WILD NIGHT FOR PIRATES
NORTH AYRSHIRE WILD 1 PAISLEY PIRATES 9
Paisley Pirates took a significant step towards clinching a place in the final four of the SNL playoffs following a convincing 9-1 win in the first leg at Auchenharvie Ice Rink.
The visitors were ahead after only two minutes as Chris Wilson took a pass from David Orr to net top shelf and give his team a lead which they never lost. While Meechan was a virtual spectator in the Pirates net, he was more than able for the occasional shot which came his way, but it was not until the 14th minute that they added to their tally, and they did so in style as Miller netted a straight hat trick within 90 seconds to take the tie out of reach of the hosts with two periods still to play, leaving the score at 4-0 at the first buzzer.
In the second session, the pattern of play remained the same, with Pirates barely getting out of second gear against a North Ayrshire side which showed plenty of pluck, but little threat to the visiting defence. Campbell netted the fifth goal inside two minutes of the restart, and with the younger players enjoying plenty of ice time Euan McGlaughlan backhanded a sixth beyond Bealing just before the halfway point in the match. Crute took the tally to seven with a shorthanded effort less than three minutes later, and Pirates continued to be well on top without adding to the 7-0 scoreline for the remaining eight minutes of the session.
Pirates continued where they had left off in the final period of the game and made it eight within three minutes of the new period, Crute tipping in a Spiers blue liner, and with the visitors continuing to push forward at every opportunity it was something of a surprise that it wasn’t until there were less than six minutes to play that Thorp finally took the tally to nine.
Wild did eventually get on the scoresheet with under four minutes remaining, but by this time the match was well and truly over, Pirates’ thoughts turning towards completing the task of qualifying for the final four within 24 hours.
Scorers: Miller (3+0), Crute (2+0), Wilson (1+4), Thorp (1+3), McGlaughlan (1+1), Campbell (1+0), Spiers (0+2), Orr, Riddell, Guy, Johnston & Blair