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  • Tain Thistle 2009: A Year In Review

    As we approach the end of what has been a historic and busy year for everyone connected with Tain Thistle football club, we look at some of the ups and downs of the Jags, which included the end of their 2008/09 North Caledonian campaign, their turbulent Welfare pre-season, a successful Cordiner Cup campaign and league triumph, re-entry to the North Caledonian league and the great start they had as well as the recent months.<br /><br /><b>Jan 10th</b><br />Thistle got the year off to a wobbly start with an 8-2 defeat at Golspie. Eventual winners Golspie Sutherland. Striker Russell Lawrie got off the mark with his first goal for Tain; winger Darran Goller netting the other.<br /><br /><b>Jan 17th</b><br />With only three games remaining, Thistle were dropped 3-1 by Billy Russell’s Bonar Bridge at Migdale Park, having been involved in a nine goal thriller only a month prior. Centre half Scott Innes netted for Tain as a consolation with a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque dribble through the Bonar defence.<br /><br /><b>Jan 24th</b><br />The winter weather took its toll on Alness’ Dalmore Park, as Thistle penultimate fixture was called off.<br /><br /><b>Jan 27th</b><br />The return of the Christopher Grant Memorial Trophy was announced on the club’s official website, to be contested in March between Thistle and a XI of veteran players from St Duthus and the surrounding area.<br /><br /><b>Jan 31st</b><br />Thistle fell once again to Invergordon at Grant Park by 4 goals to 2, despite two determined goals from midfielder Gordy Oman. Scott Innes was dismissed early in the game, leaving Thistle at a decided disadvantage for the majority of the game.<br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/scottieoff.jpg"><br /><br />In other news, the Scottish Football Association issued a warning to the club for poor discipline.<br /><br /><b>Feb 19th</b><br />Plans to re-enter a team to the Ross-shire Welfare league were discussed at a meeting between committee and players. <br /><br /><b>Feb 26th</b><br />Owing to the lack of fixtures available to Tain as they wait for Alness to become available for their final league game, a makeshift Tain Thistle XI played amateur side Contin on Grant Park; the home side losing 5-1.<br /><br /><b>Mar 4th</b><br />The Tain Thistle committee was represented by ten members at the club’s AGM. Niall Harkiss was re-elected as Chairman, with Alan Forsyth re-assuming the position of Secretary and Treasurer. The committee also agreed that James Rice and Steven Martin should assume interim organisation of the Welfare team, pending confirmation of an official team manager. <br /><br /><b>Mar 14th</b><br />Tain Thistle official re-registered for the Ross-shire Welfare League at a meeting of all Welfare clubs, chaired by Jimmy Patullo.<br /><br /><b>Mar 19th </b><br />A team management meeting between chairman Niall Harkiss, interim coaches James Rice and Steven Martin and former manager Arron Christie was held, confirming Christie’s reappointment as manager of the Welfare team.<br /><br /><b>Mar 20th</b><br />Manager of the Tain St Duthus XI for the upcoming Christy Grant Trophy match, Jim Jardine, announced a squad of 19 featuring Tain football veterans such as Alan Duff and DJ McCarthy.<br /><br /><img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/beh.jpg"><b>Mar 21st</b><br />Following an excellent hospitality dinner at the St Duthus Hotel, spectators at the Christopher Grant Memorial Trophy match watched Tain Thistle defeat Jim Jardine’s St Duthus XI by 6 goals to 2. Kenny Johnstone and Gavin Macdonald netted for the veterans, while goals for Thistle came from Bob Swann, Paul Cowie, Daniel Christie and Calum Macdonald - the latter scoring a hat-trick in his first game for the club since 2007.<br /><br />Post match, St Duthus Hotel manager and son of Christy, Alan Grant presented Thistle captain Scott Innes with the trophy.<br /><br />Throughout the day, committee raised a substantial amount for the club, as well as raising £115 for Macmillan Nurses.<br /><br /><b>Apr 4th</b><br />Tain Thistle’s Welfare league preparations began well as they coasted to 6-0 win over Embo in Sutherland. Returning winger Liam Rostock netted a hat trick, while Ally Macdonald, Robbie Ross and Arron Christie also scored.