Legends return to Barrow, Whilst The 2s Are In Need Of A Hero

Barrow Gurney CC welcomed back some players of yesteryear last week in a fixture which pitted the current crop of players against the Barrow “Legends”.

The Barrow Legends assembled by team manager Paul Mizen (right)

The Legends team comprised: Geoff Warren (c), Spencer Mizen (wk), Simon Wallis, Luke Richards, Jamie Biddle, Stu Hood, Mick Hardy, Steve Milton, Chris Milton, Paul Tye, Ben Saunders and Tim Patch. Meanwhile Phil Milton took charge of the current Barrow team.

On a beautiful evening many other former players and supporters came to watch as the Legends found the going difficult against the youthful current side in the annual 20 over game.

Luke Richards and captain Geoff Warren top-scored with 15 apiece as the Legends put on 114-9 with current first team captain Frank Forge taking 3/14.

Mick Hardy rolled back the years with 3/14, as Guy Fisher (also pictured) top-scored for the current team.

In reply Barrow came up against the wily spin of Mick Hardy who had taken so many wickets over the years at Hobbs Lane, and he bamboozled the top order also taking 3/14. But Premil Fernando (36) and Guy Fisher (45) got the current Barrow team close to the total which they reached with an over to spare.

At the weekend both the Firsts and Sunday XIs found their opposition had conceded, leaving only the seconds to play against Old Park at Frenchay.

Batting firsts Barrow lost early wickets, before a brief rally with Kieran Owen (29) and Will Kerswell (21) putting together a good partnership. Simon Hudson (23) made sure that Barrow batted the overs and gave his side something to bowl at as they were all out of the last ball for 140.

Simon Hudson took 3/27 against Old Park

Hudson was also the pick of Barrow’s bowlers, striking 3 times after a good opening partnership for the home side took them some way towards their total. His 3 for 27 plus a wicket for Adam Brace gave Barrow half a chance but when 2 catches went down, Old Park then cruised towards their total. This defeat leaves Barrow 2s precariously in the relegation zone of Division 13.

Barrow Tame The Lions To Return To Winning Ways

Barrow Gurney 1st XI chalked up another win against Bristol Lions, whilst in high-scoring contests at Hobbs Lane, the 2nds narrowly lost to Bedminster 5ths , and a weakened Sunday team struggled against the formidable opening partnership of Kilmersdon.

Bristol Lions found runs hard to come by against the Barrow attack.

Barrow Gurney tamed the Bristol Lions on Saturday, bowling a team, depleted in number, out for 121 on an unpredictable pitch at Dunkerton. Matt Owen followed up last week’s good from with 4/36, whilst the skipper Frank Forge weighed in with 2/24.

With batting extremely difficult, Barrow promoted the hard-hitting Kian Ware to open the batting, and he set about making the target in double quick time, smashing 81 not out off 41 balls with 5 sixes, to take Barrow to a welcome win by 7 wickets after a difficult few weeks.

Stu Hood enjoyed his rare outing with an excellent 66.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, Barrow’s 3 H’s built a competitive score, as regular opener Ali Hood made another powerful innings of 64, but he was bettered by his brother Stu, who on a rare outing these days, played a magnificent knock of 66. The innings was anchored by Barrow chairman Pete Holdaway who batted 35 overs for a stylish 61, but the innings stalled and 237-5 was only a par score on the quick-scoring ground.

Visitors, Bedminster 5ths, weathered an excellent early spell of 2/27 from Barrow captain Mike Lilley, but Dave Peacock (81) kept the run chase going at the required rate. Pegged back by three brilliant run outs, by Pete Rooney, Craig Jones and Simon Hudson, the game went down to the wire but a dropped catch and a couple of poor overs helped Bedminster over the line by 2 wickets in the penultimate over.

Paul Gard’s 64 was the backbone of the Barrow innings on Sunday.

On Sunday a weakened Barrow team did well to make 211-5, with Paul Gard making a vital 64, Frank Forge made 40 and Rod Reeves 31 not out; but the lack of bowling strength against the classy Kilmersdon skipper Mark Batchelor (104 not out), who made his second consecutive Sunday League century,  and Alex Gardner (83 not out) allowed the opposition to make light of the target with several overs to spare.

Owen Brothers Bowl Barrow To Sunday Win.

