Rain Ruins Firsts Chances But Arrives Too Late To Save The Seconds

Rain ruined Barrow Gurney First’s chances of a win against PR Royals, as the heavens opened with Barrow in a strong position but marginally behind the run rate leaving the visitors to Hobbs Lane as victors. Meanwhile at Stanton Drew the rain failed to come quickly enough or for long enough to prevent the seconds losing against a good Whitchurch 3rd XI.


After last week’s defeat to top of the table Bristol Lions this week the Firsts faced PR Royals who were second in the table.

With the opposition only having 6 players at the toss PR Royals decided to bat when they won the toss but Barrow began brilliantly with James Riley picking up the opener to first ball of the match and Ed Holdaway also taking one in his first over too. The dangerous number 3 was next to go as Phil Milton took a bullet of a catch to leave the opposition reeling at 22-3. Wickets fell regularly as Phil brought on Mark Fisher (1/35) and Frank Forge (2/45), leaving Royals 81-7 at one point, and Barrow looking at chasing around a hundred second innings. As has been the case several times this season however Barrow then struggled to either contain or take wickets, despite Ed (2/45) and Riley (2/26) coming back on, and a hundred partnership developed before Ed bowled the number 8 for 34 with the Royals now on 153. Their number 9 (Habib) finished on 73* and Royals finished 212 all out in 38.2 overs. A high score considering their position but still short of a par score.

Will Kerswell and Bernie Forge opened up again and were looking good but Bernie was bowled for 18 with the score on 19. Sam Turner, in at 3, and Will took the score to 76 before Will was bowled for 33. However, the heavens then opened with Barrow on 95-2 from 24.1 overs. This left the home side behind the run rate by about 12 runs and despite Barrow being perfectly set going in the last 20 over this counted for nothing as the game was abandoned and they lost on net run rate.

Overall, Phil Milton felt that Barrow had improved their fielding and batting from last week but that the bowling attack needed to be a little smarter about how to bowl to the decent lower order batsmen.


The seconds struggled from the word go at the wind-swept Stanton Drew ground against a Whitchurch team competing for promotion.

Put into bat Barrow were soon in trouble losing both openers cheaply and in fact only Ali Hood (47) and Adam Brace (20) made a significant contribution to a disappointing score of 128. Ben Thatcher was the pick of the opposition attack taking 4/12 with some sharp outswing bowling.

In reply Whitchurch were never in trouble as Ben Lloyd anchored the innings with 62 not out. A dropped catch and a rejected appeal for a caught behind cost Barrow a point but overall the team deserved little from a poor performance.

The overnight rain put paid to the Sunday XI game against Lympsham & Belvedere thus being the first senior league game being totally lost to the weather this season.

T20 Season Ends With Misfits Win

It was another sweltering evening at Hobbs Lane for the final T20 game of the season.

The well-supported Misfits team arrived with several Flax Bourton players and, of course, our very own Pete Rooney. Mark Forge won the toss and decided to bat in order to avoid a potential late evening gloom and also because Barrow were missing one player and another was only arriving as Mark Gracey and his skipper walked out to bat.

It was the familiar left arm swing of Rooney at one end which Mark (F) played with the appropriate respect for one over at least. After 2 overs the score had progressed to 12 runs without either batsman scoring. But Barrow could not rely on the generosity of the Misfits for ever so Mark (F) despatched one to the long leg boundary and followed it up with a deft deflection to third man, before being bowled by a much quicker one with the score on 26. With Gracey holding an end (mainly the non-strikers) it was good to have Connor Jones back in action and he looked in good form having not played much this year. He made 18 quick runs before being bowled as then was Gracey leaving Barrow 63-3 off 10. Paul Barnes hit one nice boundary before being caught in the ring, setting the stage for a rare sibling partnership between Bernie and Frank Forge. Managing to avoid running each other out, Bernie made a quick 19 with another lovely straight six before mistiming another lofted shot.

