Drumpellier earn tag as favourites

IT IS a mark of how far they have come that Drumpellier start favourites to beat a West of Scotland side that challenged for the title last season.

A midweek win over Stenhousemuir took the league leaders’ winning run to ten games in all competitions and Langloan skipper Graeme McLaren said: “We just want to keep the winning streak going for as long as possible. We have already beaten West at our place in the Rowan Cup and, hopefully, we can cash in on home advantage again.”

West, though, travel in high spirits, having broken their duck with victory against Stirling last week. Zaheer Mohammed and Gordon Shaw are unavailable for Drumps and are replaced by Chris Keltie and Craig McDonald. West welcome back Dougie Lockhart, Stuart Murray and Ian Young to bolster their batting.

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Meanwhile, Dumfries and Ayr meet in a vital game at Nunholm as the champions try to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Renfrew while Ayr search for an elusive first win of the campaign.

Scott Beveridge, the home skipper, has promoted youngster Marcus Richardson for his first start following a half-century for the second team.

Neal Parlane fell just short of his first century for Ayr a week ago and the visitors will be looking for another big contribution from their Kiwi import.

The big games are coming thick and fast for Renfrew, and today they host an Uddingston side who are joint top and tipped by many to go on and win the title.

Renfrew skipper Saj Majeed shares that view but said: “We will take great confidence from last week’s win but it’s going to be another tough one.”

Ryan Murray returns for the hosts, while Uddingston are without Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main and Scott McKenzie, but the wily Mark Townson returns. Graeme Taylor, the Stirling captain, has set his men one seemingly simple objective ahead of the visit of Clydesdale – to bat all 50 overs! That, though, may be easier said than done, since the win-less Williamfield men are yet to achieve the feat this season.

“We need to start competing for full games, not bits of them,” said Taylor. His men entertain a Titwood outfit who are sure to be fired-up following last week’s defeat to Uddingston. Richie Carswell misses out for Stirling while Dale skipper Majid Haq remains injured.

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