Sensational Catch Propels First XI To Nail-biting Win Over Long Ashton

Barrow Gurney welcomed Long Ashton to Hobbs Lane to play our First XI for the first time in many years; there was talk before the game about what to do if Barrow won the toss, however yet again the opposition won it and Barrow were put into bat.  Ali Hood and Sam Turner opened up, Sam despite yet another new bat, first to go from a full toss that he lost against the beautiful blue sky.  Nick Moore off of the back of his ton last week came and went quickly chasing a wide one leaving Barrow 52-2 in the 11th over.  Mick Hardy and Ali had to rebuild and make sure that Barrow didn’t lose any more wickets and took them to 94 before Mick was given LBW for 23.  At 111-4 the game was in the balance, Mark Brown and captain Phil Milton took the total to 175 until Mark middled it only to pick out wide fine leg, lightning then striking twice as Paul Glazzard did exactly the same thing just after. Unfortunately the tail didn’t wag much, Phil departing for 45 in the penultimate over, with Barrow finishing on 203 all out.


James Riley and Paul Glaz opened up and although bowling well didn’t get the early breakthrough Barrow needed defending a relatively low total.  Enter Rob Figs who bowled beautifully, with pace, accuracy and real ‘grunt’ picking up the opener caught at slip by Mick in his third over.  Rob got another couple bowled, absolute gems of balls before Browner had one caught off a wide one.  Long Ashton were 111-4, exactly the same as Barrow had been, and the game was in the balance.  Rob, bowling straight through, picked up Long Ashton’s captain caught and bowled and completed his 5 wicket haul in his last over.  The Long Ashton opener however was still in and the opposition were 182-7 chasing 204.  Phil decided to gamble and brought Glaz back on; the opener decided to charge down first ball of the spell, missed it, and was duly stumped.  Game on!  The big hitting number 9  then tried to smash Glaz into the car park for a match deciding 6 only for Browner to pull off one of the best catches you will ever see jumping and taking it well above his head down in the corner.  With Riley bowled out and Browner still buzzing from his catch he was the obvious one to ball the last over with Long Ashton 9 down but only needing 8 to win.  Browner duly speared in a ‘double wicket style’ yorker to seal an absolutely brilliant win.

Axbridge Score A Few Too Many For Sunday XI

Winning the toss and bowling first seemed the obvious choice under leaden skies and in humid conditions at Hobbs Lane. However the opening attack of Mark Fisher and Barrow debutant Nick Heal found little swing although the odd ball did a bit off the pitch. Axbridge’s openers Hatcher and Packham were extremely severe on anything outside off stump or full and rushed away to 90 off 15 overs before Hatcher retired on 51; then Liam Moore (2 for 27) dismissed Packham for 44 and followed that up in the following over with another success, Jackson Bryant taking a good low catch at Mid Off.

Jackson (2 for 19) then came on to bowl, fresh from his success in the Under 15s last week (3 for 1) and straight away he found some movement off the pitch cutting one back to clean bowl Reeves and repeating the feat to dismiss the opposition skipper for a duck. With Guy Fisher bowling a tight five over spell (1 for 7), the middle overs offered Barrow the only period of control against an experienced batting line up. Axbridge continued to score well, although without the dominance of their openers, and racked up 195 for 7 in 40 overs. The latter stages of the innings being notable for Nick Heal’s first wicket (1 for 42 off eight) and the dismissal of J Fisher inevitably by M Fisher (1 for 39).