Simon Hudson (“Bomber” to the Misfits, “Cyborg” to the Barrow players) entered the fray to much good-natured abuse from many of his former Flax teammates. They put on an important 61 in the last 5 overs. Before Simon was out to the last ball of the innings for 15, leaving Frank 37 not out, scored mainly through the leg side and (almost) containing his first ever six as the ball hit the board on the half volley! 145-6 at the close.

Steve Owen had an early success against the opening batsman but then Joyce and Burge began to take the game away from Barrow. Connor Jones was the pick of the bowlers, troubling both batsmen and bowling Joyce for a well-made 48. Burge was to retire on making his fluent 50, but the only other success for Barrow was Adam Brace bowling a bemused looking Shah having appeared to have changed his shot twice with a ball that bounced and dropped onto the bails on its way down. Misfits winning in the penultimate over was well-deserved and only a slightly disappointing way for Barrow to end the T20 season.

The evenings we have had this year have been really enjoyable and well-supported and the club would like to thank everyone who has come up to play or watch. The decision to provide something to eat after the game has been popular and thanks to Dave Milton and Pete & Jane Holdaway for their help in organising that side of things. The additional revenue generated will further help the club’s plans for improving the ground and playing facilities.



Two Weeks To Go To The BGCC Cricket Tour

As the club looks forward to its annual tour, co-ordinator Rod Reeves is busy making the final arrangements and working out the logistics.

The games against Abbotskerswell, Exmouth, Shobrook Park and Torquay have long been scheduled, but as always it is hard to get everyone to finalise their plans.

Rod has prepared a list of those he has recorded as requiring overnight accommodation which can be found by clicking the link on the main menu for Tour 2018. Please contact Rod as soon as possible if circumstances have changed.

The rooming arrangements are only a guide and of course other players and spectators will be joining us for individual games.

Barrow Scare The Lions – But Are Exiled From Bath

It was an unsuccessful weekend for the Barrow teams but the Firsts can take a lot of credit from giving the unbeaten Bristol Lions a run for their money.


The scenic Dunkerton ground had been left derelict for some time before the Bristol Lions took on the project of restoring it. And whilst there is still a lot to be done, they have done an amazing job of preparing the square and getting to grips with some of the brambles which surround the boundary, revealing in some places a babbling brook near which the pavilion stands.

Batting first, the Lions were bowled out for 249 due to some good bowling from James Riley (2/37) Ed Holdaway (3/43) and Mark Fisher (2/28). Paul Glazzard bowled an excellent spell of off spin too, varying flight and pace and his 9 overs 1/40 did not really reflect how well he bowled. Unfortunately this was another game where Barrow’s tendency to drop catches at key moments told heavily as former Barrow player Suresh de Alwis was generously given a life from a regulation catch at long on before he had scored, and then proceeded to punish his former teammates with shots to all parts making 80.

In reply Barrow started positively as Bernie Forge and Will Kerswell (36) found the boundary several times from any overpitched or leg-side deliveries. When Bernie fell for 27 the middle order fell away with one or two extravagant shots and a needless run out in the face of some solid ground fielding on an uneven outfield.

Then Barrow staged a fight back as Riley (46) and Mark Fisher (37) forged a solid partnership whilst keep the score moving at the required rate. After Mark fell to Alwis, who after keeping wicket was now turning his hand to bowling,  Nick Heal launched a couple of mighty blows, one of which landed in the adjacent river before leaving the way for the last wicket pair to provide some entertainment. 43 runs were needed off 7 overs as Riley and Frank Forge chanced their arm including running a 3 during which one or other of them might have been run out on each run before going for overthrows. With 26 still needed, the bowler of the day Benura Hitiyamudiyanselage bowled Riley to take his fifth wicket and leave Barrow to content themselves with maximum batting and bowling points.

