With Lisburn Distillery U-9s not being able to fulfil their fixtures next week due their trip to Ayr Saturday saw them complete their fixtures in the Belfast GDC and the first game against Aquinas turned out to be an absolute cracker. Although mini-soccer isn't about results and this is emphasised regularly to the players it would be unfair to both teams not to make a mention of it on this occasion. Aquinas were excellent in the first period and deservedly raced into a 5-0 lead. A word of encouragment from the Distillery coaching staff at the interval seemed to have the desired effect and period two saw the whites storm back into the contest inspired by a superb midfield display from Calum Ashby, Calum pulled two goals back one of which was a stunning right foot finish from distance and linked up superbly with Ben Gilliland and Kenzie Bradley to urge the wee whites forward. The game was now end to end and Xander Power had to be on top of his game in the Distillery goal to tip a rasping shot over the bar. Noah Perry was pushing forward looking for a goal but it was Calum who took his tally to four for the day with another two smart finishes. The game ended in drama when whites defender stepped forward and hit a rocket of a shot into the top corner from all of 25 yards to make it 5-5, the ball hadn't settled in the net when the final whistle went and Michael was mobbed by his delirious team-mates, WHAT A GAME!!!!!! The second game was a really tight encounter with North Belfast, indeed the opposition striker had a great start to the game getting himself a couple of goals and causing the Distillery rearguard numerous problems but as the game progressed Noah Kelly, Ben Coulter and Johathan McCullough worked really hard and managed to keep the shackles on the live wire forward. Jake Donaghy was having an increasing influence on the game and at times his opponents needed to use foul means to stop him. Bradley Ingrams pace and power on the right were causing problems and Ross White benefitted by helping himself to a hat-trick. Although the wee whites were on top and the tall North Belfast keeper was very busy Lewis Doyle still had to make a few excellent saves to keep Distillery in the game. A moment of hesitancy in the whites defence allowed their opponents to complete the scoring. Although not at their best the whites worked extremely hard against difficult opposition and after going behind they always believed in their ability to get goals no matter who they are playing against. A great seasons progress from the U-9s and the coaching staff would like to thank all the parents/grandparents/friends and family for their continued support.
The first game for Lisburn Distillerys U-9s in their latest round of games in the Belfast GDC was a match up with Shankill Juniors. The wee whites started off well and it wasn't long before Spencer Maxwell opened the scoring but Shankill rallied well and even though Distillery were on top some resolute defending and an outstanding display from their keeper saw the West Belfast boys stay in the game. The second period saw a few goals from the whites with Conall Cunningham and Ross white both getting their name on the scoresheet but Shankill never gave up the fight and forced Lewis Doyle to make one terrific save but Lewis could do nothing minutes later when the Shankill forward pulled a goal back. Defenders Ben Coulter and Noah Kelly got a run in midfield and in attack respectively and Ben got a couple of goals the second of which came when the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box after the superb Shankill keeper had parried a snap shot from Noah. The second game against Albion Star was a contender for game of the season. As per usual this whites team started slowly and were caught unawares by a much improved Albion side who raced into a three goal lead thanks mainly to their dominant midfielder and lightning quick forward. The comeback started in the second period with a great Calum Ashby goal and another from Lennox Young, Ben Gilliland then hit the bar with a looping long range effort. The game was now end to end and next to get his name on the scoresheet was Michael Rocks who stepped forward out of defence to smash the ball home. The wee whites were swarming forward but this was leaving gaps at the back and Albion took advantage by getting another goal. Then came what was arguably the most exciting passage of play in the game, an Albion attacker raced clear one on one with Xander Power in the Distillery goal but Xander stood tall to make a great save only to see the ball rebound off Michael and ricochet goalwards but out of nowhere Calum got back to make a stunning goaline clearance. The excitement didn't finish there as moments later Louis McKinney was presented with a goalscoring opportunity which he took gleefully. For the second week in a row this particular Distillery team showed great character and no shoratge of skill to come back into a game after starting poorly
Saturdays first game for Lisburn DistilleryU-9s was a match up with old foes Newington and what a treat both sets of players served up to the watching crowd. The wee whites started brightly in fact straight from the kick off Jake Donaghy drove at the Newington defence and created a good chance for Ross White which just went past the post, but it didn't take long for the North Belfast boys to show their class when they went in front from a cleverly worked short corner. Newington had the better of the remainder of the first period but goalkeeper Lewis Doyle was equal to anything thrown at him. The second period saw Distillery show their class and they equalised when Noah Kellys perfect through ball found Ross White, the big man still had plenty to do but his turn and finish was first class. The Newington keeper was becoming the busiest player on the pitch but just as it looked like the whites were going to go on and kill the match off the opposition again showed how dangerous they were by scoring another good goal on the break. This Distillery team is made of stern stuff and conceding a goal didn't seem to knock them out of their stride and they created numerous chances most notably when Spencer Maxwell was unlucky to see his shot drift past the upright, a goal was coming and it arrived via the right boot of Bradley Ingram. The U-9s were now in control and it wasn't long before they scored the goal of the game, Jake Donaghy was heading back towards his own goal being pursued by a couple of opponents but a cheeky drag back and a lightning quick change of direction left his pursuers chasing thin air, Jake then made ground before feeding Bradley on the right wing, Bradleys cross was measured to perfection and it left a combination of Ross and Conall Cunningham the simple task of bundling the ball over the line from close range. The chances continued to flow but it was Newington who finished the scoring after a moment of hesitancy in the whites rearguard allowed the striker to poke the ball home, a bad goal to give away but as long as the boys learn from these sort of mistakes it will do them more good than harm. An excellent game of football between two superb sides that would not have looked out of place in an older age group. Game two was against St. Oliver Plunkett and the whites got off to dreadful start against very strong opponents conceding a number of goals in the first period. A few words of encouragement from the coachs at the break seemed to have the desired effect and the boys then made a real match of what was looking like a one sided affair. Calum Ashby pulled a goal back after being expertly set up by Matthew Moore, Lennox Young then got a goal after running onto a great Kenzie Bradley through ball. The introduction of Michael Rocks shored things up at the back but goalkeeper Xander Power still had to pull off a great reflex save from a stinging long range effort. Louis Mckinney worked hard in attack and was unlucky not to convert a Noah Perry cross, Noah then got a goal himself forcing the ball home at the second attempt. The last play of the game saw Ben Gilliland racing clear but Ben couldn't keep up his recent fine goalscoring record as he struck his shot with venom but unfortunately it just went the wrong side of the post. A great comeback by the boys in white in a game were they could have taken a real heavy beating from a strong Plunkett team who were excellent throughout.
