Sky Blues U12 1
Sky Blues U12s kept another clean sheet when they travelled to Lurgan for their latest National League game against Warrenpoint.
The Blues got off to a flying start, taking the lead within one minute thanks to a super run and shot from the edge of the box by Eoghan Hawe.
Sky Blues then kept up the pressure and on 4 minutes Thomas Shea Maynes did well to find Eoghan Hawe whose dangerous cross was well claimed by the Warrenpoint keeper. On 12 minutes a Finn Diamond free kick from the edge of the box was goal bound but was tipped onto the bar by the Warrenpoint keeper.
Warrenpoint also had a couple of shots which were well gathered by Brian Henry in the Sky Blues’ goal. On 22 minutes a good Blues’ move resulted in a cross from Thomas Shea Maynes being diverted over the line by Caolan Tohill.
Sky Blues thought they had doubled their lead only for the referee to rule it out for off-side. The game was now end to end with Sky Blues pressing through Shea Mc Sorley and Eoghan Hawe on the left and Rhys Totten and Conleth Mc Guckian on the right. Caolan Tohill and Ethan Doherty worked hard up front against the well organised Warrenpoint defence with Ethan going close with a good strike from the edge of the box.
The second half saw Warrenpoint take more control in midfield putting pressure on the Blues’ defence but Pat Shivers, Patrick Bateson, Rhys Totten and Shea Mc Sorley held firm. Finn Diamond and Thomas Shea Maynes worked hard in midfield, breaking up a number of Warrenpoint attacks and setting up several chances.
Pat Shivers curled two free kicks into the box but they were well defended. Warrenpoint also went close, firing wide of the post and narrowly over. Sky Blues Substitutes Kevin Mc Nicholl and Shane Bradley came on and made a difference.
A fast counterattack by Shea Mc Sorley and Caolan Tohill set up Ethan Doherty on the edge of the box but the chance was lost when the referee brought play back for a foul on Shea Mc Sorley. The game finished with both defences on top and the Blues gaining a valuable 3 points.
Man Of The Match: Brian Henry
Sky Blues U15 3
Tri Star 4
Magherafelt Sky Blues U15, who are sponsored by Ronan Valley, played out their game with Tri-Star on Friday evening in the full spirit of the old football cliché ‘a game of two halves’. Tri-Star who have won all their league this season bar one draw came to the play the Blues in wonderful form so this was always going to be a difficult task.
However time and time again as many Blues sides have proved this young Under 15 team gave the visitors one of their toughest games of the season. The Blues flew out of the starting blocks and were 3-0 up after 20 minutes.
Mark McGrogan played in Manus McAllister and he rifled his shot passed the onrushing keeper. McGrogan then turned goalscorer when he lobbed the Tri-Star keeper after a through ball from Sean Monaghan. A stunning opening period was topped off when McAllister had a sublime turn and angled shot which arrowed into the corner. It simply could not have been a better first half.
The second kicked off with the Blues missing two gilt edged chances. Monaghan and then Ciaran Bradley both shot straight at the keeper. A goal then would have broken Tri-Star. However, giving great credit to the visitors, they simply never gave up.
3-0 became 3-3 inside a 15 minute period through some clinical finishing by Tri-Star and poor defensive play from the Blues. As the time ebbed away and a draw looked likely Tri-Star proved their top of the table quality when they scored a last minute winner.
‘I’m gutted’ is another common football cliché and every one of the Sky Blues players, coaches and supporters felt gutted after what they saw in this game.
However, this young side should not come away deflated as they proved they have all the quality to compete at the highest level. This was just one of those games that makes the neutral supporter love the game.
Man of the match for Sky Blues was Mark McGrogan for his general performance, one assist and one goal.
Sky Blues U13 3
Sky Blues U13 played Glendowan at Moyola Park on Friday night in a NIBFA league fixture.
The Blues started the game slowly and were under early pressure from a lively Glendowan side.
Lucky for the Blues that Jack Bresland was in top form as he came out on top on three one on ones with the Glendowan forwards. After a slow start Daniel Bradley and Kealen Friel began to assert themselves on the opposition forwards and the team began to push forward and create a few chances. Finally the pressure paid off when Michael Stewart put Pearse McLarnon through and Pearse was coolness personified as he rounded the keeper to put his side one up.
Glendowan kept pressing looking for the equaliser but the home defence held firm and with Jack McCoy and Ciaran Shields work hard on the wings the Blues opened up the Belfast defence and a clever pass from Shields to Cormac Murphy resulted in Murphy firing goal number two from the edge of the box. Half time and the Blues had a comfortable lead.
The second half was similar to the first but eventually the Blues began to dominate the game as Aaron McKee and Ben McErlain began to attack from deep and create chances for the forwards. Alex Doherty was working hard upfront and after a strong run through the Glendowan defence he narrowly shot wide.
With a few of the lads getting tired substitutes Iri Niza, Cianan McCann, Cathal Martin and Harry Evans were introduced to see out the game. However Glendowan had other ideas and with ten minutes to go they scored.
The Blues responded to this setback and with their next attack Iri showed his pace as he ran onto a through ball from Kealen Friel to slot home goal number three. Glendowan did not give up and they scored a second in the last minute. This was a good victory for the lads but a more difficult game lies ahead next week when we are away to Ballymena
Man of the match this week is Jack Bresland.
