So Near And Yet So Far For 1sts In Battle To Avoid Relegation

Barrow Gurney 1st XI ended their season with a win in a close game at Stapleton which momentarily held out the prospect of avoiding relegation until news came through that Chew Magna had managed to accrue sufficient bonus points to just pip Barrow to the post. Ali Hood reports:
The 1st XI arrived at Stapleton for the final league game of the season with an outside chance of avoiding relegation if they won and other results and bonus point combinations went their way. Paul Glazzard went out to toss up and returned with news not only that Barrow would bowl first but some quirky local rules about what was a four or a six on Stapleton’s unusually narrow ground with short boundaries on both sides of the wicket, in reality there wasn’t a single shot all day that came close to testing the local rules.

James Riley got some good bounce and carry in his opening spell but despite a couple of close calls couldn’t make the early breakthrough, he was joined by Mark Fisher who bowled without quite finding his best line and length. Matt Owen replaced Riley and got the classic sucker punch wicket with a full bunger that the opener could only guide to Riley at cover (this was his final game before retiring so probably not quite the end he had in mind). After an untidy first 3 overs Matt started to bowl well and completed his 9 overs in a single spell finishing up with a decent return of 3-44 accounting for all of Stapleton’s top 3. With Frank Forge producing 9 miserly overs at the other end (0-23 from 9) the game was well poised heading into the final 3rd with Stapleton looking to push on with wickets in hand but not finding it easy as Kieran Owen (1-36), Glazzard (3-26) and Riley with a couple of tail end wickets restricted the scoring rate with good support from their fielders holding on to tricky catches. The one down side for Barrow in restricting Stapleton to 181-9 was that they did not bowl them out meaning that even with a win they could only get 28 points, not the maximum 30.

Barrow’s reply got off to a flyer with a flurry of boundaries as they raced to 30 in 4 overs before Glazzard fell unexpectedly misjudging a straight one. There then followed one of Barrow’s least glorious passages of play as both Guy and Mark Fisher and Ali Hood fell to poor shots then Jones was trapped in front leaving Barrow suddenly 40 odd for 5 with any victory thoughts seemingly just a distant dream. Will Kerswell and James Riley got the team through to drinks with no further alarm and without playing many shots as Barrow kept well up with the run thanks to leg side wides! Will (26) went shortly after drinks when he got a leading edge as he tried to work one into the onside, it wasn’t the most fluent innings by Will but it was invaluable and kept Barrow in the game albeit still with a lot to do at 108-6. Riley was supported by James Halladay and then Kieran Owen with a couple of sweetly struck fours taking the score to 147- 8. Stapleton scented victory but Barrow knew they had a secret weapon at no 10 in Frank Forge, whose game appears to be tailor made for these situations where the team need to squeeze out the runs with no real worries about the scoring rate as there were plenty of overs left. Barrow had progressed to about 160 when the game changing over came along that swung it firmly in their direction, as a no ball was put away for runs, 5 wides were conceded and a tight single became a five with an overthrow. As the innings entered the 40th over Riley took strike with the team needing 5 to win – the first ball was full and wide down the legside flying past the keeper and all the way to the rope leading to a Barrow victory by 2 wickets. Riley (46 not out) played very well reigning in his attacking instincts for a steadier progress that also allowed the team to capitalise on the extras that Stapleton were offering and he was well supported by Will and the lower order giving Barrow a thoroughly deserved win.

At the end of the game there was brief excitement as news filtered through that Chew Magna 2nds had lost leading to speculation that Barrow had achieved the unlikely and beaten relegation but unfortunately they picked up 5 bonus points that kept them ahead and YMCA’s victory over Shirehampton confirmed Barrow in 9th place but back to back wins was a good way to finish the season and there is every reason to feel confident that this young team will have many more better days in the years ahead.

Return Of The Hood Not Enough To Save Seconds

Barrow’s 2nds lost a winner-takes-all encounter with Coalpit Heath 3rds in a valiant bid to avoid relegation.

Barrow’s newer followers are familiar with the antics of  first team player Ali Hood, but it was his younger brother who came out of retirement and brought Barrow to within sight of salvation. This was after a season which has seen most of the players who took the team to two successive promotions move up to the first team leaving the 2nds depending on limited batting resources, in particular, as only 3 players made consistent runs over the season.

