Massive game for Greenock against Drumpellier at Glenpark

Greenock host Drumpellier at Glenpark on Saturday in a Cricket Scotland League Premier Division West fixture which despite still being quite early in the season, nevertheless takes on a huge importance for the local club. Three defeats from the first three league matches means that this game is a massive one for Greenock. A win will give an opportunity for the team to take confidence forward to future games. Defeat is simply not being contemplated.

Last week at Uddingston, Greenock failed to keep the Villagers sufficiently in check throughout their innings and, in the last ten overs in particular, the Lanarkshire side plundered the bowling, putting on over a hundred runs and running up a total of over 300.

As on some previous occasions in the season so far, the Greenock top order batting failed to fire, and after the loss of a number of key wickets at an early stage in the innings there appeared to be a lack of confidence and conviction from the middle and lower order which might at least have salvaged some pride in the performance.

On Saturday against Drumpellier, there must be a real team effort from start to finish if a first league win is to be achieved.

The Drumpellier side has only completed one league fixture out of three matches scheduled so far due to weather cancellations. The match which did go ahead was last Saturday at Langloan when McCrea West were visitors and won by just 24 runs in a fairly even contest. Set 180 runs to win, the Drumpellier side was all out for 155 with just under three overs remaining.

Earlier in the season in the Scottish Cup sectional matches, once again Drumps managed to complete only one game out of three which was lost to Kelburne at Langloan . On that occasion, the Lanarkshire side was set 211 to win but could only manage 128.

Drumpellier therefore have only played two competitive Saturday fixtures in 2012 due to weather cancellations, both at home at their Langloan ground, but on neither occasion did they gain a victory. So Saturday’s visit to Glenpark will be Drumps first competitive Saturday fixture away from home and the side has still to gain a League or Cup win.

All the facts so far set out therefore indicate that Saturday’s fixture is of huge importance for both teams. Neither has a league win and both sides seem to be somewhat brittle in their batting line ups. Which side will be strong in the match situation on Saturday will be crucial to the eventual outcome.

Greenock will look to their top six batsmen to come good for this game. Shailesh Prabhu had a fine fifty at Ayr just two weeks ago but was perhaps unlucky to be given out LBW last Saturday against Uddingston. Alex Baum partnered Prabhu in the opening partnership and may do so again on Saturday. He is a capable young batsman and is an Under 19 Scotland squad player. He has the ability to make a big score and must concentrate while out in the middle in order to build a major innings. Pro Mphp Sekhoto is itching to get back out in the middle as he feels a big score is on the way. Richie Berrington will be keen to build a major innings having surrendered his wicket while having scored in the 20’s or 30’s in a number of matches so far

Ryan Begley and Chris Hempsey both got starts last week but were unable to convert their good starts into real, significant scores.

Saturday therefore is a game for which Greenock players must look to their individual performances.

The Glenpark XI bounced back last week with a splendid win over Bothwell and will be keen to maintain that form when they travel to Coatbridge to take on the Langloan XI. The side is again led by Kevin Flack and with the nucleus of last week's team available again, hopes are high that a positive result will be gained. This match starts at 1.00pm.

The Hillend XI are back in action this week after their enforced lay-off last Sunday.They face a trip to Helensburgh on Sunday and take with them a team that is packed with youthful exuberance backed up by the experience of skipper Kevin Flack, Chris Hempsey and Greg McDougall. As such, they will be confident of returning home with the spoils.