Carniny enjoy fresh Ayr

CARNINY Under 11s and a squad from Carniny's Football Development Centre headed to Ayr over the May Day holiday weekend to compete in the prestigious Scotland Cup Youth Tournament.

For the under 11s the first match was against Edinburgh South and Conor Doherty gave Carniny the lead towards the end of the first half, but Edinburgh equalised on the stroke of half.

They dominated the opening minutes of the second half and raced into a 3-1 lead and that's how it finished.

Their best performance on the opening day came in Carniny's second game against Balmoral Thistle from the north of Scotland where the Reds ran out 3-0 winners.

The goals came from Simon Evans in the first half and Conor Doherty and Bailey McNeill in the last five minutes of the game.

Tiredness was a telling factor in their next game against Spartans B who were a strong physical side and generally out muscled the Carniny boys and in the second half Spartans took control scoring three without reply.

Carniny's second block of games started against Leith from the East of Scotland. An early goal was conceded but Kavan Keenan soon levelled and late goals from Conor Doherty and Cameron Neilly secured a 3-1 win.

Carniny's second game on the final day was against Caley Thistle from Inverness.

James McClean in goal was superb producing a series of tremendous saves but the Reds succumbed to a late winner and recorded a 1-0 defeat.

Their final game was against Spartans A team who hadn't lost so far in the tournament but the boys rose to the occasion however and produced by far their best performance of the tournament.

Bailey McNeill gave his side the lead with a superb finish after beating three or four of the opposition players, but the Ballymena boys conceded a last minute equaliser to deny them a famous victory.

It was generally agreed that Carniny's best player on the second day of the tournament was Conor Doherty and that goalkeeper James McClean was the outstanding player over the two day period.

The Coaches have thanked all the parents who assisted in the trip including Andy Evans in negotiating a price reduction in the travelling costs, Brendan and Catherine Doherty who looked after the kit, Darren McGall and Andy Evans for providing some of the transport, Karen Neilly for being the designated person in charge of one of the caravans in which the boys stayed and Glenn Stewart for his general assistance with on and off field activities.

The Football Development squad consisted of under 8s and 9s.

Their first game was against Stewarton Annick. They took the competition by storm winning the game 7-0 with an outstanding performance from Kyle Apsley scoring a hat-trick.

Their second game was against Athletico Valspar recording another great victory 4-0. Great performances were put in by Lewis Mearns and Scott Hunter torturing the Valspar defence and sharing in the goals. Rian Lennon even had chance to come out of goals and came up with a goal himself.

Their last game of the day was against Galston BC were they recorded another 7-0 victory in which Kyle Apsley brought his goal total to seven for the day.

Their second day was a lot harder in respect that a lot of the players were tired from their previous days efforts. Their first game resulted in a very respectable defeat 4-3 against Real Valspar in which they led 3-1 with two goals from Scott Hunter and one from Lewis Mearns.

The second game of the day they raised their game against Galston United winning 2-1, with Cameron Stewart popping up with another goal.

Their last game of the competition resulted in the best performance of the day winning 3-0 against Stewarton Annick as Jake White rounded off the day with an excellent hat-trick.

In all, the tournament was a great success with Carniny returning with a trophy and great memories.

Meanwhile, as the season draws to a close Carniny face the latter stages of several competitions with the 14s and 15s facing Linfield and Maiden City respectively in the ‘Elite’ National League cup semi finals this Tuesday night whilst the 10s await confirmation of details pertaining to their cup final meeting in the South Belfast league against Aquinas or Glentoran.

UNDER-15

Carniny 7, Ballymoney United YA 1: The under-15s wrapped up their National League campaign having lost only one of their last fourteen National League and Cup games.

Zach Barr scored first when Jordan Hood nodded a powerful header through from midfield to the front man. Number two came from Don McAllister working well down the right flank before passing inside to Mark McKelvey who fired home a super left foot shot. Just before the break Barr made it three when he scored his second.

After the interval, Jake Carson won a penalty for the Reds and Lloyd White stepped up to coolly fire home from 12 yards out, ensuring all members of the squad have been on the score sheet this season.

A neat piece of football down the left flank saw Jake Carson get his first with Carniny’s fifth coming from a long range effort from outside the box.

Ballymoney got a consolation goal when one of their forwards capitalised on a fumble from Jordan Dunlop in the Carniny goal. Carson rounded off the scoring when he scored his second and the last goal of the night.

Carniny: Dunlop, White, McAllister, Greene C, Todd, Carson, Hood, McKelvey, Black, Greene G, Barr, Apsley, Wright, Taylor.

UNDER-17

Carniny 0, Ballywalter 1: Carniny went into this match missing five regulars but were still hopeful of a win to keep them in contention for the league.

On the 55th minute Ballywalter scored the only goal after poor defending from a corner and Carniny now need Aquinas to drop points in their final four games to have any chance of winning the league title.

Carniny: Quigley, Thompson, Scroggie, Dillon, McGarry, McCartney, Waring, Cassidy, Kernohan, Deboys, O’Mullan, Ross, Moore, Cubi