Week Four of the delayed WDCU Western Premier Division is headlined by what is sure to be a fascinating encounter at Titwood, where early pace-setters Clydesdale face the in-form West of Scotland. Victory over Dumfries moved James Fennah’s side into fifth place in the table, as West put the disappointment of their opening day loss to Ferguslie well and truly behind them.
“I think we started off with what was probably the worst game possible when we hadn’t played for a year and a half, and by looking at the scorecard you can see that Ferguslie outplayed us massively,” he said. “But since then, we’ve had six or seven wins on the bounce including the cups, so I think we’ve found our form and our groove now.
“The two league wins have been quite convincing. I think one of West’s biggest demons has always been chasing down totals – since I’ve been here, anyway, which has been about five years now – so it was nice to finally put those behind us by chasing down the Arbroath score [of 172 in the Scottish Cup] and doing so quite convincingly again, I’d like to say.”
James has played a central role in the team’s success, scoring 61 in the five-wicket win at Arbroath and taking 5 for 23 in last weekend’s 106-run victory over Dumfries. New signings Andy Hislop and Callum Dutia have also started well, along with other more established members of the club.
“There’s plenty more to come from Ian Young,” said James. “He’s just finding his form again after scoring a fifty at Uddingston [in the McCulloch Cup], while Gav Smith has been brilliant with the ball – he bowled one of the best opening spells I’ve ever seen against Ferguslie before it all went a bit Pete Tong, we had them about 35 for 2 off twenty overs.
“Andy Hislop will be another one to watch – he’s been consistent every week in getting to twenty or thirty opening the batting, and I know he’s desperate to try and push on from that. And then Callum Dutia has been a great addition this year. He gives us a different option – we’ve never had a legspinner in my time at West, so it’s good that he brings his experience into the side.”
While West look to continue their run of form on Saturday, Clydesdale goes into the contest as the only unbeaten side in the division. A determined performance at Prestwick saw Paddy Barbour’s team turn what looked like certain defeat into comfortable victory, with Calum Drummond and Arun Krishna’s last-wicket partnership of 57 proving decisive in the end. Prestwick, now in fourth, will look to get back to winning ways at home to Langside, who fell to a 69-run defeat at Bothwell Castle Policies.
That game gave Uddingston their first league win of the campaign, while Poloc also broke their duck against bottom side Greenock, who, despite Neil Flack’s consistency, are now the only side in the division without a victory. They face a tricky trip to Nunholm, while Poloc travel to third-placed Stirling County, who knocked Ferguslie off top spot with a single-run win at Meikleriggs.
And it is Paisley which hosts the final tie of the week, as Uddingston makes the short trip west. A much-improved batting performance from Bryan Clarke’s side went a long way towards securing that crucial victory last time out, but their mettle is sure to be tested again by a Ferguslie team determined to make up for the disappointment of losing their unbeaten record last Saturday. All in all, it promises to be another intriguing weekend.
Western Premier Division – 26 June 2021
Clydesdale v McCrea FS West of Scotland (at Titwood)
M8 Driving Ferguslie v Tunnock’s Uddingston (at Meikleriggs)
Prestwick v Langside (at Henry Thow Oval)
SM Cricket Stirling County v Poloc (at New Williamfield)
Your Move Dumfries v Greenock (at Nunholm)
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