Ballymena United Academy under 11 and under 10 teams made their eagerly awaited debut in the North West and Coleraine District Youth League at the weekend and both returned unbeaten with some exciting football played.
The new look 11’s, with some of the very best young local now on board, led up until the final moments against an impressive Maiden City side with the Londonderry side grabbing a late equaliser.
The under 10’s fired off in great fashion with a 3-1 victory over Coleraine Olympic, setting a great example for the seniors in the afternoon.
Elsewhere in the Subway National Youth League the under 13 bandwagon keeps rolling along, another goal salvo for the boys as they scored four in defeating Glenavon away.
Their compatriots in the Lisburn league also rifled in a hatful of goals in defeating Carrick Rangers, completing another successful Saturday for the Academy junior sides.
The 15’s were not to be outdone, Stephen McColgan, on his return to the club, firing in an unstoppable hat trick as the Sky Blues defeated Warrenpoint, the 14’s losing out to a highly accomplished Oxford in the premier league.
Further up the club what a great advertisement for the Academy, the under 16s,17s and youth team all representing the town, playing some eye catching football and all recording victories in what really was a “super Saturday” for the Sky blues.
Coleraine Olympic 1, BUYA 3: A winning start for the under 10’s who played some great football at times in this victory
Maiden City 3, BUYA 3: A keenly matched game which saw both teams play attractive passing football ended in an enthralling 3-3 draw. City took the lead before a stunning 20 yard strike from Mark Lowry had the Ballymena boys level.
City restored their lead with a superb freekick before Joe Blair equalised from a Jonny Douglas corner. The excellent Millar got the goal he deserved to put the wee sky blues 3-2 up. Despite the BUYA pressure City scored a very late equaliser to share the spoils. Excellent performances from Timmy McClure, Caleb Stewart, Matthew Millar and Adam Millar.
Glenavon 0, BUYA 4: Ballymena wasted no time in keeping up their fine goal scoring form. A move started by the back four led to a ball played wide to Max Davidson who delivered a pinpoint cross which Lewis Mearns stylishly flicked into the net.
In the second half, after good work by Sean McAllister the ball dropped to Max Davidson who hit a power finish into the top corner of the net.
At this stage Glenavon were struggling to cope with the movement and passing and this led to the third goal when Ross McCausland’s cross field pass released Bradley McCartney who made no mistake when in on goal.
The scoring was completed by Ross McCausland when put through by Matthew Lorimer to put the seal on another impressive performance and make it 4 wins from 4 games.
Oxford 4, BUYA 1: The 14s found it tough against an experienced side at this level.A good learning experience for the group
Warrenpoint 2, BUYA 5: United’s goals came from a classy hat trick from Stephen McColgan and another double from the in form Andrew Smyth.
Mark wilkinson also impressed in goals for the Skies as this group continue their development under the new coaching team
BUYA 2, Institute 1: A wonder goal winner from Ben Stirling was the highlight of this victory
St Oliver Plunkett 0, BUYA 1: Robbie Perkins snatched a late winner for the Sky Blues at Seaview.