Luke Butterworth makes his debut

Greenock 1st XI travel to Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow on Saturday to meet McCrea West of Scotland and will be hoping that it can be third time lucky after having suffered defeats on the first two weekends of the Premiership league programme.

Into the side for the first time comes Aussie professional Luke Butterworth. He has missed the first two Premiership games due to a foot injury and the presence of the tall Tasmanian all-rounder will be a huge boost to the Greenock team which has not had a professional in its ranks since the tail end of the 2009 season. Butterworth’s contribution with both bat and ball tomorrow is likely to play a crucial role in determining the outcome for the Glenpark side. He is a class player, as his performances in the recent Australian season demonstrated when he finished as top wicket-taker with his bowling in the Sheffield Shield and also from a number of very fine innings with the bat.

The potential of the generally young Greenock side is considerable, but as yet it has not been realised. Players such as Chris Bellwood and Andy Hislop, who both joined the team at Glenpark last season, along with young Alex Baum have shown glimpses of the abilities which they have as batsmen, while Willie Rowan and Jonathan Hempsey have frequently had to lead the bowling attack which by Premiership standards is arguably at least one, perhaps two, main strike bowlers light. Butterworth should add much needed strength to the Greenock batting line-up along with Scottish internationalist Richie Berrington, and also real pace in attack from his bowling. Dougie Wylie will use his experience and guile to try and pick up a number of wickets also.

Both Luke Butterworth and Richie Berrington have been selected for the Saltires side to play Surrey and Durham at the Grange in Edinburgh on Sunday and Monday and one consequence of this is that Berrington has been allowed to play for Greenock solely as a batsman.

The McCrea West side has a number of key players who Greenock will be keen to keep well in check. Opening batsman Douglas Lockhart, who has only recently retired from the international scene having amassed 178 caps and scored almost 3600 runs, will be a top target along with skipper, Ian Young who was on the Middlesex playing staff for a number of years. Another player of significant talent whom Greenock will be wary of is Under-18 youngster Andrew Umeed who has become a fixture in the West 1st XI due to his ability with both bat and ball. In his two innings to date for West he has scored 78 not out and 85 and is clearly a young player of immense promise.

The danger men in West’s bowling attack are likely to be Kiwi professional Colin de Grandhomme, who has yet to come off with the bat, David McNulty and Ian Cran and the Glenpark batting line-up must display a much greater resilience and considered choice of shots than has been the case so far this season if a winning total is to be achieved.

The match starts at Hamilton Crescent at 13.00pm

Match Ball Sponsor: The Hempsey Family

The Glenpark XI play the Whitehaugh XI (Kelburne 2ndXI) at Glenpark on Saturday and will be looking to record their second win in the SNCL Reserve League. Having had their match abandoned due to heavy rain last weekend, they will be hoping for better luck with the weather this week. However, the heavy showers of the current week coupled with a less than promising forecast would suggest that this hope may be somewhat forlorn.

The match starts at Glenpark at 13.00pm.

On Sunday at Glenpark, the Hillend XI play Drumpellier in the WDCU Sunday League. A squad of twelve has been selected for the match and it is the usual mix of experience and youth .

The match starts at Glenpark at 2pm.