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Domestic Preview – Week 10

Cricket Media preview week 10 of the action in the Eastern and Western Warriors

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
July 1, 2017 3 years
Domestic Preview – Week 10

Uddingston skipper Bryan Clarke believes the best is yet to come from his Western Premier table-toppers.

The Bothwell side, who entertain Greenock today, go into the second half of the season with a handy lead over the chasing pack.

But Clarke insists his side must improve if they are to seal a second title in five years and wants them to use a midweek West League Cup defeat as a wake-up call.

Clarke, who is unavailable for today’s encounter, said: “I still believe we can improve and probably need to.

“We lost to Ayr on Wednesday in the West League Cup and that probably exposed a few things.

“All the guys have got to contribute and show how hungry they are for success.”

Uddingston will be captained by Hari Singh while Paul Hoffmann and Gowtham Rai return to the side and Clarke says they can take nothing for granted against a Greenock team who have settled well in their first season back in the top flight.

He added: “Greenock have proved a few people wrong so far and gave us a tougher game than perhaps it looked in the season opener.

“They seem to have some real team spirit and a few really talented guys. They are a very capable team as they’ve shown to date.”

Greenock, bidding to end a run of three straight league defeats, will take encouragement from that opening encounter at Glenpark when they had Uddingston in deep trouble on 60-5 before failing to drive home their advantage.

Club spokesman Peter Hempsey declared: “We have shown in league and cup games that we can be a match for any team in the premier division.

“Greenock have players who can score runs, take wickets and win matches.”

The visitors have selection problems with Shailesh Prabhu, Sam Sanghera, Chris Hempsey and Phil McIntosh all out.

Elsewhere, Prestwick travel to Kelburne knowing that victory will keep them hot on the heels of the leaders.

The Ayrshire side moved into second place with last week’s win over East Kilbride and start strong favourites against a Whitehaugh outfit who are yet to break their duck.

Ayr, the division’s highest scoring team, are also poised to challenge, but must overcome a Dumfries team who are always competitive on their own Nunholm patch where they have lost just once in the league.

Having lost four times already, champions Clydesdale can afford no further slip-ups and, with Richie Berrington and Con de Lange back in the ranks, they were back to their best against Greenock a week ago.

With the Scotland duo likely to feature for the reminder of the season, Dale could yet mount a challenge and they should win again at East Kilbride today.

Ferguslie, who were top until last week’s heavy defeat at Uddingston, aim to bounce back when they entertain Poloc at Meikleriggs.

However, the Paisley side expect a stiff test against a team who have recaptured the form that saw them win the opening day encounter at Shawholm.

Ferguslie are without leading wicket-taker HaroonTahir who is on duty with Scotland U19s but Jamie Cook returns.

MARK Petrie, the skipper of league pacesetters Arbroath, fears today’s showdown with basement boys at Falkland could be a banana skin mission for his troops.

The Fifers hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week when they were on the receiving end of a record-breaking hammering at the hands of Watsonians.

Salvaged a heap of pride 24 hours later by earning a place in the advanced stages of the British Village Cup.

And Petrie believes their last 16 tie against holders Sessay tomorrow, also at Scroggie Park, will gee them up for the whole weekend.

Petrie said: “On paper we are favourites, but we definitely won’t be taking any notice of that label.

“Falkland will have renewed confidence and will be keen to take their Village Cup form into the league.

“We are very happy with the way we have performed in the first half of the season, especially given our issues with availability.

“But we are well aware there is still a long way to go in the campaign.

“We are still without a few frontline players, though Calvin Burnett and Ross McLean return.

“We know we just have to continue performing to the standards we set for ourselves.”

Forfarshire and Aberdeenshire heralded the start of the season with a remarkable high-scoring contest, won by the visitors at Forthill.

So this afternoon the Broughty Ferry brigade head for Mannofield with revenge on their minds in the latest battle of the Shires.

Fords will be without Rory Johnston and Callum Garden, who are on Scotland age-group duty.

And captain Umair Mohammed said: “That opening-day encounter was pretty special, but the outcome was not what we were seeking.

“However, since then we have faced them twice, in the Scottish Cup and in the T20 – and we came out on top on both occasions, so our spirits are high.

“I am sure that if we give 100 per cent then the result will take care of itself, though we are all too aware that they have dangerous players who can turn it on.”

Elsewhere, form horses Glenrothes – fresh from successes over Arbroath and Grange – are aiming for the double against champions Carlton in Edinburgh.

Grange take on neighbours Heriot’s at Goldenacre and Watsonians will be keen to carry on against SMRH at Myreside where they left off at Falkland.

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