Barrow Gurney’s Sunday XI were the club’s only winners this weekend as they beat Harptree Villages in an exciting low-scoring contest thanks to 8 wickets from the Owen brothers, Kieran and Matt. Barrow Firsts recovered from a poor start to give Bristol University Staff a scare, whilst the depleted seconds suffered an injury which put paid to their chances at Chilcompton.

At East Harptree, Barrow saw a good opening partnership of 58 between Guy Fisher (39) and James Riley (36) before a batting collapse which saw only 3 other batsmen open their account as Barrow faltered to 108 all out,

Matt Owen celebrates another Harptree wicket as he takes 5/6

In reply Harptree started well and with the score 39-0 they looked in a strong position. After a couple of chances were missed, bowling brothers Kieran and Matt Owen bowled Barrow to victory, as Kieran took 3/15 in his 8 overs, whilst Matt had the remarkable figures of 6-4-6-5 as he bowled brisk yorkers at the Harptree batsmen. Harptree folded for 91, as proud father Steve Owen, captain for the day, celebrated an exciting win.

Premil Fernando scored 39 as Barrow Firsts built a total of 174.

On Saturday at Hobbs Lane, Barrow Firsts had also struggled with the bat, as batting first, they were restricted to 174. Mark Fisher (39) and Premil Fernando (also 39) led a lower order fight back after the top order had failed. Although Hashan Mudiyanselage took 3/22, briefly curtailing Bristol University Staff’s charge for victory, they achieved the target with 4 overs to spare.

An injury to a Barrow player delayed the 2nds game at Chilcompton.

At Chilcompton, Barrow 2s faced a long journey, and started with only 10 players due to a late injury, and the situation soon got much worse as Barrow player, Nick Heal, was injured whilst fielding resulting in a lengthy delay and a reduction in overs. Chilcompton took full advantage of the 9-man field making 203 off 32 overs.

Ali Hood’s 83 put Barrow 2s in sight of victory.

Ali Hood and Pete Holdaway (26), batted extremely well for the second wicket and briefly kept Barrow in sight of their target, but once Ali had gone for 83, Barrow fell behind the rate and ultimately fell 25 runs short.

Barrow 2s Enjoy The Only Success Of The Weekend

A second consecutive win for the Barrow Gurney 2s against Carsons Mangotsfield was the highlight of the weekend, as the Firsts were undone by a promising young Congresbury bowler and the Sunday team batted poorly against Keynsham.

A half–century from Roger Finnimore anchored Barrow 2s reply

On a glorious afternoon at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2s lost the toss and found themselves in the field. Steve Owen and Mike Lilley opened the bowling and kept things tight. Steve (1/24) picked up an early wicket when one of the openers chipped to Kieran Owen, at mid-on. Pete Rooney (1/14) replaced Mike and, nursing an injury, struggled a bit for line and length but did claim Barrow’s second wicket with a leg side long hop that the Carsons no 3 somehow spooned into the hands of a tumbling Roger Finnimore at square leg taking the score to 36-2. Kian Ware (1/22) replaced Steve and showed some genuine pace inducing a nick from the opposition skipper in his second over. Carsons 65-3 as drinks approached.

Shortly after Kieran Owen (8 overs 1/32), who was bowling really well, with good shape moving the ball from leg to off, induced the remaining opener into a drive which flew low off the edge and Ali Hood took a fine catch. At 70-4 & scoring at only 3 an over Barrow were very much on top but the next Carsons pair batted very well running hard and finding boundaries taking their score up to 148. Isaac Todman (1/35) was bowling well keeping the ball pitched up and very deservedly got the wicket of Carson’s most dangerous batsmen clean bowled with a Yorker-length ball that just nipped back a bit.

Mark Gracey who made a useful 40

In the end Carsons reached 197-5 off their 40 overs. In reply Roger Finnimore and Ben Skuse put on an untroubled 50 partnership before Skuse (19) was undone by the lack of pace as he was through his favourite paddle shot too early and gloved one through to the keeper. Mark Gracey then joined Roger and they put on a very decent partnership of 80 with a combination of singles and boundaries and helped Barrow stay comfortably up with the run rate. Gracey played very well with a couple of lovely back foot punches before he fell trying to clear mid-off when he had made 40 and Barrow were 130-2 with plenty of time left. Kian then entered the fray and with a some great striking and several lost balls made an enterprising 48 not out. However, Roger Finnimore did get to 50 before holing out with victory in sight for a very well-played 51, playing the solid anchor that set up a Barrow victory. Kian then finished things off with a fine reverse hit to finish on 48 not out and bring Barrow a 7 wicket win with more than 50 balls to spare.

