Greenock make it 3 league wins in a row .. just

Weirs vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 30th May 2015

Weirs 114 LPJ Ware 4 for 7, GJ McDougall 4 for 23
Greenock 1st XI 117 for 9 RS Young 3 for 22, I Shah 3 for 41


Greenock made it three league wins in a row on Saturday when they defeated Weirs in a tense match played at Albert Park in Glasgow's south side. And the victory lifts the local side into the top four of the WDCU CSL First Division.

Having bowled Weirs out for just 114, a comfortable win should have been Greenock's for the taking, but the Glenparkers just do not seem keen to do things the easy way. Instead, it was a victory which was eventually snatched from the jaws of defeat, and not for the first time this season.

However, it is just such results which show the difference for Greenock from the last few years when, in similar circumstances, the team would have failed to get over the line and suffered defeat. Winning or losing can become a habit in team sport and over the last few weeks Greenock seem to have developed the knack of managing to win once again, even when playing far from their best cricket.

At Albert Park on Saturday, Greenock captain Shailesh Prabhu won the toss and put home side Weirs into bat on a damp, slow wicket. Opening bats Russell Murray and Chris Smith made good progress putting on 41 runs before Smith (20) was caught by Greg McDougall off the bowling of Blake Taylor.

McDougall himself came on as first change bowler and in just his second over captured the wicket of Murray (23) who gave a catching opportunity snapped up by Jonathan Hempsey.

The Glasgow side continued to make steady, but slow, progress with two new batsmen at the crease, scoring at just under two runs an over for the next eleven overs before McDougall struck for a second time when Davie McCaig was caught by Rod Mountford having scored 12 runs. And he picked up his third wicket of the afternoon when he had Faizan Muhammad (2) well caught by Greenock skipper Shailesh Prabhu. 86 for 4 wickets in the 31st over.

Greenock made a number of bowling changes as they sought to make a further breakthrough and the introduction of Neil Flack, bowling off spin, did the trick when he bowled Hashim Ali for 19 with the last ball of his very first over. McDougall then took his tally of wickets to four when Imran Syed (1) presented a catching opportunity to Phil McIntosh.

A one man, tail-end demolition of the Weirs batting line-up then ensued as Greenock introduced young pace bowler Louis Ware into the bowling attack. In just two overs and two balls, Ware dispatched the remainder of the home side's batters with Adil Raza (11) and Alex Skelton both bowled, Syed Shah (9) LBW and finally, last man 'Siggy' Young caught by Ty Gilmore.

So Weirs were all out for 114 in the 41st over and Greenock seemed well on the way to a third successive league victory. McDougall took 4 wickets for 23 runs from 12 overs while Ware returned the very impressive bowling figures of 4 wickets for just 7 runs in 2.2 overs.

Greenock's initial reply to the lowly Weirs total began smoothly enough with Neil Flack and Ty Gilmore seeming well settled and in no real difficulty as the score crept up to thirty in the thirteenth over. But when Syed Shah bowled Gilmore for 16, Greenock's batting frailty once again took hold.

In the space of six overs the Glenparkers added just fourteen runs and toppled to 44 for the loss of 5 wickets as firstly Flack (10) was bowled by Young, then Jonathan Hempsey was adjudged LBW for 7 quickly followed by the dismissals of Australian duo Rod Mountford and Blake Taylor neither of whom troubled the scorers.

During this period of tumbling wickets, Greenock suffered the further problem of losing captain Shailesh Prabhu who was forced to retire when he pulled a hamsting.

Weirs piled on the pressure as McDougall went LBW for just 3 runs, Ware was caught having scored 8 runs and Aidan Forrest was bowled for 10 runs to leave Greenock staring into the depths of defeat at 78 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in the 37th over.

When Darren Walker gave a return catch to home side bowler Adil Raza, Greenock really were on the precipice at 100 for 9.

Injured Glenpark captain Shailesh Prabhu was then forced back out into the middle to try and rescue his side and along with Phil McIntosh he did just that as the last two Greenock men took just five overs to score the runs needed to take the team to a victory which had seemed to have been slipping away from them. At the climax, it was fitting that it was Prabhu who scored the winning runs with a boundary which sent the Glenpark players into joyous mood as the tension which had been almost tangible, was released.

Greenock's 'Man of the Match' was undoubtedly Shailesh Prabhu with 28 not out as he guided his team over the winning line while in very obvious discomfort from his leg injury.

For Weirs, who came so close, it was a story of what might have been with their bowlers putting in a terrific effort to defend what had appeared a too lowly total at the half way stage of the match. Young with 3 wickets for 22 runs and Shah with 3 for 41 were the principal wicket-takers while Skelton with 2 for 9 and Raza with 1 for 27 were the others who brought damage to the Greenock batting.