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paisley pirates

Pirates got the show back on the road with a comprehensive 5-1 at Elgin, on a rink where in recent times they had struggled to get a result.

paisley pirates

Minus the injured Miller and Bain, with Meechan and Riddell unavailable through work commitment, Pirates hit the ice quickly and were ahead in under 3 minutes as they took advantage of a powerplay opportunity to go ahead on the postage stamp sized surface through Thorp, assisted by Mark Hassan. The giant forward continued to be a thorn in the flesh to the hosts and just at the halfway point of the period he doubled their trouble, once more on the powerplay, as he again beat Johnstone in the home goal to put Pirates two in front, with assistance from Jordan. The home side did, however, manage to get on the scoreboard with under three minutes of the period remaining, Russell beating Hepburn to halve the deficit to 2-1 as the teams left the ice after 20 minutes.

A determined Pirates outfit was in no mood to allow the home side back into the game and within nine seconds of the restart the lead was back to two as Campbell beat Johnstone, assisted by Guy, in their first attack to give them a little breathing space. The scoreline got even better for Pirates as with less than 9 minutes of the session gone, Wilson scored unassisted, and with Pirates continuing to look the more likelier side, a 4-1 advantage after two sessions left them looking good after 40 minutes.

The visitors continued to keep their foot on the accelerator in the final session and with just over eight minutes played Hamilton scored a landmark first goal for the club with a blue liner, Jordan again getting the assist, to take the score to 5-1 and end any lingering doubts of a home recovery. A few seconds later Pirates’ Crute and the hosts’ Munro similarly sat out 10 minutes after a brief encounter. The disciplinary infractions weren’t over, however, and with just over a minute remaining the home side’s Ramshaw, having already taken a 10 minute penalty earlier in the game, was summarily thrown out after receiving a Game Misconduct, leaving the visitors happy to end the game comfortably 5-1 ahead, with the prospect of two huge games next weekend as they visit Aberdeen in their Scottish Cup Quarter Final first leg tie on Saturday, before welcoming the in form Dundee Comets to Braehead Arena on Sunday (face off 6.00pm) for another SNL match with two critical league points at stake.

Pirates will be delighted to have got back on their bicycle to record an excellent victory after the disappointment of last weekend, and the boost to their confidence will do them no harm at all as they prepare for another massive weekend.

Scorers:          Thorp (2+0), Campbell, Wilson & Hamilton (all 1+0), Jordan (0+2), Hassan & Guy (both 0+1)

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Fundraising gives kids battling cancer a day out to have fun

YOUNGSTERS battling cancer are being given the chance to enjoy a day out thanks to the generosity of intu Braehead shopping centre.

Hugs all round as Hollie Dear meets up with intu Braehead community development manager, Lydia Brown to receive the donation to the Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs charity.

The mall has donated £500 worth of intu Gift Cards to the Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs charity, which provides free days out and short breaks for patients being treated at the Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow.

The charity was set up by Hollie and Kris Dear, whose son, Hamish bravely fought Neuroblastoma cancer for nine months, but sadly passed away in November 2015, at the age of three.

Hamish Dear who sadly died from cancer, but whose name lives on through charity fundraising

Along with his mum and dad, Hamish spent most of his last nine months in hospital receiving treatment, but there were times the family could leave the ward to go for a day out to enjoy themselves.

Charity donation – from left Hollie and Kris Dear with intu Braehead community development manager, Lydia Brown.

Although Hollie, 29 and 34-year-old Kris could afford to pay for these days out themselves, they want other children getting cancer treatment to have the same chance to enjoy shopping and leisure attractions without their families worrying about the cost.

And with the donation of the intu Gift Cards, youngsters and their families can go shopping in the malls, eat out at cafes and restaurants, as well as enjoying the many leisure attractions – like the cinema, ten-pin bowling or even sledging on real snow – in Soar at intu Braehead.

Hollie said: “We hope that a ‘warm hug’ from Hamish will help keep children smiling through their toughest battles.
“We’ve already raised £30,000 to buy vouchers that can be spent in shops and leisure attractions since we started the charity in May, last year.
“We have what we call a treasure chest in the hospital’s Schiehallion Ward and Day-Care Unit, which we keep filled with gift cards and vouchers that can be handed out to families at any time.”
Hollie, from Aberdeenshire, explains why she and her husband, Kris started the Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs charity:” “We have some really happy memories of being out and about with Hamish and not just being stuck in the hospital ward and we want other families to experience this as well.
“We want them to make their own happy memories, just like we did with Hamish.
“Families are always very grateful for the chance to do something with their children using what’s in our treasure chest and we know it’s been really worthwhile when they don’t thank us, but thank Hamish and realise why we started the charity.
“And people who do so much fundraising for us also know that they are doing it in Hamish’s name.
“Hamish filled our lives with love and laughter and his sense of humour and caring nature is something we will never forget.”

