Blue skies welcome the 2015 season

Blue skies and brilliant sunshine provided the best weather conditions for many years to herald in Greenock's opening weekend of cricket for the 2015 season at Glenpark, and a double header of friendly fixtures was enjoyed by a very good number of spectators on both days.

Hillhead provided Saturday's opposition, and an excellent high scoring match entertained the crowd. Batting first, Hillhead compiled a very creditable 211 for the loss of 8 wickets from their allotted 40 overs with openers Sarkar (25) and Fergus (63) providing a first wicket partnership of 51 runs. Burns (30) and Bartlett (40), in the Glasgow side's middle order, then made good use of the fine start to propel their team's innings to go over the 200 run mark.

Greenock made use of the game to give no fewer than ten players a bowl with only wicketkeeper Neil Flack not turning his arm over. Australian overseas amateur, 19 year old Blake Taylor from Queeensland, who arrived in Greenock only late Friday afternoon, showed that his very pacey bowling will be an important weapon for the Glenpark side with an impressive performance despite jet-lag.

In reply to Hillhead's total, Greenock fell agonisingly short of the required total reaching 204 in the last over before the last wicket fell. Rod Mountford (62), Ben Peterson (45) and Aidan Forrest(40) each showed good early season form with the bat.

On Sunday afternoon, Premier Division side Renfrew made their way down the M8 and, batting first, mustered 164 for the loss of 9 wickets from 40 overs with only Hussain (55) and Sai Majeed (30 not out) making any really meaningful contributions with the bat for the visitors. Blake Taylor clean bowled both Renfrew openers early in the innings, with his pace too much for either batsman so early in the season.

Once again, Greenock used a good number of bowlers to allow some match practice, and five out of the seven bowlers used picked up wickets. Taylor 2 for 21 from 8 overs and Neil Flack, bowling off spin, with 2 for 26 from 6 overs, were the home side's foremost wicket-takers.

Greenock's most likely opening pair come the start of the competitive matches in a couple of week's time, were at the top of the order and gave an outstanding batting display scoring the required runs to win the match in just 21.2 overs. Home side captain, Shailesh Prabhu had his best innings in a couple of years with a very fine 76 not out with his opening partner, Under-17 Scottish international Neil Flack, also unbeaten on 55 not out.