Seconds Lose in Exciting Finish

Mark Gracey won the toss and decided to bowl first with Kieran Owen picking up the wicket of English almost immediately. English had scored a 100+ and 60+ score in his last two innings so Barrow knew they had struck gold limiting him to a duck. Little did they know who they had coming up! The wickets kept falling with their other batsmen scoring a combined 60, but their number 2, Wadkar carried on picking up the boundaries and finishing with 110 not out. Kieran and Mike Lilley both bowled well picking up a couple of wickets each with George Healy and Matt Owen both getting one each.


Barrow opened up the batting with the return of “girl power” with Bernie Forge and Ellie Holdaway forming a a solid 50 partnership before Bernie was bowled for 24. Captain, Mark Gracey, then came in and carried on with Ellie before she was bowled for 33. Barrow always seemed slightly behind the run rate but a few quick runs from Jordan Allen (13), Ed Jones (13) and not outs by the captain (65) and George (25) made things closer than they might have been, but Barrow failed to chase down Bradley Stoke’s 194 by only 7 runs.


Things might have turned out very differently if their centurion had been caught off Frank Forge, the ball being adjudged as a no ball, and a couple of close LBW shouts had been given the other way.

Anyway – on to next week, the 2nd XI are playing top of the table Portishead, so lets see if Barrow can get back to winning ways!

2nd XI Win First Two Games With Maximum Points

The 2nd XI’s game away at Thornbury took place in the glorious setting of Tockington Manor School. The views were stunning and the ground was looking in good condition on a Sunny day but with a cold wind blowing across the ground.

Barrow lost the loss and Thornbury decided to put us into bat.

Jon Hood and Bernie Forge started with a few boundaries before both fell to Garner relatively cheaply. Mark Gracey, the captain, came in at number three and Jordan Allen at number four. Jordan was keeping a lot of the strike which the skipper was happy to let him have as he was looking very comfortable at the crease hitting boundaries with ease. Mark was getting little frustrated at being stuck at the other end and, trying to hit out, was caught at mid on for 13. In came Jonny Sykes and both Jonny and Jordan batted with some great fluidity before Jordan fell LBW for 71. Jonny carried on playing some good shots ably supported by Guy Fisher and Ellie Holdaway. Jonny finished with a flurry of 6’s finishing with a very respectable 76 not out. After Barrow’s 40 overs were finished the total of 232/5, was a score likely to be hard to beat.

After tea, Barrow started in the field knowing they had a good chance. Frank Forge picked up 2 wickets in his first over. The first was an easy catch at slip by Mike Lilley which turned out to be just a warm up before catching his second 2 balls later with a great reaction catch. Guy Fisher bowled tidily at the other end with figures of 0/6 off 4 overs. Frank finished his first spell with 2 for 3 off 4 overs. Mike then came on to bowl and picked up three more wickets for 7 runs off 4 overs leaving Thornbury 24/5. Ellie and James Halliday both picked up a wicket each while Oscar Livesey bowled with some decent line and length. The Thornbury skipper tried to put on a mini recovery but Frank dismissed him with the third ball of his second spell for 37 (taking 3/7 overall) before Jon Hood finished off the wicket haul, including sending a stump cart-wheeling, leaving Thornbury 77 all out.

It was a great team performance with maximum bonus points but the stars of the show were Jordan and Jonny for their 70+ innings.

This performance followed an excellent win in week one when Mark Gracey won the toss and, despite being undecided, chose to bowl with the new ball and put Frampton Cotterell in to bat, a decision which proved to be a good one.

Barrow opened the bowling with Frankie Forge and Kieron Owen. Frank bowled with his usual accuracy and off his 6 overs picked up one wicket (clean bowled) for 24 runs. Kieron was managing to get some swing from the other end picking up 2 wickets (one caught by Jordan Allen and the other caught and bowled with a diving catch).

After 6 overs each the captain switched things around and gave the ball to the club debutant Mike Lilley who had switched allegiances from Hallen and Guy Fisher. Mike will prove to be a great addition to the club with very good line and length and someone the batsmen found hard to get away (Mike picked up 2 wickets for 7 runs of 3.3 overs). Guy at the other end joined in the wicket haul with 3/13 off four overs.

