In a mixed weekend of friendly cricket, Barrow Gurney found themselves making similar totals on both Saturday and Sunday and coming out with different results on each day.
On a decidedly chilly Saturday, regular visitors, Treasury Valuers put Barrow into bat and the home side cruised to 35 for no wicket when Bernie Forge was brilliantly caught one-handed on the boundary off what seemed like a certain six. Guy Fisher and Ed Holdaway then put on 70, with Guy going on to yet another half century but both perished with mishit shots into the outfield, Guy for 54 and Ed for 28. An enjoyable cameo from Frank Forge (17) including reverse sweeps and ramp shots then set the tone for some rather cavalier batting from the middle and lower order, which aided by some good catching put the Valuers on top as Barrow were dismissed for a disappointing 184.
In reply a 94-run partnership between Clarkson (57) and Gary Worgan (55) put the visitors in a strong position and although Frank Forge took 2/31 they eased to their target with the loss of only 5 wickets.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny autumn day as Barrow played an Axbridge side who have won the last two encounters. Both teams fielded a 12 player team and agreed that they would play an 11 wicket match. Barrow won the toss and elected to bat.
Barrow opened with the rarity of the Fisher twins eagerly ready to put on a big partnership, sadly that didn’t happen as Guy went early for 4 to a ball he would normally hit for an easy boundary. Then followed steady partnerships of 34 from Mark Fisher and Bernie Forge and then 69 from Mark Gracey with Bernie. A brief cameo from skipper, Colin Fletcher got Barrow to 144 – 4 with 10 overs remaining, and with strong first team ‘finishers’ to come 220 plus was a possible target. Sadly, in a case of ‘deja vu’ from the previous day Barrow limped to 183 -9. Bernie starred with a classy 68 and the knocks from Gracey (34) and Mark Fisher with 27 being the major contributors to the score.
Axbridge started quickly out of the blocks and despite some decent bowling from Leo Brace and Dan Tallamy they raced to 90 for no wicket. Frankly, at that stage the Barrow team had been flat and their fielding was poor, which included giving away 8 overthrow runs.
Then Bernie took a brilliant leg side stumping off Dave Smith to dismiss Axbridge’s fast scoring opener Liam Stiles for 44, and suddenly, as Colin said, “it was like captaining a different team”. Connor Jones bowling with some venom dismissed the other opener, Oscar Livesey got a wicket with his first ball and in an instant Axbridge were astonishingly 90 – 4 and then 108- 8. Despite a very quick 41 from Packham who remained not out the visitors were eventually dismissed for 158 for 11wickets. Barrow’s captain Colin Fletcher said “It just goes to show that you never give up in this game one wicket can lead to 2 or 3 and panic can set in. It was a tremendous fight back from what seemed a precarious situation with some good catches (Dan Tallamy’s being the pick) and outstanding bowling from Connor Jones 3-19, Oscar Livesey 3-12 and Mark Fisher 3-4. Another good team effort.”.
Barrow finish their season next weekend with the visit of Charlton Super Kings on Saturday and Bedminster on Sunday.