Following last week’s disappointing loss to Pakistani Express (see below) Barrow Gurney needed to get the season up and running against St Mary Redcliffe, the team that went all of last season unbeaten and had won their opener this season. Unfortunately Barrow lost the toss again, which seems to be becoming a bit of a habit, and Barrow were duly put into bat. Ali Hood and Sam Turner opened up, Ali the first to go LBW, which even he agreed with, for 14; Sam next caught for 7. Mick Hardy walked after feathering one to the keeper to leave Barrow reeling at 26-3. Nick Moore and James Mitchell went about the rebuilding process picking up singles, rotating the strike, punishing bad balls and slowly building the score. This was a brilliant partnership and was just what was needed at the time. Nick went for an increasingly fluent 76 and Redcliffe probably now regret dropping him at least twice. Phil Milton was bowled around his legs by the leggie for 5 and Mark Brown ran himself out after hitting it straight at the fielder; at this point the momentum seemed to be shifting back to Redcliffe. However, James Mitchell began to open up before going for a brilliant 67 and some big hitting from Paul Glazzard (36*) helped take Barrow to 227-9 from the 45 overs.
Before Barrow went out to field Phil reminded everyone of the need to be ‘on it’ from ball one and show the same energy in the field as Redcliffe had done. This was duly delivered.
James Riley and Paul Glazzard opened up and both of them hit the right lines and lengths from ball one; Riley bowling the opener with a beauty and Nick taking a skyer from Glaz. Runs were at a premium and wickets fell regularly. At drinks Redcliffe had no more than 50 on the board and were 4 or 5 down. Glaz bowled straight through for figures of 12-1-31-2, a fantastic performance. Rob Fig then picked up where he left off last week bowling some searing yorkers with plenty of control, finishing 9-3-34-2 including a one-handed diving catch by the keeper. Mick and Riley cleaned up the tail, Mick picking up 2 wickets. However, Riley was undoubtedly the star of the show finishing 11-6-9-4 (including 3 wides!). These brilliant bowling performances were backed up with some brilliant fielding, notable contributions from Glaz, Browner, Sam, Ben Skuse and Nick, just as the captain had asked for.
In week one of the season Barrow were up against Pakistani Express. The match began 15 minutes late, in drizzle, with a somewhat reluctant Sam Turner and Ali Hood opening on a wicket that seemed to be in need of more preparation and against some erratic bowling and some wild bounce. Ali was the first to go for 2 to a sharp catch with the score on 24. Nick Moore went soon after for 4 followed by Sam (15) leaving Barrow 48-3. New player James Mitchell and Mick Hardy set about rebuilding before James went for 20. Mick fell for 40, Paul Glaz went for 0 and Ben Skuse for 7. Captain, Phil Milton, was out for 43 in the 42nd over, unfortunately the tail didn’t wag and Barrow were all out for 177 inside of 43 overs.
James Riley and Glaz opened up, Riley picking up the opener third over. Rob Figs replaced Glaz and picked one up first ball, bowling with real pace and hostility. Wickets fell relatively regularly leaving the Express 80-6. Unfortunately Rob had to go off after two full tosses having picked up 4 wickets but Barrow were still confident that one more wicket would probably finish the game; unfortunately it proved to be elusive with the ball falling into gaps or just short of fielders several times. Shahid finished with 69* playing some unorthodox shots showing the difference between division 2 and 3 is that teams bat that bit further down the order and the change bowlers are that bit better too.