1959 - League Cup success

1959 would represent a change from recent practice as there would be no professional playing for Greenock with Bill Coldwell having decided to move on to play for Uddingston, and no replacement for him being pursued. Mac Galbreath continued as captain.

Runs aplenty with Kelburne

The league campaign got off to a stuttering start with defeats by Poloc and Drumpellier followed by a no-count draw with Kilmarnock where the latter would have won had the rain not intervened. A boring draw with Uddingston, who made no attempt to chase Greenock's total of 194 led up to an exciting match with Kelburne when Greenock were just able to defend their total of 236 for 8 with an inspired spell from Ian Gilliland bowling the visitors out for 227 when they looked like winning. Over 460 runs in one afternoon was well above the average for Western Union games around this time, indeed it was only the fourth occasion in the 1950s when the 200 barrier was breached by Greenock. It was a different game in those days!

Disappointing second half of the season

Results improved in June with wins over Ayr and Ferguslie and the best of a draw with West of Scotland but after the mid-season break it was a different story, just like the previous year. Kilmarnock bowled out Greenock for 59 on the way to a 7-wicket win, but then there wins over Uddingston and Poloc but that was as good as it got. Heavy defeats followed against Ferguslie, Ayr and Clydesdale with the latter game featuring an 8-wicket haul by Billy Dow for the second successive year. The final game of the season saw Kelburne defeated but Greenock finished in 7th place in the table, despite winning 6 games. Kilmarnock won the league with the relatively low percentage of 60.71 and the compressed nature of the league table indicated that on a given day, any team could beat its opposition, no matter where they were placed in the league.

Greenock reach West League Cup final

But it was a different matter in the West League Cup. The competition was restructured slightly with Greenock in a group of 5 teams playing each other once, as opposed to a group of 4 where home and away games were played. Greenock were also faced with new opponents in their group and celebrated this fact by winning all four games. The victory over Ayr was the closest run game with Greenock overtaking their opponent's total of 145 with 6 wickets down.

Clydesdale were Greenock's opponents in the semi-final at Titwood and having bowled out the opposition for 105, with John Gray taking 6 for 39, Greenock would have commenced their innings confident of victory. In the event they somewhat staggered over the line after a decent start and the margin of victory was just 2 wickets in the end.

West League Cup captured

The venue for the final was Glenpark, and not a neutral location, with Kelburne providing the oppostion. The Paisley side were bowled out for 148 in the last of their allotted 20 8-ball overs, a total which was one that could quite easily be defended. But Greenock attacked this target with gusto, led by their captain Mac Galbreath. As the Greenock Telegraph stated, "Nevertheless Greenock's victory was deserved, if only for the brilliant batting of the Club Captain, D.M. Galbreath. He played one of the best innings of his long career, scoring 77 runs in 76 minutes, including eight fours." Victory was achieved with two balls remaining of the last over. This was to prove to be the last trophy that Greenock would capture until 1970, something which those present at this game could not have imagined.

John Gray has outstanding season

John Gray was undoubtedly the player of the season with 444 runs and 56 wickets, an achievement which was on a par with what many professionals produced. Robin Duthie (523), Mac Galbreath (492) and Laurence Proverbs (400) all scored heavily but the bowling tended to be expensive as can be seen from the averages.

It must have been a good season as far as the weather was concerned, as Greenock started all 18 league fixtures, with just one abandoned and another designated as a no-count draw due to too much time having been lost to rain interruptions.