Western Premier Preview: Week 18

Willie Dick previews the last round of the 2019's Western Premier.

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
August 23, 2019 5 years
Western Premier Preview: Week 18

Bryan Clarke, the Uddingston captain, is taking nothing for granted ahead of today’s potentially title-clinching clash with Clydesdale at Titwood.

Victory would secure the Lanarkshire team’s first championship trophy since 2013 and Clarke’s men start favourites against a Dale side who sit mid-table at the end of a transitional season.

However, the southside club are capable of beating the best on their day as they proved by dumping Uddy out of the Scottish Cup earlier in the season though the Bothwell men subsequently gained revenge in the league.

It makes for an intriguing climax to the campaign especially since Prestwick are poised to pounce and would themselves take the title should they beat Ferguslie and Uddingston slip-up.

With Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington available to make a rare appearance for Clydesdale, Uddingston will undergo the stiffest possible test of their credentials.

Clarke said: “We expect a really tough game at Clydesdale. It’s one win and one loss against them this year so we know they’re a good side.

“They’ve been unlucky to miss Richie for long periods but have a cracking group of youngsters who’ll always be better when he’s around.

“We are well aware what Richie is capable of as he scored a fabulous 100 against us in the corresponding fixture last year.

“That said, we’ve been in excellent form recently when the weather has allowed us to play and we will look to play in a positive manner.”

Uddingston welcome back their own Scotland star in Gavin Main and Clarke added: “It’s always a bonus for us when Gav plays.”

Colin Mitchell, Clydesdale’s chairman of cricket, said: “I think our guys will relish being involved in a game that could have an impact on the destination of the title.

“Richie will undoubtedly add to the test we will give them but if Uddingston handle the pressure they will be worthy champions.”

Meanwhile, on the Ayrshire coast Prestwick will attempt to keep their hopes alive by beating outgoing champions Ferguslie at the Henry Thow Oval.

Beaten only once all season – in a thriller against Uddingston – Prestwick would be equally worthy winners should they go on to repeat their title success of two years ago.

The Ayrshire team boast the division’s leading wicket taker in Sachin Chaudhary while Tom Lord and Tom Fleet are among the leading run scorers, and all will be key figures as they aim to complete a second win of the campaign against the Paisley men.

Elsewhere, only pride and mid-table positions are at stake after last week’s rain settled the relegation issue.

Drumpellier could have taken the battle to beat the drop into the final day had they played and won last Saturday, instead of which they will bow out by visiting already doomed East Kilbride who are still seeking the consolation of a solitary win.

Long-time challengers West of Scotland, denied the chance to host the top two in recent weeks, sign off with a trip to Stirling while Greenock and Poloc meet at Glenpark.

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