At Hobbs Lane, the Seconds had one of the strongest sides of the season out, or at least it appeared that way on paper. Winning the toss and batting first, Barrow though found themselves in trouble losing three quick wickets for 19. Ben Skuse (29) and Jordan Allen (19) set about repairing the damage but when they both fell close together leaving Barrow 64-6, the mission turned into batting the overs and setting some sort of target. Paul Gard, continuing his recent form with the bat marshalled the tail making 39, supported by Adam Brace (19) but the final score of 134-9 looked nowhere near enough on the fast scoring Barrow ground. And so it proved as Old Park knocked off the runs in 25 overs with Jamie Hunter 49 not out at the close. Simon Hudson and Gard took the only two wickets to fall. 

On Sunday another burning hot day greeted the Sunday team as they ventured to Bath Exiles ground up on Lansdown.

The outfield, like so many was brown and hard with barely a tinge of green, the pitch was the same without the green tinge. Barrow won the toss and decided to bat. On a pitch offering tennis-ball type bounce, the opening partnership of Mark Forge and Guy Fisher put on 37 as Guy continued his imperious Sunday form, before Mark fell to a catch of a leading edge. After hitting a lovely 6 to add to his 8 fours, Guy got one which popped and was caught and bowled. Ben Thorne quickly followed to one which skidded rather than bounced leaving Barrow struggling at 59-3.  James Riley was joined by Leo Brace who after a nervy start hit a couple of clean boundaries but then was not alert to Riley’s call for a quick single and run out. Rod Reeves then joined Riley in an all left-handed partnership of vastly contrasting styles. Riley bustling with energy and looking to be positive whilst Rod treated every ball with extreme caution. The partnership used up a few overs with little addition to the score.

James was bowled for 20 shortly after Rod departed and with Steve Webb being adjudged LBW to one he appeared to have hit, Barrow were struggling to build a total.  It was left to Frank Forge to get the total to 147, aided by a couple of boundaries by Mark Fisher and a good supporting innings from Melissa Owen who, although she did not score, survived 18 balls to allow Frank to make 24 before being last out caught in the deep off a top edge.

In view of the pitch Frank and Adam Brace were the unlikely opening attack bowling with a slip and leg slip or short leg for the one that popped. When Adam (2/18) clean bowled the opener and the opposition skipper in his first couple of overs it looked like game on. Frank (2/22 off 8 overs) was bowling with accuracy and turn and ended the innings of the familiarly bearded figure of O’Callaghan bowling him, before the inevitable catch came off one which leapt off a length leaving Riley diving forward to take the catch 47-4 but with Frank bowled out and Adam needing a breather, it was going to be up to others to press home the advantage.  Guy’s leg spin did just that to make the score 60-5 whilst Leo, after a succession of wides in his first over, then kept it very tight at the other end, as did Mel in her couple of overs. But a partnership was brewing between Syed Rivzi and Faizan Asif. Neither was totally comfortable against Guy but they pushed singles, batted time and waited for the full toss to hit.

Mark Fisher ended the partnership by sending Faizan’s middle stump cartwheeling out of the ground but the 67 put on by the pair was decisive. Riley swopped the gloves with Frank to bowl some left arm spin, which soon became quicker and quicker before he floored Syed with one that popped up but there were no other dramas as Bath Exiles recorded their first win of the season.


More T20 Fun At Barrow On A Hot Summer Night

The penultimate T20 game of the season took place against a spirited Babcock International team last Wednesday on a balmy summer night..

The game featured some fantastic fielding on both sides, some dashing strokeplay and some dodgy running and was followed by a barbecue kindly provided by the “visitors”, although of course Babcock are not really visitors as they hire our ground for their own inter-departmental games.

Batting first Barrow put on 117-8 in their innings after Mark Fisher (23) got the team off to a good start, a couple of early wickets was then followed by the arrival of Ali Hood, and a couple of runouts (the two events not being entirely coincidental!) soon left Barrow 58-5. Paul Barnes, sporting full Barrow Gurney kit making his debut was delighted to hit both his first run and first boundary before falling to the second run out. When Ali departed for 13 to one of several excellent catches, it looked as though Barrow would not make a competitive score. Bernie Forge (26*) however made sure they did hitting one glorious straight six and was assisted by quick, if brief, contributions by the rest of the lower order.

