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Paisley Pirates supporters are well used to seeing youngsters circle the ice before each home game, but prior to their match against Dundee Comets just before Christmas, one extraordinary skater brought special smiles to their faces, and set the tone for what turned out to be one of the best matches seen at Braehead Arena this season, as the Pirates and Comets fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Honours even in a hard fought 3-3 draw between Paisley Pirates and dundee Comets, in what was indeed a Christmas SNL cracker
on ,17 December , Picture: Al Goold (www.algooldphoto.com)

Pirates secretary Jackie Turley explained, “We don’t have our own junior teams because of the unavailability of suitable ice time for the kids, but we have an arrangement with Lanarkshire Lightning, the nearest junior ice hockey club, whereby they send along two of their players from their various squads to act as mascots for us, and lead the Pirates onto the ice before doing a lap of the ice. The crowd loves to see the kids, it puts a smile on their faces, and it gives a big thrill to the kids who get the chance to skate in front of several hundred spectators, usually including very proud parents and other relatives. Our ace photographer Al Goold also captures them on camera so all in all it’s quite a memorable night for the kids, and the supporters love it.”


“In the halcyon days at the Lagoon, there were about 150 kids from a very young age, up to maybe 19, playing for the various under age teams in Paisley, and while that’s not possible at the present time, we want to be able to form partnerships with other clubs which help encourage youngsters to take up the sport, and we know from experience that there are a number of kindred spirits in this respect within Lanarkshire Lightning.”


She went on, “At the Dundee match, we had 4 year old Eilidh McGuire out with one of the Pirates’ flags and leading the team out and she really took a trick with the larger than usual crowd we had in. She was hardly the height of nonsense, and when she skated her wee legs were going like pistons as she went round the Arena, but boy, the crowd took to her big time and she got a huge cheer when she came off the ice with her team mate Rory Somerville.”


“Lanarkshire Lightning have amongst their coaching staff current and former Pirates in the persons of Warren Crawford, Colin McMillan and Robert Henderson, and we’re absolutely delighted to have an arrangement with the club that allows us to encourage supporters to take an interest in junior ice hockey, while giving youngsters the comparative thrill of skating in front of probably the biggest crowd they will get the chance of skating in front of at their tender age.. We might not get the same thrill out of it as the kids obviously do, but we’re certainly pleased to give the kids a thrill that they maybe won’t get for a few years to come.”


“Maybe someday a match between the Lightning and Paisley Pirates juniors will become a reality, but in the meantime we’ll be more than happy to keep working with the Lightning to give these young kids an experience they’ll remember for a long time.”

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paisley pirates

Pirates served up the proverbial Christmas cracker with a highly entertaining match against their Tayside rivals which saw the goals, and honours, shared after an encounter which could have gone either way right up until the final hooter.

paisley pirates

The home side got off to a wonderful start and were two goals up after only three minutes, as Walker fired past Michie to open the scoring, then only twenty seconds later set up team mate Dobson to double the advantage. The smooth skating visitors began to find their feet and got back into the game only three minutes later as arch nemesis John Dolan pulled his side to within a goal with a snap shot. In spite of the remainder of the period being goalless, both keepers were called into action on numerous occasions, Pirates coming closest to regaining their two goal lead near the end of the session when a Henderson shot rebounded off a post, but they nevertheless went into the first interval with a 2-1 advantage.


Both teams continued to go for the jugular in the second session and as the penalty count mounted either side had periods on the ascendancy when they were at a numerical advantage. Pirates thought they would enjoy five minutes of superior numbers when Comets’ Phillips was thrown out for spearing after 26 minutes, but they immediately incurred referee  Allsopp‘s wrath several times over and were actually shorthanded for almost the full five minutes. It was something of a surprise that there was only one goal scored in the period, when Dundee’s import Beca rounded off a smart move to tie the scores at 2-2, and while Pirates did strike a post for a second time, they were unable to find a way past Michie, thus setting the game up nicely for a nailbiting final 20 minutes.


