Same old story as Greenock well beaten by Stirling

Greenock 1st XI vs Stirling County
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 23rd August 2014

Stirling County 244 for 9 G Anderson 47, M Tweedie 46, B Williams 44, C Morton 38*; TW Batters 3 for 41
Greenock 1st XI 91 DK Thomas 40; R Hewage 3 for 21


Ready to start the report? Just write the same story as provided over so many weeks this season. Greenock make a decent start in the field but fail to kill off the opposition, who then build a challenging total, and in reply Greenock bat poorly. End.

Yes, it was déjà vu at Glenpark on Saturday. Mid table visitors Stirling County defeated Greenock by just over one hundred and fifty runs as the Glenparkers brought to an end their home league fixtures in consistently disappointing style.

Stirling County got first use of the wicket and not for the first time this season, Greenock gained the encouragement of an early breakthrough. In the very first over of play, County opening bat Graeme Taylor was very smartly run out by Tom Batters without having faced a ball when a straight drive by his opening partner was touched on to the stumps and he was out of his crease

The early wicket, however, was unable to be capitalised upon as Stirling skipper Gavin Anderson and Matthew Tweedie knuckled down to build a fine second wicket partnership worth 92 runs.

The breakthrough came in the twentieth over, when Anderson (47) was caught by Greg McDougall off the bowling of Neil Flack as he approached his half century, but it only brought out to the middle the high scoring middle order bat Bradley Williams. The South African overseas amateur has had a fine 2014 season in Scotland and he continued his good form in this match. He began his innings with a couple of early singles to get settled, followed with a boundary and then blasted the first of three 6’s in his innings out of the Glenpark ground.

Tweedie (46) was removed by Greenock’s Aussie pace bowler Tom Batters when Neil Flack took a good catch with score on 121 in the 27th over. Stirling’s Ian Shaw was then clean bowled first ball by Batters to make the score 121 for 4 and Greenock were right back in the match.

Anton Ehlers, County’s second overseas amateur from South Africa, joined his compatriot Williams and the two had a brief, but productive, four over partnership of 29 runs, with Ehlers (17) smashing four boundaries in the process. He too, however, was cleaned up by Batters, whose pace was too great, when his stumps were scattered with the score on 150.

Carswell was then removed with the first ball he faced when adjudged LBW to a delivery from Jonathan Hempsey and then the prized wicket of Williams was also picked up by Hempsey when the South African was caught by Greg McDougall at long off for 44 to put the visitors on 168 for 7.

Just twelve more runs were added before wicket number eight was picked up by promising young Greenock bowler Louis Ware when he trapped Sean Ferrie LBW for 9 runs.

With County 180 for 8, Greenock were keen to pick up the last two wickets and deny the visitors getting to 200. But tail-enders Paul Bielby and Chris Morton had other ideas and mounted a fine partnership which took the visitors well beyond the 200 run mark. The pair added 63 runs from the last fourteen overs with Bielby (22) only dismissed in the final over, caught by Tom Batters from the bowling of Neil Flack. Chris Morton remained unbeaten on 38 as his side finished their innings on a very creditable 244 for 9.

Tom Batters took 3 wickets for 41 runs from ten overs, Jonathan Hempsey 2 for 60 from 15 overs and Neil Flack 2 for 60 from 12 overs. Louis Ware picked up one wicket for 11 runs from three overs.

Greenock lost opening bat and captain Shailesh Prabhu with just the second ball of the innings when South African pace bowler Anton Ehlers beat the bat and hit the timbers.

Unlike County in their innings, Greenock were unable to build a large partnership following this early reversal and in the sixth over the position was worsened when Neil Flack became Ehlers second victim.

Overseas amateur Dwight Thomas was the only player able to look comfortable against the Stirling County bowling attack as Greenock’s middle order failed to pass muster once again. Chris Hempsey, Kevin Flack, Jonathan Hempsey and Harry Briggs each failed to do better than low single figures and by the eighteenth over the Glenparkers had slumped to 59 for 7 thanks largely to three wickets from Sri Lankan off spinner Rukman Hewage. Included in this rash of wickets was the dismissal of Thomas LBW to Williams for 40.

Needing a major piece of magic to remedy the very poor position the Glenpark side found themselves in, even Dynamo might not have been able to help.

Louis Ware (6) was caught Ehlers from the bowling of Ian Shaw with the score on 68 and then a mini partnership between Tom Batters and Greg McDougall took Greenock into the nineties. However Batters was out for 16 caught Williams from the bowling of Shaw with the score on 91.

With no further runs added, Greenock were bowled out for 91 when Greg McDougall (8) was stumped by wicketkeeper Graeme Taylor off the bowling of Sean Ferrie.

For County, Rukman Hewage was the leading wicket-taker with 3 for 21 from nine overs. Ehlers, Williams and Shaw each picked up two wickets.

Greenock now have just one match remaining before season 2014 draws to a close and this comes when the team travel to Glasgow next Saturday to face Poloc.