GREENOCK make the short journey up the M8 this Saturday to meet Renfrew at their King George V playing fields ground.
The ‘Ferrymen’ have just one win out of five matches played in the league to date but on their day could be a team to watch.
The Glenpark side however are doing well with four wins out of five and are on track to challenge for promotion back to the Premier Division.
Particularly encouraging has been the form of the club’s two overseas amateurs. Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker have been in sparkling form with both bat and ball in most of the matches played.
Nicholson is second highest run scorer in the First Division while Walker is the leading wicket-taker.
However, Greenock cannot depend on these two players always being in form. Others need to make sure that they are able to contribute to run-scoring and wicket-taking.
The team will be without a number of regular first team players — Sam Sanghera, Cammy Calder, Jamie Nowell, Shailesh Prabhu, Chris Hempsey and Jonathan Hempsey — because of work commitments, injury and family circumstances.
But notwithstanding the absences of these players and the loss of their experience, there are others capable of doing a job for the 1st XI.
All-rounder Gregor Chambers, who is the regular opening bowler, has bowled well and been unfortunate to have only a few wickets to show for his efforts. He has also been a consistent performer in the middle order of the team’s batting line-up getting well into double figures in each of the innings in which he has batted.
Twenty-two-year-old Harry Briggs, who has come through from the junior age group teams at the club, has been a regular in the 1st XI for a number of seasons and he has developed into one of the team’s strongest players as a top order batsman and fine fielder. Briggs’ top score this season so far has been 44 against Irvine when he showed his batting capabilities. Another good innings from Briggs on Saturday would be a boost to the team.
Teenage wicket-keeper Lukas Fischer-Keogh has impressed with the gloves and has shown glimpses of his batting potential. With every match he is gaining experience and a large innings is surely not far away.
Team captain, Greg McDougall, is a useful change bowler who often picks up wickets when he brings himself on to bowl. He is also a capable batsman who perhaps bats himself too far down the order. Against Stenhousemuir, he showed what might have been when he punished the opposition bowlers at the tail end of the match and almost got Greenock to the target which was being chased.
Saturday’s opponents, Renfrew, sole win this season came against Hillhead at Hughenden in their first match at the beginning of May and since then they lost to Stenhousemuir, Kilmarnock, Drumpellier and East Kilbride.
Farhan Khan is Renfrew’s top scorer to date. He has accumulated 101 runs with his highest score being 80 against Drumpellier. While he has shown that he can bat, there is a lack of consistency in his performances.
Only a few others in the Renfrew batting line-up have shown much ability in run-scoring. Those who have include Hussanain Haider, Israr Hussain, Abid Shuja, Rahul Jagdale and Krushnesh Patel. But each of these players have only shown their run-scoring abilities on one occasion.
Leading the home bowling attack on Saturday may be Himanshu Sharma and Ranjit Singh Khehra. However, it is Hussanain Haidder, normally the first change bowler, who has been their most successful bowler with nine wickets.
Several regular 2nd XI players will be required to step up fro Greenock. Ewan Stewart, Peter Raj Janampally, Aryan Sanghera and PJ Bryceland will all feature in the match. All have some first-team experience but will need to be on their best form to help the team bring the points back to Glenpark.
The squad line-up will be: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, PJ Bryceland, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, PR Janampally, TJ Nicholson, CS Pandher, A Sanghera, E Stewart, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor. The match will start at noon
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U