After what seemed like an eternity due to Easter breaks and bad weather hostilities were finally resumed at St. Malachys on Saturday in The Belfast GDC for Lisburn Distillery U-9s. Game one saw the boys start really well against a very strong Sydenham side and it didn't take long for Matthew Moore to open the scoring, indeed Matthew was having an excellent game in attack and was linking up superbly with midfielders Calum Ashby and Kenzie Bradley. Sydenham came back into the contest and got a goal of their own despite the efforts of Ben Gilliland in the whites defence. The game was quite evenly matched until Distillery lost goalkeeper Xander Power to injury and although Michael Rocks is a more than able deputy between the sticks the boys missed Michaels strength in defence, Sydenham took advantage of this and deservedly scored a few goals before the wee whites rallied late on and were unlucky not to pull a goal back when Matthew saw two good efforts roll agonisingly past the post. Game two was against Celtic Boys and in this game Distillery played well without ever being at their best in what was a bit of a scrappy encounter. Chances were few and far between until Conall Cunningham opened the scoring after good work on the right from Jake Donaghy and Bradley Ingram. Celtic then had a chance of their own after a mix up in the whites rearguard but the striker put the shot just wide of the target. Jakes delivery and Ross White and Bradley Ingrams aerial strength have made corners a potent weapon for the wee whites and the boys were unlucky on a number of occasions from these particular set-pieces. The Celtic defender was putting some dangerous long range free kicks into the whites penalty area but Lewis Doyle in goal dealt with them compently. Spencer Maxwell got a goal when he poked home a right wing cross and then Jake sent Bradley racing clear, Bradley composed himself before rifling an unstoppable shot past the impressive Celtic keeper.
With the Befast GDC on an Easter break Lisburn Distillery U-9s took the chance to bring their neighbours Lisburn Youth to their Colin Park training centre for a couple of friendly games. In the first game Distillery were able to dominate against opponents who were physically smaller, although to say the boys simply overpowered Youth would be unfair as the boys in white inspired by the magnificent Calum Ashby in the middle of the park put together some superb passages of play. Calum and Kenzie Bradley have developed a telepathic understanding and combined to make the first chance of the game for Noah Perry but Noahs shot was well blocked by a defender. The scoring was opened not long after when Calum finished superbly after great build up play from Ben Gilliland and Matthew Moore. Lennox Young was next to get his name on the score sheet, the wee man showed a great piece of skill to beat his marker before out-sprinting the defensive cover and slotting the ball home calmly. Distillery keeper Xander Power had to be on his toes when Lisburn Youth counter attacked racing off his line to clear the danger. Michael Rocks then made himself a chance to score but his final touch was a bit too heavy, not be denied when a similar opportunity arose Michael showed he had learnt from his previous experience and gave the keeper no chance with a cool finish. Kenzie was taking up some excellent positions and how he didn't get his name on the score sheet is a mystery but at this stage of the boys development it is the all-round game which is more important and he certainly produced a top-drawer display. The Lisburn Youth boys battled to the end and deservedly pulled a goal back when the striker raced clear and finished well. If the whites were bigger in the first game they were certainly much smaller in game two when The Lisburn Youth team on average were much taller than the U-9s but again the boys demonstrated it's not size that matters and stunned their opponents with an outstanding display of passing football. Jake Donaghy followed Calums lead and dominated the game from the central midfield position, indeed Jake, Bradley Ingram and Ross White were almost unplayable in the first period and the only surprise was that they had only the one goal to show for all their dominance, Jake forcing the ball home after being set up superbly by Conall Cunningham. The second period started a bit brighter for The Youth but Noah Kelly and the outstanding Ben Coulter in the whites defence repelled whatever was thrown at them, Ben was very positive and aggressive and Noah notably cleared one dangerous corner with a great header. Distillery then took complete control and the goals started to flow, firstly Spencer Maxwell who was causing real problems for the opposition defence finished off a flowing move then Bradley got the goals his performance deserved, one of them a towering header from an inswinging corner from Jake. After just missing the target with a couple of shots Ross fired a rocket of a shot into the top corner when Bradley cleverly tapped a free-kick to him. Conall Cunningham was getting a lot of space on the left wing and put it to good use getting his own name an the scoresheet as well as setting up the tigerish Jonathan McCullough for a goal. In a carbon copy of the first game Lisburn Youth never gave up the fight and pulled a goal back near the end when the impressive forward went through a tackle and slotted the ball past the otherwise unbeatable Lewis Doyle in the Distillery goal. An excellent day allround for the U-9s and a big thank you to the all the Lisburn Youth coaching staff
Atrocious weather conditions greeted Lisburn Distillery U-9s on Saturday morning at St. Malachys but the boys showed great character in difficult circumstances. It didn't take Ben Gilliland long to continue his goalscoring spree in the first game against St.Marys, four goals in as many games for a defender is an excellent return. The wee whites dominated the rest of the opening period with Jonathan McCullough adding to the scoreline. Louis McKinney was working his socks off and created space for Matthew Moore and Lennox Young to get goals. As usual Michael Rocks was in commanding form in defence and never gave the opposition attackers a sniff of goal. Noah Perry was unlucky on numerous occasions not to get a goal but put in a real shift for the team. The boys got off to a great start in the next game against Crusaders when Bradley Ingram opened the scoring after five minutes but the whites failed to build on the good start and produced what was arguably their poorest performance of the season so far. A few goals were conceded despite the heroics in defence from the ever improving Noah Kelly and Ben Coulter and it was the third and final period before the boys started to play anywhere near the standard they are capable off. Another Bradley Ingram goal seemed to inspire them and from then on it was one way traffic with Ross White and Jake Donaghy having an ever increasing influence on proceedings. Conall Cunningham got a great goal taking his shot early which gave the excellent Crusaders keeper no chance. Ross and Bradley were unlucky when heading just over from in swinging corners and Conall also saw a snap shot rebound off the base of the post. This wee whites team have set themselves very high standards which are sometimes difficult to live up to but as long as they learn from their mistakes it can only help their development.
