The cricket season officially began at Hobbs Lane, with a pre-season friendly against Redcliffe. A warm-up for the season it may have been but it was played in extremely cold conditions despite the spring sunshine, and provided a close game.
Winning the toss, Redcliffe put the home side in. Will Kerswell soon shook off the winter rust playing some classic drives, whist opening partner Pete Holdaway tried to get his feet moving against the slower bowler before finally failing to do so and being bowled. Whilst Kerswell carried on serenely to see Barrow close to a hundred before he fell for 39, unluckily picking out the fielder, his partners at the other end all made double figures but without ever getting in. At 108-5 when Phil Milton departed for 19, and with plenty of overs to go, skipper Mark Forge and Kieran Owen dug in, trying to ensure a competitive total could be posted.
When they were both dismissed in quick succession, it was time for the evocatively named Passidu Eros to make his debut for Barrow. After a couple of “fresh air” shots against a spinner floating the ball into the firm breeze, Passidu found his timing and finding the short straight boundaries at Hobbs Lane much to his liking. His cameo of 32 not out featured 4 sixes and helped to take Barrow to 186-8 at the closure of the innings.
After tea, the opening bowlers for Barrow found it hard to hit their line and length, but Steve Owen (2/14) managed to find a couple of good ones after battling into the freshening wind courtesy of a one-handed keeper’s catch by Phil Milton and an outfield catch to Nick Heal. Nick then took another excellent catch, having appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball completely before stretching back and taking it to give Passidu his first wicket for the club. Two more were to follow as Passidu (3/36) had the best figures on the day despite there being little turn for any of Barrow’s 3 spinners.
It was a masterful innings by James Thrower which turned the match, very powerful and severe on anything short of a length outside off stump he saw his team home with 55 not out. He had good support from Matthew Davies (31) and Kevin Loud (24 not out).
A great work out for both sides who had to pay tribute to an excellent early-season pitch prepared by groundsman Pete Holiday, as hardly a ball misbehaved.
Next Saturday Barrow entertain Backwell/Flax Bourton for another friendly.