Captain Ellie Holdaway won the toss and put the opposition in to bat. Steve Owen struck early inducing a nick to keeper Bernie Forge standing up, but despite further accurate bowling from Steve, Adam Brace and Pete Rooney no further wickets fell albeit that runs were scarce. It took the introduction of Mike Lilley to make what might have been a decisive strike taking two quick wickets including the dangerous Qasim Ali who played on for 23.

At 25 overs the Coalpit Heath batsmen started to accelerate against Ellie and Oscar Livesey, neither of whom were at their best and the score accelerated such that by 34 overs a score of 250 threatened. Oscar (2/53) finally accounted for Walker for 58 and the reintroduction of Brace helped to peg back the total, but Baldwin (60 not out) shrewdly led the lower order to take the score to 216-7 at tea.

The reply was led by the returning Hood batting in partnership with regular opener Bernie Forge. From the outset, the opening partnership was positive taking quick singles and punishing the bad ball. Bernie pulling for two fours and cover driving another, whilst Hood got going after a rusty start by despatching a full toss off his hip for 4. When Bernie fell for 21 trying another pull off one which kept a little low, Barrow were 48-1 and up with the required rate. Mark Gracey then nicked off second ball bringing Pete Holdaway to the crease.

With the score at 100, and having hit 9 fours and 2 clean sixes, Hood fell leaving Pete to be joined by his captain (and daughter). They kept the score moving but the required rate began to grow inexorably and when they both fell, Pete, having survived several LBW appeals, for 39 inevitably LBW and Ellie for 10, the tail then quickly succumbed leaving Barrow 49 runs short.

Barrow were left to rue several weather-affected games where they perhaps got the worst of the conditions and their key players who remained from past success not quite hitting top form this season. Still the team should take heart from the number of different players who played during the season, the way that they played their cricket and the fact that every week 11 players could be fielded in a division where many other teams found it hard to do so. Here’s to promotion in 2018!

Firsts Chew Over Saturday Success Whilst Seconds Eye Must-Win Game

Barrow 1st XI won their crucial game against Chew Magna 2nds on Saturday to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive. Meanwhile the 2nd XI lost their game away to Mells 1sts which means both teams need to win their final league games to have a chance of staying in their respective divisions.

At Hobbs Lane the Firsts pulled out one of their best bowling and fielding performances of the season. Batting first Chew Magna lost one opener well caught at slip by Paul Glazzard off Mark Fisher whilst paceman James Riley bowled the other. Chew Magna then found it hard work against the accurate off spin of Frank Forge and fast medium bowling of Kieran Owen. Frank dismissed the opposition captain Lee Bryant inducing him to play on, before coming up against his former form tutor Dave Blower. When Blower (top scorer with 25) struck a mightly blow over mid-wicket for six the friendly battle intensified and when another big hit was mistimed Frank took the return catch. Frank finished with 3/23 off his 9 overs. Meanwhile there was friendly rivalry at the other end as Kieran won the battle against old school friend Jackson Bryant but not before the younger Bryant played a majestic cover drive for four. Kieran’s 7 overs went for only 21 whilst skipper Paul Glazzard further turned the screw with 1/5 off 5. Jonny Sykes then struck with his first ball before Nick Heal took 2 in 2 to finish off the innings for only 108.

After tea Barrow suffered an early loss of Will Kerswell but after that Paul Glazzard (42*) and Guy Fisher (40*) chased down the total in 26 overs with few alarms.

At Mells, Barrow were also in the field and accurate bowling from Mike Lilley and Adam Brace (2/24) looked likely to restrain the home side to a manageable total. However Ford anchored the innings to make a half century to build a solid platform despite Oscar Livesey and Ellie Holdaway taking a couple of middle order wickets a piece. However in the last 10 overs Rich and Seegobin launched an assault on the Barrow bowling with only one extremely close run out appeal threatening to hold them in check. Seegobin’s 61 not out came in 34 balls whilst Rich’s 46 came in only 29. 242-9 looked to be a daunting total.

Barrow tried another new opening partner with Bernie Forge as Mike Lilley stepped up. They put on 41 before Bernie was dismissed for 29. Mike soon followed leaving Mark Gracey (41) and Oscar Livesey (37) to put on a significant partnership of 67 but at nowhere near the scoring rate needed. Only a jaunty innings from Scott Fisher (26 not out off 25 deliveries) really upped the rate but Barrow were always going to fall well short. Eventually they closed on 168-6.

