United Youth Academy round-up


After a long winter break the U-10’s were back in action this week against Portrush and with only two points separating the two teams this was always going to be a closely fought contest.

Ballymoney started the brighter of the two testing the keeper from distance early on and with only four minutes on the clock Money took the lead after Joel Christie found Adam McComb on the right, who drove down the line and drilled a low cross into the box finding Joshua Morrison at the near post who expertly turned it past the keeper.

‘Money continued to dominate the first half leaving Portrush having to opt for the long ball tactics to try to get in behind the impressive defensive duo of Jacob Craig and Scott Gardiner.

With only five minutes of the first half remaining Portrush found a way through and an uncharacteristic error at the back gifted Portrush their equaliser.

Showing their character ‘Money quickly bounced back when Cameron Milliken threaded a ball through to Christie who turned to beat the defender and struck a venomous effort which was parried by the Portrush keeper only for the advancing Joshua Morrison to react quickly and bag his second of the day.

The second period saw ‘Money have to dig deep as Portrush looked to draw level once again. All the boys stuck to the task well and with the introduction of Matthew McNeill worked as a unit to limit Portrush to few goal scoring opportunities which Thomas McNabb dealt with capably.

Jacob Craig played arguably his best game for Ballymoney keeping his concentration to snuff out the Portrush threat. All in all this was a good victory in tightly contested game.

Man of Match: Jacob Craig


Ballymoney were looking forward to playing Bertie Peacock’s knowing that a win would put them on top of the league. Ballymoney got straight into the action with some great football, Cathal Darragh saw the keeper save from his shot but Joshua Morrison was there to tuck it into the net 1-0.

This was a very tight game with few chances. Padraig Kelly and Conall McGothigan were letting nothing past them and showing how good a defensive partnership they are.

Matthew McNeill and Daniel Beckett were working up and down the wings trying to get the Toon another goal but Peacocks were working hard. HT 1-0.

The second half was the same as the first with the two teams evenly matched Finn McLaughlin raced onto the ball and was unlucky to see his strike come back off the crossbar.

Peacock’s had a few chances in the game but Jude Bolton was there in nets to make some fine saves. Declan Convery was on and as the normal put in a great shift helping the team hold on for the win. FT 1-0. What a great performance from Padraig Kelly And Conall McGothigan who were solid in defence and didn’t miss a tackle.

Well done to all the boys who played their part in the first part of the season seeing them top of the table.

Man of Match: Padraig Kelly, Conall McGothigan


A special result this for the under 13s after the last few weeks and fully deserved after a great performance by the whole team. Ballymoney continued the strong work rate they had shown against Plunketts in their last game and created some great chances with superb passing from the midfield and forwards. They got their reward after 20 minutes when Drew and Conal combined to set up Luis for a great finish. 

Bertie’s started the second half strong and caught Ballymoney napping after two minutes to level the score. Thankfully from a Ballymoney point of view they got quickly back into their stride again and with Josh seeming to pop up everywhere to win the ball the pressure paid off after 43 minutes when Drew scored from a great cross by Conal.

The back four are worthy of particular praise in this game after a last minute injury concern meant they were all playing in positions they weren’t used to so well done to Christopher, Patrick, Tristan and Callum as well as keeper Adam. 

Man of Match: Patrick Kinsella

CARNINY U-15s 4 BUYA U-15s 1

It was a short trip to Ballymena for the U-15s to play Carniny on Saturday with both teams playing some good football early in the game, but it was the visitors who made the breakthrough after 12 minutes when Elder’s early cross to near post seen the lively Sam Ferris volley home from close range and a deserved lead.

Carniny responded immediately as striker Walker was waved on by referee after beating the offside trap before scoring past the stranded Coyles in goal.

Despite the setback Ballymoney battled on with Lyttle and Ferris creating several chances but Irwin was unable to convert and although Dillon and Shaw were dominating in midfield it was the hosts who went in front when Boreland was caught for pace and the ball was slid to the back post for an easy tap in 2.1. at half time.

Ballymoney went on the attack after the break creating a few chances from distance with Daniel O’Kane twice going close and were well on top forcing Carniny to bring on their subs who had a big impact on the rest of the game creating some good chances with McCauley and McKeeman doing well in defence to keep them at bay but with ten minutes left it was three after a driven cross by substitute McBurney made its way to the back post with Walker giving the outstretched Coyles no chance from five yards out.

With time running out and the visitors pushing on Walker got his third and making it 4.1 and a flattering scoreline. * Next week away to Armagh.