Slender win secures league title for United under-17s

Ballymena United under-17s celebrate their league title success at the Showgrounds on Saturday. Included is club chairman John Taggart. Picture: Damian McKee (Picture Magic Studio)
Ballymena United under-17s celebrate their league title success at the Showgrounds on Saturday. Included is club chairman John Taggart. Picture: Damian McKee (Picture Magic Studio)

Ballymena United under 17s secured a victory over league leaders Warrenpoint on Friday night to clinch the NIBFA B league title.

Under the watchful eye of Joe McCall and Neil Hanley, these lads have improved as the season has progressed, a number progressing to the youth team and reached a last four place in the prestigious NIBFA cup before a dramatic late loss to Linfield.

The under 13’s recorded an impressive away victory in Portadown themselves on Thursday evening against a side with a previous 100% record.

There were confident wins also for the under 12s against Shankill and the 11’s who were looking forward to their NI glamour final on Bank Holiday Monday at NIBFA finals day against Tri Star from Londonderry.

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BUYA 3, Northend 2: The sky blues raced into a two nil lead and rang a few changes but North End showed good determination to come back at United. A third goal settled the game for United as the squad looked forward to their season finale.

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Shankill 1, BUYA 2: Tullyglass sponsored Under 12’s capped off a fine debut season in the Lisburn League with an outstanding performance against an excellent Shankill Juniors on Saturday. After a period of midfield battling it was the impressive Mark Lowry who put the sky blues in front with another trademark long distance strike.

Shankill equalised 5 minutes later but Ballymena had the chance to go in at half time with a lead however a superb penalty save ensured the game finished all square at the break. Timmy McCLure who scored the winner rising above the Shankill defence to power home a header from a pinpoint Lowry cross.

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Portadown 2, BUYA 4: United fell behind inside 10 minutes but some re-organisation from the Skies and looking more secure at the back they equalised with a tidy Bradley McCartney finish from a perfect Ross McCausland through ball.

It was 2-1 to the Ports with an unfortunate own goal for United but back came the boys, substitute Taylor Adger with a goal either side of half time, his power and pace too much for the Ports back line to handle. A brilliant run and cross from Adger was swept home by the incoming Bailey Adams to secure a victorious end to the campaign.

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Warrenpoint 0, Ballymena United 1: In a winner-take-all clash at Portadown, the decisive goal came after a good team move, Thomas Campbell played a low ball into the box to Luke Stockman who fired home.

As Warrenpoint pushed for the goal that would have won them the league Ballymena broke and Sam Armstrong put the ball in the net but was ruled offside. Ballymena held on for the win they needed prompting some great celebrations from the travelling support.