Barrow Firsts In Dramatic Tie At Abbots Leigh

A thrilling tie at Abbots Leigh and a close game on Sunday at Hobbs Lane made for compelling watching for the Barrow Gurney supporters. Meanwhile Jonny Sykes dominated the weekend with his batting.

Jonny Sykes made 76 not out in the tie at Abbots Leigh, and added a further 23 not out against Blagdon on Sunday.

Barrow Gurney First XI tied with Abbots Leigh 1st team on Saturday in a thrilling encounter. Batting first on their home ground, Abbots Leigh made 212-6 with Barrow’s Benura Umanga taking 4/39.

Barrow’s reply started slowly, and they always looked to be behind the required rate. Guy Fisher’s 31 kept the visitors in the hunt, but it was Jonny Sykes (76 not out) who began to get Barrow back in the game, helped by Premil Fernando (26) and Matt Owen (20). With 2 needed to win, Keiron Owen was run out off the penultimate ball to leave the teams tied.

Ali Hood’s quickfire 68 was not enough to put Barrow 2s into contention.

At Hobbs Lane there was no such drama as Abbots Leigh 2s comfortably made light work of Barrow 2s. 243-9 being too many for Barrow to chase down despite a spirited 68 from Ali Hood. The home side fell 82 runs short, leaving the team precariously placed in B&D Division 13.

On Sunday at Hobbs Lane, Barrow gave their younger players the chance to shine against Blagdon. Although Oscar Livesey (44) top scored as the home side made 177-6, Jordan Allen made a fluent 23, Leo Brace made a stylish 15, whilst father Adam opened his shoulders to make 21 not out at the close alongside Jonny Sykes who (batting at 9) added another 23 not out to his weekend’s tally.

The occasional bowling of Ben Thorne accounted for 3 Blagdon wickets including 2 family members.

Blagdon lost 3 early wickets to the occasional bowling of Ben Thorne (3/29) who managed to dismiss his cousin and uncle into the bargain, whilst a catch was dropped which would have made it a four-wicket haul.

Whilst overseas player Wade rode his luck to make 58, Barrow persisted with giving their younger players the chance to impress as Melissa Owen and Seb Allen bowled 16 overs between them for only 63 runs. Oscar Livesey’s spin accounted for two Blagdon batsmen as the game moved towards a close finish but the visitors narrowly squeezed home by 2 wickets.

Depleted Barrow Falter Against League Leaders

Barrow Gurney fielded depleted teams this weekend as many players were taking a well-earned break. However, with both First and Second Teams playing against their respective league leaders, it meant for some rather one-sided games.

Guy FIsher celebrates his half century with Matt Owen

At Hobbs Lane, Barrow 1st XI batted first but could only make 136, largely due to Guy Fisher’s 66 after visitors Winterbourne A spilled a few chances. Kieran Owen also made 24 but the outcome was never in doubt as Winterbourne knocked off the target with the loss of only 2 wickets.

Barrow 2s travelled all the way to Mells and having lost the toss watched as the home team made 313-5, with Mike Lilley having the consolation of 2 wickets as he fielded a side with a lack of bowling options. The opposition’s superior bowling made light work of the Barrow line-up as they were skittled out for 70.

Last wicket pair Steve Owen and Mike Lilley batting at Mells on Saturday

On Sunday at Bath Exiles, Barrow again struggled for runs making 163 all out, which the Exiles surpassed easily despite Paul Gard taking 3/39.

Overall it was a week to forget but with players returning next week we hope for much better as the Saturday teams match up for a double-header against Abbots Leigh and the Sunday team entertain Blagdon.

Rod Gerrish RIP

Barrow Gurney Cricket Club was sad to hear recently of the death of Rod Gerrish. Barrow Chairman, Pete Holdaway shares a couple of memories in tribute to Rod as we send our condolences to his family and friends:

Rod Gerrish (Left) with Rod Reeves and Pete Holdaway on one of Barrow Gurney’s legendary tours.

Rod was a stalwart of Barrow Gurney CC  with a big heart and matching sense of humour. Coming to us via Bristol Water, he quickly became involved as Vice Captain of the seconds and later gave a massive amount of his time to the upkeep of the ground. A permanent fixture on BGCC’s tours, Rod still remains in the memories of the residents of Somerset and Devon as the man with the minimal dress-code!  He was probably  best  known for opening the batting and then standing up behind the stumps to the quickest bowlers, often resulting in ‘bruise inspection’ after the game!

