Ballymena United Youth Academy under 14s are plying their trade in the top tier of youth football this season and have more than held their own so far.
After a defeat last week, the boys this week raised their game once more, recording a victory with a great performance at Ridgeway on Saturday.
The under 15’s again started cold but put in a stirring comeback in their draw with Institute.
The 12’s also are in with the province’s top sides in the Subway National League and again put up a spirited display at Dungannon Youth on Friday night in monsoon conditions.
The 11’s had a derby victory over a North End side while the 13’s surprisingly lost their first game of the campaign to a hard working Carrick side.
NORTH WEST LEAGUE
BUYA U11 v Northend U11: The tone was set within 40 seconds when ace goal poacher Billy Ewart got in front of his marker to put the sky blues one up.
Pick of the goals was the 3rd when Lewis Tennant played a couple of one-two’s before passing to Adam Millar who rifled home. The midfield partnership of Tennant and Mark Lowry continues to flourish with Tennant completing a hattrick and Lowry chalking up 2 more goals. Adam Millar led the line superbly and added a hat trick himself. MOM - Lewis Tennant.
SUBWAY NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE
Dungannon United U-12 v BUYA U-12: Another spirited display from the boys who continue to learn and develop in the province’s top league. The United boys held their own for a long period of this game. With a number of players unavailable the boys put in a great effort, Conor Louw the stand out player for the Skies.
BUYA U-13 1, Carrick Colts U-13 3: Ballymena’s unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when they were beaten 3-1 at the Antrim forum. Defensive errors and a lacklustre performance was the cause of defeat and Carrick deserved to win on the day. Matthew Lorimer scored a great free kick which was nothing more than a consolation goal.
Ridgeway Rovers U-14 0, BUYA U-14 3: Ballymena broke the deadlock on 27 minutes when a terrific whipped free kick was delivered by Sam Robinson, the ball was flicked to the back post where Robbie McGaughey was waiting and he squeezed the ball home from a tight angle.
Sean McKay made it two on 40 minutes with a terrific effort from just inside the box, he fired the ball home across the keeper.
Ballymena’s third goal was the best move and finish of the game, Thomas Maynes delivered a peach of a ball to Danny Louw who flick it to Aodh︠an Gillen who almost over ran the ball, but he repositioned himself and hit a stunner from inside the box past the keeper who could only watch it hit the net.
Ridgeway were awarded a penalty after Ballymena failed to clear in a crowded box, Ben Fry did brilliantly and the ball went wide.
BUYA U-15 2, Institute 2: Ballymena started this match in Clough slowly and a two goal half-time deficit brought some harsh words from coach Gary Boyd.
The second half showed a changed performance, continual pressure leading to a tidy Adam Neilly volley, well placed.
On the Skies pushed and Andrew Heaney levelled matters with his first of the season.
Danny Bell found his niche on the right wing with some lovely play for both assists and combined well with impressive returnee Jack McMurray,a great cross met by an airborne Jack Millar but flicked over right at the death.
Warrenpoint U-16 2, Ballymena United U-16 1: Ballymena’s unbeaten run came to an end in a close game against Warrenpoint at Mallusk. Ballymena took the lead with a well taken goal from Jack Walshe and went close on a number of occasions but couldn’t beat the Warrenpoint defence.
In the second half Warrenpoint scored twice to take the lead and Ballymena rallied and the Warrenpoint keeper produced an excellent save to deny Jack Walshe and just the before the end Luke Stockman sent over a dangerous cross that the Ballymena attackers just failed to get a touch to.
Coerver Coaching is a global football coaching programme inspired by the teachings of Wiel Coerver and created in 1984 by Alfred Galustian and Chelsea great, Charlie Cooke.
A football skills teaching method suited for all ages but especially for players aged 5-16 years old of all abilities and their parents, coaches and teachers
A method that focuses on Individual skills development and small group play; Endorsed and recommended by the top federations, associations, legends/experts of the game, club teams and corporations.
With this in mind the United Academy Under 15 side this season have structured their training around these methods,one of their players, Jack Millar, can be viewed demonstrating the basis of the concept,ball mastery on the Coerver Ireland website.
The Academy coaches are attending a 2 day Coerver course over the next two Sundays,and will be suitably qualified after this to incorporate these methods into their coaching,from Saturday morning’s mini soccer, right up through the squads.