Ballymena United under-14s progressed in the NIBFA Cup at the expense of near neighbours Carniny Youth after a thrilling tie on Saturday.
The under 13’s faced league rivals Carnmoney at Antrim Forum and in a superb game of football edged home 5-4 in a pulsating game.
The under 12’s made the journey to Armagh to face a tough Loughgall side and have performed better on occasions this season.
The under 15’s faced Glentoran,again in the National cup,and there was no shame in a 1-3 defecit against an opposing side full of NI elite squad players.
The 11’s returned after an enforced break with a draw at Ballysally where they again played some good football.
Three of the United sides have now progressed to the last 16 of the National cup with a number of sides getiing home draws in the next round.
BUYA 1, Coleraine Olympic 1: United took the lead in the second half when a defence-splitting pass from Adam Millar put Lewis Tennant through to slot past the keeper but Coleraine equalised when Ballymena couldn’t clear the ball at a corner.
BUYA v Richill: Indecision between the centre halves and goalkeeper cost United on a number of occasions in the first period but they got back into the game with a good Seanie Macintosh finish. Another nice finish from Kyle Neill saw another United goal in the second half but they must continue to work hard in training on all aspects.
BUYA 5, Carnmoney FDC 4: Ballymena eventually came out on top in a thrilling encounter thanks to a late Lewis Mearns winner, after earlier goals from Maerns, Bradley McCartney, Bobby Rainey and Sean McAllister as the Sky Blues remain on course for promotion.
BUYA 3, Carniny 2: Ballymena emerged on top in a ding-dong ‘derby’ battle.
After falling behind, United responded immediately, a free kick was sweetly struck by Sam Robinson, caught a Carniny defender’s head and flicked into the net.
Ballymena took the lead on 45 minutes, when a good cross by Robbie McGaughey was steered home with a lovely touch by Dane Archer and Sean McKay made it 3-1, but the real star of the show for Ballymena was keeper Ben Fry, who pulled off a number of fine saves, including a crucial stop in a one-on-one situation.
Glentoran 3, BUYA 1: Ballymena produced an excellent performance against the all-Ireland champions, who had all their NI players on display. It proved a massive step forward for the United group, summed up by a well taken Andrew Smyth effort.