A closely contested and heated semi final encounter at Alness narrowly went the way of Cordiner Cup holders Tain Thistle as they beat Alness United in the semi final of the competition tonight.As has been the case in all of their meetings this season, very little separated the sides in the first half, with both teams coming close with chances to score. A goal just before half time handed Thistle the lead when a Liam Rostock throw in reached the rising head of Jack Hudson to nod past Andrew Maitland.Liam Rostock capped off a fine performance with a goal in the second half just before the hour mark, heading home a cross from Arron Christie at the far post.Craig Munro pulled Alness back into the game with a free kick which floated through a sea of Thistle defenders and into the net. The game took an unexpected turn with eighteen minutes remaining when Mark Lamont was dismissed. Thistle battled through the remainder of the game with ten men and ultimately saw out the victory.The win sends Tain into the final of the Cordiner Cup which will be played at Inver this Saturday, June 4th against the winners of the other semi final, Balintore.
Tain Thistle are in the third round (last sixteen) of the Tom Hunter Memorial Cup thanks to a confident and free scoring display against Peterhead United yesterday.The game provided Daniel Cormack with an opportunity to test the depth of the Thistle squad with brothers Arron and Daniel Christie both absent, and top scorer Mark Lamont and midfield regular Chippie Mailley also left out of the side. Dave Macgruer also dropped to the bench.Thistle's opponents from Peterhead arrived in fine voice along with a handful of supporters. The game started evenly with Peterhead forcing Johnny Allan into a couple of early saves before the difference between the sides began to tell. Liam Rostock, an early substitute for Gordy Mackay (head knock), opened the scoring when he slid the ball under Brian Stevenson. The same player appeared to tap the ball over the line after a volley at the far post from Dave MacIver, however the goal was later attributed to MacIver. Alan Duff made it three shortly after with a superb free kick curled into the top corner and Rostock doubled his tally after good work from Darran Goller. Goller scored a goal of his own on the stroke of half time after foxing Stevenson with a brilliant first touch.Liam Rostock completed his hat-trick with the sixth goal of the game a few minutes after the restart. Two goals in the space of a minute followed as MacIver and Goller both netted their second and the former completed a hat-trick of his own four minutes later when he lashed the ball home after a spirited run into the eighteen yard box. Jack Hudson scored to take the scoreline into double figures, and controlling the ball well with a downward header, MacIver slotted the ball past Stevenson five minutes before time to make it 11-0.
- For the first time in six years, Tain Thistle will compete in the Tom Hunter Memorial Cup - a trophy which is played for between members of all the Scottish Welfare Football Association competitions in the Highlands, specifically Ross-shire, Strathspey & Badenoch, Moray District, Forres & Nairn, Montrose & District and North East Scotland (Aberdeenshire and surrounding areas).Thistle's last foray in the competition was against Lhanbryde United in 2010 for a Sunday afternoon tie played in a torrential downpour the day after Gala Saturday. Needless to say, it didn't end well, as Lhanbryde ran out 5-2 winners. Now, six years on, Tain have re-entered the competition and having received a bye in the first round, the draw for the second round has handed them a home tie - against Peterhead United.Formed in 2012 by current manager Graeme Arthur, Peterhead United play as members of the North East Scotland FA in the association's second tier, known as the Soccerworld Scotland League. Their home is Catto Park, located next to Balmoor Stadium, the home ground of Peterhead FC. Last year, they visited Moray in their Tom Hunter cup opener to play RAF Lossiemouth of the Moray District Welfare FA but lost out 5-1 on the day to a team that were flying high in their county league.Currently sitting in second place with seven games played, United have aspirations of promotion to the top tier of the North East Scotland set up - and if their results so far are anything to go by, they look to be on course to do just that. They intend to bring a good travelling support to Tain for the tie, so a good crowd is expected on the day.Tain Thistle v Peterhead United kicks off an hour earlier than usual, at 2PM on Saturday, May 28th. Supporters are encouraged to participate in our match day raffle (£1 per strip) for a bottle of malt whisky and a special edition match programme will also by available for sale at a cost of £2 per copy.A total of 43 teams from across the North of Scotland have entered this year's competition and just 32 now remain as we head into the 2nd Round. Three other teams representing the Ross-shire Welfare FA are involved at this stage:- Rothes 'A' vs Alness United- FC Fochabers vs ContinBalintore were due to play Golf Inn FC of Montrose, however the Angus side have scratched.
