Barrow Gurney’s end of season celebrations saw a rare, perhaps unique event as brother and sister duo, Frank and Bernie Forge, won the annual double wicket competition.
A glorious autumn morning greeted 14 players ready to do battle for the prestigious annual trophy. Players were drawn from 2 pools to make up the pairings and when the sibling pairing had been drawn it was always going to be interesting to see if it ended in harmony or acrimony!
With points being awarded for runs scored, wickets taken, catches and runouts achieved and points lost for drops and wickets lost, the first round involving all 7 teams, is always impossible to call as only Jane Holdaway, the scorer, has any idea of who is doing well or badly.
As the teams gathered to hear the results of the group stage, it was Ali Hood and Kieran Owen who sailed through to the final on merit, with Kieran, in particular, discovering his six-hitting ability during the day.
A semi-final left Frank and Bernie up against Oscar Livesey and Phil Milton and for much of the game the unrelated team seemed to have the upper hand, scoring off nearly every delivery, but a lost wicket in the last over just allowed the Forges through to the final.
Frank and Bernie batted first, with Frank hitting a couple of fluent shots through the covers and one six, whilst Bernie was hitting straight and then moving across her stumps to sweep or pull off middle stump to the vacant long leg boundary. However, a suicidal run out and a good caught and bowled from Oscar seemed to have left Ali and Kieran with a very achievable target.
Kieran continued where he had left off in the group stage and opened his shoulders to clear the fence on a couple of occasions, whilst Ali, who was cannily trying to work out how many he thought was needed, aimed to do just enough to see his side home, manoeuvring the ball around to exploit the tired fielders suffering from the effects of a long day in the sun after a late night on the town.
Two wickets in two balls from the off-spin of Bernie, having more success then her regular off-spinner brother, set Ali and Kieran back a bit; but still heading into the final over they looked to be ahead of the game. A brilliant catch from Kian Ware in the deep brought it back into the balance, but nevertheless the outcome remained in doubt until Jane announced the results. In the end an extra wicket lost meant the shield went to the family pairing, meaning that Frank defended the title he won last year in partnership with Rob Figuereido.
The competition was well-supported as always as many players, ex-players came to join in the fun, the barbecue, and to sample some home-brewed beer and some fruit punch. Many thanks to Ali for organising the day, to Jane for scoring and, with Pete Holdaway, for the barbecue, and to Simon Hudson and Kevin Jones for their marvellous concoctions.