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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).

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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.”

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Paisley Pirates Wins Awards

Paisley Pirates are celebrating not one, but two of their biggest successes in recent years-and without a puck in sight.

At the Renfrewshire Community Sports Awards event held last week, two well known faces within the club were honoured, along with local representatives from other sports and activities, at the inaugural staging of the event in the newly furbished Johnstone Town Hall, with many well known figures from the world of sport and broadcasting in attendance.

Pirates’ coach Ian Turley made the final three in the Community Coach of the Year category, and while missing out on the main award, was nevertheless delighted to be included in the final consideration. “Of course, it’s always nice to win any award, but it’s a big honour just to be recognised in this type of event,” he said. “None of us do what we do for the purpose of winning awards, we do it because we want to, and it’s quite humbling when people highlight what you do as worthy of consideration for an award.”

Mum Jackie Turley, secretary of the Paisley Pirates, went one better, however, in picking up the Volunteer of the Year Award, taking her completely by surprise and, for once, lost for words. “I really didn’t expect anything like this, and, like Ian says, you don’t do things to try and win awards, you participate because you want to and try to make a difference. We always preach that we’re a community club, run by the community, for the community, and in the community, and what I think I’m most chuffed about is that these awards certainly suggest to us that the Paisley Pirates are very much accepted as being in with the fabric of the local community. The club is much more than just an ice hockey team, we have an army of volunteers, to whom I dedicated my award, and a lot of people are involved in making sure that the Pirates remain one of the top amateur ice hockey teams in Scotland, and, at least as important, a well recognised local community group in the area which it serves, we hope, with distinction and honour.”

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‘Jackie Turley’ holding Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

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Paisley Pirates Latest Scores

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Aberdeen Lynx 5 Paisley Pirates 4

Pirates surrendered their unbeaten run in the north as they went down 5-4 to Aberdeen in a sometimes bad tempered game at the Lynx Centre.

The visitors were first on the board as two early strikes by Riddell and Orr gave them a handy two goal cushion, but the home side forced their way back into the game with a marker late in the session to halve Pirates’ advantage by the first buzzer, leaving them with a narrow 2-1 lead as they headed for the dressing room.

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Fortunes continued to improve for Lynx and they were level after 26 minutes as Leyden found the net to tie the scores at 2-2. Play was now going from end to end, with a few skirmishes thrown in to make sure the penalty box was rarely empty for long, and Pirates were ahead before the half way point as Turley fired home to restore his side’s lead. However, Aberdeen were finding their feet now and they were level again through Johnstone shortly after, but once again Pirates stormed forward and Orr netted his second, and Pirates’ fourth, before the end of a session which saw the visitors appear to score another goal, the puck rebounding from the staunchion at the back of the net, but the officials failed to see it and the “goal” was not awarded.

The missed “goal” proved to be critical as with Pirates nursing a narrow 4-3 lead going into the final session, they lost two quick goals to the hosts inside the first five minutes of the period, and they were left chasing a game which they might well have won in other circumstances, thus inflicting their first reverse of the season, as while they continued to search for an equaliser it wasn’t to be, the score remaining at 5-4 to the home side at the final whistle.

Pirates will be disappointed to lose their unbeaten record in such fashion, following an impressive win against league champions Kirkcaldy the previous weekend, and with the prospect of a visit from unbeaten league leaders Edinburgh Capitals this Sunday at Braehead Arena (face off 6.00pm).

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Paisley Pirates 13-1 win at North Ayr

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In a match which bordered on farce at certain junctures, Pirates well and truly laid their Scottish Cup bogey with a 13-1 annihilation of the hosts, their first win in the competition for 9 years.

 

The visitors were on the front foot from the first whistle but in spite of having all the pressure it took them until the 7th minute to open the scoring as Riddell fired home for the opener. Pirates continued to beat a path to the home goal, with Robertson going close, and after 12 minutes the lead was doubled through skipper McCamley, then a slapshot from Guy and an effort by Miller took the score to four before 15 minutes were on the clock, when McCamley saw his shot come back off a post, but the next goal wasn’t long in coming, Crawford netting with 3 minutes left in the period to take the score to 5-0 by the first interval.

