Ballymoney United Youth Academy round-up

BUYA U8’s v Dungiven

The under 8’s returned to action at Ballysally playing a Dungiven side that they had beaten 3-1 in their opening game. They faced a different challenge as it was a bigger Dungiven outfit that were out to avenge the opening day defeat.

The boys competed well in the opening 10 minutes of the game but found themselves a goal down, this did not stop them working their way back into the game and a fine move involving Keys and Blair ended up with a great finish by Scott Blair who scored his first league goal.

The game was an even contest and no more goals were scored until the last five minutes before the half when an og and a confident finish gave Dungiven a 3-1 lead going into the break.
Dungiven pressed again early in the second half and found debutant Oran Donnelly in good form in the Ballymoney goal. Logan Holmes was again central to all the positive play going forward and Keys and Faulkner went close to reducing the deficit.

Dungiven scored another two to extend their lead but to their credit the boys continued to play football but found the challenge of playing against older teams tough.

Man of Match: Scott Blair.

BUYA U9’s Athletic v Bertie Peacocks

The young Athletic squad can hold their heads high after this game despite being beaten by the much more experienced Berties team. It was end to end football for most of the game with both teams having their spells of dominance, the difference being that Berties made their spell in the first half count coming from 1 nil down when McCollum gave Ballymoney the lead on 7 mins  to lead 3-1 at the break.

Ballymoney tightened up  in the second half with Robinson having his best game of the season and the ever reliable McCaughan breaking up the opposition attacks. Ballymoney squandered good positions and found themselves 4-1 down just before the half hour. The heart and determination in the team showed as within 3 mins they pulled a goal back through Larkin.

Try as they may they couldn’t get another and Berties who probably edged the game hold on to their unbeaten record in this section. This was another fine performance by Athletic and with another few games below their belts hopefully they can find some consistency.

Man of Match: Matthew Robinson

BUYA U10’s v Coleraine Academy

This week the U10’s were playing a strong Coleraine Academy side who in previous encounters managed to get the better of the two. On this occasion both teams were well up for the match and going in search of an early goal. Money were creating chances through the intricate one touch passing of Milliken, McComb and Christie but were afforded little space in front of goal from a well organised Coleraine defence.

Money were denied their opener when Christie was brought down from behind in the penalty box with only the keeper to beat unfortunately the only person not to class it a foul was the man with the whistle. Despite this the Ballymoney boys were buzzing fighting for every loose ball and communicating well with each other. Thomas McNabb in nets was varying his ball distribution well between short and long balls. One high ball aimed up-field dropped over the shoulder of Joel Christie who’s exquisite first touch brought the ball under control superbly but with the Coleraine defender in hot pursuit pushed his shot just wide.

The 2nd half was played in the same vein as the 1st with Ballymoney playing some outstanding football. Jacob Craig and Scott Gardiner in defence were playing in perfect partnership with one providing cover for the other and Aaron Dallat and Adam McComb showing real desire to track back and help snuff out any Coleraine attacks with McComb clearing one of the line to keep the score at 0-0.

Every Money player was giving 100% forcing Coleraine to drop deep but Ballymoney again came close only the post and crossbar saving Coleraine from defeat. In the last minute of the game Jacob Craig pulled of a fantastic last ditch tackle to keep the scores level. Money battled hard with Matthew McNeill providing some fresh legs in midfield and finished the stronger of the two teams.

Man of Match: Team.

BUYA U10’s Athletic v Coleraine Olympic

Ballymoney knew this was going to be the hardest game of the season but as always the whole team was up for the test. The first goal came after 5 minutes and it was a great team goal with the move starting from Padraig Kelly in defence four passes later saw Jude Bolton slipping the ball into Joshua Morrison who calmly slotted into the net 1-0. The 2nd goal came soon after with Coleraine scoring an own goal 2-0.

This wasn’t a one sided game with Coleraine playing some good football. The partnership of Padraig Kelly and Conall McGothigan is getting better every week and they didn’t miss a tackle. The Toon were bossing the game now with the midfield of Matthew McNeill, Finn McLaughlin and Bolton working hard to create more chances for the team. Two Ballymoney players picked up knocks before half-time but Matthew Drain and Mark Faulkner got straight into the game showing how strong the squad is. H/T 2-0.

