Rain Brings Mixed Blessings For Barrow Teams

The weather intervened in all the matches this weekend. Barrow Firsts possibly welcomed the heavy rain that arrived during tea whilst they were pondering the prospect of chasing a massive 358 set by West United.

The Seconds were less welcoming of the elements having posted 243, with Will Kerswell hitting another half century supported by 44 from Jordan Allen, and with St Mary Redcliffe already one wicket down when the rain came. Promotion now hinges on the final league game against Division Champions Patchway.

The Sunday XI, scheduled to play the Treasury Valuers, once again suffered a complete washout.


Final Over Thriller For Sunday XI

Having watched most of the first team game on Saturday, surely the Sunday fixture at Winscombe could not match it for run-scoring and excitement. Well the runs scored were a couple of hundred lower but the game produced some excellent cricket and plenty of excitement…

Winning the toss Mark Forge put Winscombe in on a dry pitch with a few green tinges. Opening up Clough made a breezy 18 including a straight 6 off Matt Owen who got his revenge with an inswinging yorker in the same over. 23 for 1 became 23 for 2 as the other opener was run out for a duck as Steve Owen threw in and Bernie Forge tidied up behind the stumps. The innings then belonged to a young and stylish left-hander called Hall, who played nicely off his hip for countless runs and was powerful over mid-wicket. Runs came steadily despite accurate spells by James Halladay and Frank Forge, but the middle overs were a tale of increasing frustration for the hapless Oscar Livesey who saw 4 or 5 catches dropped in his spell only to find that each time he was then despatched by the lucky player to the fence. Hall benefitted from at least two of these as he moved on to 76, before holing out to the skipper (making amends for tipping an earlier effort “over the bar’); and, with support from the middle order took the total to 187 for 7. Nick Heal (2/31 off 8) and Steve Owen (2/22 off 4) had the best figures.

Rod Reeves opened up with Bernie. The first ten overs saw Barrow to only 26 for 0 off 10. As Bernie started to see more of the strike the run rate increased a bit to 69 for 0 at drinks. Rod fell for 28 inevitably to Hall who was now showing a good bowling action to add to his batting technique. Oscar played one lovely leg glance for 4 but skied one to the keeper, 100 for 2 and 88 needed off 12. Frank then joined his sister and, in a busy partnership of 39, the innings finally gained momentum. Bernie was hitting powerfully straight and despatching anything short, Frank guiding the ball into gaps. Putting the fielders under pressure, the running was a bit frenetic as Frank had to deploy a couple of full length dives to make his ground. He fell for 14 bowled by a spinner from Clough who previously had been bowling with a lively pace. 139 for 2 quickly became 146 for 5, as Bernie was finally run out for her highest score of 61, until Steve Owen (18) found good support from Nick Heal (14), Steve hitting one enormous 6 clearing the longest boundary by 20 yards. Nick employed the short-arm jab to good effect even managing to get a half volley away through square leg. Nick though tried once too often and fell LBW with 6 still needed for victory.

Enter the skipper in unfamiliar territory, batting 9 in a run chase; still Steve was surely going to see Barrow home. The final over began with only 3 needed and Mark Forge took a single to give Steve the glory, but Steve then he inexplicably played down the wrong line and was bowled. Last man Pete Halladay strode out into the fray, only 1 to tie. Instructions were given to “get something on it and run like hell”, but the skipper had not bargained for Pete creaming it to short mid on and charging down the wicket but the keeper failed to gather and broke the wicket without the ball, with Mark well short. Scores level 2 balls to come.

Thinking a tie was probably a fair result, a misfield by cover point left Mark no option but to take the winning run with 1 ball to spare.

Magnificent Brown Ton Sets Up Win Over Woodpeckers

The dozen or so spectators on Saturday witnessed one of the best Barrow First Team run chases in recent years.  Losing the toss, second bottom team Woodpeckers, decided to bat first but got off to a horror start when James Riley bowled their opener Tim Britton, the destroyer of many Barrow attacks down the years, first ball of the match with a peach. If Barrow thought they were in for an easy game, however, they were wrong as, unperturbed, the Woodpeckers batsmen came at Riley and Paul Glazzard before Griffiths gave his wicket away to Glazzard with the score on 25.  The skipper Worgan and the keeper Curtis put on a partnership of 157 only giving a couple of chances along the way; one a tough caught behind following a slash and the other a dolly that Riley dropped, Riley however regained his composure to run out Worgan going for a suicidal second having scored 74.  At this point, following some words at drinks, Barrow got a grip of the scoring rate and got some control back by bowling one side of the wicket, bowling dots and upping the fielding, Glazzard finally got Curtis LBW for a chanceless 81.  Barrow were still looking at a big score to chase but some tighter bowling in the last 15 kept the score down to 275-8 from the 45.  Glazzard finished with another 5 for ending 12-1-65-5, credit also to Kieran Owen who bowled well at a very difficult time and Riley who bowled a good spell at the death. Oscar Livesey, making his second appearance for the first team this season, also deserves a mention for some fantastic fielding in the deep field saving at least 20 runs sweeping the boundary edges.

