Treasury Valuers were the visitors to Barrow Gurney on Sunday on a hot afternoon punctuated by several heavy showers that elongated the match which finished just in time for some minor football match involving Portugal and France.
Winning the toss and batting the Valuers started strongly until Adam Brace induced a false shot to square leg, Nick Heal collecting the catch. That was the only success in the first 10 overs as the opposition raced to 50. Spin was called for and Mick Hardy brought some control in his early overs and induced a stumping from James Riley. At the other end came “ringer” Sam from Failand & Portbury, who trying to make amends for dismissing the Barrow skipper a couple of weeks ago, offered to play as a late replacement for the injured Frank Forge. Sam also kept things very tight and had Coombes caught by Mark Forge to a difficult spinning catch at cover. Then came the Valuers’ skipper Gary Worgan (53 retired), who in true Gordon Greenidge fashion batted better the more he limped. His carefully timed onslaught meant that both Mick and Sam finished with figures of 1/39. The Barrow juniors equipped themselves very well with Leo Brace bowling the only maiden of the innings and Melissa Owen bowling very tidily too as she had the worst of a wet ball after a heavy shower. Adam Brace came back to take a couple more wickets and had excellent figures of 3/33. The Valuers finished on 224-6.
In reply Mark Forge fell for 10 and James Riley, who was struggling with an off spinner turning the ball down the slope fell not long after leaving Barrow 38-2. Mick Hardy and Steve Owen steadied the ship, Mick looking rusty at first before playing some stylish shots including an imperious straight 6. After losing Steve for 23, Ed Jones joined Mick. For Ed taking guard is playing himself in and he hit his first 3 balls for 4 and then continued to hit an enormous six over the car park falling bowled for 28 but he and Mick (who retired on 50) gave Barrow a chance of victory.
Then followed the Rod Reeves and Nick Heal school of running. Rod started aggressively, and eager to get a quick single off went Rod and Nick but horror of horrors they were running on the same line, realising what had happened and they took evasive action, but they both went the same way! The tall and quick running Nick pole-axed the slighter and slower Rod leaving him grasping around on the deck feeling for his bat, like a man who had dropped his glasses in the dark. Amazingly neither was run out. The entertaining partnership continued as Nick, on two occasions, ran 2 whilst Rod did not leave his crease at all! Each time the fielders threw to Rod’s end! Finally, Nick was bowled for 16. Sam had been held in reserve to see Barrow home, but hitting his first ball in the air to long off put paid to that. 188-7 was a good score but not enough to win on the day.