The total always seemed an ambitious one for a team with no first-teamers lurking down the order to perform some heroics. Nevertheless the Barrow team batted well but kept losing wickets just as a batsman got set. Bernie Forge (16) hit 3 early boundaries before perishing to a full toss marginally below shoulder height from spinner Bush. Guy Fisher top-scored with 34 including two sixes over the straight long-on boundary and into the members’ enclosure. Jackson started promisingly before falling for 19, Frank Forge then followed for an elegant 19, leaving Barrow needing 85 off the last 10 overs. The skipper then joined James Halladay at the crease. Mark Forge having got off the mark with a crashing blow over extra cover for 4 soon settled into a more familiar rhythm of nudges and nurdles and with James trying hard to puncture a close set field at the other end, the rate began to climb although the scoreboard kept ticking over. James (16) hit a lovely straight drive (dubbed “shot of the day” by the Axbridge umpire), whilst with time running out Mark fell for 27 playing across the line. Mark Fisher then had time to repay the compliment giving his wicket to Axbridge’s J Fisher and the innings closed with Nick (6 not out) scoring off the only two deliveries he faced. Barrow falling short by 33 runs.

The team voted Nick, man of the match, for some good bowling, a catch and a positive attitude in the field on debut.

Kerswell Shines As 2nds Beat Portishead in Top Of Table Clash


Mark Gracey lost the toss and the Portishead skipper decided to have a bat. Unlike all the previous games this season, Barrow didn’t pick up a wicket in the first few overs, but Frank Forge bowled with his usual line and length and was unlucky not to pick up the wicket he deserved only going for 9 runs off his 6 overs. He was ably supported by Kieran Owen at the other end and he was swinging the ball nicely, his first 5 overs were all maidens and the only runs he conceded in his first spell was a 6 in his 6th over.

Barrow ran out the Portishead opener with good fielding from Ed Jones. Matt Owen and Mike Lilley then came on with Portishead already chasing the game having only scored about 15 off 12 overs. Both Mike and Matt picked up a wicket each before Will Kerswell came on and started turning the ball with ease and picked off three more of the Portishead wickets. After the dismissal of a Portishead junior player Jonny Sykes came on and caused a few problems but unable to get a wicket. Ellie Holdaway at the other end was unlucky not to take more than one wicket, as she had catches dropped of three consecutive balls including one by her captain.

After 40 overs Portishead had been limited to 153/7 – a score Barrow felt they had a good chance to chase down but they were equally aware that Portishead had a couple of bowlers who had picked up 5 wickets in their last few matches.

Barrow started the chase opening once again with Ellie, but this time supported by Will . They started with a flourish of boundaries and scored 14 off their first over and with the score on 18 off three, Ellie was bowled for 7. Will played a straight forcing shot which hit a young Portishead bowler on the ankle which forced him to retire after four overs having conceded 35 runs.

WK Driving

Mark Gracey then fell for a 6 before Portishead picked up the wickets of Jordan Allen, Matt Owen and Steve Owen cheaply before Jonny came in to pick up the run rate. Will’s wicket then fell for a very nice 58 and Jonny (33 n.o.) and Frank (13 n.o.) took Barrow home with 13 overs to spare.



Under 15s Continue Unbeaten Run

Barrow Gurney Under 15s made short work of Nailsea at Hobbs Lane in the North Somerset Youth League. Keiren Owen won the toss and inserted the visitors on a gloomy night and within 6 overs, he and Frazier Thomas had reduced them to 17-3. Mark Fisher then turned the screw from the Fox and Goose end while, returning from injury, Jackson Bryant burst back on the scene with a wicket maiden followed by an over conceding only one and then a double wicket maiden! Nailsea were now reeling at 26-6. Some left arm mystery spin from Finn Hicks and medium pace from Ben Mead took them to 45 off 17.3 overs.


As the weather loomed, Barrow cruised to a 7 wicket win with Bernie Forge leading the way as usual with 20 n.o., punctuated by a six and a four from the ebullient Louis Bocock-Grace (WG would have been proud). Unbeaten in the league, the under 15s now look forward to hosting Bedminster in the Semi Finals of the North Somerset Cup at Barrow next Monday 25th May.

Sunday Success As Riley Adds a 50 To Recent Haul of Wickets

After the great excitement of the news of the First XI result and the tension of the Second XI near miss on Saturday, surely all would be much calmer for the Sunday XI playing St Bonaventure’s at Barrow?

