1957 - Almost but not quite

Duncan Drummond and Bill Coldwell continued in their respective roles as captain and professional in 1957 as the team sought to build on the improvements shown in the previous year.

Inconsistent start

Early results were promising although the opening league game led to a heavy 9-wicket defeat to Poloc. Drumpellier and Kelburne were both beaten by 7 wickets and Clydesdale were also soundly beaten by 46 runs at Titwood. But there followed two heavy defeats to Ferguslie and West of Scotland and this inconsistency left the team trailing the leaders at the half-way point of the season. The mid-season friendlies produced some disappointing results with Golfhill getting the better of a draw and Glasgow Accies winning quite easily. The weather then intervened with the matches against Kilmarnock and Uddingston both being abandoned.

Joint champions both beaten

But after that, the season took on a much brighter tone. After Drumpellier were well beaten at Coatbridge, the team then achieved two excellent wins against the teams who would go on to share the league title, Poloc and Ferguslie. Poloc were defeated in a very tight match at Glenpark. Chasing 179 to win, Greenock were well placed until a lower-order collapse threatened to hand the game to Poloc. But Robin Duthie stood firm and hit the winning single with last man Peter Smith for company. Somewhat strangely, Duthie attempted a second run which led to Smith being run out, a dismissal that stood in the scorebook, something which could not happen under present day rules. Victory over Ferguslie was a little more straightforward, the margin of victory being 16 runs, with a stand-out all-round performance from Murray McKechnie being the highlight.

Clydesdale overwhelmed

The season ended with a dominant performance over Clydesdale, who were bowled out for just 44 and Greenock finished on 68.18%, just 1.05% behind the joint winners. It was a poor summer for weather, with Greenock completing just 11 games and it could be argued that the abandoned match with West of Scotland which came in the middle of this fine end-of season run was the difference between winning the title and just missing out.

The West League Cup campaign was again a disappointment with just 1 win and 5 defeats in the group matches.

Another good season for Coldwell

Bill Coldwell again featured strongly with 472 runs and 36 wickets and he was given strong backing from Robin Duthie (345 runs), Duncan Drummond (323 runs and 43 wickets) and Murray McKechnie (220 runs and 17 wickets).

Finally Ferguslie are played twice

1957 saw a couple of interesting points with regards to the fixtures. For the first time since the Union was formed, Greenock played Ferguslie twice in the season. It seems quite incredible that a league competition, which saw all other teams play a full card of 18 fixtures, could allow such a situation to occur and the 1955 Western Union AGM heard demands from the other clubs that this could not continue. Even then, it took another year for this to be sorted. As a result, the long-standing friendly match with Grange, which was played on a Saturday in mid-June, was discontinued, possibly also because the East League was now in existence. The friendly match with Watsonians which was always played on the Monday holiday in May was another fixture that ended at this time.

22 Locals no more

The second point of interest is that 1957 was the last year when the club played a fixture against 22 Locals, a team composed of the best players from the junior teams in the Greenock area. This fixture had featured on and off more or less since the club had been formed but it was felt by now that it had run its course.