Northend United Youth’s youngest teams put in some top quality displays recently to bring an excellent season to a close.
The highlight of the last round of matches was Robert Cooke’s Under 8 Panthers team who travelled to Clonduff in Belfast for their second end-of-season tournament in as many weeks and came away as Shield winners. This young team displayed some outstanding football for their age.
There were also more top performances from both the 2006 teams in the KRD Credit Union Ballymoney Youth tournament at the Riada Centre. The draw saw both Ally McGarry’s teams lining up against each other in the semi-finals, after winning their individual group games. The United team came out on top but lost the final
Joe Kidd’s 2005s teams were also in action in this tournament with the United team remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament while Paul Adams’ Youth team had some encouraging performances.
Both U10 teams were in action in the final day of the Harry Gregg Foundation SSG tournament at Coleraine University, with the development of these teams in recent months evident in their style of play.
The season was completed when four different teams from the Football Development Centre who had entered the Primary 2 and 3 Ballymena Mini Soccer League, held at Ballymena Showgrounds under the direction of the Club’s Football Development Officer, John Devlin.
U10s HGF SSG Final Day Tournament
Northend U10s Youth 0 Ballycastle United 0: The U10 Youth team were drawn in a tough group with Ballycastle United, Dungiven Celtic Colts and Coleraine Academy Alexandra. First up was Ballycastle United, and in a close fought game neither team found the net so it was penalties. Paddy Murphy in the Blues nets was unlucky not to stop a couple but Northend’s first penalty miss was to prove decisive.
Northend U10s Youth 1 Dungiven Celtic 1: In a physical battle the boys played some great football but spell of pressure from Dungiven saw the Blues concede. However their response was excellent as a good ball set Smyth off down the wing. His through ball to Seth Park left time to cross for Feargal McKay to score which meant the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Three excellent penalties from Feargal McKay, Seth Park and Callum Watt saw Northend claim a much deserved win.
Northend U10s Youth 1 Coleraine Academy Alexandra 0: In a fast flowing game the Blues created a host of chances but with time ticking away penalties loomed large. Good work saw Jackson Greer and Seb Smyth combine with the former upended 10m from goal. With four men on the line alongside the keeper, options were limited but Feargal McKay stepped up to hammer the ball high into the top corner to ensure a joint top finish in the group and a quarter final tie against Bertie Peacocks.
Northend U10s Youth 0 Bertie Peacocks 0: Over the course of the game the Coleraine side didn’t have a shot on target but the game was to be decided on penalties. Feargal McKay confidently slotted home the first and two great saves from Paddy Murphy gave Northend a great chance but the Blues failed to take advantage and missed out in sudden death.
This group of boys have given us everything this year and Saturday was no different. Paddy and Jakub were excellent in goals, Garron, Jackson and Callum solid in defence. Seb Jack and Feargal worked tirelessly in midfield and Seth was always a threat up front. An excellent end to a good first season at Harry gregg foundation
Panel: Paddy Murphy, Garron Donnelly, Jackson Greer, Feargal McKay, Jack Stewart, Sebastian Smyth, Seth Park, Callum Watt, Jakub Kaczmarek