90 Mark For Brown & Fisher Secure Weekend Wins For Barrow

Barrow Gurney 1sts recorded their third consecutive win on Saturday as they entertained Abbots Leigh in a high-scoring game. A blisteringly hot day, a fast outfield and Barrow’s bijou ground was made for batting and so it proved for long periods of the game. 15 balls were lost over the boundary to boot.

Abbots Leigh batted first and despite the high quality bowling of Ed Holdaway and James Riley, put on 50 for the first wicket. Mark Fisher, coming on as first change, started to make inroads into the opposition batting line up (eventually taking 3/37) by bowling the opening bat.  But by the time Matt Owen had chipped in with a wicket and Frank Forge (2/48) had exposed the middle order, the score had advanced to 156 before Mark claimed the fifth wicket with a run out. Abbots Leigh continued to build a total with contributions from most of their batsmen before late wickets for Holdaway (2/34) and Fisher’s last 2 wickets bowled them out for a competitive 269.

In reply Barrow started positively through captain Phil Milton and Bernie Forge but they were both dismissed as the score touched 40 off 5 overs. Mark Brown then came to the crease and in an innings of typical vigour and clean hitting began to take the game away from the visitors, scoring 94 off only 75 balls. He received good support from Guy Fisher (30) before Ed Holdaway added more firepower in seeing Barrow home with 4 overs to spare with 78 not out.

With the season at its mid-point, Barrow remain mid-table and look forward to playing Bath 4ths next weekend.

Things did not go so well for the seconds at Patchway as the home side scored 242-6, with only Adam Brace (3/35) having much success in restricting the team batting first. Barrow never looked like getting close and faltered to 120 not out after Ali Hood was dismissed for 31. This set back leaves Barrow in mid-table with a visit to Twyford House in prospect next Saturday.

A hot and humid afternoon with the prospect of a heavy shower was the weather forecast which greeted the players at Hobbs Lane on Sunday.

Carson’s openers faced a challenging new ball attack of Kieran Owen and the leg-spin of Guy Fisher. It was Kieran who struck first inducing a top edge which hit the other opener in the grille of his helmet and lobbed back to the bowler. The No 3 soon followed as Mark Fisher redeemed himself from missing a difficult chance when he was unsighted by the bowler, giving his brother his first wicket of the day.

In came the dangerous Digby who played a shot a ball and mostly connected, benefitting from another missed chance, he moved swiftly onto 36 before launching Guy to deep extra where Ben  Thorne ran in to take another excellent catch. 2/42 for Guy off his 8 overs.

The fall of Digby was greeted by the introduction of Melissa Owen who now had the challenge of bowling to Mark Pitt who was approaching a half century.  At the other end Frank Forge bowled the No 5 to make the score 94-4.

Soon after Melissa discovered some inswing and dip and began to trouble Pitt finally inducing him into clipping one in the air to Guy. Then Carsons began to fold as Bernie Forge took 2 excellent stumpings, one off her brother and another standing up to Adam Brace. 2/24 for Frank before Oscar Livesey came on to mop up the tail (2/20). Carsons 141 all out off 32.2 overs.

So an early tea, courtesy of Laura Owen, was enjoyed by all before Barrow began their attempt to overhaul the opposition total under cloudy and rather threatening skies.

Kieran and Mark Fisher started slowly against a decent attack with young Redfern eventually bowling Kieran for 9 and then getting James Riley caught behind soon after.  After a break for a rain shower Mark Fisher began to score freely taking 4 fours off an over. Ben Thorne offered good support at the other end defending well and pulling a couple of boundaries before Adam Brace was a victim of indecision and the slippery ground, being run out whilst in a prone position in the middle of the wicket.

89-4 and still work to do as Mark was serenely moving through the gears and he despatched the winning runs over the hedge for his second 6, only the finishing line could deprive him of a century but 90 not out was a fine knock helping the Sunday XI to a much-needed win.


Pace Duo See Off Civil Service, Whilst 2nds Edge Another Thriller At Barrow

Last Saturday saw another great double triumph for the Barrow teams as the Firsts bowled out their opponents cheaply and knocked off the runs well before tea had been taken in a tense match at Hobbs Lane, where the Seconds came out on top after another close finish.