- Tain Thistle kept their 100% record for the season intact with a closely fought 2-0 home win against Alness this evening. With only a small list of short-term absentees, Daniel Cormack was able to name a strong sixteen for the Jags' first home league game of the season, welcoming Alness United to the Links for the first time this year.The game began in the same cagey fashion as it did in Fortrose just a couple of weeks prior in the Merrythought Cup Final, with neither side able to make a break through in the early stages. Mark Lamont looked like the most likely to score first, teasing the Alness defence with a number of mazy runs and a particularly notable cross into the box which only narrowly missed the head of Darran Goller.The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes. A floated cross form Arron Christie looked as though it might be easily dealt with by Maitland, but ever a danger in the air, Dave Macgruer reached the ball first and headed it into the net to give Tain the lead. At the other end, Johnny Allan was caught on the ground shortly after when he was dispossessed but a daring tackle from Dave Murray saved his blushes on the byline.Alness United started the second half well, pushing the Thistle line back and the defensive pairing of Murray and Christie had to be on their toes. There were chances for both sides as time ticked on though, with Craig Munro missing the target with a free kick for Alness and Mark Lamont shooting wide twice. In a moment of controversy, referee Stephen McDade waved played on while the Thistle touchline began to celebrate a goal from a corner which appeared to have crossed the line before bouncing back out off the goal net.Johnny Allan was called into action on the hour mark when he tipped the ball onto the crossbar following a wicked shot. A superb save at the other end from Andrew Maitland denied Mark Lamont as the Thistle striker volleyed toward goal from a looping cross and the Alness stopper turned the ball over for a corner.Alness hit the woodwork again on the 75 minute mark as they frantically chased an equaliser, but resilient defending and a portion of good fortune saw the Jags' goal remain unscathed. With two minutes left on the clock, Arron Christie coolly played a corner ball across the face of the Alness goal and waiting to tap the ball home was Jack Hudson to net his eighth goal of the season and seal the points for the Jags.With nine points from nine on the board Thistle have done everything asked of them so far in the league campaign, sitting just behind Contin who have played a game more than the Jags.
- A game of two halves produced an extra time thriller between two closely matched sides this afternoon as the Jags scored the necessary goals to advance to the Cordiner Cup semi final at the expense of Contin.Ryan Dow capitalised on a Thomas Logie through ball on 19 minutes to slot the ball past John Allan from an angle to give the visitors despite the Tain keeper getting a slight touch, and several corners in succession added to Thistle's woes as they struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Stand in keeper Karl Ross pulled off a couple of saves from the limited chances Thistle had before Daniel Christie eventually levelled the scores, taking a touch from a Jack Hudson cross before rattling the ball past Ross into the back of the net. Dow scored a near carbon copy of his opener minutes later to restore Contin's lead as they went in at the break deservedly in control.The same Tain who were labouring in the dreech conditions of rain and thunder reemerged for the second half and within a short time they fell 3-1 down, Connor Ross finishing well for Contin. It was looking like cup holders were ready to head out of the competition with a whimper, were it not for the comeback that was to follow.A sustained period of pressure began as Thistle concentrated their play on the wings and looked to heap pressure on Contin with balls into the box. Melee after melee ensued in the area and with shots hitting the crossbar and chance after chance going begging it seemed only a matter of time before one would hit the back of the net - and it did with a quarter hour remaining - Jack Hudson claiming the final touch on a ball which sailed over Ross from a floated Chippie Mailley free kick.At 2-3 the game was there to chase and Ryan Day seemed certain to have levelled the scores when he rattled the ball home from a tight angle - but the referee adjudged that Karl Ross had been fouled. The equaliser finally came with eight minutes to go and from a Mailley ball again, Alan Duff pushed the ball over the line to make it 3-3.Despite their best attempts, Thistle couldn't finish the job in normal time - and in fact they nearly lost it, as Ryan Dow popped up on the counter looking for his hat-trick but a save from Allan prevented the frontman from netting. Moving in to extra time, a drab first fifteen minutes with neither side able to break the deadlock was easily forgotten before the real action began upon the restart. A burst of energy from Chippie Mailley saw the midfielder provide yet another assist, sending substitute Gordon Mackay through on goal for the striker to slide the ball past Ross and into the net! Tain were in the lead for the first time in the game and now had one eye on a place in the semi finals.Composed defending and strength in possession saw Thistle see the job out and with three minutes left they sealed the win. Jack Hudson did well to hold off his man and play the ball across the face of goal for the swooping Mark Lamont to slide in at the far post and push the ball through the hapless grasp of Ross.Thistle now await the outcome of the other quarter final match between Alness United and Eastern Rose which will be played on Monday evening. Owing to both Alness and Tain being involved in the Highland Welfare Cup next weekend, the Cordiner Cup semi final between Tain Thistle and either Alness or Eastern will be played on Monday, May 30th.
