The sun shone on Hobbs Lane as BGCC’s newest team, the Sunday 3rd XI began its season in the North Somerset Conference against Pak Bristolians Sunday 2nds. The team was mixture of youth and experience.
Winning the toss, Captain, Mark Forge decided to bat. Pak Bristolians’ bowlers swung the ball prodigiously but struggled for control, bowling 33 wides in all. After 6 overs with little to trouble the batsmen, Mark was caught in front LBW.
Bernie Forge however was determined to push the score along, steering the wide ones to third man, and when she got a straight one caressing it to the boundary with a beautiful straight drive. Meanwhile Guy Fisher took some time to get off the mark, and losing Bernie for 21 to one which kept low, Guy probably got the ball of the day which pitched outside off and nipped back to hit the top of middle. Mark Gracey hit 3 quick boundaries before playing on but at drinks Barrow looked to be struggling to set a competitive total. Enter Mark Fisher batting at 5. Looking the only batsman comfortable against the dangerous Adil (who accounted for his brother) he quickly moved the scoring along and hit the shot of the day clipping the ball effortlessly over the scoreboard for 6. Steve Owen got another good one from Adil, but when Mark (for 43) and Adam Brace got out in quick succession it looked as though Barrow were heading for a total of 130 or so. However a sprightly partnership between Rod Reeves and Oscar Livesey brought Barrow to a total of 168-7 off 40 overs. Rod (18 not out) was effective with his inimitable deflections and surprising speed between the wickets. Oscar meanwhile played some exquisite shots in making his 15 unbeaten at the close.
After tea, Barrow set about defending a total that was probably 30 short of what was needed. Mark Fisher bowled with good pace and little luck, whilst Steve Owen continued where he left off on Saturday bowling a nagging length and doing a bit with the old ball.
Noticing that the opener seemed to be playing defensively with firm hands, the skipper moved from slip to silly mid-on and took a sharp chance a few balls later. Meanwhile Mark Fisher took the wicket of the more aggressive opener thanks to a sensational catch by Oscar diving full length to his right at midwicket and taking the ball when it seemed to have passed him. With Steve Owen adding another wicket and Oscar himself getting one in his first over, Pak Bristolians were struggling. However the 5th wicket pair put on a good partnership, finding it hard at first but becoming increasingly more fluent. Benefitting from a couple of dropped catches, one not much easier than Oscar had taken earlier, the score moved inexorably along and despite the best efforts of Oscar and Leo Brace, it became clear that only quick wickets would turn the game around.
Guy Fisher, like his brother, bowled with pace and spirit and yorked the opposition skipper with a beauty just shy of his fifty. Bringing Mark Fisher and Steve O back to try and break the 6th wicket partnership was Barrow’s final gambit but they lost by 5 wickets with 8 overs to spare.