So to the Barrow innings, Sam Turner and Mark Brown opened the batting knowing they needed to score at a run a ball for the full 45 to get for the victory but found the going tough as some tight straight bowling in the first 10 left Barrow on about 35.  Playing his last game of the season Sam was first to go caught trying to up the scoring with the score on 52.  This brought number 3 Nick Moore to the crease, he and Brown slowly began to up the run rate with Brown moving past 50 before Nick departed for a well crafted 40 from 42 balls with the score now on 167.  Brown, batting as well as anyone has ever seen him, showed what a good player he is, bringing up his thrilling ton, before falling to a catch on the boundary,  finishing on 103 from 96 with seven 6’s .


The run rate needed however was, still, about 10 an over when Mick Hardy fell on 189-4. At this point Phil Milton and James Mitchell decided to go for it, Milton hitting his first ball for 4, one over went for 25 and all of a sudden Barrow were back to to a run a ball needed.  Milton went after a quick fire 23 from 12 balls and James went, run out for 48 from 44, leaving Glazzard and Ed Holdaway to knock off the winning runs in the last over to complete a thrilling win with 4 balls left.

Overall an absolutely fantastic game with contributions from all over the team. Despite the win however Barrow are still 6th in the table as teams above them won too; just 17 points separate 2nd and 6th.

Barrow Seconds Consolidate Promotion Hopes

Last Saturday Barrow Gurney Second XI played Twyford House, a team who, despite being near the bottom of the table, had won 7 of their last 9 games. Of the 2 they didn’t win, one game was abandoned and the other they lost against top of the table Patchway.

Mark Gracey lost the toss and was put into bat by Twyford’s stand in skipper. The runs were fairly hard to come by on a very slow outfield but after 20 overs, it was looking like a score of around 150 would have been very good, but after some quick scoring by Jonny Sykes (52) and Paul Glazzard (33no) building on Will Kerswell’s hard fought 39, Barrow ended up setting Twyford House a score of 216 for the win.

Twyford House started impressively with M Carol deciding the best way to combat the slow outfield was to hit the ball over the top. Roger Finnimore dropped him on the boundary when he was on around 35 before Frank Forge took the key catch later on off Mike Lilley’s bowling for 67. With Carol out Twyford struggled as the remaining wickets fell at fairly regular intervals with the exception of the solid Kevin Blake who batted for most of the innings for 41. There were a few dropped catches which would and should have finished the game earlier.

After 40 overs, Twyford House could only score 146 for 8 with the wickets shared 2-a-piece by Kieran Owen, Ellie Holdaway, Mike Lilley and Will Kerswell. Special mention should also go to Barrow’s stand in keeper, James Riley, who only gave away only 1 bye.

This 29 point win (out of a maximum 30) keeps Barrow nicely in promotion contention with 3 games to go. Next week they face a trip to bottom of the table Stoke Gifford.

Rain Curtails Sunday Team’s Charge At Allerton

The Sunday XI arrived at the picturesque Allerton ground looking forward to another good game against an Axbridge side which triumphed at Hobbs Lane earlier in the season.

Winning the toss captain Mark Forge decided to bowl first in the muggy overcast conditions, with the forecast that the sun was to break through after tea (of which more later!).

Taking the new ball the Owens, Kieran and Steve, bowled well with Kieran taking an early wicket aided by Rod Reeves with a decisive call and catch at mid off. The dangerman Packham scored freely surviving an outside edge, which Bernie Forge got a fingertip to, and a mishit to mid on to almost make a 50. Pick of the bowlers was James Halladay who was swinging the ball prodigiously, aided perhaps by the stud marks on the ball imparted by the skipper attempting to field an earlier delivery, and finding the slope also helping his outswing. James ultimately accounted for Packham caught by Frank Forge and the Axbridge skipper, Stiles, who made 37 who was LBW. James finished with the best figures 2/28 off 7.5 overs. Oscar Livesey, although not perhaps at his best, bowled with flight and spin which troubled the middle order and he took 2/31 off his eight, he also fielded one off his own bowling for a run out. Kieran took 2/38 off 8.

Adam Brace (0/9) made his debut as a bowler and kept things tight getting some seam movement off a couple of paces but on the first ball of his fifth over he took a hard drive on the ankle off his own bowling and had to retire for treatment, son Leo thereafter providing enthusiastic cover in the field. By this stage Bernie had relinquished the gloves due to feeling dehydrated in the muggy atmosphere and brother Frank took over letting through only 2 byes in 23 overs, whilst Bernie returned to bowl a couple of overs herself.