In the final game of the league season Barrow Firsts need a maximum points win and other results to go their way, whilst for the seconds just a win over Coalpit Heath 3rds who are one place above them would suffice. Both teams would hope that they might get some good support and encouragement from all those not playing on Saturday.

3rd XI End Season With Thrilling Tie At Blagdon

Barrow’s 3rd XI ended their season with a nail-biting tie at Blagdon in a match which swung one way and then another.

Captain Steve Owen won the toss and decided to bat and when Guy Fisher continued where he left off on Saturday with some wristy flicks off the legs batting in partnership with James Riley, it looked like a good toss to win. With the score at 36 Guy was adjudged LBW by his brother but Riley was beginning to score fluently despatching Cadman for 6 in his first over. Steve then inexplicably decided to leapfrog a throw in, rather than make his ground, and was run out by a direct hit leaving Barrow a little precarious at 48-3. Riley then began to take charge aided by a watchful Kieran Owen, their partnership only ended by Riley choosing to retire having made 52 off 69 balls. When Kieran departed shortly afterward for a well-made 29, wickets began to tumble leaving Mark Fisher in danger of running out of partners. 137-4 suddenly became 143-7 which did not look anything like enough on a sunny day and firm wicket.

Then came a mature cameo innings from Isaac Todman in only his second senior game who ran well to make sure Mark kept the strike and batted for almost 5 overs for his four runs as the partnership put on a vital 26. Barrow finished on 172-8 with Mark Fisher 29 not out. Barrow tourist Jim Butcher was the pick of the Blagdon bowlers taking 3/19 including bowling Oscar Livesey with a delivery he later described as pitching middle and leg and hitting the top of off.

The Blagdon reply suffered a couple of early reverses against the opening attack of Mark Fisher and Kieran Owen. Mark induced the dangerous Sparkes to knick one to Bernie Forge who took the catch one-handed wide to her right. Kieran then bowled the number 3 and it was 29-2. Then followed a sensible partnership between the wily Andy Cadman and Paul Hudd, who, after Cadman had driven some good early boundaries against the quicker bowlers, progressed largely through rotating the strike against a very accurate spell from Frank Forge (8 overs for 17) and Oscar Livesey (8 overs 1/25). Unfortunately, a couple of chances were put down, before Hudd was well caught by Riley for 23. 82-3 off 25.

In need of acceleration the lower middle order looked to be much more aggressive especially after Cadman was caught by Frank off Melissa Owen for 62. With the score at 148-4 and 4 overs to go it was going to be tight but Blagdon looked favourites with wickets in hand. The opening bowlers returned and Mark Fisher bowled E Heath with a quick one which saw the off-bail fly at least 30 yards towards the boundary and then Kieran bowled Hunt for 24. 154-6 with 3 overs to go. Kieran was under a lot of pressure as he bowled the 38th but was well supported by his fielders as a quick single resulted in a run out by Guy Fisher at wide mid-on. Kieran then bowled the younger Heath to complete a wicket maiden. 152-8. Young Jack Haskins who earlier had bowled well for Blagdon (2/38) then was joined by the experienced Tippett and they made sure of getting bat on ball a ran hard taking 8 off Mark’s last over. 11 needed to win off Kieran’s final over. When Kieran dismissed Tippett off the first ball, with Isaac taking a pressure catch as if he was an old hand at senior cricket, it looked odds on a Barrow win again. However with the batsmen having crossed, it put Haskins on strike and after running a couple of twos and a nervy wide being bowled, 6 were needed to win off 2 balls. Haskins then played a glorious shot wide of mid-off for four leaving 2 to win off the last ball. Non-striker Butcher was going to run come what may and as Kieran delivered took off. The ball bobbled through to Bernie whose throw missed by a whisker leaving the match tied which was certainly a fair result.

The result leaves the 3rd XI in mid-table after a season which has seen 4 wins and a tie, 2 abandoned games in which Barrow were in a strong position and one cancelled match.

Mark Forge, captain for the 2017 season, said afterwards: “This has been a really enjoyable year of cricket for Barrow’s new team. We have seen some good performances from players old and young, and given some players who do not normally bat or bowl the opportunity to develop the other skill. I am really grateful to those Saturday players who have supported us to ensure we have been able to get a team out each week.”