Saturdays two games for Lisburn Distillery U-9s were exciting encounters against Carnmoney FDC and Willowbank. First up was Carnmoney and the Distillery coaching staff took an opportunity to rest a few important players and play a few others out of position to give the boys a chance to sample the game from a different angle. Understandably the wee whites took a while to find their feet in a first period which saw them concede a couple of goals. The second fifteen minute period saw normal service resumed and the whites got themselves back into the game with a fine worked goal which started with a great piece of skill from Kenzie Bradley and ended with Bradley Ingram timing his run to perfection to latch onto the through ball and finish confidently. The boys were doing extremely well despite getting frustrated at some ridiculous refereeing decisions from their opponents coach and another goal wasn't long in coming this time an expertly executed Jake Donaghy free-kick. The Carnmoney forward was having an excellent game and scored a number of long range free-kicks some of which were unstoppable, but at least one could have been dealt with a bit better by the boys in white. Ross White got in on the act and finished off a couple of flowing moves with aplomb and Jake Donaghy showed tremendous skill when seemingly hemmed by a number of opponents at his own corner flag he somehow managed to find not only a way out but also produce a superb pass which started another attack. A game which made the coaching staff exteremely proud of the boys for a number of reasons, firstly they kept their cool in what were difficult circumstances and also how defensive trio of Spencer Maxwell, Ben Coulter and Noah Kelly improved as the game progressed against a first class striker who caused a lot of problems particularly in the opening stages. Game number two was a very evenly matched encounter with Willowbank. It didn't take long for Ben Gilliland to continue his fine goalscoring run smashing the ball into the roof of the net after five minutes. Willowbank stormed back into the contest and got a goal of their own to even things up. The boys were putting some excellent passages of play together but were let down time and again when losing control of the ball just when it looked like they were going to create a goalscoring opportunity, something that will need to be worked on in training. Calum Ashby, Jonathan McCullough and Matthew Moore combined on a number of occasions to create chances and Matthew scored a great goal from one of these moves. Willowbanks forwards were always a threat and Xander Power had to continue his fine form in nets to keep them from adding to their tally.
U-9s player of the month for February Noah Kelly and the most improved player Xander Power.
Saturday saw Lisburn Distillery U-9s having mixed fortunes when taking on Ardoyne in two serparate games in their latest round of mini-soccer games. The first match was a struggle against very strong opponents, Ardoyne swarmed all over the wee whites from the word go and it took some outstanding defending from Michael Rocks combined with an excellant display between the sticks from Distillery keeper Xander Power to keep the scoreline scoreless at the first break. The second period continued in much the same vein but again the whites defence in which Ben Gilliland was excelling managed to keep Ardoyne at bay until the final few minutes when the deadlock was eventually broken when the opposition striker fired home from a tight angle. In the last minute of this fifteen minute period Michael Rocks showed its hard by name and hard by nature by putting his head in where it hurts while defending another Ardoyne attack, Michael got a nasty blow to the head for his troubles but in typical fashion just shook it off and played on. Period three saw an improvement from The Whites and after Matthew Moore had pulled a goal back they had their best spell with the hard working Kenzie Bradley and Calum Ashby both unlucky not to get their names on the scoresheet. A sobering experience for the boys and hopefully something they will learn from. Game two was a different affair altogether but although Distillery started strongly the first chance fell to Ardoyne and goalkeeper Lewis Doyle needed to be quick off his line to thwart the danger. The U-9s then took control and Jake Donaghy opened the scoring finishing well after taking up a good position on the edge of the box. Bradley Ingrams surging runs down the right were causing mayhem in the Ardoyne rearguard and the end product of a couple of these runs were goals for Conall Cunningham and Jonathan McCullough. The start of the second period saw Ardoyne showing what a good team they are by pulling a couple of goals back and the abiding memory of this section of the game was the marvellous tussle Bradley and the opposition number five were having with no quarter asked or given. Spencer Maxwell was extremely unlucky on a number of occasions not to get the goal his play deserved. Goalkeeper Lewis Doyles pinpoint distribution to the Distillery widemen was constantly putting the boys on the front foot and it was no surprise to see Ross White fouled in a dangerous postion as a direct result of one of these superb balls, the resulting Jake Donaghy free-kick was heading for the top corner only to be tipped over the bar by a defender on the goal-line which led to a penalty, Jake made no mistake smashing home the spot kick off the underside of the bar. Centre Forward Ross White earned another free-kick after taking a flying boot in the face and recovered to see his pile-driver hit the post. The tricky Ardoyne forwards were still extremely dangerous on the break but Noah Kelly and Ben Coulter were magnificent in defence and were a more than a match for anything the North Belfast boys could throw at them.
Aquinas were the first opponents for Distillery U-9s at St.Malachys on Saturday and what a start it was for the men in white as Jake Donaghy, Bradley Ingram and Ross White all scored goals in the first five minutes against a side which had caused them a lot of problems in their previous meeting. The Aquinas boys worked hard to get themselves back into the game but when they did find a way through they found Noah Kelly and Ben Coulter unbeatable in the wee whites defence indeed Noah was having arguably his best game of the season, Ben was also taking his instructions on board after initially rushing his passing he started to show the composure on the ball we all know he possesses. Bradley Ingram was proving unplayable on the right wing and some of his crossing was right out of the top drawer and it was from one of these crosses that Spencer Maxwell got his name on the scoresheet, Spencer who has mostly been used as a defender was showing his adaptability by leading the attacking line superbly. A flowing move saw Bradley fire in yet another pin-point cross and Jonathan McCullough who had taken up an excellant position at the back post was unlucky to see his first time effort strike the bar. Jake then scored a tremendous long range goal which hit the underside of the bar and bounced over the line leaving the opposition keeper helpless. Not too be outdone Conal Cunningham then got in on the act with a trademark left foot finish. A mention must also go to Distillery goalkeeper Lewis Doyle who found himself a spectator for most of the game but his distribution was first class throughout. Game two was against fellow Premier League Academy side Crusaders and again the wee whites produced an excellant display. Calum Ashby opened the scoring with a superb finish from distance, Calum would go on to help himself to a hat-trick. Ben Gilliland saw two efforts go narrowly over the bar but it proved to be third time lucky when he fired an unstoppable shot past a bewildered Crusaders keeper. The Hatchet Men worked hard and got a goal of their own and whites keeper Xander Power had to be on top of his game to thwart the sporadic attacks from The Crues. It was then the turn of Kenzie Bradley to get a couple of goals to add to his ever increasing tally. There looked to be danger when Crusaders got a corner but after defending the set piece well the whites produced a flowing length of the pitch move which ended with Lennox Young rifling home the first of his two goals. Matthew Moore was having a commanding game in defence as well as showing a great range of passing to start of a lot of the Distillery attacks. Louis McKinney worked tirelessly in attack ably assisted by Noah Perry, indeed both boys were extremely unlucky not to get their names on the scoresheet.