Returning to Fortrose for the second time in five days, Tain Thistle turned out a professional performance to make easy work of Fortrose Union by winning 8-0 - in what the gaffer Daniel Cormack described as the team's "best performance of the season".
Union, this season missing some key players such as Shewan, Fitzpatrick, Knight and Smith, lined up with a full sixteen, while Thistle took just thirteen to the Black Isle - messrs Farquhar, Macgruer, Murray, Durrand and Mailley all missing from Saturday's winning Merrythought Cup Final squad. In came trialist Adam MacDonald at right back and the returning Ryan Day at centre half, among others.
An early chance for Arron Christie rattled the crossbar as Craig Maclean stood beaten. Jack Hudson then opened the scoring on 19 minutes with a well placed shot from the edge of the box after good work from Mark Lamont who laid the ball off to the energetic midfielder. It took until the 35th minute for the Jags to double their lead and they did so again through Hudson, who scored a carbon copy of his first, this time pouncing on a cleared ball. Five minutes later, Liam Rostock added the finishing touch to a brilliant team goal after he rifled the ball home from an angle on the receiving end of a superb Adam MacDonald cross. Prior to the half time break, Johnny Allan earned his stripes with an excellent save from Lewis Graizer who tested the Jags stopper with a powerful effort.
Nine minutes into the second half, the clever Mark Lamont opened his account when he broke past a sleeping defence to round the keeper and tap home. A good eighteen minutes later, Cammy Mackintosh added the finishing touch to good work from Lamont who foxed Maclean with his quick feet before Mackintosh hit the ball high into the net on the cutback. On 81 minutes, Darran Goller sent the ball over the line from close range and just three minutes later, substitute Gordy Mackay rattled the ball into the net at the far post with a composed finish.
Jack Hudson completed the scoring by netting his third. The goal secured his first hat-trick in competitive football, as he hammered the ball into the net from six yards to complete a spectacular performance from Thistle.
The win keeps Thistle in second place behind Contin who have scored a full 9 points from their three games played while the Jags sit just behind them with a game in hand. The top two sides meet in cup competition this Saturday at 12pm in the first round of the Cordiner Cup at the Links.
Tain Golf Club are holding a Family Fun Day on Sunday June 12th. It's going to be a great fun day for adults and children. There will be something for absolutely everybody to enjoy no matter how young or old, so please bring all your friends & family along! All proceeds from the day will do to MFR Cash for Kids and the junior programme at Tain Golf Club.
The winning of the Merrythought Cup final was a first for Tain Thistle. A new cup in the trophy cabinet and a new chapter written in the history books. It was also a first for boss Daniel Cormack. His first trophy as a team manager in what was also his first final in charge of the team. It's hard to argue against the start the team has made, having won all four of their games, securing a trophy into the bargain. It's no surprise that the manager is happy with the way things are going at Tain Thistle.
"The final was a very good game. We struggled to break Alness down first half, but in the second we came out with a different attitude and it made the difference. I was delighted for everyone involved, from the squad to the committee, and everyone who came across to support us. Everyone clubbed together and made it a great day."But for Cormack, the hard work only begins now, and he is under no illusion that things will come easy this season.