At the Civil Service Club, Bristol Civil Service won the toss and decided to bat. James Riley and Ed Holdaway opened the attack for Barrow and what followed has to go down as one of Barrow’s best fielding and bowling displays of recent years.   Phil Milton took a diving one hander to remove the opener, Will Kerswell followed up by taking a good one at second slip, Ed Holdaway had a smart caught and bowled, Riley splattered some stumps and got an LBW. Both openers were bowling fast, with lots of swing, and showing lots of control, Civil Service had no answer on this occasion.  The final wicket summed up the innings as Ed induced a nick to Mark Brown at first slip but he fumbled and knocked it up to Riley who took the catch!  Finally taking their catches meant Barrow had the opposition under the pressure from the get go and they never let them off the hook; Civil Service were bowled out for just 42, Riley taking 5/15 and Ed Holdway 5/18.


Bernie Forge and Phil Milton opened but Phil went without scoring bringing Mark Brown to the crease.  He hit 37 of the 43 needed as Barrow won by 8 wickets in just 9.4 overs including a couple of massive 6’s.   

So another 29 point win for Barrow, next week the firsts face Abbots Leigh.

Due to the extremely early finish the team all went up to watch the 2nds play and saw the end of another brilliant game.  It made for a great atmosphere at Hobbs Lane, where skipper, Mark Gracey elected to field in the heat meaning Pucklechurch 2nds were to bat first with the skipper taking the wicket-keeping gloves for the first time.

Pukklechurch started slowly and steadily with only 31 scored after the first 10 overs with Paul Gard bowling with his usual economy ably supported by Leo Brace and Pete Rooney at the other end. Unfortunately, wickets were hard to come by and as Rivers and Francomb began to open their arms they started to accelerate the score. But after a 125 opening partnership Simon Hudson struck to take the wicket of Francomb for 46. Mike Lilley, not wanting to be outdone at the other end struck 2 overs later to remove the number 3 and not long after Rivers for a well-made 70. Pucklechurch now had two batsman at the crease who felt very comfortable striking the ball, and when Adam Brace picked up Barrow’s final wicket with the last ball in his spell, Barrow were left needing a target of 212.

 During tea, the first team had arrived at the ground having won their game with ease. What a grandstand finish they were to witness!

Pete Holdawway and Mike Lilley  started as though they wanted to get to the bar pretty quickly with a win and scored 14 off the first over and a further 8 off the second. With the score rolling on Barrow felt confident but then Pete was run out for 18, Roger Finnemore and Mark Gracey fell cheaply. Adam Brace came in at number 5 and despite having asked over and over again to bat  further down the order, he  found the scoring relatively easy to come by. When Mike was caught for 23 and once Mark Forge came and went, Adam and Simon Hudson put on a strong fight back before Adam fell for 37. This bought in Paul Gard who put his lack of form with the bat behind him and continued where Adam left off. When Simon fell (36) with the score on 181/7 with a further 31 needed to win, enter Ben Thorne, Ben batted with great resilience halting the momentum of the Pucklechurch bowlers. After Ben was bowled, young Leo Brace walked out with a swagger. The score kept ticking over and needing only a couple off the final over with Leo on strike, all the Pucklechurch fielders crowded the bat. Leo showed great maturity and, after 3 attempts finally connected with one big swing, striking the ball right out the middle of the bat with such venom almost taking off a fielders head to score the winning runs. (Leo not.out 9, Gard not.out. 34)

A great win for both the firsts and seconds – one slightly more nail biting than the other!!

There was no game for the Sunday XI this week as many regulars had other commitments although only one cried off for the World Cup!


Barrow’s Bowlers Set Up Double Saturday Success

Barrow Gurney’s Saturday teams both recorded vital wins this week as they bowled out their respective oppositions for modest totals and chased them down with only one or two scares.


