Greenock easily overcome Drumpellier in the sunshine

Greenock 1st XI vs Drumpellier
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 4th June 2022

Drumpellier 126 N Austin 46, G Shaw 32; RA Walker 7 for 24
Greenock 1st XI 130 for 2 TJ Nicholson 54*, RA Walker 38*


Greenock bounced back after last weekend's disappointing loss to Stenhousemuir with a fine 8 wicket win over Drumpellier at a sunny Glenpark on Saturday afternoon. The result puts Greenock very much back into contention for one of the two promotion spots but dents Drumpellier's aspirations.

The Coatbridge side won the pre-match toss and opted to bat. It was a call that Greg McDougall, the home captain, may well have opted for himself with conditions perfect for run-scoring.

Greenock's regular opening bowling attack of Gregor Chambers and Sam Sanghera was altered due to the unavailability of Sanghera. Former captain Jonathan Hempsey making his first league appearance of the season came into the side as his replacement.

Drumpellier began quite confidently and had scored three boundaries in the opening three overs. But Greenock pace bowler Gregor Chambers then delivered a superb ball which viciously nipped back into opening batsman Chris Keltie and crashed into the top of his stumps. He was returned to the clubhouse having scored just 4 runs.

The second wicket partnership between Gordon Shaw and Nic Austin put the visitors very much back into the game as they dealt comfortably with the home bowling attack.

Shaw had taken his own score to 32 and the team's total had moved along to 77 in the 21st over when Ryan Walker was brought into the Greenock attack. With just his fourth delivery, Walker trapped Shaw LBW.

Supeshala Jayathilake joined Austin and the visitors' run scoring continued much as before. Twenty three more runs were scored in the next six overs before Jayathilake became Walker's second victim of the afternoon caught by wicketkeeper Lukas Fischer-Keogh.

This third wicket heralded a collapse in the Drumpellier batting. From 99 for the loss of 3 wickets the visitors slumped to 126 all out in the space of just eleven overs.

Nic Austin was Drumpellier's top scorer with 46 runs. When he became the fifth wicket to fall with the score on 115, there was no other batsman in the visitor's line-up who offered any resistance.

Ryan Walker was the bowler who caused most of the damage. The Aussie amateur, who is already at the top of the wicket-taking stats for the First Division, picked up seven wickets for just 24 runs from 9 overs bowled.

Tom Nicholson also picked up a couple of wickets as Drumpellier's batting imploded.

In reply, after the tea interval, Greenock set about their run chase determined not to stumble like the previous Saturday.

Tom Nicholson and the experienced Shailesh Prabhu opened the batting for Greenock. The pair put on 33 runs from the first nine overs. But then Prabhu got a leading edge to a delivery from Darren Pryde and was easily caught by Nic Austin at mid on having scored 17 runs.

Harry Briggs became the second Greenock wicket to fall when he was smartly caught at backward point in the sixteenth over with the score on 92.

However, that was to be Drumpellier's last wicket-taking success as Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker batted with an assuredness for the next eighteen overs. The Australian pair picked off any loose deliveries from the visitor's bowlers and gradually the runs needed for victory were accumulated.

Nicholson who had opened the batting for Greenock was unbeaten on 54 at the close.

It was fitting that 'Man of the Match', Ryan Walker, was the batsman to score the winning runs. He did so in emphatic style by hitting pace bowler Jordan Pryde back over his head to the Bedford Street boundary. Walker scored an unbeaten 38 runs to add to his 7 wickets.

Saturday's win puts Greenock into third top position behind Stenhousemuir and Kilmarnock who are both unbeaten after the first six rounds of the league programme.