Magherafelt Sky Blues U14 v Ballymena United (11am)
Ballymena United v Magherafelt Sky Blues U13 (11am)
Warrenpoint Town v Magherafelt Sky Blues U12 (11am)
Moyola Park U12 4
Moyola U12s travelled to Coleraine to play a league match and came away with a convincing 4-1 win.
The match was played on a beautiful sunny afternoon and the football played by the away team matched the weather. From the out set Moyola attacked the home team and they nearly capitalized when a fine through ball by J Clarke found R Lynn but his shot was well dealt with by the home keeper.
More chances fell then to Liam Young, R Lynn and D Palframan but the ball just would not go in. At the other end Coleraine created some chances on the counter attack but the Moyola defence of Lee, Clarke, McGroggan and Mangion were looking solid and dealt with any problems that arose.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes when the impressive Diamond won the ball in midfield fed Clarke who passed to Mangion and his fine slide-rule pass put in Daryl Hughes whose thunderbolt of a shot with his left foot flew past the home keeper to make it 1-0.
Despite more chances falling to L Young, R Lynn, P Diamond and C Gordon Moyola just could not increase their lead. With half-time approaching Moyola went 2 goals up when that man Hughes scored his second with a low shot into the bottom corner.
The second half started with Moyola looking to put the game to bed and they were unlucky not to score after R Lynns fine effort was put behind for a corner. Despite all the Moyola pressure Coleraine on occasions counter attacked with pace but found the centreback partnership of S McGroggan and J Clarke on the top of their game.
With Moyola leading 2-0 and numerous chances being created this was still a dangerous scoreline and Coleraine made it 2-1 when a penalty was awarded for a foul in the box by Lee.
The match was now a knife edge but the Moyola’s nerves were soon settled when a move involving Diamond, Young and Gordon sent R Lynn through to score his eighth goal of the season. The game was now over as a contest and Ronan McKee made it 4-1 with a superb curling shot past the home keeper.
The last few minutes of the match ended with Ryan McKee playing in R Lynn but it wasn’t his day and the game ended 4-1 to the Moyola lads.
Well done Moyola keep up the hard work and there will be more days like this. Training every Wednesday night 7.30pm sharp to 9.00pm.
Moyola Park U16 5
Coagh United 2
Moyola U16s played their first home game of this season in Mill Meadow where both teams paid a silent tribute before kick-off to Moyola player Andrew ‘Shuney’ Moore who sadly passed away last weekend after an illness.
They took on local side Coagh Utd on a crisp but sunny November morning. Moyola had an early opportunity as Glass controlled a free-kick dropped into the penalty area but his shot on the turn came back off the post.
Cassidy had to save from a Coagh effort before McGrogan run through from midfield only for the keeper to bravely smoother the ball at his feet. Flanagan beat two on the left wing and crossed low across the six-yard box but the stretching McElhatton could not get that all important touch.
Minutes later Flanagan had the first of two chances to score…the first heading narrowly over from Darragh’s free kick and then shooting just wide as he found space on the edge of the area. Ten minutes before the break Moyola were having the majority of the possession and finally broke the deadlock when McElhatton strongly won the ball back off a Coagh midfielder, created space for himself and then selfishly slid the ball through for Flanagan who poked the ball under the onrushing keeper.
With Coagh on the back foot Moyola continued to pressure the Coagh players all over the field of play. Evans wins the ball from the Coagh goal-kick, feeds Flanagan who in turn finds McElhatton on the wing whose cross was met by the head of Glass to finish off a superb passing movement by the home side.
Coagh pulled a goal back just before the break. Cassidy tipped a free-kick over the bar but from the resulting corner he once again saved well at the feet of the striker only for the ball to break to a Coagh player who had the simple task to slot home from a yard.
The second period started with Moyola continuing to show the same desire and competiveness as the first half. A Cassidy clearance was brought down by McElhatton whose pass finds Glass on the wing but the cross is headed over by Flanagan. Flanagan then took advantage of a mistake from the Coagh keeper. His throw fell directly to Flanagan ten yards inside the Coagh half and the young striker instinctively, with great vision, struck a beautifully weighted shot looping over the stranded Cooper for his second on the game.
Cassidy was alert and athletic minutes later as he once again tipped another direct free-kick over the bar. Moyola’s central defensive pairing of Downey and Connery were having a fantastic game as were Darragh and McGrogan in midfield leaving no loose ball without a challenge.
Midway through the half Evans again was first to the ball down the right wing and as he drove forward he fed a neat pass through the Coagh back line onto Flanagan’s diagonal run and the striker made no mistake from ten yards to round off a superb hatrick.
Minutes later and Flanagan put a shot just wide of the upright but was not in the mood to miss two in a row. He received the ball just outside the penalty area ‘D’, looked up and, again with terrific vision and technique, side footed the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal – most definitely the best of his four goals today.
Coagh were then awarded a dubious free kick on the edge of the penalty area as the referee adjudged Cassidy to have come out of the box taking the kick-out. Kane stepped up to place the ball into the top corner. As the game came to a close Glass had a shot which the keeper dived to palm around the post.
Another fine team performance by the young Moyola lads who remained focus and disciplined throughout this derby encounter, giving 100% for each other as they strive to improve in each game.
Saturday November 17
Sunnyside v Moyola Park U16
(Fairhill in Cookstown at 10.30am)