Busy weekend for the 1st XI


Greenock have a busy weekend ahead with a league and cup double header, travelling to East Kilbride on Saturday, and then back up the M8 to Glasgow to play GHK at Old Anniesland on Sunday.

On Saturday, it is league business and the team will seek to gain their first win in the Premier Division following on from defeat at the hands of Uddingston in last weekend's opening match at Glenpark. On Sunday, it is cup business and Greenock will be keen to beat GHK and progress to the second round of the WDCU 40 Competition.

So there is much to play for this weekend even at this early point in the season. A win from the league match will bring some confidence and a move up the table, while a second loss will create a gap between the lower end of the table and the teams which have made a positive start.

Greenock will field a similar side against East Kilbride to the one which played against Uddingston. On paper, there is strength across the team. In the bowling department, Julian Hulbert and Louis Ware led the attack and did a very good job containing the Uddingston top order and, importantly, gaining some early wickets.

Hulbert was particularly successful, picking up three wickets in his ten overs and was joined as equal top wicket-taker by Kyle Scrimegour, Greenock's overseas amateur, who also claimed three wickets.

Sam Sanghera will be another bowler who will be used in the Glenpark side's attack. Sanghera showed top form in Tuesday evening's midweek cup win over Bothwell, taking four wickets as Greenock won by just five runs.

In last Saturday's match, the Greenock bowlers did a good job for the first two thirds of the Uddingston innings and looked to be leading the side to a very good position. But they failed to press home the advantage and Uddingston built up a positive momentum in the latter stage of their innings which carried through into their bowling and Greenock slipped to a defeat.

The Glenpark team's batting line-up must look to improve at East Kilbride. Premier Division cricket provides matches of 100 overs, with each side having an innings of 50 overs available to bat. Greenock must make use of their full allocation in order to build a good score. Partnerships will be key to getting such a score and, in particular, the top order batsmen need to lay a good foundation for the innings.

Saturday's opponents, East Kilbride, lost heavily last weekend to 2016 Premier Division champions Clydesdale, for whom former Greenock player Richie Berrington scored an undefeated 139 runs. The Lanarkshire side will be smarting from that result and looking to put in an improved performance against Greenock on their own patch.

They have lost their top player from last season, Ross Lyons, who transferred to Uddingston during the winter months, but they still possess a number of players who have the potential to cause Greenock problems.

Moneeb Iqbal is a former Greenock and Scotland player and is a very experienced all rounder. He picked up three wickets last Saturday against Clydesdale and will be a one for Greenock to look out for. Jack Clark and Petrus Coetzee are East Kilbride's two overseas players and while neither contributed significantly against Clydesdale they will undoubtedly have the potential to cause Greenock problems.

So the scene is set for an interesting match through at East Kilbride. It is a match which both teams will be keen to win in order to get their first league victory of the 2017 season. If Greenock play to their potential, then the points may well be brought back to Glenpark. It is a match in which all players must play their part if the win is to be gained.

Greenock have selected a squad of twelve for the match with skipper Jonathan Hempsey added to the team that lost to Uddingston last weekend. The match at Torrance House will start at 12 noon.

On Sunday, Greenock play their first round tie in the Western Union Cup competition against GHK at Old Anniesland in Glasgow. This 40 overs per side cup match will begin at 1pm and the team selected includes a number of the Club's most promising youngsters.

The Glenpark XI welcome Albert Park, Weirs 2nd XI, to Glenpark on Saturday afternoon. The Glasgow side won a high scoring match last weekend and will provide a big test for the local side who did not get their opening match played last Saturday as their opposition, Williamfield, were unable to field a side and conceded. So this will be the Glenpark XI's first league match of the season and they will hope to maintain their '100%' record.

Sunday at Glenpark sees the West District Ladies team take on the strong Carlton Ladies team from Edinburgh. Included in the West team will be Greenock's Abigail Calder, who will be keen to make a good impression in fromt of her home crowd. This game will start at 1pm.

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