Ballymena United’s under 13 National League side have been the talk of the academy this season with their performances so far.
Their fine form continued at the weekend when they made it three wins from three and another hatful of goals as they defeated derby rivals Coleraine.
In their debut season in the Subway National Youth League the boys have had to enter in the second tier and are showing their class, seven goals at the weekend again.
The under 15s were eagerly looking forward to their first game of the season and played some high quality football, being eventually held to a draw by a determined Bertie Peacock side who never gave up in an entertaining game.
The 12’s also were facing “Berties” and will learn from their encounter with one of the province’s top sides at this level.
The under 13’s were unlucky in defeat in the Lisburn league while the under 11’s and 10’s begin their campaign in the North West youth league this weekend in Ballysally.
SUBWAY NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE
Bertie Peacocks U-12 v BUYA U-12: Much to admire from the Coleraine side in this game as United were on the back foot for long periods.
Pick of the Sky Blues was Adam Steel along with his central defensive partner Conor Louw, the pair yet again setting an example to their colleagues with their skill,effort and commitment throughout, something the rest of their teammates must take on board and begin to show in equal measure.
BUYA 7, Coleraine 0: Ballymena entertained rivals Coleraine at a sunny showgrounds on Saturday morning and it was the home side who quickly settled into the game and opened the scoring after 15 mins when, after strong pressure, Bobby Rainey converted from inside the box following a corner.
This settled the Sky Blues and Lewis Mearns added the game’s second to double the lead before the break.
The performances of the opening two games have indicated that a strong second half was on the cards and that’s exactly what happened.
Firstly Sean McAllister hit an unstoppable shot to beat the Coleraine keeper from distance.
Then Bobby Rainey added a quick fire double to claim his hat-trick to further deflate Coleraine.
The scoring was not finished there as Matthew Lorimer scored two goals, the first after good work from Lewis Mearns and the second a solo effort.
Another impressive performance from a team who have been finding the net on a regular basis but a special mention must go to the solid defensive unit and also the excellent handling and distribution of goalkeeper Rian Lennon.
LISBURN YOUTH LEAGUE
Bertie Peacock’s U-15 4, BUYA 4: United opened their season at Under 15 level with a draw against newcomers Bertie Peacocks.
With a new coaching team in place and a number of new faces in the sky blue shirt, the game got under way.
The Sky Blues opened the scoring with a well struck kick from the spot by Andrew Smyth.
The Braid boys settled and showed that they are taking on board their new style of football but Bertie’s came back and levelled the score.
Another goal by the opposition and Ballymena found themselves behind but after some great passing phases, Andrew Smyth again found the goal.
With a number of changes at the break Ballymena came out fighting and soon went ahead again with a rifled shot by Stephen McColgan.
This group showed the watching parents what they are capable of and entertained them to some lovely flowing football.
Bertie Peacocks once again levelled the score before Jack Millar, after some silky footwork, put Ballymena ahead once again.
Once more the the local boys replied with an equaliser and the final score was 4-4.
This was an encouraging display for all involved at this age group and the boys will be happy with a positive team attitude.
Other results: BUYA U-13 0, Chimney Corner U-13 1; Glenavon U-16 2, Ballymena United U-16 0; Ballymena United U-17 2, Foyle Harps 4.