"We need to take all of the positives from the weekend and go out on Wednesday night flowing with that same confidence. Going to Fortrose is always difficult and it will be a battle. We will have to work extremely hard to get the three points. I want to try to maintain our 100% record, but it will be extremely difficult to do as we have a lot of tough games ahead. If the boys continue on with the same work ethic, drive and commitment, then anything is possible."The Jags travel to Fortrose for the second time in five days this Wednesday on league business as they aim to secure what would be just their third victory over Union on the Black Isle since playing as Ross-shire Welfare opponents. The game kicks off at 7.30pm.
Tain Thistle have won the Merrythought Cup having defeated Alness United in a tense and closely contested affair at Fortrose's King George V Park. After a goalless first half, it took until the 74th minute for Tain to open the scoring through David Macgruer, before top scorer Mark Lamont doubled the Jags' lead five minutes later to secure the victory.
Joined by assistant Tony Farquhar in the dugout, manager Daniel Cormack welcomed Liam Rostock back into the fold after toe injury concerns, while Dave Macgruer also returned in place of the absent Ryan Day, who is holidaying in the southern village of Glasgow.
Close to 200 spectators turned out for the highly anticipated match at Fortrose, with both sidelines well represented. Any likelihood that the match may be a dull affair was quickly quashed when an Arron Christie free kick from out wide offered Tain their first hope of an opener just five minutes into the game - his curling effort hitting the upright. Neither side offered a shot on target until John Allan was forced to block a Chris Graham chance with his legs half an hour into the game. Not long after, Darran Goller forced Andrew Maitland into a reaction save with a powerful strike at the other end, the United custodian palming the effort away for a corner.
While Alness continued to look threatening from set pieces, Tain were defending well and pushing higher up the park as the half progressed - although neither side produced another shot on target, despite some close calls at either end. Five minutes from time, the first yellow card was issued to Thistle's Dave Murray for a mistimed challenge. Former Tain Thistle Committee Player of the Year Craig Munro, a midfield first pick last season for the champions, took up the centre half position for his hometown side and looked comfortable against whatever threat Tain could offer. It wasn't surprising that at half time the scoreboard remained blank and Alness looked marginally the more determined of the two sides.
It took both teams a while to gain a foothold in the second half with the midfield continuing to be the main battleground. Mark Lamont, who had suffered an injury scare during the first period, came into the game more as it progressed and began to look like Thistle's major threat as he became the first offer a shot on target upon the restart, handled easily by Maitland. John Allan was the subject of an injury scare of his own after 55 minutes when he was felled during a goalmouth exchange, clutching his shoulder. After some attention, the stopper carried on.
Midway through the second half, Jack Hudson forced Maitland into action again with a stunning strike, the Alness man tipping his former teammate's effort over the bar. Just moments later, Alan Duff was unlucky not to score for Tain with a header from close range which cannoned off the bar. It took just another ten minutes for the breakthrough to arrive though, and it came from the imposing Dave Macgruer. Arriving at the back post, Macgruer made the most of a superb cross from Alan Duff, powering a header past Maitland from six yards out. The goal changed the entire complexion of the game as the Tain sideline felt a weight of nervousness instantly lifted.
A flurry of substitutions followed for Alness as they began their search for an equaliser. Their efforts were short lived, though, as just five minutes after the opener, a break on goal saw two of the Tain front men combine to double the lead. The on rushing Daniel Christie did well to advance into the box before making way for Lamont to send the ball through both Munro and Symonds and beyond the reach of Maitland to send the Thistle touch line into raptures!
With just ten minutes remaining on the clock, Thistle defended resolutely, and could have added to their tally; Liam Rostock missing a chance late on before being denied a penalty claim after appearing to be shoved to ground in the box. Four minutes of added time were played to compensate for the injury stoppage for Allan - but the extra spell came to nothing for Alness as they eventually succumbed to defeat. Tain Thistle had won the Merrythought Cup - the first team to do so under the auspices of the Ross-shire Welfare FA.
Post match, captain Daniel Christie was presented with the impressive trophy by sponsor's representative and RSWFA chairperson Lee Williams, before both teams convened at the Plough Inn in Rosemarkie.