u-9s player of the month and most improved player for January,
Ross White and Jonathan McCullough
Lisburn Distillerys U-9s latest game in The Belfast GDC saw them make the journey to Poleglass to take on Colin Valley. The last time the boys travelled to this venue it was a bit of a harrowing experience as they didn't play anywere near the standards they are capable of but Saturday was a different story. The first period was really entertaining with both teams threatening to open the scoring, Kenzie Bradley was showing very quick feet to continually ask questions of the home rearguard and was ably assisted in midfield by the hard-working Calum Ashby but it was Colin Valley who opened the scoring somewhat against the run of the play with a well struck free-kick. Period two saw the wee whites lose their shape a little and concede a few goals despite the heroics from goalkeeper Xander Power, but that proved only to be a blip as normal service was resumed in the third period despite losing hard working striker Louis McKinney to a nasty looking mouth injury. Ben Gilliland was urging the boys forward from midfield and it was no surprise to see the goals come after a number of near misses with both Calum and Kenzie getting their names on the scoresheet. It was then onto St.Malachys for a game against North Belfast. The Whites started off brightly with Spencer Maxwell continually carrying the ball out of defence and feeding livewire winger Conall Cunningham who in turn was causing mayhem in the opposition defence and it was surprising that the first period ended goalless. The deadlock was broken in fine style with a superbly worked team goal, Jake Donaghy picked the ball up in central midfield and played it into Noah Kelly, Noahs superb first time lay-off found Bradley Ingram who had timed his run to perfection, Bradley burst through on goal and gave the keeper no chance with a powerful finish. North Belfast then had a very strong period when they got a goal of their own indeed goalkeeper Lewis Doyle had to be on top of his game to stop them adding to their tally. Period three was just as exciting with both teams getting a few more goals and the game ended in dramatic fashion with a frantic scramble in the Distillery goalmouth which saw Lewis, Noah and Jake all make important blocks before the ball was eventually hacked clear by Bradley. A fitting end to what was a very entertaining encounter.
Saturday 9th February saw the resumption of The Belfast GDC which meant a welcome return to action for Lisburn Distillery U-9s. Game one saw the boys threaten to overrun Shankill Juniors after scoring a couple of early goals but The West Belfast boys showed great character to get themselves a goal which brought them back into the game. The introduction of Bradley Ingram on the right wing swung the game back in favour of the wee whites as Shankill struggled to cope with his pace and power. Jake Donaghy burst through on goal and produced an audacious piece of skill to chip the advancing keeper only to see the ball bounce just wide. Shankill weren't finished though and after a defensive mistake pulled another goal back but the best was kept to last as Ross White scored two completely different but equally as stunning goals, the first was a text book header from a pinpoint Jake Donaghy corner, the second a piledriver of a shot from distance which almost lifted the nets off the ground. A bit of a mixed bag from the boys in their first game back with some outstanding passages of play but also making unforced errors especially in defence. Game two saw The Whites take on Aquinas and like their counterparts the boys started strongly with Lennox Young opening the scoring after five minutes. Then came the goal of the game from Kenzie Bradley who beat his marker on the outside before drilling the ball across the keeper into the far bottom corner. Aquinas were more than holding their own though and keeper Xander Power pulled off a string of fine saves to keep his team in the game. The hard working Jonathan McCullough got a deserved goal forcing the ball home after his initial shot was blocked. Defender Michael Rocks got a run in midfield and was unlucky to see his snapshot rebound back off the post. When Aquinas upped the tempo late on in an effort to claw their way back into the contest they found Matthew Moore in imperious form in the Distillery defence.
With The Belfast GDC still on a winter break Lisburn Distillery U-9s played two friendly games against Moira Utd at Colin Valley and all the boys put in good performances considering it was their first game in five weeks. In game one the boys started strongly and Matthew Moore got his name on the scoresheet early on with a great finish. Ben Gilliland was having his usual strong game in defence ably assisted by Michael Rocks. Noah Perry was leading the line extremely well and was doing a great job bringing his team-mates into the game. Lennox Young showed great trickery in attack and Calum Ashby got a goal with a great finish from wide right. In the other game the wee whites were equally effect and were putting some great passages of play together with Ross White, Jake Donaghy and Noah Kelly to the fore. Moira upped their performance as the first period drew to a close and Lewis Doyle needed to be at his best in the Distillery goal to keep the opposition attackers at bay. Conall Cunningham and Bradley Ingram both got their names on the scoresheet before Spencer Maxwell got the goal of the day, bursting out of defence he showed an outrageous piece of skill to beat the defender before finishing confidently into the bottom corner. A useful exercise for the boys which will keep them ticking over while they await the start of hostilities for real.
With The Belfast GDC now on a winter break Lisburn Distillery U-9s took the chance to bring fellow premiership academy side Glentoran to their training base at Colin Valley for some friendly games and a very worthwhile exercise it turned out to be. Half of the boys used one of the smaller pitchs for a 5x5 game and a very entertaining encounter it turned out to be too. The wee whites raced into an early lead with Kenzie Bradley and the excellant Jonathan McCullough both getting their name on the scoresheet in the first period. A couple of goalkeeping errors let the East Belfast team back into the contest and Ben Gilliland had to be at his best in the whites defence to keep the marauding attackers at bay. Matthew Moore got him self a goal before defender Miichael Rocks got the biggest cheer of the day by getting a rare but well deserved goal. The bigger pitch saw a 7x7 game against an excellant Glentoran side. The U-9s were taken caught napping and conceded two goals in the first minute before they had managed to even touch the ball but recovered their composure to produce a superb dispaly in the first period. Jake Donaghy was pulling the strings in the middle of the park and Glentoran were struggling to cope with Jakes composure on the ball and Bradley Ingrams pace and power on the right wing and Bradley deservedly pulled a goal back for the men in white. Numerous other goal-scoring opportunities were created but a mixture of a lack of composure at the vital minute and some superb goalkeeping from the Glentoran custodian kept the boys from adding to the scoreline. Conall Cunningham then went on a mazy run but just as he was about to pull the trigger the Glentoran number eight who was having a great game in defence used his strength to get back a deny a goalscoring chance. It was then Ross Whites turn to get in on goal after picking the pocket of a defender but again the keeper who was almost unbeatable on the day made a superb save. The advice at the break was more of the same please but Glentoran started to take charge of the game with numbers seven and nine taking control and Ben Coulter in the whites defence was having the game of his life to try and keep these two top class players quiet but was helpless as a few goals were conceded. The third period saw the cock n hens dominate and again it was numbers seven and nine who were causing all the damage and both got goals with either well struck free kicks into the top corner which Lewis Doyle in the Distillery goal was much too small to get anywere near or great finishes after both players had combined superbly. Another step on the learning curve for this promising Distillery team and hopefully the next time the two teams meet the boys in white can test this first class Glentoran side for a longer period of time.