The 2nd half saw Coleraine come back strong and they were putting the Toon under a lot of pressure but when they did get a shot on goal they couldn’t get past Ruairi O’Boyle who was simply awesome on the day. Coleraine got a goal soon after bringing them back into the game 2-1. Cathal Darragh came on to add more pace to the game, Darragh got a chance straight away with Drain putting him one on one with the keeper but the Coleraine player won this time round, he was to get another chance but he wasn’t going to miss this time with a cool finish 3-1.

Time was nearly up but the players were still full of running, the Toon got a corner and McLaughlin was there to meet the cross with a great volley 4-1. This was a fine display from all the players working hard for each other from start to finish.

Man of Match: Team.

BUYA U11’s v Coleraine

This game would have a massive bearing on who would become favourites to win the league and it was Ballymoney who came out on top.

Both teams started nervously and created half chances to score, Conal should have scored when he was put through but hurried his shot when one on one with the keeper.

This seemed to be the story of Ballymoney’s game, it lacked any sort of composure and they couldn’t keep possession. Midway through the half,

Coleraine took control and bossed things in midfield, and it was their finishing and excellent goalkeeping which kept Ballymoney in the game. The introduction of Padraig Mc Gilligan just before half time steadied the Ballymoney midfield but the boys will know they were lucky to be coming in all square at half time. HT 0-0
Second half Ballymoney were a different team and the gaps began to appear in midfield,which allowed Mathew Knight and Conall Doherty to take charge, and it was this combination who opened up the Coleraine defence with Conall turning provider today and Mathew opening the scoring from close range.The second goal was soon to follow and it was a carbon copy of the first,a combination of one, and two touch football, allowed PJ Mc Aleese to finish from close range.

Coleraine’s heads were down now, and the boys struggled to create any clear cut chances,but at the other end Ballymoney looked dangerous on every attack.

Ballymoney’s third soon followed this time the passage of play came down the left and it was the combination of Mathew and PJ creating the opening for Conal, who slotted home from close range. Mathew Knight rounded of an excellent performance scoring his second and Ballymoney’s fourth,but the man of the match performance came from Padraig Mc Gilligan,who came on to steady the boys ,and dominated the midfield in the second half,never missing a tackle and chasing every loose ball.

Man of Match: Padraig McGilligan

Warrenpoint v Ballymoney U-14s

Ballymoney returned from this midweek fixture with no points but gained a wealth of experience as despite the result they continued on an upward learning curve.

The hosts physical strength gave them the edge early on and Liam Stewart’s fantastic strike into the top corner gave Blair no chance on 3 mins then a few mins later and it was 2 with an almost replica clipping the underside of the crossbar and in again. Remarkably the visitors took control dominating the rest of the half playing a quality of football well beyond their years but when the home keeper blocked half chances by McCloy and Bolton before the break it looked like one of those days until Kirkpatrick arrived onto O’Neill’s cross and headed home unchallenged 1.2 at the break.

Once the early sparring passed in 2nd half Ballymoney were on top again putting together passing moves involving 6 or 7 players at the time but try as they could a goal eluded them as Kirkpatrick headed wide at a corner and Howard shot high over from close range following another move, Stewart completed his long range hat trick hitting another thunderbolt 25 yards out clipping the underside of the bar again!! with the keeper helpless.

A series of overlaps on the right by full back Kelly had the home defence scrambling to clear their lines and Bolton again was denied at back post. Lewis decided he would “try his luck” from distance for the hosts resulting in Blair’s save rebounding off that bar again and Carlton reacted quickest forcing the ball over the line for a very cruel 4.1 Ballymoney pressed on passing the ball superbly with McCann Smyth and O’Neill combining to release Bolton who fired across James in goal for a late consolation 4.2 this was a superb advert for youth football with 2 contrasting styles of play.

Ref’s m.o.m Deaglan Smith.

North End U-14s v Ballymoney U-14s

Ballymoney beat North End at Ballymena Showgrounds with the visitors down to the bare bones once again and with only 1 player on the bench.

The corner count of 11.2 in favour of the leagues basement club reveals how things really were on the day only for capt Smiths well marshalled defence things might have been very different.

For the record McCloy scored 2 and a Timmy Hannah penalty ended Ballymoney’s poor sequence of spot kick dramas and Callum Howard netted the other along with 2 assists from midfield and also earned the pen after his near post header was saved by a defender.

Kirkpatrick was outstanding in 1st half then Smiths defence of Hannah, Neill and McMaster prevented North End getting anything from the game.

Ref’s m.o.m Callum Howard.

Next home Carrick Rangers 10.30 Sat N.I.Boys Cup.