Greenock are Champions

Hillhead vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 27th August 2016

Greenock 1st XI 184 DOD White 47
Hillhead 121 S Mehmood 46; JPC Hempsey 3 for 25, GJ McDougall 3 for 38


Champions! After winning against Hillhead at Hughenden in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, Greenock Cricket Club emerged as winners of the Division One title and with it promotion back to the Premier Division along with second top placed Poloc CC.

The title win is a much deserved prize for the youthful Greenock side which has played well throughout the league season.

On Saturday, much as expected, Greenock comfortably defeated bottom placed Hillhead by 63 runs, but only after the game had gone through a few twists and turns along the way.

Hillhead won the toss and inserted the Greenock side on a pitch which looked like it might cause batsmen problems early on, and it did. After just six overs, Greenock had lost two of their top batsmen, Neil Flack and Damon Rootes, and only 16 runs were on the board.

Phil McIntosh, who had opened with Flack, got the innings back onto a better footing with some sparkling shots, hitting the home attack for five boundaries and also a maximum six before being run out having scored 27 with the score having moved on to 45 in the 12th over.

The loss of McIntosh was a blow to Greenock, and as Chris Hempsey and Shailesh Prabhu regrouped to try and ensure no immediate loss of further wickets, the run rate slowed. However, in the twentieth over, Hempsey was bowled by Ahmed and Greenock were 54 for 4 wickets.

Scottish Under-17 international Louis Ware joined Prabhu out in the middle and the two added thirty runs in the next seven overs before Ware was caught by Ahmed off the bowling of former Greenock player Richard Bond. And Bond struck again just four runs later when Prabhu was out, caught by Mohammad for 16. At 88 for the loss of 6 wickets after 30 overs, Greenock were in a precarious position.

Partnerships are what win games, and the Greenock seventh wicket partnership between Declan White and Rod Mountford was the run-scoring partnership which the team so badly needed. Seventy eight runs were added at this crucial stage of the match as Greenock took a more dominant position once again. White was the major run-scorer with a well composed innings of 47 runs, which included three boundaries and also two six-hits, while Mountford scored 19 runs in a sound back-up role.

As so often happens in a good partnership, when it ended, both batsman lost their wickets close together. Mountford went first, LBW to Patel with the score on 166 and with just under four overs of the innings remaining. Then just two runs later, White was also out LBW to Patel.

In the remaining three overs, Greenock's tail-end batsmen pushed on and added another sixteen runs, losing their last wicket with the final ball of the fiftieth, and last over of the innings, to leave the total at the tea interval on what had to be considered a very satisfactory 184 runs, taking into account all that had gone before.

Hillhead made a very slow start to their innings, and after sixteen overs had only thirty runs on the board. In this period, opener Paul Bartlett had been returned to the 'bench', bowled by Greenock captain Jonathan Hempsey.

New Zealander Ketan Patel, was the hosts' second wicket to fall, caught by Louis Ware for 13 runs from the bowling of Neil Flack Then, before fifty runs were on the scoreboard, a further three wickets went down as first change bowler Greg McDougall had Holland (22)and Ahzar (2) both caught by Jonathan Hempsey and Ahmed (12) bowled.

Greenock were now very much in control of the match, but Hillhead were not down and out as Shehroz Mehmood coming in at number seven in the batting order made a great effort to get his side back into the game. Mehmood put together a fine innings of 46 runs, during which another two wickets were lost, before eventually lofting a ball from Sam Sanghera which was well caught by Louis Ware to leave the home side on 120 for the loss of 8 wickets in 37th over.

The game ended quickly thereafter, as Greenock captain Jonathan Hempsey firstly bowled Nair and then had Mohammad trapped LBW in the very next over. Hillhead were all out for 121 and Greenock had won the match, gained promotion and captured the league title.

Jonathan Hempsey with 3 wickets for 25 runs from 9 overs had the top bowling figures along with Greg McDougall who took 3 for 38 from 10 overs. Neil Flack and Sam Sanghera each picked up two wickets.

At the conclusion of the match, former Scottish international player and current chairman of the WDCU Cricket Management Committee, Billy McPate, presented the Division One trophy to Greenock captain Jonathan Hempsey.