Returning striker Liam Rostock has been named Tain Thistle Player of the Month for July after scoring nine goals in five appearances.
Rostock, who only returned to the club at the turn of the month after making an appearance in Tain's League Cup final win in May, banged in a hat-trick against league champions Invergordon Social Club this past Saturday after doing the same against Cromarty a week ago.
With only a casual eye on retaining 3rd place, Tain Thistle rounded off their league season with a home game against Invergordon Social Club, who last week secured their first Ross-shire Welfare league championship since 2005. An impressive scoring display in both halves saw the Invergordon men win comfortably, while the game provided a good platform to allow the Jags to field most of their squad.
The Social Club squad has been improved in all areas since the return of many of their past achievers, mostly made up of natives of Invergordon with the exception of footballing nomad and multi-time medal winner Keith Dingwall - also a former Jag.
Experienced heads prevailed this year as the Social, despite not always playing the best football, pushed their way through games with a winning mentality - one that was borne out of a pre-season target of recapturing the league title. The achievement is commendable and further admirable as it was achieved with players of the town, and a young manager in Rob McCormack.
The success of the "Club" appears to have come at a time of lull however, as news begins to filter that Invergordon's North Caledonian side appears to have dropped out of the north's "Highland reserve". This has to be a disappointment for the town, who not long ago were also a casualty of the loss of the Highland Youth Initiative League for under 19s.
In contrast, it has to be acknowledged that the participating clubs of the Ross-shire Welfare league across the Easter Ross area are fast becoming the most consistent representation of football in the surrounding area, providing a platform for younger and older players alike.
Our own Tain Thistle, coming out of a season surrounded around the development of a number of Tain Juniors' U17 graduates, are not alone in fostering the development of the future Welfare regulars with Cromarty, Inver and Balintore also turning to younger players to push their clubs forward.
With a quiet winter expected ahead, the anticipation for next year's Ross-shire Welfare season should certainly be high.
The date for the James Rice testimonial game has been set for Saturday, August 20th with a 1.30pm kick off. A Tain Thistle XI will welcome a Police XI, as Ricee's former teammates collide.
The match will be followed by generous hospitality at the Railway Hotel, Tain Thistle club awards and an auction of many items in aid of club and charity.