Rod, you were a great friend and your contribution and presence is missed on a daily basis, rest in peace.

Spin “Twins” Help Barrow Do The Double Over Bath

Barrow Gurney 1st XI completed the double over promotion hopefuls Bath 4ths in B&D Division 5 with a superb display of bowling at the Brownsword Ground on Saturday.

Hashan Mudiyanselage took 3/12 with his leg-spin

Put into bat, Bath were up against it from the off with Mark Fisher (2/21) taking a couple of early wickets and Jonny Sykes (1/15) picking up another. Then “spin twins” Hashan Mudiyanselage (3/12) and skipper Frank Forge (3/18) ripped through the Bath batting line up dismissing them for only 89 with the aid of some brilliant fielding. Kian Ware took 2 good catches, Jonny Sykes 3 more and Bernie Forge held two behind the stumps. Benura Umanga also executed an important run out.

Barrow Skipper Frank Forge who took 3/18.

After losing a wicket off the first ball of the innings, Bernie Forge (13) and Sam Turner (13) steadied the innings although both fell before Barrow reached their target; and with Benura Umanga also falling on 13, it fell to Guy Fisher (12 not out) and Jonny Sykes (15 not out) to take Barrow to a 5 wicket victory, Guy hitting an enormous six to end the game. 

Roger Finnimore top-scored for the 2s with 61. (Library picture)

Many of the team had time to return to Hobbs Lane to watch an exciting end to the 2nd XI game against old rivals Patchway 2nds. Charlie Joyner (88) had helped Patchway to 176-3, a total that is well below a par score at Barrow’s quick scoring ground. However, the early loss of Ali Hood without scoring dealt Barrow a blow before Roger Finnimore (61) and Pete Holdaway (21) put on a 76 run partnership at the rate needed to overhaul the visitors’ total. When Pete departed, wickets kept falling as Barrow continued to keep up with the rate and with only 3 needed off the last 4 balls, captain Mike Lilley was bowled to leave the team with another agonising defeat.

On Sunday, Bristol Bangladeshis batted well at Hobbs Lane for 197 despite some good bowling from Paul Gard (3/37), Guy Fisher (3/41) and Craig Jones (2/38), they were backed up by some good fielding including 3 catches and 2 stumpings for wicket keeper Jordan Allen and a diving one-handed catch from acting captain James Riley.

Jordan Allen made 50 on his season’s debut.

As they set out on their target, Barrow lost a couple of early wickets, but then a partnership developed between Jordan Allen and Frank Forge to take the total into 3 figures. Jordan, playing his first game this season, soon got into his stride making exactly 50 before offering a catch. Frank, having enjoyed bowling success on Saturday, took a rare chance with the bat to make his second half century for Barrow, playing some fluent shots around the wicket on his way to 76 not out and, with James Riley quickly adding 30, Barrow romped home by 6 wickets.

Frank Forge recorded his highest score of 76 not out to steer Barrow to Sunday success.

Legends return to Barrow, Whilst The 2s Are In Need Of A Hero

Barrow Gurney CC welcomed back some players of yesteryear last week in a fixture which pitted the current crop of players against the Barrow “Legends”.

The Barrow Legends assembled by team manager Paul Mizen (right)

The Legends team comprised: Geoff Warren (c), Spencer Mizen (wk), Simon Wallis, Luke Richards, Jamie Biddle, Stu Hood, Mick Hardy, Steve Milton, Chris Milton, Paul Tye, Ben Saunders and Tim Patch. Meanwhile Phil Milton took charge of the current Barrow team.

On a beautiful evening many other former players and supporters came to watch as the Legends found the going difficult against the youthful current side in the annual 20 over game.

Luke Richards and captain Geoff Warren top-scored with 15 apiece as the Legends put on 114-9 with current first team captain Frank Forge taking 3/14.

Mick Hardy rolled back the years with 3/14, as Guy Fisher (also pictured) top-scored for the current team.

In reply Barrow came up against the wily spin of Mick Hardy who had taken so many wickets over the years at Hobbs Lane, and he bamboozled the top order also taking 3/14. But Premil Fernando (36) and Guy Fisher (45) got the current Barrow team close to the total which they reached with an over to spare.

