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Paisley Pirates – Update

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Paisley Pirates go into their Scottish National League match at North Ayr this Saturday (face off 6.30) boosted by their season’s best 14-1 win over Kilmarnock Storm, but with their coach in very cautious mood about their forthcoming trip to the seaside in Ardrossan.

“Yes, it’s a totally different proposition we’re facing this weekend, with all due respect to the boys at Kilmarnock,” commented coach Ian Turley.” North Ayr are probably one of the form teams in the league at the moment, they’ve been a totally different side since some of their more established players returned to them earlier in the season, and I reckon they will fancy their chances of beating us. Our home record remains at 100% after we took care of business against the Storm, but away from home we’ve struggled a bit and that’s a concern.”

“I think that the Wild start favourites for this game, and that’s not doing our players any disservice, it’s just that the hosts are playing very well at the moment, and just like we’ll fancy ourselves against anyone at the Braehead Arena just now, equally, they’ll be rating their chances of turning us over at the Auchenharvie Leisure Centre on Saturday night.”

“The league is very open this year and with Dundee Tigers turning over Edinburgh Capitals in Edinburgh on Sunday the title race is wide open with maybe five or six teams, the Wild and ourselves included, looking to be top of the pile at the end of it all. The North Ayrshire blokes have a couple of guys in their side who used to wear a Pirates’ top and, equally, we’ve got a few players who used to ice for the Wild, so there’s always a wee bit extra spice in the matches against each other. I know the North Ayr boys always enjoy a win against us, and we’ll be no less keen to win at the weekend, but we need to find the kind of form away from Braehead that has been missing so far this season.”

“It makes for an interesting and, I hope, very entertaining game at the weekend, and I’m hoping that our very vociferous fans will make the relatively short journey to Auchenharvie to cheer us on, in games like these, every single bit of support might be enough to tip the balance, so the more fans in the red, white and black we can hear cheering us on Saturday, the better I’ll like it!”


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Paisley Pirates-match report

paisley pirates


Pirates recorded their biggest win of the season against a plucky Kimarnock side who, in spite of being heavily outgunned for most of the game, kept going until the final whistle.paisley pirates

The visitors got a taste of what was to come as, in the space of four minutes, Fraser Campbell had scored a straight hat trick by the eighth minute to put his side three ahead, and with Chris Wilson netting a short handed effort soon after, the writing was very definitely on the wall for the Ayrshire side. Johnston got a fifth for the hosts with eleven minutes on the clock, and the flow of play was very definitely towards Bealing in the away goal, Campbell netting his fourth of the night with just over two minutes remaining in the period to send the teams in with Pirates already out of sight at 6-0.

There was a shock, however, for the home side at the start of the second period as with Storm playing off a penalty, the visitors got on the score sheet through a speculative shot by Chubb which deceived everyone to finish behind Meechan and put them on the scoreboard. This goal appeared to do little to shake Pirates out of their lethargy, however, and Storm briefly had more of the play, before Riddell restored the six goal differential just before the halfway point, and an eighth goal by Campbell, his fifth of the night, emphasised the hosts’ overall superiority by the second break, with the score standing at 8-1.

The second interval appeared to give coach Ian Turley the chance to have a word with his side, and when they came out for the final session normal service was resumed, as Miller fired an unsaveable bullet past Bealing within 90 seconds to take the score to nine. Wilson clocked up the double figure marker five minutes later, and Crawford got on the score board within a few minutes, before Campbell netted his double hat trick goal after fifty three minutes to bring up the round dozen. Pirates weren’t finished, though, and Thorp netted within seconds to bring up unlucky thirteen for the Storm, Orr rounding off the scoring with under two minutes left to take the count to 14-1. The action wasn’t finished, however, as with only ten seconds remaining Pirates’ youngster Dillon Robertson picked up a Game Misconduct, and within seconds Robert Henderson followed him into the dressing room for an alleged Check to the Head.

Pirates will take confidence from racking up a big win at home, but now face the potentially hazardous trip to Ardrossan on Saturday to play the in-form North Ayrshire Wild

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates go into the festive break still with a chance of lifting silverware in the second half of the season, having reached the semifinal of the Scottish Cup, and lying fifth in the Scottish National League, but with games in hand over the sides above them.paisley pirates

It’s been a strange first half of the season in a number of respects,” said coach Ian Turley. “We’ve got a 100% home record in the league matches we’ve played but, with the exception of the 10-1 win against Moray, all of the them have been very tight affairs, with no more than a couple of goals in it, but the important thing is that we’ve come out on top in all of them. Last Sunday’s game against the Dundee Comets was a typical example, I don’t think we played at our best, but the guts and determination of our players got us through, and that’s been a feature of our play. It can be pretty nail biting as a coach, but great if you’re a spectator, because our fans have certainly had great value for their money!”

