Another week with some good results for the Northend sides, with undoubtly performance of the week going to Uel Magill’s U18s in their excellent 4-3 semi-final win over 22nd Old Boys in the South Belfast Youth League on Friday night.
Trailing 2-0 after five minutes, the U18s clawed their way back into the game, scoring the winner with minutes of the match remaining. On target for the U18s were Jack McIlhatton, Kai Barr, Matty Las and Patrick Ferris.
Our Seniors weren’t to be outdone with the heroics of the U18s on Friday night and they themselves advanced to the Sammy Moore Cup Final, with a 1-0 win over Woodside FC in the semi-final on Saturday morning, played in Broughshane.
Elsewhere, our Braid Dental sponsored U16s just missed out on making it a hat-trick of finals for Northend at the weekend, when they lost narrowly to Shankill United in their semi-final on Friday night.
The U13s match was cancelled at the weekend when their opponents Hillsborough Boys were unable to field a team, and Ryan Da Prato’s team picking up the points, while the Macaulay Wray sponsored U15s lost their derby match with Ballymena United.
The U11s United team had another good win over Windmill Stars, while the U12s were left feeling disappointed with a 2-2 draw with Lisburn Youth, such is the improvement in this young team.
At the youngest end of the club, the 2013s and 2014s continued their competitive action at the Irish FA sponsored games development centre at the Showgrounds on Friday night, while the U10s were enjoying their football against Hillsborough Boys in the Lisburn Youth League.
UNDER 10s PUMAS– Lisburn Youth League
Northend United vrs Hillsborough Boys Tigers
Damien McGarry’s young side continue to make progress and gave a good account of themselves against their well drilled opponents
Panel: C Campbell, K Crawford, M King, P Condurache, A Gordon, D McGarry, O Hardy, A Beleaua, C Graham, C Milliken, N Pekala, I Maguire
UNDER 11s UNITED– Lisburn Youth League
Northend United 1 Windmill Stars 0
For the second week running the Omco Garden sponsored 2011s we’re up against Windmill Stars. With only 9 players to call upon it was always going to be a tough game. With few chances in the first half both teams went in all square at half time. Half time 0-0
The second half began better with a few positions being changed with Ava Carol dropping into centre half and Charlie O’Neill switching to centre midfield this seemed to help the team. Northend were awarded a free kick with Carol smashing it from distance the keeper could only manage to palm into the goal. O’Neill played a great pass to Jonah Weir-Rogers who smashed it off the crossbar when we’ll placed. Full time 1-0
Panel: J Cassley, C O’Neill, F Hudson, J Weir-Rogers, M Smyth, A Carol, J Melarkey,S Quinn, D Biegacz
UNDER 12s – Lisburn Youth League
Northend United 2 Lisburn Youth 2
Northend started off on the front foot with Caitlin Kelly testing the Lisburn keeper in the opening exchanges. Joshua Dillon was doing well in midfield, wining every ball, and setup up the attack. Lughan Hardy, in the Blues net, was called in to action, clearing a long ball. The Blues had an early scare with a shot from close range but Hardy made a great save. He quickly set Caitlin Kelly on her way from which she won a corner. Oliver McBurney was on hand to fire home to give Northend a 1-0 lead. Northend kept it like that for next 5 minutes but with lots of pressure on the Northend central defence of Joseph O’Hara and Ronan Maguire, eventually a ball into the Northend box was sliced past Hardy in the Blues net.
Northend continued to have chances with Kane McNeill and Caitlin Kelly leading the Blues strikeforce. After a spell of corners Caitlin Kelly found Oliver McBurney on the edge of the box he hit a looping shot keeper had no chance 2-1 halftime. Half time 2-1
Into the second half and with 3 up front and it wasn’t long before Northend went close with Cara McKay hitting one from distance and Orla Lemon putting in a lovely cross that hit the back post with no one there to see it in. Liam Kearney got injured and Ruairi Hamill got back on. Some strong play and chances for Ronan Maguire hitting some nice long range balls. Lisburn really went for it last couple of minutes and they played a long ball over the top, that was easy 5 meters off, but the referee didn’t give it and they equalised.
Player of the Match: Ronan Maguire
Panel: L Hardy, R Hamill, R Maguire, J O’Hara, O McBurney, L Kearney, J Dillon, C Kelly, K McNeill, C McGarry, C McKay, O Lemon
UNDER 15s – Lisburn Youth League
Ballymena United 3 Northend Utd 0
The Macaulay Wray sponsored U15s went into this game on the back of two straights wins including one against the Sky Blues. The game started at a frantic pace with early chances for both sides with the cross bar coming to the Blues rescue on a couple of occasions.
The Northend midfield trio that had dominated the previous games were being crowded out making it hard for the Blues to gain an advantage. On 17 minutes a long ball over the top of the Blues defence looked like an off-side call but McIlhatton had followed the runner playing Archer on and the big striker found the net.
