Paisley Pirates are a significant step closer to reaching the Scottish Cup Final for a second successive season after recording an 11-2 away win at Kilmarnock in the first leg of their semi-final tie.
The visitors were on the offensive almost from the first whistle as Storm’s Maitland took an early penalty, but they had to wait until the seventh minute before they went ahead on the powerplay, and what a goal it was, as Campbell waltzed past the entire Storm team on the ice from his own defensive zone before knocking a back hander beyond Blackwell for the opener. The same player was first to a rebound before the halfway point to double the lead, but while both sides had chances, with Maitland proving to be troublesome to the visiting defence, the respective goals remained intact for the remainder of the session, sending Pirates in with a handy 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The visitors were further ahead after only four minutes of the middle period as Guy fired home his side’s third of the evening, and with Orr netting only three minutes later Pirates were already looking good for a win on the night. Storm did get one back as former Pirate Graeme Lester netted after a scramble in front of netminder Meechan, but within forty seconds his team’s deficit was back at four as Orr grabbed his second to ensure that Pirates were looking more than comfortable at 5-1 by the end of the session, with Blackwell in the home goal producing a string of superlative saves in the latter stages to just about keep a light flickering for Kilmarnock.
Storm came out for the final twenty minutes looking for a quick score to rekindle their hopes, but in fact two goals within seven seconds for Pirates before the 44th minutes put paid to any faint hopes remaining, with Campbell completing his hat trick, then Guy netted his second.to take the score to seven. With Meechan looking solid in the visitors’ goal Pirates continued to press, with the diminutive Haydn Bain scoring with a low drive only three minutes later, and before the hallway point in the session Martyn Guy duly completed his own treble, and his side’s 9th. The teams continued to exchange penalties until with under four minutes left the visitors hit their hosts with another quickfire double in twelve seconds as Orr netted for his hat trick, the third treble of the night, before skipper Mark Hassan fired past the unsighted Blackwell for number eleven. Robertson did pull a late goal back for Storm but by this time it was certainly much too little, too late.
The two teams now meet in the second leg next Sunday at Braehead Arena (face off 6.00pm) and while Pirates clearly have a massive advantage, coach Ian Turley will be reminding everyone in the camp that the job is only half done.
Scorers: Orr (3+2), Campbell & Guy (both 3+0), Hassan (1+1), Bain (1+0), Miller, Jordan & Turley (all 0+2)
Man of the Match: David Orr