Saturday 1st December was Lisburn Distillerys last game before The Belfast GDC took a winter break and game one saw the boys travelling away from their usual base at St. Malachys to Poleglass to face Colin Valley. The Wee Whites struggled to cope with being out of their comfort zone and put in what was probably their poorest performance of the season. Colin Valley were obviously used to playing at their home base and started like a house on fire with their number twelve getting a few goals and having a big influence on the game. Michael Rocks and Ben Gilliland were overworked in the whites defence but both done well to stem the flow along with Xander Power in the Distillery goal who pulled off a number of fine saves to keep the score down. Period two saw a slight improvement and was quite even with Kenzie Bradley and Calum Ashby starting to link up well and the later got a great goal after bursting through the home rearguard. Noah Perry was kept on his toes but coped well with the tricky Colin Valley attackers. A disappointing end to the first half of the season for this particular whites team but the boys have put in some superb performances, definite progress has been made and the bad performance was more than likely down to the boys failing to cope with an alien enviroment when up against a strong home outfit. Game two was back at St. Malachys against Celtic Boys and saw a much better performance from the men in white. Not for the first time this season the boys started slowly and the wee hoops deservedly scored a well taken goal five minutes in. Going behind seemed to focus the minds and Distillery started to take a grip of the game. Ross White nearly pulled a goal back with a rasping drive which hit the post and left the frame of the goal shaking for seconds afterwards but he wasn't to be denied for much longer forcing the ball home from close range. In what has become a familar trend in games this season Jake Donaghy was doing a great job occupying two or three opponents in the middle of the park and this was creating room for wide men Conall Cunningham and Bradley Ingram to cause mayhem in the Celtic defence and both wingers got their name on the scoresheet. The Bhoys pulled a goal back in period two but it wasn't long before centre-forward Ross White got the wee whites back on track with two goals to complete another hat-trick for the big man. One of the most pleasing aspects of the performance was seeing defenders Noah Kelly and Spencer Maxwell take on board the instructions given to them at the second interval and carrying them out to perfection in the third period to completely snuff out any threat Celtic had going forward. A great first half of the season for the U-9s and it's plain for all to see the boys are making giant leaps forward in their progress and hopefully the training sessions and friendly fixtures will keep them moving forward before the resumption of hostilities in early February.
u-9s player of the month and most improved player for November
Jake Donaghy and Ben Gilliland
Lisburn Distillery U-9s returned to action on Saturday after a well deserved weeks break and it was a cold and frosty morning that greeted them at St. Malachys. First up was a game against Carnmoney and the wee whites didn't disappoint putting on an excellant display which show-cased the progress the boys have made. The opening exchanges were pretty even as the hard working Carnmoney gave a good account of themselves but after Lennox Young pounced to open the scoring the boys started to take control with Jonathan McCullough having a big influence on the game whether it be from the right or left hand side of the team. Michael Rocks was having an excellant game in defence and was ably assisited by his partner in crime Ben Gilliland. The left footed Xander Power finished off a flowing move with a superb finish with his supposed weaker right foot. Noah Perry also got his name on the scoresheet before Matthew Moores storming run out of defence nearly ended with a goal of the season contender only for Matty to drag his shot wide. Game two saw the boys having to show character and determination as well as the footballing skills we know they possess against a very strong and tough Sydenham side. The boys from East Belfast started off well were the better side during the opening exchanges and created a few half chances that were dealt with comfortable by Lewis Doyle in the Distillery goal, but as the first period wore on the men in white started to get a grip on the game and Ross White was extremely unlucky when he lobbed the advancing keeper only to see the ball drop agonisingly wide. As the game progressed the Sydenham keeper was definitely the busiest player on the pitch and made a string of excellant saves to keep the wee whites at bay. The dead lock was broken when Jake Donaghy fed Ross White and when Ross spotted Kenzie Bradley coming in from his wide right position he played him in with a perfectly weighted pass, Kenzie still had a lot to do but showed great composure to rifle the ball home. Although Distillery were now on top the outstanding Spencer Maxwell ably assisted by Ben Coulter had to be on top of their games in the whites defence as Sydenham still looked dangerous on the break. Jake Donaghy and Conall Cunningham started to look increasingly dangerous and Jake looked to have scored but his sublime free kick rebounded back off the cross-bar. It was then Conalls turn and after a mazy run which left defenders trailing in his wake his shot hit the post, Noah Kelly who had taken up a great postion at the back post looked to have the simple task of tapping the rebound in from close range only to see the ball bounce just inches past his out-stretched boot. Sydenham got a goal against the run of play when a long range free kick cruelly deflected into the bottom corner. The U-9s weren't finished though and an another mesmerising Conall Cunningham run ended with a shot that found the bottom corner. Two great performances from the wee whites and although the coaching staff are reluctant to pick out individuals it would also be unfair not to mention Jake Donaghy, Spencer Maxwell and Conall Cunningham were outstanding on the day.
