Ballymena United’s 2002 group began their journey in the National cup on Saturday with a good performance to progress through the opening round.
Champions two seasons ago the group will be looking to reach the latter stages again this year with some talented individuals on board.
Disappointingly the boys were forced to play their fixture in Antrim, all facilities at the Showgrounds being cancelled on Friday, a full 24 hours before any games despite Saturdays fine weather.
The 14’s also lost out with this lack of venue while the under 12’s were left frustrated by a late withdrawl from their opponents, the 15’s game in Londonderry also called off.
The under 11s were in action at balmy Ballysally and were excellent despite missing a few individuals due to the transfer tests.
The under 11s continued their recent good form in the North West Coleraine and District Youth League with a win over a spirited and very promising Roe Valley team.
In an even first half Scott Montgomery’s excellent strike was equalised via a deflection. Nathan Mcmullan also produced 2 first class reflex saves.
The wee sky blues turned on the style in the second half with Mark Lowry, Lewis Tennant and Matthew Millar dominating midfield.
Goals from Adam Millar 3, Mark Lowry 2, Lewis Tennant and Calum Douglas.
MOM - Adam Millar.
BUYA 7, Portaferry 2: Ballymena switched to play in Antrim to beat the weather and started this NIBFA Cup game on the front foot and when good play on the wing resulted in Matthew Lorimer arriving into box to slot home the opener.
This led to a constant stream of attack after attack and Ross McCausland added the games second when finishing inside the box.
Max Davidson hit a rasping drive that flew by the keeper and Bobby Rainey hit a powerful shot that also ended up in the net to finish the first half in comfortable fashion for the braid boys.
The second half saw Portaferry make their long trip worthwhile with an early goal but then Sean McAllister scored into the top corner and Bradley McCartney converted a penalty after Sean was fouled in the box.
There was still time for late goals one from each team as Bobby Rainey got his second of the game and Portaferry grabbed a consolation strike.
Tickets are now on sale for the Academy grand Christmas draw. With another selection of eye catching cash prizes, contact any coach or parent if you still require tickets.
For details access the website at www.pitchero.co.uk/clubs/ballymenayouthacademy