After the abandonment against Shirehampton due to rain and Woodpeckers conceding last weeks match the 1st team were definitely safe in Division 5 and were now looking for a mid-table finish. Playing Bristol Civil Service, who Barrow had bowled out earlier in the season for 47, the team were confident of repeating the trick, even more so when Phil Milton won the toss and put the opposition in. James Riley and Mark Fisher opened the bowling, Riley picking up the opener with BCS on 34.
After the first bowling change with Matt Owen and Frank Forge coming on, wickets fell regularly. Matt bowled his best spell of the season and finished with 2 wickets (for 22 runs); it could have been a couple more as two chances went astray in the slips; one a drop, the other when both slips left it to one another! Frank bowled well and picked up his first 5 wicket haul (5/35) to celebrate his 21st birthday weekend, and BCS were rushed out for just 116 in 27.5 overs. A mention must go to Jonny Sykes for his spectacular one handed catch at gully that he grabbed high above his head.
Bernie Forge and Will Kerswell went out to bat early due to the opposition’s short innings and set about batting the 15 overs without losing any early wickets. Unfortunately Will went for 10 but Bernie and Guy Fisher batted really well putting Barrow on 65-1 at tea. Unfortunately Bernie fell just after the break for a well-made 46 with the score on 83 but Phil and Guy saw it home, Guy finishing 43 not out having played sensibly before opening his shoulders to play a couple of more expansive shots to get Barrow over the line.
A win next week over Abbotts Leigh will see Barrow finish in 5th which, Phil Milton commented, “would be brilliant for this very young team (I was the oldest player by 11 years yesterday!). With 5 wins, a walk-over, 1 loss on run rate and 2 losses in the last over we could have finished even higher but I’ll happily take 5th this year”.
Meanwhile at Pucklechurch, Barrow 2nds were involved in a high-scoring and exciting contest where the bat dominated the ball for long periods of both innings.
Put into bat, Barrow survived an early wicket before captain Ellie Holdaway (52) and Ali Hood (84) but on 135 for the second wicket against some eclectic bowling. Ellie’s timing was immaculate as she despatched the frequent bad balls and was quick to rotate the strike, whereas Ali enjoyed several full tosses finding the long boundary 15 times hitting several onto the adjoining road with one enormous 6 into a nearby garden. With Barrow having passed 150 shortly after drinks a score of 300 looked on the cards, but the scoring slowed dramatically as Pucklechurch’s bowlers found some line and length and the middle order fell away with the exception of Paul Gard (32) who hit the shot of the day – a clean straight 6 which landed flush on Ellie’s helmet (fortunately it was in her cricket bag at the time).
When the 7th wicket fell at 210 it looked like Barrow were going to struggle to post much more than a par score, but some sensible lower order batting taking advantage of quick singles, and batting time to take advantage of the accruing extras (of which there were 39 in all) managed to get the team up to 251-9 at tea.
On starting their innings, Pucklechurch made solid progress until Mike Lilley (2/15) struck to remove both openers and when the number 3 was picked up courtesy of an excellent one-handed catch by keeper Ali Hood off Steve Owen, it looked plain sailing for Barrow. Mark Wynter (42) though put together a very positive innings and in partnership with Andy Frankcom the scoring rate began to move above 4 an over. After Wynter fell to Paul Gard, Frankcom found good support in Ian Carter and the pair moved the score to 208 before Steve Owen (2/55) returned to bowl Carter (for 43) and take surely the decisive wicket. Pucklechurch needed 13 an over at this stage, but Frankcom put pressure on the Barrow bowlers and fielders to keep them in with a shout and when he despatched the first couple of balls of the final over for boundaries an unlikely win was very much on the cards. With 4 needed to tie off the last ball, Frankcom could manage only 2 to deep midwicket and Barrow ran out winners by 2 runs in the fading light.
The 2nds last game is at home to Patchway 2nds next Saturday.
Heavy rain cancelled the Sunday game V Keynsham, but the 3rds conclude their season at Carsons Mangotsfield next week.