Cricket: Clarke issues rallying call to embattled Uddingston squad
“It’s time for the real Uddy to turn up,’ said vice-captain Bryan Clarke, as the Villagers, hugely disappointed by last week’s Clydesdale capitulation, head for Nunholm and an intriguing joust with burgeoning front-runners Dumfries.
Former Saltires seamer Paul Hoffman makes a surprise comeback for Uddingston as a specialist batsman. “There is still no one else in Scotland capable of doing what he can do on his day,” added Clarke. “He’s been working hard all week in the nets, and is looking in good touch.”
The Bothwell men also introduce Western Warriors Under-18 seam bowler Dennis Eyles, fresh from a five-wicket haul against GHK with the seconds, and he will definitely feature with the ball.
Unbeaten Dumfries, significantly minus key seamer Pat Druce who is out with a back injury, and unavailable Scotland Under-19 starlet Tom McBride, are wary of the Uddingston threat: “They are a far better side than they have been showing,” said Doonhamers skipper Stuart Corbett-Byers, “but we’re taking nothing for granted and know we’ll have to be in top form to win.”
West of Scotland, still in second slot despite last week’s surprise home defeat to Stirling County, name an unchanged team for the visit of Greenock. The Glenpark men, though, travel to Hamilton Crescent in much better heart than of late, having broken their league duck with a convincing 64-run eclipse of fellow strugglers Drumpellier, despite once again failing to bat out their allotted 50 overs. Pro Mpho Sekhoto did pick up five Drumps wickets, but is surely overdue a score with the bat. Richie Berrington may make it, despite breaking a finger in Monday’s Saltires match.
Clydesdale, propelled into third place by consecutive victories, are hopeful of making it three in a row when they entertain bottom club Drumpellier at Titwood. “Our great result at Bothwell further underlines that we can beat anyone in this league,” said Dale’s Colin Mitchell, “but our form must be more consistent, and we need more from our top three.”
The Coatbridge outfit will finally be able to put out a full-strength team with the return of Asad Mohammed and skipper Graeme McLaren. McLaren takes further encouragement from some fine displays by pro Nazar Hussain, who is desperate to deliver against his former Titwood colleagues. Zulfi Shahid returns for Dale, replacing Haroon Sher.
Last week’s shock troops Stirling County, emboldened by that last-over triumph at West, are unchanged for the visit of third-bottom Ayr. New Cambusdoon skipper Mark Renny, despite being edged out by Dumfries, remains upbeat, greatly heartened by fine batting displays by young centurian Neil Smith, and newly recruited South African pro Craig Thyssen. Ayr recall experienced Neil Logan and hand a CSL debut to RAF all-rounder David Pinder.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South