NIBFA Cup ‘derby’ joy as Sky Blue under-14s triumph

Ballymena United.
Ballymena United.

Ballymena United under-14s progressed in the NIBFA Cup at the expense of near neighbours Carniny Youth after a thrilling tie on Saturday.

The under 13’s faced league rivals Carnmoney at Antrim Forum and in a superb game of football edged home 5-4 in a pulsating game.

The under 12’s made the journey to Armagh to face a tough Loughgall side and have performed better on occasions this season.

The under 15’s faced Glentoran,again in the National cup,and there was no shame in a 1-3 defecit against an opposing side full of NI elite squad players.

The 11’s returned after an enforced break with a draw at Ballysally where they again played some good football.

Three of the United sides have now progressed to the last 16 of the National cup with a number of sides getiing home draws in the next round.

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BUYA 1, Coleraine Olympic 1: United took the lead in the second half when a defence-splitting pass from Adam Millar put Lewis Tennant through to slot past the keeper but Coleraine equalised when Ballymena couldn’t clear the ball at a corner.

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BUYA v Richill: Indecision between the centre halves and goalkeeper cost United on a number of occasions in the first period but they got back into the game with a good Seanie Macintosh finish. Another nice finish from Kyle Neill saw another United goal in the second half but they must continue to work hard in training on all aspects.

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BUYA 5, Carnmoney FDC 4: Ballymena eventually came out on top in a thrilling encounter thanks to a late Lewis Mearns winner, after earlier goals from Maerns, Bradley McCartney, Bobby Rainey and Sean McAllister as the Sky Blues remain on course for promotion.

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BUYA 3, Carniny 2: Ballymena emerged on top in a ding-dong ‘derby’ battle.

After falling behind, United responded immediately, a free kick was sweetly struck by Sam Robinson, caught a Carniny defender’s head and flicked into the net.

Ballymena took the lead on 45 minutes, when a good cross by Robbie McGaughey was steered home with a lovely touch by Dane Archer and Sean McKay made it 3-1, but the real star of the show for Ballymena was keeper Ben Fry, who pulled off a number of fine saves, including a crucial stop in a one-on-one situation.

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Glentoran 3, BUYA 1: Ballymena produced an excellent performance against the all-Ireland champions, who had all their NI players on display. It proved a massive step forward for the United group, summed up by a well taken Andrew Smyth effort.