The winners of last night's Best Dressed Individual at the Tain Thistle Christmas Party were announced as:
1st. Graham Macrae
2nd. Paul Cowie
3rd. Martyn Farquhar
A big thank you goes to Murdo Macleod for his kind donation of prizes, including meals for two and cash prizes.
An honorary mention goes to Darran Goller, who despite not being able to stand at the end of the night, won a £20 bar tab for correctly answer the night's trivia question.
The fixtures for the second half of the North Caledonian league season have been announced, with Tain Thistle set for a double trip to Caithness in January.
Thistle will welcome Fort William's reserves to Grant Park for the second time this season on the 9th, before travelling to Halkirk a week later, and Thurso the following Saturday.
To view the full remaining fixtures, click here: http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/matches.php
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.
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.
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.
The winter weather took its toll on Alness’ Dalmore Park, as Thistle penultimate fixture was called off.
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.
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.
In other news, the Scottish Football Association issued a warning to the club for poor discipline.
Plans to re-enter a team to the Ross-shire Welfare league were discussed at a meeting between committee and players.
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.
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.
Tain Thistle official re-registered for the Ross-shire Welfare League at a meeting of all Welfare clubs, chaired by Jimmy Patullo.
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.
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.
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.
Post match, St Duthus Hotel manager and son of Christy, Alan Grant presented Thistle captain Scott Innes with the trophy.
Throughout the day, committee raised a substantial amount for the club, as well as raising £115 for Macmillan Nurses.
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.
The draw for the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup saw Thistle pitted at home against local rivals Inver.
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.
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.
The same day, members of the Thistle committee began the first phase of a sponsored walk up Tain Hill.
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.
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.
Goalkeeping errors and the absence of key players led to a 4-1 defeat for Thistle in their League Cup opener.
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.
Tain Thistle’s opening league match finished goalless, against Inver.
The Homecoming Cup was unveiled on the club’s official website, an attractive trophy to be played for between Thistle and the HMS Sutherland.
Tain Thistle soundly defeated the HMS Sutherland by 5 goals to 1 to win the Homecoming Cup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thistle breezed into their second semi final of the season with yet another win over Balintore, this time 3-1 in the Cordiner Cup.
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.
Tain Thistle re-registered for the North Caledonian Football league, now with the intent to play in both the league and cup campaigns.
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.
John Oliver was announced as the new team manager for the North Caledonian League campaign.
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.
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.
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.
Missing eight key players on Gala day, Thistle were again defeated, this time by Inver in the 1st round of the Seaboard Cup.
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.
Training for the North Caledonian league team was held for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was announced that Tain Thistle would re-feature in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager game, for its 2010 release.
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.
Thistle lose out by 3 goals to nil to an inspired Alness Athletic in the Coronation Cup semi final.
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.
A pre-season outing at Dugeon Park saw Highland League side Brora Rangers destroy Tain Thistle by 8 goals to 2.
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.
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.
The secretary of the club acknowledged donations from Murdo Macleod, Ian Christie, the Railway Hotel and John M Munro butchers.
Tain Thistle were torn apart by a very impressive Dingwall Thistle in their first North Caledonian league match, losing 8-0.
The new range of Tain Thistle merchandise, courtesy of Cafe Press was launched on the club’s website.
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.
Stevie George, defender, was released from the club.
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.
Thistle made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 win over Bonar Bridge thanks to a late Kyle Oliver winner.
The new look website was launched with new poll options, updated player profiles and fixture lists.
In other news, midfielder Michael Brand left for Africa to work with charity organisation, WWISA.
Club captain Arron Christie turned down an offer from Golspie Sutherland to stay with Tain Thistle.
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.
Owing to poor discipline in the 2008/09 campaign, Tain Thistle were hit with a fine of £250 by the Scottish Football Association.
The Tain Football Post was issued for the first time in the month of October.
The proposed match between Tain Thistle and Golspie Sutherland was called off, due to blustering wind and rain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Austin and Ashley Mills were released from the club.
At a meeting between league officials and club committee represenatives, decisions were made with regard to Fort William FC.
League secretary Rod Houston has advised the following:
"It is now clear that Claggan Park will not be playable for some time. That, along with the backlog of Highland League fixtures, means that there is virtually no likelihood of Claggan Park being available for North Caledonian fixtures this season.
After a discussion on the matter, the meeting unanimously agreed to arrangements that enable Fort William FC to complete its fixtures for the season. The meeting accepted the principle that all Fort William fixtures can be played on the home pitch of the opposition club on that day, the host club meeting match officials costs and Fort William FC meeting its own travel costs."
Tain Thistle were soundly beaten by 4 goals to 1 at Invergordon today, as the Recreation Park men recorded their first win of the season.
Russell Lawrie opened the scoring for Thistle after four minutes, before Invergordon fought back to go 3-1 ahead at the break. Invergordon added a fourth in the second half as the game finished miserably for Tain, who recorded their sixth consecutive loss in the league.