Ed Holdaway took 5/35 at Congresbury

At Congresbury, Barrow’s first XI looked to be in a promising position as they restrained the home side to 237 all out. Ed Holdaway destroyed the lower order taking 5/35, but there were wickets too for Premil Fernando (2/37), Matt Owen 2/55 and Hashan Mudiyanselage (1/42). They were well supported by some good fielding and catching.

In reply Barrow were up against young William Eyres fresh off of taking 7 for 4 against Almondsbury. With some inswing followed by pronounced movement off the seam, all delivered at lively pace, he was quite a handful and soon Barrow were 10 for 4. Hashan and Ed Holdaway fought hard to give the score respectability before Hashan unluckily smashed one and picked out the one fielder in the ring on the leg side, departing for 25, and when Ed was caught trying to emulate his 4 huge sixes, the battle became one of trying to secure a couple of batting bonus points. With 150 on the board, Barrow were all out. Eyres taking 5/15.

Ed Holdaway smashes another enormous six.

On Sunday against Keynsham Barrow played a 30 over game due to threat of rain.

Mark Forge lost the toss and Keynsham decided to bat. They came up against a very good opening spell from Paul Gard (6 overs for 11), who displayed great accuracy and the bad luck which has limited his wicket count this season. Melissa Owen also bowled well and the score remained under control as Craig Jones took over from her but there were no early wickets.

The introduction of Leo Brace changed that as he bowled one of his best spells (2/22) clean bowling 2 batsman. But then the fielding standards suddenly went into free-fall and shots hit straight to the fielder went for 4 more often than not. James Riley, off a short run removed the stubborn Browne for 53. With Leo executing a brilliant bit of fielding completed by Jonny Sykes for a sharp run out, Keynsham finished 166-4.

James Riley’s 65 put the Sunday team in the hunt before he retired.

After the early loss of the skipper, Riley, overcame a slightly fidgety start to blossom into playing some elegant shots, in partnership with Paul Gard, and soon reached 50. He tried to retire but was dissuaded, but when he had scored 65 (12 fours, 1 six) he walked off. 97-1 (in effect 97-2) and Barrow were in a strong position, but being a Sunday, he wanted to ensure everyone had a game. Within 5 overs everyone had, as Gard fell immediately for 15 and Barrow collapsed to 112 all out! Young John Biddlestone took 6 for 10 amidst the carnage.

Keynsham’s young bowlers ripped through the Barrow batting line up.

Barrow Win In Two Low-Scoring Games

Barrow Gurney 1st XI won a thrilling low-scoring encounter at Chilcompton this weekend, whilst the 2s finally registered a win in another game where runs were hard to come by.

Guy Fisher (58) and Bernie Forge (27) whose partnership of 77 was the highest of the match.

With several regulars of the top 6 away, Barrow captain, Frank Forge, seemed to have taken a bit of a risk on choosing to bat after winning the toss. As Ben Skuse departed to the first ball of the game, it fell to the regular opening pair of Guy Fisher (58) and Bernie Forge (27) to put Barrow back on a solid footing with a partnership of 77 before Bernie edged to slip. Guy made his 50 in fine style with a lovely straight six into the sightscreens and one flowing cover drive, which was particularly easy on the eye.

Beyond Guy’s knock, which was ended by one which kept low, Barrow really struggled as a lucky stumping off the keeper’s pad, a silly run out and a couple of wild shots put them seemingly out of the game. Only a dogged 11 not out from Kieran Owen got the team to 130 all out.

Frank Forge (3/24) waits to bowl at a Chilcompton batsman.