At Hobbs Lane, Phil Milton lost the toss again on Saturday and was surprised that Woodpeckers opted to bat first given the green tinged pitch.  Ed Holdaway and James Riley opened the bowling and things looked ominous when the Woodpeckers’ skipper Gary Worgan hit Ed’s first ball for 6, things didn’t improve when he was dropped in the next over.  Worgan’s batting out of his crease and big trigger movement was upsetting the bowlers but Ed started to bowl short of a length at him to contain the scoring rate. Unfortunately Barrow again struggled with their catching dropping too many chances and keeping Woodpeckers in the game.  Ed and Riley were both unfortunate to finish wicketless.  However the change of bowling brought wickets as Matt Owen and Mark Fisher picked up the dangerous Worgan and Curtis, Matt finishing with 2/32 and Mark 3/35, both having bowled well again. The introduction of the slow bowling of Paul Glazzard (3/19) and Frank Forge (2/5) wrapped up the tail quickly, leaving Barrow to chase just 128 having bowled Woodpeckers out in 29 overs.

Barrow didn’t get off to the best start losing a wicket in the first over.  Mark Brown almost followed second ball as he was dropped by the bowler before going on to punish Woodpeckers hitting 50 from just 32 balls before falling LBW.  Barrow then had a big wobble as Ben Hodges and Glazzard both went without scoring. Phil Milton departed for 28 but Ed and Guy Fisher saw the home side over the line scoring 16 and 21 respectively giving Barrow a 5 wicket win in 19.1 overs.


Meanwhile the 2nds turned up at the picturesque Westerleigh ground for their game against Coalpit Heath in the drizzle but thankfully it had cleared up by the time the game started and stayed away all afternoon.  Barrow won the toss and inserted the opposition. Steve Owen and Paul Gard opened up, they both bowled well but without any luck but at least kept the scoring rate in check. Things changed when Simon Hudson came on and bowled a  leg side full toss that was obligingly hit high  into Gard’s hands at fine leg. Adam Brace came on and in his first over induced a nick behind before adopting his now trademark ploy of going round the wicket to bowl the batsmen first ball, and Barrow were firmly on top. Later Adam picked up a third wicket with a bottom edge this time well snapped up by Ali Hood moving low to his right, 3/22 for Adam.  Then Pete Rooney got in on the act proving very difficult to get away and snaring 3 victims along the way for only 24 runs.  Coalpit’s innings concluded on 148 all out with the final wicket giving Barrow full bowling points off the final ball via a run out.  

After tea Barrow opened up with the contrasting styles of Ali Hood and Mark Forge, the latter taking on the job of seeing off a dangerous opening bowler while Ali at the other end was happily putting away anything loose to the short leg side boundary, including hitting a rather unfortunate dog that happened to be minding its own business just beyond the rope (the dog was unharmed thankfully). Barrow neared 50 from the opening partnership before Hood got in a muddle and was LBW and Forge followed relatively soon after having got a leading edge to a left arm spinner.

Mike Lilley and Mark Gracey then came together initially making slow progress but pushed Barrow up close to the 100 mark with a couple of nice shots and a lot of extras, which would end up passing 50 in the innings, compared to only 25 that Barrow conceded. After Lilley departed, Gracey upped the scoring rate including the shot of the day with a glorious on drive before the stage was set for someone to hit the winning runs. Enter young Leo Brace, who had previously fielded brilliantly, who, with the field in tight, duly hit the bowler back over his head to win the game in style.


Unfortunately, the success of Saturday could not be repeated on Sunday as the 3rd XI were on the wrong end of a maiden century by young opening batsman Haynes, who was well on his way to making it a double when the innings ended, with visitors Whitchurch scoring 324. Few bowlers enjoyed the afternoon, although Matt Owen (2/41) off 8 overs was outstanding in the circumstances.

In reply Barrow were 102-3 after 20 overs when the umpires brought the teams off for the constant drizzle that had accompanied the last few overs. Guy Fisher had taken advantage of some dropped catches with the wet ball to make another half century which contained some excellent shots all around the wicket.

Barrow Forge A Total But Lose To Redcliffe In Last Over

Barrow’s latest midweek opponents were a friendly team from St Mary Redcliffe Cricket Club. On another beautiful evening at Hobbs Lane, Barrow were put into bat.

The loss of Phil Milton in the second over set Barrow back, but Bernie Forge started pushing the score along with some powerful drives. Connor Jones accompanied her in a 43 run partnership before departing for 9 shortly after Bernie had despatched one over for 18 runs. When Bernie fell for 40 with the score on 60, the scoring rate fell as did the wickets. At 73-6 with 5 overs to go, the father and son partnership of Mark and Frank Forge came together and helped the score along to a respectable 116 after the 20 overs with Frank (20 not out) playing a shot of the day straight drive for four and Mark in unusually positive mood too to finish 18 not out. Matt Moore took 3/9 in his 3 overs to make life extremely difficult for Barrow.

