Railway Hotel publican Alan Nimmons is as jagged a Thistle fan as you'll find. As a long time supporter and post-match host of Tain Thistle, he was never prouder than when he was able to present the club with the Cordiner Cup (also sponsored by the Railway Hotel) in 2009. This year again, he will watch with pride as Tain enter the Highland Welfare Cup for their first match on Sunday, July 4th.
For Nimmons however, July 4th will be all the more significant, as it shall be a family affair. First cousin Johnny Bremner (a Fearn native) will don the yellow of Lhanbryde United as they travel north to face Thistle for the knockout tie.
After discovering that his cousin's team were in the same cup pot as Tain, the pair had joked over social networking site Facebook about the possibility of the teams meeting in the draw for the 2nd Round and much to their amazement, the club's were indeed drawn against each other this weekend, stirring up an early sparring contest.
"My cousin Johnny moved to Elgin when he was young and keeps me up to date on his team. He tells me that they are top of their league and haven't lost a single game this season but I'm confident my boys will do well!"
"When I heard the news that Johnny's team would be coming up to Tain for the game, I got on the phone and told my Mum and my Grandad. He thought it sounded very nice for his boys to end up playing against each other - I'm yet to tell him that I don't actually play - I just watch and threaten to violate the referees!"
With pre-match hospitality at the Railway expected to be up to its usual top notch standards, Nimmons expects many of the Lhanbryde boys to travel north a day early to take in some of the Tain Gala events before the game. The scoreline on the day however, could play a big part in the post-match festivities!
"I haven't told them yet, but if Lhanbryde dare to win the game and go through, then the drinks will be on them all night!"
Team Pld GD Pts Tain Thistle 10 30 27 Golspie Stafford 10 15 19 Helmsdale Utd 10 2 14 Brora Wandrs 10 -3 13 Lochinver 10 -18 11 Melvich 10 -26 3