Barrow Gurney 1st XI won a thrilling low-scoring encounter at Chilcompton this weekend, whilst the 2s finally registered a win in another game where runs were hard to come by.
With several regulars of the top 6 away, Barrow captain, Frank Forge, seemed to have taken a bit of a risk on choosing to bat after winning the toss. As Ben Skuse departed to the first ball of the game, it fell to the regular opening pair of Guy Fisher (58) and Bernie Forge (27) to put Barrow back on a solid footing with a partnership of 77 before Bernie edged to slip. Guy made his 50 in fine style with a lovely straight six into the sightscreens and one flowing cover drive, which was particularly easy on the eye.
Beyond Guy’s knock, which was ended by one which kept low, Barrow really struggled as a lucky stumping off the keeper’s pad, a silly run out and a couple of wild shots put them seemingly out of the game. Only a dogged 11 not out from Kieran Owen got the team to 130 all out.
Chilcompton set about getting the runs quickly but were pegged back by Frank’s off spin (3/24 off 9 overs) as he surprised the opposition by opening the bowling. With tight seam bowling from Mark Fisher and Premil Fernando at the other end, Hashan Mudiyanselage replaced Frank with his leg-spin. Having bowled the dangerous Rivers for 25, the game seemed to be slipping away from Barrow as Chilcompton were 119-6 needing only 12 to win. At his point the skipper inspired his team taking a breath-taking catch at silly cover, with Matt Owen bowling the No 9 and Bernie Forge taking a good catch off Hashan’s quicker ball (leaving him with 3/28), it was now 119-9 and game on. Matt Owen (2/5) gave nothing away and after having a close LBW turned down, finally bowled Chilcompton’s No 11 to win a famous victory by 4 runs.
Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, the 2s also struggled with the bat until Simon Hudson (batting at 6) crafted an important 23, but still they found themselves 105-7. The unlikely partnership of Peter Rooney (39 not out) and Isaac Todman (16 not out) put on 49 for the last wicket batting out the remaining overs and giving Barrow something to bowl at.
Mike Lilley (6-2-6-2) and Paul Gard (8-2-13-0) kept things very tight early on, before Steve Owen (2/28) and Adam Brace (3/30) chipped away at the Coalpit Heath 3rds’ middle order. Injured Simon Hudson took 2/27 at half pace before Isaac Todman took the key wicket of Oliver Baldwin for 37. Coalpit Heath folded for 107 as Barrow finally recorded a win and regained touch with the teams in the lower half of Div 13.
Sunday turned out to be wet and with Barrow on 73-5 against Bitton, torrential rain ended proceedings.