Owens Take the Bowling Honours In Mixed Weekend For Barrow Gurney

Barrow Gurney’s cricket teams were heavily in debt to the Owen family this Saturday with outstanding performances in both Saturday games. The 1st XI pulled off a win at Almondsbury, but the 2s season of misfortune continued as they let slip a winning position at home.

Matt Owen blew away the Almondsbury tail taking 4/19.

Away at Almondsbury, Barrow bowled well as a unit to dismiss the hosts for 166, with an early burst from Mark Fisher (2/15) having Almondsbury 8-2. A rally followed led by Jason Phillips (61), before Frank Forge (2/46) and Kieran Owen (2/27) struck. But it was the return of Kieran’s brother Matt for a second spell which was decisive as he took the last 4 Almondsbury wickets in 8 balls for 1 run to finish with 4/19 in all.

In reply Barrow were made to fight for their runs and whilst Oscar Livesey (36) anchored the innings there were useful contributions from Ellie Holdaway (18), Guy Fisher (21) and Kieran Owen (21) before Bernie Forge (25 not out) saw the visitors across the line with 3 overs to spare to record a 4 wicket win.

Steve Owen after taking 4 for 8 at Hobbs Lane.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2s faced a must-win game against Thornbury 4s. In the early afternoon it seemed like plain sailing as Steve Owen bowled with precision and some swing taking 5 for 8 in his 8 over spell to leave the visitors reeling at 94-9. As so often this season, Barrow failed to drive home their advantage and the last wicket added 101 with Sunil Reddy scoring an excellent 72. Simon Hudson also took 2/36.

An early run out dented Barrow’s chances, but Ali Hood hit another powerful 63 and found welcome company in the back to form Mark Gracey (52). At 129-2 Barrow were on course for a win but another batting collapse against bowlers who began to find some prodigious turn from the wicket caused Barrow to come up a disappointing 15 runs short. Relegation now seems an inevitability with only 2 games to go.

Ali Hood (63) and Mark Gracey (52) put Barrow in a position to win before a batting collapse.

On Sunday another poor Barrow Gurney batting performance left Westerleigh only 137 to chase for a first win of the season, Guy Fisher top-scoring with 41. The visitors had some alarms against a spirited Barrow attack but ran out 6 wicket winners.

Bill Nutt RIP

Barrow Gurney CC recently lost another of its former stalwarts, Bill Nutt, and we extend our condolences to his family and friends. Geoff Saunders writes with some personal memories of Bill….

Bill and his late brother Colin played for Barrow in the 1950s until he retired in the very early 1970s.

There are still some of us old boys, about 8 of us, who remain associated with the club, and are in our 70s and were young men when we started playing with Bill. Memories dim over the years and the modern technology of the day was a Brownie 123 camera and roll film so that photographs were few and mainly of the whole teams at the time.

Bill was always a fun chap to play with but sometimes his colleagues did not share his sense of humour as he developed an enviable record of running between the wickets with calling such as “Yes, no, sorry”. A new kind of dance was named because of this known as the “Barrow Shuffle”. But Bill was a fine local player bowling off spin and off cutters

One of Bill’s more  memorable  sayings at the end of this playing career occurred on a day when us “young bucks” wanted to play on in a miserable wet day to get a result and Bill was heard to say (rather unkindly to us, or words to the same effect) “ I wouldn’t work in it and so I’m not going to play in it”

I met Bill last year at Colin’s funeral and arranged a visit to our beautiful ground which has changed out of all recognition since Bill played. In his day the club had the minimum of facilities – no water being one of them and Bill had to take his turn, trudging down to a house, some 200 yards away to fill 2 water urns and returning with them full, arms aching and whites covered in soot from the bottom of the water urn. Mind you Bill often kindly delegated this task to us “young uns” at that time. We also had no electricity, no toilet, few catering facilities and a very small hut for the 22 players to change.

In those early days we sometimes struggled to field just one side each weekend so quite often when we were short of players. Bill and Colin used to collar some unsuspecting members of Bishopsworth British Legion to play, with words like “Do you like cricket – if they answered in the affirmative, he would continue that’s good you are playing for us today”.

Bill’s visit to the club on a super day with a couple of us who had played with Bill was full of joy for him when coupled with a beer and a wall full of photos of yesteryear, so much so that we were to repeat the visit this year but a combination of cold and wet weather and logistics prevented this up to the end of June, and now following his death at 95 sadly did not take place as I had hoped.

Bill was the oldest living member of the club and his successor to that title, the Club President, Brian Mayled, is a mere 85 years old.

