Parkinson finally freed to play for Dumfries

PACESETTERS Dumfries heaved a huge sigh of relief yesterday when pro Andy Parkinson was at long last granted clearance to appear in the SNCL.

The Australian had been barred because his coaching certificates were not up to scratch.

And today he will aim to make up for lost time when he lines up against Corstorphine, who have been struggling to find form.

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Dumfries skipper Stuart Corbett-Byers said: "It will be great to have Andy in the team after such a long delay.

"We weren't best pleased by the fact that Kelburne pro David Harper was in the same boat as him, yet he was allowed to play pending an upgrade of his qualifications. We didn't feel we were being treated the same way, but we can put that all behind us now and move on.

"Andy has been looking pretty good in the nets, but everyone is looking forward to seeing him perform out in the middle."

On the challenge of Corstorphine, Corbett-Byers added: "I know they have lost a few players, but we have never been comfortable at their ground.

"We won't be reading too much into their recent run of results because they still have guys who can have a big influence."

Having had last weekend's home game against Kelburne rained off, it won't only be Parkinson who is anxious for playing time.

West Lothian bounced back to winning ways with a trademark century by Kruger van Wyk against Ferguslie and they will need his grit and guile when they take on Kelburne at Whitehaugh. The contest between Van Wyk and Harper will go a long way towards deciding matters.

Elsewhere, Ferguslie will back themselves to shake off the jitters with a comfortable success on home turf, where Imans Edinburgh are the visitors.

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Freuchie will start as favourites against Weirs at Muir Road, but the Glasgow outfit have a knack of upsetting the stronger teams in this division.

Renfrew ought to be too strong for SMRH at King George V Park.

• Leading cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen will follow thousands of batsmen he has sent back to the pavilion by retiring next month, the International Cricket Council has announced.

The 61-year-old South African, known for the painfully slow raising of his left arm to signal a batsmen's demise, will stand down after the second test between Pakistan and Australia in Leeds on 21-25 July.

It will bring the curtain down on an 18-year international umpiring career in which he will have stood in 106 tests, a record 209 ODI matches and 14 Twenty20 internationals.