Last Saturday saw another great double triumph for the Barrow teams as the Firsts bowled out their opponents cheaply and knocked off the runs well before tea had been taken in a tense match at Hobbs Lane, where the Seconds came out on top after another close finish.
At the Civil Service Club, Bristol Civil Service won the toss and decided to bat. James Riley and Ed Holdaway opened the attack for Barrow and what followed has to go down as one of Barrow’s best fielding and bowling displays of recent years. Phil Milton took a diving one hander to remove the opener, Will Kerswell followed up by taking a good one at second slip, Ed Holdaway had a smart caught and bowled, Riley splattered some stumps and got an LBW. Both openers were bowling fast, with lots of swing, and showing lots of control, Civil Service had no answer on this occasion. The final wicket summed up the innings as Ed induced a nick to Mark Brown at first slip but he fumbled and knocked it up to Riley who took the catch! Finally taking their catches meant Barrow had the opposition under the pressure from the get go and they never let them off the hook; Civil Service were bowled out for just 42, Riley taking 5/15 and Ed Holdway 5/18.
Bernie Forge and Phil Milton opened but Phil went without scoring bringing Mark Brown to the crease. He hit 37 of the 43 needed as Barrow won by 8 wickets in just 9.4 overs including a couple of massive 6’s.
So another 29 point win for Barrow, next week the firsts face Abbots Leigh.
Due to the extremely early finish the team all went up to watch the 2nds play and saw the end of another brilliant game. It made for a great atmosphere at Hobbs Lane, where skipper, Mark Gracey elected to field in the heat meaning Pucklechurch 2nds were to bat first with the skipper taking the wicket-keeping gloves for the first time.
Pukklechurch started slowly and steadily with only 31 scored after the first 10 overs with Paul Gard bowling with his usual economy ably supported by Leo Brace and Pete Rooney at the other end. Unfortunately, wickets were hard to come by and as Rivers and Francomb began to open their arms they started to accelerate the score. But after a 125 opening partnership Simon Hudson struck to take the wicket of Francomb for 46. Mike Lilley, not wanting to be outdone at the other end struck 2 overs later to remove the number 3 and not long after Rivers for a well-made 70. Pucklechurch now had two batsman at the crease who felt very comfortable striking the ball, and when Adam Brace picked up Barrow’s final wicket with the last ball in his spell, Barrow were left needing a target of 212.
During tea, the first team had arrived at the ground having won their game with ease. What a grandstand finish they were to witness!
Pete Holdawway and Mike Lilley started as though they wanted to get to the bar pretty quickly with a win and scored 14 off the first over and a further 8 off the second. With the score rolling on Barrow felt confident but then Pete was run out for 18, Roger Finnemore and Mark Gracey fell cheaply. Adam Brace came in at number 5 and despite having asked over and over again to bat further down the order, he found the scoring relatively easy to come by. When Mike was caught for 23 and once Mark Forge came and went, Adam and Simon Hudson put on a strong fight back before Adam fell for 37. This bought in Paul Gard who put his lack of form with the bat behind him and continued where Adam left off. When Simon fell (36) with the score on 181/7 with a further 31 needed to win, enter Ben Thorne, Ben batted with great resilience halting the momentum of the Pucklechurch bowlers. After Ben was bowled, young Leo Brace walked out with a swagger. The score kept ticking over and needing only a couple off the final over with Leo on strike, all the Pucklechurch fielders crowded the bat. Leo showed great maturity and, after 3 attempts finally connected with one big swing, striking the ball right out the middle of the bat with such venom almost taking off a fielders head to score the winning runs. (Leo not.out 9, Gard not.out. 34)
A great win for both the firsts and seconds – one slightly more nail biting than the other!!
There was no game for the Sunday XI this week as many regulars had other commitments although only one cried off for the World Cup!