So Bill, this is a fond farewell and thank you from all your friends at the club

Barrow Firsts In Dramatic Tie At Abbots Leigh

A thrilling tie at Abbots Leigh and a close game on Sunday at Hobbs Lane made for compelling watching for the Barrow Gurney supporters. Meanwhile Jonny Sykes dominated the weekend with his batting.

Jonny Sykes made 76 not out in the tie at Abbots Leigh, and added a further 23 not out against Blagdon on Sunday.

Barrow Gurney First XI tied with Abbots Leigh 1st team on Saturday in a thrilling encounter. Batting first on their home ground, Abbots Leigh made 212-6 with Barrow’s Benura Umanga taking 4/39.

Barrow’s reply started slowly, and they always looked to be behind the required rate. Guy Fisher’s 31 kept the visitors in the hunt, but it was Jonny Sykes (76 not out) who began to get Barrow back in the game, helped by Premil Fernando (26) and Matt Owen (20). With 2 needed to win, Keiron Owen was run out off the penultimate ball to leave the teams tied.

Ali Hood’s quickfire 68 was not enough to put Barrow 2s into contention.

At Hobbs Lane there was no such drama as Abbots Leigh 2s comfortably made light work of Barrow 2s. 243-9 being too many for Barrow to chase down despite a spirited 68 from Ali Hood. The home side fell 82 runs short, leaving the team precariously placed in B&D Division 13.

On Sunday at Hobbs Lane, Barrow gave their younger players the chance to shine against Blagdon. Although Oscar Livesey (44) top scored as the home side made 177-6, Jordan Allen made a fluent 23, Leo Brace made a stylish 15, whilst father Adam opened his shoulders to make 21 not out at the close alongside Jonny Sykes who (batting at 9) added another 23 not out to his weekend’s tally.

The occasional bowling of Ben Thorne accounted for 3 Blagdon wickets including 2 family members.

Blagdon lost 3 early wickets to the occasional bowling of Ben Thorne (3/29) who managed to dismiss his cousin and uncle into the bargain, whilst a catch was dropped which would have made it a four-wicket haul.

Whilst overseas player Wade rode his luck to make 58, Barrow persisted with giving their younger players the chance to impress as Melissa Owen and Seb Allen bowled 16 overs between them for only 63 runs. Oscar Livesey’s spin accounted for two Blagdon batsmen as the game moved towards a close finish but the visitors narrowly squeezed home by 2 wickets.

Depleted Barrow Falter Against League Leaders

Barrow Gurney fielded depleted teams this weekend as many players were taking a well-earned break. However, with both First and Second Teams playing against their respective league leaders, it meant for some rather one-sided games.

Guy FIsher celebrates his half century with Matt Owen

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow 1st XI batted first but could only make 136, largely due to Guy Fisher’s 66 after visitors Winterbourne A spilled a few chances. Kieran Owen also made 24 but the outcome was never in doubt as Winterbourne knocked off the target with the loss of only 2 wickets.

Barrow 2s travelled all the way to Mells and having lost the toss watched as the home team made 313-5, with Mike Lilley having the consolation of 2 wickets as he fielded a side with a lack of bowling options. The opposition’s superior bowling made light work of the Barrow line-up as they were skittled out for 70.

Last wicket pair Steve Owen and Mike Lilley batting at Mells on Saturday

On Sunday at Bath Exiles, Barrow again struggled for runs making 163 all out, which the Exiles surpassed easily despite Paul Gard taking 3/39.

Overall it was a week to forget but with players returning next week we hope for much better as the Saturday teams match up for a double-header against Abbots Leigh and the Sunday team entertain Blagdon.

Rod Gerrish RIP

Barrow Gurney Cricket Club was sad to hear recently of the death of Rod Gerrish. Barrow Chairman, Pete Holdaway shares a couple of memories in tribute to Rod as we send our condolences to his family and friends:

Rod Gerrish (Left) with Rod Reeves and Pete Holdaway on one of Barrow Gurney’s legendary tours.

Rod was a stalwart of Barrow Gurney CC  with a big heart and matching sense of humour. Coming to us via Bristol Water, he quickly became involved as Vice Captain of the seconds and later gave a massive amount of his time to the upkeep of the ground. A permanent fixture on BGCC’s tours, Rod still remains in the memories of the residents of Somerset and Devon as the man with the minimal dress-code!  He was probably  best  known for opening the batting and then standing up behind the stumps to the quickest bowlers, often resulting in ‘bruise inspection’ after the game!

Rod, you were a great friend and your contribution and presence is missed on a daily basis, rest in peace.

Spin “Twins” Help Barrow Do The Double Over Bath

Barrow Gurney 1st XI completed the double over promotion hopefuls Bath 4ths in B&D Division 5 with a superb display of bowling at the Brownsword Ground on Saturday.

