It was a night for records at Braehead Arena as Paisley Pirates scored no fewer than twenty one goals against a plucky, but hopelessly outclassed, Stingrays side, with another “first” coming right at the end of the night’s proceedings.
Pirates were on top right from the opening whistle but were shocked in the 4th minute as a shot from Horne trickled past Meechan and into the net to give the visitors a surprise lead. Any hopes of an upset were quickly eliminated, however, as with only seven minutes played Pirates were 2-1 in front after goals by Dobson and Thorp. Morris in the visitors’ goal was under siege and it was chiefly through his good form that the 3rd strike did not arrive until the 16th minute as Adam Walker fired home, with Andreucci getting the first of a hat trick a minute late, giving the home side a comfortable looking 4-1 advantage at the first break.
Morris continued to perform heroics for the visitors, and kept the home side was to two further goals by Guy and Abercrombie in the first half of the middle session, but once the netminder had given way to team mate Carmichael at the halfway point, the goals flowed latterly with a further six being added to the total, Dobson completing his hat trick with a double, and further markers by Adam Walker, Henderson, Abercrombie and a length of the ice skate and finish by Andreucci took the scoreline to 12-1 by the end of the session.
Donaghy replaced the virtually unemployed Meechan in the home goal at the beginning of the final period, but all the action was at the other end as a rapidly tiring Solway team continued to face the home onslaught after a comparatively quiet opening spell when they continued to give a spirited performance. Henderson took the score to thirteen in the 47th minute and Abercrombie completed his treble within half a minute, before Ben Walker netted a rare counter, while in the final seven minutes Pirates scored no fewer than six times through Thorp, two more from Dobson, then Johnston and Abercrombie, while Andreucci also completed his hat trick to complete the rout.
In a night where new scoring records were the norm, another first was recorded when Solway forward Megan Gourlay became the first female player to pick up a Man of the Match award in the course of a senior game at Braehead Arena.
Paisley Pirates go into this weekend’s clash against Dundee Comets buoyed by their record win against Solway Stingrays last Saturday, but knowing also that they face a very different proposition against the reigning league champions. The two sides met in the Scottish Cup in January, with Comets going through in a dramatic penalty shoot out after a 12-12 aggregate score over two legs.
Head Coach Ian Turley reflected on his team’s big win, before looking forward to the Sunday clash on Tayside against last year’s treble winners. “We put in a good performance against the Stingrays with a full squad and at this time of the season, the business end of it all, we’re wanting to keep the players hungry, which is why we rotated the lines, to keep them fresh and thinking.”
“It’s fair to say that we would find it difficult to win the league from our current position, as I think we’ve probably lost too many games, but we’ll still treat every game as a fresh fixture, including our trip to the home of the Comets on Sunday. The squad has continued to improve in every game this season, and we’re still looking to finish in as high a position in the league as we possibly can ahead of the playoffs.”
Pirates’ clash on Tayside faces off at 7.00pm