St Bon’s arrived one short, so Frank Forge reluctantly took a break from his A level studies to make up the opposition XI and they batted first on the same track used in the seconds’ game on Saturday. Kieran Owen (0/20) opened up bowling accurately and with some swing, whilst it was good to welcome back Liam Moore (2/27) who bowled with real pace and obtained quite some bounce from the Fox & Goose end dismissing opener Rossiter for 14 with a good caught and bowled. After 10 overs St Bon’s struggled to 38 for 1. Oscar Livesey came on to bowl 8 straight overs, and soon realising he needed to push the ball through on this wicket, he had the other opener LBW whilst Connor Jones removed Sprawson for 5 to leave St Bon’s 36 for 3. At this point the St Bon’s skipper, Hickey, dug in. Oscar eventually dismissed the opposing keeper with another caught and bowled, but not before the same batsman, having seemingly played a defensive shot contrived to slip in the crease and somehow collapsed on his stumps; for quite a while no-one seemed to have any clue as to what had happened, more concerned for the batsman. But as no-one appealed and the Barrow captain declined to do so he was able to carry on a little longer. (The skipper had to cough up a choccy bar to make amends to Oscar though!)

Carr came to the crease, a fluent left-hander, especially through the off side, he soon overtook his captain to make 50, although Hickey, played into form by Mark Gracey’s two overs for 21, soon joined him. A large total loomed when Liam (2/30) and Connor (3/35) were brought back to contain St Bon’s to 175 off 40 overs.

After the usual excellent Halladay tea, James Riley opened the batting instead of the bowling, and despite a few awkward moments against Frank in the opening overs, survived the loss of his captain for a duck to one that cut back sharply off the pitch, and played some cracking shots through the covers and over long-on. Oscar batted three and was just getting into his stride when Frank caught him with tumbling catch off his own bowling, Phil Milton took the side to within striking distance of the win with 38 (including a six and 5 fours).

By mid-innings one of St Bon’s players had to leave, so Bernie Forge hot-foot from a Somerset U17 game at Millfield school helped them in the field. Barrow were well ahead of the scoring rate and needed one good partnership to take them home. Pete Halladay (4 not out) batted for quite a long time, and aimed a few lusty blows but took a few to the body himself, whilst Connor clearly wanted to get off home, striking 38 not out at the other end to leave Barrow 4 wicket winners.

A good game of cricket played in a good spirit. Next week Axbridge at home.

Moore’s Ton & Riley’s Wickets Help Firsts to Failand & Portbury Win

After a wet week Barrow travelled to Horserace Lane on a sunny afternoon with a team missing four regulars including the skip who was at an all-day NTC class. Ali Hood followed Phil Milton’s lead & lost the toss so Barrow found themselves batting first once again.

The Failand & Portbury openers bowled well using their local knowledge of the sloping wicket to their advantage but Mark Brown & Ali took Barrow past 40 in the 10th over but by the end of the 13th both were back in the pavilion  – Mark Brown particularly unlucky to slip while retreating on an aborted quick single to be left run out. Nick Moore & Mick Hardy found the going tough as the openers continued to plug away & were then replaced by two spinners who only conceded 26 off the first 10 overs they bowled, so drinks were taken at 75-2. Barrow’s steady but unspectacular progress continued & importantly no more wickets fell as they reached 110-2 off 30 overs, then Nick cut loose & Mick found his touch and by 35 overs the score had progressed to 162-2 and a total of around 220 started to look within reach. Mick perished for an important 39 and ended a partnership with Nick of around 130, to be replaced by Johnny Sykes who brought his good form from the seconds with him making a rapid 30 not out. Nick was undoubtedly the star man making 124 (10 4’s & six 6’s) before being stumped in the penultimate over. So tea was taken with Barrow having posted a very useful 249-4, 172 of which were made in the second half of the innings at 7.8 runs per over.

