Cricket: Dumfries need home win for the title

“I ONLY hope the key league outcomes are decided on the grass and not by the weather’, Clydesdale spokesman Colin Mitchell stresses pertinently.

Nunholm, venue for today’s showdown between leaders Dumfries and second-placed West of Scotland, was under water earlier this week but the efforts of groundsman Davie Davidson and his staff and a belated break in the clouds may yet allow the crucial clash to proceed.

A Dumfries home win would end all arguments, but they have to account for a Hamilton Crescent outfit including ex-Saltires batsman Dougie Lockhart and the league’s leading wicket-taker, John Blain.

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Dumfries look to all-rounder Scott Beveridge, just one wicket behind Blain, and Aussie bat Josh Geary in his final game to point the way in what keeper Stuart Corbett-Byers describes as ‘the biggest game in the club’s history.’

West were left frustrated last week, having managed 188 for 7 against fellow challengers Clydesdale when the heavens opened up. They welcome back Scotland U19 batsman Andrew Umeed while Dumfries reintroduce U19 starlet Tom McBride.

Third-placed Clydesdale, with five wins from seven outings, could yet grab the title should they win at Titwood against relegation-haunted Greenock. However, no limited-overs side including Richie Berrington can ever be discounted and it would perhaps be the ultimate irony for the Glenparkers, in their 150th anniversary season, to crush the title aspirations of old rivals Dale on a day when their top-flight status is subject to Stirling County’s fortunes. Dale recall Kas Farid for Andrew Scobie, while Sam Page returns for Mo Ali.

Stirling County need one victory in this weekend’s Uddingston double-header to ensure Premier safety. Josh Edwards takes the County captaincy in the absence of the Phil Rees, whilst Nick Farrar returns for Akram Shakoor.

Meanwhile pride alone is at stake at Langloan where Drumpellier host Ayr in a mid-table tussle. It also marks the last match as captain for New Cambusdoon veteran Mark Renny.