Weekend Of Disappointment Although Firsts Run Frenchay Close

Last weekend saw Barrow’s 1st XI lose a close game at Frenchay, the 2ndXI struggle at home against St Mary Redcliffe despite a half century from Pete Holdaway, results which dented both team’ hopes of staying in their respective divisions. Meanwhile the Sunday 3rd XI saw their game abandoned due to rain after being in a commanding position.

As Barrow’s Ist XI gathered at Frenchay most of the discussion centred round when they last played at the ground which varied from Ali Hood some 30 years ago to Paul Gard who had played on the adjoining pitch for the two’s last week against Old Park!

Paul Glazzard won the toss and, supported by the overcast conditions opted to have a bowl. James Riley and Matt Owen opened up and bowled tidily – with Matt bowling one of his best opening spells of the season, both inducing edges but the chances which were not easy, but were better than half chances, went down, unfortunately setting something of a pattern for what was to follow. Gard after not for the first time in his career made various excuses about why he may struggle and then took 1-14 from 5 in a very controlled spell and with Frank Forge bowling his 9 overs straight through for only 24 runs. Barrow kept Frenchay in check but remained wary that they were only 1 wicket down. As the game entered into the final third of the Frenchay innings, they looked to push on and gave a number of chances which Barrow spilled with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, one of those was an excellent take by Oscar Livesey but from a Kieran Owen no ball. Will Kerswell did take a sharp chance at cover giving Matt Owen a deserved wicket as he returned 1-36 from 8 very good overs, whilst Kieran bowled quite well, Sam Turner bowled tidily for 2 overs but a 3rd was too much, Skipper Paul Glazzard was a bit patchy and not at his best.

Riley returned to pick up a couple of wickets at the end including the opener who had been dropped twice in the first 10 overs and at least 3 more times for 97, the second wicket coming when a Frenchay player attempted a scoop but only succeeded in guiding it to Jordan via his helmet! So Frenchay posted 216-4 which was a decent but not intimidating score, I they may have wondered why they were unable to accelerate better whilst Barrow were left wondering about the many spilled chances.

In reply Barrow made the best possible start they could have hoped for and by drinks Sam Turner and Will Kerswell remained together with the score on 97-0 so Barrow were very much on top, but credit to Frenchay who remained unphased and continued to stick to their task. Geoffrey Boycott is known for his adage of adding 2 wickets and the score doesn’t always look quite as good and unfortunately for Barrow it was more a case of add 4 wickets as first Kerswell’s excellent knock, including a lovely cover drive and some good clips off his legs came to an end as he fell for 39. Then followed Sam for 46 as well as Ali Hood and Glazzard as Barrow slipped to 124-4.

After a few tighter overs from Frenchay Barrow soon found the run rate pushing up towards 8 and then 9. Oscar Livesey (27) promoted to number 3 to show what he could do (which was quite impressive, he certainly didn’t look out of his depth) and Jordan Allen (33) gave it their best shot and for 3 or 4 overs got the required rate but a couple of low scoring overs soon left Barrow with a lot to do needing 40 off 3 and they ended up falling short by 20 odd runs.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2nds entertained St Mary Redcliffe who won a toss which Barrow wanted to win and put the home side into bat. Bernie Forge tucked the first ball away for 4 on a damp wicket which started with slow pace and some uneven bounce. She lost her new opening partner, Steve Owen early on for a single, before being well caught and bowled by Loud for 11. Mark Gracey fell cheaply before Pete Holdaway joined his skipper (and daughter) Ellie at the crease. Ellie found it hard to get the ball away off the slow wicket, whilst Pete treated the spectators to some classic cuts and deflections, as well as, unusually, quite a few off the inside edge. After a partnership of 30, Ellie fell for 5 bringing in the wounded warrior from last week, Rod Reeves. Understandably, after taking a nasty blow to the jaw, Rod took a couple of overs to regain his confidence but soon was back to his dogged best as the lifelong friends put on yet another 50 partnership before Pete holed out to mid on for 52. Adam Brace played a couple of delicious shots over the off side making 15 as Barrow ended on 137-8 which never looked like being enough.

