Pirates recorded their biggest win over the Comets in a number of years, and in doing so took a significant step towards reaching the Scottish Cup Final next month. However, they did leave the back door slightly ajar and this left their visitors with a shaft of light at the end of an otherwise very dark tunnel.
The home side took the lead in the third minute when Conor Duncan took a pass from Richard Thorp to smash a low drive past Shearer to give his side a lead which they never lost. They successfully played off a penalty on Guy and made it two as Henderson was first to a rebound to poke the puck over the line in eight minutes to double the advantage. Pirates were on the ascendancy with some slick play and added a third goal through Abercrombie near the 15th minute to give them a handy 3-0 advantage. They did, however, lose players to penalties for almost 5 minutes in total either side of the interval but they played them off comfortably, keeping the visitors out of the game when they threatened to make a comeback.
Pirates got back to full strength early in the second session and made Comets pay for their missed powerplay opportunities by scoring a fourth in the 23rd minute with a man advantage as Guy squeezed the puck home at the near post. Again Pirates were on the defensive as they were penalised twice within seconds but with Meechan performing heroics in the home goal, they repelled boarders for the full penalty session once more and hit Comets with a double whammy within a minute as first Duncan, with his second, and then Abercrombie, also completing a brace, took the score to 6-0 and Pirates were looking pretty, ending the period still looking for more goals.
Pirates again started the final period with a flourish, and scored a seventh after four minutes as Thorp fired home and Pirates’ chances of a Cup Final place appeared to increase. However, they allowed the visitors back into the game and two quickfire goals from McIntosh and McBean around the halfway point in the period gave them just a glimmer of hope in the second and deciding leg on Sunday 8 March.
After the game, player/coach Adam Walker commented, “We played well for 50/55 minutes but let them back in a little. If you’d offered us a 5 goal lead before the match we would have taken it but we’ll need to go there and battle a bit.”
The second leg takes place on Sunday 8 March and the winners go through to the final on Saturday 21 March. In the other semi final,, Murrayfield Racers recorded a narrow 3-2 win away to Dundee Tigers.