Rain wins again as Ayr encounter is washed out

Greenock 1st XI v Ayr
CSL Western Premier Division
Saturday 28th July 2012

Ayr 31 for 1    
Greenock 1st XI      


The incessant rains, that have blighted this summer, returned on Saturday to wash out Greenock’s fixture with Local Life Ayr. Frequent showers that fell on Greenock from Friday evening onwards meant that the prospect of play was always going to be problematic and it was clear that the ground could not take much more rain.

Play started a little late at 12.15 with Ayr batting first, having been inserted by Greenock skipper, Ryan Begley. Opening bowlers Walid Jamal and Jonathan Hempsey began steadily but after just three overs, Ayr had moved to 18 without loss. However, the fourth over brought some success for Greenock as Neil Smith was caught by Ryan Begley off the bowling of Jonathan Hempsey for 6.

Ayr professional, Craig Thyssen, was next to the wicket and he began confidently with a couple of boundaries off Hempsey. Andy McElnea also helped himself to a boundary and the score had moved on to 31 in the seventh over. At this point, the rain began to fall heavily and the players were forced to leave the field. Attempts were made to restart but each time the covers were taken off the pitch, the rain returned. An early tea was taken but one final heavy downpour forced the umpires to abandon the game. Ironically, the rest of the day and evening was dry.

Results were obtained in the other three games in the CSL Western Premier Division with Clydesdale going to the top of the table after beating Dumfries, Drumpellier winning for the second week in succession, this time against Stirling County and West of Scotland beating Uddingston in a game that required Duckworth/Lewis to provide the result.

These results have ensured that Greenock remain at the foot of the table, with Stirling County and Uddingston just ahead of them. Next week’s game for Greenock brings Uddingston to Glenpark for what will be a crucial game in the battle to avoid relegation. Hopefully, Richie Berrington will be available to play for Greenock although if he does, then that will mean his fellow-Scotland internationalist, Calum MacLeod, will also be free to play for Uddingston and it was his century in the first game between the two clubs that set the Lanarkshire team on the way to an overwhelming victory.

It would be nice to think that the weather would improve and allow the concluding weeks of the season to be played out in sunny, cricketing weather. However, the forecast for this week, at least, indicates just more of the same stuff that we have endured so far. Cricketers in Scotland understand that they will always be battling against the elements but this year has proved to be one of the very worst of seasons, certainly in recent memory.

There is little doubt that the sport suffers badly in such circumstances. The finances of clubs, which are not strong in the first place, take a really bad hit, players drift away from the game as they find other things to do on a Saturday and, most seriously, the future of the game is put at risk as youngsters are not encouraged to take part in a sport that can be so badly disrupted. Another summer like this one will only exacerbate these problems.