In reply Dan Garland launched a powerful assault, but Steve Owen did dismiss the other opener for a duck thanks to Oscar Livesey’s contender for catch of the season (a one-handed diving high catch at short-extra which looked a certain four).  Skipper Phil Milton tried 9 bowlers 8 of whom took a wicket, including Ben Thorne who took his first senior wicket courtesy of a stumping by Bernie. Paul also took his first wicket as Ben took another good catch in the deep. In fact, wickets fell at regular intervals although Babcock’s batsmen kept the score ticking over and were always in the game. The key turning point (apart from the retirement of Garland when he made 25, to return when the 9th wicket fell) was Frank Forge’s 2 overs in which he took 3/4. Babcock made 110 before Garland finally missed a straight one from Phil to end the game.

A really enjoyable evening once again, and it was nice to see some visitors and friends of players coming to watch the action.


Guy & Gard Almost Pull Off Unlikely Win In Otherwise Disappointing Weekend

In a weekend when Barrow Gurney played Chilcompton twice, the highlight was a thrilling game at Hobbs Lane on Sunday when, in a high scoring contest, Barrow lost by only 3 runs after a magnificent century from Guy Fisher who put on 175 for the first wicket with Paul Gard, brought Barrow to the brink of a famous win. On Saturday, however, the Barrow teams fought hard but were unable to challenge their opponents.

On Sunday at Hobbs Lane the Sunday XI had to face Chilcompton, which in an odd twist of fate, meant that they were facing 3 of the players that Barrow 2nds had played on Saturday plus some of Chilcompton’s first team and other players who play for other clubs, specifically the prolific Alex Nash of Midsomer Norton Methodists.

Frank Forge was skipper and lost the toss on a batting day. No surprise then that Chilcompton batted first.  Nash started like a train, but with the score on 40 (having made 32 of them himself) he was caught by Kian Ware on debut for Barrow.

With the fast-running outfield the score motored along and the hundred was up when Mark Fisher bowled Fudge for 34. As all Chilcompton’s top order made a start, Frank himself came on to take 2/29 aided by some good catching in the deep. Paul Gard took the final wicket but the score of 265-6 would normally be beyond the Barrow Sunday team.

After a Rosemary Reeves tea with some sumptuous cakes, Barrow set out in search of their target. Guy Fisher and Gard opened to incredible effect putting on an amazing 175 for the first wicket against a good attack. 5 sixes and 17 fours do not do justice to the timing, the style and the clean striking Guy displayed. Only one half -chance to slip might have curtailed his inexorable progress and with Gard at the other end also hitting anything loose to the boundary, they were well ahead of the rate.

When Guy eventually fell for 113, Frank continued the momentum making a swift 25 before calling a tiring Gard for a run too many and being run out. When Gracey fell at 245-3 the game was in the balance.  

Chilcompton were pressing for a win, and were perhaps expecting a senior player to finish the job for Barrow, but Frank stuck with the spirit of the Sunday team by sending in young Leo Brace to have his chance of winning a glorious victory. Making 6 off 7 balls he nearly did it, but some brilliant fielding at third man saved 3 runs and then he just failed to clear mid off by 2 or 3 inches to win the game. With four needed off the last ball a weary Gard was unable to deliver but finished on a career high of 91 not out having batted the entire 40 overs. It was a shame to lose but a truly wonderful game from which many will draw confidence in future games.

On Saturday, however, the games were not so close, as the Firsts travelled to Bedminster 3rds and made a disappointing 171 all out. Several players made a start but Phil Milton, the captain, who made 30 was ultimately top scorer.  In reply Bedminster were rarely troubled and made their target for the loss of only 2 wickets, Skeet making 75 not out.

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow 2nds were asked to field and Chilcompton 2nds made 214 which was more than might have been the case if Barrow had pressed home their early advantage.  Adam Brace was the pick of the bowlers taking 3/38 whilst Pete Rooney took 3/50.

