Greenock aim for third league win on the trot

Greenock travel to Glasgow on Saturday to play Poloc in a CSL League match and will be looking to achieve a third straight win in as many Saturdays. Recent form being maintained, and with several players missing from last week once again available, Greenock should be well placed to give a good account of themselves and hopefully get the win.

Only three league fixtures remain as the 2013 season moves towards its conclusion. The much hoped for challenge at the top of the table has not materialised due to several poor results earlier in the season, however, Greenock should achieve a comfortable upper mid table position.

The Glenparkers will be hoping to end the season with a good run of results to finish the league programme. As the three matches are Poloc (A), Weirs (H) and Stenhousemuir (A) Greenock will feel confident that all three can be won. Only Stenhousemuir lie above the local side in the league table and all three of these sides should be capable of being beaten by an on-form Greenock 1st XI.

Fraser Colson has been in outstanding form in recent weeks with 131 not out against Kelburne two weeks ago and last Sunday in the CSL40 Cup semi final at East Kilbride he hit a dazzling 152. In between these matches he scored 61 against Prestwick last Saturday and in a midweek match on Tuesday of this week against touring side Hall Park Templars from Leeds, he scored a further 91 runs. Colson is a run machine once he gets in and Greenock will be hoping that he can continue his form right to the end of August.

Tom Batters too has shown that he can be a useful top order bat for the team since his elevation in recent weeks with 46 against Kelburne and 58 not out in the eight wicket win over Prestwick last weekend.

Although there is plenty of batting in the rest of the Greenock line-up with the likes of internationalist Richie Berrington, Under-19 Scotland player Alex Baum and Under-17 Scotland player Neil Flack and the Hempsey brothers, far too often this season there has been a lack of consistency in run scoring and much has been left to Colson to achieve a score.

Greenock’s bowling attack has been more of a strength throughout the season with various players regularly achieving decent bowling figures. In terms of wicket-taking, Australian amateur Tom Batters leads the way in competitive matches played with 43 wickets, then it is Waleed Jamal with 37, Jonathan Hempsey with 28, Greg McDougall with 20 and Fraser Colson with 17.

At Glenpark earlier in the season when Greenock met Poloc in the CSL home league fixture, the Glenparkers ran out winners by 70 runs having scored 253 for 8 before dismissing Poloc for 183. This was a good all round team performance with Fraser Colson scoring 95, Neil Flack 72 and Jonathan Hempsey returned figures of 5 wickets for 41runs from12 overs, with his brother Chris assisting with four catches behind the stumps.

Poloc began their CSL league programme poorly with three defeats which included the match against Greenock at Glenpark. Since then the Glasgow side has picked up three wins out of five matches including a surprise win against league leaders East Kilbride two weeks ago at Torrance House. On that day Poloc dismissed East Kilbride for 179 and then passed the home side’s total with three wickets and just eight balls of the match remaining.

The key performers for the Shawholm side this season have been Craig Young, Syed Aslam and professional Carl Huyser. Each has had a number of good scores with the bat and Huyser has also been a regular wicket-taker. Greenock will have to work hard to contain Huyser in particular when Poloc bat, but must also be aware of the danger Young and Aslam pose in the Poloc side. With home advantage, the Glasgow team will be keen to avenge the defeat they suffered at Glenpark.

Greenock for their part will be keen to keep the positive momentum of recent league results going and seek a third CSL Western First Division league win. The weather may, however, be the winner this weekend as the forecast for Saturday may leave a blank programme, at least in the west of the country.

The team for Saturday's match which starts at 12noon at Shawholm in Glasgow will be selected from a squad of 12.

The Glenpark XI are at home to the Shawholm XI (Poloc's 2nd XI) on Saturday. The Glasgow side are currently sitting top of the table and will be a hard team to beat. After last week's intensely disappointing default, it is to be hoped that the stronger 1st XI plus the return of some of the usual Glenpark players who were unable to play last week, should at least mean that the fixture can be fulfilled. The match should start at 1pm.

The Hillend XI travel to Paisley on Sunday to play Ferguslie in the WDCU Sunday League. This match is due to start at 1pm.