Under 16s travel to Crusaders as weather hits Academy games

Ballymena Utd U16's Adam Neilly in action during Saturday's league game with Crusaders at the Showgrounds 3G. INBT 49-195CS
Ballymena Utd U16's Adam Neilly in action during Saturday's league game with Crusaders at the Showgrounds 3G. INBT 49-195CS

The weather led to a number of Academy fixtures being cancelled with, home games for the under 13’s,14s and 15’s all falling foul of the elements.

The senior under 16’s had no such problems and faced tabletoppers Crusaders in a national “A” league game on the 3g.

The closely contested game saw the Belfast boys prevail late on but again United showed there is nothing between many of these sides in the top tier with a confident display. The long unbeaten run of the under 17’s continues as they were held to a draw with St Oliver Plunkett on Friday night, the sky blues remain top of the National “B” league. Amongst the juniors, the under 11’s headed to Lisburn after completing their transfer tests and it was another impressive display from the boys, recording a win and scoring four goals against Glenavon.

Ballymena United U17 3, St Oliver Plunkett U17 3: Ballymena United u17’s faced St Oliver Plunketts at the Showgrounds on Friday evening and played out a 3-3 draw.

United took the lead early on when Jamie Houston capitalised on a defensive mistake. Both teams had chances to score and Thomas Campbell and Bailey McNeill went close for Ballymena.

Plunkett equalised but Ballymena went ahead again when Sam Armstrong cooly finished. Ballymena went 3-1 ahead when Michael McCabe headed home a Sam Armstrong cross. Sam Armstrong went close to scoring again before the west Belfast side pulled a goal back. Michael McCabe went close before disappointingly Plunketts equalised at the death and the game finished 3-3.

Ballymena United U16 2, Crusaders u16 5: United welcomed the league leaders to the Showgrounds in this National “A” league clash. Crusaders took an early lead after a defensive mistake from United once again was to prove costly.

Pearce McClarnon had started on fire for United and the Maghera frontman soon made it 1-1 with a good finish.

There was nothing in the game as chances were spurned by both sides, United in particular will rue a number of wasted free kicks, their set pieces let them down when in a good attacking position. The Crues took the lead once more but United were the better side for the middle third of the game, Andrew Heaney enjoying his midfield role along with James Poston.

After some good build up play, excellent play from McClarnon once more led to Andrew Smyth finishing well to equalise. United were shellshocked to unfortunately concede straight from the kick off and found it tough to claw their way back into the game.

Two very late goals from Crusaders, as United pushed on, put an unfair slant on the scoreline here in what was an excellent contest.

BUYA U11 4, Glenavon U11 0: A confident display from the boys in Lisburn were star man was captain fantastic Ryan Clarke with a hat trick.