Chilcompton set about getting the runs quickly but were pegged back by Frank’s off spin (3/24 off 9 overs) as he surprised the opposition by opening the bowling. With tight seam bowling from Mark Fisher and Premil Fernando at the other end, Hashan Mudiyanselage replaced Frank with his leg-spin. Having bowled the dangerous Rivers for 25, the game seemed to be slipping away from Barrow as Chilcompton were 119-6 needing only 12 to win. At his point the skipper inspired his team taking a breath-taking catch at silly cover, with Matt Owen bowling the No 9 and Bernie Forge taking a good catch off Hashan’s quicker ball (leaving him with 3/28), it was now 119-9 and game on. Matt Owen (2/5) gave nothing away and after having a close LBW turned down, finally bowled Chilcompton’s No 11 to win a famous victory by 4 runs.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, the 2s also struggled with the bat until Simon Hudson (batting at 6) crafted an important 23, but still they found themselves 105-7. The unlikely partnership of Peter Rooney (39 not out) and Isaac Todman (16 not out) put on 49 for the last wicket batting out the remaining overs and giving Barrow something to bowl at.

Peter Rooney made his highest score for Barrow Gurney (39 not out)

Mike Lilley (6-2-6-2) and Paul Gard (8-2-13-0) kept things very tight early on, before Steve Owen (2/28) and Adam Brace (3/30) chipped away at the Coalpit Heath 3rds’ middle order. Injured Simon Hudson took 2/27 at half pace before Isaac Todman took the key wicket of Oliver Baldwin for 37. Coalpit Heath folded for 107 as Barrow finally recorded a win and regained touch with the teams in the lower half of Div 13.

Sunday turned out to be wet and with Barrow on 73-5 against Bitton, torrential rain ended proceedings.

Hood & Forge Take Barrow Firsts To Victory

Jon Hood and Frank Forge combined to give Barrow Firsts an exciting victory over Abbots Leigh 1sts on Saturday. However the 2nds struggled against the same club’s 2nd XI. Rain prevented any play on Sunday

Jon Hood made 95 after his recent return to the Barrow team

Barrow Gurney played a double-header against Abbots Leigh on Saturday as their respective 1st and 2nd XIs met.

On a glorious day at Hobbs Lane, Barrow 1sts enjoyed a hard-fought win in a high-scoring contest. On winning the toss and batting, Barrow had a good opening partnership between Bernie Forge (22) and Guy Fisher (19) before 3 quick wickets set them back. This brought Jon Hood to the crease playing only his third game back in cricket after a few years of retirement. Jon batted fluently, testing the fielders with some quick singles and twos, playing some pleasing drives, cuts and flicks off the legs, in partnership with Ben Skuse he took the score to 98 before Skuse fell for 15. With support from Ed Holdaway (28) and Mark Fisher (43) with whom Jon put on a partnership of exactly 100, the scoring rate was soon at 6 an over, but he selflessly gave his wicket away in search of 300 for the team, having anchored the Barrow innings with his 95. Barrow finished on 286-9.

In reply, Jon was soon in action in the field, keeping calm to execute a run out, whilst Mark Fisher, in an immaculate opening spell, took an early wicket and had a couple of chances dropped off his bowling. When Premil Fernando (2/30) ripped through the middle order, Barrow were in the ascendancy as Abbots Leigh were 77-4, but their captain, James Holdsworth, though had other ideas as he hit his first 3 balls for boundaries and appeared intent on turning the innings around. Barrow’s skipper, Frank Forge, decided to change the pace and came on to bowl himself.

Frank Forge’s 5/51 proved decisive

The change brought immediate success as Kian Ware executed a diving catch and then Frank bowled his opposite number to be on a hat trick after his first 2 balls. Although it was not to be, thanks to another good catch by Kian and one from Ed Holdaway the Abbots Leigh run chase (although on course in terms of run rate) looked likely to run out of steam. Frank finished with 5/51, before Mark Fisher (2/29) finished things off as the visitors fell 39 runs short.

Afterwards, Frank gave Jon Hood the Player of the Match award despite taking 5 key wickets himself.

The 2nds however endured a different afternoon away from home as Abbots Leigh made 232-6, with Barrow captain Mike Lilley (3/24) being outstanding with the ball, before he saw his team skittled out for 111, Mark Gracey top-scoring with 28.

Rain prevented the Sunday team fixture at Blagdon taking place.

Barrow Shows Its Support For “It’s In The Bag”

Barrow Gurney CC are proud to be supporting South West charity It’s In the Bag which supports men with testicular cancer and promotes awareness of this condition which affects so many men. It helps people to know how to check for warning signs as it a condition which can be treated effectively if caught early.