In reply Redcliffe always looked in control despite some accurate bowling from Melissa Owen, Adam Brace and Connor Jones in particular. Adam chipped in with a couple of wickets (2/16) and Nick Heal was unlucky not to take more than his 1/22. Phil Milton took a couple of late wickets as Redcliffe eased towards their target, as Barrow did well to extend the innings until the last over. But an emphatic six ended the game and sent the players off for a welcome drink and a burger or two on another enjoyable evening.

Barrow’s next T20 game is on 27th June against the Treasury Valuers.

Barrow Experience Mixed Fortunes In Thrilling Finishes

There was nail-biting drama for two of Barrow Gurney’s teams this weekend as games went to down to the wire. Whilst the Firsts unluckily lost off the last ball of their game at Shirehampton 2nds, the Sunday 3rds scraped home with the last pair at the crease with Harptree Villages dropping a catch to tie the game.

On Saturday at Shirehampton, Phil Milton’s team batted first and the captain led from the front forming a new opening partnership with Ben Skuse.  They made a steady start putting on 37 for the first wicket before Phil was caught behind for 17 in the 10th over. Ben followed soon after (also for 17) and as Jordan Allen followed soon after that, Barrow were reeling at 52 for 3. The rebuilding job fell to two of the younger members of the side as Bernie Forge (41) and Mark Fisher (44) began cautiously before starting to find the boundary. When Bernie was caught behind for her season’s highest for Barrow the partnership had realised 89 valuable runs. With Mark then being bowled and James Riley run out for 8, Simon Hudson and Frank Forge (in his first game of the season) did well to lift the score to 196-6 at the close.

In reply Riley struck early and with the score on 46 Mark Fisher was introduced into the attack and struck immediately by taking a caught and bowled chance.  He was to take 2 more wickets in his exemplary spell of 9-3-20-3 whilst the spinners kept the score down in mid-innings. A couple of confident appeals went unanswered as Shirehampton began to move towards their target. With 5 overs to go they needed 23 with 4 wickets left. Paceman Riley was brought back to immediate effect bowling Phipps for a crucial 49, and then, after Matt Owen had Cooley caught behind, took the 9th wicket with 2 still needed for Shirehampton. A couple of scrambled singles left the score level with one ball to go, but Earl was able to beat the field to score the winning runs. Heart-breaking for the Barrow team who are hovering above the relegation zone and are in need of a win next week at home to Woodpeckers 1st XI.

Some of the same Barrow players had to endure further tension on Sunday as the 3rd XI played Harptree on a brown and dry pitch which had very low bounce at one end. Losing the toss Steve Owen found his team in the field.

Nick Heal and Kieran Owen opened up and whilst Nick found a little bit of bounce at one end, Kieran found none whatsoever at his end. Kieran was nigh on unplayable as he bowled full and straight and the ball then passed the batsman an inch or two off the ground. Harptree did well to reach 15 for the opening partnership despite a few alarms, but then Kieran struck taking 3 wickets in 7 balls without any addition to the total, 2 bowled and one LBW taking 3/10 in all. The scoring then dried up as Steve himself came into the attack and eventually accounted for the promising young opening batsman Tommy Hester, also bowled.

The introduction of spin twins Frank Forge and Oscar Livesey allowed little respite for the home side as young Ben Thorne took an excellent catch off Frank who followed it up by taking a return catch (2/25 in all). Harptree were 6 down for 53 and then Oscar came into his own taking 3/19. With Ben Thorne’s quick work in effecting a run out thrown in to the mix, Harptree were all out for 79.

Opening with pace at one end and the wily spin of Phil Hogarth at the other, Harptree were determined not to go down without a fight. Bernie Forge and Oscar starting positively not wanting to wait for the unplayable ball with their name on it. Bernie fell trying to hit the spinner over the top and then Oscar became another LBW victim from the low bouncing end. James Riley and Matt Owen continued to be positive and added 21 (in the context of the game worth almost a 100 partnership on some surfaces) before Riley was too positive and hit a well struck shot straight back to the bowler.