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The flow of play towards the hosts’ goal continued unabated in the middle period, Miller finishing off a move with Thorp and Johnston to make it six by the 23rd minute. Both Johnston and Thorp skated the length of the ice and had a chance to score in the minutes which followed, in both instances being denied at the last second, but McCamley did break from mid ice to score with ease after 26 minutes for seven. At the midway point a Quinn shot rebounded from the upright, and while the Wild changed their goalie at the midway point it made no difference as McCamley completed his hat trick within two minutes. A high stick to Wilson went unpunished, and with team mate Orr carrying out his own form of retribution the latter was thrown out for being third man in during the following fracas, but in spite of being at a numerical disadvantage Pirates scored again, shorthanded, within a minute, as Thorp netted. Pirates were again shorthanded as the period drew to close, but they still had time to hit the double figure mark as Chris Turley scored from the blue line to make it 10-0 by the buzzer.

 

The home net was bulging with barely a minute gone of the restart as Crawford scored his second of the night, but with less than 3 minutes played Cowan, playing with a facial injury sustained the previous weekend, saw red as he took another illegal high blow and, in the absence of any call from the officials, took his own action by hauling his opponent to the ground, the resultant fracas meaning that a second Pirate was ejected from the game. To compound the chaos at this point, the timekeeper appeared to lose track of the time and a full 15 minutes went by before play was able to resume. Pirates remained in complete control, however, and were in fact playing off another penalty when Wilson stepped forward and fired home to make it the round dozen after 47 minutes. However, once again, a high challenge was not called, the player concerned once again meted out his own form of penalty, and this time Pirates’ Miller made his way to the dressing room. Not for the first time, Pirates were playing off another penalty as they were called for having Too Many Men, and this time the hosts finally got themselves on the scoreboard, almost by surprise, with one of only seven shots recorded on Langford during the evening. There was still time, however, for Johnston to make it unlucky for North Ayr with his side’s thirteenth goal of the night, and while a Robertson shot came back off the bar with only minutes left, the match ended, almost three hours after it had started.

 

Pirates now face Kirkcaldy Kestrels in the next round.

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PAISLEY PIRATES-UPDATE

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Following their successful progression to the semi final of the Autumn Cup after beating Kilmarnock Storm twice in successive weekends, Paisley Pirates are on the road this Sunday as they travel the roads and miles to Dundee to take on the local Tigers in their first League match of the season.

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“It’ll be a tough trip facing up to the Tigers, it always is,” said coach Ian Turley as he looked forward to the match. “They’re a very good team in their own rink, and they’ll be smarting severely at losing to a last second goal at Dumfries at the weekend, so I expect them to be well up for the match as they try to get their first points on the board. We’ll be minus a couple of players who are on holiday, but we’ll still be heading for Tayside looking to beat them with the squad we’ve got.”

 

“We’ve got a very good group of players to take through, so having seen them score thirteen goals in two legs at Kilmarnock, I’m hoping that the wide open spaces of Dundee, a rink more of the size we’re used to at Braehead, will suit us better and give our guys a chance to show off their undoubted talents and get us off to a good start. The league looks like being even closer than it was last year, with a lot of very good teams competing for the top spots, so it’s important that we play to our capabilities as, if we do, I’m confident that we’re a match for anybody.”

 

The club is also continuing to be very active off the ice, with two of its stalwarts taking part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run on 4 October for different charities.

 

Utility player and long time Pirate Colin McMillan is running to raise money and enhance the profile of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, while Club Treasurer Stacey Kerr is making her debut in the 10k section of the race.

 

McMillan commented, “I’ve got two very close friends who have the condition, so I’m keen to raise money for, and awareness of, the Society as every penny raised for research brings them a step closer to finding a cure for it, so I’m hoping that friends, relatives and maybe even ice hockey fans of any persuasion will give to a very worthwhile cause through my Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/colboymac.

 

Stacey added, “This is my first time running for charity as I’ve never run this distance before. CardiomyopathyUK is a charity which is very close to me, as sufferers have a heart condition which already runs in my family, so there’s a very personal reason for me wanting to raise money to help it continue research into it in the hope of eventually finding a cure. Like Colin, I’ve got a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Stacey-Kerr2, and I’ll be very grateful to accept donations to it as people will be helping a very genuine cause.”

