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.
“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!”