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  • Thistle complete treble with Cordiner win

    Tain Thistle rounded their season off this past Saturday with a satisfying 3-0 victory over Dingwall at Inver to secure the Cordiner Cup for the second time in the club's history.<br /><br />Missing several key players, manager Robert Ross drafted Tony Farquhar into the starting lineup for what was to be the tall striker's third start of the season. Darran Goller, who has been suffering with ankle problems, was also called onto the four man bench, for his first involvement in over two months.<br /><br />In the opening stages, Dingwall looked the more positive of the two sides, as Andy O'Connor's men looked for the long ball to Liam Muir as their main threat; Arron Christie and Neil MacDonald both thwarting several attempts in the early going. <br /><br /><img width=100% src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordinertony.jpg"><br /><br />The condition of the pitch at Inver had been the subject of much consternation in the run up to the game with ankle knocks a concern for both teams, but it was to be a hamstring concern that would claim the first casualty, as Dave Macgruer was forced to withdraw after 14 minutes. Replacing the wing back, Darran Goller was then given an unexpectedly early introduction to the game. It took Goller just seven minutes to make an impact. Bursting past the Dingwall defence he powered the ball into the net from a drilled Liam Rostock cross to put Thistle 1-0 - albeit somewhat against the run of play. The goal was Goller's first of the season and his 50th overall for Thistle. <br /><br />Moments later, Cammy Mackintosh should have Thistle 2-0 up as he fired a shot over the bar from 15 yards. From then, the game soon turned in Tain's favour. Forward man for Dingwall Ryan Reid then dropped to the ground after a six yard box tussle, nursing an ankle injury.<br /><br />It wasn't until the second half that the Jags were able to assert their full authority. Mackintosh was unlucky not to double Tain's lead after Goller got in on the action again, this time as provider to slip a ball into the midfielder's path, but he could only shoot into the outstretched arms of the Iain Mackenzie. A Craig Munro corner shortly after set up Tony Farquhar for a dangerous looking header at the back post, but again Mackenzie was up to the task. <br /><br />Tain's grasp on the game could have slipped just before the hour mark when Liam Muir managed to rise above Johnny Allan to head goalward, but the towering forward's effort sailed just over. As quickly as they had nearly lost their lead, Thistle almost doubled theirs with a great passage of play started and ended by Neil MacDonald. Working quick one twos with Munro and Mackintosh, MacDonald travelled from defence to attack before forcing a tremendous save from Mackenzie. If the ball had found the net from that move, it would have been hard for anyone to argue against it as a candidate for goal of the season!<br /><br />Tain's second finally arrived just a minute later, and in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. Sending a ball into the box, Liam Rostock send the ball up the sloping eighteen yard box and watched as his cross flew underneath Mackenzie and into the net at the far post, slipping through the loose fitting goal net. There was a moment's pause as the touchline waited for confirmation that the ball had actually crossed the line, but the referee awarded the goal.<br /><br />The second goal appeared to knock the wind out of Dingwall and within nine minutes, Tain went three up, as Daniel Christie battled forward before rounding Mackenzie and tapping the ball into the net to make it 3-0. On eighty minutes, the ball was in the net again after when Dingwall's Ryan Stewart diverted a cross into his own net, but with Tony Farquhar deemed to have been in an offside position and interfering with play, linesman Bill Murray flagged the goal to be disallowed.<br /><br />A confident Thistle saw the remaining ten minutes out with ease and were unlucky not to add to their tally on a couple of occasions, with Tony Farquhar in particular seeing an effort saved. Referee Keith Middleton wasted no time in blowing the whistle after the ninety minutes, with no further added time, as the whistler blew for the last time, for what was to be his final match as an official.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Allan, M Farquhar, A Christie, MacDonald, Munro, Mackintosh, D Christie (Smith 77), Dunnett, Macgruer (Goller 14 (Maclellan 75)), T Farquhar, Rostock <br /><br /><b>Subs not used:</b><br />D Ross<br /><br /><b>Goals:</b><br />Goller 22, Rostock 62, D Christie 71<br /><br /><img width=95% src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordiner2015a.jpg"><br /><br />Post-match, Thistle were presented with the Cordiner Cup trophy by Tanya Taylor of the Inver Inn, before retiring to the post-match venue where both teams were treated to excellent hospitality, an array of sumptuous mince pies, servings of pea and ham soup and plates of cheese and onion rolls. Prior to the medal presentations, Keith Middleton was presented with a decanter and a bottle of malt whisky by Bill Murray, and in recognition of his length of service, both teams applauded as the long serving official gave a well received speech. <br /><br />Saturday's win marks the first time in the club's history that they have won two cup competitions in one season, completing their first ever Ross-shire Welfare "treble" - having also won both the league championship this year and the Seaboard Cup in July.

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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

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