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Thousands get into buildings for Renfrewshire Doors Open Days

Doors Open Day 01

Thousands of residents from Renfrewshire and beyond were getting into buildings at the weekend during the area’s annual Doors Open Days.

Saturday and Sunday saw more than 60 venues across Renfrewshire throw open their doors to give people a look inside.

Doors Open Day 01

Buildings old and new took part, from historic gems such as Paisley Abbey through to recent additions such as Johnstone Town Hall.

This year, highlights included the first-anniversary party for the re-opening of the ornate 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens, which was restored to its former glory last year.

Elsewhere, visitors could travel in style with a limousine tour of local landmarks led by Paisley firm JW Goudie.

And there was also the chance to drop in on a live archaeological dig at the Great Drain outside Paisley Abbey, run by Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

Doors Open Day 18

The Doors Open Day event was organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Civic Trust, which runs the national event.

The council produced a special kids’ programme allowing youngsters to collect stamps at each venue visited, with prizes for those getting five or more.

They also had the chance to meet event mascots – Culture Vultures Victor and Vera, named in honour of Paisley’s upcoming bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was out and about over the weekend and said: “Once again, Renfrewshire Doors Open Day was a well-attended event.

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk past buildings without stopping to appreciate the quality of what we have here on our doorsteps.

“But the great thing about Doors Open Day is that it encourages people to be tourists in their own towns and appreciate our outstanding built heritage.

“Here in Renfrewshire we are fortunate to have some great buildings, from our collection of churches right up to new additions such as Johnstone Town Hall, which was taking part in its first Doors Open Day this year.”

For more information on local events, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events

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Paisley Pirates-preview of weekend’s game

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates go into the second leg of their Autumn Cup quarter final looking to clinch a place in the last 4 by overcoming the challenge of Kilmarnock Storm, and carrying a 3 goal lead into the tie, having defeated the home side 5-2, also in the Ayrshire rink, last weekend.

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“Yes, I’m happy that we’re carrying an advantage into the second leg,” said coach Ian Turley, “although no one in our camp is thinking the tie is anything like over. Kilmarnock played very well last weekend, and will be thinking, particularly if they get the first goal, that they’ve still got a chance of making the semi final. It was a pretty tight affair then, and I don’t suppose this Saturday (face off 7.00pm) will be any different. We’ll need to be on our toes, and we should be a wee bit sharper too, now that we’ve got a competitive match under our belts.”

 

“The new boys coming into the team for the first time integrated well, and we also had a number of players returning after a spell elsewhere, or who’d had a time out for various reasons, such as personal circumstances or long term injury, so it was good to get everyone back on the ice and making a contribution in front of a large travelling support who had been waiting all summer to see the team in action again.”

 

“We managed to try out a few things in a match situation, as you can never be quite sure who will play better with whom, but I’ve got a better idea now that I’ve actually seen the lines play in an actual match. The Kilmarnock rink is a lot tighter than the wide open spaces we have at Braehead Arena, which is unavailable to us for another month yet, so there’s a lot of elements to be factored into our preparation and, like I say, we’ll need to watch our step if we’re to progress to the semifinals against the cup holders, the Edinburgh Capitals, another tough prospect, but first we’ve got to blow out the Storm!”

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PAISLEY PIRATES -UPDATE

Paisley pirates

 

Paisley Pirates’ coach Ian Turley has continued the rebuilding of his squad for the new season of Scottish National League ice hockey by announcing a further four signings to bolster an already impressive looking roster.

 

Returning from last year’s side are Graham McCamley, David Orr, and netminder Gordon Langford, while teenage forward Dylan Robertson has also joined the club from North Ayrshire Wild.

