Greenock complete their pre-season friendlies

Greenock Cricket Club completes its pre-season programme of warm-up friendly matches this Saturday afternoon when near neighbours Renfrew CC make the journey down the M8 for the match at Glenpark.

'The Ferrymen' finished in a mid-table position in the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) First Division last season and will be opponents of Greenock in that league this summer as a result of the local team having been relegated from the Premier Division.

Last weekend, Greenock got their season underway with two friendly matches which gave a good number of players an opportunity to get some early match practice.

On Saturday Premier Division side West of Scotland provided the opposition at Glenpark. The Glasgow side batted first and scored 142 runs before being bowled out. Sam Sanghera with 3 wickets for 19 runs from just six overs and young Australian amateur Ryan Walker with 3 for 15 from 5 overs were the local's top bowlers on the afternoon.

In reply, Greenock's second young Australian amateur, Tom Nicholson, opened the batting and made a fine start to his season at Glenpark, top scoring with 33. His innings along with a number of other useful contributions almost took Greenock to a first match of the season win, but West eventually won through by a margin of just nine runs.

The first win of the season was only delayed by 24 hours however.

On Sunday Hillhead CC, also from the west end of Glasgow, provided the friendly opposition at Glenpark and this time Greenock won handsomely by 7 wickets. Chasing 122, the total set by Hillhead, the Glenpark men stroked off the runs with relative ease, thanks in the main to the two young Aussies.

Tom Nicholson played a fine second innings in just two days scoring 39, but was out-scored by his Aussie colleague, Ryan Walker, who top scored with 57.

The two young overseas players have made a fine start to their stay in Greenock and local supporters will be hopeful that their good early form can continue this weekend and during the competitive season which is only one week away.

This weekend, Greenock have just the one match which is on Saturday versus Renfrew. For this encounter, 1st XI team captain Greg McDougall will be missing a number of players who took part in last weekend's matches, but will have the opportunity to see a number of others in action.

Work and family commitments mean that at least four potential 1st XI players have yet to have the opportunity to get some match practice.

Glenpark skipper, Greg McDougall, will be hoping that these players will become available for at least some of the early league fixtures, as it will be important for the team to make a positive start to the competitive cricket season.

"Our aim is to make a quick return to the Premier Division. To do so we must try and make a good start to our league programme and maintain a high standard of cricket throughout the summer."

This Saturday's match against Renfrew will provide a good test for the players who are available. Scoring runs has been Greenock's main issue in recent seasons, but last weekend's matches were encouraging as there were good signs that the batting line-up will be stronger this summer.

In the bowling department, the local side have a variety of options this season with both pace and spin available. The variety of bowling options should prove very valuable when Greenock embark on their First Division league programme in just over a week's time.

Much may depend on the form of the Club's two Australian amateurs. Both made a fine start to their Glenpark adventure with bat and ball and local supporters will look forward to that form developing even further in the weeks ahead.

Greenock's team for the match against Renfrew on Saturday which starts at 1pm will be chosen from the following pool of players: GJ McDougall, CS Calder, GM Chambers, S Chaudhary, LC Fischer-Keogh, J Janampally, U Mansoor, T Nicholson, JM Nowell, SS Sanghera, EA Stewart, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor


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