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  • Eastern Rose 1 Tain Thistle 7

    Tain Thistle kicked off their 20th season as a Ross-shire Welfare football team yesterday with a trip to Inver in the first round of the Merrythought Cup, and thanks to a persistent attacking display the Jags won 7-1 against a much improved home side.<br /><br />Daniel Cormack made his competitive debut as team manager by naming a fourteen man squad which included his predecessor Robbie Ross who stepped in between the sticks while the Jags await the return of Johnny Allan. Making their competitive debuts on the park were centre half Ryan Day and midfielder Jack Hudson, who both impressed greatly during pre-season. Eastern Rose, formerly located at Portmahomack, have found a new home playing at the football pitch by Inver Bay and for Saturday's game team managers David Purvis and Alan Mair named a couple of former Tain Thistle players in their starting lineup, Graeme Davis and Matthew Rooney.<br /><br />On the narrow and uneven surface at Inver, Tain struggled to find space and unsurprisingly took a while to stamp their authority on the game. With six minutes gone, however, Daniel Christie turned the ball goalward and for a moment everyone in the six yard box seemed convinced the Jags had scored as there were several claims made that the ball had crossed the line. Referee Barry Stuart, though, waved play on. The opener eventually arrived on the quarter hour mark when Dave Macgruer applied a neat finish to a deadly Arron Christie cross. Robbie Ross had to deal with a couple of dangerous corners taken by the Rose men, however the Tain net largely went unthreatened as the game continued. It took until the 32nd minute for Thistle to double their lead - Alan Duff thumping the ball high into the back of the net after a Daniel Christie layoff. Jack Hudson added a third goal ten minutes later after a calamity at the back for the home side, as he headed over the top of goalkeeper Bryan Durrand. Durrand did make a couple of good saves for the home side denying Daniel Christie, Liam Rostock and Cammy Mackintosh on a handful of occasions to keep the score at only 3-0.<br /><br /><img width=90% src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/20160430duffers.jpg"><br /><br />Three goals in the space of five minutes put the game beyond all doubt at the start of the second half, as Thistle hit two quickfire goals through Jack Hudson and Dave Macgruer to make it 5-0. The first arrived on 48 minutes for Hudson when he carried the ball into the eighteen yard box and rifled it into the far corner of the net. Macgruer showed persistence a minute later to force a rebound home following a goalmouth sramble, to score his second and Thistle's fifth. A consolation followed two minutes later when Rose man Josh Cattanach capitalized on a mistake to nip past Ross and slide the ball into the Tain net. Having been booked earlier in the game, Ryan Day was replaced by Martyn Farquhar just before the hour mark and just a minute later, with his first touch, Farquhar finished expertly to send the ball over Durrand and into the net to make it 6-1.<br /><br />A compendium of missed chances followed for Jags, with Alan Duff, Cammy Mackintosh and substitute Darran Goller all coming close to extending the lead further, and Rose's Durrand, playing most of the game with an injured finger, continued to impress by pulling off a string of saves. The seventh and final goal for Tain was added in injury time when Cammy Mackintosh headed home a corner.<br /><br />The win sends Tain Thistle into the semi final of the Merrythought Cup where they will meet Contin at their home ground of the Links next Saturday. Contin advanced at the hands of the Merrythought hosts, Fortrose Union, with an impressive 6-1 win.<br /><br /><b>Team:</b><br />Ross, Duff (Goller 69), A Christie, Day (Farquhar 54), Murray, Mailley, Mackintosh, Hudson, D Christie, Rostock (Durrand 59), Macgruer<br /><br /><b>Cautions:</b><br />Day 32

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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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