At the weekend both the Firsts and Sunday XIs found their opposition had conceded, leaving only the seconds to play against Old Park at Frenchay.

Batting firsts Barrow lost early wickets, before a brief rally with Kieran Owen (29) and Will Kerswell (21) putting together a good partnership. Simon Hudson (23) made sure that Barrow batted the overs and gave his side something to bowl at as they were all out of the last ball for 140.

Simon Hudson took 3/27 against Old Park

Hudson was also the pick of Barrow’s bowlers, striking 3 times after a good opening partnership for the home side took them some way towards their total. His 3 for 27 plus a wicket for Adam Brace gave Barrow half a chance but when 2 catches went down, Old Park then cruised towards their total. This defeat leaves Barrow 2s precariously in the relegation zone of Division 13.

Barrow Tame The Lions To Return To Winning Ways

Barrow Gurney 1st XI chalked up another win against Bristol Lions, whilst in high-scoring contests at Hobbs Lane, the 2nds narrowly lost to Bedminster 5ths , and a weakened Sunday team struggled against the formidable opening partnership of Kilmersdon.

Bristol Lions found runs hard to come by against the Barrow attack.

Barrow Gurney tamed the Bristol Lions on Saturday, bowling a team, depleted in number, out for 121 on an unpredictable pitch at Dunkerton. Matt Owen followed up last week’s good from with 4/36, whilst the skipper Frank Forge weighed in with 2/24.

With batting extremely difficult, Barrow promoted the hard-hitting Kian Ware to open the batting, and he set about making the target in double quick time, smashing 81 not out off 41 balls with 5 sixes, to take Barrow to a welcome win by 7 wickets after a difficult few weeks.

Stu Hood enjoyed his rare outing with an excellent 66.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, Barrow’s 3 H’s built a competitive score, as regular opener Ali Hood made another powerful innings of 64, but he was bettered by his brother Stu, who on a rare outing these days, played a magnificent knock of 66. The innings was anchored by Barrow chairman Pete Holdaway who batted 35 overs for a stylish 61, but the innings stalled and 237-5 was only a par score on the quick-scoring ground.

Visitors, Bedminster 5ths, weathered an excellent early spell of 2/27 from Barrow captain Mike Lilley, but Dave Peacock (81) kept the run chase going at the required rate. Pegged back by three brilliant run outs, by Pete Rooney, Craig Jones and Simon Hudson, the game went down to the wire but a dropped catch and a couple of poor overs helped Bedminster over the line by 2 wickets in the penultimate over.

Paul Gard’s 64 was the backbone of the Barrow innings on Sunday.

On Sunday a weakened Barrow team did well to make 211-5, with Paul Gard making a vital 64, Frank Forge made 40 and Rod Reeves 31 not out; but the lack of bowling strength against the classy Kilmersdon skipper Mark Batchelor (104 not out), who made his second consecutive Sunday League century,  and Alex Gardner (83 not out) allowed the opposition to make light of the target with several overs to spare.

Owen Brothers Bowl Barrow To Sunday Win.

Barrow Gurney’s Sunday XI were the club’s only winners this weekend as they beat Harptree Villages in an exciting low-scoring contest thanks to 8 wickets from the Owen brothers, Kieran and Matt. Barrow Firsts recovered from a poor start to give Bristol University Staff a scare, whilst the depleted seconds suffered an injury which put paid to their chances at Chilcompton.

At East Harptree, Barrow saw a good opening partnership of 58 between Guy Fisher (39) and James Riley (36) before a batting collapse which saw only 3 other batsmen open their account as Barrow faltered to 108 all out,

Matt Owen celebrates another Harptree wicket as he takes 5/6

In reply Harptree started well and with the score 39-0 they looked in a strong position. After a couple of chances were missed, bowling brothers Kieran and Matt Owen bowled Barrow to victory, as Kieran took 3/15 in his 8 overs, whilst Matt had the remarkable figures of 6-4-6-5 as he bowled brisk yorkers at the Harptree batsmen. Harptree folded for 91, as proud father Steve Owen, captain for the day, celebrated an exciting win.

Premil Fernando scored 39 as Barrow Firsts built a total of 174.

