Hood & Forge Take Barrow Firsts To Victory

Jon Hood and Frank Forge combined to give Barrow Firsts an exciting victory over Abbots Leigh 1sts on Saturday. However the 2nds struggled against the same club’s 2nd XI. Rain prevented any play on Sunday

Jon Hood made 95 after his recent return to the Barrow team

Barrow Gurney played a double-header against Abbots Leigh on Saturday as their respective 1st and 2nd XIs met.

On a glorious day at Hobbs Lane, Barrow 1sts enjoyed a hard-fought win in a high-scoring contest. On winning the toss and batting, Barrow had a good opening partnership between Bernie Forge (22) and Guy Fisher (19) before 3 quick wickets set them back. This brought Jon Hood to the crease playing only his third game back in cricket after a few years of retirement. Jon batted fluently, testing the fielders with some quick singles and twos, playing some pleasing drives, cuts and flicks off the legs, in partnership with Ben Skuse he took the score to 98 before Skuse fell for 15. With support from Ed Holdaway (28) and Mark Fisher (43) with whom Jon put on a partnership of exactly 100, the scoring rate was soon at 6 an over, but he selflessly gave his wicket away in search of 300 for the team, having anchored the Barrow innings with his 95. Barrow finished on 286-9.

In reply, Jon was soon in action in the field, keeping calm to execute a run out, whilst Mark Fisher, in an immaculate opening spell, took an early wicket and had a couple of chances dropped off his bowling. When Premil Fernando (2/30) ripped through the middle order, Barrow were in the ascendancy as Abbots Leigh were 77-4, but their captain, James Holdsworth, though had other ideas as he hit his first 3 balls for boundaries and appeared intent on turning the innings around. Barrow’s skipper, Frank Forge, decided to change the pace and came on to bowl himself.

Frank Forge’s 5/51 proved decisive

The change brought immediate success as Kian Ware executed a diving catch and then Frank bowled his opposite number to be on a hat trick after his first 2 balls. Although it was not to be, thanks to another good catch by Kian and one from Ed Holdaway the Abbots Leigh run chase (although on course in terms of run rate) looked likely to run out of steam. Frank finished with 5/51, before Mark Fisher (2/29) finished things off as the visitors fell 39 runs short.

Afterwards, Frank gave Jon Hood the Player of the Match award despite taking 5 key wickets himself.

The 2nds however endured a different afternoon away from home as Abbots Leigh made 232-6, with Barrow captain Mike Lilley (3/24) being outstanding with the ball, before he saw his team skittled out for 111, Mark Gracey top-scoring with 28.

Rain prevented the Sunday team fixture at Blagdon taking place.

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