Greenock look to end Glenpark season in style

Greenock play their final home league fixture of 2013 on Saturday when Glasgow club Weirs pay a visit to Glenpark. It is the penultimate match of the season with only a trip to Stenhousemuir still to follow.

Last Saturday, Greenock’s hopes of a third win on successive Saturdays was thwarted by the weather as rain caused the cancellation of their match against Poloc. This weekend the Glenparkers will be keen to continue their recent decent form and gain a win against their Glasgow opponents.

However nothing runs smoothly since Greenock captain Shailesh Prabhu looks likely to miss the match as his work commitments currently have him stranded abroad and unable to get back to Greenock in time for Saturday’s match. The captaincy will once more be taken by Jonathan Hempsey whose record in charge has in fact been close to 100%.

Apart from the absence of Prabhu, Greenock should be able to field a side close to their strongest eleven. Richie Berrington is available with no international commitments this weekend and also back after injury is Alex Baum.

Opponents Weirs occupy second bottom position in the CSL Western First Division league table with three wins from eight matches played. The league fixture between Greenock and Weirs scheduled for earlier in the season was cancelled due to wet weather and the CSL40 cup match between the sides in June was conceded by the Glasgow side. Saturday’s match therefore will be the first meeting between the sides in 2013.

Although Greenock will go into this match as favourites, Weirs have beaten both Kelburne and Stenhousemuir in recent weeks so the Glenpark side must be at their best on Saturday if a win is to be achieved.

Former Greenock player and current Scottish internationalist Moneeb Iqbal has been an important player for Weirs and in their most recent fixture against league leaders East Kilbride he just missed out on a century, scoring 91 runs before being caught going for a boundary to boost his team’s total.

Others in the Weirs side who could pose problems for Greenock include Syed Shah who is regularly a main wicket-taker and can also be a dangerous run scorer, David McCaig who bats in the top order and has had a few good scores and Rohit Shinde who has picked up wickets and scored runs in recent games.

Greenock, too, have players in their line-up who have been in good form. New Zealander Fraser Colson has scored two fine centuries in recent weeks and has now passed a thousand runs for this season. To be exact, Colson has scored 1073 runs from 21 innings, of which four have been ‘not out’, to produce a current average of 63.

The Glenpark side’s opening pace bowling attack of Australian amateur Tom Batters and Waleed Jamal has been a potent threat to opposition throughout the season and between them they have racked up an impressive haul of 80 wickets in competitive matches.

On Saturday against Weirs, Greenock will be keen to have players in their side performing to their best ability. Richie Berrington has played only a handful of matches for the side due to his Scottish cricket commitments and has yet to make a score of any real note and will want to rectify that statistic. Alex Baum returns and is capable of compiling a sizeable innings as is Under-17 Scottish international Neil Flack who has begun to make his mark in the senior game this season.

Greenock supporters will be keen to see an entertaining game at Glenpark on the final Saturday of 1st XI cricket for this season. If Fraser Colson can continue his run-scoring form, and others in the team step up and play as they can, then a third league win in a row should be achieved and Greenock’s position in upper mid-table consolidated

The Glenpark XI travel to Glasgow to take on Albert Park in the WDCU CSL First Reserve League. The team will be hoping that they can improve on performances this season which have been extremely disappointing at times. The match should start at 1pm.

The Hillend XI travel to East Kilbride on Sunday to play their final WDCU Sunday League fixture of the season and will be hoping to end their season with a victory. This match is due to start at 1pm.