Lisburn Distillerys first game on Saturday 10th November was a closely fought encounter with a resiliant Ardoyne side. The wee whites started off in good form with Lennox Young and Kenzie Bradley linking up really well with some neat one touch football down the right. Ben Gilliland stepped forward from defence to smash the ball home from close range after a well worked corner. Ardoyne were also dangerous on the attack and got a few goals of their own but were also denied a few times by the excellent Xander Power in the Distillery goal. Jonathan McCullough was having an excellant game in an unfamilar left sided roll and Matthew Moore also got his name on the score sheet witha couple of well taken goals but the most pleasing aspect of the performance was the fact all the boys looked comfortable on the ball and were looking to pass and move as much as possible. Game two saw the boys produce an excellant display of passing football against a very hard working Hillsboro side. From the outset the wee whites were passing the ball comfortable all over the pitch racking up passages of play which sometimes ran into double figures with regards to the number of passes. Hillsboro worked extremely hard to get a foothold in the game but when they did fashion a few chances they unfortunately found whites keeper Lewis Doyle in excellant form. The move of the day saw Lewis roll the ball out to Spencer Maxwell who fed left winger Conall Cunningham, Conall resisted his natural impulse to take on his marker and instead passed the ball inside to Jake Donaghy who in turn sent Bradley Ingram racing clear down the right wing, Bradley showed great compusure to fire a pinpoint cross into the box where centre-forward Ross White looked to have scored what would have been a great team goal only for the Hillsboro keeper to make a fine save with his feet, a move which showed that at this stage of the boys development its not goals that are important. Calum Ashby couldn't continue his recent fine goal-scoring form but played his part in keeping the ball moving, Noah Kelly and Ben Coulter also played their part in a great team display. A performance which gave a great deal of satisfaction to the coaching staff as all the hard work carried out on the training pitch seems to be making its way into game situations.
u-9s October player of the month Spencer Maxwell and most improved player Calum Ashby
A cold but bright and sunny morning greeted Lisburn Distillery U-9s at St. Malachys College for their two games in The Belfast GDC. First up was a game against Aquinas and this encounter turned into a goal-laden affair with both teams finding the net on numerous occasions. The wee whites stormed out of the blocks blowing their opponents away in the first period with Calum Ashby following up last weeks hat-trick with another quick fire treble indeed every attack seemed like it was going to produce a goal as both Kenzie Bradley and Lennox Young were also looking extremely dangerous. Noah Perry and Matthew Moore were having very good games in defence thwarting the sporadic Aquinas forages into Distillerys half. The second period was a complete turn around as Aquinas came storming back into the contest scoring a few goals of their own despite the efforts of Louis McKinney in the whites defence. As the game entered its final stages it was now end to end and Calum Ashby got another couple of goals to take his tally to eight in two weeks an amazing return for a midfielder but the best was left to last, Xander Power found his way to goal blocked by a defender but a neat side step gave him a sight of goal and his left peg done the rest finishing expertly into the bottom corner. An extremely entertaining affair which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present. Game two was a match-up with fellow premiership academy side Crusaders. The hatchet men dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead when an excellant James Clyde strike beat the otherwise faultless whites keeper Lewis Doyle. As the game wore on Distillery started to take control and Bradley Ingram was producing some pin-point crosses from the right wing indeed Noah Kelly was unlucky from one such cross as he saw his left footed snap shot go inches past the post. The pressure was building and it was onlty a matter of time before the overworked Crues defence cracked and when they did it was no surprise to find it coming from a right wing cross from Bradley Ingram, Conall Cunningham arriving on cue at the back post to smash Bradleys centre high into the roof of the net. Once again Jake Donaghys work rate was outstanding and his ability to occupy three much bigger opponents created the space for his team-mates to get the glory. The goals and chances were now starting to flow and Ross White was unlucky not to get a goal but again like Jake his ability to bring others into the game sometimes goes un-noticed, but not by the coaching staff I hasten to add. Conall Cunningham got another before rattling the bar and then we saw the save of the day as the Crusaders keeper tipped a rasping Bradley Ingram drive over the bar. On a day when the attacking players got most of the plaudits it would be unfair not to mention the immaculate Spencer Maxwell who put in another top drawer performance in defence particularly early in the game when the Shore Road men were on top.
Saturday saw Lisburn Distillery U-9s complete their latest matches in The Belfast GDC. Game one saw the boys totally dominate against a very hard working Carnmoney side and get the goals their recent performances have deserved. In period one the wee whites weren't at their best but still saw a few goals with Ross White showing a strikers instinct by twice following up when shots had hit the frame of the goal to get a couple of goals. The introduction of Jake Donaghy was the defining moment in the game as the wee man started dictating play from midfield and his team-mates benefited with Jonathan McCullough and Bradley Ingram both getting their name on the scoresheet and they were soon followed by Ross White who completed his hat-trick. The goals continued to flow with the hard working Noah Kelly also forcing the ball home from close range but the move of the day ended with Jake Donaghy rattling the bar after being set up following great link-up play between Noah Kelly and Conall Cunningham. Best in white on the day was Spencer Maxwell who was outstanding throughout be it in his usual defensive roll or when getting a rare runout in attack. Game two was against Albion Star and the other Whites team also produced a superb display although it was somewhat marred by an indifferent second period. The boys got off to an excellant start with Calum Ashby scoring in the games first attack. Matthew Moore was a big influence on the right and once again Xander Power showed the benefit of having a left footed player in the team. Albion came right back into the contest in the second period and were every unlucky not to pull a goal back on numerous occasions but period three saw the wee whites reassert their control with Calum Ashby completing the second hat-trick of the day for a Distillery player. Ben Gilliland showed the determination were well used to now and Kenzie Bradley got back to his goalscoring ways forcing the ball home from close range.
