1962 - Centenary disappointment

1962 saw the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Club and after the improved performances in 1961, everyone hoped that the anniversary would be marked by success on the field. Duncan Drummond took over as captain and Bill Dow was retained as professional, hardly a surprise given his all-round successes in his first year in the position.

In the event, it was a most disappointing season. Only 7 games out of 25 were won all season and the side finished well down the league table in 7th place. Kilmarnock and Ferguslie finished well ahead of the other clubs, with the Ayrshire side coming out on top.

Good start but it didn't last

It all started well with Drumpellier defeated in the first league of the season - a game noteworthy for the appearance of 17-year-old Wilson Evans who would go on to become a leading figure in the team for many years. In this match he featured as a bowler, taking 4 for 20, but he would see success in the future as a batsman, his bowling by then being used mainly for partnership breaking.

It would be early June before there was another success. In fairness, only one game was lost, easily to Ferguslie, but the other games were drawn or abandoned. The draws were close games and could on another day have gone Greenock's way but they didn't. When the next victory came against Kelburne, it was notable for the performances of the two young players, Ian Kirk and Wilson Evans, who came together when Greenock were struggling at 7 wickets down to put together a partnership which would lead to a match-winning total of 195. Unfortunately Kirk's medical career soon took him away from the area and his appearances after this year would be limited.

Double over Kelburne the only bright note

There would only be one further league victory and this would come in the last game of the season, against Kelburne. This game was easily Greenock's most convincing performance of the season and the Paisley side were defeated by 9 wickets. If only such a performance had come earlier in the season.

Limited progress in the West League Cup

The West League Cup offered up a little more promise at one point. Although only two of the sectional group games were won this was enough to gain qualification to the knock-out stage of the competition. However the semi-final with Ayr was a huge let-down with their opponents winning easily, chasing down Greenock's total of 114 without losing any wickets.

A number of friendly matches were played and one of them was noteworthy, a crushing win by 227 runs over Golfhill with another of Greenock's promising young players, Hugh Paterson scoring 109 and Bill Dow 103 in their unbeaten fourth wicket partnership of 153. Paterson would be another fine player whose career took him away from Greenock although he did play more often than Kirk.

John Gray's consistent season

Batting performances were not as strong this year as last, as might be expected from the results. John Gray with 495 runs and Robin Duthie with 453 were by some way the leading run-scorers. Bill Dow captured 62 wickets in the season, but his tally of 35 in Union matches was down on 1961, although in fairness less games were played. John Gray capped a fine all-round season with 32 wickets to go with his consistent batting.

One point of interest should be mentioned. The friendly match with Golfhill on 7th July was noteworthy, not just for the batting of Hugh Paterson and Bill Dow as described above, but also for it seeing the first appearance for Greenock by Jack Clark, who would go on to become the Club's leading wicket-taker and a renowned Scottish internationalist. From little acorns ...