Away from home, it’s been a different story for some reason,” he went on. “Normally we have a good record at other rinks, but so far this year we’ve only picked up one point on the road from three games, and that aspect of our season has to improve if we’re going to have any chance of winning anything-you just can’t expect to be in there challenging if you can’t win away from your own rink, so I’ll be looking for an improvement in our away form. We might be lying fifth at the moment, but we’ve only dropped five points, and only Edinburgh, who have dropped four, have a better record in that context.”

Conversely, in the Scottish Cup, we’ve got a great away record, it’s had to be good because we haven’t had a home draw,” he said with a wry smile. “We won at North Ayr, then went to Kirkcaldy and beat the holders, and in the semifinal we play the winners of the Kilmarnock/Aberdeen quarter final, again in a one legged away tie, so if we are to make the final we’ll have to do it without the benefit of a single tie at Braehead.”

As it is, though, we’ve got plenty to be playing for over the next couple of months, which is as much as any coach could ask for, so we’ll enjoy the break, the boys have earned it, before we get back to the serious business of trying to win ice hockey games!”

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Paisley Pirates’ nailbiting 2-1 win over Dundee Comets

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 Pirates maintained their 100% home record in all competitions this season as they ground out a narrow victory against a very good Comets side, which once again proved to be the most testing of competitors at the Braehead Arena.

paisley pirates

In an even first period, both sides enjoyed periods of possession, but in truth neither side troubled the respective netminders with any regularity. While Pirates did attack quickly and enter the Comets’ zone on a frequent basis, their final pass often let them down, while the swift skating breaks of the visitors got them into the heart of the home defence, which stood firm under regular pressure from the Comets forwards. The only goal of the period came in the 17th minute, as with Pirates’ Cowan rejoining the action after sitting out a penalty for Hooking, team mate Martyn Guy spotted him on his own, and a through pass left him clear to skate in on the undefended Michie in the visitors’ net and slip the puck home for the only goal of the period.

Pirates were caught napping at the start of the middle session as, straight from the opening face off, Comets skated through and McIntosh was able to net with only five seconds on the clock to tie the scores at 1-1. Both sides had chances to take the lead for the remainder of the session, the best of these possibly falling to Pirates’ Wilson who went one on one with Michie, only for the goalie to pull off a great save and keep the scores level, but once again defences were on top and with 20 minutes remaining the scores remained level at one apiece.

With all to play for in the final session both sides could have gone ahead, and Pirates’  Riddell was presented with an early Christmas present as he was gifted the puck in front of goal, but once again Michie saved his side with a great save. However, just after the halfway point in the game, and with former Pirate Gordon Nelson sitting out a Tripping call, the outcome of the match was decided in the space of under two minutes. First, the shorthanded Comets broke clear two on none, only for netminder Meechan to pull off a spectacular double save, then as Nelson was about to come back on the ice, and with Pirates enjoying a sustained period of pressure, Stuart Miller backhanded the puck past Michie for the deciding goal.

A nailbiting finish was ensured, however, as with less than 3 minutes left, Pirates’ Chris Turley was called for Tripping, and with Comets eventually pulling Michie for the extra skater they enjoyed a spell on 6 on 4, and then 6 on 5, for the remaining 30 seconds, but the Pirates’ defence held firm to record a vital win for the home club, who now move above the Comets in the League table.

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Preview re Paisley Pirates v Dundee Comets SNL fixture

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Paisley Pirates face a difficult looking fixture this Sunday, when they take on the Dundee Comets in their last home Scottish National League fixture at Braehead Arena before the festive break.

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We rarely have anything other than a tough night against the Comets,” said coach Ian Turley, “and I’m not expecting anything different this weekend. The league has opened up a little with Edinburgh unexpectedly dropping three points in their last two matches, and there’s a whole number of teams, ourselves and the Comets included, who are in there looking to put even more pressure on the favourites, so like I’ve been saying recently, every match, and every point, is critical, thus we need to do the business on Sunday night, and I’m hoping there will be a BIG Christmas crowd there to cheer us on!”

We beat Moray last weekend a bit easier than we expected, and while I thought we weren’t at our best at various stages during the game, I have to be pleased by the fact that we scored ten goals and that they were spread throughout the bench, showing that we can get them from any area of the team. Shut down one line, and another can go out and score a goal or two, and that can make us very dangerous opponents when we are on our game. We also managed to give everyone on the bench a lot of ice time so I’m happy that everyone got a good run.”

Having said all that, I don’t remember the Comets ever coming to Braehead and not putting on a show, so we’ll really have to be firing on all cylinders if we are to overcome them and go into the festive break with a bit of momentum behind us. Like I say, a lot of teams will fancy their chances of catching Edinburgh now, ourselves included, but it will take a concerted effort to do so and I’m just hoping we can finish the pre Christmas period with a win and send our fans off to enjoy the holiday period, knowing we’re still in there! We’ve got a few things going on at the game during the intervals, we’ll have a Christmas feel to the night, so I hope supporters will come along and enjoy the cheapest entertainment in town by following their very own, and local, ice hockey team!”