Then young Tommy Hestor came into the attack and found some surprising seam movement in to the right hander. Ben was his first victim to one which moved about 6 inches off the pitch and kept low. Kieran then got one that did even more – completely unplayable, and Nick fell to a similar delivery too. Suddenly Barrow were 45-6 and things were precarious.

Matt was batting very well, getting a good stride in to everything and playing straight which was the key on this pitch and he was joined by Brigadier Block himself – Rod Reeves . Being left-handed helped negate the prodigious movement of Hestor.

Rod’s dogged defence was exactly what Barrow needed as he just dropped a dead bat on everything, playing really low to cover the lack of bounce. Meanwhile Matt was playing the occasional scoring shot to anything on leg stump, but with the score on 65 Matt finally did not get fully forward and was bowled.

Another quick wicket left Barrow 67-8 and 13 were still needed to win. Adam Brace  joined Rod. The overs ticked by and each run was hard earned as Barrow almost came to complete halt. Occasionally Adam would try an expansive shot to win the game in a glorious fashion but having hit the ball straight back at the bowler and hit him in the chest and then mishit one straight back to the same bowler who this time got hands to it and dropped it, it was a risky business. In their 8 tense overs together they added the 12 runs necessary to bring the scores level, a single here, a bye there, a wide and so on. But then Adam was bowled.

In came the skipper, the field was in and the crowd held its breath, the ball was short, Steve middled it straight to midwicket who dropped it! Then a play, a miss, an inside edge which trickled passed leg stump all of which increased the tension before finally he struck the winning blow. Rod’s 8 not out proved to be a match-winning innings.  

Next Sunday Barrow are home to Whitchurch Wyverns.

 Unfortunately the 2nds were outplayed in their home game with Carsons Mangotsfield 2nds. The visitors made 245-7, batting well on Barrow’s fast outfield. Mike Lilley treated the Barrow faithful to one of his best bowling performances taking 3/30 backed up with celebrations to match. The other highlight for Barrow was the long-awaited return of Ben Hodges who kept wicket flawlessly, taking a regulation catch, a stumping and a run out.  Ian Rosling top-scored for the visitors with a classy 50.

In reply Barrow tried to take the attack to the opposition but kept losing wickets along the way and at 82-5 the key batsmen had departed the scene and with 163 needed off 20 overs the situation was beyond Barrow. A good partnership developed between Mark Forge (top-scorer with 25) and Adam Brace (23), focusing on gaining as many bonus points as possible. The 56 runs they put on gained 3 points and they fell in pursuit of a fourth. The seconds visit Coalpit Heath next week and are hovering above the relegation zone.

Remembering Colin Nutt

Barrow Gurney Cricket Club was sad to hear of the death of Colin Nutt, who played for the club from the late 1950s to the 1980s.

Former Barrow captain, and long-time friend, Geoff Warren shared some memories of Colin at his funeral recently and the BGCC website is pleased to provide an edited version in tribute to Colin:

Colin started playing for BGCC in the late 1950’s and together with Sadie and his daughters Janette, Carol and Gillian, the family have been associated with the club ever since.

Colin was club secretary for many years and also made the fixtures with other clubs. In those days there were no mobiles and few people even had telephones. Fixtures were therefore made by postcard and Barrow Gurney still has cards from many clubs now long gone. Colin was also proudly present at the cricket club’s 100th anniversary back in 1974.

Throughout the 1960’s and early 1970s the club had the minimum of facilities – there was no water, electricity, no toilet, no catering facilities and a very small hut for the 22 players to change. Today, of course Barrow Gurney CC have a lovely ground and some magnificent facilities, but much of the groundwork was down to Colin and his enthusiasm in the early days, which was later enhanced by other members.

Colin was instrumental in obtaining a medium size tea hut which he somehow obtained from Rolls Royce and when we finally had running water with his son-in-law, Simon he provided and installed a Calor gas water system enabling us to finally have a shower which was most welcome.

Of course, in those early days we sometimes struggled to field just one side each weekend so quite often when we were short of players, Colin used to collar some unsuspecting members of Bishopsworth British Legion to play, with words like “Do you like cricket, if they answered in the affirmative, he would continue “that’s good you are playing for us today” and he would taxi them up to the ground and back afterwards. Brother Bill was also a long time player for the club, and a fine bowler of off-cutters.

