Greenock complete pre-season friendlies

Greenock completed a second weekend of pre-season friendly fixtures at Glenpark, once again with blue skies and sunshine, but about ten to fifteen degrees cooler than last week and, as a result, most spectators sensibly chose to watch from the warmth of the Clubhouse lounge.

On Saturday the visitors were Drumpellier, and the Premier Division club fielded a strong side which provided a real test for Greenock. Indeed after just five overs the Glenpark men were two wickets down for just seventeen runs with skipper Shailesh Prabhu and Aussie Ty Gilmore both back in the dressing room.

A fifty seven run partnership between Neil Flack and Aidan Forrest for the third wicket steadied the innings and provided a potential platform for the Glenpark side to move up a gear and build a challenging score. But it did not happen.

When Forrest departed for 24 in the twenty third over with the total on 74, the run rate briefly saw an increase as Louis Ware joined Flack in the middle. However, when Flack was out caught for 53 with the score at 109 Greenock had a mini collapse as three further wickets fell for the addition of just six more runs.

Only Australian overseas amateur Blake Taylor was able make much of the latter stages of the innings with 16 not out as Greenock laboured to 146 for the loss of 8 wickets at the tea interval.

Drumpellier were rarely under pressure in reply, as the Glenparkers total was comfortably reeled in in the thirtieth over. Much of the credit for reaching the required total must be given to Drumpellier's overseas amateur Venter (77 not out) and McLaren (35) who put on 73 runs for the third wicket before McLaren was out in the most bizarre manner.

He mis-timed a ball from Sam Sanghera and sent the ball high in the air down towards third man. Ben Peterson came racing in from the boundary but could not quite make enough ground to take a clean catch as the ball fell from the sky. In his diving effort to reach the ball, it went through his hands, hit his boot and flew into the air to be caught by Blake Taylor who had also been vainly trying to get near it.

So Drumpellier completedted the game on 149 for the loss of just three wickets with ten overs to spare.

On Sunday afternoon, Greenock entertained East Kilbride and amassed 280 runs from their 35 overs, losing only four wickets in doing so. Ty Gilmore (89) and Blake Taylor (134 not out) were the main destroyers of the visitors bowling attack, with Shailesh Prabhu (31) providing some additional assistance.

Gilmore hit seventeen boundaries and one straight six out of the ground while Taylor scored twenty boundaries and managed a six which flew over the Clubhouse and into Brisbane Street.

The huge Greenock total was never threatened as East Kilbride struggled to reach just 80 all out in the 28th over. Six out of the seven bowlers used by the home side picked up wickets with Club coach Darren Walker collecting 2 wickets for 17 runs from 5 overs and Sam Sanghera 2 wickets for 4 runs from 3 overs.

The pre-season friendlies allowed Greenock to give match practice to almost twenty players over the two weekends and with two wins and two defeats from the four games played it has been a very useful start to the 2015 season. Now the serious cricket begins with the opening 1st XI league fixture scheduled against Prestwick down in Ayrshire next Saturday, with the Greenock 2nd XI at Glenpark against Prestwick 2nd XI.