Cricket: Clydesdale and Dumfries battle to seize the initiative
It’s the Clash of the Titans today at Titwood as second-placed Clydesdale host leaders Dumfries, who resumed pole position last week at the expense of West.
Both sides have endured a torrid build-up. Dale were surprisingly skittled out for a paltry 56 by Carlton in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final, while Dumfries skipper Stuart Corbett-Byers has suddenly stood down from the captaincy, with Aussie Josh Geary assuming the reins for the remainder of the season.
“This game will define our ambition and character,” asserts Dale spokesman Colin Mitchell. “We should come back strongly, but our Cup exit was a weak performance, and [skipper] Zeeshan Bashir will now need to dig deep to get the best out of the squad.”
Dale, seeking the win which would take them to the top, make one enforced change, Scotland Under-19 starlet Sam Page replaced by Neil Fulton. Dumfries also lose batsman Tom McBride to the Australia-bound U19s, Jerry Goodin coming in.
Deposed leaders West of Scotland and Uddingston, still smarting from last week’s Drumpellier defeat, will both be desperately eager to make amends when they clash at Bothwell. Uddy keeper Bryan Clarke, again deputising as skipper for Saltire Calum Macleod, admits: “We are very disappointed by last week’s display, even if Ally Rawlinson was virtually unplayable on a damp turner. But we’ll be rejuvenated by the return of Gavin Bradley, Davy Bill, and Paul Hoffmann.”
West, who slipped down to third with that Ayr defeat, have lost their two prolific teenage batsmen, Anjun Luthra and Andrew Umeed, both off to Queensland on U19 duty, and replaced by Stuart Leggat and Ricky Martin, but they take heart from Sunday’s emphatic win over First Division pace-settersFerguslie to advance to the semi-final of the CS Trophy.
Drumpellier’s shock win in the Lanarkshire derby took them off the bottom and up to sixth, and they look to maintain this momentum when they visit Stirling County, whose home defeat by Clydesdale condemned them to second bottom. “It is a very big game for us,” said Langloan skipper Graeme McLaren. “A win could open up a gap between ourselves and both Stirling and Greenock, but we’re wary of the threat posed by Stirling’s strong batting line-up.”
Drumps are unchanged, while County are without U19 batsman Nick Farrar, who is replaced by Matthew Tweedie. Fourth-placed Ayr advanced to the West League Cup Final on Wednesday with an emphatic 60-run win over Greenock and will aim for a repeat when the sides meet again today at Glenpark. The buoyant New Cambusdoon men will be without Scotland U19 seamer Scott McElnea, and injured all-rounder Dave Pinder, replaced by Ross Mitchell, but skipper Mark Renny returns from holiday. Another loss would leave Greenock cast adrift at the bottom.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West