St Mary Redcliffe made a slow start as Adam Brace and Steve Owen bowled with guile and experience and gave nothing away, but the openers gained in confidence as the change bowlers were not quite as accurate as they might have been, and a couple of straightforward chances were passed up. Although a 10 wicket win probably flattered the visitors, there was little doubt that they were the stronger team well-deserving of their win.
As the news came in of other results the 2nds now face a real fight for survival in Division 13 as they are only 6 points from the relegation zone with the 2 teams below them due to play each other next week.

On Sunday the 3rd XI travelled to the lovely ground at East Harptree, receiving a warm welcome on a gloomy day. Losing the toss Barrow were pleased to be bowling first The openers for Harptree were very circumspect in the face of accurate bowling from Nick Heal, Adam Brace, Kieran Owen and Will Kerswell with extras looking favorite to be top scorer for a while. The introduction of Melissa Owen brought the first wicket as Jonny Sykes took a good catch in the outfield.

Then Connor Jones came into the attack and took 2 wickets in 2 balls, adding a third soon after for the weekend’s best figures of 3/4. Jonny induced a nick for a caught behind but at 79-5 off 30 Harptree had already been batting in light rain which decided to get heavier. An early tea was taken but with rain not relenting, Barrow’s Sunday team’s penultimate game was abandoned.

Fiesta For 3rd XI As Balloons Hail A Win In Last Home Game

Barrow’s Sunday 3rd XI enjoyed their last home game of the season, beating league leaders Backwell Flax Bourton at Hobbs Lane and were then treated to a grandstand view of the mass ascent of balloons from Bristol’s famous Fiesta.

With regular captain Mark Forge injured and Vice-Captain Steve Owen gainfully employed elsewhere, Frank Forge took over the captaincy. Immediately we could see the enthusiasm of youth as he put the younger members of the side through some fielding drills before the start of play, although some of the older members of the side decided to give them a miss. Then followed a 10-minute lesson in how to toss a coin which caused much amusement as the new captain seemed unable to grasp it and ultimately the opposition skipper agreed to do it for him! With the toss won Barrow put Backwell in to bat.

Opening the bowling Kieran Owen was accuracy personified whilst Mark Fisher made the early break through courtesy of a good catch in the covers by Ben Thorne. The introduction of Adam Brace brought immediate success as Bernie Forge took the first of two opportunistic stumpings in the innings and then the other opener mishit to Matt Owen who safely pouched the catch. Adam completed his haul of 3/21 by inducing a false shot from the Backwell skipper which needed a clear call by Frank himself to avoid a collision in the field as he hung on to a high catch. With three wickets having fallen with the score on 52, Backwell needed a rear-guard action which was provided by young Danny Stewart with some crisp strokes. However, having reached 24, he took on Leo Brace and the ever-reliable Connor Jones completed another good catch. Connor had also taken a couple of quick wickets leaving the visitors reeling at 96-8. Conscious of his father’s mistake in allowing the opposition to mount something of a recovery on the previous Sunday, Frank then brought himself on to wrap up the tail getting one to turn sharply to bowl the belligerent Selby. Backwell all out for 128.

After tea Barrow’s opening pair of Connor Jones and Rod Reeves took to the crease. They took the score to 32 before Connor was caught behind just in time for his family to arrive having missed his entire part in the game! At the other end there was much drama as Rod, having started with his usual defensive nudges and nurdles, was suddenly felled by a short delivery which hit him flush on the jaw. As his bat flew away in the direction of short fine leg, Rod took a couple of minutes to recover insistent that he would carry on. His batting then took on the character of a wounded lion as another short ball was met with an upper cut over the keeper for 4 and he began to give himself room to cut which began to frustrate the bowlers. Eventually he was dismissed for 30 having put Barrow into a strong position.

A middle order wobble gave the opposition some hope but Kieran Owen, batting in the unfamiliar position of No 3, continued to battle away. Kieran starting as if he had hardly batted this season (which was true) but grew in confidence and fluency, in particular punching the ball through the covers off the back foot on several occasions, but it was when he was joined by Mark Fisher that the runs began to flow. Mark enjoyed a little bit of luck early on but soon was striking the ball cleanly and enabled Kieran to pick up several quick singles and twos. They put on 53 for the 6th wicket and saw Barrow home to an unexpectedly comfortable win.

This was a really good team effort, especially in the field where all catches but one half-chance were caught and few easy runs were give away.