Barrow 2nds show support for It’s In The Bag.

When he experienced some discomfort “down below” last summer, Mark Gracey, never imagined that he had cancer. As a typical man he was reluctant to get himself checked out, but, thankfully, he did so and received the awful news before Christmas. After an anxious few months, radiotherapy and large dose of chemotherapy, Mark is now well on the way to a full recovery. Incredibly he was even able to take his rightful place in Barrow 2nds in the first game of the season (scoring a feisty 31), even if he had to move a little gingerly in the field.

Understandably Mark wants to help others who have suffered the same diagnosis and more importantly get his teammates and others to take steps to check themselves so that the condition can be treated early. He is raising funds for It’s In The Bag by selling wrist bands. Barrow Gurney CC have adopted the cause and are supporting Mark’s efforts which have already raised over £100.

Mark Gracey who has drawn on his personal experiences to start the fundraising effort

If you are visiting Barrow to play or watch, then why not make a contribution or do so direct by visiting  http://itsinthebag.org.uk/ (which also has details how to check yourself out). Or follow the charity on twitter @ItsInTheBag

Kian Enjoys A Weekend To Remember

Barrow Gurney all-rounder Kian Ware enjoyed an exceptional weekend, making his first half-century on Saturday, and then following it up with another on Sunday. It was not enough to bring Barrow 2s to their first victory, but his Sunday effort helped in a first North Somerset League win of the season.

Kian Ware celebrates his second half century of the weekend

Kian, was wicketkeeper for Barrow 2nds on Saturday in their game against Mells 1sts and took a difficult catch behind the stumps as Mells put on 227-7 at Hobbs Lane, Adam Brace (2/26), Simon Hudson (2/45) and Leo Brace (2/42) bowled well to restrict the opposition scoring. In reply, Barrow relied heavily on Ware’s powerful striking as he added 4 sixes to 5 fours, including reaching his 50 by clearing the ropes. The game was in the balance until his dismissal, but Barrow fell 33 runs short as the team still waits for its first win.

On Sunday at Hobbs Lane, Bath Exiles came up against Ware the bowler whose 8 overs (1/24) showed his all round abilities. The Exiles started quickly with Brian O’Calaghan making a fine 81, but they were later pegged back by excellent slow bowling from Frank Forge (2/24) and 2 brilliant run outs from boundary fielders, one by Frank, and another by Rod Reeves. Chasing 190 to win, Barrow lost both their openers for 52 before Ware entered the stage once again, with a display of clean hitting he struck 11 boundaries and 2 sixes, including one to reach his half century for the second day running. He found good support from 71-year-old Rod Reeves (29 not out) who took Barrow to victory after Ware had been bowled.

Rod Reeves’ 29 not out brought the Sunday XI to a first win.

Unfortunately for Barrow Firsts, they came up against a very strong Winterbourne A side who amassed 291-3 after being put into bat. Some bad luck with aerial shots going not going to hand, and some poor fielding on a fast outfield did not help the cause. Winterbourne then bowled equally as well, as the Barrow side, missing some key players, could only manage 92 in reply and scored only 1 point in a disappointing showing after last week’s highpoint. The team will hope to bounce back from this disappointment next week against Abbots Leigh.

Barrow Hit The Top With All Round Performance

Barrow Gurney charged to the top of B&D Division 5 with an emphatic maximum point win against, previously unbeaten, Bath 4ths at Hobbs Lane on Saturday. Unfortunately, the 2s and 3s lost at Patchway and Bristol Bangladeshis respectively.

Ellie Holdaway ensure a good foundation to Barrow’s innings as she scored 46.

At Hobbs Lane a lost toss resulted in Barrow batting first for the first time this season.

Barrow opened up with a new look opening partnership in Guy Fisher and Bernie Forge. Bath had very accurate opening bowlers and they were rewarded with the wicket of Bernie early on. This brought Ellie Holdaway to the crease to join Guy at which point they set out trying to set a good platform and did a stellar job of it putting on 55 for the second wicket. Guy played very sensibly putting away his flashier shots and knuckling down just as the team needed until getting out for 31 trying to boost the run rate.