Team: Allan, Duff, Macgruer, A Christie, Murray, Mailley, Mackintosh (M Farquhar 52), Hudson, Lamont, D Christie, Goller (Rostock 67). Subs not used: Durrand, Mackay
The victory caps off a brilliant start to the 2016 season for Daniel Cormack and his squad, who have won all four of their games so far this season - the only team in the association with a 100% record. The Jags will have just four days to shake off the cup final hangovers though before they return to Fortrose on league action next Wednesday, hoping to make it six points from six in the league.
Tain Thistle got their league campaign off to a winning start at Inver last night with a comprehensive victory over neighbours Eastern Rose. The added bonus of a piece of silverware gave the Jags an early cause for celebration in the form of the Tain Silver Cup - an impressive trophy donated by MA Forbes Jewellers for annual contention between the two sides on the home turf of Eastern Rose. Leading 5-1 at half time, the game was over in terms of a contest early on, but the highlight of the second half was Mark Lamont's chase to beat his own goalscoring record of seven goals in a game, set last year in the same fixture.
Messrs Liam Rostock, Dave Macgruer, David MacIver, Tony Farquhar and Brian Cameron were the main absentees for the trip to Inver, while Adam MacDonald (trialist) and the returning group of Darran Goller, Martyn Farquhar, Andy Durrand, Daniel and Arron Christie returned to the fold following their jaunt to Berlin. For the 'Bombers', a handful of changes were noted from just ten days prior, with former Jags title winner Scott Innes playing as a trialist in a holding midfield role and referee and former Dingwall man Martin Godwin taking a place in the Rose back three.
Alan Duff opened the scoring for Tain when he headed home at the second time of asking from a pinpoint Arron Christie corner. The goal followed a period of continued pressure from the kick off as the Rose men packed the box. Much to the Jags' surprise though, the Bombers equalised two minutes later when David Durrand pounced on a bobble to slot the ball past Johnny Allan into the net. The opening quarter hour was tough for Tain in terms of breaking the Rose men down as they continued to sit in. A second arrived on 18 minutes when Mark Lamont scored his first of the evening, neatly placing the ball across Danny Mackenzie into the net. Within five minutes, daylight appeared between the sides as 'Lammy' scored again, adding the finishing touch to a Darran Goller run. On 36 minutes, Goller scored one for himself when his cross come shot foxed Mackenzie and powered its way into the net.
The home side hit the self destruct button on 38 minutes when they found themselves down to ten men after substitute Martin Murphy, who had just replaced Godwin, was dismissed for a tackle from behind in the box. There was a short reprieve though, as Mackenzie saved Lamont's penalty kick denying him a first half hat-trick. The first half goalscoring was eventually rounded off by Duff, who hit his brace with a simple first time tap in at the far post from a Daniel Christie corner.
Changes were made just after the second half began, with Ryan Day and Andy Durrand both introduced and within six minutes of the restart, Tain knocked Eastern Rose for six - Goller and Lamont working well again for the latter to score with ease to net the hat-trick. Jack Hudson then scored the best goal of the afternoon with a powerful effort which was drilled over Mackenzie and high into the net. Gordy Mackay and Adam MacDonald were both introduced as substitutes before the floodgates opened further and Lamont scored three goals in the space of seven minutes to bring his evening tally to six. A minute later Daniel Christie rattled the crossbar with a free kick from 25 yards which referee Gordon Seago signalled had crossed the line, despite claims from Jack Hudson that he had nodded the final ball over the line! Lamont levelled his goal scoring record on 78 minutes and a furious 12 minutes followed as the Tain forwards broke ahead almost queuing up to add to the tally. Much to the amazement of onlookers though, the forward line missed more than they could count, with a series of chances flying high and wide and Mackenzie saving on a number of occasions. A final goal was scored by Cammy Mackintosh on the rebound.
The win gets Thistle off the mark with three points in the league and pushes them into second place behind Contin - despite having played a game less than every other team bar Fortrose Union - thanks to their superior goal difference - a stat that means nothing in the grand scheme of things at this very early stage in the season. Attentions now turn to the Merrythought Cup Final in Fortrose on Saturday, where the Jags meet title rivals Alness United - a team who will most likely have their crosshairs set on Thistle as both teams set to lay their hands on the first major trophy of the season.