In reply Barrow lost three early wickets forcing Mark Forge (top scorer with 25) to dig in and rebuild the innings. When Mark departed with the score at 92 the innings slowly folded leaving the side well short on 139 all out.

BG Legends Of Tomorrow & Today

It was a really special evening at Hobbs Lane as Barrow Gurney, past, present and future met in a friendly T20 game. A packed pavilion of family and friends came to watch an exciting game which called to mind many memories of yesteryear and showed off how the legacy of former players is being continued by members of the current squad.

The match was the concept of Paul Mizen, Barrow’s long-standing fixture secretary, who tempted players from previous generations out of retirement for this one-off game. Captained by Mick Hardy, the Legends batted first and the skipper led the way taking an early boundary off Adam Brace with a familiar flick of his pads, but his cameo ended as he attempted to loft Frank Forge straight and picked out Mark Brown who safely pouched the catch.

His opening partner, Simon Wallis, was relatively untroubled and, joined by youthful looking Jon Hood, a 50 partnership was put on in quick time to the worry of Barrow’s present skipper Phil Milton. Jon rolled back the years with a stylish cover drive and despatched Paul Glazzard for a lovely clean straight six before being well-caught by the diving Phil Milton for a well-made 30. Phil Febrey had little chance to remind the crowd of his batting skills as he misjudged a straight one from Paul and was LBW.  Tim Patch was then a little too eager to up the scoring rate and was swiftly stumped by Bernie Forge.

Former Barrow captain Geoff Warren then joined Wallis, who by now was well on his way to a half century, and they took the total to 116 before Geoff became another victim of Phil Milton off the bowling of young Leo Brace. 

Leo then finally deceived the charging Wallis for Bernie to take another stumping, departing the scene for a brilliant 59 with 10 boundaries. With overs now ebbing away “Alfie” Alford aimed some lusty blows and connected with a number before skying a catch which saw bowler Phil Milton and keeper Bernie in danger of colliding momentarily.  Chris Warren fell soon after before Chris Patch came out to bat with a runner resulting, perhaps invevitably, in one of those confusing situations leading to a run out without Chris facing a ball. 141-9 though was a tough test for the present-day team.

After a short interval for some liquid refreshment, the present Barrow team went in to bat against some of their mentors, or, in some cases, players that they had only heard stories told about In whispered and reverential tones. Mark Brown fell victim to Alfie early on but then Bernie Forge and James Riley took charge of the Barrow innings. Bernie impressed the Legends with an extra cover drive and being severe on anything short, whilst James gradually overcame his fear of running for anything hit within 20 yards of his Barrow hero, Jon Hood, to score equally fluently at the other end.

Bernie made her half century to only modest applause from the crowd who seemed pre-occupied by the bar and barbecue at this stage, and then gave her wicket away charging the wily spin of Mick to be stumped by Spencer Mizen. Paul Glazzard then joined Riley and was quickly in his stride playing some powerful strokes. Meanwhile the Legend’s fielding was surprisingly mobile, helped by the fact that Chris Patch’s young runner (when he batted) also fielded alongside him in the outfield. Some, in fact, looked more lively in the field than half of Barrow’s second or third teams currently.

With only 12 needed off the last 2 overs, the Barrow team looked odds on. But then came Tim Patch, who bowled Paul sending one of the bails almost half way to the boundary and then trapped Phil Milton LBW, leaving the crowd wondering why he had not bowled before and leaving Barrow needing 10 of the final over. Alfie did his utmost in the final over but Barrow won with 2 balls to spare.

A fantastic evening and a wonderful game with lots of memories shared and friendships forged or re-kindled. Intended as a one-off it may become a feature of future fixture lists – who knows? It certainly demonstrated the fraternity and devotion of players of all generations to this small, but very special, village cricket club.