This brought the long-anticipated return of Jon Hood who looked to push for quick singles while trying to push the run rate along with Ellie playing the anchor role. Ellie played a brilliant knock at a perfect pace for a number 3 and was fully deserving of a maiden first team 50. Unfortunately, it was not to be, but she scored a very good 46 nonetheless. On her departure Barrow were 131-4 so there was plenty of work to do to get a decent score. Jonny Sykes and Benura Umanga took this in their stride with Benura getting 50 off 35 balls and Jonny 33 off 18 with some monstrous six hitting. Mark Fisher (18) and Premil Fernando (15 not out) then finished the innings off nicely with a few big hits of their own as Barrow reached a score of 257-8. Another top team batting performance.

Benura Umanga hit 50 off 35 balls with 5 sixes

Mark Fisher and Kieran Owen opened the bowling and put the pressure on the Bath batsman immediately allowing them to score at 3 an over after the first 10 overs. Kieran (1/9) also picked up a wicket early caught behind safely by Bernie Forge with a cracking ball. Bath then put on a decent partnership before Premil Fernando managed to get one through the defences of the Bath number three trapping him LBW. In at 4 was Vik Prasher who had scored a hundred a week before and in rapid time too, so he was a key wicket. Enter Ed Holdaway who managed to pick up the wicket of the opener Beth Howe (35) and Prasher (32) in quick succession putting Barrow right on top. Ed picked up a further 2 and was well supported by Benura keeping it tight at the other end. Ed bowled with unexpected pace after his injury and with great control.  

With Bath looking too far behind to beat the Barrow score, the push for as many bowling bonus points as possible was on. The returning Jon Hood then got his first wicket caught well by Jonny Sykes at deep midwicket.  He soon took another bowled with a lovely slower ball. As Bath got over 200 with 8 wickets down, Barrow tried to take the final bonus point. Guy bowling a good over with no luck, so Barrow then entered the final over still needing 2 wickets for max points and they managed it with a Premil direct hit run out and a lovely floaty long hop caught at square leg off Frank Forge’s bowling.

Ed Holdaway’ s 4/29 proved decisive.

Frank said afterwards: “It was an almost perfect performance with the bat, ball and in the field. As you can see from my report all 11 players were mentioned in what was a true team performance. My Player of the Match would be Ed Holdaway for taking two important wickets and finishing with figures of 9-3-29-4. Honourable mentions go  to Ellie and Benura who also played big roles in the win.”

Ben Skuse top-scored for the 2s with 58.

At Scott Park, Patchway Barrow 2s made 180-7 in their 40 overs thanks to a good partnership between Ben Skuse (58) and Pete Holdaway (41), Nick Heal (24) added some useful late order runs. Patchway though plotted their way to a comfortable win with 3 overs to spare as all their top-order made a contribution. Simon Hudson was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 26.

On Sunday, Barrow travelled to Oldbury Court to play Bristol Bangladeshis. Losing the toss Barrow were faced with bowling with a wet ball on an unpredictable pitch. Captain Numani hit a powerful 115 and found support from Khan (73) as Barrow struggled in the field, the home side amassing 272-7. 15-year olds, Isaac Todman (3/50) and Ben Thorne behind the stumps (1 catch, 1 stumping) were outstanding.

Guy Fisher added a wicket to his 88 runs at Oldbury Court

Barrow’s reply was once again spearheaded by Guy Fisher (88) who played a flawless innings and seemed destined for another hundred. But the rest of team struggled as the pitch lost much of its bounce with the old ball, and Barrow faded to 184 all out.

Barrow Bowlers Dominate In Season’s First Win

Barrow Gurney First XI chalked up their first win of the season in emphatic style against Chew Magna. Meanwhile the 2nds competed well at times but ended up on the losing side against Old Park, and the Sunday team were frustrated by a late concession by their opposition.

Player of the match Premil Fernando dismisses a Chew batsman on his way to taking 3 for 13

It was a much sunnier and brighter day as Barrow Firsts arrived at the scenic Chew Court for their game against Chew Magna 2s. Frank Forge won his first league toss of the season and decided to put Chew in.

Mark Fisher and Matt Owen opened and bowled with machine-like accuracy putting the ball on a length outside off relentlessly, resulting in several plays and misses. Eventually Mark (1/19)  picked up the first wicket, bowling the Chew opener and Matt (also 1/19) getting the second, a nick off to Bernie Forge behind the stumps.