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “From speaking to Hollie and Kris it’s obvious that Hamish brought lots of smiles and happy memories to them during his short life.
“And with the good work being done in his name through the charity, Hamish will be bringing even more happiness to youngsters and their families for a long time to come.
“The donation from our intu Braehead Community Fund is definitely money well spent and we hope the youngsters and the families who benefit by coming along to the mall and enjoying our many leisure attractions at Soar.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates face another difficult weekend as they take on Edinburgh Capitals at Braehead Arena this Sunday. The clubs drew 3-3 in a tense match in the capital last Sunday, and Pirates coach Ian Turley is expecting another close game when they clash for the second time in a week.

paisley pirates

“In recent years our league games against the Caps have always been tight affairs, with never much more than a goal or so between the teams, and I don’t think this Sunday is likely to be any different,” he said. “We had a tough weekend just past when we scraped by Aberdeen Lynx before going to Edinburgh on the Sunday, and I have mixed feelings at the outcome of the double header having not gained the full four points. I thought we were a bit disjointed at certain junctures over the weekend and made some bad decisions when it really mattered. I’ll be looking for the boys to dig deep, play to the maximum of their ability and effort to ensure there’s no slip ups this weekend.”

He went on, “We’ve been playing with various bumps and bruises, something which the fans don’t always realise, but we’re now at the business end of the season, when you’re playing for prizes, so we just have to get on with it and grind out the results we need. We’ve got five games left to play in the league, and we are regarding every one of them as crucial. There can be absolutely no let up from us in training and games on the run in to the finish-we simply can’t afford to relax, and I’ll be reminding everyone of that fact in the coming weeks.”

“The fans also have their role to play in getting right behind the boys, forgetting about anything else that’s going on, and giving them every bit of encouragement that they can muster. The noise level has risen sharply in the last couple of home games, and we’ve seen a lot of familiar faces back watching us, as the word is obviously getting about that a Paisley Pirates match provides great entertainment and is excellent value for money. We’re hoping that they continue to come along and watch us as, believe me, a good, encouraging support makes all the difference in the world.”

Face off on Sunday is at 6.00pm

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Paisley Pirates match reports

paisley pirates


In front of easily their largest crowd of the season, Pirates recorded a critical 4-3 win over nearest challengers Aberdeen to move clear at the top of the Scottish National League, but once again their supporters had to endure several fraught period during the game.

paisley pirates

The home side were on the powerplay within a minute and with the extra space, Wilson linked up with Miller and Hassan to put them ahead wiles than two minutes on the clock. The importance of the game was clearly felt by the players on both sides as during the period there was a regular flow of penalties called, but with both goalies in good form there was no other disturbance to the scoreboard, Pirates going in at the first break holding a narrow one goal advantage.

The Renfrewshire side came out the blocks quickly in the middle session and had doubled their advantage with only fifty seconds played, as Jordan Ross was up with the forward to score a rare goal, Chalmers in the visitors net getting a hand to the puck, but was unable to stop it going over the line. With chances coming at both ends again it was something of a surprise that it took until the halfway point in the period for another goal to come, as a shot parried by Chalmers was bundled over the line by the onrushing Orr, the goal standing in spite of protests from the visitors. Aberdeen were back in it a few minutes later, though, as Laing pulled one back with a rocket shot from just inside the blue line to give his team some hope at 3-1 going into the final session.

Once again, the final session also began with a goal within two minutes of the restart, but this time it was to put Lynx right back in it , a speculative cross come shot by Dyer deceiving everyone to finish in Meechan’s net an pull the score back to 3-2. Pirates continued to have marginally the better of the play and at the halfway point they scored a great goal as Johnston took the puck forward and waited until Blair was in the perfect position to slot it behind Chalmers to provide a little insurance with the lead doubled once again. However, Pirates’ fans once again had the chance to bite their fingernails as with less than five minutes to go they were playing off a 5 on 3 disadvantage with both Jordan and Thorpe sitting our minor penalties. They safely negotiated the first part but lost a goal with less than 4 minutes left as McIntosh scored to bring it back to a one-goal game again. With the visitors looking to pull their netminder for the extra skater in the last minute, they lost their momentum as Findlay was penalised for Slashing, and Pirates safely kept the puck in their possession to record a crucial win.