Cricket Not Coming Home As Barrow Lose In Another Close Finish, While Debuts Spare 2s Prospect Of Penalties

On a weekend where finding players was a problem for many teams, Barrow had 28 players unavailable which had an impact on all its teams. Nevertheless the Firsts were in a winning position in their game but failed to press home the advantage as Bath 4s fought hard to the end largely through an excellent innings from Beth Howe. Meanwhile the 2nds and 3rds struggled to be competitive in their games. 

At the scenic Hobbs Lane ground the 1st team went into the match with Bath 4’s still confident of doing the double after their victory in the first game of the season and winning 3 in a row.  Winning the toss in the blazing sunshine Phil Milton decided to have a bat although things didn’t go to plan as the returning Ali Hood was out first ball. Bernie Forge followed soon after leaving Barrow 14-2 but some steady batting from Guy Fisher (36) and Mark Fisher (24) got them to the 100 mark.  Ben Skuse and James Riley batted really well putting on a brilliant 105 run partnership before Riley went for 44.  Skuse finished 61 not out as Barrow finished on a pleasing 227-6 from their 45 overs.  A great all around effort was capped off by a nice Oscar Livesey 6 in the last over.

The timing of the end of the innings was perfect, as the teams  walked off just as the anthems started and the 2nds arrived following their defeat and all settled in to watch the football.


In the second innings Barrow got off to a great start, Riley removing the Bath captain for 0 and the dangerous looking number 3 for just 13. Things got better as Guy recovered from dropping a catch to run out the number 2 from a prone position on the ground!  With Barrow short of bowling Phil came on and took a wicket first ball as Oscar took a good catch in the deep but Bath moved onto 106-5; Barrow were definitely in the box seat however.  Wickets though were becoming increasingly difficult to come by as Bath moved to 124-7 before the key partnership of Tom Finn and Beth Howe took them to 211-8.  The return of Riley and Mark Fisher didn’t get the breakthrough Barrow hoped for and during this time the team lost a little composure and the bowlers got a little ragged.  A run out in in the penultimate over and the dismissal of Howe for a well-made 56 took Bath to 9 down but they hit they winning runs with 4 balls to spare.

The 2nds had agreed to play a 30 over match starting early to ensure a conclusion before the England game. With so few players available, Barrow were indebted to Petra Brace, Debbie Forge and Stephen Webb who made their debuts to avoid the team having to default and risk losing 10 points in the league for so doing


Mark Gracey won the toss and chose to bat and after the 30 overs Barrow had put on 89/5 with Pete Holdaway(21), and Gracey 24 not out top scoring as the team battled hard against some decent bowling which you would expect from a top of the table side. 

With a 15 minute rest, Barrow tried to limit the Twyford House scoring but alas to no avail with Melissa Owen picking up the only wicket and Twyford winning quite comfortably.

The Sunday team experienced a disappointing visit to Pak Bristolians.

It was very hot, the ground was hard, brown and uneven, the pitch was dusty and Mark Forge lost the toss again meaning another spell in the field for some already very tired limbs.

Despite this Barrow stuck to their task well actually bowling out the opposition for 250 in under 37 overs. Dan Caie (ex of Long Ashton), playing his first game of the season bowled with pace and accuracy taking 3/31, taking the vital wicket of the number 3 who had hit his first 3 balls for 4. Simon Hudson also bowled well taking 3/34 including a caught and bowled when the ball seemed to stop in mid air requiring a final desperate lunge. It was the 6th wicket partnership which took the innings away from Barrow.  Oscar Livesey,  bowling a mixture of spin and seam took 2 wickets before Paul Gard closed proceedings.

The opening pair of Livesey and Gracey went to the wicket and played nicely until Oscar played too soon at one which might have stopped and was caught and bowled for 11. Thereafter only Frank Forge (9) who was caught behind chasing a wide and Gracey (top score of 13) looked comfortable as the odd ball started to misbehave. The introduction of Azan signalled the death knell for Barrow as he took 4 cheap wickets.

