Ballymena United Youth Academy duo Sean McAllister and Ross McCausland have been regular starters for the national under 13 side over the past year.
The boys’ reputations have further been enhanced this week with their inclusion once more in the Northern Ireland squad travelling to Latvia later this month to play in a prestigious international tournament.
Back on the home front another talented striker, under 16 player Andrew Smyth provided the weekend highlight. Moving up to the older under 17 age group on Friday evening, the Kells boy still caught the eye with two well taken goals coming on as a substitute to help the sky blues into the last 16 of the NIBFA cup.
The under 14’s exited the competition on Friday evening themselves with a disappointing loss to Ridgeway Rovers at Seaview.
Ridgeway Rovers 4, BUYA 0: Having fallen two goals behind on the fast Seaview surface, as Ballymena oushed forward, they were caught with two late sucker punches.
Glentoran 3, Ballymena United 1: A hard defeat to take for United, with two disputed penalties, after Ballymena - who have made a number of talented local signings - had taken the lead through Lorenzo Dawkins.
Ballymena United 4, Newhill 0: Ballymena booked their place in the last 16 of NIBFA cup with this win.
United took the lead when Jamie Houston beat the keeper at his near post.
Ballymena scored their second of the game when u16 player Andy Smyth headed home.
The Newhill goalkeeper made a couple of good saves before Adam McCelland clipped the ball over the Newhill defence and Andy Smyth cleverly lobbed the advancing keeper. Adam McCelland made it 4-0 when he drilled home after a scramble in the box. Congratulations to u16 player Andy Smyth on scoring two goals.