May 15/16 Weekend Preview

Saturday 15th May - Carlton vs Greenock

Greenock hit the road yet again this Saturday as they head through to Edinburgh to play high scoring Carlton at the picturesque Grange Loan.

Greenock lost heavily to Aberdeenshire by 8 wickets last Saturday before regaining some element of dignity by chasing down local rivals Ferguslie’s 253 the following day to win in the Scottish Cup with the help of an unbeaten century from Berrington and 63 from skipper McLaren.

With the Scottish Saltires heading off down south to play Leicestershire on Sunday Berrington is unavailable for this fixture as are Carlton stars, local boy, Ross Lyons and Gordon Drummond. Even without the two Scotland players Carlton can still boast a formidable batting lineup with former Greenock player Fraser Watts, Preston Mommsen, Jamie Kerr, Stevie Gilmour and Bryn Lockie more than capable of posting a huge score. Indeed Carlton amassed 273-2 against Clydesdale on Saturday with both Mommsen and Kerr scoring unbeaten centuries although there inability to defend that total suggests that their bowling does not have the same strength.

Carlton have played and lost both of their fixtures this season but they must be optimistic about opening their account this weekend at the expense of a Greenock side seemingly bereft of confidence. The local side do though welcome back veteran spinner Dougie Wylie, fresh from watching his beloved St. Mirren avoid relegation before the Paisley Board rewarded manager Gus MacPherson with the dreaded vote of confidence. His experience with both bat and ball will be invaluable especially with Berrington half way down the M6 while Prabhu, Hislop and McLaren will all be looking to make their mark in the League for the first time this season.

As far as the attack is concerned, Willie Rowan will be keen to build on the great start that he has made to this season and will be looking to make inroads into the Carlton line-up to further enhance his chances of international recognition.

Coach Judd continues to work the boys very hard in training and he has instilled a high level of morale and team spirit coupled with a real desire to do well. The new players and youngsters have slotted in seamlessly and already there is much more of a togetherness about the whole outfit than perhaps has been evident in years just past even if recent results have not been favourable.

The League has already taken on a strange look as teams struggle to adapt to a scenario whereby no side will be relegated this season. It has certainly afforded clubs the opportunity to experiment and introduce youngsters without the fear of the drop at the end of the campaign even if, from what I personally have witnessed, the general standard has diminished as the strong thrive and the weak retreat to anonymity.

Saturday 15th May - Glenpark XI v Hamilton

The Glenpark XI have made a promising start to the season and remain unbeaten after three games, leading the table by just one point..

On Saturday, they entertain Hamilton, another side that has started the season well and currently sit in fourth position, just two points off the pace. They are therefore likely to present a strong challenge to the Glenparkers and the selected eleven will need to be at their best to repel them.

Sunday 16th May - Hillend XI v Clydesdale

The Hillend XI make their seasonal re-appearance on Sunday when the usual mix of old-stagers and vibrant youth will come together to ward off the opposition from Clydesdale in a Strathclyde League fixture. Brian Roberts is this week's captain and he has selected a promising eleven. With the promise of better weather for the day, a large crowd is expected to cheer them on.

Richie Berrington

Finally, best wishes from all members go to Richie Berrington as he hopefully features in the first Scottish selection of the summer to take on Leicestershire at Grace Road in the Clydesdale Bank Pro40 competition. Those members who can't make it to Glenpark on Sunday and who have a Sky Sports subscription will be able to watch Richie perform, assuming he makes the chosen eleven.