Domestic Preview – Final week of the season

Cricket Media preview the final round of fixtures in the Eastern and Western Premier divisions

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
August 24, 2018 5 years
Domestic Preview – Final week of the season

Greenock will take nothing for granted this afternoon as they seek the three bonus points from their home clash with Poloc that would guarantee Western Premier survival.
Last week’s win at Stirling, coupled with washouts for relegation rivals Dumfries and Ayr, appears to have left the Glenpark men with a relatively simple task.

However, Greenock need look back no further than the corresponding fixture at Shawholm earlier in the season to know that Poloc represent a dangerous obstacle.

Back in June the Glasgow southside team rattled-up a record 369-2 – Jurie Snyman hitting a season’s best 209 – en route to a massive 277-run win from which Greenock failed to claim a single point.

Greenock may take heart from the fact that Snyman has returned to South Africa to participate in the Africa T20 Cup but Craig Young, whose 128no was overshadowed at Shawholm, remains one of several players who could have a say in the home side’s destiny.

A Greenock spokesman said: “This is the club’s most important match for quite some time.

“The equation is simple – we need three points – but achieving the target will not be easy. We have struggled to pick up bonus points in losing encounters this season so our best bet is to go for the win.”

The home side are again without Jonathan Hempsey while Indian pro Saurabh Bandekar will undergo a fitness test to establish whether he is able to bowl.
However, Bandekar, the team’s leading run scorer, will play an important role with the bat.

In addition to Snyman, Poloc are missing Akshay Hudar but Lewis James returns.

Meanwhile Ayr travel to already relegated Dumfries knowing they must claim maximum points while hoping Poloc do them a huge favour.

The Alloway side won the Western Premier as recently as 2014 but have failed to consistently post winning totals. Andi McElnea’s side, though, can take heart from their last match when they produced their best batting performance of the season.

Elsewhere, Ferguslie complete a triumphant campaign when they head to Prestwick – the team they deposed as champions.

The Paisley side have one eye on next week’s Grand Final against Grange with skipper Jamey Carruthers admitting: “The aim is to keep the guys in form and take a bit of momentum into the play-off.”

Ferguslie are without strike bowler Greg Cameron whose season is over after suffering a serious injury in the title-clinching win over Greenock a fortnight ago.
West of Scotland entertain Stirling while Uddingston visit Clydesdale.

GLENROTHES have ended their season prematurely – battling to save their existence as one of Scotland’s leading clubs.

The alarm bells rang loudly last weekend when they pulled out of their tussle with Aberdeenshire at Mannofield because of “availability issues.”

Now they have also cancelled today’s final league match of the summer at home to Forfarshire.

On Wednesday, the Gilvenbank club – without a championship win all year – staged a crisis meeting.

No details have been made available and all chairman Kenny Crichton would say was: “It was well attended and positive.

“I confirm that the game against Forfarshire will not take place.”

It is understood that Glens officials opted to pull the plug on the two fixtures rather than throw inexperienced or “social” players into the fray against top flight opposition.

Whatever happens to the Glenrothes over the next few months, they are parting company with skipper Safyaan Sharif with immediate effect.

Scotland star Sharif intimated that he has yet to decide where his club cricketing future lies.

In the meantime, the cancellation of this afternoon’s encounter could have a knock-on effect on who claims the runners-up slot behind Grange.

Assuming that Forfarshire are awarded a full haul of points by default, a defeat at Arbroath for deposed champions Heriot’s would enable the Broughty Ferry brigade to leapfrog them into second place.

Elsewhere, Grange entertain neighbours Stew-Mel and Carlton host RHC Lions.

Watsonians close a roller-coaster season by facing Aberdeenshire at Myreside.

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