Pirates withstood a Capitals fightback to claim a point in Edinburgh and extend their lead at the top of the SNL table.

In a tight opening period, the visitors had more of the play than the hosts, with Mallinson in the home goal regularly called into action, but it wasn’t until the 18th minute that Pirates took the lead with the only goal of the session, Riddell scoring the vital opening marker to send his team in at the break nursing their slender lead.

In the middle session, Edinburgh were first on the board after 25 minutes as Hay netted the first of a double to square the match, but before the halfway point in the game Pirates’ lead was restored as Campbell beat Mallinson to make it 2-1, and with team mate Guy also getting on the scoresheet with less than six minutes of the period remaining, it was looking good for the visitors as the clock ran down. However, with only seconds remaining in the session, the Caps were right back in it as Wallace scored to bring it back to 3-2 at the break.

Pirates were continuing to incur the wrath of referee Graham, who meted out 54 minutes in penalty minutes to the visitors, and once again they lost a powerplay goal at the halfway point in the final session, their third such loss of the night, as Hay netted his second while the home side had the extra player. The visitors continued to push for a winner, but in the final two minutes of play their efforts were thwarted as the home goal was separated from its moorings on no fewer than six occasions, all without penalty, and at the end they had to settle for a draw which puts them a further point ahead of the chasing pack.

Pirates face the Capitals in the return match for more vital league points this Sunday at Braehead Arena, face off at 6.00pm.

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paisley pirates

After a three week layoff, Paisley Pirates are back with a bang this weekend with two matches against difficult looking opposition, taking on Aberdeen Lynx on Saturday night at Braehead (face off at the earlier time of 5pm), before travelling through to Edinburgh the following evening to go head to head to head with the Capitals.

paisley pirates

“It’s going to be a very difficult weekend for us,” said coach Ian Turley, as he looked ahead to the two matches. “It’s very unusual for us to be playing at home on a Saturday, and it’s an earlier than usual face off time into the bargain, and we’ll  be going into the game knowing we’re up against a side unbeaten in the league this season. The Lynx are the big success story of the SNL in recent times, having gone from being whipping boys a few years ago to a team which won the playoffs last season and are currently without a loss to their name in the league this year.”

“I was delighted with our last display when, with hardly a fit player in the ranks, we beat Kirkcaldy and, believe me, it’ll take that kind of effort and commitment against Aberdeen this Saturday. We drew 3-3 with them at their place at the beginning of November and it was a real end to end game, and I can’t see the return being any less of a thriller. We’re hoping to be nearer full strength than we were against the Kestrels in terms of numbers and fitness levels, and it will take the same sort of 60 minutes of full on playing if we want to have any chance of coming away with something.”

He continued, “Our fans were very loud during the last match and we’re asking for the same volume levels on Saturday. With the match being on a Saturday, we suspect there may be some Aberdeen fans who’ll use the opportunity to come through and see the Braehead Arena, so there’s every chance our supporters will have some opposition fans to out shout, something which we don’t always get with our regular game slot being on a Sunday, and maybe, with it being a top of the table clash, we might even get a few fans along from other teams looking for their ice hockey “fix.” In either event, I think it’s going to be an unmissable match, one which deserves a big crowd.”

On the Sunday, Pirates make the short hop along the M8 to take on the Edinburgh Capitals, and coach Turley is again taking nothing for granted. “Edinburgh haven’t had as successful a season as they might have anticipated, considering the strength of their squad, but I think there have been a number of games where players have been taken away to bench for their Elite League squad, and that’s maybe affected some of their results. What I’m absolutely certain about is that they’ll all be available and raring to go against us, just like they’ve been every other time we’ve played them, and with Murrayfield not being a particularly happy hunting ground for us in recent years, it’s traditionally been a hard place for us to go to, so once again we’ll have to go there with our A game if we want to keep gathering points.”


Face off in Edinburgh is at 6.00pm.

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Staff in Soar at intu Braehead trained to save lives

VISITORS to one of Scotland’s top leisure destinations are in safe hands after staff were given life-saving medical training.

From left, Robert Sproull, Anne Harrison, Gary Turnbull, Peter Stronach, Paul-Scott Wiggins, Stephen Stronach and Mark Smith.

Seven members of the security staff in Soar at intu Braehead have now qualified as Scottish Ambulance Service First Responders.

They’ve been trained to deal with medical emergencies ranging from strokes, heart attacks, falls, epileptic fits, to various types of trauma injuries, including car crashes.

