The 2nd XI game on Saturday was a game that swung this way and that way without hinting who would prevail between Barrow Gurney and Old Bristolians 4ths. Barrow had the worst start imaginable after Ellie Holdaway lost the toss and Barrow were put in to bat with the captain, Bernie Forge and Roger Finnimore all falling within the first few overs. Barrow were 4 for 3 and certain team members who shall remain nameless began scouring weather forecasts praying for rain! However, all was not lost! Frank Forge and Mark Gracey came to the crease and grafted Barrow back in to their innings. Gracey fell for a well fought 19 while Frank carried on to get a deserved 36. Although they may not have seemed such heroic scores, at that time in the game if either of them had fallen it may have led to a total batting collapse and their stand helped Barrow to regain stability at an essential time.
At Gracey’s dismissal Jordan Allen came to the crease and later Frank was replaced by Jonny and suddenly the runs were coming thick and fast. Jordan looked in fine form while driving the bowlers all over the field and Jonny joined in with some massive windscreen smashing sixes! Jordan and Jonny scored 46 and 54 respectively before Jonny ran Jordan out and was then dismissed himself after going for one too many 6’s. After this injection of pace Kieran Owen, Oscar Livesey, Paul Gard and Mike Lilley all contributed with some late runs and Barrow posted a very respectable score of 209. This represented a massive triumph compared to what was feared at 4-3.
After tea Barrow came out keen to defend their score and aim for a second win of the season. Old Bristolians opened with a very accomplished 13-year-old batsman, Ewan Yates, who looked like he would pop up in the county set up in years to come. His shot selection and composure meant he was able to score quickly and Old B’s had overtaken Barrow’s run rate in no time! Gard struck with the first wicket and dispatched the other opener for 14, one of two catches for keeper Bernie but the youngster continued on regardless. Once again the game had swung in Old B’s favour and it was all Barrow could do to try and limit the scoring. This is before Oscar Livesey joined the attack. His bowling was the most consistent it has been, scoring stopped and he quickly took 3 wickets, including the superb young opening bat. Oscar bowled a superb spell supported by Gardy and Jonny Sykes at the other end and ended up on figures of 8 overs, 3 maidens, 3 for 21, which was vital at this stage in the game. This meant Barrow were back on top of the game. The run rate was slipping further and after a direct hit from Roger Finnimore and some quick thinking from Bernie pulling a stump out from a broken wicket contributed to two run outs, Barrow were firmly in to the tail end. Frank Forge took the 9th wicket courtesy of a brilliant one-handed catch from Gardy and Ellie came on to take the final wicket for another maximum points win.
Headline picture – celebrating Paul Gard’s amazing catch.