As the teams left the field earlier than expected they were able to enjoy the evening balloon flypast from the Balloon Fiesta.

Saturday Teams In Search Of Runs As Season Climax Awaits

There was disappointment for both Barrow Gurney teams on Saturday as they set similar scores which neither opposition found particularly challenging, as wickets affected by the recent wet weather began to dry out as the games went on.

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow firsts played Shirehampton 2nds as both teams fought to escape the relegation zone of Division 4. Put into bat, the opening partnership of Ben Skuse and Roger Finnimore was broken when Ben called for a rather ambitious run and stood no chance of regaining his ground as the bowler fielded athletically after Roger had remained impassive. Ali Hood fell as he middled a flick over midwicket which seemed destined to clear the boundary only to find the tallest fielder on the ground who plucked the ball out of the air. When Roger, who struggled to find any timing, also fell to Sidra Khan, Barrow hoped for some much-needed runs from the middle order. Captain Paul Glazzard looked likely to provide these as he hit three consecutive straight fours off the dangerous Khan but then fell unexpectedly for 22.

Thereafter only Mark Fisher made double figures (12) as the tail fought hard to get to 150 and an extra bowling point. This they did; but on 151 Frank Forge was yorked all ends up by Khan who finished with 3/27. Glazzard remained the highest scoring batsman although wides accounted for 40 of the total and extras 50 in all.

In reply Shirehampton were rarely troubled apart from 8 accurate overs from James Riley who beat the bat numerous times, and they benefitted from some short deliveries from the other bowlers which sat up nicely for the batsmen, and from some fielding lapses. Nurse (43 not out) anchored the innings and despite a couple of wickets taken by Paul Glazzard and Mark Fisher, Barrow’s total loomed quickly into view. When Geddes joined the fray, he lifted the tempo to catapult Shirehampton over the finishing line with almost 14 overs to spare, as Barrow tried some attacking field placings in an attempt to force a break through.

Overall there was little to take from this game to cheer the Barrow faithful who came to support, although there was a rather splendid acrobatic flying display over the Village End courtesy of the Balloon Fiesta which briefly entertained those of us watching proceedings.

Barrow 2nds were at Frenchay to play Old Park 1st XI, again they were put into bat. Bernie Forge and Pete Holdaway put on 63 for the first wicket before Pete, who was struggling to get the ball away, fell for 15. Bernie, having survived an early chance, took on the short ball to good effect as well as adding some flowing drives making her second fifty of the season before being bowled for 56 with the score on 97. Ellie Holdaway (25 not out) and Jordan Allen (20) moved the score along to 120 but the innings then stuttered as Barrow finished on 156-7.

In reply, Old Park’s Kerry Adams (83) steered the home side safely home as some Barrow bowlers struggled with their line and length. Gareth Ashley bowled 8 tidy overs for 21, but it was Ellie Holdaway taking pace off the ball which took a couple of wickets (2/15) with a late burst from Luke Glazzard finally accounting for Adams.

The First XI now have a real battle on their hands to avoid the drop, whilst the 2nds still have a game in hand over the teams in the relegation places in Division 13 with 3 weeks left of the league season.

Weekend Seven For Oscar, As 1sts Steal The Show At Claverham.

Barrow’s Oscar Livesey enjoyed taking 7 wickets over the weekend as Barrow’s teams took part in some one-sided games.

Barrow Gurney’s 1st XI had a short but sweet visit to Claverham on Saturday when they dismissed the opposition for only 75. Oscar Livesey took 3/9, skipper Paul Glazzard 2/8, James Riley 2/12 and Paul Gard 2/18.

Barrow then knocked off the runs for the loss of only one wicket to secure an important victory in the struggle to avoid relegation. Other results though did not help Barrow’s overall position and with 4 weeks to go there is still all to play for in Division 4.

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow 2nds entertained Dyrham & Hinton 2nds (although there is no longer a first team apparently). The league leaders started strongly and never looked back as a succession of batsman enjoyed the good pitch and short straight boundaries as they hit through the line often and never seemed to mishit. A lot of time searching for balls delayed proceedings as Watkins reached an accomplished century as the visitors racked up 300 in 40 overs. Will Kerswell switched from spin to seam to bowl 8 overs 1/35, although Gareth Ashley (3/59) was the main wicket-taker bowling with pace and some swing.