Axbridge finished 182-7, a fair total to chase after tea.

The promised sun did not, however, arrive and as the sky darkened, and Brent Knoll disappeared ominously in the gloom, the rain started to fall. Davis had time to conclude an 8 over spell taking 1 for 4 with 5 maidens, but after 19 overs the rain was too heavy to continue. Barrow were 56 for 1, with opener Rod Reeves 15 not out and ready, in his words, to explode and advance the scoring rate towards the target, Steve Owen remained 17 not out.

Sterling work was done by Melissa Owen who acted as scorer for much of the game.

The game was played in a good, and at times jocular, spirit but that did not detract from the competitive nature of the cricket. Afterwards the Barrow captain received a kind text from the Axbridge skipper praising the spirit in which the game was played and complimenting the Barrow team for their promise. Barrow look forward to playing the fixtures again next year.

Junior Fun Day A “Fantastic Success” In Drawing In Young Cricketers

Last Wednesday Barrow Gurney Cricket Club held its first Junior Open Day, it was led by First Team Captain Phil Milton who called it a “fantastic success”.   Twenty 7-11 year olds came to the day; some were already members of the junior section but half were brand new to the club. The morning session had the group divided into three groups working on batting, bowling and fielding in turn; each group was led by Barrow Gurney players and coaches with the aim to teach and develop skills in 30 minutes slots.  The sessions focused on fun enjoyable games and drills as the youngsters looked to develop the basics of cricket.

After a fun and energetic morning a fantastic cricket tea was provided during the lunch break by Jane and Pete Holdaway.

The afternoon session focused on games and the group was divided into two, based upon age and experience.  Both groups tried to put onto practice what they had learnt in the morning session whilst playing pairs cricket over two innings.  The standard was really impressive and the youngsters had a great time.

After an energetic day the day finished with a cricket themed quiz and prizes.

The youngsters will now be offered the opportunity of winter training to develop their skills further, and we hope that many will want to play for Barrow’s Under 11 and Under 13 teams next season.

A massive thank you to all of the helpers on the day: James Mitchell, Will Kerswell, Jonny Sykes, Ed Jones, Dan Jones, Frank Forge and Dennis Atkins.

Fisher Ignites To Help Barrow Beat Blue Flame

Blue Flame were the visitors to Hobbs Lane on Sunday on a warm afternoon. Winning the toss their skipper put Barrow into bat on the same track which had seen over 450 runs made on it the day before.

Losing a wicket in the first over is never ideal, but Blue Flame’s opening bowler, Poole, struck with a yorker leaving Frank Forge without the desired batting practice. His father then joined James Riley and both found Mr Poole quite a handful, bowling with sharp pace and disconcerting bounce from back of a length. After one driven four off the paceman James scored more freely at the other end but Poole soon bowled him for 17 with one which ran down the slope. By that time Mark Forge had already been granted a let off attempting to run a single to fine leg.. As far as scoring was concerned then that was it off Poole who bowled 6 straight maidens (finishing with 2/5 off 8) as Jordan Allen joined his skipper and attempted to rebuild.

At about 60 Mark fell LBW for 16 hit flush on the foot. Jordan, though was playing nicely, hitting a 6 over the Village End and relishing the challenge of facing his uncle who plays in the Blue Flame side. He found good support from Denis Atkins (15) before falling for 49. Steve Allen (17) then hit some powerful leg-side shots, as did Nick Heal (14,) and James Halladay (21 not out) guided Barrow home to 177 at the closure of the innings. A little cameo from Adam Brace (2 not out) was notable for two graceful offside pushes, and son Leo reminding him from the boundary to slide his bat in as he ran his first single!

As we went out to field we were greeted with the familiar sight of Rod Reeves opening the batting for Blue Flame. After Mark Fisher had dismissed the other opener to his second successive nick behind to the keeper (Riley), Barrow unveiled an unlikely secret weapon – the long hop. As 4 successive wickets fell to balls that should have been despatched for 4. Rod was bowled trying to pull one which kept low, while Guy Fisher and James Halladay both had theirs drilled back at them for caught and bowleds.

Pinkney proved to be the dangerman making 67, hitting 2 sixes, he found good support from Stamp, who despite Jordan’s best attempts to dismiss his uncle, proceeded serenely to 38, the pair looking likely to take Blue Flame home. At that point Guy Fisher came back, and bowling full and straight in an inspired spell of bowling he took the last 4 wickets in a four over spell (5 for 12 off 7 in all) before James Halladay brought proceedings to a close with Frank’s assistance in the ring.

An enjoyable game, Barrow winning by 22 runs, and no need to vote a man of the match!

