United Academy sides turn in impressive performances

A Ballymena United under-14 player has a shot at goal against Northend. INBT 40-958H
A Ballymena United under-14 player has a shot at goal against Northend. INBT 40-958H

There were a number of confident performances from the Ballymena United Youth Academy sides in action over the weekend.

An excellent win for United under 16s was capped by an astonishing free kick effort from Stephen McColgan.

A Ballymena United under-14 player about to be tackled by a Northend opponent. INBT 40-953H

A Ballymena United under-14 player about to be tackled by a Northend opponent. INBT 40-953H

The 17s had derby delight with a win over Coleraine while there were defeats for the 13s and 14s in the Subway National A league.

The second string under 14s were also unlucky to lose out to neighbours North End in an entertaining fixture at the Showgrounds.

The 12s continued their fine form in the Lisburn league rattling in the goals, the under 11s also scoring five times in their fixture in Lisburn

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BUYA v Banbridge: BUYA Under 12’s continued their impressive form in the Lisburn League with an powerful performance against Banbridge on Saturday.

Adam Millar put the boys in front with just 11 seconds on the clock and Mr Consistent Billy Ewart doubled the lead.

Ewart was involved in everything and combined with Ben Dallas to set up Lewis Tennant to score.

Banbridge pulled a goal back but further strikes from Tennant and Joshua Balmer gave BUYA and unassailable lead at half time.

The composed Joshua Balmer went on to complete his hat trick in the second half.

Man of the match Timmy McClure scored a great solo effort but goal of the game went to Mark Lowry who flashed a volley into the top corner.

MOM - Timmy McClure.

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Ballinamallard 2, BUYA 1: A long trek for the boys to Fermanagh proved fruitless for the Braid boys as they returned home on the wrong end of a narrow defeat.

However, there was encouraging play for United for long periods of the game which gives plenty of cause for optimism.

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Ballymena United 3, Cliftonville 1: Ballymena got their first win of the season over a strong Cliftonville side.

The Reds started the better side and through some defensive confusion opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

Ballymena settled though and never looked back.

Some great passing football and a strong midfield saw Ballymena on the score sheet from a great through ball to Andrew Smyth, who made no mistake to find the net.

United lost centre half Andrew Kyle just on half time to a head injury.

The second half seen the Sky Blues take control with a great set piece from Josh Galloway eventually finding the goal by Pearce McLarnon.

As united made a few changes Stephen McColgan gave the team an added lift and not long later getting himself on the scoresheet from a thunderbolt free-kick.

Overall it was a superb display from Ballymena and a much deserved 3 points.

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Ballymena United 1, Coleraine 0: Ballymena entertained Coleraine and ran out 1-0 winners.

Ballymena had the better of the first half and went close through Michael McCabe, Jamie Houston and Thomas Campbell. The Sky Blues eventually went ahead when Luke Stockman crossed from the left for Michael McCabe to volley home. Owen Best in the Ballymena goal made an excellent save to keep Ballymena ahead.

Ballymena created further chances in the second half through Rhys Smith and Philip Maybin. As the match wore on Coleraine put Ballymena under increasing pressure and had a strong penalty claim turned down but United held on for the win.