The Jags will begin their season on Wednesday with an away game against Inver. In what is always a fierce rivalry, this opening league game has produced two draws, a postponement and a helicopter landing in recent years. This year the team are led by Scott Innes, however with Inver unable to raise a team on Saturday for their cup tie against Alness, there is some doubt over Wednesday's game. Here's hoping for a full turnout and a competitive evening!
Following on from Wednesday, Thistle will have another away game on Saturday in the semi final of the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup. Their defence of the trophy begins a round late thanks to a bye in the first round draw. The match, to be played at Balintore Lower Park against rivals Balintore is a repeat of last year's final and is set to be keenly contested as Tain look to retain their trophy. The referee for this tie will be Billy Murray.
The next poker fundraiser is expected to take place on Tuesday, May 8th with a 7pm start at the Railway Hotel. Please contact the club if you wish to play.
Please visit the Ross-shire Welfare league's new website at http://www.ross-shirewelfare.co.uk.
Finally, this week's Tweeter of the Week is James Rice.
The season started with a tough away tie against Invergordon last week. Early on in the match both sides had numerous chances, most notably when Tain striker, Terence Brady, was put through 1-on-1 with the Invergordon keeper. However, the keeper did well to block his attempt.
The next big chance in the game fell to the Invergordon number 9 but his tame shot was easily saved. Once more Brady was put through but his effort failed to find the target. The first half was beginning to turn into a frustrating affair. Half time arrived with the score at 0-0.
Tain got off to a slow start in the second half and fell behind from a corner. The ball was whipped into the box causing some confusion in the Tain defence which allowed the Invergordon number 5 to slot home. Things went from bad to worse just ten minutes later when a counter attack by Invergordon led to them doubling their advantage and making it 2-0.
However Tain rallied and got a goal back through Josh Rodgers. His delightful little chip was the finish to a wonderful passing move. In spite of this great goal Tain couldn’t find and equaliser and the game finished 2-1.
The first home match of the season was against Aird Athletic last night. Both sides had been beaten in their opening encounters so a victory was vital. A minutes silence was observed by both sets of players before the match in memory of Moyra As-Chainey.
The game started in poor conditions with the rain lashing down on the park, making life difficult for both teams. Tain took the lead early on when Terence Brady showed great composure to finish high past the goal keeper. Tain scored again shortly after when Jack Corbett finished of a fine passing move with a sublime finish. After this Tain seemed to take their foot of the gas and Aird pulled a goal back when a shot heading straight into the arms of goalkeeper John Allan was deflected and looped over the helpless keeper.
This goal however only encouraged Tain and they equalised straight away when Rory Vass fired a superb drive past the Aird goalkeeper. As the game progressed Aird were given a bizarre penalty when Tain captain, Scott Murray, handled the ball from an Aird cross. Tain keeper, John Allan, saved the penalty but could do nothing about the rebound that was lashed in to make it 3-2 at half time.
The second half started well for Tain and Josh Rodgers put them 4-2 ahead with a cool finish. They went further ahead minutes later when Brady got his second of the match after outpacing the defender. Aird came out fighting and a few chances but failed to score. Tain made them pay when Rodgers got his second of the match following up to score the rebound after a free kick was saved by the keeper.
Tain got a seventh and Brady completed his hat-trick by shooting low across the keeper into the bottom corner. There was still time for an Aird consolation when a shot flew into the top corner past the keeper. Full time: Tain 7-3 Aird
Report by John Allan
Training has resumed in the past couple of weeks using the Links pitch and the first full game of football played on the park since 2007 took place last Saturday as the Jags beat a Legends XI put together by Brian Macangus and Steven Martin. While the match was a success, raising £35 in the club raffle and reopening the historic park, there are still questions over which pitch will ultimately be used for the competitive season. The Links pitch is due to be rolled in the next couple of weeks however, which should hopefully "iron out" any problems.
Highlights of Saturday's game, both first and second half, can now be seen online at our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/tainthistlefc
We must extend a great deal of thanks to Mansfield Stores who have agreed to sponsor this season's change kit. The team is expected to debut their new all-red kit in May.
The club's next poker fundraiser is expected to take place sometime in the next two weeks. Interested parties should once again contact the club if they wish to play.