On Saturday at Hobbs Lane, Barrow Firsts had also struggled with the bat, as batting first, they were restricted to 174. Mark Fisher (39) and Premil Fernando (also 39) led a lower order fight back after the top order had failed. Although Hashan Mudiyanselage took 3/22, briefly curtailing Bristol University Staff’s charge for victory, they achieved the target with 4 overs to spare.

An injury to a Barrow player delayed the 2nds game at Chilcompton.

At Chilcompton, Barrow 2s faced a long journey, and started with only 10 players due to a late injury, and the situation soon got much worse as Barrow player, Nick Heal, was injured whilst fielding resulting in a lengthy delay and a reduction in overs. Chilcompton took full advantage of the 9-man field making 203 off 32 overs.

Ali Hood’s 83 put Barrow 2s in sight of victory.

Ali Hood and Pete Holdaway (26), batted extremely well for the second wicket and briefly kept Barrow in sight of their target, but once Ali had gone for 83, Barrow fell behind the rate and ultimately fell 25 runs short.

Barrow 2s Enjoy The Only Success Of The Weekend

A second consecutive win for the Barrow Gurney 2s against Carsons Mangotsfield was the highlight of the weekend, as the Firsts were undone by a promising young Congresbury bowler and the Sunday team batted poorly against Keynsham.

A half–century from Roger Finnimore anchored Barrow 2s reply

On a glorious afternoon at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2s lost the toss and found themselves in the field. Steve Owen and Mike Lilley opened the bowling and kept things tight. Steve (1/24) picked up an early wicket when one of the openers chipped to Kieran Owen, at mid-on. Pete Rooney (1/14) replaced Mike and, nursing an injury, struggled a bit for line and length but did claim Barrow’s second wicket with a leg side long hop that the Carsons no 3 somehow spooned into the hands of a tumbling Roger Finnimore at square leg taking the score to 36-2. Kian Ware (1/22) replaced Steve and showed some genuine pace inducing a nick from the opposition skipper in his second over. Carsons 65-3 as drinks approached.

Shortly after Kieran Owen (8 overs 1/32), who was bowling really well, with good shape moving the ball from leg to off, induced the remaining opener into a drive which flew low off the edge and Ali Hood took a fine catch. At 70-4 & scoring at only 3 an over Barrow were very much on top but the next Carsons pair batted very well running hard and finding boundaries taking their score up to 148. Isaac Todman (1/35) was bowling well keeping the ball pitched up and very deservedly got the wicket of Carson’s most dangerous batsmen clean bowled with a Yorker-length ball that just nipped back a bit.

Mark Gracey who made a useful 40

In the end Carsons reached 197-5 off their 40 overs. In reply Roger Finnimore and Ben Skuse put on an untroubled 50 partnership before Skuse (19) was undone by the lack of pace as he was through his favourite paddle shot too early and gloved one through to the keeper. Mark Gracey then joined Roger and they put on a very decent partnership of 80 with a combination of singles and boundaries and helped Barrow stay comfortably up with the run rate. Gracey played very well with a couple of lovely back foot punches before he fell trying to clear mid-off when he had made 40 and Barrow were 130-2 with plenty of time left. Kian then entered the fray and with a some great striking and several lost balls made an enterprising 48 not out. However, Roger Finnimore did get to 50 before holing out with victory in sight for a very well-played 51, playing the solid anchor that set up a Barrow victory. Kian then finished things off with a fine reverse hit to finish on 48 not out and bring Barrow a 7 wicket win with more than 50 balls to spare.

Ed Holdaway took 5/35 at Congresbury

At Congresbury, Barrow’s first XI looked to be in a promising position as they restrained the home side to 237 all out. Ed Holdaway destroyed the lower order taking 5/35, but there were wickets too for Premil Fernando (2/37), Matt Owen 2/55 and Hashan Mudiyanselage (1/42). They were well supported by some good fielding and catching.

In reply Barrow were up against young William Eyres fresh off of taking 7 for 4 against Almondsbury. With some inswing followed by pronounced movement off the seam, all delivered at lively pace, he was quite a handful and soon Barrow were 10 for 4. Hashan and Ed Holdaway fought hard to give the score respectability before Hashan unluckily smashed one and picked out the one fielder in the ring on the leg side, departing for 25, and when Ed was caught trying to emulate his 4 huge sixes, the battle became one of trying to secure a couple of batting bonus points. With 150 on the board, Barrow were all out. Eyres taking 5/15.

Ed Holdaway smashes another enormous six.