Colin was one of the club’s best batsman back in the day, opening the batting for many years. Although he made his share of ducks he regularly scored 30 or 40 runs. This doesn’t seem many now, but in those days a total team score of 100 was a winning score, as the wicket had as many weeds as grass on it and was rolled by a hand roller. Today, of course a score of 250 is no guarantee of victory.

He also kept wicket for years and was well known for his jokes and often funny stories. One unsuspecting new member in 1967 was immediately placed at first slip next to Colin and stayed there week in week out until Colin retired in the 1980s. His numerous stories were repeated and embellished every year with sometimes a new one added in. His most famous story of a little boy with a red hat who had been eaten by a lion at the zoo, unfortunately cannot be repeated here!

Colin was the instigator of many social and fundraising events such as raffles, quizzes, karaoke nights, etc. Members were invited to his many family occasions and this was reciprocated over the years.

Colin Nutt was the type of person who was vital to the success of any local cricket club, and we were very lucky to call him one of our own.  Barrow Gurney CC is and always has been a family club and Colin will always be remembered as an integral part of that family for a very long time. Thank you, Colin.


In this team photo from the 1950s, Colin can be seen front row 2nd right next to then team captain Gerry Weadon (centre) with Colin’s older brother Bill to his left.

No Fun In The Sun As Barrow Wilt In The Heat

There was sun galore this weekend at Barrow Gurney but all 3 senior teams were made to toil in the heat by tough opponents.

The first XI started promisingly with a partnership of 49 between Bernie Forge (22) and Roger Finnemore (23) but a middle order collapse soon had the scoreboard reading 61-5. Barrow welcomed back Mark Brown after a while away but sadly it was not to be a fairytale return to Barrow colours. Phil Milton then came in to strike some powerful blows in his 41 which ended up being the best individual score of the weekend for the club. Guy Fisher (15) provided some much-needed support as the 6th and 7th wicket doubled the score. Connor Jones (12) helped the score along to 153 when the final wicket fell as Rob Jones took 4/30 for visitors Bristol 3rd XI.

In reply the result was rarely in doubt as Osman (115*) survived a couple of slip chances on his way to almost single-handedly overcoming the Barrow score. James Riley had the other opener caught behind by Bernie Forge, taking the gloves this week for the Firsts, whilst former gloveman Phil Milton took a couple of consolation wickets as he turned his hand to bowling. A defeat by 7 wickets was not what the team had hoped for and leaves them in need of a win next week at Shirehampton 2nds.

Meanwhile at Page Park, Hambrook 3rds enjoyed their first win of the season against Barrow 2nds. Hambrook, fielding only 10 players, relied heavily on the crisp hitting of Kislingbury who made 55. Barrow dropped him before he had scored and once more on his way to providing a good start for his side. As Hambrook made 199-8, they could take heart from the bowling of the younger members of the team, Leo Brace taking 4/35 and Seb Allen 2/30, and the fielding of the oldest, Rod Reeves who took a spectacular tumbling catch. 34 wides though was a generous gift to add to at least 3 dropped catches and left Barrow at a severe disadvantage.

Barrow’s reply never really got going as they were bowled out for 60 with only Pete Holdaway making double figures before falling to a run out which had long been in the offing during his partnership with his old friend Rod Reeves. Some accurate bowling and some inept batting were equally to blame as Barrow never really recovered from the early loss of Ali Hood, in stark contrast to his 2 hundreds in the preceding weeks.

On Sunday Barrow drew a large crowd of supporters from visitors Portishead and indeed as far away as the USA as Barrow hoped to revive the spirits of the club. They were treated to a technically correct century from young Kieran Garrett who batted the entire innings for 105 not out. Barrow’s bowlers again toiled in the heat after being made to field on losing the toss, but an accurate spell from Steve Owen and Guy Fisher, in particular,  limited Portishead to 222. Kieran Owen had the best figures of 2/34.


