Another tight and exciting game was produced by Ballycastle Academy U10s who are beginning to develop a reputation within the North West and District Youth League for exciting games! An early effort by ‘Castles Lewis McKiernan was thwarted by a great save from Portrush keeper Jamie Palmer. Once again, ‘Castles keeper Fergal McKiernan had a great game producing some great targeted kick outs. A brave header from a very high ball from Fergal by Portrush’s Pierce Quigley prevented a ‘Castle breakaway but the match had to be stopped momentarily whilst Pierce received attention. Despite a number of efforts by both sides in the first half, half time score 0-0.
‘Castle Academy U10 coach made a number of changes in the second half though maintaining a focus on the younger players within the ‘Castle Academy U10s, giving consideration to the fact that ‘Castle were playing Portrush U9s. Portrush played excellent pass and move football throughout the match, hitting the cross bar more than once before being rewarded by their first goal. If the first half could be seen as evenly matched, the second half was very much dominated by Portrush. However, ‘Castle threatened on a number of occassions, usually on the break. A penalty appeal was made by Portrush players and coaches, denied by the referee, culminating with a fantastic break by ‘Castle. Ryan Watt, brought on only moments before, dribbling around two defenders before cooly slotting the ball past Portrush keeper Jamie Palmer. One each.
However, Portrush continued to impress with their passing game and at times excellent football, resulting in a winning goal from Pierce Quigley. Despite some clear chances for ‘Castle in the last few minutesa of the game, final score, Portrush U9s, 2, ‘Castle Academy 1, MoM for Portrush, Pierce Quigley, MoM for ‘Castle Academy, Fergal McKiernan.