Barrow Firsts Back To Winning Ways

After two disappointing losses to Failand & Portbury and Long Ashton, Barrow Gurney 1st Team faced bottom of the league, Bristol Sri Lankans, with a chance to get the season back on track.  Arriving at the Fry’s Club Barrow were pleased to again find that we had neutral umpires and the team was even happier when Phil Milton won the toss and decided to put the Sri Lankans in.  James Riley and Paul Glazzard were back to their best and did their usual job of both containing and taking regular wickets, Glaz aided by LBW decisions and Riley bowling straight and full.  The Sri Lankans were 33-5 at which point Mark Brown and young gun, Kieran Owen, continued the good work of the openers as they too took wickets reducing the opposition to 57-8.  The all to familiar theme of allowing the opposition of the hook continued however as the Sri Lankans clawed their way back to 101 all out when they should have got no more than 80.  Glaz finished 9.1-1-22-4, Riley 12-3-32-2 and Kieran 5-1-15-2.

After Sam Turner’s late withdrawal Barrow had a fourth opening partnership in as many games as Mick Hardy opened with Brown.  Both started steadily getting the board ticking, always important when chasing a low score.  Mark went with the score on 20 and Mick with the score on 30 odd.  Nick Moore scored 42 before getting out allowing Phil Milton and James Mitchell (30*) to see Barrow home with 15 overs to spare.  No sooner had the game finished than it rained heavily.

With the win Barrow move back to fourth in the table. No game this week for the first team but they finish the season with three home games and all to play for.

Dominant YMCA Halt Barrow Promotion Push

Barrow Gurney 2nds’ recent good run came to an abrupt halt against YMCA 5ths at Hobbs Lane on Saturday.

Batting first YMCA lost a wicket to the first ball of the innings from Mark Fisher but that was the only moment of joy, as first the stylish Cox (52) partnered M Smith for 97 for the second wicket, and then Higgins joined Smith to put on 171 for the third wicket. Higgins made only 33 of them whilst Smith, in a demonstration of sustained clean hitting rarely seen in Division 11, hit 11 6s and 15 4s in his 177 not out. At least 8 balls were lost in all parts of the surrounding countryside. The young Barrow team stuck to their task well despite the carnage. YMCA concluded on 312-4.

With no realistic prospect of chasing such a formidable total, Barrow set off in pursuit of respectability and batting points. Early wickets left Barrow 3-2 and 21-3, before acting captain Jordan Allen (36) and Jonny Sykes (25) staged a bit of a recovery. Connor Jones, returning after some weeks away, made a welcome 50, hitting 10 4s in the process before Frank Forge and Mike Lilley defended stoically to avoid Barrow being bowled out.

Barrow can take comfort that they remain 2nd in the table and with a good run-in might are still in a good position to obtain promotion.


Captain’s Innings Seals Win In Annual Encounter

On Thursday James Mitchell was the stand-in skipper for the game against the touring New Ash Green CC. The visitors batted first. Matt Owen and Mark Fisher opened the bowling and hit decent lines and lengths, ensuring New Ash Green got off to a slow start but on a good batting wicket and quick outfield, their openers grew in confidence and put together a stand of 147 in 30 overs. Finally their stand was broken with their opener Barlett falling for 56 (with three different bats) to a Mark Fisher yorker. Although when the score is 147 – 1 you don’t really want to see a batsman walking out to the middle that scored a century against you last year. However, he also fell in quick succession to Mark Fisher (2-35) as he spooned a catch up in the air. The last ten overs were action packed with 7 wickets falling, two dropped catches and 67 runs being scored. Oscar Livesey picked up two quick wickets including the other opener for 72 and had bowled impressively throughout the innings, maintaining good line and length, getting some spin, and bowling to his field. He ended with 2 for 38 off 9 overs. The two Owens, Kieran and Matt bowled well at the death, despite a dropped catch from Daddy Owen, Steve. Kieran (2-45) removed the dangerous Payne and then missed a chance to grab a hat trick by bowling a no ball! The innings ended with a solid total of 216 for 7 off 40 overs.

After a lovely tea, Frank Forge and Guy Fisher opened up against some pretty accurate bowling. Unfortunately, Frank fell early to a good catch in the slips. Johnny Sykes fell in quick succession, marred with some controversy. Guy Fisher then also fell for 11 and we were soon aproximately 20 for 3. Steve Owen and James Mitchell rebuilt the innings and managed to put on a stand of around 140. James fell towards the end for 108. Steve also fell quickly for an excellent 48. This brought in James Halladay who smacked several fours before falling by running halfway down the wicket and turning a normal ball into a head high full toss!

Anyway, this got Barrow down to the last over with four required. Kieran Owen calmly clipped the first ball of the over off his legs for four to win the game. A good game of cricket played in the right spirit and New Ash Green are keen to come back next year. Also, thanks to the – self-proclaimed – ‘Barrow Gurney’s Billy Bowden’ (Oscar) who umpired for 30 overs.