A second consecutive win for the Barrow Gurney 2s against Carsons Mangotsfield was the highlight of the weekend, as the Firsts were undone by a promising young Congresbury bowler and the Sunday team batted poorly against Keynsham.
On a glorious afternoon at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2s lost the toss and found themselves in the field. Steve Owen and Mike Lilley opened the bowling and kept things tight. Steve (1/24) picked up an early wicket when one of the openers chipped to Kieran Owen, at mid-on. Pete Rooney (1/14) replaced Mike and, nursing an injury, struggled a bit for line and length but did claim Barrow’s second wicket with a leg side long hop that the Carsons no 3 somehow spooned into the hands of a tumbling Roger Finnimore at square leg taking the score to 36-2. Kian Ware (1/22) replaced Steve and showed some genuine pace inducing a nick from the opposition skipper in his second over. Carsons 65-3 as drinks approached.
Shortly after Kieran Owen (8 overs 1/32), who was bowling really well, with good shape moving the ball from leg to off, induced the remaining opener into a drive which flew low off the edge and Ali Hood took a fine catch. At 70-4 & scoring at only 3 an over Barrow were very much on top but the next Carsons pair batted very well running hard and finding boundaries taking their score up to 148. Isaac Todman (1/35) was bowling well keeping the ball pitched up and very deservedly got the wicket of Carson’s most dangerous batsmen clean bowled with a Yorker-length ball that just nipped back a bit.
In the end Carsons reached 197-5 off their 40 overs. In reply Roger Finnimore and Ben Skuse put on an untroubled 50 partnership before Skuse (19) was undone by the lack of pace as he was through his favourite paddle shot too early and gloved one through to the keeper. Mark Gracey then joined Roger and they put on a very decent partnership of 80 with a combination of singles and boundaries and helped Barrow stay comfortably up with the run rate. Gracey played very well with a couple of lovely back foot punches before he fell trying to clear mid-off when he had made 40 and Barrow were 130-2 with plenty of time left. Kian then entered the fray and with a some great striking and several lost balls made an enterprising 48 not out. However, Roger Finnimore did get to 50 before holing out with victory in sight for a very well-played 51, playing the solid anchor that set up a Barrow victory. Kian then finished things off with a fine reverse hit to finish on 48 not out and bring Barrow a 7 wicket win with more than 50 balls to spare.
At Congresbury, Barrow’s first XI looked to be in a promising position as they restrained the home side to 237 all out. Ed Holdaway destroyed the lower order taking 5/35, but there were wickets too for Premil Fernando (2/37), Matt Owen 2/55 and Hashan Mudiyanselage (1/42). They were well supported by some good fielding and catching.
In reply Barrow were up against young William Eyres fresh off of taking 7 for 4 against Almondsbury. With some inswing followed by pronounced movement off the seam, all delivered at lively pace, he was quite a handful and soon Barrow were 10 for 4. Hashan and Ed Holdaway fought hard to give the score respectability before Hashan unluckily smashed one and picked out the one fielder in the ring on the leg side, departing for 25, and when Ed was caught trying to emulate his 4 huge sixes, the battle became one of trying to secure a couple of batting bonus points. With 150 on the board, Barrow were all out. Eyres taking 5/15.
On Sunday against Keynsham Barrow played a 30 over game due to threat of rain.
Mark Forge lost the toss and Keynsham decided to bat. They came up against a very good opening spell from Paul Gard (6 overs for 11), who displayed great accuracy and the bad luck which has limited his wicket count this season. Melissa Owen also bowled well and the score remained under control as Craig Jones took over from her but there were no early wickets.
The introduction of Leo Brace changed that as he bowled one of his best spells (2/22) clean bowling 2 batsman. But then the fielding standards suddenly went into free-fall and shots hit straight to the fielder went for 4 more often than not. James Riley, off a short run removed the stubborn Browne for 53. With Leo executing a brilliant bit of fielding completed by Jonny Sykes for a sharp run out, Keynsham finished 166-4.
After the early loss of the skipper, Riley, overcame a slightly fidgety start to blossom into playing some elegant shots, in partnership with Paul Gard, and soon reached 50. He tried to retire but was dissuaded, but when he had scored 65 (12 fours, 1 six) he walked off. 97-1 (in effect 97-2) and Barrow were in a strong position, but being a Sunday, he wanted to ensure everyone had a game. Within 5 overs everyone had, as Gard fell immediately for 15 and Barrow collapsed to 112 all out! Young John Biddlestone took 6 for 10 amidst the carnage.