1955 - A season to forget

There was every hope that the successes of the 1954 season would be reproduced in 1955. John Simpson and Ted Whitfield continued in their roles as captain and professional respectively and the team was likely to be close to that which played in 1954.

Poor league performances

But hopes of a successful season were quickly extinguished. The team started the league season slowly and the first four games were lost, quite heavily, before the first point was gained in a closely-fought draw with West of Scotland at Glenpark. That did not lead to an improvement in fortunes, however, as the next game against Drumpellier was lost after the 10th wicket pair was allowed to score 13 for victory.

There followed another run of defeats, eight in total, before finally, victory was achieved against Kilmarnock by 4 wickets at the end of August. The last game of the campaign brought no respite as Poloc's professional, Gerry Dawson, completed his second unbeaten century of the season against the team, and Greenock desperately held on for a losing draw with their last pair at the crease. With a miserly total of just 3 points out of a possible 32 and a percentage of just 9.37%, Greenock were left firmly rooted at the foot of the table. Greenock's performances against Poloc illustrated perfectly what a poor season this was as the Glasgow side finished just above them in the table.

Cup campaigns disappoint

Cup performances were no better. Drumpellier easily won the second round Rowan Cup tie and mixed fortunes in the West League Cup meant that there would be no progress to the knock-out stages. The home game with Drumpellier in the latter competition was a curious affair with Greenock losing no wickets when they batted first with Whitfield and Freddie Ramsden both scoring 50s. But their total of 112 was never going to be enough and Drumpellier easily overtook it for the loss of just 3 wickets.

Friendly matches provided a small ray of sunshine as none of the games finished were lost and the match against Golfhill produced comfortably the best batting performance of the season with Whitfield scoring an unbeaten century.

Whitfield released

Certainly a contributing factor to the disappointing season was the drop-off in the level of performance by Ted Whitfield. Although he still scored 637 runs and took 51 wickets, his best performances were reserved for non-Union games. A batting average of just 15.15 and just one score of over 50 in the league told its story, although 36 league wickets was a reasonable return for his bowling but well down on previous years. The Committee of the Club felt that a change was needed and he was released from his contract before the end of the season.

In his four years at the Club, Whitfield scored 2801 runs at 32.95 and took 297 wickets at 11.65. These are impressive figures and demonstrate his all-round dominance. His bowling average is the third lowest amongst those bowlers who have taken over 250 wickets in their Club career, behind Jarvis and Hollingdale.

For the Kilmarnock game, the services of Bill Coldwell, from the MCC Ground Staff, were employed and he bowled himself into a contract for 1956, taking 7 wickets for 54 with his off-spin, even although he only scored 8 when it was his turn to bat. Somewhat ironically, in the next three years, it was his batting that shone more than his bowling.

Robin Duthie to the fore

As far as other performances were concerned, Robin Duthie excelled with 643 runs and he was backed up by the evergreen Freddie Ramsden with 424 and Mac Galbreath with 336 runs. Only Duncan Drummond with 37 wickets provided any real backup to Whitfield's bowling.

A season to forget, then, but with a new captain and professional for 1956, there was a belief that an improvement would materialise.