Greenock well beaten by league leaders

Greenock 1st XI vs Grange

Greenock (0 pts) 214 for 5 (KA McLaren 59*, WJ Rowan 36, AHJ Hislop 31)
Grange (10 pts) 215 for 4 (GI Maiden 99*, JSD Moffat 42*)


Greenock welcomed table toppers Grange to a sun-blessed Glenpark on Saturday but could do little to stop the east coast side departing back along the M8 with all 10 points following a comfortable 6 wicket victory.

Home skipper McLaren once again won the toss and once again he opted to bat first on a dry, flat and lifeless pitch and lightning fast outfield. Given the weather and relative strengths and weaknesses of either side it seemed like a sensible decision under the circumstances as the powerful Grange lineup could have made merry under the hot sun had they been invited to bat first.

Openers McIntosh and Hislop appeared unperturbed by the visiting bowlers as they strolled effortlessly along to 30 but another instance of lack of concentration saw McIntosh fall for 21. Once again, he had done all of the hard work and seemed well set with a really big score there for the taking. Hislop moved on to 31 before he too fell when looking good with the score on 66.

Bellwood and McLaren took the score to exactly 100 before the former was bowled by Hairs for 27 looking to drive the youngster through the covers for yet another boundary. Willie Rowan joined his captain at the crease and the two all-rounders kept the scoreboard ticking along without really punishing what was, in all honesty, a pretty friendly attack with two slow men operating in tandem for much of the innings. Grange seemed happy to let the Greenock batsmen take singles at will whilst protecting the boundaries. At this level, in mid-innings with the field set back, any team who elects to bat first needs to be taking at least a run a ball between overs 25 to 40 before upping the pace in the last 10.

It just never happened as the end of the innings sneaked up the home team before they knew what had hit them. Rowan was run out for 36 chasing an non-existent second run, Prabhu sacrificed his wicket in the final chase for runs and youngster Baum finished 18 not out with some audacious shots. Skipper McLaren ended up unbeaten on 59 having retired earlier with a problem with his contact lenses.

At the end of the appointed 50 overs Greenock had somewhat limped along to just 214 for the loss of only 5 wickets, two of which were lost playing catch-up as the innings came to a close. The all-knowing sages who frequent the beautiful Glenpark ground reckoned that it was at least 40 to 50 runs too few and their experience of such matters proved to be correct.

To be fair to McLaren’s men, they came out of the blocks flying as first Wylie bowled visiting captain Patel for just 6 and his opening partner Rowan snared the prodigious and well-nourished Hairs also for 6 caught at extra cover by his compatriot in youth and talent Alex Baum. At 15 for 2 it was game on. Normal service was resumed, however, by the experienced pairing of Coles and Maiden as they added 82 for the third wicket before the former fell, caught and bowled by a strangely nervous Sanghera. Contracted Scotland player Simon Smith then came and went, bowled by Wylie for 12 with the total on 126 for 4.

However Maiden was still there and batting beautifully whilst the belligerent Moffat seemed keen to get things done and dusted all by himself as he set about the wilting home bowlers with a series of boundaries and one towering maximum which ended up lost in a Bedford Street garden. With Maiden nearing a well deserved century it has to be said that Moffat could have orchestrated the strike a bit more to favour his partner but Maiden just never faced enough deliveries. With the scores level at 214 apiece and he himself on 98 he took the winning single to long on to seal victory but in doing so left himself stranded on 99 not out.

Just over 200 in such conditions against a side like Grange is never going to be competitive and if truth be told this was not a great batting performance by the home side. Having said that Grange have the look of a team about them who firmly believe that no matter how many runs the opposition score they will always back themselves to score one more.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsors Bill & Helen Crawford, Match Sponsors Graham & Agnes White and Presidential Suite Sponsor The Winter Club.