In reply Bernie Forge and Guy Fisher got Barrow off to a flyer as 38 were made off 5 overs. After losing Bernie, Guy continued in positive vane whilst Kieran Owen (30) was building an innings at the other end. When Guy fell for 38, Barrow began to fall behind the rate and the loss of wickets meant that Portishead increased their stranglehold on the game. Some late resistance from Matt Owen helped Barrow beyond 150 but soon after the innings ended with Barrow 67 short. As always, a vastly different team next week is likely to be playing Harptree Villages.

Hundred Again For Hood As Barrow Rue Dropped Catches


Ali Hood’s second consecutive hundred was the highlight of a weekend marred by dropped catches and two one-sided games.

At Hobbs Lane, Ali reigned supreme in steering the Seconds to another win against a Whitchurch team who posted a very creditable 211-6 in their 40 overs. At least 8 catches were dropped to aid them to that total, but Ray Usher took full advantage scoring 90, whilst Adam Brace was again the pick of the bowlers taking 2/19. There were wickets too for Pete Rooney (both lbw), Leo Brace and the returning Ben Saunders.

Ali then set about his work, but this innings was somewhat different to last week’s consummate performance. Against a very mixed bowling attack Ali rode his luck, being dropped a few times, but nonetheless kept the innings progressing on the run rate. His opening partner Ellie Holdaway yet again made a telling contribution in her last game before a mid-season break scoring 25, while Mark Gracey added 32 to ensure that Ali did not have to do all the scoring.

Barrow won by 8 wickets and Ali’s reward is to take on the on-field captaincy in Ellie’s absence.

Meanwhile stand-in First’s captain, James Riley, was left ruing a similar number of dropped catches to the Seconds, but these proved decisive as P R Royals amassed a huge first innings total of 316-3. Barrow were never in the game and the weary team folded to a dismal 86.

On Sunday, the 3rds managed to hold on to some good catches but came up against a strong Lympsham & Belvedere team. Melissa Owen was the pick of the bowlers dismissing both openers taking 2/28, while there were a couple of wickets for Steve Owen and Nick Heal who also effected a run out with one stump to aim at.

In muggy conditions and despite a long outfield Lympsham made 253-7. In reply Barrow struggled against the excellent young talent George Nuttycombe who took 5/13. Nick, who had also kept wicket for 20 overs, hit an enterprising 39 not out to seal the Barrow Man of the Match award by a country mile. Barrow were bowled out for only 95. The only consolation was that the 3rds barely dropped a catch!

Midweek Roundup: Thorne Impresses For U15s and T20 Team Win Again

On Monday evening Barrow’s Under 15s were put into bat against a strong Uphill Castle team. Due to late afternoon rain the game was played on the artificial wicket which gave a bit of extra bounce. Ben Thorne dominated the Barrow innings playing some good shots all around the wicket, including one pull shot which was a foot from clearing the ropes. Batting through the innings Ben ended up 41 not out, sadly the rest of the top order struggled and only Jake Davies offered any support to Ben as Barrow finished on 74-6 off the reduced 16 overs.

In reply Davis Trego was severe on anything loose and quickly hit 37 before Seb Allen took the first of his two wickets (2/12). Uphill skipper Neve Kennedy was also particularly impressive in her strokeplay making 29 not out as the visitors ran out winners by 8 wickets.

It was a lovely evening at Hobbs Lane on Wednesday as we welcomed back the midweek friendly team of St Bonaventure’s.

The late arrival of the opposition and the loss of the toss looked likely to condemn Barrow to potentially batting in the dark.

However, there was no such problem as Melissa Owen took out the opposition’s skipper and another key batsman taking 2/23, although the score moved along mainly courtesy of the top scorer – a certain Will Kerswell no less who generously played for St Bon’s. Wickets fell regularly at the other end as Adam Brace (3/12) and Ellie Holdaway (3/8) beat the flailing blades of the later order batsmen.

112 all out did not look likely to trouble an unusually strong midweek Barrow team, and so it proved as Ben Skuse avoided running himself out to score 39 and Ed Holdaway hit 2 6s in his 33. With 7 needed off 5, Leo Brace and Melissa continued to edge Barrow towards the winning post, but it needed Adam Brace to finish the game off with a straight four.

So it is 2 wins out of 2 for the T20 side. The evening continued with a very sociable drink and some pasties and pies which were well received by all.

Next Wednesday we face Bristol Water at home which will be followed by a barbecue so everyone is welcome to come and support.

