Another busy weekend for the 1st XI


Greenock have another busy weekend with both a Premier Division fixture and a Scottish Cup match to be played. On Saturday, Ayr are the local team's opponents at Glenpark for a league match and on Sunday the team travels through to Coatbridge to play Drumpellier in the Citylets Scottish Cup.

Having gained an important win over Kelburne last Saturday, Greenock will be seeking a second win in this season's Premier Division against Ayr. But the task will be far from easy as Ayr have won two out of the three league matches which they have played.

Greenock's own good run of winning form, which has seen the team win four matches in a row, came to an end on Wednesday evening when Ferguslie beat the local side by five runs in a McCulloch League Cup sectional match.

The Glenparkers are developing as a team and within it there are numerous players who have the abilities to be match winners. Neil Flack is in fine form with the bat and has scored close to three hundred runs already this season. Shailesh Prabhu too, batting in the middle order has brought experience and stability to the line-up, while seventeen year old Louis Ware is averaging almost thirty runs per game.

Overseas amateur Kyle Scrimegour and his Aussie team mate Julien Hulbert are settling in to the side and have made important contributions in the matches played to date. Both are all rounders and have taken important wickets while also scoring useful runs. Hulbert has taken almost twenty wickets and scored over one hundred runs while Scrimegour has a dozen wickets to his name and scored close to two hundred runs.

Greenock will be able to field a strong side against Ayr and will see team captain Jonathan Hempsey in the team for the first time in league action this season following a foot injury which has kept him sidelined. His presence in the side should add to both the bowling and batting strength and also allow Neil Flack, who has been acting captain, to focus on his batting and bowling skills.

Ayr have a strong side and one capable of scoring big totals. Professional, Michael Papps, is their talisman. He has played at both Test and One Day International level for New Zealand and has already been piling on the runs for the New Cambusdoon team this season, something which he has done in all the seasons in which he has played for Ayr. He is a prodigious run scorer and back home in his native New Zealand last winter, he became the first player to score 10,000 runs in the Plunkett Shield, the First Class inter-state competition.

Papps, who will shortly celebrate his 38th birthday, will be Greenock's number one target. His wicket will be crucially important for the Glenparkers, and if they can remove him early then chances of a victory will greatly improved.

But the Ayr team is not a one man band. Last Saturday, Ayr overcame a strong Poloc side who had scored 267 for 7 wickets in their knock, thanks to significant contributions from several players. Papps top scored with 95 and was supported by Andy McElnea 61 and Neil Smith 51, while Scott McElnea with 3 for 46 was their top bowler.

Earlier in May in a league match against Ferguslie, Neil Smith scored a magnificent 131 and on the opening Saturday of the Premier Division programme against Dumfries, Shujaa Khan top scored with 79 runs at New Cambusdoon with the McElnea brothers each capturing three wickets.

Greenock supporters will be looking forward to what should be a good match at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon and will be hoping that the wet weather forecast in midweek to be arriving in west central Scotland during Saturday does not materialise.

Greenock have chosen a squad of twelve for the match with Jonathan Hempsey and Louis Ware included and Aidan Forrest dropping out from the team that played last Saturday. The match will start at the usual time of 12 noon.

The match is kindly sponsored by Ethos Facilities (Scotland) Limited

On Sunday, Greenock play their second round match in this seasons Citylets Scottish Cup competition against Drumpellier at their Langloan ground in Coatbridge. Drumpellier were relegated from the Premier Division last season and have made a disappointing start to their First Division league programme losing both of the games which they have played. However, in the first round, the Coatbridge side overcame Weirs, who are unbeaten in the First Division.

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

The prize for the winners of this second round match is a home quarter final tie against either Prestwick or top Edinburgh side, Grange who will meet on Sunday at the Henry Thow Oval in Prestwick.

Greenock have chosen the same side that defeated Edinburgh in the previous round for this match which will start at 12 noon.

The Glenpark XI make the long journey to Dumfries on Saturday to takeon Kingholm (St Michael's 2nd XI) in the Reserve League First Division. The Glenparkers are still looking for their first win this season, having just lost out to The Tryst last Saturday. They too will be hoping for a better weather forecast but if they do make it to Dumfries then the game will start at 12 noon.

Junior cricketers at Glenpark also have a busy programme of matches this weekend. On Friday evening, the Under-11 team play Uddingston Under-11s at Glenpark. On Monday evening the Under-13 side are also at home to play Glasgow Accies Under-13 team while the Under-18s, who are teamed with Helensburgh, travel to Glasgow to play the Accies Under-18 eleven. The Under-15s have no match this weekend but play a joint Ferguslie/Kelburne Under-15s side next Friday at Glanpark.


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