Barrow were never really in the game but fought hard to pick up batting points against a classy attack with Kerswell completing a good all round game by making 36 with Jordan Allen next best with 27. Barrow though were resigned to losing by a big margin and to pick up whatever bonus points came their way finishing on 155 all out.

On Sunday the 3rdXI started well against Purnells with Pete Holdaway taking a breathtaking slip catch off Jonny Sykes (2/9). Then spin twins Oscar Livesey (4/32) and Frank Forge (2/36) aided by 3 excellent catches from Ed Jones in the deep threatened to restrict Purnells to 130 or so but a good last wicket partnership took the score to 178. Barrow though found batting hard going,  battling the quality opening attack on the sloping pitch and were shot out for 89.

Poll Of The Month: Developing Women’s Cricket At A Small Club

England triumphed in the Women’s World Cup recently, with Somerset’s Anya Shrubsole providing the dramatic end to the final by demolishing India’s batting line-up.

There is predicted to be a big upsurge in the number of women and girls who want to play cricket. However, it seems that the focus of the ECB in building the women’s game is on those already at, or close to, the highest level of cricket. How can a small club like Barrow Gurney respond to the challenge of attracting and developing female cricketers?

In this month’s “Poll Of The Month” we ask Barrow’s members and website followers to think about the various ways we might play our part in the future of women’s cricket.

Having already coached and produced two very successful Somerset women cricketers who more than hold their own in, and indeed lead, predominantly male teams, Barrow is a club which welcomes and encourages women cricketers at all levels. The current building work to construct a separate women’s changing room is a physical example of the club’s commitment. Also the Under 13 colts team regularly has 3 girl cricketers as key members of the side.

However, the challenge for a small club is how to progress if there are not sufficient women to form a team, and, even if there were, to deal with the fact that there is little quality women’s cricket around at club level to provide meaningful fixtures.

BGCC’s website looks forward to receiving your views. If you are interested in joining Barrow’s growing band of female cricketers then please contact us via the link on the main menu.

Last month, in our poll, you told us, very strongly, that our mid-summer T20 games should be a much more social occasion and include a barbecue. The recent game against Misfits showed how well-supported such an occasion can be. It is certainly something we will be looking to develop next year.

Swashbuckling Sykes Sets Up 2nds As Rain Ruins First’s Chances

A weekend dominated by rain saw Barrow Firsts denied a win as a result of one over failing to be bowled, the Seconds secure a much-needed win, thanks to a swashbuckling innings by Jonny Sykes, in another rain reduced game,  and the Sunday 3rds suffer a total washout.

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow seconds batted first on a wet and slow pitch. Openers Pete Holdaway and Bernie Forge struggled to find any timing, although Bernie pulled one short ball for 6 before a couple of run outs accounted for them both. Oscar Livesey and Paul Gard moved the score along to 66 before Jonny Sykes took centre stage. Uncharacteristically, Jonny found his innings hard going as he, too, found it hard to time the ball which was not coming on to the bat. After 5 or 6 overs, he began to get to grips with the bowling unleashing some powerful drives. In one over he hit 5 consecutive fours before ruining the symmetry by despatching the final ball for 6 to reach his 50. Finding good support from skipper, Ellie Holdaway (18 not out), the score moved on to 183-7 although Jonny had previously departed for 73 (2 sixes and 11 fours).

In reply visitors Hambrook 3rds also found it slow going faced with some accurate bowling from Paul Gard and Mike Lilley who both took an early wicket. Change bowlers Nick Heal and Oscar Livesey continued the good work and when rain started to fall Hambrook were behind the rate at 72-3 off 24.4 overs leaving Barrow the winners, as they finally escaped from the relegation zone of Division 13.

The Firsts, though, were less fortunate. They bowled really well to restrict YMCA 2nds to 189-9 with skipper, Paul Glazzard, bowling an excellent spell to take 5/30 and Matt Owen chipping in with 2/25. In reply Barrow were ahead of the required rate as Sam Turner made another telling comeback, making 40 not out. As the 20th over, required for a result, arrived the rain fell and Barrow were forced off the field leaving the game as a “no result”, which may be expensive as the season progresses.

The overnight and morning rain fell heavily and Hobbs Lane was waterlogged leaving the 3rd XI without a game.