CRICKET — League Leaders To Clash At Glenpark

26 May, 2022 | Sport

GREENOCK meet Stenhousemuir in a First Division top-of-the-table clash at Glenpark on Saturday.

The teams are unbeaten so far in their league matches and, even at this quite early stage in the season, look likely contenders to be at the forefront of the race for promotion to the Premier Division.

Last season Greenock struggled in the Premier Division and ended the summer being relegated along with Poloc. However, there is a real sense of confidence in the Greenock camp this year. The addition of two very talented young Australian amateurs has galvanised the team and, with several young Greenock players now beginning to show their potential in the 1st XI, winning ways have returned.

Scoring runs has been Greenock’s Achilles heel in the last few seasons. But in the three league matches which Greenock have completed this season, the team has passed 250 runs once and exceeded 150 runs twice.

Aussie amateur Tom Nicholson has been an important influence in the batting improvement. He has displayed sound technique as an opening batsman and his 156 not-out against Poloc was a masterclass.

But it has not been a one-man show. Numerous other players have been in good run-scoring form in the early phase of the league programme. Harry Briggs, Jamie Nowell, Lukas Fischer-Keogh and Cammy Calder, all young Greenock players who have come through the junior ranks, have displayed good batting form.

In addition, Ryan Walker, Greenock’s second Australian amateur from Brisbane in Queensland, has demonstrated that he will be an important all-rounder for the Club. As well as scoring useful runs, Walker is also a wicket-taker. With 14 league wickets from just three matches he sits atop the First Division bowling stats.

Saturday’s opponents, Stenhousemuir, won promotion to the Premier Division as First Division champions in 2015 but lasted just one season in the top league. Since then the Larbert side have been rebuilding and now seem to have a squad which could be a contender to return to the top flight of cricket in west central Scotland.

The Stirlingshire side have played four and won four with comfortable wins over Poloc, Irvine, Renfrew and Drumpellier.

A key player this season is their South African professional Danie Roussouw. The wicket-keeper/batsman showed his class in round two of the league programme against Irvine scoring 137 in Stenny’s total of 242 for 8 at Irvine’s Marress ground. He followed that with 42 against Renfrew and 75 last Saturday against Drumpellier.

Also in the Stenhousemuir side from South Africa is 20-year-old amateur Emile Streicher who bats mid-order and is a useful change bowler.

Other players who have made an impression in the league fixtures to date include John Vaughan-Davies has shown some consistent form as an opening bat. In three out of the four league matches he has scored in the 30s and helped his team make a good start to their innings.

Callum Grant and Praveen Pinnamaneni are second and third in the First Division bowling stats. But neither bowler has been in the frontline attack used by Stenhousemuir. Instead they follow on from opening bowlers Nicholas Lister and Nicky Rodgers. It is a plan which has worked well with Grant having picked 13 wickets (including 5 wickets for 4 runs from 10 overs against Renfrew) and Pinnamaneni 12 wickets.

Greenock will make one change; Chris Hempsey is unavailable and back into the side comes former 1st XI captain Shailesh Prabhu who himself was unavailable last weekend.

The team match will be: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, PJ Bryceland, C Calder, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, , TJ Nicholson, JM Nowell, SS Prabhu, SS Sanghera, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor. The match starts noon.

Greenock’s 2nd XI (Glenpark) travel to Glasgow to play Glasgow Accies 2nd XI (Anniesland) in a Fourth Division match at New Anniesland on Saturday afternoon. The team will be from: J Janampally, M Ahmed, S Chaudhary, M Farrell, P Hempsey, N Kuwar, N Lohan, U Mansoor, E Norris, C Prabhu, PE Robertson, A Sanghera, DS Sharma, E Stewart.

Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U

Pin It on Pinterest