GREENOCK host Poloc at Glenpark on Saturday and will be eager to gain another victory following their fine start to the league season at East Kilbride last weekend.
The Glenpark side beat their Lanarkshire opponents by the comfortable margin of 65 runs to provide the perfect start to their bid for a quick promotion back to the Premier Division.
But Poloc will be no easy team to overcome if meetings on league business in recent seasons is anything to go by.
The teams have had a similar history since 2016 when they were promoted together to the Premier Division. In the years since, both clubs just narrowly managed to survive in the top flight. However, last summer relegation eventually caught up with them.
Interestingly, in the four seasons when play was possible between 2017 and 2021 (there was no league cricket in 2020 because of the pandemic) the teams met only three times. Wet weather plagued their fixtures and all four matches scheduled for Glenpark during these seasons failed to take place. Greenock lost the three matches that took place at Poloc’s home Shawholm ground.
The Glasgow southsiders have made a poor start to their 2022 league campaign. On the opening Saturday of the league season they were away to Loc Hire Stenhousemuir, bowled out for 131, losing by five wickets.
Last Saturday against Drumpellier at Shawholm, Poloc lost again. Batting first they could only manage a total of 92 and Drumpellier easily overhauled this meagre score with just two wickets down.
Greenock will field a side similar to the winning XI from last Saturday. However Chirag Pandher and Cammy Calder both drop out because of work commitments and are replaced by Chris Hempsey and Jamie Nowell who are once again available.
Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker were the mainstay of Greenock’s batting performance at East Kilbride. Each scored 40-plus runs and were ably supported by Lukas Fischer-Keogh (27), Gregor Chambers (16) and Chirag Pandher with a quickfire 10.
Nicholson, Walker and Chambers have all shown good early season form with the bat. Each has had a 50 to their name from the games played and Nicholson has racked up a personal tally of 196 runs at an average of 49.
Greenock’s bowling and fielding performances have also been encouraging. Last Saturday, team captain Greg McDougall used six bowlers in the league win over East Kilbride and each acquitted themselves well.
But it was Ryan Walker with four wickets for 22 runs from 4.4 overs who produced the top performance. He has picked up 11 wickets from just four games.
Lukas Fischer-Keogh had a fine afternoon behind the stumps. He held three catches and took two stumpings.
Greenock’s team will be: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, CJK Hempsey, U Mansoor, TJ Nicholson, JM Nowell, SS Prabhu, SS Sanghera, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor. The match will start at noon
Greenock’s 2nd XI (Glenpark) travel to Larbert for their Fourth Division match against The Tryst (Stenhousemuir 2nd XI).
Scottish Cup — Greenock travel through to Edinburgh to play top Eastern Premier Division side Carlton at Grange Loan on Sunday in the first round of the Scottish Cup.
Remarkably, Greenock have been drawn away to two of the top clubs in Edinburgh in round one of each of the three most recent Scottish Cup competitions. In 2019, it was Grange CC. In 2021 it was Carlton CC and now in 2022 it is Carlton for the second successive season.
Greenock’s team for the match against Carlton on Sunday looks likely to be: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, PJ Bryceland, C Calder, GM Chambers, JPC Hempsey , TJ Nicholson, JM Nowell, SS Prabhu, SS Sanghera, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor
The match against Carlton at Grange Loan will start at noon.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U