First team captain, Paul Glazzard, praised his team’s performance in recording their first win of the season against YMCA 2nds on Saturday.
Putting the opposition in, Barrow’s bowling unit bowled really well with accurate bowling placing pressure on the YMCA batsmen. James Riley (1/19 off 9) and Mark Fisher (2/7 off 6) led the attack, but received great support from spinners Paul Glazzard (2/30 off 7 and Frank Forge 1/24 off 8) as well as seamers Nick Heal (2/31 off 9) and Matt Owen (2/23 off 4). A strong performance in the field was marred only by a couple of dropped catches which might otherwise had resulted in a lower target to chase.
In reply Sam Turner continued his run of good form, despite his limited availability, and anchored the innings. Surviving the early loss of Ben Skuse, Sam found solid support from his skipper (Paul making 19) as he stroked 18 fours in his match-winning innings.
With this much-needed win under their belts, Glazzard’s team play Claverham next week at Hobbs Lane.
Meanwhile Ellie Holdaway’s 2nds travelled to Page Park, Staple Hill for their meeting with Hambrook 3rds. The venue offered a picturesque setting, if you discount the building work going on at one side of the park, but an uncovered pitch which had taken a bit of overnight rain although it looked quite playable. Barrow, for the first time at senior level, fielded a team with 3 female cricketers, with Melissa Owen making her Saturday debut alongside her skipper and Barrow’s keeper, Bernie Forge. Hambrook also had 2 ladies in their ranks and were a major part of their bowling attack.
A good toss to win for Hambrook, as Barrow were put into bat and experienced some lively and uneven bounce in the early overs. Pete Holdaway was a victim to one which kept low and was LBW, but the scored progressed to 56 with Bernie (22) being deprived of several runs by some excellent ground fielding from Hambrook before playing too early and being caught and bowled. With Mark Gracey following soon after and Paul Gard becoming the first of four batsmen to depart without opening their account, Barrow found themselves 72-7 with a dozen overs to spare. Oscar Livesey, beginning with his characteristic, and rather quirky, defensive shots and Mark Forge were determined not to let the innings peter out and set some sort of target for Hambrook. Picking off a few singles and waiting for the bad ball Mark contributed 18 whilst Oscar, playing more freely as time passed, despatched two consecutive full tosses for 6 over the long on boundary. The partnership had put on 48 when Mark was unlucky to be caught off his glove whilst attempting a pull off a short delivery. Oscar finally fell for 38 in the final over the innings. Barrow all out for 140.
After tea, Barrow’s bowlers were unable to extract the same level of bounce and movement as the Hambrook bowlers. The opening pair, despite riding their luck with a couple of difficult chances and two extremely close stumping appeals, put on over a hundred in reply before Ellie dismissed Richardson LBW for 74. Peter Rooney then took two wickets with consecutive deliveries to give Barrow a momentary glimpse of hope but it could not prevent a 7 wicker defeat.
On Sunday, the 3rds enjoyed a drive through the North Somerset countryside to find a sunny start to their game at Peasedown St John. The forecast was for a shower or two, perhaps heavy. Inspecting the pitch, captain Mark Forge thought it looked a “belter”, which proved to be just as inaccurate as his calling at the toss!
Peasedown chose to bat first and opened up with their skipper Josh Tucker (who made 170 + the previous week), but he took some time to get off the mark as Mark Fisher continued his good work of Saturday and Steve Owen recovered his nagging accuracy, dismissing the other opener early on. However, it was already apparent that the pitch was bouncing very low and was rather dead.
Frank Forge struck straight away, Mark Forge picking up another catch close in on the onside, but the danger man Tucker started to look in ominous form, but then as Adam Brace was hoisted over wide long-on, Guy Fisher took one of the catches of the season sprinting 20 yards to his right and taking a diving catch about a foot off the ground. Barrow’s jubilation did not last long though as Martin picked up the mantle and started to play some dangerous shots hitting off side deliveries through mid-wicket on several occasions. Frank (3/23) continued to make inroads into the Peasedown line up and also took a good catch in the deep as Steve Owen eventually accounted for Martin after he had scored 77. Finishing on 169, Barrow felt that it was a manageable total with a good batting line up, although a couple of dropped catches, which were much easier than some that were taken, certainly cost a few runs.
The pitch had taken a little light rain, whilst the teams had taken tea, and this seemed to rob it even of the lowish bounce it had previously offered. The top order succumbed with overall 9 wickets falling bowled and lbw as Barrow fell for only 75. Guy Fisher (19) offered some early resistance but otherwise only the aesthetically pleasing left-handed stroke play of Adam Brace (13) and his fellow, and, unusually aggressive, left hander Rodney Reeves (11) made a meaningful contribution.
With the promised rain arriving and getting steadily heavier as Barrow’s 10th wicket pair came together, the prospect of a farcical abandonment loomed, although Steve Owen spared Peasedown that disappointment by being bowled as the thunder clapped and the ensuing deluge commenced. A deserved victory for Peasedown by 7 wickets.