Blue Flame were the visitors to Hobbs Lane on Sunday on a warm afternoon. Winning the toss their skipper put Barrow into bat on the same track which had seen over 450 runs made on it the day before.
Losing a wicket in the first over is never ideal, but Blue Flame’s opening bowler, Poole, struck with a yorker leaving Frank Forge without the desired batting practice. His father then joined James Riley and both found Mr Poole quite a handful, bowling with sharp pace and disconcerting bounce from back of a length. After one driven four off the paceman James scored more freely at the other end but Poole soon bowled him for 17 with one which ran down the slope. By that time Mark Forge had already been granted a let off attempting to run a single to fine leg.. As far as scoring was concerned then that was it off Poole who bowled 6 straight maidens (finishing with 2/5 off 8) as Jordan Allen joined his skipper and attempted to rebuild.
At about 60 Mark fell LBW for 16 hit flush on the foot. Jordan, though was playing nicely, hitting a 6 over the Village End and relishing the challenge of facing his uncle who plays in the Blue Flame side. He found good support from Denis Atkins (15) before falling for 49. Steve Allen (17) then hit some powerful leg-side shots, as did Nick Heal (14,) and James Halladay (21 not out) guided Barrow home to 177 at the closure of the innings. A little cameo from Adam Brace (2 not out) was notable for two graceful offside pushes, and son Leo reminding him from the boundary to slide his bat in as he ran his first single!
As we went out to field we were greeted with the familiar sight of Rod Reeves opening the batting for Blue Flame. After Mark Fisher had dismissed the other opener to his second successive nick behind to the keeper (Riley), Barrow unveiled an unlikely secret weapon – the long hop. As 4 successive wickets fell to balls that should have been despatched for 4. Rod was bowled trying to pull one which kept low, while Guy Fisher and James Halladay both had theirs drilled back at them for caught and bowleds.
Pinkney proved to be the dangerman making 67, hitting 2 sixes, he found good support from Stamp, who despite Jordan’s best attempts to dismiss his uncle, proceeded serenely to 38, the pair looking likely to take Blue Flame home. At that point Guy Fisher came back, and bowling full and straight in an inspired spell of bowling he took the last 4 wickets in a four over spell (5 for 12 off 7 in all) before James Halladay brought proceedings to a close with Frank’s assistance in the ring.
An enjoyable game, Barrow winning by 22 runs, and no need to vote a man of the match!