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“Yes,” I’m well pleased with the way the squad is coming together,” commented Turley. “McCamley and Orr are well noted for their firepower up front, while Langford had a very good season for us last year, one which we anticipate him repeating in the coming months, as he and Graeme Meechan share the duties between the pipes. I’m also very excited about young Dylan coming to the club. He, like a few young players, have been told by various people that the Pirates will always give good young talent a chance to develop, and he asked me about coming to join the squad. He’s only just turned 17, and it’s very important to us to continue to attract good young players to the squad, as they’re the future for teams such as ourselves. He’ll continue to make big strides with the Pirates, and he’s already been looking good in training, so he goes straight into the lineup for the first leg of our Autumn Cup quarter final at Kilmarnock Storm on Saturday 5 September (face off 7.00pm). Because of North Ayr’s withdrawal from the competition, it’s now a straight knock out over two legs at Kilmarnock, with the second leg also taking place at the Galleon Centre a week later.2

 

“While like I say I’m happy with the squad now in place, I expect to sign at least a couple more players before our first match, a few have been unavailable at training for various reasons of work and the like, which happens at this level, but I really can’t wait for the new season to get under way on the 5th. It’s been a long summer, but the waiting is nearly over!”

 

The newly re-formed Paisley Pirates Supporters Club is also looking forward to its first official “fixture”, as on Friday 18 September it’s running a Fundraising Night at the 5 on 5 Club, part of the Prolife Fitness Suite Complex, in Paisley. “We’ve now got no match that weekend,” explained chairman Bill Elliot, “so it seemed a good opportunity to run a social event which gets everyone together, although I know there will be a big turnout of Pirates supporters for the Autumn Cup matches on the two preceding weekends.”

 

“The format for the evening will be to formally launch the Supporters Club and tell supporters about some of the plans to raise money and generally support the team in the coming months. Apart from there being a few fundraising elements which were very popular at a previous social evening, which had a quiz and a few games of bingo amongst other features, folk will have a chance to actually join the club, and maybe enlist in a monthly draw which will help raise vital funds for the Pirates. We’ll also be auctioning off one of club icon Chris Conaboy’s shirts, and we’re taking bids for it as of NOW! There will also be a Meet the Players element to the night, where the members of this year’s squad will be formally introduced to supporters, so all in all we think it’s excellent value for the £3 admission fee that will be charged at the door on the night. After 6 months of a starvation diet with no ice hockey, it’s time to get the show on the road and with two matches and a social night to look forward to in the next few weeks, the wheels are very definitely in motion!”

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PIRATES BUILD SQUAD

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have begun the task of building a side capable of challenging for honours in the forthcoming ice hockey season, by re-signing a number of players who represented the club last year, bringing back a couple of players known to the club’s fans, and capturing a star young player from a neighbouring side.

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Returning from last year’s squad, and already having put pen to paper to sign up for the new campaign, are Colin McMillan, Tom Johnston, Rab Henderson, Calum Blair, Chris & Ian Turley, Liam Riddell, Martyn Guy, Mark Hassan, Warren Crawford, Scott Cowan, netminder Graham Meechan, and Stuart Miller. Player/coach Ian Turley has also swooped to bring back former club favourites in the shape of Richard Thorp and Chris Underwood, while he has swooped to sign promising newcomer Haydn Bain, formerly with North Ayrshire Wild, who has made the short trip from the West coast to put pen to paper for the Pirates.

 

“I’m very pleased with the squad we’ve assembled so far,” commented Turley just prior to jetting off to Spain for a short pre-season break. “We played very well with a much reduced squad towards the end of last season, and I was very keen to retain the nucleus of that side for the new campaign.”

 

“I’ve still got a few players in mind who haven’t signed yet, but supporters don’t need to panic just now, there are various reasons why they haven’t registered with us at this juncture, and I’m hoping to add a number of familiar faces to the squad, and maybe another new face, before we open for business in the Autumn Cup at Kilmarnock on 5 September at 7.00pm. It’s not too far away now. We’ve got guys back who missed large chunks of the season through injury, some young blood in the team which is very important to the club’s long term development, and I believe we’ve added some firepower to the team as well as developing a strength in depth, something which, as we found out last season, is absolutely critical if we want to be challenging for honours, which is where we need to be.”
“I know there will be fans who will expect certain players to walk back into the team, but that won’t be happening. We showed last season at various times that we were able to cope, and even rise to the occasion when short handed, so while there are a number of players I would like to see back in a Pirates’ jersey for the new season, they’ll still have to show me that they’ve got the ability, commitment, and desire to play for that jersey all the time, before they’ll be invited to wear one of them! There aren’t too many spots still to be filled, and possibly we have more potential signings than there are vacancies, so it’s down to them to prove to me they merit inclusion.”