CricHQ40 Cup Preview - Week 2
The CricHQ40 Cup moves up a gear this weekend with some heavyweight clashes destined to secure some clubs qualification and leave others on the cusp of an early season exit.
There won’t be any Sky cameras at Titwood this year, but old enemies Clydesdale and Ferguslie renew battle having registered impressive victories on Match Day One. Clydesdale dismantled Poloc at Shawholm without having to take the wrapping off their much vaunted spin attack as Adil Ghaffar impressed on his first team debut. Majid Haq and Con de Lange will expect to turn their arms over this week as the young Ferguslie side arrive in Crossmyloof but the match is still expected to come too quickly for ailing new home signing Richie Berrington. Ferguslie are likely to be at full strength with Michael English having a look at Titwood before his appearance in the North Sea Pro Series for Reivers at the same venue on Sunday. Poloc and Renfrew meet at Shawholm with the loser almost certainly to be eliminated from the competition.
In Lanarkshire, it’s the first meeting of Drumpellier and Uddingston this year, at Langloan. Uddingston routed Stenhousemuir at home last week and make the short journey to Coatbridge for a match up that is sure to warm the cockles on what is set to be a chilly Saturday afternoon. Graeme McLaren has earned a well-deserved call up to the Reivers squad on Sunday but is surprisingly the only member of either side to be selected to face the Dutch. There are mathc winners throughout both teams though and with a number of those on show having played for both over the years it promises to be a thriller. Greenock will host Stenhousemuir and a home win would effectively knock Stenhousemuir out at this early stage.
Prestwick hope to have Willie Rowan and Andy Tennant available as they look to consolidate their excellent start to the season at Torrance House, East Kilbride expects to be stronger than they were last week but will look to relaunch their campaign after defeat at Nunholm last Saturday. Dumfries, with Reivers Scott Beveridge and Neil Alexander, visit Cambusdoon where Ayr will look to move up a few gears in the batting department after a disappointing effort against Prestwick last weekend.
Group D finally gets underway after the weather won both matches last weekend. West’s bowlers will hope to get up and running at Hamilton Crescent as Stirling County visit. Both sides have high hopes after slightly tepid season in 2013 and will hope to find early season momentum in Partick. Kelburne see Weirs arrive for a clash between two clubs with missed fortunes over the winter. Rumours abounded of an exodus from Whitehaugh but it did not happen and the Paisley side have a healthy mixture of youth and experience to call upon. Weirs have been decimated though, with the loss of Moneeb Iqbal and Syed Irfan Shah to East Kilbride and Richard Young to his literary career. It was also sad to hear this week of the passing of Betty Greenwood, wife of Bill, mother Craig and Neil and a stalwart of Weirs off the field for decades. She will be a sad loss and commiserations came from all in the WDCU for her passing.
The Western Cup highlight is undoubtedly at Ardencaple where another local derby occurs as Vale of Leven makes the short journey to their bigger rivals. Vale always relish these clashes and Helensburgh never find the Alexandrians easy opposition despite their being a number of common links between the clubs.