In a weekend when Barrow Gurney played Chilcompton twice, the highlight was a thrilling game at Hobbs Lane on Sunday when, in a high scoring contest, Barrow lost by only 3 runs after a magnificent century from Guy Fisher who put on 175 for the first wicket with Paul Gard, brought Barrow to the brink of a famous win. On Saturday, however, the Barrow teams fought hard but were unable to challenge their opponents.
On Sunday at Hobbs Lane the Sunday XI had to face Chilcompton, which in an odd twist of fate, meant that they were facing 3 of the players that Barrow 2nds had played on Saturday plus some of Chilcompton’s first team and other players who play for other clubs, specifically the prolific Alex Nash of Midsomer Norton Methodists.
Frank Forge was skipper and lost the toss on a batting day. No surprise then that Chilcompton batted first. Nash started like a train, but with the score on 40 (having made 32 of them himself) he was caught by Kian Ware on debut for Barrow.
With the fast-running outfield the score motored along and the hundred was up when Mark Fisher bowled Fudge for 34. As all Chilcompton’s top order made a start, Frank himself came on to take 2/29 aided by some good catching in the deep. Paul Gard took the final wicket but the score of 265-6 would normally be beyond the Barrow Sunday team.
After a Rosemary Reeves tea with some sumptuous cakes, Barrow set out in search of their target. Guy Fisher and Gard opened to incredible effect putting on an amazing 175 for the first wicket against a good attack. 5 sixes and 17 fours do not do justice to the timing, the style and the clean striking Guy displayed. Only one half -chance to slip might have curtailed his inexorable progress and with Gard at the other end also hitting anything loose to the boundary, they were well ahead of the rate.
When Guy eventually fell for 113, Frank continued the momentum making a swift 25 before calling a tiring Gard for a run too many and being run out. When Gracey fell at 245-3 the game was in the balance.
Chilcompton were pressing for a win, and were perhaps expecting a senior player to finish the job for Barrow, but Frank stuck with the spirit of the Sunday team by sending in young Leo Brace to have his chance of winning a glorious victory. Making 6 off 7 balls he nearly did it, but some brilliant fielding at third man saved 3 runs and then he just failed to clear mid off by 2 or 3 inches to win the game. With four needed off the last ball a weary Gard was unable to deliver but finished on a career high of 91 not out having batted the entire 40 overs. It was a shame to lose but a truly wonderful game from which many will draw confidence in future games.
On Saturday, however, the games were not so close, as the Firsts travelled to Bedminster 3rds and made a disappointing 171 all out. Several players made a start but Phil Milton, the captain, who made 30 was ultimately top scorer. In reply Bedminster were rarely troubled and made their target for the loss of only 2 wickets, Skeet making 75 not out.
At Hobbs Lane, Barrow 2nds were asked to field and Chilcompton 2nds made 214 which was more than might have been the case if Barrow had pressed home their early advantage. Adam Brace was the pick of the bowlers taking 3/38 whilst Pete Rooney took 3/50.
In reply Barrow lost three early wickets forcing Mark Forge (top scorer with 25) to dig in and rebuild the innings. When Mark departed with the score at 92 the innings slowly folded leaving the side well short on 139 all out.