Premil Fernando, on his first game back with Barrow then bowled in partnership with Frank (2/25)  and the scoring continued at a very slow rate. Premil bowled very well hitting the pitch and bowling with great control. At drinks, the team hadn’t conceded a boundary. A floaty off-spinning full toss that got cracked over the road soon put paid to that but all in all Barrow continued with amazing control.

Kieran Owen came on and again continued the squeeze. Bernie seeing a Chew batsman batting outside his crease decided to stand up and took a good stumping off Kieran. Kieran took a wicket with the very next ball nicked off again with Bernie catching it safely, overall Kieran’s figures were 3/27. Premil (3/13) got the final wicket (of the opener Richard Gattan who had batted doggedly throughout the innings for 39) as Barrow bowled Chew out for 109 off of 43 overs.

Frank said afterwards “One big positive this week was how everyone fielded and backed up the accurate bowling which really helped in keeping the run rate so low. A special mention to Guy Fisher who had several good stops at point.”

Ellie Holdaway and Bernie Forge saw Barrow home.

After tea, Phil Milton and Bernie Forge opened up, and after their hundred partnership last week, they followed it up with a 50 partnership. Phil looked in great form hitting 3 big sixes over the road and looking like he wanted the game over quickly. He was out for a quick-fire 41 at which point Bernie and Ellie Holdaway joined in the first all-female partnership in Barrow’s first team history. They continued scoring at a good run rate without ever looking in trouble as Barrow cruised to the target with only 15.5 overs bowled, Bernie finishing on 26 not out and Ellie 18 not out.

The win propels Barrow to third place in Division 5 at this early stage of the season.

When the 2s arrived at a much warmer Hobbs Lane for this week’s game, they were pleased to find that the new covers had already done a great job in leaving the pitch in good condition despite the torrential rain we had in mid-week. Mike Lilley lost the toss and Barrow found themselves in the field.

Paul Gard and Pete Rooney opened up and again bowled well without any luck, some deliveries being unplayable and far too good to induce a nick at club level, in addition there were a few slashes through wide slip and at least one very close LBW shout but the breakthrough didn’t come and Old Park passed 50 without loss.

Adam Brace had the best figures for the seconds of 2/22 and took a brilliant caught and bowled (Library picture)

Adam Brace entered the fray and in his customary way duly picked up a wicket in his opening over as  Old Park reached 80-1 at drinks and looking well placed to accelerate to a 200 plus total. Pasidu Eros (1/31) picked up a wicket  with Mark Gracey taking the catch and he bowled well and was energetic in the field sweeping on the boundary for much of the game.

Overall the bowling was much better this week but the fielding was on a different level altogether as epitomised by two truly outstanding moments. Firstly, from Chairman Pete Holdaway who, fielding in the covers, picked up the ball and threw down the stumps at the bowlers end to run out the opposition captain going for a quick single. Then Adam held onto a spectacular one-handed return catch from a firmly struck drive that appeared to be past him before he somehow got a mitt to it, this gave him the best bowling figures on the day of 2/22). Steve Owen (1/41) also charged in manfully up the hill to deliver 8 overs straight through at the death and gave very little to hit whilst bowling a few away swinging pearlers. Old Park closed on 190 -6 after 40 which perhaps was a few less than they had hoped for.

As Barrow went out to bat Pete Holdaway stepped up to open with Ali Hood after Ellie’s promotion to the first team. At drinks Barrow had made 85-2, losing both Ali (30) and Pete(12) but were probably slight favourites at this stage. Shortly after Gracey fell to a run out, it was a tight one and the fielder did well but it was definitely an untimely dismissal and was unfortunately followed, as so often it seems,  with a second wicket in the over when Eros nicked one and was superbly caught in the slips.

Roger Finnimore top-scored for Barrow with 44 (Library picture)

Roger Finnimore, without being at his fluent best, was digging in and it always felt that Barrow were just one decent partnership away from making a real go of the chase but it never quite happened and the run rate started to climb.  Eventually Barrow ended up 38 runs short with Roger top scoring on 44, so picking up 6 bonus batting and bowling points and still looking for a maiden win for the season at Patchway next week.

Beautiful weather and the warmest day of the month so far added to the frustration of the Sunday team as opposition Lympsham and Belvedere could not muster a team, but it was promising that so many players took on the opportunity of an impromptu net session.