Nick Heal took 5 wickets for 3 runs in a four over burst to take the Sunday 3rd XI to a much-needed win over Harptree Villages. However the Saturday sides both lost in a complete reversal to last week’s fortunes for the Barrow Gurney teams.
Batting first on Sunday Barrow lost a couple of early wickets but Bernie Forge (49) and Guy Fisher (48) steadied the ship and added some classic and powerful stroke play as well. After both of them had fallen just short of the half centuries they deserved, a couple of run outs threw the innings back into the balance. However Mark Fisher (18), Frank Forge (29*) and Steve Owen (10*) played some expansive shots to lift Barrow to 196-8 at the close.
In reply Harptree lost a couple of early wickets as Mark Fisher bowled with pace and supreme accuracy. Nick then pulled off a sharp run out before coming on himself and quickly found himself on a hat trick as a yorker rattled the stumps to be followed by an LBW in his favour. Frank Forge (1/22) induced an edge to his sister behind the stumps before Nick, now varying his pace, again took 2 in two with good deliveries finishing with 5 for 3 off his 4 overs. Adam Brace (1/33) added another as the last 2 Harptree wickets got the score up to a respectable 126 before Adam took a difficult catch off Mark Fisher (2/10) to win the game.
On Saturday though the story was very different. At Hobbs Lane visitors Stapleton amassed 213-7 despite some spirited bowling with James Riley taking 2/24, Oscar Livesey 2/31 and Frank Forge 2/45. In reply Barrow were shot out for 80 with only Ali Hood (19) and Ben Skuse (13) making double figures.
Meanwhile the 2nds visited the beautiful setting of Westerleigh CC to play Coalpit Heath 3rds. Barrow started well on a pitch which afforded disturbing bounce at times with several batsman taking blows to the chest and shoulder. Pete Holdaway (33) and Bernie Forge (10) took the score to 57 although the slow outfield meant that it took some time. Then came a Barrow collapse as a succession of poor shots took their toll. Steve Owen (20) and Adam Brace (11*) did well to get the score to 119 at tea.
After tea Mike Lilley struck early taking 2/11, while Nick Heal took 2/33 both with in swinging yorkers. Steve Owen chipped in with 1/22. Several appeals for caught behind went unanswered as the opposition batsman pressed for the win, in particular taking advantage of the short boundary by the church. Much of their innings was accompanied by the sound of the local bell ringers practising their art. Unfortunately the bells tolled for Barrow!