July 10/11 Weekend Preview

Saturday 10th July - 1st XI v Aberdeenshire

Greenock return to Glenpark on Saturday when fellow strugglers Aberdeenshire make the long journey down from the north east to feature in a basement battle of the slumbering giants.

Aberdeenshire arrive as current League and Cup holders but they have endured a torrid time of late as, like their hosts, a combination of injuries, unavailability and a general loss of form has contrived against the men from the Granite City. They lie just two places above Greenock having won a mere three of their eleven fixtures to date including a comfortable 8 wicket victory over tomorrow’s opponents back in early May. However they have only enjoyed the delights of victory once in their last seven matches and they are currently in freefall. As such it would be a great time to play the visitors but as luck would have it the weather, which is forecast to feature heavy rain, may well end up denying either side the chance of victory. Maybe the dreaded pairing of Duckworth and Lewis could make their seasonal debut. As the sole operator of the D/L computer calculations I sincerely hope not, as landing a probe on Pluto would be a much simpler task (Ed. Nonsense, a child of 5 could do it ... on second thoughts, maybe you are right).

Aberdeenshire are of course led by former Greenock captain Neil MacRae but his options with both bat and ball have been severely curtailed due to the aforementioned injuries and unavailability. They also recently lost the services of Papua New Guinean amateur Gevara who, as you may remember this particular scribe confidently predicted in May, finally succumbed to the mind-numbing cold of the north east and returned home to sunnier climes. In addition to himself, MacRae will be depending heavily on Kiwi professional Parlane, youngster Matthew Cross and Graeme Tomlinson to post enough runs as their bowling looks light following the injury to Chris West and the departure of Gevara. They do have a potential match winner though in opening bowler Tyler Buchan who has just been called up by Scotland ‘A’ to play in Jersey next week. It is not known at this stage if the redoubtable and talented Colin Smith will make the four hour bus journey south west.

Greenock will again be missing several key players. Berrington is in the Netherlands with Scotland whilst Prabhu remains injured and Baum unavailable. Skipper McLaren can welcome back Phil McIntosh to the fold though as he looks to build upon their battling performance last Saturday in the defeat against Clydesdale. Rowan and Bellwood should share the new ball with McIntosh, Hempsey, Wylie and McLaren himself all available to hurl the leather if required. It is with the bat though that the team continues to endure the demons of a lack of confidence and with the wicket sure to be of a sporty nature, much grinding and nurdling will be needed if Greenock are to post or chase a winning total. Bellwood, Kruger and Hempsey all batted well last week and much will depend on this triumvirate plus Hislop, McIntosh and to a lesser extent Rowan.

I seriously doubt whether the brains trust at either club could have imagined the trials and tribulations encountered by their respective charges this season even if the home team knew that it would probably be quite a struggle, if not to the extent that it has been. The value of having a run-scoring professional has never been more obvious as, with a couple of exceptions, the various hired hands have gorged themselves on a positive bevvy of runs this sunny summer. Methinks it’s about time that the well meaning amateurs stepped up to the plate and tomorrow is their opportunity to shine in the predicted gloom.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor – Gavin Murray, Match Sponsor – Duncan MacKenzie Quality Butcher and Presidential Suite Sponsor – Fyfe and Murray Solicitors.

Saturday 10th July - Kingholm v Glenpark XI

The Glenpark XI make the long journey down to the South-west of Scotland to play Kingholm, the Dumfries 2nd XI. Again, they are likely to be playing a weakened side.

Sunday 11th July - Clydesdale v Hillend XI

The Hillend XI have not had much cricket of late and they are unlucky again this week as Titwood is in use for the delayed Cup-tie with Dunfermline.