The defence of 249 got off to a good start when in the first over Failand’s opener pulled a hammy & was cleaned up next ball by James Riley – the next 10 overs saw a tight contest between bat & ball Barrow had opportunities putting down a couple of tough chances whilst Failand punished bad balls so it was fairly even as Failand progressed to 41 from 12 before Riley softened up the other opener with a bouncer that hit on the grille & then cartwheeled his stumps next ball  finishing his first spell with 2-11 from 7. Paul Glazzard , was keeping things increasingly tight with his last 6 overs only going for 18 well supported by Browner but although the run rate was creeping up the breakthrough remained elusive again with a couple more tough chances going begging. Eventually though Barrow’s pressure began to tell & Browner picked up 3 wickets  (3-57) & Connor Jones chipped in with an important one as well so with F&P on 172-6 off 35 they needed 78 from the final 10. At this point Ali called upon the ever reliable Mick & the excellent James Riley who did the job meaning the final over started with the opposition needing an unlikely 23 with only 2 wickets left. Riley delivered the final over & picked up his 4th wicket (12 -4- 36-4) meaning with the league win last week and the cup game on Weds  he has picked up 11 wickets for not very many.

So a very good win with a relatively depleted team against a side who this time last year were playing Division 1, this was a great team effort with everyone showing energy & enthusiasm in the field – especially Mark & Guy Fisher who didn’t otherwise get much of a game and Johnny who did a sterling job behind the stumps (there aren’t many 6ft 5 keepers around)!

Next week the Firsts have another big game, a local derby, as Long Ashton pop up the road.

Seconds Lose in Exciting Finish

Mark Gracey won the toss and decided to bowl first with Kieran Owen picking up the wicket of English almost immediately. English had scored a 100+ and 60+ score in his last two innings so Barrow knew they had struck gold limiting him to a duck. Little did they know who they had coming up! The wickets kept falling with their other batsmen scoring a combined 60, but their number 2, Wadkar carried on picking up the boundaries and finishing with 110 not out. Kieran and Mike Lilley both bowled well picking up a couple of wickets each with George Healy and Matt Owen both getting one each.


Barrow opened up the batting with the return of “girl power” with Bernie Forge and Ellie Holdaway forming a a solid 50 partnership before Bernie was bowled for 24. Captain, Mark Gracey, then came in and carried on with Ellie before she was bowled for 33. Barrow always seemed slightly behind the run rate but a few quick runs from Jordan Allen (13), Ed Jones (13) and not outs by the captain (65) and George (25) made things closer than they might have been, but Barrow failed to chase down Bradley Stoke’s 194 by only 7 runs.


Things might have turned out very differently if their centurion had been caught off Frank Forge, the ball being adjudged as a no ball, and a couple of close LBW shouts had been given the other way.

Anyway – on to next week, the 2nd XI are playing top of the table Portishead, so lets see if Barrow can get back to winning ways!

2nd XI Win First Two Games With Maximum Points

The 2nd XI’s game away at Thornbury took place in the glorious setting of Tockington Manor School. The views were stunning and the ground was looking in good condition on a Sunny day but with a cold wind blowing across the ground.

Barrow lost the loss and Thornbury decided to put us into bat.

Jon Hood and Bernie Forge started with a few boundaries before both fell to Garner relatively cheaply. Mark Gracey, the captain, came in at number three and Jordan Allen at number four. Jordan was keeping a lot of the strike which the skipper was happy to let him have as he was looking very comfortable at the crease hitting boundaries with ease. Mark was getting little frustrated at being stuck at the other end and, trying to hit out, was caught at mid on for 13. In came Jonny Sykes and both Jonny and Jordan batted with some great fluidity before Jordan fell LBW for 71. Jonny carried on playing some good shots ably supported by Guy Fisher and Ellie Holdaway. Jonny finished with a flurry of 6’s finishing with a very respectable 76 not out. After Barrow’s 40 overs were finished the total of 232/5, was a score likely to be hard to beat.

