Ballymackey Fc Youths claimed the NT&DL Youths Shield in a sun drenched Killoran Park against a tough Lough Derg side. Goals from Alan Ryan and Eamon White in either half seen the Toomevara outfit to glory.
In a cagey opening neither side looked to take control and it took until fifteen minute for the first real chance to come about when Hugh Donning did brilliantly down the right and his wonderful cross found Cian O’Donnell unmarked in the area but his shot went agonizingly wide with Paudie Williams beaten in the Ballymackey goal. The game continued to lack in chances but that all changed midway through the first half when Dylan Armstrong free was headed home by captain Alan Ryan to put Ballymackey ahead.
Ballymackey nearly doubled their lead moments later when the ball bounced to Shane Doran at the edge of the area but his fantastic strike was somehow finger tipped past the post by Oisin Conacur. Armstrong nearly doubled his sides lead with five minutes remaining in the half when his long free evaded everyone and looked goal bound but Cian O’Brien somehow managed to stop the ball on the line and clear it for a corner.
The second half started as the first ended and Ballymackey deservedly got their second when substitute Kevin McCarthy did brilliantly down the left and his pass found Aidan White whose first time shot stung the hands of Conacur and Eamon White was on hand to tap the ball home.
Lough Derg fought back gallantly after this and should have pulled one back on the hour mark when Donning got to the ball before Williams but his toe poke went just wide. Lough Derg continued to press and were inches away from halving the deficit on sixty five minutes when a corner was whipped in and it cannoned off Donning but it rebouded off the post and went to safety.
Lough Derg were handed a boost with fifteen minutes remaining when Ballymackey were reduced to ten men and immediately looked dangerous from another corner when Niall Moloney headed across to Cian O’Donnell only fir the latter to blaze the ball over the bar from ten yards. Ballymackey held out comfortably after this and as Lough Derg looked to have run out of ideas.
A hard fought win for Ballymackey who were withut a doubt the better side on the day, Loug Derg battled hard throughout and perhaps if they managed to to their chance to go in front things would have been much different. Ciaran Sheedy and Hugh Donning were the best on the field for Lough Derg whilst Aidan White and Dylan Armstrong shone for Ballymackey but the stoppagetime.ie Man Of The Match award goes to Alan Ryan who put in a real captains performace and was outstanding throughout.