A Highland News and Media podcast looking at the latest sport news from across Inverness, Ross-shire, Caithness and Sutherland.
Episode 51 - Snowman Rally 2022
After a year off because of the pandemic, the Snowman Rally returns to Ross-shire this weekend! The first event of the Scottish Rally Championship takes place between Dingwall and Muir of Ord, and it's one of sports editor Will Clark's favourite events to cover, so of course he will be there.
To preview the curtain raiser, Will spoke to defending champion Michael Binnie about his victory in 2020, his preparation for this year's race and whether being the top seed will add any pressure this time around. It's a really fascinating insight into what goes into car rallying, so make sure to check this one out and why not go along to Dingwall on Saturday lunchtime to see the cars' procession through the town?
As always, you can get involved in the show! Find Will (HNM_WClark), Andrew (ahenderson96) or Balls & Whistles (Balls_Whistles) on Twitter, or simply email email@example.com. Thanks too are due to Forest Fires for our theme song, Scared of the Dark.
Episode 50 - Transfer Window reaction
The January transfer window is officially shut, so Will and Andrew look back over the business Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have done and analyze the arrivals, departures, whether anything could still happen from the free transfer market and where - if anywhere - still needs improvement.
We also take a quick look at what's been happening elsewhere over the last month, as well as bringing you news of a new Highland News and Media podcast coming this month.
Get in touch with the show either on Twitter (@Balls_Whistles) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can get in touch with the hosts on Twitter too (Andrew - @ahenderson96; Will - @HNM_WClark), while thanks as always are due to Forest Fires for our theme song Scared of the Dark.
Episode 49 - Mid-season Review
We're back! This is the first episode of Balls & Whistles in 2022, and with Will already making use of some of his annual leave it's left to Andrew to steer the ship - but he has brought in the reinforcements.
With the Premiership's winter break ending next week and the Championship just getting into the second half of their league campaign, it seemed like a nice opportunity to get back in touch with Staggies supporter liaison officer Kenny MacLennan and the Wyness Shuffle podcast's Andrew Young to revisit their pre-season predictions on Balls & Whistles and see what they've made of things so far.
First up then there's an update from Andrew about the future of Balls & Whistles, then we go into the Ross County section with Kenny discussing what improvements he has seen, what he wants in the January transfer window and whether the top six is still a realistic possibility. After that it's the Caley Thistle half of the show as Billy Dodds' playing style is analysed, some players are singled out for underperforming and we get predictions for how the top of the league will look by the summer.
As always, you can get in touch with the show on Twitter (@Balls_Whistles) or by emailing email@example.com - and while you're listening to this, why not take advantage of a podcast-specific offer on a Digital+ subscription at Highland News and Media by heading along to www.hnmedia.co.uk/subscribe and using the promo code PODCAST. Thanks are also due, as always, to Forest Fires for our theme song Scared of the Dark.
Best of 2021 - Part Two
As the hours tick down in 2021, it is time to look back on the second half of the year at some of the sporting highlights we've featured on Balls & Whistles! In this one there was plenty of history made and titles won, not in the least by Invergordon's Tom Stoltman, who became the World's Strongest Man!
Stoltman will now be looking to win it again, but he cannot hope to have the kind of longevity golfer Alistair Risk has had after he competed in his 50th consecutive Brora Five Day Open earlier this year. That was not the only highlight coming out of Brora though, as Steven Mackay stood down as manager of the football club after a shock 6-2 defeat to Fraserburgh.
Ross County Cricket Club had a historic year, winning two trophies including the Senior Cup for the first time in 21 years, while Inverness Harriers Megan Keith and Kirsty Law continued to make their mark on the international athletes scene.
There is not bigger stage in international sport than the Olympic Games, and Strathpeffer boasted a double Paralympic medalist thanks to cyclist Fin Graham's exploits in Tokyo, and it was also a huge year for Kinlochshiel Shinty Club who won their first ever Camanachd Cup - and then backed it up with the MacTavish Cup to complete the set of senior trophies.
Inverness played host to the Scottish Squash Open in a landmark moment for the sport in the Highlands, meanwhile in rugby union, Jamie Dobie made his Scotland debut after impressing for Glasgow Warriors and being on the fringes of the squad for most of 2021, and Ross Sutherland launched a women's team for the first time.
We then wrap up this episode with a look back at our Rainbow Laces special episode, hearing from LEAP Sport Scotland and Football v Homophobia's Sirri Topping about the campaign that ran earlier this month.
Get in touch with the show (Balls_Whistles), Will (@HNM_WClark) or Andrew (ahenderson96) on Twitter, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks as always go to Forest Fires for our theme song, Scared of the Dark.
Best of 2021 - Part One
We're coming towards the end of 2021, so we thought it was worth taking a look back over some of Balls & Whistles' highlights of the year! This episode has clips from interviews and discussions up until the summer, when football dominated sports coverage as one of the few things running relatively normally.
With the help of colleagues Jonny Clark, Craig Christie and Alasdair Fraser, we revisit chats about the fate of the 2020/21 Highland League season, a proposal to introduce Colts teams into League Two, VAR, Brora Rangers' historic Scottish Cup win over Hearts and the appointments of Malky Mackay and Billy Dodds at Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
You can also hear snippets of interviews with former Staggies boss Stuart Kettlewell, Caley Thistle interim manager Neil McCann and Daniel Mackay just hours after his move to Hibernian was confirmed.
Let us know what you want to hear from Balls & Whistles in 2022 by getting in touch on Twitter (@Balls_Whistles) or by emailing email@example.com. Thanks, as always, go to Forest Fires for our theme song Scared of the Dark.
It's another episode of Balls & Whistles, and because of a very busy Thursday Andrew takes you through some of the interviews he has done this week. First off, he was at the Ross County match against Celtic on Wednesday night, so there is immediate post-match reaction from Harry Clarke and then manager Malky Mackay's response to rising Covid concerns as well as the pitch invasion by Celtic fans that sent a steward to hospital.
Then we move on to rugby, where clubs have played their final matches of 2021. For Highland's first team, it was a disappointing result away at Heriots, but head coach Dave Carson tells us why he does not feel the National One title - and a spot in the Premiership - is out of reach just yet.
Finally focus shifts to Highland Boxing Academy, who held their first club show since the pandemic began in March 2020. Narrowly taking a winning record out of the card, head coach Liam Foy tells us what it was like for club boxing to return after such a long absence.
Get in touch with the show on Twitter (@Balls_Whistles) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and thanks as always go to Forest Fires for our theme song Scared of the Dark.
A fun round-up of all things sports in the Highlands
From someone who is most definitely not into football I did really enjoy how the hosts dig into the world of sports in the Highlands - it Made me curious about what will happen i football but also dipped into a range of other sports that are relevant to the region.
A fun way to get your weekly local sports news, would most definitely recommend!