Greenock keen to win at Dunfermline

Greenock travel to McKane Park, Dunfermline on Saturday knowing that this is a game they need to win to give themselves a chance to move out of the lower quarter of the SNCL Premiership. Dunfermline, their opponents, have had two good wins in the month of July already and as a result have moved up the table into the top ten, so all is set for an interesting afternoon’s cricket.

Last Saturday at Glenpark, Greenock went down by four wickets to Watsonians who are now occupying sixth spot in the league. However with another forty or fifty runs on the board Greenock may well have come out on top. Having begun confidently against Greenock’s opening bowlers, the Edinburgh side’s batting line up looked increasingly fragile as Tony Judd , Andy Hislop and Tim McIntosh picked up important wickets. But it was too little, too late and Greenock’s batting total of 143 was just not enough for the bowlers to work on.

There were a number of positives for Greenock from last week’s performance. In the batting line up Shailesh Prabhu made his first appearance in the 1st XI this season and came in at number three and scored 28 while Greg McDougall showed his capability with the bat contributing 23 not out when he came in at the fall of the eighth wicket. Change bowlers McIntosh, Judd and Hislop picked up the wickets and showed there is a depth of choice in the Greenock attack.

Greenock however were without internationalist Richie Berrington for last week’s encounter and he was certainly missed as he would have added strength to both Greenock’s batting and bowling. Hopefully he will have recovered from his injury and be able to take his place against Dunfermline. If so then Greenock can look forward to a greater strength in depth in their batting line up with Berrington likely to occupy the number three or number four position. His 56 from 23 balls for Scotland against Ireland in the recent One Day International showed just what a powerful performer he can be as he completely took the game away from the Irish with some quite brilliant shot making.

Dunfermline have a busy weekend of cricket coming up, for they do not just play Greenock on Saturday, they also have the tantalising prospect of a Scottish Cup final in mind as they play in form Arbroath United in the semi-final at McKane Park on Sunday.

The Fifers have a number of players in their squad who will give the local side plenty to think about. Likely to be opening the batting for them will be former Greenock player and captain Kevin McLaren who has had a mixed season for Dunfermline so far but who is always dangerous with both bat and ball. Others Greenock will need to be watchful of include Aamir Shahzad who did damage against McCrea West last Saturday taking three wickets and then scoring 46, while Safyaan Sharif recently made a successful one day international debut for Scotland against the Netherlands at Aberdeen by picking up 4 for 27 from just eight overs.

Dunfermline have shown just what a couple of wins can do for league positions this season as just a few weeks ago the Fifers were on a similar percentage to Greenock. So the incentive is there for Greenock to pick up a win and move up the Premiership table. A win across in Fife would be a great boost for the team and if professional Tim McIntosh can get in tomorrow afternoon, and be supported by others in the batting lineup, then an exciting contest is in store.

The Glenpark XI are at home on Sunday to the Western Academy in a SNCL Reserve League match. Currently occupying joint second top spot in the SNCL Reserve League, the Glenpark XI will be keen to continue their good league form and gain a win over the youthful, upcoming prospects who make up the Western Academy side.