Saturday saw two outstanding displays from Lisburn Distillerys two U-9 teams when all eighteen boys involved produced what was arguably their best performances in white. Game one saw the boys dominate against a strong St. Marys side, for a change the boys were quick out of the traps with the outstanding Callum Ashby getting his name on the scoresheet he was quickly followed by the impish Lennox Young who showed predatory skills to finish well from close range. The defensive pairing of Michael Rocks and Louis McKinney were giving nothing away and Noah Perry continued the trend when coming on for Louis. Matthew Moore came out of nets to produce a commanding display from wide right and topped it off with a great finish after bursting clear of the St. Marys rearguard. Xander Power also had an excellant game in various positions and Kenzie Bradley led the line superbly constantly bringing his team-mates into the game and was also extremely unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet, surely the goals will start to flow again soon for the hard working forward. Watching their team-mates obviously paid off for team two as they also produced a first class performance in what was an enthralling encounter with an excellent Ardoyne side. Again the wee whites bucked the trend by starting off like a house on fire with Ross White and Bradley Ingram both getting goals against their shell shocked opponents. The second period saw Ardoyne show their class and get come right back into what was becoming the match of the season so far, defenders Spencer Maxwell and Ben Coulter had to work extermely hard to keep at bay the marauding Ardoyne attackers but the boys still had time to produce the move of the game when after a flowing length of the pitch move Jake Donaghy drove at the heart of the Ardoyne defence and delayed his pass superbly to put Ross White through on goal, Ross steadied himself and rolled the ball towards the bottom corner only to see it roll agonisingly wide. The third period saw the wee whites produce an awesome display with Ardoyne now forced to concede numerous free-kicks to halt the rampaging Bradley Ingram. Jake Donaghy was whipping some dangerous balls into the danger area from the resulting set-pieces and Noah Kelly was extremely unlucky not to get a goal from at least one of them after taking up some excellant positions. It was then Ben Gillilands turn to step out of defence and again Ben was unfortunate not to get a goal when his efforts were well blocked by the overworked Ardoyne defence. At the end of another surging run Bradley Ingram saw his fierce shot hit the bar and almost immediately Conall Cunninghams jinking run into the box drew a foul from the defender to earn a well deserved penalty but the Ardoyne keeper produced an excellant save from the resulting spot-kick. The Ardoyne boys weren't finished though and showed real character to end the game with a flourish and ultimately produce the most dramatic of finishes. Firstly a well struck Ardoyne free-kick went fizzing past the post and everyone thought that was that but from the last attack of the game a penalty was awarded for handball, was the match going to finish in heartbreak for the whites, the answer was no as Lewis Doyle the Distillery custodian dived low to his right and get a really strong hand on the ball which then hit the under side of the bar and bounced just in front of the line, time seemed to stand still for a split second but eventually Bradley Ingram hoofed the ball clear and as the Ardoyne keeper had pushed forward the ball sailed over his head and looked to be heading into the unguarded net but bounced inches wide, at this the final whistle sounded and everyone could breathe again. WHAT A GAME!!!!! it will be a long time before anyone who witnessed this match will get such excitement, who needs the The Premier League when you have Lisburn Distillery U-9s.
u-9s player of the month and most improved player for October
Conall Cunningham and Lewis Doyle
Lisburn Distillerys U-9s first game on Saturday came against newcomers Aquinas Allstars but the new boys showed great character in giving a really good account of themselves in a very entertaining game. Aquinas went in front in the first period with a well taken goal after a mistake from the whites defence but it wasn't to last long when Jake Donaghy equalised with the goal of the day, when the ball dropped to him 20 yards from goal everyone was expecting him to smash it goalwards but Jake has more class than that and opened his body to curl a delightful shot into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. The wee whites were now on top and a well worked corner saw Ben Coulter move forward from defence and dribble the ball into the box, when the ball eventually fell to Noah Kelly his shot on the turn rolled agonisingly wide of the post. Aquinas weren't out of it by any stretch of the imagination and another mis-placed pass from the normally excellant whites defence saw the opposition midfielder race through on goal and give Lewis Doyle in the Distillery goal no chance with an excellant finish. The wee whites were at their best when Ross White held his position up front and use his considerable frame and excellant touch on the ball to bring his team-mates into the game. A day when the whites were punished for making a few mistakes but as long as the boys learn from this it will help their progress rather than hinder it. Match two saw the other Distillery side take on Willowbank and as has become the norm in this section of The GDC it was a very close game between two evenly matched teams. Kenzie Bradley was leading the line well and was extremely unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet when meeting the ball well at the back post and Lennox Young continued the trend when Kenzie moved to the right wing. Ben Gilliland had an excellant game in defence and also moved forward menacingly on a number of occasions. When the Willowbank forwards got through the tight Distillery rearguard they found Xander Power in superb form between the sticks. The best was yet to come though when Calum Ashby scored a wonderful goal, put through on goal after sweeping move Calum stll had a lot to do but do it he did with a tremendous first time finish into the bottom corner.
Lisburn Distillerys U-9s first game on Saturday in The Belfast GDC was a very close affair with Shankill Juniors. The game started well for the wee whites when Lennox Young forced the ball home from close range after a goal mouth scramble but Shankill came roaring back and it wasn't long before they got a well deserved goal themselves. It was then Distillerys turn to get back on top in what was turning into a very entertaining encounter and Jonathan McCullough was unlucky on numerous occasions not to get the goal his play deserved, Callum Ashby was also having another great game in the midfield engine room surging forward at every opportunity but try as they may the boys couldn't find a way past the opposition keeper who was in inspired form. The third period saw Shankill again force the whites back but they also found it difficult to break down the excellant defensive pairing of Michael Rocks and Ben Gilliland and when they did find a way through Noah Perry denied them with a string of superb saves. Game two saw the whites other team come up against a very good St. Oliver Plunkett outfit, indeed Plunkett dominated the opening exchanges and scored a well deserved goal when Noah Kelly got in a good tackle only for the ball to fall unluckily at the feet of an onrushing attacker who finished expertly. Not for the first time a positional change seemed to have the desired effect with Conall Cunningham coming on to play on the left and Jake Donaghy moving into the centre, this got the wee whites moving forward with menace and one sweeping move down the left wing involving Jake, Conall, Spencer Maxwell and the excellant Ross White was a joy to watch. Ben Coulter and his defensive colleagues still needed to be on their toes against the lively opposition strikers, but when Plunkett did find a way through they found Lewis Doyle in great form in the whites goal with one save right out of the top drawer Lewis pushing the ball onto the post from point blank range. The goal of the day came when Bradley Ingram fed the ball into the feet of Ross White and the big mans first time lay-off to Jake Donaghy was text book stuff, Jake didn't disappoint firing the ball low and hard into the corner giving the keeper no chance. A hard working display from the boys who showed great character to come back after being second best in the early stages against a really strong Punkett side.
U-9s player of the month and most improved player
for September Lennox Young and Louis McKinney
Lisburn Distillerys U-9s had two more games on Saturday 22nd at St. Malachys in the Belfast GDC. Match one saw The Blaze totally dominate against a committed St Marys team. Although the boys weren't at their best they still had too much quality for their opponents, Kenzie Bradley was looking sharp in attack and was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet. Midfield playmaker Jake Donaghy was constantly finding himself in battles with two or three of his counterparts (battles he was mostly winning) in the congested central areas and this was creating space for Bradley Ingram on the right, Bradley used the space well and was unlucky on numerous occasions not to find the hard working Noah Kelly who was using his pace to take up some really good positions. Ross White usually a striker got a run in defence and after initially finding the position a bit alien recovered to produce an excellant display constantly winning tackles and picking some neat passes. The goals eventually arrived and Jonathan McCullough got was what the pick of the bunch hammering the ball home at the back post after a flowing movement. Game two saw The Bandits involved in a very evenly matched encounter with St Oliver Plunkett. The wee whites got off to a fantastic start when after beating his marker Conall Cunningham thumped the ball home from long range. Plunkett then showed their class and got the upper hand but defenders Michael Rocks and Ben Gilliland stood firm. The move of the day saw Michael and Ben swap passes before feeding the ball into Matthew Moore who in turn moved the ball quickly to Lennox Young and the wee man was unlucky when the keeper made a great save.
