Game: St Duthus vs. Bunillidh Thistle (Jock Mackay Cup 1st Round)
Date: Saturday, August 30th, 2019
Venue: Grant Park, Tain (By The Links)
Weather: Heavy rain (12°)
Referee: Eddie Nichol
Assistant referees: TBC
The new season is upon us and St. Duthus begin their 2019-20 campaign with a first round home tie against Bunillidh Thistle in the Jock Mackay Memorial Cup.
It has been a week of new additions for the Saints, with trialists Stefan MacRitchie, John Allan and Craig Munro joining the club for the season ahead -- and a headache is sure to follow for manager Stuart Ross as he aims to make his first team selection of the new season. He has an almost full squad to choose from, although there are injury concerns for the returning Finn As-Chainey and forward Ben Bruce, both of whom have been doubtful for the game this week.
"It seems like a long time since we finished up at the end of last season until now. We've had a really good pre-season. The boys have trained well, stayed active and we've had some tough friendly games, which has given us a look at everybody we have at the club. The mood is great and there's a real optimism about things at St. Duthus this year. We just can't wait to get started now." - Stuart Ross
A quiet pre-season up in Helmsdale has left little clue as to how Bunillidh are shaping up, but Saints will simply be looking to, at the very least, play well enough in themselves to emulate something close to their comfortable 6-2 win over Thistle in December last year. That match was the last St. Duthus game to be played on the Links before they made their January move across the road. On Saturday, they shall welcome Bunilldih to Grant Park for the first time in over 15 years.
Heavy rain is forecast which will no doubt play its part, with steady rainfall expected all through the night going into Saturday. There is no pitch inspection planned or cause for concern - however spectators should come well prepared with an umbrella to hand and waterproof clothing!
Man of the Match Sponsor - K & N Concepts Ltd
The game kicks off at 2pm.