Barrow’s fielding was a dramatic improvement over last season with no dropped catches (other than a really hard effort by Bernie behind the stumps) and managed two run outs finishing off Frampton for 70 all out off 20 overs.

The weather didn’t look too promising so Barrow decided to go straight back out and have tea later to try and chase them down while it was dry.

Mark Forge and Bernie opened the batting and Bernie played some lovely shots while Mark was steadily defending at the other end.

After an electrifying, edge of your seat score of 7 from Mark Forge off 14 overs (!!!) Frank judged his father to be out LBW. (Probably in revenge from the week before when Mark ran his daughter out!). Mark later said that he was scoring slowly so Bernie could try and get her 50!! Captain Gracey then came in and, with Bernie, easily finished the game off with a couple of boundaries with Bernie finishing 37 not out and Gracey 18 not out. Final score 72/1.

Under 15s Progress to Cup Semi-Final

Barrow Gurney Under 15s reached the Cup Semi-Final with a 15 run victory over Blagdon. Batting first on an idyllic sunny evening at Barrow, Bernie Forge and Guy Fisher followed up their 99 opening partnership in the previous round at Flax Bourton, with a steady 34 before Guy fell for 18. Bernie batted solidly supported by Fraser Thomas (13) before falling for 29 trying to accelerate the run rate.

Louis Bockock-Grace (11) and Mark Fisher (12*) made the most of the last few overs with Louis picking up a ball on his legs and hitting it almost into the scorers’ hut for 6. Barrow finished on 106-6 after their 20 overs as a young Blagdon team stuck to their task and gave up few extras. Arrowsmith taking 3 for 23.

Blagdon were soon struggling as Fraser and Mark both took early wickets, but they rallied in the middle overs due to a good innings by Lowe (20*) and Barrow giving away a few too many wides. Captain Kieran Owen (1/16) regained some control whilst Louis chipped in with 1/22. The run out of Tovey slowed Blagdon’s scoring rate just when it seemed they might get their target, before opening bowlers Fraser (1/8) and Mark (2/12) came back and ensured they fell short.

This is the third successive win for the Under 15s under Lee Bryant’s stewardship and takes Barrow to a semi-final against either Cleeve or Bedminster in two weeks time.

1st XI bounce back from Week One loss to beat St Mary Redcliffe in Week Two

Barrow StumpsFollowing last week’s disappointing loss to Pakistani Express (see below) Barrow Gurney needed to get the season up and running against St Mary Redcliffe, the team that went all of last season unbeaten and had won their opener this season. Unfortunately Barrow lost the toss again, which seems to be becoming a bit of a habit, and Barrow were duly put into bat.  Ali Hood and Sam Turner opened up, Ali the first to go LBW, which even he agreed with, for 14; Sam next caught for 7.  Mick Hardy walked after feathering one to the keeper to leave Barrow reeling at 26-3. Nick Moore and James Mitchell went about the rebuilding process picking up singles, rotating the strike, punishing bad balls and slowly building the score.  This was a brilliant partnership and was just what was needed at the time. Nick went for an increasingly fluent 76 and Redcliffe probably now regret dropping him at least twice. Phil Milton was bowled around his legs by the leggie for 5 and Mark Brown ran himself out after hitting it straight at the fielder; at this point the momentum seemed to be shifting back to Redcliffe.  However, James Mitchell began to open up before going for a brilliant 67 and some big hitting from Paul Glazzard (36*) helped take Barrow to 227-9 from the 45 overs.


Before Barrow went out to field Phil reminded everyone of the need to be ‘on it’ from ball one and show the same energy in the field as Redcliffe had done.  This was duly delivered.


James Riley and Paul Glazzard opened up and both of them hit the right lines and lengths from ball one; Riley bowling the opener with a beauty and Nick taking a skyer from Glaz.  Runs were at a premium and wickets fell regularly.  At drinks Redcliffe had no more than 50 on the board and were 4 or 5 down. Glaz bowled straight through for figures of 12-1-31-2, a fantastic performance.  Rob Fig then picked up where he left off last week bowling some searing yorkers with plenty of control, finishing 9-3-34-2 including a one-handed diving catch by the keeper.  Mick and Riley cleaned up the tail, Mick picking up 2 wickets.  However, Riley was undoubtedly the star of the show finishing 11-6-9-4 (including 3 wides!).  These brilliant bowling performances were backed up with some brilliant fielding, notable contributions from Glaz, Browner, Sam, Ben Skuse and Nick, just as the captain had asked for.