The Blues battled hard to get back into the game with Matchett missing two guilt-edge chances to level the game. A second goal for the sky blues late in the half left the Northend boys with a battle on their hands in the second half. Half time 2-0
The second half saw the introduction of Campbell, Maka and Penney in an effort to inject some life into the game. In a 15-minute spell Northend had the lion share of the possession and created a host of chances without really troubling the Ballymena keeper. A third goal killed the game off and it petered out with an unusual lack of derby passion.
Panel: J Stewart, P Finnegan, J Kaczmarek, J McIlhatton, F McKay, F Connon, D McLaughlin, B Stephens, M O’Donnell, R Crooks, J Greer, C Matchett, L Campbell, F Penney, O Maka
UNDER 16s – South Belfast Youth League
Northend United 1 Shankill United 2
Northend U16s competitive season came to a premature end on Friday night with a League Cup semi-final defeat to Belfast side Shankill. On a cold night at Jordanstown 3G Northend were up against it right from the off against a fired-up opposition.
Shankill’s midfield dominated the game for much of the first half although keeper Tom Hasson was rarely troubled as the central defensive partnership of Eryk Hejno and Justin Mark were in outstanding form again. However, Northend’s trademark quick passing and movement was rarely on show and front men Euan Pirie and Carter Reid found it difficult to have any impact on the game in the first half. A tough physical encounter got to half time with no score. Half time 0-0
Shankill eventually took the lead fifteen minutes into the second half when their left winger got free and sent in a dangerous cross which was fired home by midfielder Ben Irvine. As has been the case many times this season Northend fought back and equalised within three minutes when striker Euan Pirie was brought down just outside the Shankill penalty area and Kaylem Corcoran converted a great free kick. At this stage Northend’s fitness was beginning to tell and Shankill were penned back for much of the last fifteen minutes. However, with only four minutes remaining Shankill broke forward and substitute Paul Briers managed to round keeper Tom Hasson and fire home from a tight angle to put the Belfast side ahead again.
Team manager Jamie Pirie had this to say about the side’s first season in the South Belfast Youth League:
“We sat down with the players last June not knowing if we would even have a squad to take into any league this season. What this group of players have achieved these past months is testament to their attitude and ability. They have been a credit to Northend United Youth FC, their families and each other. In addition, they have had the experience and vision of coach John Devlin to guide them on their way and it is my sincere hope that we can all continue this work in progress next season.”
Man of the Match: Justin Mark
Panel: T Hasson, D Patterson, J Mark, E Hejno, C Lyness, C O’Hara, S McDermott, H Connon, K Corcoran, E Pirie, C Hendron, C Reid, L Heggarty, K Gabrychowska, K Hughes
U 18s – South Belfast Youth Lge.
22nd Old Boys 3 Northend United 4
Northend got off to the worst possible start in this match and found themselves two goals down after only five minutes, with indecision all over the pitch. Jack McIlhatton brought the Blues a lifeline on fifteen minutes, when he turned his marker on the half-way line and ran on to plant the ball past the advancing Old Boys keeper, evading two defenders along the way.
Two minutes later and following a great through ball from Patrick Ferris, Paul O’Boyle found himself through with a one on one with the Old Boys keeper, but the keeper came out on top in this duel. Ferris who was settling into the Blues midfield saw a shot from the half-way line go narrowly over the Old Boys bar, when he saw their keeper off his line.
Northend’s calamitous defending was again exposed as the Old Boys scored a third goal on twenty-five minutes. Northend’s heads didn’t drop and from a Ferris run from midfield, the Old Boys keeper could only parry his shot and Kai Barr was following up to score from close range. With the half almost finished, Northend conceded a dubious penalty, when Millar was adjusted to have fouled his opponent, but the Blues keeper was equal to the kick and made a great save to keep Northend in the game, going into half time. Half time 3-2
Into the second half and with Tyrone Mitchell and Alix Bell introduced it was a different Northend who took the field. With Sam Millar driving them on from midfield, Northend looked a more complete unit. In defence, Ciaran Martin, Joel Telford and Conall O’Boyle, although giving away height advantage to their opponents, were now dealing with whatever the Old Boys could throw at them.
Just as it was looking like it wasn’t going to be Northend’s day, a deep cross from Mitchell on the left wing, found Matty Las in the Old Boys box and he turned his man and planted the ball into the top corner of the net. This goal lifted Northend and with ten minutes of the match remaining, the Blues were awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards out from the Old Boys goal. Up stepped Patrick Ferris to plant the ball in the top corner of the Old Boys net to give Northend the lead for the first time in this game.
Dawid Stokowiecki replaced McIlhatton as the Blues looked to defend their lead. With time almost up on the clock, Northend conceded a penalty which the Old Boys striker put wide of the Blues upright. Northend seen out the remaining minutes of the game to cement their place in the final. Full time 3-4
Panel: J Baxter, C Martin (c), C O’Boyle, J Telford, O McAuley, S Millar, P Ferris, K Barr, P O’Boyle, M Las, J McIlhatton, T Mitchell, A Bell, D Stokowiecki, A Pescaru