level at half time.
Encouraged by the strong finish to the first half Ballymena started the second half by winning the midfield battle and their pressure paid off on 53 minutes when the tireless Daniel Black cut in from the right and buried his shot in the far corner despite the best efforts of a Trojans defender.
Youth Academy Under 11 player Ross McCausland has been selected for the Eastern Region IFA Development squad.
His hard work and talent with the ball has earned him a place in this select squad which will see him train with some of the top IFA coaches on a regular basis.
A number of other Under 11 players impressed at the recent trials and will be monitored throughout the rest of the season.