IT was festive cheer for the Under 11s over the Christmas period when they defeated their derby rivals Ballymena United Youth Academy in an exciting match at Ballymena Showgrounds last Saturday.
The two local teams played out a close encounter watched by large crowds supporting both teams.
The result sees the Under 11s move into second spot in the Lisburn Youth League, keeping the pressure on leaders, Lisburn Youth.
Carniny 2, Ballymena United YA 1: This was always going to be a tough match for both sides.
Carniny started brightest and put a bit of pressure on the Ballymena defence. It wasn’t long though before Ballymena clicked into gear and were first to every ball. Robinson and Logan were finding it difficult to cope with the Ballymena midfield.
It was Ballymena who scored first when McNicholl failed to hold on to a Ballymena shot and the striker followed up with a simple finish.
It looked like going into half time 1-0 when Lee Lynn put in Lewis Mearns who sprinted into the box and was brought down to earn the penalty.
Kyle Robinson coolly stepped up and slotted it into the corner to make it 1-1 at the break.
The second half Carniny came out with fire in their bellies and started to win more of their tackles. Full-backs, Simpson and Young coped well with Ballymena’s two wingers and Farquhar and Lamont were solid in the centre of Carniny’s defence.
Carniny were now starting to take control of the game and the pressure told when Stewart steered his shot in from a narrow angle to make it 2-1 to Carniny. White and Clarke were introduced into midfield to seal the win. Nathan Clarke was full of skills and brought his team mates into play with some excellent passing. The two Carniny strikers of Stewart and Mearns worked tirelessly the whole match. It looked like the game was over but Ballymena created one last chance. Daniel McNicholl pulled off a great save and Robinson cleared with a header off the line. Scullion came on to pack the midfield.
Aidan Graffin could have wrapped it up with seconds to go but hit it straight at the keeper.
It was a great game played by both sides and a real credit to the town. This result puts Carniny just two points behind the league leaders Lisburn.
Carniny: McNicholl, Simpson, Farquhar, Lamont, Young, Lynn, Hunter, Logan, Robinson, Mearns, Stewart, White, Currie, Scullion and Robinson
TRANSFER WINDOW OPENS
With January now upon us, the transfer window opens again. Anyone interested in joining the club in this window should use the following contact numbers.
2008 to 2005 Davy Boyd, 07803974402; 2004 - Davy Hanna 07791297755; 2003 - Davy Boyd 07803974402; 2002 - Jason Hunter; 2001-Davy Parker 07835020446; 2000 - Davy Leetch 07732808858; 1999 - Andy McClean 07814038368; 1998 - Billy O’Flaherty 07850669666.
Seniors - Anthony McCartney, 07708822793.
FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Carniny Youth’s Football Development Centre sponsored by Robinsons Costcutters will be recommencing in early February.
Those players who have attended the centre previously will be receiving invitations late January to enrol for the session.
Additionally those with children born in 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 interested in attending should keep any eye out in the local press and club website for details on how to enrol.