All set for the 2015 season


The 2015 cricket season is scheduled to begin this weekend at Glenpark with two friendly matches against Hillhead on Saturday and Renfrew on Sunday.

Shailesh Prabhu is again captain of the 1st XI and he will be looking to use these fixtures and next weekend's further friendlies against Drumpellier and East Kilbride as vital match practice ahead of the start of the competitive season on 2nd May.

This season Greenock will play in an expanded WDCU CSL First Division of 10 teams and they will be looking for much-improved displays which will hopefully lead to promotion to the Premier Division.

There are some changes to personnel from last year. Blake Taylor, a highly promising 19-year-old pace bowler and more than useful batsman, will feature as the club's overseas amateur. Blake, who plays for Surfer's Paradise in the Brisbane First Grade competition in Australia, comes highly recommended by a previous overseas amateur of the Club, Chris Swan, who is now the Queensland Bulls bowling coach. He took 28 wickets in this season's grade competition and had a highest score of 98 not out, excellent accomplishments in a league of a very high standard.

At the time of writing, negotiations are continuing for a second overseas player with a view to having him in place for the start of the league season.

Neil Flack has just returned home from 3 months at the Ben Williams Cricket Academy in New Zealand and he will be looking to build on his excellent season last year. Unfortunately another of the Club's bright young hopes, Harry Briggs, will miss the majority of the season due to a broken ankle sustained whilst playing rugby but on the other hand, much is expected of Louis Ware after his promising debut last year. Ty Gilmore, an Australian who has moved into the area, is expected to be an excellent acquisition as a top-order batsman.

On the coaching front, the Club has been fortunate to obtain the services of Darren Walker to take charge of the 1st XI. Darren will be remembered as a highly competitive professional who played in the title-winning sides of 1989 and 1993. His no-nonsense Aussie style, allied to his knowledge of the game, should lead to a much more positive attitude on the field and the younger players in particular should benefit greatly from his input.

Both matches at the weekend will start at 1.00pm and are likely to be shortened games of 40 overs per side. Much will depend on the weather but the forecast looks promising.

Saturday's team contains a mixture of young and old, all keen to get some match practice before the league games start. The selected eleven is

JPC Hempsey (Capt), ND Flack, AP Forrest, W Goan, GJ McDougall, RP Mountford, BR Peterson, SS Sanghera, E Stewart, B Taylor and LPJ Ware

Sunday's team shows two changes with Shailesh Prabhu replacing Jonathan Hempsey and Kevin Flack replacing Aidan Forrest and taking over the wicket-keeping duties from son, Neil.

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