United U-13s suffer penalty woe in semi-final

Ballymena United U-13s ready for their National League Cup semi-final match against Ridgeway Rovers. INBT 17-805H
Ballymena United U-13s ready for their National League Cup semi-final match against Ridgeway Rovers. INBT 17-805H

Ballymena United under 13’s exited the National league cup at the semi-final stage last Thursday evening in dramatic fashion after a penalty shoot out against Ridgeway Rovers.

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BUYA 4, Castle Juniors 4: Two more goals for the in form Mark McClean were the highlight, United’s opponents scored second half efforts to secure the draw.

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BUYA 0, GLENAVON 0: Ballymena were denied victory in this game after Joshua Balmer’s late free kick was ruled out after the referee adjudged the Glenavon ‘wall’ had moved.

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BUYA 3, Ridgeway Rovers 3: On a difficult surface at the Showgrounds main arena, United went ahead through top scorer Taylor Adger but were pegged back by a goal from Ridgeway’s NI striker Lusty.

United’s own internationals Ross McCausland and Sean McAllister were always dangerous and McCausland was to send the home side ahead once more with a composed finish after bursting clear.

In the last five minutes the Ridgeway pressure finally produced an equaliser and into extra time, substitute Bailey Adams swivelling and firing home superbly.

Into the dying seconds and agony again for the young sky blues as Ridgeway equalised with the last play of the match, the referee blowing up immediately after.

Penalties ensued and the Belfast side showed their mettle with some cool finishing to progress to the showpiece final. Hard on United but senior manager David Jeffery gathered the boys together post match in the changing room and his words will last long with these young players.

St Oliver Plunkett 4, BUYA 1: A jaded looking United were back in action on Saturday morning, but lost out to the impressive West Belfast outfit. The one bright point was a tidy finish from Kyle Neill.

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Limavady Youth 1, BUYA 2: A welcome win for the under-14s, the goals coming from Ross McCausland and the in form Aiden Scullion.

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Ballymena United 2, Linfield 6: Ballymena were three goals down in the opening 20 minutes. Their goals came from a cheeky Lorenzo Dawkins free kick and some good skill and a composed finish from Ethan Galbraith.

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Results: Larne Youth 3, Ballymena United 3 (Jamie Houston, Luke Stockman, Sam Armstrong); Ballymena United 9 (Sam Armstrong x3, Michael McCabe x2, Rhys Smith, Rhys O’Mullan, Luke Stockman, Jack Walshe), Ballymoney United 0.