Barrow’s opening bat, Bernie Forge, received the Somerset Girls Under 17 Batsman of the Year award at the Somerset Women and Girls presentation evening last week at the County Ground at Taunton. Bernie, pictured here with Paul “Sid” Lawrence, the Somerset Women’s Coach, won the prize having scored 417 runs for the Under 17 team at an average of almost 30. The team qualified for the national finals where Bernie top-scored with 42 in a narrow defeat for third place to Hampshire.
This capped a good season for Bernie, who learned her cricket at Barrow Gurney under the coaching of club chairman, Pete Holdaway, with support from other senior players who freely give their time to coach junior players. She was the club’s top scorer in 2016, making the first century by a woman in the Bristol & District League whilst playing for Barrow 2nd team, which earned her the chance to open for the firsts in the latter half of the season and for whom she made a promising start.
Bernie has also played women’s cricket for Bath Wanderers and made over 1,000 runs in all cricket last year. She is now training with the Somerset Women’s squad having made her senior debut last year, hoping for an opportunity to develop her cricket further, whilst she hopes to go to university after the 2017 season and ultimately a career in sport and physical education.
Barrow Gurney are, literally, building on the success of its female cricketers, as the foundations have now been laid for a new female changing room. Being a small club Barrow are not yet in a position to run a full women’s team, but with Ellie Holdaway leading the 2nd team to promotion last season, and Melissa Owen taking her first senior wicket, the club recognises the need to provide proper facilities for its growing number of women and girls who are an integral part of all adult and junior teams.