Ballymena United under-11s tasted Northern Ireland Boys’ Football Association Plate glory at the May Day finals event last week.
A top quality display from the Showgrounds youngsters saw them secure the National Plate on Bank Holiday Monday at a windswept Magherafelt.
The boys roared out of the blocks against Londonderry-based opponents Tri-Star and it was the in form Mark McClean who sent United well on their way with two good finishes.
The north west side were always dangerous on the break and pulled a goal back before a long range effort from man of the match William Francey gave the Skies a two goal cushion once more as the Derrymen threw everything at United late on.
They held on well however and a classy performance from defender Francey secured his award as the large travelling support celebrated with the boys, securing the Academy’s second national trophy of the weekend, following the under-17s’ league success.
Academy duo Ross McCausland and Sean McAllister enjoyed a visit to the Acropolis in Greece at the weekend
The national training set up has attracted numerous plaudits since its inception two years ago and the United Academy are proud that five of their players are presently involved. in the international set-up
2003’s Sean McAllister and Ross McCausland are currently out in Greece proudly plying their trade for ‘our wee country’ and with 2004 colleague Timmy McClure, 2005 Ben Davidson and 2006 Callum Douglas all now involved in the programme, its encouraging for the Academy that these boys are progressing onto that next level.