A superbly fought comeback secured Tain Thistle their place in the first Merrythought Cup Final to be played under the auspices of the Ross-shire Welfare FA, as they defeated an in-form Contin by the odd goal in three at the Links this afternoon.
With player absences in double figures (largely thanks to many of the squad attending club captain Daniel Christie's stag do in Berlin), no fewer than six changes were made to the starting eleven who played in the club's last competitive game against Eastern Rose. John Allan stepped in for Robert Ross between the sticks, while Brian Cameron took the place of Arron Christie at left back. Up front, Mark Lamont and Tony Farquhar filled the void left by Liam Rostock and Darran Goller. David MacIver made his debut for the club while Dave Murray was the other absentee. The delayed Chippie Mailley took a place on the bench. Following on from their back to back drubbings of Fortrose Union, Contin traveled with a fourteen man squad, with prolific scorers Ryan Dow and Ewan Dance up front and the familiar face of Gordy Duff at centre half, who last played for Tain in 2009.
The wind was blowing a gale as the game began, despite relatively clear skies and a decent day for football. Playing with the wind in their favour, the long ball of Contin looked set to pay dividends early on as Thistle had to be on their toes on a number of occasions, Ryan Day and Alan Duff thwarting chances. A flurry of corners had Allan and his defence under continued pressure for the opening quarter hour and Contin were unlucky not to have taken an early lead as they heaped dangerous balls into a packed area. It took until the 25th minute for Contin's pressure to pay off and the goal eventually arrived through former Muir of Ord man Ewan Dance, who powerfully placed the ball past Johnny Allan from an angle.
It was Day at the other end who should have levelled just moments later when a cross from Lamont met the free head of the centre half, but he missed the target. Clever defending saw Thistle take a grasp on the game and four minutes before the break they eventually got their reward for their perseverance. Mark Lamont, playing his first game of the season, turned his man just outside the box and bearing down on Iain Bartlett, he coolly slotted the ball home to make it 1-1. The goal arrived at the perfect time as the tide had begun to turn just before the break.
Tain started as they had finished and began looking for the lead. It looked certain to have arrived when Cammy Mackintosh was faced with the job of tapping the ball past Bartlett from six yards on 57 minutes but he shot just wide. Tony Farquhar also found himself clean through on the hour mark when the ball fell to him from an angle but didn't connect cleanly enough to beat Bartlett. Contin chances were few and far between as they battled against the wind and struggled to get the ball up the park but from a free kick awarded for handball on 65 minutes, Willie Stewart fired over the Tain bar, before the defender was eventually replaced due to injury. The deciding goal eventually arrived for Cammy Mackintosh with a quarter hour remaining. With a finish not dissimilar to that of Dance in the first half, Mackintosh slammed the ball home from an angle with authority, leaving the Contin stopper helpless. The lead was a deserved one for Tain at this stage in what had been a hotly contested game thus far.
Drafted in at the last minute, Tony Farquhar (who had all but sworn he was retired just 24 hours earlier) had turned in a great performance up front and with ten minutes to go he made way for Chippie Mailley. The change saw a reshuffle in the formation and in the next few minutes Thistle missed a catalogue of chances to extend their lead. First, Lamont failed to convert a chance one on one with Bartlett, and MacIver, clean through, shot early into the keeper's arms. At the other end though, a penalty shout from Contin was waved on by referee Scott Matthew before Tain again missed another chance late on. Tain saw the game out to advance to the final.
While the rest of the Ross-shire Welfare league teams kicked off their league campaign, Tain Thistle sat out of this week's action as the "free team" and instead traveled to Embo for a friendly match.
Thistle took a 2-0 half time lead through Dave Macgruer and Darran Goller with two good finishes past the persistently safe hands of Steven Mure in the Embo goal.
Andy Durrand added two goals in the second half to make it 4-0 before Cammy Mackintosh rifled a low effort in off the far post to score Tain's fifth of the evening. Just before the full time whistle, Jack Hudson made it 6-0 to round off the victory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ross, Duff (Goller 69), A Christie, Day (Farquhar 54), Murray, Mailley, Mackintosh, Hudson, D Christie, Rostock (Durrand 59), Macgruer