May 29/30 Weekend Preview

Saturday 29th May - Greenock v Watsonians

Greenock welcome Watsonians to Glenpark on Saturday as the local team look to get their season off the mark with an opening victory this season.

The toss could prove to be vital with heavy showers forecast on Saturday so the dreaded Duckworth-Lewis computation may come into play if the rains interrupt and batting second may well be key. Skipper McLaren will certainly have much to think about should his opposite number call incorrectly but conditions on the day will dictate that particular decision.

Last week Greenock did not perform with the bat given the fact that they were offered first dig on a good track in glorious weather. In days of yore a score of 214 in 50 overs would have seemed stratospheric but not now as teams attack the bowling with shots not yet in the book and the fielding restrictions make defending boundaries nigh on impossible early in the innings.

There is no doubt that the home team has a fairly potent top order but the ever recurring 20s and 30s need to be converted into 70s and 80s. Indeed, it could be argued that falling having done all of the hard work to get to 20 is a much more heinous offence than perishing first ball. However McLaren’s task is not made any easier as he will be without all-rounders McIntosh who is injured and Berrington who will be heading down south to play for the Saltires. As both players would normally feature with bat and bowl, and overseas amateur Kruger is still out with a broken finger, it is yet another set of obstacles for the home team to overcome. In comes Ryan Begley who has recovered from an elbow injury suffered in a a pre-season friendly, and former captain, über veteran David Thomson.

The visitors will arrive in fine fettle having seen off Clydesdale last week chasing down 231 to win by 5 wickets. Watson’s include former Greenock captain Craig Wright, who left this season due to increasing work commitments in the capital, and youngster Ryan Flannigan fresh from helping Scotland ‘A’ defeat Leicestershire 2nd XI midweek with a very belligerent 82 in the second innings. They also field Kiwi Professional Tim Weston, in good touch following his unbeaten 113 which helped down the men from Titwood, and former Grange player and internationalist Stuart Chalmers. The team has a balanced look about it with a mix of precocious youth and immobile experience led this week by Weston and not usual skipper, Steve Paige, but with the ubiquitous shadow of the all-seeing eye of Wright never far from the decision making process.

Watsonians lie in mid table having won precisely half of their 4 previous fixtures and they will feel confident of adding a third victory on Saturday but Greenock will also fancy their chances at home as they definitely possess the necessary ability to win games in this league. McLaren will be hoping that this latent talent finally morphs into runs, wickets and ultimately victory.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor Campbell MacNeill, Match Sponsor St. Andrew’s Garage and Presidential Suite Sponsor Greenock Hockey Club.

Saturday 29th May - Victoria v Glenpark XI

After last week's fiasco when the match with Active Life at Springburn Park was called off due to the lack of facilities available, the Glenpark XI will be hoping for better luck this week, when they take on Victoria. The only problem is that the game is due to be played at Springburn Park! Hopefully last week's issues will have been sorted out and the WDCU League Management Committee were meeting on Wednesday of this week to debate the issue. Just what leverage they can apply to Glasgow City Council is debatable but surely some good sense will apply and 22 cricketers can get their weekly game.

Sunday 30th May - Ferguslie v 1st XI

For the second time in four days and indeed the third time this season, the 1st XI make the trip up the M8 to Paisley to take on Ferguslie, this time in the West League Cup. After last week's resounding victory in the competition over Ayr, hopes will be high for another success and the desire to avenge Thursday evening's defeat in the Rowan Cup will also be a prominent thought in Greenock minds. The Greenock team selection shows a few changes from the Saturday team and Ryan Begley will captain the side, provided his elbow suffers no ill-effects from the previous day's game.

Sunday 30th May - Hillend XI v Carradale

The Hillend XI have a friendly match on Sunday with Carradale. Readers of the current edition of the Wisden Cricketer magazine (a great monthly read which is highly recommended if you have never looked at it) will have seen the article relating how the club won a competition to participate in a day's coaching session with Andy Flower at Loughborough College. It is a most inspiring story and it will be interesting to see how the session has galvanised Carradale. They are clearly a bunch of guys who love the game and are determined to improve their club. With a limited number of opponents to play in their locality, they are prepared to travel long distances to get a game and improve their performances. Good luck to them and let's hope there are no weather difficulties on the day. They certainly deserve a warm welcome from everyone at Glenpark.