Mixed fortunes in pre-season friendlies

Greenock 1st XI vs Drumpellier

Greenock opened their 2010 season with a friendly against old Western Union foes Drumpellier at a cold and windy but sunny Glenpark on Saturday. The locals fielded newcomers Chris Bellwood and Andy Hislop, formerly of Dumfries and Clydesdale respectively, and welcomed back Kevin McLaren from Corstorphine as captain of the side.

Drumpellier won the toss and decided to bat on a green but true wicket and quickly lost opener Stevenson who was bowled by Rowan with the total on 4. Thereafter the score moved merrily along to 132 for 3 with the brothers Zahir and Asid Mohammed contributing 31 and 57 respectively before the introduction of Sam ‘secret weapon’ Sanghera saw a dramatic collapse to just 148 all out. Sam rattled through the visitors’ middle order to bag a remarkable haul of 5 for 12 off just 4 overs. The one sour note of the innings was a serious elbow injury to Ryan Begley when attempting a catch off his own bowling which will keep him out of action for 5 to 6 weeks.

In reply, Phil McIntosh went cheaply playing the pinch hitting role before Andy Hislop and Richie Berrington gradually became accustomed to the slowness of the early season wicket to build a great partnership of 88 with some calculated and powerful hitting and astute running between the wickets. Hislop reached a well earned 50 before being retired out to allow others some much-needed practice, whilst Scotland man Berrington helped himself to 46. Both batsman amassed no fewer than 10 boundaries apiece. It was left to skipper McLaren (20no) and Bellwood (5no) to wrap things up for the home team with 20 of the allotted 40 overs remaining.

A comfortable win in the end but with no fewer than 29 extras conceded a bit of work still remains for the bowlers. Both newcomers, Hislop and Bellwood, produced encouraging displays and look sure to feature strongly in the coming weeks.


Greenock 1st XI vs Dunfermline Knights

Greenock got out of jail with the aid of Greenock’s 12th man – the rain - on Sunday as the frailties in their batting were cruelly exposed by newly promoted Dunfermline. Batting first on a lively wicket only Hislop showed the necessary graft and application to make a gritty 32 as wickets fell regularly at the other end. Bellwood (14), Rowan (16) and John Hempsey (10) all reached double figures but the home team meekly surrendered for exactly 100 in under 28 overs, having been 75 for 4 at drinks. Wily medium pacer Arfat took 4 for 10 as he fully exploited the prodigious movement afforded him by the weather affected wicket.

Dunfermline soon found themselves in trouble in reply as opener Vihm was bowled third ball by Rowan who then promptly proceeded to drop a catch and dislocate a finger into the bargain. The local supporters were rewarded for their chanting, praying and dancing as the Rain Gods finally relented and deposited a prolonged, and ultimately terminal, heavy shower which saw the players scurry to the safety of the bar with Dunfermline stranded on 13 for 1.