Northend United 3, Ballysillan Youth 0: Northend recorded an impressive win at Smithfield which all but ensures second place in their first season.
Jamie Stevenson excelled in midfield and it was he who opened the scoring when he raced through and fired an unstoppable shot from the corner of the 18 yard box into the far top corner.
The second goal came from a corner, and when Alex O'Boyle floated a fine ball into the area, Taylor Kernohan was on hand to convert with a calmly taken volley at the back post.
The game was over as a contest when Matthew Downey fed Stevenson just inside the opponents' half, and he produced a brilliant piece of individual skill, beating three men before calmly lobbing it over the advancing keeper.
MOM: Jamie Stevenson/Tarlagh MaCrory.
Northend: Aaron Montgomery, Tarlagh MaCrory, Aaron Campbell, Alex O'Boyle, Scott Sempey, James O'Loughlin, Jamie Stevenson, Shea O'Brien, Matthew Erwin, Matthew Downey, Cory Little, Eoin McNally, Taylor Kernohan, Aidan Graffin, Jamie Wray.
Ballysillan Youth 0, Northend 6: Northend moved into the semi-finals of the cup after this crushing win at the Valley pitches.
Northend took the lead just before half time. From a kick-out from the Ballysillan keeper, the ball fell to Rhys O'Mullan and with his quick thinking, he lobbed the ball back over the keeper and into the net.
The Ballymena side doubled their lead early in the second half when David Kilgore ran from his own half to slot past the advancing keeper and Kilgore scored again, this time heading in from a free kick.
Sam Bennett, after his own shot was blocked by the keeper, crossed for Zack Herbison to volley the fourth past the keeper.
Conor Graham was next on the scoresheet when he beat two defenders before calmly sending the ball into the corner of the net and Northend's sixth goal came when Rhys O'Mullan's shot from twenty-five yards beat the keeper.
MOM: Conor Graham
Northend: James Morgan, Ryan McKenna, Andrew Milligan, Eamon Elliott, Jamie Crawford, Oliver Boyle, Conor Graham, Conor McHugh, David Kilgore, Zack Herbison, Rhys O'Mullan, Sam Bennett, Robbie Dennison, Archie Magill.
Chimney Corner 4, Northend 1: Northend's recent run of wins came to an end against a determined Chimney Corner team who could have been more than 2-0 ahead at the break but for some fine saves by Anthony O'Neill.
Northend did pull one back when they won a corner and Leo Morgan headed home at the front post to put Corner under pressure but as the Ballymena boys committed men forward, they were caught on the counter-attack for Corner's third and the Antrim boys added a late fourth.
MOM: Anthony O’Neill.
Northend: Anthony O'Neill, Ronan Ward, Kyle Johnston, Przemyslaw Nowak, Michael Carberry, Calum Johnston, Ciaran Neeson, Joshua King, Harry Kilgore, Leo Morgan, Eoin McCorkindale, Aaron Reid, Adrian Dubyna, Jack Dawson, Krystian Yawerski, Gracyan Drezewski.
Northend 10, Barn 2: Barn took the lead when they broke out of defence and their left wing cross was met with a low shot past Niall Shannon.
This goal sparked Northend to play some of their best football of the season and from a Dylan Hamill pass on ten minutes, Brendan O’Mullan was on hand to beat the keeper with a low shot, his first goal of the season.
Two minutes later, Jamie Brown beat the keeper with a 25-yard shot and the same player raced on to a through ball to make it 3-1.
Brown duly completed his hat-trick with a virtual carbon copy and there were further goals from Jamie Speirs and Matthew Mulhollan (2) to complete a torrid first half for Barn.
Northend found it difficult to maintain the frantic pace of the first half but Ryan Gault increased their lead when he beat the keeper from 25 yards. The same player scored his second and Northend’s ninth when he connected with a Jaime Brown cross and beat the keeper with a low shot.
Barn scored their second goal of the game but Matthew Mulholland had the final say when he scored his hat-trick and Northend’s tenth goal when he beat two defenders and calmly finished with a low drive.
MOM: Niall Swann, Brendan O’Mullan
Northend: Niall Shannon, Michael Laverty, Caolan Tierney, Stefan McLees, Niall Swann, Jamie Speirs, Ryan Gault, Dylan Hamill, Matthew Mulholland, Jaime Brown, Brendan O’Mullan, Jordan Donnelly, Ciaran McCambridge.
Ards Youth 1, Northend 7: Northend reserved some of their best football of the season for this match and Ciaran Ferris gave them the lead early on with a low shot.
Ryan McIllroy scored two goals in quick succession, on 15 and 17 minutes, to give them a 3-0 cushion at the break.
Ards pulled a goal back but Ciaran Ferris was on hand to score his second goal and make it 4-1.
Ryan McIllroy completed his hat-trick 10 minutes into the second half before Sean McCann scored the goal of the game, when he beat three Ards defenders before shooting past their goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Just before the final whistle, Brendan Lynas, who had come on as a substitute, had the final say, when he scored with a low drive.
MOM: Mark Robinson, Sean McCann.
Northend: Dylan Little, Mark Robinson, Emmet Kerr, Ryan Douds, Declan McAfee, Thomas Brady, Sean McCann Ciaran Ferris, Ryan McIlroy, Conan Dunne, Aidan Hughes, Ryan Walsh.
MINI SOCCER ACADEMY
Mini Soccer Academy
The Mini Soccer Academy continues this Saturday, March 27, at Dunfane Pitch 1 from 2.15-4pm.
For more information, please contact John Devlin, Northend United Youth Development Officer, on 0791 905 6834.
A meeting for parents of boys going on the Ayr trip has been arranged in Michelin Club, Ballymena for Wednesday, March 31 (7pm).