After their single-run win over Ferguslie a fortnight ago, Stirling County go into Round Five of the Western Premier Division looking to build on what has been an excellent start to their campaign. A 95-run victory over Poloc on Saturday moved Matthew Tweedie’s side into second place in the table, and with fifth-placed Dumfries next up at New Williamfield, the skipper is hoping for more of the same from his team.
“Funnily enough, [the game will] probably be a draw, because we played them twice in 2018 and tied both times!” he said. “We’ve not played them [since then], but they were always a pretty good outfit and they look like they’re going to be a solid team again.
“I think it should be quite a competitive game. Hopefully we can keep our form going, because the longer we can keep building momentum, the better chance it gives us of staying at the sharp end of the league.”
The win over Poloc saw both Amir Shahzad (80) and Brandon McMullen (64) post their highest scores of the season, while 3 for 29 from Thomas Jones ensured that Calum James’s half-century for the visitors was ultimately in vain. But Stirling’s overall success has been built on a number of other contributions.
“We’re very fortunate in that we have a good core of five or six players that are able to perform at a really good standard every week,” said Matthew,”and it’s definitely driven our upturn in form.
“Akram Shakoor has been a really good bowler for the last two years or so, and that consistent performance has led to him being called back into the Warriors set-up. Harry Booker has been really solid at the top of the order as well: he gets thirties or forties every week and is just waiting to kick on now. Our batting line-up seems to be quite consistent in posting good scores, and hopefully that continues.”
Dumfries arrive with two wins to their name, the latest a 51-run triumph over Greenock at Nunholm. The league’s bottom side, still without a win, face another tough assignment in the form of West of Scotland, who, after two victories by three-figure margins, will be keen to put last week’s defeat to Clydesdale behind them. The leaders are at Langside, where they will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record, while Poloc host Uddingston, fresh from the seven-wicket win that condemned Ferguslie to their second loss in succession.
And it is another tricky fixture for the men from Paisley this week as they make the trip to the Henry Thow Oval, where Prestwick followed up their defeat to Clydesdale with victory over Langside in another bowler-dominated low scorer last weekend. Jonathan Hulme and Fraser Macdonald were the latest to star for the team now lying in third; how Ferguslie’s batters respond to their bad day at the office last Saturday will be fascinating to see.
Western Premier Division – 3 July 2021
Greenock v McCrea FS West of Scotland (at Glenpark)
Langside v Clydesdale (at Albert Park)
Poloc v Tunnock’s Uddingston (at Shawholm)
Prestwick v M8 Driving Ferguslie (at Henry Thow Oval)
SM Cricket Stirling County v Your Move Dumfries (at New Williamfield)
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