<br /><br /><img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/kiki3.jpg"><b>Apr 7th</b><br />The draw for the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup saw Thistle pitted at home against local rivals Inver.<br /><br /><b>Apr 15th</b><br />Thistle’s Welfare preparations took a turn for the worse as Kraig Vass’s amateur Black Rock Rovers demolished an under strength Tain side, winning 5-0 at Grant Park.<br /><br /><b>Apr 19th</b><br />Unable to bounce back straight away, Thistle fell 3-2 to new side Alness Athletic in another pre-season friendly, after going 2-0 up. <br /><br />The same day, members of the Thistle committee began the first phase of a sponsored walk up Tain Hill.<br /><br /><b>Apr 22nd</b><br />April’s pre-season was rounded off in dire fashion as Invergordon’s Sutor Inn handed Thistle a third friendly defeat in a row; club secretary Alan Forsyth in goal unable to prevent the Sutor from netting twice to cancel out a Daniel Christie penalty.<br /><br /><b>Apr 24th</b><br />Injuries to goalkeeper Steve Martin, striker Calum Macdonald and winger Darran Goller raised concerns for manager Arron Christie ahead of the club’s first competitive game of the season.<br /><br /><b>Apr 25th</b><br />Goalkeeping errors and the absence of key players led to a 4-1 defeat for Thistle in their League Cup opener.<br /><br /><b>Apr 26th</b><br />It was announced on Moray Firth Radio that Tain Thistle would play the football team of the HMS Sutherland, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy on May 2nd.<br /><br /><b>Apr 30th</b><br />Tain Thistle’s opening league match finished goalless, against Inver.<br /><br /><img align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/chipmart.jpg"><br /><br /><b>May 1st</b><br />The Homecoming Cup was unveiled on the club’s official website, an attractive trophy to be played for between Thistle and the HMS Sutherland.<br /><br /><b>May 2nd</b><br />Tain Thistle soundly defeated the HMS Sutherland by 5 goals to 1 to win the Homecoming Cup.<br /><br /><b>May 6th</b><br />Buoyed from their Saturday Cup win, Thistle got back to winning ways this Wednesday with a resounding 3-0 win over the Sutor Inn, avenging their pre-season defeat to go 3rd in the Welfare league.<br /><br /><b>May 13th</b><br />Despite injuries to Mark Reid and Kiki Dingwall, Thistle continued their run of wins with a 2-1 win over Alness Athletic, coming back from 1-0 down with goals from Calum Macdonald and Andy Durrand.<br /><br /><b>May 20st</b><br />Goals from Daniel Christie, Darran Goller and Liam Rostock as well as a brace for right winger James Rice led to a demolition of local rivals Balintore; the final result ending at 5-1. The win put Thistle joint top of the Welfare table along with Invergordon Social Club, who had got off to a very good start.<br /><br /><b>May 23rd</b><br />Making amends for their earlier cup exit, Thistle battled a stubborn Sutor Inn side to a 2-1 win at Grant Park, advancing to the Pattison Cup semi final in the process.<br /><br /><b>May 26th</b><br />Rescheduled to avoid a clash with the Champions League final coverage, Thistle’s league tie with Dingwall’s Ross-shire Club ended in a 1-1 draw. Supersub Craig Nimmons provided the cross for Calum Macdonald to nod past the Ross Club keeper for an equalizer.<br /><br /><b>May 30th</b><br />Thistle’s hopes of repeating their 2007 Pattison Cup winning feat were dashed as they lost 3-2 on penalties to a dogged Invergordon Social Club side in the semi final.<br /><br /><img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/goller.jpg"><b>Jun 3rd</b><br />Thistle shrugged off semi final defeat with the 5-0 demolition of Cromarty. Darran Goller notched his first goal of the campaign, unveiling the infamous “Peeps is my hero” t-shirt.<br /><br /><b>Jun 10th</b><br />Tain’s dominance continued in the league as semi final opponents from the past week, Invergordon Social Club, crumbled at home against Thistle. The game finished 5-0 with Thistle going two points clear of Balintore at the top of the table.<br /><br /><b>Jun 13th</b><br />Thistle breezed into their second semi final of the season with yet another win over Balintore, this time 3-1 in the Cordiner Cup.<br /><br /><b>Jun 17th</b><br />The intimidating small pitch at Portmahomack proved no problem for Thistle as they brushed aside rivals Inver with a 4-0 win in the league; Robbie Ross netting a hat trick along the way.<br /><br /><b>Jun 19th</b><br />Tain Thistle re-registered for the North Caledonian Football league, now with the intent to play in both the league and cup campaigns.