Saturday 15th September saw the latest round of games in The Belfast GDC and Lisburn Distillery's two U-9 teams both produced displays which showed the progess the boys have made. The first game was against fellow premiership academy side Crusaders and both sets of players gave a totally committed display in what was a very entertaining game. As seems the norm the wee whites went behind to an early goal but then went on to dominate the remainder of the first period with Xander Power giving the team great balance on the left hand side, this combined with the trickery of Lennox Young up front and the driving forward from midfield by Calum Ashby produced many goalscoring opportunities but the finishing touch was just lacking at the crucial moment. The Crues number six showed that girls can play football too by having a commanding dispaly in midfield which included a fantastic solo goal, but she wasn't alone as Ben Gilliland showed typical grit and determination by stepping out of defence and going through three tackles to give himself a goal-scoring chance which he took with aplomb, but the goal of the game came in the third period when Matthew Moore unleashed an unstoppable shot from all of 20 yards which found its way into the top corner. Game two saw the boys come up against Springfield Star and not surprisingly the whites conceded an early goal when a corner was defected past the helpless Lewis Doyle in the Distillery goal. The boys then worked really hard to get themseves back into the game and although not producing the flowing football they are capable of the dispaly was full of effort with every player working his socks off. Conall Cunningham was a danger on the left wing and the defensive pairing of Spencer Maxwell and Ben Coulter had to dig deep to keep the lively Springfield strikers at bay but Spencer did find time to play some telling ball out of defence.The goals did eventually come with Bradley Ingram helping himself to a hat-trick but the gloss was somewhat taken off the performance when a soft goal was conceded with the last attack of the game. Hopefully the boys learnt from this game that as much as you try its not always possible to play good passing football and sometimes you just have to dig in and grind out a performance.
Saturday 8th September saw the start of the Belast GDC meaning the beginning of the regular season for Lisburn Distillery U-9s and although the boys had plenty of friendly games to get acclimatised to the new 7-a-side format this was a different kettle of fish altogether with two very difficult games against Newington and North Belfast to open with. The first match saw the boys make their now compulsory slow start when up against Newington but even during that period the excellant Spencer Maxwell showed a sign of what was to come by producing a majestic display in defence, the turning point in the game was undoubtedly the decision to move Jake Donaghy from his wide left role into a more central position and it was from here that Jake took the game by the scruff of the neck producing an awesome display to totally dominate his opponents. Ross White got his name on the scoresheet and nothing got past defensive strongman Ben Coulter but the move of the game came when man of the match Jake sent Noah Kelly clear racing clear down the right wing, Noah whipped in a superb cross and Conall Cunningham who came storming in at the back post only failed by inches to make the contact which would surely produced the goal the move deserved. In the second match the wee whites took on new-comers North Belfast and it turned out to be a very close encounter. Calum Ashby had a very impressive debut for the academy while Matthew Moore and Jonathan McCullough linked up superbly on a number of occasions with the former also getting his name on the scoresheet. At the back Louis Mckinney stayed strong despite missing his usual defensive partner Ben Gilliland
Hi Folks a new season is almost upon us and here is a report and pic for Distillery U-9s from Saturday 18th August.
Saturday 18th August saw Lisburn Distillery U-9s continue their build up for the up-coming season by entering two teams in the Ridgeway Invitational Cup. The group games saw differing fortunes for the two teams, The Blaze started off very strongly winning a hard fought encounter with one of the hosts' teams 1-0 courtesy of a superb Jake Donaghy finish but there was better to come in the second game when a superb footballing display blew away a strong Sydenham team. Bradley Ingram was unstoppable down the right and Spencer Maxwell was constantly carrying the ball out of defence to link up with the midfield who in turn fed the ball into striker Ross White who either finished off the flowing moves or moved the ball quickly leaving the opposition defenders bemused it really was LIKE WATCHING BRAZIL! The Bandits had a more difficult start narrowly missing out 1-0 in a very close game with eventual finalists Rosario Rhinos but their second game started much better with the boys racing into 2-0 lead against another of the Ridgeway teams thanks to two great Lennox Young finishes, flying winger Conall Cunningham was also causing mayhem down the left flank and there were some surging runs out of defence from Matthew Moore but the a couple of silly mistakes when they failed to clear their lines allowed Ridgeway to scrape a 2-2 draw meaning a penalty shoot-out to decide who would qualify for the semi-final of The Plate. After three spot kicks each the two teams couldn't be separated but after Jonathan McCullough had netted in sudden death goalkeeper Ben Gilliland was the hero saving from the unfortunate Ridgeway player to send a delirious whites team through. The semi-final of the cup saw The Blaze produce another top drawer performance to dispatch a big and strong Orangefield side, again the football was a joy to behold with Noah Kelly playing some wonderful balls out of defence and Michael Rocks looking steady in an unfamilar midfield role after taking over from the cool and calm Ben Coulter in fact goalkeeper Lewis Doyle was a spectator throughout not touching the ball once in the twelve minutes. The Plate semi-final was equally one-sided The Bandits brushing aside another of the Ridgeway teams to reach the final, Noah Perry produced some strong runs, Louis McKinney wasaggressive in defence and the predator Kenzie Bradley was in the right place at the right time finishing off a flowing move with a tap in at the back post. With two teams in the finals and both kicking off at the same time it was always going to be nailbiting stuff but I don't think anyone was prepared for what was to come. With a minute left The Blaze were locked at 1-1 with Rosario Rhinos in the cup final and the scoreline was the same between The Bandits and Sydenham but with only seconds remaining Jake Donaghy got a sniff of a chance and although he still had a lot to do the wee man dropped the shoulder beat his marker and buried the ball in the far top corner to send The Blaze and their supporters wild with delight but ecstasy turned to agony moments later when after a great save from Ben Gilliland a Sydenham forward forced the ball home to secure a 2-1 win, a mere five seconds separated the two goals showing that delight for one team always means despair for another. A another great day for the wee whites after the success two weeks ago in The Ballyskeagh Fun Day Cup and all the boys were superb but when asked by the organisers to name a player of the tournament for each team the coaching staff plumped for Ross White and Conall Cunningham.