Anyone interested in joining the Tain Thistle Supporters Club for only £2.50 per month (less than the price of a pint!) can do so by visiting this page:
Fixtures for the forth-coming summer have been released and owing to the odd number of teams in this season's competitions, the Jags will be spectators for the opening Saturday, as they have a bye in the Ross-shire Welfare League Cup. As defending champions, Thistle will have to wait on the result of the game between Cromarty and Balintore to determine where they will travel to for the semi final on May 5th.
The showers in the Links clubhouse have been reattached and are now in working order, alongside the new Selkie wall panels donated by Rearo Laminates Ltd. A tremendous deal of gratitude must go once again to Rearo for their kind donation and to goalkeeper Steven Wemyss who has given up so much of his own time to help us fit the panels.
Businesses or individuals wishing to sponsor a player for the season, in the same way that the Royal Hotel, First Footers, Alan Nimmons, Derek Matheson and the Star Inn have done, can do so by contacting the club using the link above or by calling 07584 903 950.
Finally, our Tweeter of the week is club secretary, Dale Finlayson.
The players and crowd at the Tain Thistle vs Thistle's Legends XI observed a minutes silence for Moyra As-Chainey today, Saturday, April 21st, who sadly passed away this past week. As a mark of respect, players from both sides were also wearing black armbands - a number of whom were schoolmates and friends of Moyra.
Tain Thistle are proud to announce a new sponsorship link with the highly regarded family run Mansfield Stores of Tain. The popular Mansfield Estate shop will sponsor the Jags' 2012 all-red second kit.
Hamish Macneil, proprietor of Mansfield Stores said,
"Mansfield Stores are delighted and proud to be the new sponsors for Tain Thistle football club."
"As part of the Tain community, we wish the football team all the best for the season ahead and hope that their new kit brings them the best of luck!"
The fixtures for the 2012 season have been released by the RWFA, with Thistle benefitting from first round byes in both the League and Pattison Cups.
The withdrawal of Dingwall Vertex from the league has resulted in off-weeks for clubs on a rotational basis, which sees Thistle with the potential for two weeks without a game in May, and almost a month of away games over June and July.
The Jags will open their season with a league game on Wednesday, May 2nd away to Inver, awaiting the result of Cromarty vs Balintore to decide where they will travel to for the League Cup semi final on Saturday, May 5th.
Thistle's opening league games in May are as follows:
May 2nd - Inver (A)
May 9th - Alness (H)
May 23rd - Balintore (H)
May 30th - Ross Club (H)
A full list of Thistle's fixtures can be found here:
or by clicking the Results link at the top of this page.
The Tain Youth Cafe will launch their cage football concept next Friday (April 27th) at the Tain Royal Academy Community Complex.
Speaking to the Ross-shire Journal, Graham Nutt, youth and community worker, explained: “Cage football is a relatively new form of football, which has come over from the Netherlands. We believe that we will be only the second cage in the whole of Scotland.
“Whilst there are a number of traditional five-a-side football pitches around, as youth workers we are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with young people, especially programmes which discourage antisocial behaviour and offer a positive alternative. We intend to be using the cage every Friday evening in Tain.”
Mr Nutt added, “We will then be taking the cage out to local villages. We will be offering youth provision in these villages hopefully every month, with the intention of attracting local volunteers to become involved with us.”
For more information, read the Ross-shire Journal article here.
Attendance at tonight's poker fundraiser was lower than expected owing to some late calloffs, however the competition proved fierce, with Dale Finlayson coming close to his first win.
Recording a number of high stake wins, Finlayson overcame the early lead of Bryan Campbell to play with the largest stack for most of the game.
Newcomer Andrew Sutherland, debuting, also enjoyed a couple of wins.
Two hours into play, Campbell was first to be eliminated before Sutherland followed, as the defending champion Niall Harkiss took a substantial lead. A head to head finish between Finlayson and Harkiss saw the latter win with a full house over the runner-up's three kings.
The standings finished:
1st. Niall Harkiss (winner)
2nd. Dale Finlayson
3rd. Andrew Sutherland
4th. Bryan Campbell
Tain Thistle will play the Legends XI this Saturday on the Links park with a 2pm kick off. Former players from various eras are expected to take the field for the Brian Macangus managed side, with Keith Middleton as referee.