After tea, Barrow started in the field knowing they had a good chance. Frank Forge picked up 2 wickets in his first over. The first was an easy catch at slip by Mike Lilley which turned out to be just a warm up before catching his second 2 balls later with a great reaction catch. Guy Fisher bowled tidily at the other end with figures of 0/6 off 4 overs. Frank finished his first spell with 2 for 3 off 4 overs. Mike then came on to bowl and picked up three more wickets for 7 runs off 4 overs leaving Thornbury 24/5. Ellie and James Halliday both picked up a wicket each while Oscar Livesey bowled with some decent line and length. The Thornbury skipper tried to put on a mini recovery but Frank dismissed him with the third ball of his second spell for 37 (taking 3/7 overall) before Jon Hood finished off the wicket haul, including sending a stump cart-wheeling, leaving Thornbury 77 all out.

It was a great team performance with maximum bonus points but the stars of the show were Jordan and Jonny for their 70+ innings.

This performance followed an excellent win in week one when Mark Gracey won the toss and, despite being undecided, chose to bowl with the new ball and put Frampton Cotterell in to bat, a decision which proved to be a good one.

Barrow opened the bowling with Frankie Forge and Kieron Owen. Frank bowled with his usual accuracy and off his 6 overs picked up one wicket (clean bowled) for 24 runs. Kieron was managing to get some swing from the other end picking up 2 wickets (one caught by Jordan Allen and the other caught and bowled with a diving catch).

After 6 overs each the captain switched things around and gave the ball to the club debutant Mike Lilley who had switched allegiances from Hallen and Guy Fisher. Mike will prove to be a great addition to the club with very good line and length and someone the batsmen found hard to get away (Mike picked up 2 wickets for 7 runs of 3.3 overs). Guy at the other end joined in the wicket haul with 3/13 off four overs.

Barrow’s fielding was a dramatic improvement over last season with no dropped catches (other than a really hard effort by Bernie behind the stumps) and managed two run outs finishing off Frampton for 70 all out off 20 overs.

The weather didn’t look too promising so Barrow decided to go straight back out and have tea later to try and chase them down while it was dry.

Mark Forge and Bernie opened the batting and Bernie played some lovely shots while Mark was steadily defending at the other end.

After an electrifying, edge of your seat score of 7 from Mark Forge off 14 overs (!!!) Frank judged his father to be out LBW. (Probably in revenge from the week before when Mark ran his daughter out!). Mark later said that he was scoring slowly so Bernie could try and get her 50!! Captain Gracey then came in and, with Bernie, easily finished the game off with a couple of boundaries with Bernie finishing 37 not out and Gracey 18 not out. Final score 72/1.

Under 15s Progress to Cup Semi-Final

Barrow Gurney Under 15s reached the Cup Semi-Final with a 15 run victory over Blagdon. Batting first on an idyllic sunny evening at Barrow, Bernie Forge and Guy Fisher followed up their 99 opening partnership in the previous round at Flax Bourton, with a steady 34 before Guy fell for 18. Bernie batted solidly supported by Fraser Thomas (13) before falling for 29 trying to accelerate the run rate.

Louis Bockock-Grace (11) and Mark Fisher (12*) made the most of the last few overs with Louis picking up a ball on his legs and hitting it almost into the scorers’ hut for 6. Barrow finished on 106-6 after their 20 overs as a young Blagdon team stuck to their task and gave up few extras. Arrowsmith taking 3 for 23.

Blagdon were soon struggling as Fraser and Mark both took early wickets, but they rallied in the middle overs due to a good innings by Lowe (20*) and Barrow giving away a few too many wides. Captain Kieran Owen (1/16) regained some control whilst Louis chipped in with 1/22. The run out of Tovey slowed Blagdon’s scoring rate just when it seemed they might get their target, before opening bowlers Fraser (1/8) and Mark (2/12) came back and ensured they fell short.

