Tain Thistle will hold the first of their annual Sponsored Walks on Sunday April 19th, starting from the football clubhouse, up Tain Hill, then returning to the Railway Hotel.
Anyone is invited to take part, and sponsor forms are available from Home & Music, on Tain High Street. In an added incentive, the participant who raises the most through sponsorship will win a Sony PSP (w/ Fifa '09)!
Tain Thistle's welfare stars sauntered to a 6-2 victory in the Christie Grant Memorial Trophy match yesterday, defeating Jim Jardine's Tain St Duthus XI.
A number of former St Duthus players took the field for Jim's side, from recent times in Alan Duff, DJ McCarthy and Gavin MacDonald to Gary Ross and Darren Mackay of Inver and even Willie Forsyth, who made his first appearance for Tain in 1959!
Arron Christie managed the Thistle welfare side going into the game, before taking the field for the second half. A more familiar Thistle side saw Martin Mackay in goal for the second time in as many matches, with full backs Andy Murray and Brian Cameron joining Martyn Farquhar and Scott Innes to make a back four. A midfield three of Chris Mailley, Paul Cowie and Colin Burry and a forward line of Robbie Ross, Daniel Christie and Calum Macdonald completed the starting XI.
For St Duthus, Jim started with DJ McCarthy in goal, a traditional back three of Alan Duff, Tom McCourt and David Calderwood with Darren Mackay, Ross Powell, Craig Swanson, James Rice and Hugh Taylor in midfield. Gary Ross and Kenny Johnstone spear headed the attack.
Thistle took an early lead through the returning Calum Macdonald, who nodded home a Daniel Christie cross in the 5th minute. Despite frequent Thistle attacks, however, a nimble Kenny Johnstone was able to scoot past Martyn Farquhar to level the scores on the half hour mark, slotting home past goalkeeper Martin Mackay.
The scores looked to be level going in at half time, but a scramble in the 6 yard box saw Paul Cowie hack the ball home to make it 2-1 Thistle at the break.
Half time saw a number of changes, with both goalkeepers being replaced. Secretary Alan Forsyth took the field for Thistle, while Graham Stewart replaced McCarthy between the St Duthus sticks.
Calum Macdonald got on the score sheet again, almost as quickly as he did in the first half, making it 3-1 on the 48th minute, before adding a fourth, ten minutes later, to make it a hat-trick. At 4-1, the St Duthus substitutions were coming thick and fast; not always with the same amount of men coming off the park as were coming onto it, however!
Perennial centre mid turned right-back for the day, Brian Cameron, could have made it five when his excellent work down the right hand side looked like it may be rewarded with a goal, but he failed to connect with a volley on the edge of the box.
Thistle netted their fifth in tremendous fashion when Daniel Christie's 25 yard lob looped into the top corner of Stewart's net, in an effort that would been fitting to win any game. A sixth followed when Christie again looked to have the better of the St Duthus defence; Graham Stewart's work to close him down was effective but he was powerless to prevent Bob Swann from netting his first goal for the club, with the easiest of tap ins.
Substitute Gavin MacDonald was the unlikely provider of a finale goal for the veterans, as he expertly took advantage of a through ball, sidefooting the ball beyond Alan Forsyth, to pull the scoreline back to 6-2.
Post match, manager of the St Duthus Hotel, Alan Grant (son of St Duthus legend Christopher Grant) presented the trophy, in memory of his father, to Thistle captain Scott Innes.
The countdown to the Christie Grant Memorial Trophy match is on. In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, the match and eventual trophy winners will be decided by penalty shoot out.
Summer Tain Thistle manager Arron Christie promises a Tain based side, with an emphasis on Welfare talent, who plan to take the afternoon's friendly match very seriously.
St Duthus XI manager for the day, Jim Jardine confirmed his 19 strong squad, with only a handful of names failing to make the final cut. Last minute preparations however have uncovered a dilemma, with only two of the St Duthus strips being available in XL size.
The match is to be played at 2pm, at Grant Park, by the Links.
Tain Thistle re-registered for the summer Ross-shire Welfare league season again, joined by Inver, Ross-shire Club, the Sutor Inn and Invergordon Social Club. Also coming in are Alness, who join the league as a separate entity from United, but in a surprise twist, the numbers were made up to seven when Cromarty FC, formerly of the Ross-shire Amateur league, registered for the league.
Welfare regulars Balintore and a rumoured team from Dingwall have, at present, opted not to join for the 2009 season.
Tables for the Christy Grant trophy match between Tain Thistle and Jim Jardine's Tain St Duthus XI, are still available.
Prices are set at £100 for a table of six, for the hospitality lunch, to be held in the St Duthus Hotel, Tain, at 12pm on Saturday, 21st March, prior to the kick off of the much anticipated game.
To book tickets, please contact the club via the website, or alternatively call 01862 892154 to book a table.
Ten members of the Tain Thistle committee gathered to attend the club's AGM on the evening of Wednesday 4th March. The committee discussed plans for the club's re-entry into the Ross-shire Welfare league, and confirmed the interim appointment of James Rice and Steven Martin as caretaker managers for the summer.
Agenda items included a review of plans for Welfare football, finances, sponsorship and merchandising, as well as an update on the current North Caledonian league season.
Joining the Tain Thistle committee for the summer, Steven Martin and Thistle stalwart James Rice were unanimously elected as caretaker managers who will begin assembling a team for the campaign.
Club secretary and co-treasurer Alan Forsyth reported a clean bill of health for the club financially and a series of fund raising opportunities were discussed among the committee members. In addition, chairman Niall Harkiss reported that the club's official website was averaging 10,000 unique visits per month, also generating revenue through online merchandise and programme sales.
The Tain Links Development Trust was represented by caretaker Graham Macrae who took note of a plumbing concerns regarding the Links Clubhouse. Mr Macrae assured the committee that funding will be made available by the trust for the short term repair of these problems.
Senior club manager Robbie Ross finished the meeting when he gave a brief overview of the North Caledonian league team's progress, as the club heads into it's final game this Saturday, as well as plans for next winter's pre-season.