Clydesdale look to keep touch with Ferguslie
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
CLYDESDALE host Prestwick in the Western Premier’s top fixture and the incentive for both sides is clear: win or risk losing touch with runaway leaders Ferguslie.
Third placed Dale, the 2015 and 2016 champions, were deposed last season by today’s visitors, who are in second, but both are trailing unbeaten Ferguslie.
Colin Mitchell, the Clydesdale manager, said: “Both teams may look on this as a must-win match but the outcome won’t define our season.
“Ferguslie are the standout team but we’ll focus on ourselves.”
The home side are without Scotland star Richie Berrington who is preparing for tomorrow’s ODI against England while Angus Guy also misses out.
Mitchell said: “Prestwick had the chance to play us last season when we were without our Scotland players but that’s just the way the cards fall. We believe we have the depth to challenge the champions.”
Ferguslie remain the team to beat as Clydesdale discovered last Sunday in a Scottish Cup clash which the Paisley side won thanks to centuries from openers Gregor Preston-Jones and Michael English.
With home advantage, the Meikleriggs men start favourites against Greenock this afternoon but they will be wary of opponents whose confidence is high after claiming their first win last Saturday.
Ferguslie go in with a settled side but the visitors are without the injured Sam Sanghera and Chris Hempsey who has work commitments. Fraser Godsman and Ewan Stewart are drafted in.
Elsewhere Poloc have their tails up after last week’s win over Stirling but they will take nothing for granted when Ayr arrive at Shawholm.
The visitors may be languishing at the lower end of the table but their record against the Glasgow southside club is formidable, having last lost a league match to Poloc eight years ago.
A Poloc spokesman acknowledged: “Ayr are always dangerous opponents and have had the edge in recent games. But last week’s win coupled with a midweek victory has helped build confidence in our camp.”
With Calum James unavailable, Poloc hand the keeper’s gloves to Said Sajjad.
Uddingston and West of Scotland, bidding to bounce back from disappointing defeats a week ago, know that victory is imperative to stay on the fringes of the title race. The visitors welcome back Jon Feran and Lucas Farndale to a full-strength team.
Stirling host a Dumfries side who are still looking for their first win of the campaign.