This is the third successive win for the Under 15s under Lee Bryant’s stewardship and takes Barrow to a semi-final against either Cleeve or Bedminster in two weeks time.

1st XI bounce back from Week One loss to beat St Mary Redcliffe in Week Two

Barrow StumpsFollowing last week’s disappointing loss to Pakistani Express (see below) Barrow Gurney needed to get the season up and running against St Mary Redcliffe, the team that went all of last season unbeaten and had won their opener this season. Unfortunately Barrow lost the toss again, which seems to be becoming a bit of a habit, and Barrow were duly put into bat.  Ali Hood and Sam Turner opened up, Ali the first to go LBW, which even he agreed with, for 14; Sam next caught for 7.  Mick Hardy walked after feathering one to the keeper to leave Barrow reeling at 26-3. Nick Moore and James Mitchell went about the rebuilding process picking up singles, rotating the strike, punishing bad balls and slowly building the score.  This was a brilliant partnership and was just what was needed at the time. Nick went for an increasingly fluent 76 and Redcliffe probably now regret dropping him at least twice. Phil Milton was bowled around his legs by the leggie for 5 and Mark Brown ran himself out after hitting it straight at the fielder; at this point the momentum seemed to be shifting back to Redcliffe.  However, James Mitchell began to open up before going for a brilliant 67 and some big hitting from Paul Glazzard (36*) helped take Barrow to 227-9 from the 45 overs.


Before Barrow went out to field Phil reminded everyone of the need to be ‘on it’ from ball one and show the same energy in the field as Redcliffe had done.  This was duly delivered.


James Riley and Paul Glazzard opened up and both of them hit the right lines and lengths from ball one; Riley bowling the opener with a beauty and Nick taking a skyer from Glaz.  Runs were at a premium and wickets fell regularly.  At drinks Redcliffe had no more than 50 on the board and were 4 or 5 down. Glaz bowled straight through for figures of 12-1-31-2, a fantastic performance.  Rob Fig then picked up where he left off last week bowling some searing yorkers with plenty of control, finishing 9-3-34-2 including a one-handed diving catch by the keeper.  Mick and Riley cleaned up the tail, Mick picking up 2 wickets.  However, Riley was undoubtedly the star of the show finishing 11-6-9-4 (including 3 wides!).  These brilliant bowling performances were backed up with some brilliant fielding, notable contributions from Glaz, Browner, Sam, Ben Skuse and Nick, just as the captain had asked for.


In week one of the season Barrow were up against Pakistani Express. The match began 15 minutes late, in drizzle, with a somewhat reluctant Sam Turner and Ali Hood opening on a wicket that seemed to be in need of more preparation and against some erratic bowling and some wild bounce.  Ali was the first to go for 2 to a sharp catch with the score on 24.  Nick Moore went soon after for 4 followed by Sam (15) leaving Barrow 48-3.  New player James Mitchell and Mick Hardy set about rebuilding before James went for 20.  Mick fell for 40, Paul Glaz went for 0 and Ben Skuse for 7.  Captain, Phil Milton, was out for 43 in the 42nd over, unfortunately the tail didn’t wag and Barrow were all out for 177 inside of 43 overs.


James Riley and Glaz opened up, Riley picking up the opener third over. Rob Figs replaced Glaz and picked one up first ball, bowling with real pace and hostility.  Wickets fell relatively regularly leaving the Express 80-6. Unfortunately Rob had to go off after two full tosses having picked up 4 wickets but Barrow were still confident that one more wicket would probably finish the game; unfortunately it proved to be elusive with the ball falling into gaps or just short of fielders several times.  Shahid finished with 69* playing some unorthodox shots showing the difference between division 2 and 3 is that teams bat that bit further down the order and the change bowlers are that bit better too.