In week one of the season Barrow were up against Pakistani Express. The match began 15 minutes late, in drizzle, with a somewhat reluctant Sam Turner and Ali Hood opening on a wicket that seemed to be in need of more preparation and against some erratic bowling and some wild bounce.  Ali was the first to go for 2 to a sharp catch with the score on 24.  Nick Moore went soon after for 4 followed by Sam (15) leaving Barrow 48-3.  New player James Mitchell and Mick Hardy set about rebuilding before James went for 20.  Mick fell for 40, Paul Glaz went for 0 and Ben Skuse for 7.  Captain, Phil Milton, was out for 43 in the 42nd over, unfortunately the tail didn’t wag and Barrow were all out for 177 inside of 43 overs.


James Riley and Glaz opened up, Riley picking up the opener third over. Rob Figs replaced Glaz and picked one up first ball, bowling with real pace and hostility.  Wickets fell relatively regularly leaving the Express 80-6. Unfortunately Rob had to go off after two full tosses having picked up 4 wickets but Barrow were still confident that one more wicket would probably finish the game; unfortunately it proved to be elusive with the ball falling into gaps or just short of fielders several times.  Shahid finished with 69* playing some unorthodox shots showing the difference between division 2 and 3 is that teams bat that bit further down the order and the change bowlers are that bit better too.

Barrow beat Leema by 81 runs in season opener

After all the anticipation and fine spring weather, the cricket season started for Barrow on a cloudy but bright day with a cold wind blowing across the ground from the reservoirs. Following some confusion over the start time, and with Leema’s captain still in a taxi on his way back from holiday, the new “friendly” captain won the toss and chose to bat first on a dry but slightly green pitch.


Openers Bernie Forge and Phil Milton had to withstand some quick and accurate bowling from the opening attack with the ball often skidding through. Having seen them off Bernie fell to a good catch for 11 including one powerful shot over extra cover for four. Phil (on his way to 54) was particularly severe on the second string’s tendency to bowl full tosses. Will Kerswell (14) kept up the tempo before a lengthy partnership between the skipper and debutant James Mitchell. Taking advantage of some sloppy Leema fielding they rotated the strike with James (not surprisingly) the more positive, with one glorious back foot shot through the covers a contender for shot of the day, falling for 29 to a ball that nipped back. Enter Oscar Livesey in unusually positive mood, joining the skipper in scoring a 5 (neither all run – thankfully!) before crunching a waist high full toss over the bowlers head with a straight bat (definitely shot of the day!). Oscar perished for 16 before the lower order went in search of quick runs as the overs began to run out. Meanwhile yours truly steered the side to the close of the innings (remaining 31 not out – yes really!) with a deft mix of off glides (mistaken by some for edges) and forcing shots through the off side (for singles largely!). Barrow closed on 202 -7 which looked to be a competitive total.


James Riley (2 for 9) opening from the Fox & Goose end rattled the stumps of Leema’s captain with the first ball of the innings with an inswinger against the breeze, whilst Frank Forge (1 for 18) was unlucky to have the dangerous Jeevan (35 and top score) dropped early on. James Mitchell (1 for 12) and Rob Fig (1 for 18) piled on the pressure with Rob dismissing Jeevan just before the spinners were due for a bowl, with Oscar taking a breathtaking catch high to his right that seemed to have passed him and then keeping the ball under control as he fell. Oscar then bowled with flight and variation to take 3 for 12 despite the pitch offering little turn. Will (2 for 15) backed him up well with the aid of Bernie taking a good legside stumping chance. Leema looked as though they would fall short of a hundred but a spirited last wicket partnership (with young Campbell 19 not out) took them to 121 before Frank bowled the last man.

A good work out for the whole team who fielded really well and everyone had chance to prepare for the season. Oscar was voted man of the match for an excellent all-round performance with Bernie a close second for some tidy keeping on a pitch on which quite a few kept low.


Mark Forge