1960 - Disappointing start to the new decade

The start of a new decade brought the hope that the Club's fortunes would build on the success of the 1959 season. Robin Duthie took over as captain but again there would be no professional help. The decision to play as an all-amateur side was one that would be regretted and did appear to leave the team at a disadvantage with the other clubs in the league.

Dour match at Langloan

The league campaign was a disappointment throughout. It started with the worse of a draw against Ayr, who would go on to win the title in a canter, and this was followed by four straight defeats, one of which at Langloan saw the team bowled out for just 46 by Drumpellier. This match must have been excrutiating to watch as it took Greenock 32.1 overs to compile their 46 and then Drumpellier needed 27.2 overs to reach that target. That meant 94 runs were scored in 3 balls short of 60 overs!

There was a closer encounter at Glenpark against Ferguslie, for whom the West Indian test player, Reg Scarlett, produced a match-winning all-round performance. This was a good example of how Greenock suffered from the lack of their own professional.

Brief recovery

An exciting draw with Kelburne followed but this did not lead to a long-term improvement. Indeed, it was the very opposite as five straight defeats followed, some of which could only be classed as heavy. But just when it seemed that the season would finish without any victories, along came two in a row. Clydesdale were overcome, and quite convincingly at that, and the next week Poloc were beaten, albeit in a somewhat less convincing manner. Unbelievably, this victory over Clydesdale would be the last for 16 years!

Bottom of the table

Unfortunately this improvement was short-lived. Heavy defeats were incurred at the hands of Uddingston and Ayr, the latter led to victory by a youthful Mike Denness. But on a brighter note, to round off the season and perhaps set the tone for next year, Kelburne were defeated at Whitehaugh by 3 wickets. A record of just 3 wins in 17 completed games, though, saw Greenock consigned to bottom position in the league table.

The defence of the West League Cup proved to be rather feeble with only one win achieved in the four sectional group games and the trophy was surrendered meekly.

Skipper shows the way

Not unsurprisingly, personal performances were not outstanding. Skipper Duthie led from the front, however, and his 568 runs were almost twice as high as the next highest scorer, Mac Galbreath with 309. That whole-hearted cricketer and vociferous appealer, Brian Case, was the leading wicket-taker with 52 victims, followed by Graham 'Chalky' White with 28. Last season's top performer, John Gray, was only intermittently available and there was no doubt that his absences were keenly felt.

Weather plays ball

1959 saw all 18 league fixtures started and this season was almost as good, with 17 games completed and just the one, Kilmarnock at Glenpark, not started. It is not often that the weather plays ball two years in a row!

As mentioned previously, it was clear that Greenock's lack of a professional was a factor in their lack of competitiveness and the Club recognised that they needed to finance such a player. If that were done, then surely fortunes would improve. That was the thought to hang on to over the winter months!