<br /><br /><b>Jun 20th</b><br />A repeat of the Pattison Cup tie that saw Thistle eliminated saw the Cordiner Cup semi final took place between Tain and Invergordon Social Club, this time with Thistle the victors. Deadlocked at 2-2, it was Robbie Ross who powered a header past Barry Nimmons to record a 90th minute win for Tain.<br /><br /><b>Jun 21st</b><br />John Oliver was announced as the new team manager for the North Caledonian League campaign.<br /><br /><b>Jun 25th</b><br />Despite being 3-0 up, Thistle laboured their way to a 3-2 win against the Sutor Inn in the league, with reserve keeper David Matheson making an appearance for their absent Steve Martin.<br /><br /><img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/cordiner2.jpg"><b>Jun 28th</b><br />Tain Thistle defeated Inver in the final of the Cordiner Cup, by 3 goals to 1 in blistering heat. Thistle won the cup after extra time was required to separate the sides.<br /><br /><b>Jul 1st</b><br />The cup hangover combined with the absence of stalwart centre half Arron Christie saw Thistle lose in the league for the first time to a Jamie Macdonald inspired Alness Athletic, by 4 goals to 3.<br /><br /><b>Jul 4th</b><br />Missing eight key players on Gala day, Thistle were again defeated, this time by Inver in the 1st round of the Seaboard Cup. <br /><br /><b>Jul 9th</b><br />A combination of questionable refereeing decisions and poor luck cost Thistle dear in the league, as they fell 2-1 to Balintore; both of the seasiders’ goals coming from the penalty spot.<br /><br /><b>Jul 10th</b><br />Training for the North Caledonian league team was held for the first time.<br /><br /><b>Jul 16th</b><br />Thistle were robbed of a glorious 2-1 win over Ross-shire Club by Steve McCallum’s blistering 94th minute strike, which saw the Tain and Dingwall sides drawn level for the second time this season.<br /><br /><b>Jul 22nd</b><br />Thistle returned to winning ways in style with a sensational 9-0 win over Cromarty. Hat tricks from James Rice and Liam Rostock were complimented by a Robbie Ross header and two goals from substitute Craig Nimmons.<br /><br />In Alness, Terry Stirling’s Athletic side held Ross-shire Club to a draw meaning that a win for Thistle in their final game against the Social Club would guarantee them the league title.<br /><br /><b>Jul 23rd</b><br />Tain Thistle were awarded a bye in the Coronation Cup, putting them into their third semi final of the season, following the withdrawal of the Sutor Inn.<br /><br /><b>Jul 29th</b><br />It was announced that Tain Thistle would re-feature in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager game, for its 2010 release.<br /><br /><b>Jul 30th</b><br />Tain Thistle made history in the Ross-shire Welfare league by winning their first ever League Championship, beating Invergordon Social Club by 5 goals to 1 to lift the shield.<br /><br /><b>Aug 2nd</b><br />Thistle lose out by 3 goals to nil to an inspired Alness Athletic in the Coronation Cup semi final.<br /><br /><b>Aug 3rd</b><br />Thistle unveiled their new kit sponsorship deal for the 2009/10 season, with Mark Smith and Kenny Gilbert of 1st Touch Football named as the club’s new kit sponsors. <br /><br /><b>Aug 11th</b><br />A pre-season outing at Dugeon Park saw Highland League side Brora Rangers destroy Tain Thistle by 8 goals to 2.<br /><br /><b>Aug 16th</b><br />Welfare affairs were concluded as Thistle won the Charity Shield with a 4-1 win over Ross-shire Club of Dingwall. Daniel Christie accepted the League and Charity Shield on the club’s behalf at a presentation, post-match. <br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/shieldwinners.jpg"><br /><br /><b>Aug 18th</b><br />Thistle romped Inverness side Portland Hotspurs by 5 goals to nil in a pre-season friendly to end preparations for the North Caledonian league campaign.<br /><br /><b>Aug 18th</b><br />The secretary of the club acknowledged donations from Murdo Macleod, Ian Christie, the Railway Hotel and John M Munro butchers.<br /><br /><b>Aug 22nd</b><br />Tain Thistle were torn apart by a very impressive Dingwall Thistle in their first North Caledonian league match, losing 8-0.<br /><br /><b>Aug 28th</b><br />The new range of Tain Thistle merchandise, courtesy of Cafe Press was launched on the club’s website.