New Winners Beat Record Field In Barrow’s Double Wicket Contest

Adam Brace and Mark Fisher triumphed in Barrow’s annual double wicket competition, denying first team skipper Frank Forge a hat trick of wins. Beautiful sunshine and a record number of entrants, together with quite a few spectators made it a very enjoyable day as organiser Ali Hood reports:

After a hugely disrupted season we were due a bit of good fortune and we were blessed with a glorious day for the biggest Double Wicket we have ever attempted with 20 players pairing up to do battle.

Mark Fisher and Adam Brace celebrate their win.

The ground looked its magnificent best and the draw threw up some interesting pairings but the relative abilities of players to deal with lack of sleep and hangovers from the previous night’s camp out means the form book often goes out of the window.

Phil Milton and Mike York were team 1 and their day was summed up when Phil slapped a short ball straight at me early on and Mike was bowled next ball – unfortunately despite a catch and run out Mike lost a few fielding points and Phil didn’t pick his customary haul of easy wickets so as a pair they were not really in the running for the final.

Rob Figs and Ellie Holdaway looked like a strong pairing and scored plenty of boundaries but lost a few wickets while batting including Ellie being caught & bowlded by (brother) Ed much to his delight. Their chances probably went when Rob spilled a catch in the deep off Ellie’s bowling which was a costly 16 point reverse to what they would have got had he pouched it.

Adam Brace ready to steal a run

Mark Fisher partnering Adam Brace flew out of the blocks with several beautiful straight sixes and while their scoring rate slowed a bit they posted a decent total and made it through to the final, despite Adam nearly breaking his hand stopping (dropping if you were being harsh!) a bullet from Ed.

Pair 4 brought an entertaining effort from Connor Jones, who had been carried by his partner Dave Smith in the bowling, with several skiers which all landed safely and some audacious attempted ramps but unfortunately not many connections and as such didn’t pick up enough runs to make the final.

Ali Hood lofts one into the deep

Shortly before we started Jonny Sykes walked into the score hut hitting his head on the roof which didn’t bode well for how he might fare  but there was no need to worry as he thumped the ball to all parts setting  up a big score, a few wickets from Ali Hood and the end was result was a new WORLD RECORD score of 112 (in true vidiprinter style deserves writing in full) one hundred & twelve as they romped into the finall !!

Jonny Sykes with another enormous strike

Kieran Owen & Leo Brace had a ‘spikey’ relationship all day (essentially Kieran berating his hapless partner!) and despite some lusty blows from Kieran  and a wicket maiden, which is almost unheard of in Double Wicket they not surprisingly didn’t pick up enough to make the final.

Steve “Webby” Webb was making his DW debut and made a good fist of it with Ed They made a decent score with some big boundaries and effective running but without making enough to reach the final three. Ed charging the bowler yelling was probably one of the first ball highlights (where the batsman is required to play a particular shot whatever delivery is bowled),  along with Phil flossing and Kieran’s duck, which is never easy to a fullish length ball!

Simon Hudson make a welcome return and reached the final

Simon Hudson  returning to cricket for the first time this season must have been ruing his bad luck in drawing Frank as his partner in the early exchanges as the skip failed to land his pies but in the latter stages he came into his own and some sensible batting saw them through to the final

Frank Forge was denied the “three-peat” in the final

If Leo & Kieran had a spikey relationship, Kian looked like he needed all his restraint to maintain his cool with the enigmatic Oscar Livesey at his erratic best – needless to say they didn’t threaten the top 3. Oscar was responsible for the ‘drop of the day’ as he stood watching one that he thought was sailing into the field only for it to land 6 inches over the boundary and about 3 foot from where he was stood.

Under normal circumstances Bernie Forge and Guy Fisher would be a pretty strong team but with both injured and suffering from the night/morning before they never quite came to the races

The finalists

After 60 overs in the sweltering heat and a short break we got ready for the new format 3 team final – which as is often the way in big sporting events, not just the DW, didn’t quite live up to expectations. Jonny and Ali were poor and were never really in it so all efforts turned towards preventing Frank from achieving his much vaunted ‘three peat’. It always looked quite close after Mark and Adam played pretty solidly  to post a score. In the end despite some heave’s from both Frank and Simon they couldn’t find the boundaries they needed.

Mark Fisher’s outstanding stroke-play was a key ingredient in his team’s success

So we crowned what I believe to be two new first time winners in Mark Fisher and Adam Brace – well done boys a very deserved win for a consistent performance throughout  the game

Huge thanks to Jane Holdaway for scoring, Bob Mills and Pete Holdaway for umpiring/the bar, Debbie Forge for feeding the campers helping them get back on their feet this morning, Simon for the homebrew and all our wonderful spectators.

Final thanks to all the players who as ever played the competition in a fantastic spirit which has made this one of the best days of the year since it all began with a young James Riley partnering Phil Febrey to victory.

One notable absentee this year was Rod Reeves whose joie de vivre was sadly missed as were his umpiring decisions which would often cause lively debate! The whole club sends its best wishes to him.

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