Crucial weekend for West and Greenock
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
GREENOCK v McCREA FS WEST OF SCOTLAND
The avoidance of relegation and the pursuit of the title are the contrasting aims of these two old rivals. Greenock gave their survival prospects a major boost with victory at Drumpellier a week ago and take renewed optimism into the closing jousts of the season. However, they start underdogs against a West outfit who are firmly back in the hunt for honours. Since West face second placed Clydesdale and top-of-the-table Dumfries in their closing two matches three wins could be enough to see the trophy head to Hamilton Crescent. However, player-coach John Blain will insist that his team take care of the task in hand. Greenock are set to field their former coach and current Saltires assistant coach Tony Judd at the age of 48.
LOCAL LIFE AYR v STIRLING COUNTY
Ayr are bidding to complete the double over a Stirling outfit who have failed to win since the first weekend in June. It is a grim sequence of results which has seen the New Williamfield side slump to bottom place. However, with three games remaining, the focus is on survival and victory today would set them up nicely for next week’s crunch clash with second bottom Greenock. Having lost to Dumfries a week ago, the extent of Ayr’s ambitions now may be to finish in the top half. Ross Mitchell is drafted into an Ayr team which is still without Scott McElnea while Nick Farrar remains a significant absentee for the visitors.
TUNNOCK’S UDDINGSTON v APD DUMFRIES
Having knocked Clydesdale off top spot a week ago, Uddingston have the chance to do likewise to Dumfries whose victory against Ayr was enough to see them reclaim the lead. The Bothwell men were the first team to inflict defeat on Dumfries back in June but Stuart Corbett-Byers’ team have demonstrated resilience as well as skill to bounce back and secure pole position going into the last three games of the campaign. The Nunholm club finish with two home fixtures and, if they can negotiate today’s hurdle, will be confident of going on to secure a remarkable title success. Calum MacLeod, the Uddingston captain, goes into the match on a high following his century for Northants’ second string during the week. Dumfries are still without Scotland U19 batsman Tom McBride.
DRUMPELLIER v PSL TEAM SPORTS CLYDESDALE
Two sides with a point to prove clash at Langloan after the home team’s revival was brought to a shuddering halt a week ago at the same time as Clydesdale were losing their grip on top spot. Batting conditions are sure to be tricky at the Coatbridge venue which saw further rainfall during the week. Drumpellier are on the usual lines while Dale are again without Sam Page.