Greenock look for better weather at East Kilbride

Greenock will hope to get their competitive season under way with a win this Saturday when the team travels to East Kilbride to play the Lanarkshire side at their Torrance House ground.

Last Saturday's league opener against Kilmarnock at Glenpark fell victim to the one wet day which the area has had in a couple of weeks. It was a huge disappointment to both sets of players. But with the forecast looking promising and sunshine likely for this Saturday afternoon, the match seems set to get the league season up and running.

When the teams last met on league business in June 2019 it was in the Premier League and Greenock gained an important win in a rain affected match at Torrance House.

Batting first, East Kilbride managed to score 139 all out in their innings. Then, after the tea interval, when Greenock were 26 for the loss of one wicket wet weather intervened. Heavy rain and thunder brought a temporary halt to play and when the game was able to resume, the umpires informed both sides that the Duckworth Lewis Stern system (DLS) was being introduced due to the time lost. Greenock were given a revised target of 118 from 35 overs.

Needing to score at just three runs per over, Greenock were soon well on track. And Indian professional Saurabh Bandekar and Neil Flack eased the visitors to a very comfortable win in just the 18th over. The two Greenock batsmen put together an unbroken partnership of 73 runs as they dominated the EK bowling. Bandekar was not out 40 in his innings which included three boundaries and one huge six. Flack was unbeaten on 37 in his innings.

Summer 2019 was a dismal one for East Kilbride as they failed to gain a single league win and so ended up being relegated. Greenock, with three league wins, finished in third bottom position and just managed to avoid relegation.

Due to the pandemic there was no league cricket in 2020 and last summer Greenock once again struggled in the Premier Division. This time however, the team failed to avoid relegation and with just one win from fourteen league matches, slipped out of the Premier Division and down into the First Division.

East Kilbride had a much more positive season in 2021, winning ten out of the thirteen First Division matches which they completed and finishing third top.

For season 2022 they have lost their top player, former Scotland international Moneeb Iqbal who has moved to Premier Division side Uddingston. But to compensate the Lanarkshire side have brought in Imran Adrees from Poloc and Mohammad Ramzan from Renfrew.

Greenock for their part have lost two key players. Neil Flack has moved to Ayr Cricket Club and Sean Fischer-Keogh has moved to join Edinburgh club Corstorphine. But the Glenpark side has recruited two very useful overseas amateurs from Australia in Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker.

For the match at East Kilbride on Saturday, Greenock will be missing Jamie Nowell, PJ Bryceland and Chris Hempsey but include Harry Briggs and Usman Mansoor.

The Glenpark side will be keen to make a winning start to their league programme and will look to their players to be fully focused throughout the match in order to bring back maximum points. The match starts at 12noon.

The Glenpark XI, Greenock's second string, commence their league season with a home fixture in the 4th Division against the Bees (Clydesdale's 3rd XI).


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