Clydesdale face derby encounter with West
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
PSL TEAM SPORTS CLYDESDALE v McCREA FS WEST OF SCOTLAND
A traditional Glasgow derby takes on added significance with both sides in the running to lift the inaugural Western Premier division title. Clydesdale have recovered from their defeat at Dumfries in their opening game with two victories but last week’s clash with Drumpellier was one of two the Titwood club have lost to the weather. In contrast, West have played all five of their scheduled fixtures and last week’s triumph over Greenock was sufficient to take them to the top of the table.
It promises to be a close encounter though Colin Mitchell, the Clydesdale chairman, said: “I think West go in as firm favourites after the start they have made. They look a much more disciplined and well-drilled side this season and you’d expect that under the direction of someone of John Blain’s experience and expertise.” Blain, the new West player-coach, has indeed made a significant difference at Hamilton Crescent though he may dispute Mitchell’s assessment of his team’s status as favourites. “We’re happy to be where we are but I don’t think we’ve played all that well yet,” is the former Scotland bowler’s opinion. Clydesdale are boosted by the return of Scotland U19 all-rounder Sam Page who makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from ankle ligament damage. West are unchanged.
DRUMPELLIER v APD DUMFRIES
This is an important game for both sides though for differing reasons, the hosts attempting to put their first win on the board after a frustrating campaign to date while Dumfries aim to bounce back from their first defeat. The Coatbridge club, hit harder than any other by the rain, have completed just two matches so far and skipper Graeme McLaren believes his side will take out their frustrations on someone. The weather, though, could again be the winner at Langloan today.
GREENOCK v STIRLING COUNTY
Both teams, hovering near the wrong end of the table, are desperate to get back on track following disappointing defeats a week ago. Greenock are looking for a more solid batting display and will give a late test to Saltires star Richie Berrington who has a broken finger. A fully fit Berrington would make a huge difference to the home side’s cause. Stirling, who expect to be at full strength, are also looking for a more resolute performance from their batsmen.
TUNNOCK’S UDDINGSTON v LOCAL LIFE AYR
Having sent Dumfries tumbling to their first defeat of the season, Uddingston are determined to state their case as genuine title contenders by putting together a consistent run of victories. They expect a stern test from an Ayr side who are benefiting from the performances of recently-arrived South African professional Craig Thyssen but whose home-grown youngsters are also contributing impressively to the cause. Uddingston welcome back three regulars who missed the trip to Dumfries. Ayr are still without Callum McLaughlin but Dave Pinder may keep his place in the starting line-up following a successful debut last week.