The final session was similar to the preceding two sessions with both teams going for the go ahead goal, and it came after 45 minutes when player/coach Adam Walker scored his second goal of the night on the powerplay to put the home side ahead again. Their lead only lasted three minutes, however, as with Comets now having a numerical advantage McNicol smashed an unsaveable blue liner past Russell to tie the scores again. Pirates responded immediately and Walker was denied his hat trick by the width of the post within seconds, but with both netmnders pulling out all the stops in the last ten minutes the score remained at 3-3 until the end of play..


Pirates will be well pleased with the way their young side stood up to a vastly more experienced Comets team and showed they could compete with the best in the Scottish National League. They now travel to Kirkcaldy this coming Saturday for another difficult contest, before returning to Braehead on SATURDAY January 6 to cross swords with Aberdeen Lynx, face off being at the slightly earlier time of 5.00pm.

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Paisley Pirates’ head coach Ian Turley reflected on another successful weekend before looking forward to the prospect of perhaps their toughest home match of the season on Sunday, when they take on the in-form Dundee Comets (face off 6.00pm).

paisley pirates

“We put together another hard working display against the Thunder, and we got the rewards which the hard work has produced so far this year,” he commented. “Sure, most folk were expecting us to win comfortably, and we did, but Adam and I like to think that with that expectation is one which says that the Paisley Pirates are and will continue to be a hard working side, and we both believe that when you work hard you will get the benefit of that effort in the form of good results.”


“Once again, the goals are coming from all areas of the team, and not just one or two players, so that makes us a difficult proposition for most teams as marking one or two identified “danger men” is not going to work, as we’ve got plenty of other guys able to chip in for the team effort.”


He went on, “I know that we’ve had a lot of big home wins this year, and that can be less than invigorating if you’re a home supporter wanting to see your team win, but not necessarily by the kind of scores we’ve been chalking up so far. Well, I think I can promise fans that our next game, against Dundee Comets this Sunday, will be the veritable Christmas Cracker. Our encounters against them have always been amongst the most entertaining fixtures of the season, and I would certainly be saying to supporters that if they pick and choose their home games, this is one that they don’t dare miss! The Comets are one of the form teams this season, like they usually are, and they’ll be fancying turning us over in our home rink.”


“I’ll simply remind everyone that the Comets stopped us from picking up the treble last year, as while we won the SNL, they beat us in the final of both the Scottish Cup and the playoffs, when they were coached by no less than Adam Walker.”


“We’re advising supporters to give themselves more time than usual to get to the Arena, as apart from the fact we’re expecting a big crowd, it’s also the penultimate Sunday before Christmas, so parking may be a little more of an adventure than usual.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates may be in opposition to the Dundee Comets in a Scottish National League
match this Sunday at Braehead Arena (face off 6.00pm), but off the ice their Supporters Club
are teaming up with the Salvation Army to bring some festive cheer to members of the local
community over the holiday period.

paisley pirates
Club Chairwoman Marie Cadenhead explained, “Christmas is a very happy time for so many
people, but there are those who are less well off and for them the time of year is just another
challenge for them to overcome.

We’ve been in touch with the Salvation Army and we’re
asking supporters attending our game on Sunday night to bring with them new or unused
items of woollen clothing, like gloves, hats, scarves, etc which we can pass on to a
representative of the Salvation Army who will be there at the match.”

“As we’ve seen already this winter, it can be a very cold time of the year and we’re looking
for any unused items of woollen clothing which will be a boon for anyone unable to get these
for themselves. A new hat, scarf or pair of gloves might not seem a lot for a person if they
already have them, but if you don’t have them, and the cold weather is causing you
problems, it can make all the difference in the world. We’re happy to take items of any size,
we just ask that they’re not worn or second hand.”.

She went on, “Our fans have supported previous festive appeals in the past, so there’s no
reason to suggest they won’t give as generously as they have done before.

Our club, the Paisley Pirates, receives so much support from the local community every year, so we’re
delighted to be able to reciprocate in return, and we know our supporters will take this
opportunity to say a small “thank you” for that backing.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are back in action this weekend as they take on Kilmarnock Thunder at Braehead Arena on Sunday evening (face off 6.00pm).

paisley pirates

The club had a weekend’s break from matches and Head Coach Ian Turley is looking forward to getting back into action after the team’s inactivity.