From left, Anne Harrison, Paul-Scott Wiggins, Peter Stronach, Stephen Stronach, Mark Smith and Gary Turnbull.

Colleagues at the adjacent shopping centre had previously been given the same medical training, which means intu Braehead is the only shopping and leisure destination in Scotland to have Scottish Ambulance Service First Responders on duty.

Normally, these members of staff will wear an NHS First Responders’ badge and if called into action will don a special First Responders vest, so the public know someone with specialist training is on hand to assist until the paramedics or ambulance arrives.

Scottish Ambulance Service Resilience Team Leader, Anne Harrison, said: “It’s fantastic to have Community First Responders in a place like Soar at intu Braehead and I commend intu on taking their customer’s safety and wellbeing so seriously by having this resource on site.

“The Scottish Ambulance Service has worked with intu to train the volunteers and we are delighted so many people have come forward to take part in this training.

“Ultimately, their presence will contribute to better outcomes for patients and that can only be a good thing for everybody who comes to Soar.”

Gary Turnbull, intu Braehead’s general manager said: “Our staff have had the highest level of First Responders’ training.

“Since the safety and well-being of our visitors are a priority for us, we’re now giving them an even higher level of service and comfort.

“I’m confident our staff would be able to deal with any kind of medical incident or emergency with great professionalism.”

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paisley pirates

In a match billed as a Christmas cracker, the sixty minutes of play certainly lived up to the pre match publicity, as Pirates, minus a number of key players and with several taking to the ice with injuries or illness which might normally have ruled them out of the game, overcame the significant challenge of the Kirkcaldy Kestrels to win a pulsating match 8-5.

paisley pirates

The visitors, knowing that a win was crucial to their lingering hopes of retaining their SNL title, had the better of the opening exchanges as Pirates fought to get to grips with their re-jigged lines, and in the 7th minute the latter’s lethal touch in front of goal was illustrated as David Orr pounced on a Miller pass to beat Little for the opener. Within two minutes the lead was doubled as the roles were reversed, and with Pirates scoring a third through Man of the Match Marc Crute on the powerplay with less than 12 minutes on the clock they looked home bankers, but in spite of having several more gilt edged chances they were unable to add to the 3-0 scoreline before the first break.

With the second period underway the visitors had several chances to get themselves back in the games but it wasn’t until after the midway stage that they got on the scoreboard, and within the space of only two minutes they had pulled level through Robertson, Floyd (on the powerplay), and Smith, but coach Ian Turley sensibly called for a time out to settle his troops down and take the sting out of the visitors’ surge, and his strategy paid off as David Orr netted with under two minutes of the period remaining to send his team in with a narrow 4-3 advantage.

Pirates appeared to have learned from their middle session sag as they came out for the final session with all guns blazing, goals from Crute and Wilson pushing their advantage to 6-3 within 3 minutes of the restart before the Kestrels had found their second wind. However, the visitors came back again, and goals from Anderson and Duncan had reduced the deficit to one before the halfway point, with Pirates’ fans again chewing their fingernails in anticipation of a final fraught 10 minutes.  Once again, they were the ones cheering as first Miller, netting his second, then Crute, completing his hat trick by skating beyond 3 defenders to score the eighth goal, in the space of two minutes, ensured that the points were staying in Paisley, in spite of Kestrels pulling their netminder with as much as four minutes to go in a brave, but vain, attempt to keep the game alive. With the noise level escalating rapidly in the final few minutes, Pirates safely crossed the finishing line to record another important victory.

Pirates may have played a better quality of hockey in some of their games in recent times, but this display was more about the guts of the players in depleted circumstances, standing up to the significant challenge presented by a very good Kirkcaldy side and showing that in adversity they had the ability to come through. For their part, it’s unlikely that any spectator attending the match left the arena feeling they had not had value for their money.

The players have a well earned 3 week break from matches over the festive period, returning to competitive action, in a break from their normal routine, on Saturday 7 January when they take on table toppers Aberdeen Lynx at Braehead Arena (face off 5.00pm).


Scorers:          Crute (3+0), Orr & Miller (both 2+2), Wilson (1+2), Guy (0+2), I. Turley, Thorp, Blair & Hassan (all 0+1)

Penalties:        Crute & C Turley (both 4), Guy, I. Turley, Orr, Meechan & Wilson (all 2)

Man of the Match: MARC CRUTE

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Midnight opening means Cinders can go to the ball!

