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.
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.