Add in a disastrous run out, there was not too much to take from Barrow’s innings save the shot of the day from Dan Caie – a straight drive back over a young fast bowlers head, but he too fell trying to repeat the dose. All out for 68.


90 Mark For Brown & Fisher Secure Weekend Wins For Barrow

Barrow Gurney 1sts recorded their third consecutive win on Saturday as they entertained Abbots Leigh in a high-scoring game. A blisteringly hot day, a fast outfield and Barrow’s bijou ground was made for batting and so it proved for long periods of the game. 15 balls were lost over the boundary to boot.

Abbots Leigh batted first and despite the high quality bowling of Ed Holdaway and James Riley, put on 50 for the first wicket. Mark Fisher, coming on as first change, started to make inroads into the opposition batting line up (eventually taking 3/37) by bowling the opening bat.  But by the time Matt Owen had chipped in with a wicket and Frank Forge (2/48) had exposed the middle order, the score had advanced to 156 before Mark claimed the fifth wicket with a run out. Abbots Leigh continued to build a total with contributions from most of their batsmen before late wickets for Holdaway (2/34) and Fisher’s last 2 wickets bowled them out for a competitive 269.

In reply Barrow started positively through captain Phil Milton and Bernie Forge but they were both dismissed as the score touched 40 off 5 overs. Mark Brown then came to the crease and in an innings of typical vigour and clean hitting began to take the game away from the visitors, scoring 94 off only 75 balls. He received good support from Guy Fisher (30) before Ed Holdaway added more firepower in seeing Barrow home with 4 overs to spare with 78 not out.

With the season at its mid-point, Barrow remain mid-table and look forward to playing Bath 4ths next weekend.

Things did not go so well for the seconds at Patchway as the home side scored 242-6, with only Adam Brace (3/35) having much success in restricting the team batting first. Barrow never looked like getting close and faltered to 120 not out after Ali Hood was dismissed for 31. This set back leaves Barrow in mid-table with a visit to Twyford House in prospect next Saturday.

A hot and humid afternoon with the prospect of a heavy shower was the weather forecast which greeted the players at Hobbs Lane on Sunday.

Carson’s openers faced a challenging new ball attack of Kieran Owen and the leg-spin of Guy Fisher. It was Kieran who struck first inducing a top edge which hit the other opener in the grille of his helmet and lobbed back to the bowler. The No 3 soon followed as Mark Fisher redeemed himself from missing a difficult chance when he was unsighted by the bowler, giving his brother his first wicket of the day.

In came the dangerous Digby who played a shot a ball and mostly connected, benefitting from another missed chance, he moved swiftly onto 36 before launching Guy to deep extra where Ben  Thorne ran in to take another excellent catch. 2/42 for Guy off his 8 overs.

The fall of Digby was greeted by the introduction of Melissa Owen who now had the challenge of bowling to Mark Pitt who was approaching a half century.  At the other end Frank Forge bowled the No 5 to make the score 94-4.

Soon after Melissa discovered some inswing and dip and began to trouble Pitt finally inducing him into clipping one in the air to Guy. Then Carsons began to fold as Bernie Forge took 2 excellent stumpings, one off her brother and another standing up to Adam Brace. 2/24 for Frank before Oscar Livesey came on to mop up the tail (2/20). Carsons 141 all out off 32.2 overs.

So an early tea, courtesy of Laura Owen, was enjoyed by all before Barrow began their attempt to overhaul the opposition total under cloudy and rather threatening skies.

Kieran and Mark Fisher started slowly against a decent attack with young Redfern eventually bowling Kieran for 9 and then getting James Riley caught behind soon after.  After a break for a rain shower Mark Fisher began to score freely taking 4 fours off an over. Ben Thorne offered good support at the other end defending well and pulling a couple of boundaries before Adam Brace was a victim of indecision and the slippery ground, being run out whilst in a prone position in the middle of the wicket.

89-4 and still work to do as Mark was serenely moving through the gears and he despatched the winning runs over the hedge for his second 6, only the finishing line could deprive him of a century but 90 not out was a fine knock helping the Sunday XI to a much-needed win.


