History Articles - 2020

With no live cricket to report on in 2020, it was felt that it would be a good time to reflect on the history of the Club. Over the years since it was founded in 1862, there have been games played that were highlights in the Club's history either because of outstanding individual performances or because they brought success to the Club or were simply important steps in the progress of the Club. It was thought that such games might be of interest to members and supporters alike. A brief article was published each week until the end of July which highlighted one specific game played on or around the date of publication. A further two articles were printed towards the end of the season.

The articles are listed below and can be accessed by clicking on the heading of each article or the link contained within each summary.

First competitive game after World War One in 1920 (May 1st)

The first competitive game played by the Club after the First World War was against Drumpellier at Glenpark on May 1st 1920, exactly 100 years ago. A run-fest it was not, as can be read in this article.

Opening of the Clubhouse in 1923 (May 8th)

The official opening of the present clubhouse took place on Saturday 5th May 1923. While many changes have been made to the clubhouse since then, both inside and out, the basic structure remains.

The official opening was carried out by JK Ballantyne, who was the President of the Scottish Cricket Union at the time, during the lunch interval of the match against an eleven captained by him which was played to celebrate the opening of the clubhouse. A report of the match, together with a description of the new clubhouse that was published in the Greenock Telegraph on the day, can be read in this article.

First West League Cup game in 1951 (May 15th)

The first match played by the Club in the West League Cup competition was played at Whitehaugh against Kelburne on Tuesday 15th May 1951 and resulted in a defeat by 12 runs. A report on the match together with a brief appreciation of the Man of the Match, ex-Greenock professional Bert Tobin, can be read in this article.

Dramatic finish with Uddingston in 1931 (May 22nd)

There was a dramatic finish to the match at Glenpark with Uddingston which was played on 23rd May 1931. These two clubs had a fierce rivalry in the years between the wars and this match was a prime example of the tussles between them. A report on the match can be read in this article.

West defeated as Greenock speed to Union title in 1952 (May 29th)

A match played on Saturday 31st May 1952 at Hamilton Crescent against West of Scotland was an example of how a young team, bolstered by one of the Club's most successful professionals in ex-county player, Ted Whitfield, romped to the Western Union title by over 24 percentage points. A report on this match, which resulted in a comfortable win for Greenock, can be read in this article.

First win at Raeburn Place in 1923 (June 5th)

Annual friendlies against one of the leading clubs in Scotland, Grange of Edinburgh, started in 1893, played alternately at Glenpark and Raeburn Place, right up to 1955. While results at Glenpark were well balanced, that was not the case in Edinburgh, that is until 9th June 1923, when the first win at Grange's home ground was achieved. And a resounding success it was too, as can be read in this article.

DW Leitch takes all ten wickets in 1889 (June 12th)

131 years ago to the day, the only recorded instance of a Greenock 1st XI player taking all ten wickets in an innings occurred at Maryhill Barracks during a friendly between Greenock and Lancashire Fusiliers. That player was DW Leitch and his achievement is detailed in this article.

John Kerr's first century for Greenock (June 19th)

John Kerr holds a special place in the history of Greenock. In a forty-year career, he scored over 21,000 runs at an average of over 40 and for a long time he was considered the best batsman in Scotland, captaining his country and being responsible for one of the most famous innings played by a Scottish player when he scored 147 against Warwick Armstrong's Australian team of 1921. On June 20th 1903, at the age of 18, against Clydesdale he scored the first of 41 centuries for Greenock and a report on this match can be read in this article.

Jack Hobbs graces Glenpark (June 26th)

Jack Hobbs is undeniably one of the greatest cricketers to have played the game. On June 25th 1935 and in the last year of his career he came to Glenpark as part of Harry Rowan's select XI for a match that grabbed the attention of all cricket-lovers in Greenock. A report on this historic match can be read in this article.

WAB Smith's quickfire century (July 3rd)

William AB Smith (WABS) had a brief career with the Club but in that time his fierce hitting and fiery bowling made him a favourite with Greenock supporters. On July 1st 1933, at Meikleriggs he hit the Ferguslie bowling all round the park to record his only century for the Club, taking less than an hour to reach three figures. A report on this innings can be read in this article.

Irish visitors to Glenpark in 1899 (July 10th)

Over the weekend of 7th and 8th July 1899, Greenock played host to visitors from Belfast, North of Ireland Cricket Club, having played and beaten them in Ireland the previous year. While direct sailings existed between the Clyde and Belfast this journey must have been quite daunting in those days and says much for the keenness of the players on both sides. A report on this match can be read in this article.

Willie Hope scores 100 in just 40 minutes (July 17th)

After World War One, Greenock were blessed with a number of fine all-rounders. One of those was Willie Hope who featured strongly for the Club during a career which was more and more limited by his medical duties as a doctor. On Saturday 16th July 1921, Drumpellier came to Glenpark and having made significant inroads into Greenock's batting, their attack was then mauled by Hope in an innings of 100 which lasted just 40 minutes. A report on this match can be read in this article.

Keith Miller comes to Glenpark (July 24th)

After the Nazi surrender in 1945, the Australian Services XI was formed to play England in a five-match series, known as the Victory Tests. Many of the Australians were also members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) team and after the third Victory Test, the latter played a number of games in the North of England and Scotland. For unknown reasons, one of those games was against Greenock on Friday 27th July. The leading player in the RAAF team was the charismatic Keith Miller who would go on to become one the best-known names in the history of cricket. A report on this historic match can be read in this article.

John Kerr and Arthur Neill in record partnership (July 31st)

On Saturday 31st July 1937, John Kerr and Arthur Neill put on 214 for the first wicket partnership against Poloc. This set two records for the Western Union at the time. A report on this match can be read in this article.

Australian Imperial Forces team at Glenpark in 1919 (August 14th)

At the conclusion of World War One, there were thousands of Australians in Europe and they remained there into 1919. From their number the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) Touring team was formed to play first-class matches against the English counties. In this article it can be read how they came to play at Glenpark against Greenock on Wednesday 13th August 1919.

Greenock play for Union title in last game before WW2 (September 4th)

The series of articles on notable moments from the Club's history began with the first league game after the end of World War One. It ends with the last league game played before the start of World War Two. On Saturday 2nd September 1939, Greenock played Kelburne at Glenpark knowing that victory would see them defend their league title. Find out what happened in this article.