Pirates face off against Dundee Comets at 6.00pm on Sunday.

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Match report re Pirates’ 10-1 win over Moray Typhoons

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Pirates racked up their biggest home win of the season so far, in a match where they rarely got out of second gear to defeat their visitors from Elgin.

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It took the home side less than four minutes to go in front as Cowan linked with Blair and McMillan to pick his spot and net with some comfort. Pirates continued to display signs of lethargy but it was nevertheless a surprise when Durkascz equalised for the visitors at the halfway point, as they had barely threatened as an attacking force up until then. However, it took only 90 seconds for the lead to be restored, Riddell smashing home a slapshot which flew high past Ramsay for 2-1, and in spite of having virtually all of the play, Pirates were unable to add to their lead before the first break.

The home side moved up a gear at the start of the session and two goals within the first three minutes took the game away from the visitors, as first Hassan found the target from wide on the left, then with McPherson replacing Ramsay between the posts for Moray, the former was picking the puck out of the net as Miller took the score to four. Pirates scored a fifth on the powerplay within a few minutes, Hassan netting his second, but in spite of having to play off several penalties they remained firmly in control and went into the break comfortably ahead at 5-1.

The final session was something of a replica of the second, as Pirates came out firing and again scored twice in the opening few minutes through a Thorp slapshot and then Riddell’s second counter of the night, and with Wilson flicking home for eight with more than half the period remaining, a potential rout was on the cards. Miller netted his second with eight minutes left, and with less than five minutes on the clock the visitors’ Ferguson appeared to drop the gloves after a skirmish with Chris Turley, but the home defender wisely resisted the temptation to go toe to toe, picking up only a two minute minor for Roughing, while the Typhoon amassed 12 minutes in penalties for his troubles. With only three seconds remaining Wilson got his second, and double figures for the home side, to round off Pirates’ easiest home win so far.

Pirates will be pleased to record a straightforward win without reaching anything like their best form, but will perhaps be looking to up their game for the visit of Dundee Comets on Sunday (face off 6.00pm).

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Paisley Pirates v Moray Tornadoes-preview

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Paisley Pirates go into this Sunday’s home match against Moray Tornadoes buoyed by their weekend 4-1 Scottish Cup win in Kirkcaldy, which takes them into the semifinal of that competition, where they will face the winners of the Aberdeen/Kilmarnock tie, again, away from home.

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It was a terrific performance by the boys who had the game won well before the final whistle,” said coach Ian Turley. “We outplayed the Kestrels in their own rink, something that not many teams have done, and worked really hard for the win, and the fact that we were back to our normal training sessions helped as well, as I felt we were a lot sharper than we’d been for several weeks. We’re certainly doing this the hard way as we now face our third away tie in a row at either Aberdeen or Kilmarnock-it’s not home and away at the semi final stage, it’s the luck of the draw, and the Scottish Cup hasn’t been a lucky tournament for us in recent years, that’s for sure!”

Turning his attention to this weekend’s match against Moray, the coach went on, “Other people will maybe consider that playing the Tornadoes will be an easy two points, but none of us will be thinking along those lines. They’re a much better side than they used to be, indeed, virtually every side has improved this year, and they’ve beaten a few good teams, so to underestimate them would be a mistake which we’re not planning to make. I want a repeat of the performance we put in against the Kestrels last weekend, anything less and we could be in trouble!”

We’ve a couple of home games coming up before Christmas now, starting with the Tornadoes, and it will be good to get back onto home ice after a four week break, in front of our own supporters. We’ve got a few voluntary organisations coming along to watch us as their Christmas treat, and we can probably just about fit another few in at our special rates, if they get in touch with us quickly, at paisleypirates.org, but they’ll need to get a move on! We’ll be hoping to put on a show as usual for everyone, with a few goals, lots of excitement, and a wee bit of the Christmas spirit about the place, so, no different from always, it’s guaranteed to be a good night following Renfrewshire’s very own ice hockey team, the Paisley Pirates!”

Face off on Sunday is at 6.00pm.

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Paisley Pirates match report

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Kirkcaldy Kestrels 1 Paisley Pirates 4

Pirates overcame the significantly extended drive to Fife resulting from the Forth Road Bridge closure, the further difficulties caused by the hazardous driving conditions as a result of Storm Desmond on Saturday, and, finally the Kirkcaldy Kestrels, to progress to the semi final stage of the Scottish Cup after a stunning 4-1 win in Fife on Sunday night.