Pace Duo See Off Civil Service, Whilst 2nds Edge Another Thriller At Barrow

Last Saturday saw another great double triumph for the Barrow teams as the Firsts bowled out their opponents cheaply and knocked off the runs well before tea had been taken in a tense match at Hobbs Lane, where the Seconds came out on top after another close finish.


At the Civil Service Club, Bristol Civil Service won the toss and decided to bat. James Riley and Ed Holdaway opened the attack for Barrow and what followed has to go down as one of Barrow’s best fielding and bowling displays of recent years.   Phil Milton took a diving one hander to remove the opener, Will Kerswell followed up by taking a good one at second slip, Ed Holdaway had a smart caught and bowled, Riley splattered some stumps and got an LBW. Both openers were bowling fast, with lots of swing, and showing lots of control, Civil Service had no answer on this occasion.  The final wicket summed up the innings as Ed induced a nick to Mark Brown at first slip but he fumbled and knocked it up to Riley who took the catch!  Finally taking their catches meant Barrow had the opposition under the pressure from the get go and they never let them off the hook; Civil Service were bowled out for just 42, Riley taking 5/15 and Ed Holdway 5/18.


Bernie Forge and Phil Milton opened but Phil went without scoring bringing Mark Brown to the crease.  He hit 37 of the 43 needed as Barrow won by 8 wickets in just 9.4 overs including a couple of massive 6’s.   

So another 29 point win for Barrow, next week the firsts face Abbots Leigh.

Due to the extremely early finish the team all went up to watch the 2nds play and saw the end of another brilliant game.  It made for a great atmosphere at Hobbs Lane, where skipper, Mark Gracey elected to field in the heat meaning Pucklechurch 2nds were to bat first with the skipper taking the wicket-keeping gloves for the first time.

Pukklechurch started slowly and steadily with only 31 scored after the first 10 overs with Paul Gard bowling with his usual economy ably supported by Leo Brace and Pete Rooney at the other end. Unfortunately, wickets were hard to come by and as Rivers and Francomb began to open their arms they started to accelerate the score. But after a 125 opening partnership Simon Hudson struck to take the wicket of Francomb for 46. Mike Lilley, not wanting to be outdone at the other end struck 2 overs later to remove the number 3 and not long after Rivers for a well-made 70. Pucklechurch now had two batsman at the crease who felt very comfortable striking the ball, and when Adam Brace picked up Barrow’s final wicket with the last ball in his spell, Barrow were left needing a target of 212.

 During tea, the first team had arrived at the ground having won their game with ease. What a grandstand finish they were to witness!

Pete Holdawway and Mike Lilley  started as though they wanted to get to the bar pretty quickly with a win and scored 14 off the first over and a further 8 off the second. With the score rolling on Barrow felt confident but then Pete was run out for 18, Roger Finnemore and Mark Gracey fell cheaply. Adam Brace came in at number 5 and despite having asked over and over again to bat  further down the order, he  found the scoring relatively easy to come by. When Mike was caught for 23 and once Mark Forge came and went, Adam and Simon Hudson put on a strong fight back before Adam fell for 37. This bought in Paul Gard who put his lack of form with the bat behind him and continued where Adam left off. When Simon fell (36) with the score on 181/7 with a further 31 needed to win, enter Ben Thorne, Ben batted with great resilience halting the momentum of the Pucklechurch bowlers. After Ben was bowled, young Leo Brace walked out with a swagger. The score kept ticking over and needing only a couple off the final over with Leo on strike, all the Pucklechurch fielders crowded the bat. Leo showed great maturity and, after 3 attempts finally connected with one big swing, striking the ball right out the middle of the bat with such venom almost taking off a fielders head to score the winning runs. (Leo not.out 9, Gard not.out. 34)

A great win for both the firsts and seconds – one slightly more nail biting than the other!!

There was no game for the Sunday XI this week as many regulars had other commitments although only one cried off for the World Cup!