CINDERELLA’S dreams all come true before midnight – just like it does for shoppers at intu Braehead.

intu Braehead staff members, Madison Dock, as Cinderella and Prince Charming, Garry Wotherspoon getting ready for midnight opening at the mall

Now everyone can go to the ball, as the mall keeps its doors open until midnight next week from Monday, December 19 until Friday, December 23.

Shoppers are being given even more time to find that perfect gift in the run-up to Christmas with the centre open from 9am until midnight.

And Santa will be coming early that day as centre staff, will be giving away Cinderella dolls and other toys.
Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “Even if  you don’t have a Prince Charming turning up at your door with a glass slipper  to try on, there are plenty of fabulous party shoes in our stores.

“Customers tell us that our midnight opening is a real help, as it eases the pressure on the mad rush to get all the Christmas presents .

“Extended late night opening allows our customers to fit in their Christmas shopping within their busy lifestyles especially at this festive time of year. .

“But just like Cinderella you’ll need to leave by midnight or you might find giant pumpkins in the car park!”

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They’re mall out in Force for new Star Wars movie

THE Force will be with everyone at intu Braehead as they get ready for the release of the latest Star Wars blockbuster movie.

A Stormtrooper takes a stroll through the mall during a previous visit to intu Braehead.

A Stormtrooper takes a stroll through the mall during a previous visit to intu Braehead.

To celebrate the launch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an inter-galactic event is being held in the Soar at intu Braehead leisure destination.

The film first screens at intu Braehead’s ODEON cinema, in the early hours of Thursday, December 15.
And Star Wars fans will be shooting off down to Soar between 4pm and 9pm on Thursday and Friday, December 15 and 16 for an amazing evening with visits from a Stormtrooper, Boba Feta and an Emperors Guard.

As well as characters from the movies wandering around, each night the first 50 people who come along to the Star Wars promo desk and say the words, “may the Force be with you,” will be given a free lightsaber.
There will also be spot prizes for the best-dressed Star Wars fans and a free photobooth with a Star Wars greenscreen.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We can’t wait for the new Star Wars movie to launch and the event we’re planning will be out of this world.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had a visit from Star Wars, in fact, they like us so much they’ve dubbed intu Braehead the new Mall-enium Falcon!”

Log on to www.soar.intu.co.uk for more details of the Star Wars event.

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paisley pirates

Pirates shook off any sluggishness following their five-week layoff to record a comprehensive 9-2 home win against a resilient Tigers side which kept going until the end.

paisley pirates

The home side, minus several key players, were out of the blocks the faster and were ahead in the 5th minute as Crute latched onto a Blair pass to slip a backhanded effort under Balfour for the opening goal. The visitors were having their fair share of possession but found Meechan in excellent form for Pirates and with almost 12 minutes played Pirates were two in front as Bain squeezed the puck home to send his side in after a first period which had seen the home team play off several numerical disadvantages without damage.

Pirates continued to rack up penalties in the middle session as they incurred the displeasure of referee Elliott and on their sixth powerplay of the night Tigers were back in the game as McLeod forced the puck beyond Meechan to halve the deficit. Their relief was short lived, however, as within a minute Miller has fired an unsaveable bullet past Balfour, and only 30 seconds later it was four as player/coach Ian Turley scored a rare marker as he shot under the Tigers netminder in precise fashion to give his side some breathing space at 4-1. The goals continued to come and Blair went through, rounded Balfour, before flicking nonchalantly into the net to add to the total, and with only five seconds of the period to go it was six as Hassan fired home to make it 6-1 at the second interval.

With the match over as a contest, Tigers grabbed a consolation second after two minutes of the final session, but normal service was resumed  as Hassan grabbed his second at the halfway point, with Thorp and Crute, the latter getting his second goal, taking the scoreline to an emphatic 9-2 by the final whistle.

Pirates will be pleased at overcoming another potential banana skin, and minus several important players, and now look forward to the visit of Kirkcaldy next Sunday night at Braehead, in a match which sees league champions Kestrels face current Scottish Cup holders in a match which has all the potential of a Christmas cracker in the final SNL fixture of 2016. Face off is at the usual time of 6.00pm.

Scorers:          Crute (2+2), Hassan (2+0), Thorp (1+3), Bain, Blair & Miller (all 1+1), I. Turley (1+0), Crawford & Orr (both 0+2), Wilson, Johnston & Hamilton (all 0+1)

Penalties:        Bain 4, Johnston, Blair, Jordan. Hassan, McLaughlin, Thorp (all 2)

Man of the Match: Richard Thorp