On Sunday against Keynsham Barrow played a 30 over game due to threat of rain.

Mark Forge lost the toss and Keynsham decided to bat. They came up against a very good opening spell from Paul Gard (6 overs for 11), who displayed great accuracy and the bad luck which has limited his wicket count this season. Melissa Owen also bowled well and the score remained under control as Craig Jones took over from her but there were no early wickets.

The introduction of Leo Brace changed that as he bowled one of his best spells (2/22) clean bowling 2 batsman. But then the fielding standards suddenly went into free-fall and shots hit straight to the fielder went for 4 more often than not. James Riley, off a short run removed the stubborn Browne for 53. With Leo executing a brilliant bit of fielding completed by Jonny Sykes for a sharp run out, Keynsham finished 166-4.

James Riley’s 65 put the Sunday team in the hunt before he retired.

After the early loss of the skipper, Riley, overcame a slightly fidgety start to blossom into playing some elegant shots, in partnership with Paul Gard, and soon reached 50. He tried to retire but was dissuaded, but when he had scored 65 (12 fours, 1 six) he walked off. 97-1 (in effect 97-2) and Barrow were in a strong position, but being a Sunday, he wanted to ensure everyone had a game. Within 5 overs everyone had, as Gard fell immediately for 15 and Barrow collapsed to 112 all out! Young John Biddlestone took 6 for 10 amidst the carnage.

Keynsham’s young bowlers ripped through the Barrow batting line up.

Barrow Win In Two Low-Scoring Games

Barrow Gurney 1st XI won a thrilling low-scoring encounter at Chilcompton this weekend, whilst the 2s finally registered a win in another game where runs were hard to come by.

Guy Fisher (58) and Bernie Forge (27) whose partnership of 77 was the highest of the match.

With several regulars of the top 6 away, Barrow captain, Frank Forge, seemed to have taken a bit of a risk on choosing to bat after winning the toss. As Ben Skuse departed to the first ball of the game, it fell to the regular opening pair of Guy Fisher (58) and Bernie Forge (27) to put Barrow back on a solid footing with a partnership of 77 before Bernie edged to slip. Guy made his 50 in fine style with a lovely straight six into the sightscreens and one flowing cover drive, which was particularly easy on the eye.

Beyond Guy’s knock, which was ended by one which kept low, Barrow really struggled as a lucky stumping off the keeper’s pad, a silly run out and a couple of wild shots put them seemingly out of the game. Only a dogged 11 not out from Kieran Owen got the team to 130 all out.

Frank Forge (3/24) waits to bowl at a Chilcompton batsman.

Chilcompton set about getting the runs quickly but were pegged back by Frank’s off spin (3/24 off 9 overs) as he surprised the opposition by opening the bowling. With tight seam bowling from Mark Fisher and Premil Fernando at the other end, Hashan Mudiyanselage replaced Frank with his leg-spin. Having bowled the dangerous Rivers for 25, the game seemed to be slipping away from Barrow as Chilcompton were 119-6 needing only 12 to win. At his point the skipper inspired his team taking a breath-taking catch at silly cover, with Matt Owen bowling the No 9 and Bernie Forge taking a good catch off Hashan’s quicker ball (leaving him with 3/28), it was now 119-9 and game on. Matt Owen (2/5) gave nothing away and after having a close LBW turned down, finally bowled Chilcompton’s No 11 to win a famous victory by 4 runs.

Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane, the 2s also struggled with the bat until Simon Hudson (batting at 6) crafted an important 23, but still they found themselves 105-7. The unlikely partnership of Peter Rooney (39 not out) and Isaac Todman (16 not out) put on 49 for the last wicket batting out the remaining overs and giving Barrow something to bowl at.

Peter Rooney made his highest score for Barrow Gurney (39 not out)

Mike Lilley (6-2-6-2) and Paul Gard (8-2-13-0) kept things very tight early on, before Steve Owen (2/28) and Adam Brace (3/30) chipped away at the Coalpit Heath 3rds’ middle order. Injured Simon Hudson took 2/27 at half pace before Isaac Todman took the key wicket of Oliver Baldwin for 37. Coalpit Heath folded for 107 as Barrow finally recorded a win and regained touch with the teams in the lower half of Div 13.

Sunday turned out to be wet and with Barrow on 73-5 against Bitton, torrential rain ended proceedings.

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.