He commented, “I was happy enough that the boys had a weekend off as they’ve worked hard over the past few weeks. We’ve already had two double header weekends so was good for the team to get a rest ahead of our next bout of fixtures.”


“We’re progressing well at the moment, given the number of changes we had immediately before the start of the season, and our performances have shown what can be achieved when we work as a team. The addition of Adam Walker to the bench has also been a major boost as together we’ve been able to put over our ideas at both ends of the ice. He’s a top class coach in his own right and I feel that having the two of us there now means we’re covering far more in terms of bringing on and developing what is, in the main, a younger team than we’ve had in previous years and if that development continues as well as it has done so far then the team is only going to get better.”


Turley continued,” We’ve got a very important spell of games coming up starting now and we’ll be adopting our standard attitude of  each one at a time, which means that the Thunder have our undivided attention in advance of Sunday’s match. We’re hoping that we will have a big festive crowd along on Sunday and, of course, we have our special group offer, with huge discounts available, for our next two home matches, for groups applying at paisleypirates.org. Organisations looking for a Christmas treat with a difference for their members can do themselves a massive by getting in touch with us and we’ll only be too happy to fix them up with an excellent package.”

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Paisley Pirates Head Coach Ian Turley was happy with his team’s performance at the weekend, when the side took a maximum four points from their two matches at Kilmarnock Thunder and at home to Edinburgh Capitals on the Sunday.

Paisley Pirates celebrate their Scottish Cup win in 2016 – Picture courtesy of Al Goold

“I don’t think we managed a four point weekend all of last season, when we won the Scottish National League, so Adam and myself are pleased that we managed to get through both matches, perform well, and score a few goals in the process,” he commented. “The team has come together very nicely, considering the fact that there were a lot of new faces brought in before the start of the season, there’s a fantastic team spirit in the dressing room, and the boys are all desperate to learn. One or two of them have commented that they wish they had come to Pirates earlier, which is a big compliment to the club and, to be fair, the boys seem to be enjoying what they’re doing not just on game nights, but also in training.”


He continued, “The attendance rate at training is virtually 100%, and while you might expect that to be the norm, when you’re training at amateur club level there can be work commitments, family responsibilities, and any number of events which can cause players to miss it, but these guys have been committed from day one.”


“There’s a real positive feel about the place right now. A number of fans have already said that they can see and feel a difference on the ice, a very positive one, in terms of how we’re going about our game plan and our strategies, and how well the guys seem to be playing as one, as a team.”


“Both Adam and I are delighted with the response we’ve been getting from the team, it’s very satisfying to watch players listen and understand what we’re saying to them, and then go out and do it on the ice. I think we’ve maybe surprised a few folk already this year. We’ve got a bit of a break this weekend with no games, which I’m quite pleased about as they’ve worked very hard up until now and I don’t expect that to change. We’re back in action against Kilmarnock Thunder at Braehead Arena on Sunday 10 December.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have embraced the spirit of Christmas in a big way by announcing a special cut price deal for local groups and organisations who apply for a special discounted deal which will be valid for their home games at Braehead Arena on Sunday 10 and 17 respectively.

paisley pirates

“We know it’s a special time of year for most folk, but we also know it can be a difficult time as there’s not a lot of money around these days for the wee special things that can make all the difference at Christmas, and not all local groups have the cash to take a group of kids to the likes of the pantomime or cinema, for example, when they’re looking for something a little different as a pre-festive treat for their members,” said club secretary Jackie Turley.


“With this in mind, we’re offering what we consider to be a pretty sensational cut price deal for such groups which will be valid for our matches against Kilmarnock Thunder on Sunday, December 10, and Dundee Comets seven days later. We’ve already been asked by a few people if we’re doing something this year, as these deals have been very popular in previous seasons, and the answer is a very definite yes. Because of certain restrictions in place we can only offer a limited number of these deals, so our advice to groups is to book early to avoid disappointment, by contacting the club at paisleypirates.org@gmail.com to ensure they get in on one of these nights.