Hashan Mudiyanselage took 3/12 with his leg-spin

Put into bat, Bath were up against it from the off with Mark Fisher (2/21) taking a couple of early wickets and Jonny Sykes (1/15) picking up another. Then “spin twins” Hashan Mudiyanselage (3/12) and skipper Frank Forge (3/18) ripped through the Bath batting line up dismissing them for only 89 with the aid of some brilliant fielding. Kian Ware took 2 good catches, Jonny Sykes 3 more and Bernie Forge held two behind the stumps. Benura Umanga also executed an important run out.

Barrow Skipper Frank Forge who took 3/18.

After losing a wicket off the first ball of the innings, Bernie Forge (13) and Sam Turner (13) steadied the innings although both fell before Barrow reached their target; and with Benura Umanga also falling on 13, it fell to Guy Fisher (12 not out) and Jonny Sykes (15 not out) to take Barrow to a 5 wicket victory, Guy hitting an enormous six to end the game. 

Roger Finnimore top-scored for the 2s with 61. (Library picture)

Many of the team had time to return to Hobbs Lane to watch an exciting end to the 2nd XI game against old rivals Patchway 2nds. Charlie Joyner (88) had helped Patchway to 176-3, a total that is well below a par score at Barrow’s quick scoring ground. However, the early loss of Ali Hood without scoring dealt Barrow a blow before Roger Finnimore (61) and Pete Holdaway (21) put on a 76 run partnership at the rate needed to overhaul the visitors’ total. When Pete departed, wickets kept falling as Barrow continued to keep up with the rate and with only 3 needed off the last 4 balls, captain Mike Lilley was bowled to leave the team with another agonising defeat.

On Sunday, Bristol Bangladeshis batted well at Hobbs Lane for 197 despite some good bowling from Paul Gard (3/37), Guy Fisher (3/41) and Craig Jones (2/38), they were backed up by some good fielding including 3 catches and 2 stumpings for wicket keeper Jordan Allen and a diving one-handed catch from acting captain James Riley.

Jordan Allen made 50 on his season’s debut.

As they set out on their target, Barrow lost a couple of early wickets, but then a partnership developed between Jordan Allen and Frank Forge to take the total into 3 figures. Jordan, playing his first game this season, soon got into his stride making exactly 50 before offering a catch. Frank, having enjoyed bowling success on Saturday, took a rare chance with the bat to make his second half century for Barrow, playing some fluent shots around the wicket on his way to 76 not out and, with James Riley quickly adding 30, Barrow romped home by 6 wickets.

Frank Forge recorded his highest score of 76 not out to steer Barrow to Sunday success.

Legends return to Barrow, Whilst The 2s Are In Need Of A Hero

Barrow Gurney CC welcomed back some players of yesteryear last week in a fixture which pitted the current crop of players against the Barrow “Legends”.

The Barrow Legends assembled by team manager Paul Mizen (right)

The Legends team comprised: Geoff Warren (c), Spencer Mizen (wk), Simon Wallis, Luke Richards, Jamie Biddle, Stu Hood, Mick Hardy, Steve Milton, Chris Milton, Paul Tye, Ben Saunders and Tim Patch. Meanwhile Phil Milton took charge of the current Barrow team.

On a beautiful evening many other former players and supporters came to watch as the Legends found the going difficult against the youthful current side in the annual 20 over game.

Luke Richards and captain Geoff Warren top-scored with 15 apiece as the Legends put on 114-9 with current first team captain Frank Forge taking 3/14.

Mick Hardy rolled back the years with 3/14, as Guy Fisher (also pictured) top-scored for the current team.

In reply Barrow came up against the wily spin of Mick Hardy who had taken so many wickets over the years at Hobbs Lane, and he bamboozled the top order also taking 3/14. But Premil Fernando (36) and Guy Fisher (45) got the current Barrow team close to the total which they reached with an over to spare.

At the weekend both the Firsts and Sunday XIs found their opposition had conceded, leaving only the seconds to play against Old Park at Frenchay.

Batting firsts Barrow lost early wickets, before a brief rally with Kieran Owen (29) and Will Kerswell (21) putting together a good partnership. Simon Hudson (23) made sure that Barrow batted the overs and gave his side something to bowl at as they were all out of the last ball for 140.

Simon Hudson took 3/27 against Old Park

Hudson was also the pick of Barrow’s bowlers, striking 3 times after a good opening partnership for the home side took them some way towards their total. His 3 for 27 plus a wicket for Adam Brace gave Barrow half a chance but when 2 catches went down, Old Park then cruised towards their total. This defeat leaves Barrow 2s precariously in the relegation zone of Division 13.

