Greenock miss chance to beat league leaders

Greenock 1st XI vs Carlton

Carlton 212 (10 pts) (GD Drummond 33, CV English 31; RDG Wylie 4 for 27, W Jamal 4 for 51)
Greenock 1st XI 154 (0 pts) (AHJ Hislop 39, JPC Hempsey 30; GD Drummond 3 for 8)


Greenock missed out on a good opportunity to inflict a second successive weekend defeat on Carlton, the SNCL Premiership leaders, when the two sides met at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon. The visitors were bowled out for just 212 in the 49th over, leaving Greenock needing just marginally more than four runs per over for victory. But the home side faltered from the start of their own innings and the chance of gaining a very valuable win slipped through their fingers.

A very sizeable crowd provided an excellent atmosphere at Glenpark in the warm and sunny conditions as the two sides battled it out for the points which had great significance for each team.

Carlton were inserted by Richie Berrington and in just the eighth over Greenock got the early wicket they were looking for when Waleed Jamal clean bowled Scottish International opener Fraser Watts for 18. Jamal almost had a second wicket a couple of overs later when Preston Mommsen mis-timed a drive and a catching chance was missed at backward point.

Mommsen and Cedric English, both Scottish Internationalists, took advantage of this let off and seemed at ease with the home attack as the runs began to mount. However, a change of bowling brought about the downfall of both these batsmen, as first English(31) was adjudged LBW to Dougie Wylie’s accurate spin bowling and then Mommsen (28) edged another delivery from Wylie to wicketkeeper Andy Hislop to leave the visitors on 94 for 3 at the midway point in the innings.

Stevie Gilmour and Scotland captain Gordon Drummond then steadied the ship for Carlton as they took the total to over 150 before the return of Jamal brought about the dismissal of both players. First Gilmour was trapped LBW for 23 and then Drummond was caught by Willie Rowan for 33.

These wickets meant that the top five, very dangerous, Carlton batsmen had been removed and Greenock sensed a real opportunity to have the Premiership leaders dismissed for a very manageable total. Indeed, when Nick Hunt was caught by Tim McIntosh for just one run as Wylie returned to the bowling attack, and the Edinburgh men were 164 for 6, this certainly seemed possible.

Only Jamie Kerr with 27 not out provided any further real resistance as Carlton slumped to 212 all out. Wylie(4 for 27 from 10 overs) and Jamal (4 for 51 from 10 overs) were the main wicket-takers for Greenock with Tim McIntosh and Richie Berrington each picking up a wicket towards the end of the innings.

A concern for Greenock however must be the large number of extras which provided runs for the Edinburgh side. A total of 39 extras were leaked with 20 wides and 17 leg byes in this ‘extra’ number.

Greenock began their innings in confident mood with Shailesh Prabhu and Tim Mcintosh opening the batting and after three overs 16 runs were on the board courtesy of a number of well struck boundaries off the bowling of Mommsen. Drummond was, however, giving nothing away and in just the fourth over had Prabhu caught at point for 8.

Chris Bellwood and Richie Berrington both were dismissed early to put Greenock very much on the back foot and it took a good partnership from McIntosh and Andy Hislop to get the home side gradually back into the match. The loss of Kiwi pro McIntosh for 28 caught by English off the bowling of Ahmed in the 22nd over was a major blow to Greenock and when Willie Rowan (7) was caught by wicketkeeper Kerr with the score on 87 for 5 the local side were in some trouble.

Andy Hislop and Jonathan Hempsey then swung the momentum back in Greenock’s direction as Hempsey in particular increased the run chase. But when Trembath had Hempsey caught at deep long off for 30 and then Hislop bowled for 39 just five balls later to make the score 125 for 7 in the 37th over, the outlook was very bleak.

An entertaining cameo innings from Ben Peterson was all that was left for Greenock as he looked to hit each ball a distance and indeed managed one six hit into Fox Street before being caught for 20 by Fraser Watts.

Gordon Drummond showed his international bowling class as he returned figures of 3 wickets for just 8 runs from 8.2 overs with Mommsen 2 for 36 and Trembath 2 for 37 the other main wicket takers.

Greenock were all out for 154, having failed to capitalise on a good first half of the match which saw the Premiership leaders restricted to what, for them, was a fairly modest total and should have been an achievable target. The large number of extras leaked by Greenock will no doubt be an area which Greenock will reflect could have had an important bearing on the outcome of this game and on which some serious work may have to be done in the remaining games of this season’s Premiership campaign.

Greenock CC are grateful for the support of sponsors Blair and Bryden Solicitors(Presidential Suite), Reid Mackellar Opticians (Match) and Jim Snoddy (Ball).