ANGUS Guy, the captain of Scotland’s triumphant U19s, is set to return to club duty today as Clydesdale entertain West of Scotland in a crucial derby.
Guy and his young colleagues this week claimed a place at next year’s World Cup with an unbeaten qualifying campaign in the Netherlands.
The talented opening batsman led the way with several eye-catching performances including the highest individual score – 137 – of the tournament.
Today he will attempt to convert that form to the club stage as Dale aim for the win that would de-rail West’s title aspirations and Colin Mitchell, the Titwood club’s chairman of cricket, believes the pressure is all on the visitors.
The southside club occupy a comfortable mid-table position and Mitchell said: “If anything we’ve probably over-achieved this season with a very young squad and a lot of availability issues.
“There’s no doubt the pressure is all on West and the other teams at the top of the table but we have a group who are determined to compete.
“It will be good to have Angus back in the side – he and his team deserve enormous credit for what they have achieved – it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work.”
Guy’s U19 team-mate Danny Cairns is unavailable for today’s clash while Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington is still at the Global T20 in Canada.
West skipper Ian Young refuted suggestions that his team will feel additional pressure, saying: “I wouldn’t say extra pressure but definitely an extra edge and excitement. The guys are always up for the big games against Clydesdale and Saturday will be no different.
“It’s always a great challenge at their place and we welcome that.”
West lie in third place and Young admitted: “We’ve got four huge games and we need to win them all and maybe need a favour from someone else as well.”
Leaders Uddingston can afford to take nothing for granted when they visit Greenock, a team who have beaten them three times in the last two seasons.
West captain Bryan Clarke said: “We know Greenock are a difficult team to beat. They have the best pro (Saurabh Bandekar) in the league so it will be tough.
“We’re in a good place, though, and it’s great to be involved in meaningful cricket at this time of the year, having not challenged properly last season.”
Greenock, whose top-flight status is still not guaranteed, are without Neil Flack and Jonathan Hempsey while Abdul Sabri misses out for Uddy.
Second placed Prestwick can maintain their challenge with a home win against relegation-threatened Drumpellier while at Meikleriggs outgoing champions Ferguslie start favourites against an East Kilbride team who continue their search for an elusive first win.
Poloc and Stirling will jockey for mid-table positions when they meet at Shawholm.