August 7 / August 8 Weekend Preview

Saturday 7th August- 1st XI v West of Scotland

Greenock will look to do the double over fellow strugglers McCrae FS West on Saturday at Glenpark.

Both teams have endured shocking campaigns winning a mere three games in total and the visitors hover nervously just one place above a Greenock side who remain firmly anchored to the bottom of the pile as they have done all season.

Greenock’s only league success was when they travelled to Hamilton Crescent in early June where they prevailed by 52 runs as the home side failed to chase down the 235 required for victory. Since then it has all gone pear-shaped for the fallen giants as time and time again their batting has quite literally crumbled in the face of anything resembling a half decent attack. Scores of 47, 53, 59 and 99 tell a sad story of poor crease occupation and a lack of discipline and application with the batters playing T20 shots in a 50 over game.

A quick review of the season to date illustrates just what could have been had those entrusted to wield the willow done even a semi-reasonable job. More application with the bat would surely have seen the locals surpass Clydesdale’s 202 on May 1st at Glenpark just as it would have in early July when they lost by 35 runs at Titwood. 200 would have caused all sorts of problems for Aberdeenshire the following week as it was 134 was going to trouble no-one whereas to be fair the weather probably deprived Greenock of victory in the return leg at Glenpark against the same opposition. A paltry 40 more runs may well have beaten Grange in late July and even a half-hearted effort would have easily taken care of the National Academy last Sunday. Character and bottle gentlemen please, character and bottle.

West arrive on Saturday without a number of frontline players as once again the Saltires head off down south to play Nottinghamshire on Sunday in search of their very own version of the impossible dream. A West without Goudie, Lockhart and former Greenock man Iqbal, all missing in action due to the international, should not really be a West at all. To add to their obvious chagrin their Kiwi professional Leighton Burtt gave up the ghost in July and returned home following what can only be described as a bad run of injuries. One shouldn’t really laugh about such misfortune but I’m going to anyway ‘cos it’s Friday so just indulge me for a moment. Firstly he tore his hamstring at the start of the season which was promptly followed by an ingrown toenail which turned septic. He then damaged his Achilles tendon before finally breaking his nose and blackening his eye when he missed a ball whilst taking junior training. And we thought Phil McIntosh was injury prone?

The locals will be without Richie Berrington who is on Scotland duty but apart from that they should be pretty much tat full strength. Berrington spent 4 days last week training with Sussex but nothing in writing has emerged from that particular adventure.

When I say that Greenock ought to win this encounter may seem like the rantings of a madman but I really do believe that. Pound for pound on Saturday Greenock is a far better side with more options and more talent with both bat and ball. What will actually happen only Mystic Meg knows at this stage. My prediction – we win the toss, bat, score 400 and bowl ‘em out for 39. “Wake up, Jimmy. Jimmy, c’mon wake up, it’s only half past four.” “Oh sorry darling, I was just having forty winks. It won’t happen again” Perchance to dream, oh yes indeed, perchance to dream.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor – Charles Briggs, Match Sponsor – Derek, Leigh & Freddie MacFeate and Presidential Suite Sponsor – Blair & Bryden

Saturday 7th August - Cavaliers v Glenpark XI

The Glenpark XI are at home again this weekend when they host second-placed Victoria in a game which the locals quite simply have to win if they wish to have any chance of gaining promotion this season. With the 1st XI more or less at full strength, this means that the Glenparkers will be also able to field a strong outfit. Hopes are high for a home win.

Sunday 8th August - Bill Gunn's XI v Greenock President's XI

This is the big one, the clash of the titans. Mere words cannot begin to describe the enormity of this game. Miss it at your peril as the legends of yesteryear take on some of today's superstars. OK, so that is gilding the lily somewhat, but this match to celebrate Bill Gunn's 60th birthday should be something to savour for all ages.