In a weekend when Barrow yet again had 33 players selected for the 3 teams, it was ironic that only the Sunday team got to play courtesy of the weather.
The visitors, Failand & Portbury were put into bat on an unusually still and muggy day at Hobbs Lane. Matt Owen used the conditions to good advantage swinging the ball a lot from the Fox and Goose end (eventually taking 1/17 in 6 overs) but the Failand openers put on 76 for the first wicket before Kieran Owen bowled Pattison for 34, the other opener (Gunerathne) made 52 before retiring, before Oscar Livesey (recovering from his first ball being dispatched for 6) pinned Marsden LBW on the back foot. Down also made 50 before retiring as some good bowling continued to be punctuated with some short deliveries which were dealt with effectively.
Nick Heal (2/40 in 7 overs) came back to claim a couple of late wickets, one brilliantly caught by Rod Reeves diving forwards to pick up a good low catch, the other removing the bails on the last ball of the innings. Oscar’s fielding merits special mention for the ball followed him everywhere and he had many awkward bounces to cope with, which he did without a misfield.
214 was a lower target than the previous two weeks but still rather challenging for a batting line up weakened by injury to two “less young” players and the lack of any senior batsman.
This promoted Oscar to open, a chance he took with great relish. After revealing his 3 different “leaves” he then moved through the gears hitting the spinners over the top and dancing up the wicket at almost any opportunity, combining well with Matt Owen (19) to put on 44 for the second wicket. Oscar fell for 37 with a first fifty in sight, the first of 3 stumpings for the Failand keeper. The middle order then continued to struggle against the slower bowlers leaving Barrow 83 for 6 off 27. The game was up but Rod Reeves and Steve Owen upheld the team’s honour putting on 53 before the overs ran out. Steve continued the form of recent weeks hitting some powerful shots straight whilst Rod appeared to be loving every minute of his cameo innings, pulling and cutting like a dervish.
Barrow lost by 78 runs in a game played in an excellent spirit. No Sunday game next week but then we have a run of fixtures until mid-August.