Another busy weekend for the 1st XI


It is a very busy weekend of cricket for Greenock Cricket Club this weekend with both league and Scottish Cup fixtures for the 1st XI and also matches for the Glenpark XI and Sunday League side

Greenock 1st XI play host to visitors Poloc at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon in a match which assumes increased importance as the local side have yet to record a win in the Premier division following two defeats from their opening matches. Poloc on the other hand are flying high having secured two wins.

Saturday's match has the added interest in that Greenock and Poloc were the two sides promoted to the Premier Division from last season's WDCU First Division.

Poloc have had a significant influx of new players which has strengthened their side and the Glasgow southsiders now look to be one of the top sides in the Premier Division. Greenock, on the other hand, have much the same playing squad as last summer with only the two overseas players having altered.

Last weekend's Western Union 40 Cup win over GHK at Old Anniesland, Glasgow was an important boost to the Greenock side's confidence. The eight wicket win, which saw the Glenparkers chase down GHK's 249 run total for the loss of only two wickets, and in just 31.2 overs, shows what can be achieved when the top order batsmen get in and build solid partnerships.

Neil Flack was in sparkling form scoring a superb 132 not out and he was ably supported by Harry Briggs 36, Kyle Scrimegour 37 and Louis Ware 19 not out. These are the sorts of innings which Greenock must seek to achieve regularly during the season and if the team can do so then many more matches will be won.

Early season injuries have been an issue for Greenock with team captain Jonathan Hempsey missing from both of the opening two Premier Division matches and Phil McIntosh injured during the first game and unfit for the second. Unfortunately, Jonathan misses out again this weekend but Phil has recovered to be included in Saturday's team.

Run-scoring will almost certainly be the key to the result against Poloc. The Glasgow side's South African professional Jurie Snyman, now in his second season at the Shawholm, has made a decent start to the season with 51 runs against Uddingston and 37 runs last Saturday against Ferguslie. He is a dangerous player who scores quickly and Greenock will be keen to remove him early.

His South African compatriot and Poloc's overseas amateur, Louis Geldenhuys, has had a less successful introduction to Scottish cricket with 25 runs against Uddingston and a 'duck' against Ferguslie, but he is a player brought to Poloc for a reason and Greenock should not take him lightly.

Poloc's top four batsmen are where most of the Glasgow side's runs are likely to come from. Muhammad Dar, Syed Shah, Craig Young and Snyman are all very capable players and if Greenock can remove these four batsmen without them having inflicted too much damage, then Poloc's ability to gain a big score will have been significantly reduced.

Greenock have not yet fired, as regards their batting, in the two Premier Division matches played. No batsman has made a fifty and the highest partnership has been just 39 runs. To be competitive and to have a genuine chance of beating Poloc, the Glenparkers must improve on their individual batting performances and also build significant partnerships during their innings. The team must also learn to bat through the full 50 over innings allocation.

Greenock's team shows one change from that which lost to East Kilbride last weekend with Phil McIntosh replacing Jamie Nowell. The match will start at the later time of 1pm.

The match against Poloc is kindly sponsored by Digital Managed Print Services

On Sunday, Greenock play their first round match in this season's Scottish Cup competition against Edinburgh CC through in the capital city. Edinburgh play in the East of Scotland Championship Division and have had a mixed start to their season with a heavy defeat away to Freuchie on the first league weekend but last Saturday returned to form with a resounding win over near neighbours Marchmont.

Greenock will need to ensure that they do not approach this game lightly, as their ESCA Championship opponents have the ability in their side to provide a challenging afternoon for the Glenparkers.

The prize for the winners of this first round match is an away fixture to either Drumpellier or Weirs.

The Scottish Cup match will begin in Edinburgh at 12noon and the Greenock team shows two changes from Saturday's team with Rod Mountford and Chirag Pandher replacing Harry Briggs and Phil McIntosh.

The Glenpark XI travel to Glasgow on Saturday afternoon to take on GHK / Strathclyde in the Reserve League First Division. Last weekend, the team ran up against a strong-hitting Albert Park side and were resoundly beaten and their opponents this Saturday also look to be a strong batting side so the Glenpark selection will need to up their game. This game is likely to start at 2pm, due to a school match taking place first at Old Anniesland.

To finish off a busy weekend for Greenock's senior team cricketers, the Hillend XI are at home to a Clydesdale Development XI. This match will begin at 1pm and the usual mixture of the young and old have been chosen for the Hillend team.

Junior cricketers at Glenpark also have matches on Friday evening. The Under-15 team, who are combined with Helensburgh, play Glasgow Accies at Glenpark while the Under-11 side travel to Glasgow to play Accies Under-11 team at New Anniesland.


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