Greenock look for turn in weather fortunes


After two blank Saturdays, Greenock will look for better luck with the weather when they travel to Glasgow on Saturday to take on Glasgow Accies at New Anniesland. The good weather of earlier in the season is but a fond memory as rain has returned with a vengeance in recent weeks and indeed the forecast for this weekend at the time of writing is not exactly promising.

However, let's look on the bright side and be optimistic that the game will go ahead. Greenock will be confident of maintaining their winning league form as Accies currently sit in seventh position in the league, having won just three games out of eight completed fixtures with all three of these victories coming against the teams below them in the table, Renfrew, Hillhead and Weirs.

When the teams met earlier in the season, Greenock gained a comfortable win by 9 wickets. Accies batted first and were dismissed for 160, a total which proved to be no problem for Greenock as they knocked off the runs in just 20 overs for the loss of just one wicket. The star man on the day was Phil McIntosh, scoring a brisk 53 and taking 3 for 23.

When one looks at the individual performances of Accies' players during the season, it is clear that they are very reliant on two players. Captain Richard Andrew is the only batsman who has scored consistently throughout whilst Habib Malik has been easily their most successful wicket-taker. There have of course been decent performances by other team members but these have tended to be one-off efforts and not repeated in other games.

This of course contrasts totally with Greenock whose success has been built on consistent performances from a number of players. Damon Rootes has been the stand-out performer with the bat but he has received strong backing from Neil Flack, Phil McIntosh and Chris Hempsey. When you consider that Louis Ware, Shailesh Prabhu, Sehmat Pandher, Declan White and skipper Jonathan Hempsey have also contributed important runs, then you realise that Greenock's batting has plenty of depth to it.

Skipper Hempsey also has a strong and varied attack to back up his batting. Declan White uses the new ball to great effect, Neil Flack is the leading wicket-taker with his off-spin and Phil McIntosh has frequently made inroads in the opposition's top order with his swing bowling. Add to them Greg McDougall, Louis Ware, Damon Rootes and of course the skipper himself and you can see that Greenock have plenty of options when in the field.

Good fielding has also been a feature of Greenock's play this season and is an area where great improvement has been shown from previous years. It is easy to see just why Greenock are a confident side in the league this year and one which is determined to gain promotion to the Premier Division.

The team for the match, which starts at the usual time of 12 noon, is along the usual lines other than Phil McIntosh is unavailable with his place being taken by either Harry Briggs or Rod Mountford.

The Glenpark XI are at home to Anniesland on Saturday in the Reserve League. Anniesland sit one place above Glenpark in third position in the table and as a result this should be a closely fought encounter. A lot will depend on how strong a side can be fielded by either team, given that this is now the holiday season, but Glenpark will be confident that home advantage will count in the end. This match will also start at 12 noon.

WU40 Cup

Sunday sees the 1st XI travel to Shawholm to play Poloc in the second round of the WU40 Cup. This fixture has been much delayed, due to weather problems and conflicts with Scottish Cup fixtures, with one previous attempt to play being abandoned due to persistent rain with Poloc 66 for 2 after 22 overs and Greenock in a good position. With last week's league game against Poloc washed out by the weather, Greenock will no doubt relish the chance to have another match-up with their rivals for top spot in the league and possibly gain some sort of advantage for the league run-in. This game starts at 1pm.

The Hillend XI were due to play Stenhousemuir on Sunday at Glenpark but this fixture has now been called off due to the WU40 Cup match.

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