2018 First Team Captain Phil Milton reflects on the 2018 season:
Barrow Gurney CC 1st XI began the season away to Bath 4’s and started with a fantastic win thanks to the late hitting of Matt Owen taking us to 237-9, Oscar Livesey then was the pick of the bowlers picking up 4 wickets giving us our first win of the season, Unfortunately we then went on a poor run losing to Bristol 3’s, Bristol Lions, PR Royals and Bedminster 3’s in successive weeks. Despite playing much better against Shirehampton we unfortunately lost on the last ball when we had the match seemingly won, the captain missing a run out to win the game for us from the penultimate ball!
However, we then went on a winning run defeating Woodpeckers, Bristol Civil Service and Abbotts Leigh, all in convincing victories, with notable performance from Mark Brown 50 and 94, Ed Holdaway 78 and 5-18 and James Riley 5-15. At that point we were probably safe in the league and began to look up rather than down.
Unfortunately, we then went on another losing run as we slipped to defeat against Bath (a game we should have won), to Lions (who we could have beaten but for an important dropped catch), PR Royals (who we would have beaten if it wasn’t for the rain) and Bristol (despite a brilliant 112 from Ed).
The final part of the season ended in abandonment against Shirehampton due to the rain, a cancellation to Woodpeckers due to their lack of players before convincing victories against Bristol Civil Service and Abbotts Leigh (that contained back to back 5 wicket hauls for Frank Forge and a 76 for Skipper Phil Milton) finished the season on a high.
A 6th placed finish for Barrow was probably about right considering the team’s inconsistency but it could easily have been 4th, even 3rd, if we had got over the line in a few of the close games and had taken our catches. This was an extremely positive season in so many ways with so many young players making their mark on games, often in winning causes. The average age of the team in the low 20’s with the Skipper often being the oldest player in the team by nearly 10 years! It’ll be important next year to build upon this increasing experience and keep the improvements going.
1st team player of the year this year was Frank Forge for his 21 wickets, including 2 5fers. His cricket has come on again this year including his fielding. Well done Frank.
Finally, I would like to say thank you…. To Pete Holdaway and his team for the superb wickets this season, to all of the Ground Staff for their work on the pavilion and ground, to Jane Holdaway and Debbie Forge for the assistance with scoring, to Mark Forge for umpiring, to Ellie Holdaway and Mark Gracey for allowing me to take your players from the 2nd team far too often and to everyone for supporting and playing. 26 players were used this season including 1st team debutant Leo Brace which is fantastic in many ways but undoubtably it would benefit both the 1st and 2nd team if availability was better and players available more consistently.
Stats – 1st XI League games 2018
Runs: Phil Milton (320), Ed Holdaway (266), James Riley (225) and Guy Fisher (219)
Wickets: James Riley (25), Frank Forge (21), Ed Holdaway (18) and Mark Fisher (17)