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  • Thistle vs Balintore final is first ever

    The League Cup final meeting this Saturday will be the first ever cup final game played between Tain Thistle and Balintore. Incredibly, in the years since Balintore rejoined the Ross-shire Welfare league in 2000, the sides have never found themselves facing each other in a final. <br /><br />Incredible still, the sides have only met in a semi final twice. The first, in the 2004 Coronation Cup ended in a 3-2 win for Balintore despite taking the lead through the first of two goals from Calum Macdonald. The second, in 2008, when the score read 4-2 - Baltie's Gus Macdonald proving too much despite goals from Perks and Rostock.<br /><br />Neither side has set the world alight in their most recent league games. In what Dingwall Vertex may consider to be their greatest result to date, Balintore finished up 4-4 with the relative newcomers, while Thistle, at home to Alness Athletic ended their game 2-2, this past Wednesday.<br /><br />On the park, Darran Goller is enjoying a tremendous run of form for Tain Thistle, captured initially during the winter with Balintore's North Caledonian league side. The pacey forward has netted 6 times in 4 games so far this season. Winger Andy Durrand has also impressed, with 4 in 4. One thing that will certainly be tested on Saturday is the Thistle defence, who face the challenge of a free scoring Balintore attack; Ripley, Macgruer, Powell, McCourt and Macdonald all having found the net so far this season.<br /><br />The route to the final has proved arduous and attractive at different times for both teams. Balintore ambled past Ross-shire Club with the narrowest of 1-0 wins, while Thistle drubbed local rivals Inver 6-2 in the first round. The semi finals proved to be a different story for Balintore as they impressively eliminated Invergordon Social Club with a resounding 6-2 scoreline. At Cromarty in the other semi final, Thistle enjoyed the largest scoring margin of the season so far with a thumping 8-1 win.<br /><br />Though Thistle are the designated "home team" in Saturday's final, the seasiders will no doubt take encouragement from the fact they are playing on their familiar Balintore ground at the lower park in the village, giving them the "twelve man" on the day.<br /><br />Sponsored by Highland Heatsave Ltd, the final is scheduled to kick off at 3pm on Saturday.

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    Team Pld GD Pts
    Brora Wandrs 0 0 0
    Golspie Stafford 0 0 0
    Helmsdale Utd 0 0 0
    Lairg Rovers 0 0 0
    Lochinver 0 0 0
    Tain Thistle 0 0 0