June 19/20 Weekend Preview

Sunday 20th June - Dunfermline v 1st XI

After the debacle of last Saturday Greenock skipper Kevin McLaren leads his shell shocked troops into the Kingdom of Fife to play a confident Dunfermline side this weekend. With Scotland playing the Auld Enemy at The Grange on Saturday this round of matches has very sensibly been moved to the following day which should help the visitors as Saltires star Richie Berrington will hopefully be available for selection.

I guess the less said about the Forfarshire match the better save to say that having lost by a mere 201 runs at least the visitors had the good grace not to ask us to follow on. It also has to be said that Heaven only knows what would have happened if Forfarshire had invited Greenock to bat first rather than taking advantage of the great conditions themselves. The general consensus is that we could all have been safely ensconced in the clubhouse to enjoy the 3pm World Cup game instead of settling down at 7.30pm to watch the USA defeat England 1-1 in the World Series of Soccer as one knowledgeable American newspaper reported after the game.

Dunfermline is a progressive and ambitious club and they have made steady headway through the leagues to now stand in mid-table with 4 wins from 7 outings. Last season they were promoted and they also made it through to the final of the Scottish Cup having defeated Greenock on the way there. This year they have recruited well with left-arm spinner Aparajit Singh having joined from Falkland and he will be backed up by opening bowler and National Academy member Safyaan Sharif. Dunfermline also welcome back prolific Springbok Professional Alistair Gray and Aussie overseas amateur Marshall Bunting who also featured for the Fifers last term.

McLaren doesn’t have his problems to seek as injury and unavailability continues to ravage his already threadbare squad once again. In mitigation, last Saturday he had to make do without frontline batsmen McIntosh (injured), Berrington ( Scotland duty) and Baum (exams). He was also shorn of the services of Prabhu who injured himself in the field last Saturday and who was forced to bat at 11.

A squad of twelve has been selected for the match as there is still some doubt as to Richie Berrington's availability. With Dougie Wylie also unavailable this week, Kenny Diffenthal has been drafted in to the side. However, if Richie does not play, then the bowling attack does look very weak.

There is no doubt that this will be a huge challenge for this Greenock side. Defeats, like victories, become habitual but the team showed all of the necessary qualities that are needed for a win a fortnight ago when they comfortably defeated a strong West side in Glasgow. Here’s hoping for more of the same this Sunday.

Saturday 12th June - Glenpark XI v GHK/Strathclyde

The Glenpark XI got their season back on track with a thumping victory last week at Torrance House and they will be keen to follow this up with another win. With the 1st XI not in action until Sunday, the opportunity is being taken to give a couple of the 1st XI players who have been struggling for form of late, a chance to get some good match practice. As a result, it is a strong-looking team that is set to take the field.

Sunday 20th June - Hillend XI v Innellan

The Hillend XI welcome Innellan to Glenpark on Sunday for their annual friendly match. These games are always played in th ebest of spirit and with the weather seemingly set fair, there is no reason to suppose that this year's game will be any different. All 22 players on the park are sure to enjoy themselves enormously, which is really the whole point of it all.