Barrow Tame The Lions To Return To Winning Ways

Barrow Gurney 1st XI chalked up another win against Bristol Lions, whilst in high-scoring contests at Hobbs Lane, the 2nds narrowly lost to Bedminster 5ths , and a weakened Sunday team struggled against the formidable opening partnership of Kilmersdon.

Bristol Lions found runs hard to come by against the Barrow attack.

Barrow Gurney tamed the Bristol Lions on Saturday, bowling a team, depleted in number, out for 121 on an unpredictable pitch at Dunkerton. Matt Owen followed up last week’s good from with 4/36, whilst the skipper Frank Forge weighed in with 2/24.

With batting extremely difficult, Barrow promoted the hard-hitting Kian Ware to open the batting, and he set about making the target in double quick time, smashing 81 not out off 41 balls with 5 sixes, to take Barrow to a welcome win by 7 wickets after a difficult few weeks.

Stu Hood enjoyed his rare outing with an excellent 66.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, Barrow’s 3 H’s built a competitive score, as regular opener Ali Hood made another powerful innings of 64, but he was bettered by his brother Stu, who on a rare outing these days, played a magnificent knock of 66. The innings was anchored by Barrow chairman Pete Holdaway who batted 35 overs for a stylish 61, but the innings stalled and 237-5 was only a par score on the quick-scoring ground.

Visitors, Bedminster 5ths, weathered an excellent early spell of 2/27 from Barrow captain Mike Lilley, but Dave Peacock (81) kept the run chase going at the required rate. Pegged back by three brilliant run outs, by Pete Rooney, Craig Jones and Simon Hudson, the game went down to the wire but a dropped catch and a couple of poor overs helped Bedminster over the line by 2 wickets in the penultimate over.

Paul Gard’s 64 was the backbone of the Barrow innings on Sunday.

On Sunday a weakened Barrow team did well to make 211-5, with Paul Gard making a vital 64, Frank Forge made 40 and Rod Reeves 31 not out; but the lack of bowling strength against the classy Kilmersdon skipper Mark Batchelor (104 not out), who made his second consecutive Sunday League century,  and Alex Gardner (83 not out) allowed the opposition to make light of the target with several overs to spare.

Owen Brothers Bowl Barrow To Sunday Win.

Barrow Gurney’s Sunday XI were the club’s only winners this weekend as they beat Harptree Villages in an exciting low-scoring contest thanks to 8 wickets from the Owen brothers, Kieran and Matt. Barrow Firsts recovered from a poor start to give Bristol University Staff a scare, whilst the depleted seconds suffered an injury which put paid to their chances at Chilcompton.

At East Harptree, Barrow saw a good opening partnership of 58 between Guy Fisher (39) and James Riley (36) before a batting collapse which saw only 3 other batsmen open their account as Barrow faltered to 108 all out,

Matt Owen celebrates another Harptree wicket as he takes 5/6

In reply Harptree started well and with the score 39-0 they looked in a strong position. After a couple of chances were missed, bowling brothers Kieran and Matt Owen bowled Barrow to victory, as Kieran took 3/15 in his 8 overs, whilst Matt had the remarkable figures of 6-4-6-5 as he bowled brisk yorkers at the Harptree batsmen. Harptree folded for 91, as proud father Steve Owen, captain for the day, celebrated an exciting win.

Premil Fernando scored 39 as Barrow Firsts built a total of 174.

On Saturday at Hobbs Lane, Barrow Firsts had also struggled with the bat, as batting first, they were restricted to 174. Mark Fisher (39) and Premil Fernando (also 39) led a lower order fight back after the top order had failed. Although Hashan Mudiyanselage took 3/22, briefly curtailing Bristol University Staff’s charge for victory, they achieved the target with 4 overs to spare.

An injury to a Barrow player delayed the 2nds game at Chilcompton.

At Chilcompton, Barrow 2s faced a long journey, and started with only 10 players due to a late injury, and the situation soon got much worse as Barrow player, Nick Heal, was injured whilst fielding resulting in a lengthy delay and a reduction in overs. Chilcompton took full advantage of the 9-man field making 203 off 32 overs.

Ali Hood’s 83 put Barrow 2s in sight of victory.

Ali Hood and Pete Holdaway (26), batted extremely well for the second wicket and briefly kept Barrow in sight of their target, but once Ali had gone for 83, Barrow fell behind the rate and ultimately fell 25 runs short.

Barrow 2s Enjoy The Only Success Of The Weekend

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.

A half–century from Roger Finnimore anchored Barrow 2s reply

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.

Mark Gracey who made a useful 40

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.

Ed Holdaway took 5/35 at Congresbury

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.

Ed Holdaway smashes another enormous six.

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.

James Riley’s 65 put the Sunday team in the hunt before he retired.

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.

Keynsham’s young bowlers ripped through the Barrow batting line up.