Greenock step up survival bid
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
GREENOCK will today step-up their bid for top-flight survival when they entertain Clydesdale at Glenpark.
Neil Flack’s side have their tails-up following a morale-boosting win over Prestwick last Saturday but they face a Dale outfit who must win to retain any slim hope of catching runaway leaders Ferguslie.
A Greenock spokesman said: “Clydesdale will pose a huge challenge for us but we pushed them all the way in the first game at Titwood.
“Although we just lost that one it was one of our best performances of the season and we have moved forward since then.
“Clydesdale are second in the table and a formidable team but they are far from unbeatable and a win for us would be a major step towards playing Premier Division cricket again next season.”
Greenock are boosted by the return of Sailesh Prabhu, Jack Griffiths and Harry Briggs but Jon Hempsey is still missing.
The home side have identified their former team-mate, Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington, as the biggest threat to their chances.
Berrington has been Dale’s standout performer this season with 442 runs and 17 wickets but the Titwood side will also rely on a number of emerging stars as they look to stay in touch at the top of the table.
Greenock’s win last week took them out of the relegation places, leaving Dumfries and Ayr staring down the barrel.
However, both have home advantage today and Dumfries will aim to make that count against an Uddingston team for whom inconsistency has cost them the chance to make a title challenge.
Despite falling into the bottom two, Ayr are in confident mood ahead of the visit of Stirling after last week’s astonishing win at West of Scotland where they fought back from a hopeless-looking position to prevail by 12 runs.
Ayr welcome back skipper Andi McElnea against a Stirling side who remain third top in what is proving to be a successful first season in the top flight.
Meanwhile Poloc are the latest side with a chance to stall Ferguslie’s charge to the title when they entertain the Paisley men at Shawholm.
Poloc, though, must re-group following three consecutive defeats including last week’s collapse at Uddingston when they contrived to slip from 132-2 to 168 all out – five short of their target.
The home side are without the injured Hasseeb Zaker while Ferguslie travel with a settled and confident squad.
Like Poloc, West of Scotland must put a horror batting collapse behind them when they welcome outgoing champions Prestwick to Hamilton Crescent.