Busy weekend ahead for 1st XI

Greenock meet Glasgow Accies at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon with both sides seeking their first league win of the season. The match was due to be played at Accies' ground, New Anniesland, in Glasgow but due to it not being available until mid afternoon, agreement was reached to switch the game to Glenpark.

The Greenock team need to get their league season into gear having suffered reversals in both of their opening two fixtures against Prestwick and Kilmarnock and this match against Glasgow Accies offers the perfect opportunity to register a win and move away from the foot of the table. Accies, of course, will be of exactly the same mind. Only one of the two teams will have their hopes realised come Saturday evening.

Against Kilmarnock last weekend, Greenock showed some positive signs in both their bowling and batting performances to suggest that if the team can put together an all round display, then a win over Accies should be achieved.

Australian amateur Blake Taylor is Greenock's spearhead pace bowler. He is quick and is learning how to bowl on Scottish wickets which are quite different to what he has been used to, back home. A large haul of wickets may well come his way in the next little while once he masters his bowling length and line for West of Scotland conditions.

Two of Greenock's young up and coming players also showed their bowling potential in last Saturday's match against Kilmarnock. Six foot tall, 15 year old Louis Ware , who is gaining experience with every match at 1st XI level and developing into a genuine pace bowler, took three wickets for 34 runs. 17 year old Neil Flack bowling off spin also did well taking two wickets for 15.

Run scoring is the area in which Greenock need to do consistently better week on week. Against Kilmarnock, several wickets were lost quite early in the innings as the team sought to overhaul the Ayrshire side's 234 first innings score. The challenging task became an even more difficult one and although a fine century plus sixth wicket partnership between Rod Mountford and Blake Taylor got Greenock back into the game it was too little too late.

Overall, in the matches played so far this season, numerous players have made decent scores, but in too many games it is only a few players each time who are getting runs and so no really major score has been achieved whether batting first or second. If the batting clicks on Saturday, Greenock have the potential to post a large innings total.

Accies will be no pushovers however. Despite having lost their opening two league fixtures and also losing in the Preliminary Round  of the Scottish Cup, the Glasgow side must be treated with the greatest respect. Only one run separated Accies from Irvine last Saturday when their last wicket went down with four balls of the game remaining. And in the Scottish Cup match against SMRH weather intervened and the result was achieved by playing a quickfire ten overs a side which Edinburgh side SMRH won, batting second.

These early Accies results would suggest that their bowling attack is not a strong one and in batting the top four or five batsmen have so far failed to get going and build an individual innings of any size. Greenock must aim to keep it that way.

Saturday's team is unchanged from that which lost to Kilmarnock last Saturday. The match starts at 12 noon.

The Glenpark XI travel to New Anniesland to play Anniesland in the Reserve League. They will be keen to continue their winning form after last week's fine victory over Kirkstyle. This match starts at 2pm and will probably be played as a 40 overs match, due to the ground not being available for the usual starting time.

On Sunday, the 1st XI travel through to Stenhousemuir for a Scottish Cup first round match at The Tryst. Stenhousemuir have been a bit of a bogey team for Greenock in recent seasons and the Glenparkers will be looking to redress the run of reversals in this tie on Sunday afternoon.


Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored this season by Cleaning Supplies 4U.