Greenock's losing run continues

Greenock 1st XI vs Carlton

Greenock 1st XI (0 pts) 124 (CV English 3 for 21)
Carlton (10 pts) 126 for 0
(DF Watts 59*, PL Mommen 44*)

Scorecard       Photos

Greenock succumbed to an expected tenth defeat of a difficult season when they fell foul of both the conditions and a very competent looking Carlton side at Glenpark on Saturday when the visitors prevailed by ten wickets.

That well worn phrase “I think the toss will be important today” could not have been better illustrated as Carlton took full advantage of calling correctly by inserting Greenock on a damp, green seamer coupled with leaden overhead skies. Veteran opening bowler Cedric English may not possess the outright pace of years gone by but he has never been a mug with either bat or ball and he demonstrated all of his skills as he winkled out three home batsmen for just 21 runs off his allotted ten overs.

McIntosh (3) was first to go in the fifth over when he was cleaned up walking past a straight one with the total on 10. Berrington (2) looked ill at ease on the slowish wicket and it was no surprise when he popped one up back to bowler Legget who took the catch gratefully on his follow through. Hislop dug in for the day and he and Bellwood added 17 for the third wicket before the latter mistimed an optimistic drive and was well caught by Jamie Kerr off Legget for 5. Kruger (4) hit a lovely boundary but he then lobbed a slower English delivery to Watts at mid-wicket and the home team were in bother at 39 for 4. Hislop’s hour long vigil was finally ended one run later in the nineteenth over when he too fell victim to English for a hard grafted 21. Doesn’t sound like a lot but it was a truly gutsy effort in the circumstances.

Youngster Baum and captain McLaren then set about some sort of recovery as the early demons in the wicket disappeared and batting became a whole lot less fraught. These two looked comfortable as they moved the score along nicely to 91 without any of the previous dramas and a challenging score of 180 or so beckoned. It was not to be. Firstly McLaren (24) could only watch in absolute horror as he whacked a rank half tracker down the throat of Mommsen off the part-time bowling of Dean and his younger partner Baum (16) did likewise off the useful Ahmad three runs later.

Suddenly reaching 100 was in doubt but John Hempsey (10) and Ryan Begley (13*) put that to bed with a stand of 17 before the former was done all hands up by Lyons and ‘keeper Kerr lifted the bails with the batsman a yard out of his ground and not even trying to recover. Wylie (1) was run out by direct hit and the coup de grâce was eventually administered by Scotland captain Gordon Drummond when a somewhat bemused Kieran Begley (0) was out LBW with the final total on 124 in 45.5 overs.

On the basis that it never rains but it pours one could only shake one’s head in amazement as the Carlton opening pair marched down the steps with the sun shining through a cloudless sky. “What’ya gonna’ do?” stated one rather exasperated home supporter peering at the Heavens beseeching The Almighty to “gie’s a break.” with little success as they raced off in pursuit of the 125 for victory. Watts (59*) was imperious as he thumped his way to a 48-ball half century which included 6 boundaries and one huge maximum into Bedford Street and his partner Mommsen motored to an un-sloth like 44 not out which also included 6 boundaries. In keeping with Greenock’s well renowned reputation for outstanding hospitality at Glenpark the home bowlers contributed no fewer than 23 extras to Carlton’s cause although the smart money said that this would probably not have been necessary in the long run as the chase only lasted 21.2 overs.

So another day, another defeat but one with mitigating circumstances. Had Greenock won the toss I feel sure that Carlton would have themselves struggled for the first hour or two batting first but given their powerful line-up I also feel sure that they would not have slid to 124 all out. Make no doubt about it, this is a really good cricketing side and there is no disgrace suffering at their talented hands.

Greenock now head off to meet Grange in Edinburgh on Saturday where the shoe will be on the other foot for a welcome change as it will be The Stags who for once will be without a number of key players for various reasons.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor – Scott Forrest, Match Sponsor – W. B. Hall (Sales & Service) and Presidential Suite Sponsor – Stephen Wylie