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In a tight opening period, both goalkeepers were called into action regularly, but it wasn’t until the 18th minute that Pirates took the lead on the powerplay as Miller linked with Orr for the former to beat Little and put the visitors ahead. They looked like going to the dressing room still with their noses in front, but with only four seconds of the period remaining, the scores were tied as Cassidy netted to send the teams into the break with the scores level at 1-1.

Any thoughts the home side had of consolidating on their late equaliser in the first session were dispelled immediately on the resumption of play, as the Pirates’ double act of Orr and Miller repeated their goal scoring efforts of the first period, the latter netting with only 13 seconds showing on the clock, and while Kirkcaldy pushed for an equaliser, they found Graeme Meechan in outstanding form for the visitors, turning away no fewer than 16 shots in the middle period to give his side a valuable 2-1 advantage going into the third, and critical, final session.

Pirates were holding the Kestrels quite comfortably in the final twenty minutes, even managing to play off several penalties, and following the resumption of five on five they were themselves on the powerplay after 51 minutes, and with Thorp and Campbell combining to give Cowan the chance to score, they were 3-1 ahead at a critical point of the game. It got even better three minutes later as Campbell himself netted to make it four, and give the visitors a cushion with which they happily played out the remaining minutes, safe in the knowledge that a semi final tie against either Aberdeen or Kilmarnock awaits them, with Edinburgh going in against Dundee Tigers in the other tie.

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preview of Paisley Pirates’ trip to Kirkcaldy in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final

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Paisley Pirates have to pull themselves back off the ropes this weekend after two disappointing results which saw them drop valuable league points on the road at Kirkcaldy, before going out of the Autumn Cup at the semifinal stage at Edinburgh last weekend.

Bouncing back

Yes, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for us,” admitted coach Ian Turley. “We’ve had to go to probably the toughest two venues in the Scottish National League over the past fortnight, and we now go back to Kirkcaldy, this time in the Scottish Cup quarter final, this coming Sunday, for a tie where I think the neutrals at least would be backing another home win.”

I thought the scoreline flattered Edinburgh at the weekend, as we were caught cold in the first period and were playing catch up for the rest of the game, but matches like that are sometimes good for finding out what players are up for the challenge. Young Haydn Bain, for example, hadn’t seen much in the way of ice time recently, but we threw him in at the deep end on Sunday and he responded with a Man of the Match performance and capped it with a goal which gave us momentum at the time. What he showed me on Sunday was that like other young players in the squad he can come in and do the jersey justice when called upon. He’s still learning, but he said he wanted to come to the Pirates to do just that, and it’s good to see him following through in that respect.”

I’ve got to admit, if I was a Kirkcaldy player I’d be thinking that on paper the Kestrels were favourites to be in the draw for the semis, but to use the old cliché games are decided on the ice, and I’ve every confidence in our team’s ability to pull off what might be regarded as a shock in some places. We’ve had a difficult few weeks for sure, on and off the ice, but that’s what produces character and I’m looking for the Pirates to go to Fife and show our fans what we’ve got. I believe the last time the club won the Scottish Cup we won a very tight quarter final at Kirkcaldy before the team went on to lift the trophy, so who’s to say history can’t repeat itself this time around?”

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Paisley Pirates fixture v Aberdeen Lynx

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After a very successful weekend which saw Paisley Pirates pick up a crucial first leg lead in the Autumn Cup semi final against Edinburgh Capitals, and gain considerable success and recognition at the inaugural Renfrewshire Community Sports Awards evening, it’s back to league business this weekend as they take on Aberdeen Lynx, at the Braehead Arena on Sunday evening (face off 6.00pm).


The visitors became the first club to defeat the Pirates in any competition two weeks ago when they won by the odd goal in nine, but coach Ian Turley doesn’t see the return match as being any form of revenge mission. “I was disappointed to lose that match,” he admitted, “as I don’t think we should be outworked by any team in the league, and we were that night. We got back to the kind of level of performance I expect and, indeed, we need to produce every week, when we defeated the high flying Caps last weekend, so I’ll be looking for more of that this coming Sunday. It’s not revenge we’re looking for, it’s the two points you get for winning the match that I’m interested in. This is a very tough league this year and hard work will sometimes get lesser sides a victory when the other team doesn’t match your effort, but we’ve got loads of talent in our ranks, so if we match that with the proper application we should be picking up wins on more weeks than not.”

“We’ve got a very tough schedule of matches coming up before we play at Braehead again in four weeks’ time, with two trips to Kirkcaldy and one to Edinburgh over the next three weekends, so we want to give our fans the level of performance that is required to see off what will be a difficult challenge from the Lynx. Let’s remember, they will be coming trying to complete their first ever double over us while serving their own title aspirations, while we want to enter the spell of away matches with a good, and hopefully well deserved, win over the guys from the North.”