A Guy & A Hood Steal The Limelight For Barrow

It is a rare event indeed when two Barrow Gurney batsmen make a hundred in one weekend, but that is what happened this week as Ali Hood and Guy Fisher made telling contributions to victories for the 2nds and Sunday 3rds. Sadly the 1sts were unable to join in the fun, but nevertheless took maximum bonus points whilst losing at home.

The 2nds faced a tough challenge on Saturday away at Old Park and bowling first found themselves up against the unconventional but extremely talented Shane Shepherd who has made runs against Barrow in the past. He did not disappoint his side this week as he cruised to 87 as Old Park made 197 for 5 in their 40 overs. Adam Brace was the pick of the bowlers taking 2/24 off his 8. But the total looked an imposing one for a team coming off the back of two opening defeats.

Enter Ali Hood, who had not been spotted with a bat in his hand since last August, an invisible man at pre-season training and thwarted in his attempt to get some practice on a Sunday by an unexpected concession. Ably supported by the in-form skipper, Ellie Holdaway, Ali destroyed the attack hitting 16 4s and 2 6s in his 102 made off 91 balls. Ellie adopted the holding role and faced more deliveries in her 37 as they shared a partnership of 154 before Ali was dismissed. A couple of quick wickets caused some anxiety and a close finish was in prospect at 174-5 but Adam and Pete Holdaway saw the team home to a much-needed win to take the side off the bottom of Division 13.

On Sunday, Bath Exiles put the 3rd XI in the field in the blazing heat at Hobbs Lane.  Nick Heal started well, varying his pace, and soon accounted for one opener.  Bath Exiles kept the score ticking over without ever dominating just using the fast outfield to their advantage with an occasional boundary. Leo Brace then bowled a very accurate 5 over spell, pinning the other opener LBW, before Mark Fisher induced the first of two hit wicket dismissals in the innings. Mark’s 2/30 were the best figures, but all bowlers bowled accurately apart from a couple of loose overs due to tiredness or looseners! 179- 7 looked to be achievable with the batting line up Barrow had.

After tea Barrow got off to a really good start against an unusual opening attack of an accurate slow left armer and a medium pacer. Mark Forge took the spinner whilst Guy Fisher dealt very firmly with the bowler at the other end. Barrow quickly had an opening partnership of 50 of which Mark made an invaluable 6  before leaving Guy to it. A couple of quick wickets set the team back but Guy was playing some expansive shots and striking the ball very well. Given a couple of lives he reached his maiden hundred, which gave his captain great pleasure having watched him play for so many years all through the Barrow junior set up.


Having celebrated his hundred and asked to retire, like any true batsman he had to be dragged from the crease having hit 18 4s and 2 6s in his 103. Barrow were well on the way to a victory but had a little wobble as the scoring rate dried up. Rod Reeves began to nurdle his way to 19 whilst Nick struck some more aggressive blows including a low flat 6 in his 29. Eventually with 3 overs to go, after Nick had perished, Steve Owen hit the winning runs with the most exquisite Harrow drive.

Barrow find themselves joint second in the Sunday League after this win and next week face a trip to Lympsham and Belvedere.

Unfortunately, the first team came up short against Bristol Lions on Saturday.  Losing the toss (again) they were asked to field.  James Riley and Matt Owen opened up with Riley producing a wicket first ball of the game as their opener player on. Matt got a second soon after caught behind.  After that however wickets were hard to come by as yet again Barrow bowled too many boundary balls, gave away extras and maybe didn’t defend the boundaries early enough. Three of the Lions batsmen made 50, including former Barrow player Alwis as the Lions finished on 260 all out despite Mark Fisher bowling really well for his 3 wickets.

Barrow’s innings began badly as firstly Ben Skuse ran himself out and Bernie Forge was bowled soon after.  Sam Turner, Guy Fisher and James Riley came and went quite quickly but Paul Glazzard and Phil Milton put on 50 odd before Phil managed to scoop one to the keeper and Glazzard, in his first innings of the season,  went soon after for 58.  Late cameos from Mark Fisher, Simon Hudson and Matt Owen got Barrow to 217 before being bowled out, although they reached the 10 bonus point by getting past 200.

The Firsts remain in mid-table as they face a challenging trip to PR Royals next week who have won their opening three fixtures.