<br /><br /><b>Aug 29th</b><br />Thistle bounced back from defeat to overcome an unusually poor Balintore side, winning by 6 goals to 3. Goals from Darran Goller, Russell Lawrie, Robbie Ross, Ashley Mills and David Mackay sealed the victory for Tain.<br /><br /><b>Aug 30th</b><br />Stevie George, defender, was released from the club.<br /><br /><b>Sep 5th</b><br />Thistle leaped to the top half of the North Caledonian league table with an impressive 3-0 win over Ross-shire rivals Invergordon. Goller, Lawrie and Chris Mailley got on the scoresheet while new stopper Ali Matheson kept only the second clean sheet in the club’s winter history.<br /><br /><b>Sep 12th</b><br />Thistle made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 win over Bonar Bridge thanks to a late Kyle Oliver winner.<br /><br /><b>Sep 13th</b><br />The new look website was launched with new poll options, updated player profiles and fixture lists.<br /><br />In other news, midfielder Michael Brand left for Africa to work with charity organisation, WWISA.<br /><br /><b>Sep 17th</b><br />Club captain Arron Christie turned down an offer from Golspie Sutherland to stay with Tain Thistle.<br /><br /><img class="imgright" align="right" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/alimath2.jpg"><b>Sep 19th</b><br />Thistle crashed out of their first ever North Caledonian Cup match, after being 2-0 up against league favourites Thurso. Robbie Ross touched the ball for the last time as a Tain Thistle player by scoring the winner for Thurso, lobbing his own goalkeeper in the 90th minute, handing the Caithness men a 3-2 win.<br /><br /><b>Sep 24th</b><br />Owing to poor discipline in the 2008/09 campaign, Tain Thistle were hit with a fine of £250 by the Scottish Football Association.<br /><br /><b>Oct 2nd</b><br />The Tain Football Post was issued for the first time in the month of October.<br /><br /><b>Oct 3rd</b><br />The proposed match between Tain Thistle and Golspie Sutherland was called off, due to blustering wind and rain.<br /><br /><b>Oct 11th</b><br />With the kick off time brought forward, Tain Thistle recorded a nervy result over Fort William’s reserves, with a 3-2 win. Despite the victory, Gordy Oman was dismissed for a second bookable offence.<br /><br /><b>Oct 17th</b><br />Sitting high in the North Caledonian league table, Tain Thistle missed a glorious chance to go top after losing 2-1 to Halkirk United at Grant Park. 2-0 down at half time, Thistle’s only offered answer was a Lee Morrison goal in the second half.<br /><br /><b>Oct 24th</b><br />Playing the other half of Caithness, Thistle were demolished by new league leaders Thurso in a match that bared no resemblance to their earlier cup meeting. Losing 7-0 on the day, Thistle were beaten for only the third time in 7 games.<br /><br /><b>Oct 31st</b><br />An away trip for Thistle continued their misery as Muir of Ord flexed their muscles to win 6-1. Thistle were 1-1 at the 60 minute mark before a series of late attacks saw the Pavilion Park side race to victory.<br /><br /><b>Nov 2nd</b><br />Billy Russell’s departure from Bonar Bridge sparked rumour that former Tain men Liam Rostock and Steve Martin could be on their way back to the club.<br /><br /><b>Nov 7th</b><br />With a change of venue the main talking point, Thistle struggled to gain any momentum on a zippy Astroturf pitch at Dingwall, losing 6-0 to an organised Dingwall Thistle.<br /><br /><b>Nov 14th</b><br />Any chance Thistle has to get back onto winning ways disappeared after a combination of errors led to a 3-0 win for rivals Balintore. The game was also used to contest the Graham Jardine Quaich, which was awarded to Balintore by Jim Jardine after the match.<br /><br /><b>Nov 21st</b><br />The SWL Cup proved no more fruitful than the North Caley Cup earlier in the season, with Thistle again making a first stage exit. A 5-0 drubbing at the hands of a strong Muir of Ord side knocked Thistle out.<br /><br /><b>Dec 5th</b><br />A Tain Thistle in disarray fell to their sixth consecutive defeat in the league, this time at the Recreations Grounds, defeated by 4 goals to 1 at the hands of Invergordon. Thistle took the lead early on but could not maintain any order to prevent Invergordon’s resolution. <br /><br /><b>Dec 6th</b><br />Paul Austin and Ashley Mills were released from the club.<br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/ncl0910.jpg">

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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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