Barrow Gurney charged to the top of B&D Division 5 with an emphatic maximum point win against, previously unbeaten, Bath 4ths at Hobbs Lane on Saturday. Unfortunately, the 2s and 3s lost at Patchway and Bristol Bangladeshis respectively.
At Hobbs Lane a lost toss resulted in Barrow batting first for the first time this season.
Barrow opened up with a new look opening partnership in Guy Fisher and Bernie Forge. Bath had very accurate opening bowlers and they were rewarded with the wicket of Bernie early on. This brought Ellie Holdaway to the crease to join Guy at which point they set out trying to set a good platform and did a stellar job of it putting on 55 for the second wicket. Guy played very sensibly putting away his flashier shots and knuckling down just as the team needed until getting out for 31 trying to boost the run rate.
This brought the long-anticipated return of Jon Hood who looked to push for quick singles while trying to push the run rate along with Ellie playing the anchor role. Ellie played a brilliant knock at a perfect pace for a number 3 and was fully deserving of a maiden first team 50. Unfortunately, it was not to be, but she scored a very good 46 nonetheless. On her departure Barrow were 131-4 so there was plenty of work to do to get a decent score. Jonny Sykes and Benura Umanga took this in their stride with Benura getting 50 off 35 balls and Jonny 33 off 18 with some monstrous six hitting. Mark Fisher (18) and Premil Fernando (15 not out) then finished the innings off nicely with a few big hits of their own as Barrow reached a score of 257-8. Another top team batting performance.
Mark Fisher and Kieran Owen opened the bowling and put the pressure on the Bath batsman immediately allowing them to score at 3 an over after the first 10 overs. Kieran (1/9) also picked up a wicket early caught behind safely by Bernie Forge with a cracking ball. Bath then put on a decent partnership before Premil Fernando managed to get one through the defences of the Bath number three trapping him LBW. In at 4 was Vik Prasher who had scored a hundred a week before and in rapid time too, so he was a key wicket. Enter Ed Holdaway who managed to pick up the wicket of the opener Beth Howe (35) and Prasher (32) in quick succession putting Barrow right on top. Ed picked up a further 2 and was well supported by Benura keeping it tight at the other end. Ed bowled with unexpected pace after his injury and with great control.
With Bath looking too far behind to beat the Barrow score, the push for as many bowling bonus points as possible was on. The returning Jon Hood then got his first wicket caught well by Jonny Sykes at deep midwicket. He soon took another bowled with a lovely slower ball. As Bath got over 200 with 8 wickets down, Barrow tried to take the final bonus point. Guy bowling a good over with no luck, so Barrow then entered the final over still needing 2 wickets for max points and they managed it with a Premil direct hit run out and a lovely floaty long hop caught at square leg off Frank Forge’s bowling.
Frank said afterwards: “It was an almost perfect performance with the bat, ball and in the field. As you can see from my report all 11 players were mentioned in what was a true team performance. My Player of the Match would be Ed Holdaway for taking two important wickets and finishing with figures of 9-3-29-4. Honourable mentions go to Ellie and Benura who also played big roles in the win.”
At Scott Park, Patchway Barrow 2s made 180-7 in their 40 overs thanks to a good partnership between Ben Skuse (58) and Pete Holdaway (41), Nick Heal (24) added some useful late order runs. Patchway though plotted their way to a comfortable win with 3 overs to spare as all their top-order made a contribution. Simon Hudson was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 26.
On Sunday, Barrow travelled to Oldbury Court to play Bristol Bangladeshis. Losing the toss Barrow were faced with bowling with a wet ball on an unpredictable pitch. Captain Numani hit a powerful 115 and found support from Khan (73) as Barrow struggled in the field, the home side amassing 272-7. 15-year olds, Isaac Todman (3/50) and Ben Thorne behind the stumps (1 catch, 1 stumping) were outstanding.
Barrow’s reply was once again spearheaded by Guy Fisher (88) who played a flawless innings and seemed destined for another hundred. But the rest of team struggled as the pitch lost much of its bounce with the old ball, and Barrow faded to 184 all out.