The U-13 BKYL Cup final was contested at Youth Sport Omagh last night and in an entertaining game the Mallards prevailed to lift the cup with goals from James Taylor and Harvey Thompson.
Alfie Coulter stepped into goals at short notice for Ballinamallard to replace Jamie Keys who was unfortunate to miss out through illness and showed his versatility with a good performance. In the opening exchanges both teams started well but were restricted to long range efforts which didn't trouble either keeper.
Gradually however Ballinamallard became the more settled moving the ball well but again without getting into positions to really threaten. A number of long range efforts were dealt with comfortably by the Fivemiletown keeper.
The Mallard opener came after 15 minutes with Jack Gordon attacking on the left before cutting inside to fire off a good shot. Again the keeper saved well but when the ball broke to the edge of the box James Taylor was well placed to finish low and hard to the corner of the net.
The half continued with Ballinamallard edging possession but with Fivemiletown always dangerous going forward. With just five minutes remaining to the break Fivemiletown levelled from the penalty spot with the ball needlessly given away by Ballinamallard in midfield which led to the foul in the box. A good penalty strike by the FMT No. 8 was almost saved by Alfie Coulter who got his hands to the ball but was beaten by the height of the full size goals.
The boost of an equalising goal just before the break got Fivemiletown off to a good start and set up a good competitive second half. Again Ballinamallard had chances in front of goal through Taylor, Gordon and Harvey Thompson while the Fivemiletown No's 7 and 9 were always lively at the other end.
The Mallard winner was an excellent strike by Harvey Thompson with just ten minutes to go. Picking up the ball outside the box and centre of goals he fired off a terrific strike which just evaded the reach of the Fivemiletown keeper who incidentally had a great game.
The remainder of the game saw chances at both ends but it was the Mallards who held out to lift the 2018 Cup in a well contested final.
Ballinamallard Captain, Lewis Loughlin proudly received the cup on behalf of his team mates from David Gilfillan, Vice Chairman of the League.
Many thanks to Fivemiletown for a good sporting game and to the Match Officials on the night. Well done also to the League for another good finals night and for their continued good work with our youth.
And finally, congratulations to Mo, Nigel and Andy and to all the U-13 players on a great cup run and success. Many thanks also to Harry McConkey who was on hand to offer his congratulations and advice to the young Mallards after the game.