“We will, of course, have all sorts of Pirates’ merchandise on sale on these nights, just in time for Christmas Day, so anyone who’s struggling to come up with the perfect present can find the ideal solution at the merchandise table when they’re attending. The only condition we’re putting on the cut price deals is that the kids attending must shout very loudly and get behind their very own ice hockey team.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates romped to their biggest win since they moved to the Braehead Arena in 2007 as they swept Solway Stingrays aside in a mammoth 18-1 victory.

paisley pirates

The home side built on their great 5-2 away win at Edinburgh the week before in an amazing first period which saw them score no fewer than ELEVEN times, although it wasn’t until the seventh minute they actually took the lead through Michael Dobson, and doubled their lead in under a minute, while short handed, as Thorp found the net for the first time. A spirited Stingrays side responded immediately as they went straight up the ice and reduced the deficit to one through Adams, but it was the last crumb of comfort they were to get in a very long evening.


Sarginson, and then Thorp with his second of the night, took the score to 4-1 before the halfway point in the period, and a three goal burst in less than a minute through Bain, Crute and Johnston took the score to seven before the 14th minute, while a four goal burst in under four minutes before the first break through Thorp, completing his hat trick, Sarginson and Crute netting their second respectively took the score into double figures before the former completed his treble, taking the score to an astonishing score 11-1 at the first interval.


While there was perhaps an expectation that another barrage of goals would follow in the middle session after the carnage of the first twenty minutes, it never materialised as the visitors defended valiantly, with Dolan in particular in the away net performing heroics to keep the score down, and there was almost 35 minutes on the clock before Johnston put Blair in the clear to beat him for the only goal of the session.


With the final twenty minutes underway, it took Pirates only three of them to find their way to the goal, Hamilton getting on the scoresheet for unlucky thirteen, and a two goal burst in half a minute saw Dobson grab his second, and Thorp his fourth, while another two goals in 20 seconds before the halfway point in the period through Crute and Thorp again took the score to seventeen. A final counter from Guy with six minutes to go finished the scoring for the night, with the Stingrays happy to leave the ice after another heavy defeat.


A ruthless performance by the Pirates allowed then to complete their biggest win ever in Braehead Arena, and set them up nicely for a tough clash against Edinburgh Capitals this coming Sunday (face off 6.00pm) at the same venue.


Scorers: Thorp (5+3), Sarginson (4+1), Dobson (2+6), Crute (2+4), Hamilton (1+3), Bain, Johnston & Blair (all 1+2), Guy (1+1), Henderson (0+3), McLaughlin (0+2), Crawford (0+1)

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Paisley Pirates v Dundee Tigers Post Match Interviews


Paisley Pirates 6, Dundee Tigers 1 from Braehead Arena 22nd Oct 2017.

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Pirates were delighted to get their season off to a flying start at the weekend with two good wins.  On Saturday they travelled to North Ayr, taming the Wild with a 7-0 win.  

Their first home game on Sunday resulted in a 7-1 win against Kilmarnock Storm.

Paisley Pirates defeat Kilmarnock Storm 7-1 at Braehead on ,15 October , Picture: Al Goold (www.algooldphoto.com)

Coach Adam Walker said “It was really pleasing to get off to a good start last weekend.  We expected a test in both games, however, the team responded well to the challenge and grew in confidence as the weekend went on.  Obviously there is a long way to go and I think we had one or two tired bodies on Sunday in the latter stages, but that is to be expected with us not being game sharp. Fitness will improve as we work our way through the games.  We haven’t had the opportunity to play any pre season games and starting late means we will be a little behind for the first three or four games.  Both North Ayrshire Wild and Kilmarnock Storm were playing there seventh game against us, but I thought we coped well and were comfortable for long spells in each.  A real positive for the team is that every line had scoring at the weekend, which will enable us to rely on everybody to make an offensive contribution.  Everyone has a role on the team and we expect our top offensive players to contribute regularly, however, that secondary scoring is also vital if we are to be successful”


“This weekend we welcome Dundee Tigers to Braehead and although they haven’t got off to the best start we will go into the game prepared and ready for the challenges they bring.  They have some good players in the team that can pose a threat and we have to respect that.  Hopefully we can get the same support from the fans as we did last week.  They were excellent and the boys really appreciate the support, which inspires everyone to work hard, giving our fans a team to be proud of…”


Photograph courtesy of AL GOOLD PHOTO