Ballymena United Youth Academy duo Sean McAllister and Ross McCausland have been lighting up the season for the club’s under 12s and 13s.
The duo’s impressive performances earned them selection for the national panel and they were the star turn in their first game recently for the squad.
In a 3-1 victory, Ross scored twice and Sean the other goal on another proud night for the sky blue academy.
Both boys were in action at the weekend, firstly on Saturday for the 13s in a convincing victory and the for the 12s on Sunday at the prestigious Castle Juniors tournament.
CASTLE JUNIOR SEVENS
This prestigious pre Christmas tournament has been attended regularly by the United sides with the under 9s and 12s in attendance on Sunday.
The 12s flew out of the blocks with some stunning football, defeating Cliftonville 5-0, St Oliver Plunkett 5-2 and the host Castle Juniors 4-3.
Against Dungoyne a debatable throw in saw the United lads concede a late equaliser and lost out on the dreaded penalties.
The 9s impressed themselves and braved the weather, returning victorious with their first competitive silverware, to the delight of the coaching team of Derek McClintock & Christopher Duff.
After an opening three match defeat to Glenavon, Lurgan Town and host team Castle Juniors the side worked tirelessly in bleak conditions to fight back gaining a 2-1 victory over St Oliver Plunkett, followed swiftly with another 2-1 victory over Ards.
With new found confidence and adrenaline the team surged forward finally beating Ridgeway Rovers 2-1 in the final.
BUYA 11, Glenavon 0: In an excellent display, Bobby Rainey got the scoring started followed by Max Davidson quickly adding a second.
Next on the scoresheet was Ross McCausland then Matthew Lorimer scored and a second of the game for Bobby Rainey finished the scoring for the half.
Max Davidson was rewarded for his efforts with his second followed by two quick Lewis Mearns goals and Bobby Rainey completed his hat-trick. Bradley McCartney again found the net and Ross McCausland scored his second to complete the scoring.
Magherafelt 4, BUYA 2: Roaring into a two goal lead from Kells hitman Andrew Smith, the in form United looked unstoppable early on.
A physically stronger ‘Felt side came back into the game and pinned it back to 2-2 as the game ebbed and flowed. Lost possession was to cost the Braid boys however as two late goals made it a win for the league leaders.
Ballymena United 5, Coleraine 1: A high scoring derby win for the 16s who were stronger all over the park.
A huge thanks to everyone who supported the Youth Academy and took part in the Annual Christmas draw.
The winning tickets were drawn by Michael Long of Crusaders FC at half time in Saturday’s Premiership match at the Showgrounds.
The winners were: 1st Prize (£1,000) - Angela McIlrath; 2nd Prize (£500) - Heather Kilpatrick; 3rd Prize (£250) - Nicky Blair; 4th Prize (£150) - Sarah McLean; 5th Prize (£100) - Nigel Williams
This Saturday morning the Showgrounds 3g hosts the Annual Christmas Charity Fundraiser between Ballymena Utd Youth Academy coaches and Carniny Youth coaches. The match will kick off at 10am and donations will be taken towards a worthy local cause.
Players taking part include current Ballymena manager Glenn Ferguson, Wesley Lamont, Lee Doherty, Norman Kelly while Carniny include ex Ballymena striker Henry Spence, ex Wakehurst Old Boy Anthony McCartney, Jimmy “Blocker” Gilchrist and ex Conference player Lee Barry.