The club held their first poker fundraiser this evening, with chairman Niall Harkiss retaining his title with a full house over Dale Finlayson's three Kings, making for an exciting finale. The club raised £40 on the night. Thank you to dealer Bryan Campbell and the Railway Hotel for their kind hospitality.
We also wish to extend our thanks to player sponsors The Royal Hotel, who have sponsored Andrew Sutherland for the 2012 season.
Thistle can now be found on the social networking site, Matchspace, here.
This week's Tweeter of the Week is Andy Ripley.
Pre-season training commenced last night at the Links, with Arron Christie putting the players through their paces following three friendlies against Sutherland league teams throughout March.
The club's poker night fundraiser has been pushed back to April 17th, with the venue confirmed as the Railway Hotel. Interested parties should still contact the club using the Contact Us link above.
Thank you to John S Skinner (Joiner), Derek Matheson (Joiner), Alan Nimmons, Ardgay Garage and The Star Inn for their kind sponsorship for the season ahead.
The clubhouse improvements continued this week as new heavy contract carpet tiles were laid in the home and away changing rooms adding a touch of "warmth" to their appearance. The club is still hopeful that the facilities will be ready for their April 21st friendly with Brian Macangus's Legends XI.
This week's Tweeter of the week is Michael Stein.
Tain Thistle's third Poker tournament fundraiser will take place next Tuesday night, with defending champion Niall Harkiss expected to be faced with tough competition from some newcomers.
Former champ Michael Stein is also expected to take to the table with regular challengers Dale Finlayson and Bryan Campbell also in competition.
Interested participants should contact the club via the link above!
A disastrous start at Meadows Park for Tain Thistle saw them 2-0 down to a spritely Dornoch City after only five minutes this afternoon. The Jags were able to level before half time but a series of catastrophes, missed penalties and poor finishing saw Dornoch reap the benefits with a further two goals to win 4-2.
Thistle were still missing Martyn Farquhar, while Kevin Graham, Chris Gordon and John Maclellan were also absent. Making his return to action, Ryan Johnston was slotted in at left back.
Tain were stunned straight from kick off after the pace of Dingwall down the left wing caught the Jags back line off guard and the net was found. The score was doubled only minutes later following a comedy of errors.
Undeterred, the Jags soon collected themselves and began to show signs of the side who had beaten Golspie and Lairg already this pre-season. Darran Goller, along with the touchline, was convinced he had pulled a goal back on the half hour mark when his shot rattled the cross bar and appeared to have crossed the line, but referee Middleton waved play on.
Donald Matheson was unlucky not to have scored Tain's first with a clever piece of play that left him clean through, but his shot flew wide of goal.
Goller was involved again shortly after when Dornoch keeper Murray floored the striker but no penalty was given.
The same incident was repeated only moments later leaving Goller unable to continue, this time with the referee pointing to the spot. Unfortunately for Thistle, Liam Rostock could not convert the chance.
Rostock made up for the penalty miss soon after however when he slotted home from a tight angle to make it 2-1. On 43 minutes, substitute Paul Cowie, who had replaced Goller, headed home to level the affair at 2-2.
The second half started with another penalty award for Thistle, but Andy Durrand, taking the spot kick, had as much luck as Rostock and his shot was saved by Murray.
The Tain boys must have wondered what they had to do to take the lead as chance after chance flew wide or was stopped by the impressive Dornoch stopper.
In the end, Thistle's failure to take their chances came back to haunt them as Dornoch hit the Jags on the counter. A tame effort made its way towards goal but in unfortunate fashion, Steven Wemyss diverted the ball into his own net. A fourth followed moments later in decisive fashion, lashed past Wemyss.
With the weather cold and blustery, the game took a scrappy turn in the dying stages, and despite chances for both sides, the score remained 4-2 to the "Zebras".
Wemyss, Cameron, Johnston (Sutherland), Brand, A Christie, Munro, D Christie (Ross), Durrand, Goller (Cowie), (Cunningham), Rostock (Matheson)
Rostock 40, Cowie 43
Rostock missed pen 32, Durrand missed pen 47