PAISLEY Pirates’ six-game unbeaten run came to an end as the side narrowly lost 4-3 to Murrayfield Racers. 

A hat-trick from Racers’ Joel Gautschi and a goal from Callum Boyd saw the Edinburgh men secure victory in the first game of the season between the two teams.

The capital side went ahead inside five minutes with a short-handed goal from Gautschi, but it didn’t take too long for the visitors to equalise as former Racers forward Daniel Abercrombie scored the leveller two minutes later.

Gautschi grabbed his second in a power-play in the 13th minute, but Pirates matched the home side again in the second period, levelling through Michael Dobson.

It was Boyd’s turn next as he put the hosts 3-2 up on the half-hour, but just two minutes into the third period Pirates drew level for a third time through a second goal from Abercrombie.

Pirates out-shot Racers in the final period, but Gautschi was hungry for his third and got it with 10 minutes to play as the puck found its way through several players to squeeze past goalie John Russell.

After going unbeaten since November 11 with victories over North Ayrshire Wild, Kirkcaldy Kestrels, Aberdeen Lynx and Dundee Tigers, Pirates will be a little disappointed not to take their run into the new year.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom as Russell still took home the man-of-the-match award for keeping a string of Racers’ shots out and helping his team stay in the match, which saw the hosts have more than 40 attempts on goal compared to Pirates’ 25.

Pirates, who remain top of the Scottish National League despite the loss, travel East again this Saturday as they take on fellow high-flyers Dundee Comets. The Renfrewshire side will be looking to avenge their 7-1 defeat in their last meeting.