Barrow Firsts Back To Winning Ways

After two disappointing losses to Failand & Portbury and Long Ashton, Barrow Gurney 1st Team faced bottom of the league, Bristol Sri Lankans, with a chance to get the season back on track.  Arriving at the Fry’s Club Barrow were pleased to again find that we had neutral umpires and the team was even happier when Phil Milton won the toss and decided to put the Sri Lankans in.  James Riley and Paul Glazzard were back to their best and did their usual job of both containing and taking regular wickets, Glaz aided by LBW decisions and Riley bowling straight and full.  The Sri Lankans were 33-5 at which point Mark Brown and young gun, Kieran Owen, continued the good work of the openers as they too took wickets reducing the opposition to 57-8.  The all to familiar theme of allowing the opposition of the hook continued however as the Sri Lankans clawed their way back to 101 all out when they should have got no more than 80.  Glaz finished 9.1-1-22-4, Riley 12-3-32-2 and Kieran 5-1-15-2.

After Sam Turner’s late withdrawal Barrow had a fourth opening partnership in as many games as Mick Hardy opened with Brown.  Both started steadily getting the board ticking, always important when chasing a low score.  Mark went with the score on 20 and Mick with the score on 30 odd.  Nick Moore scored 42 before getting out allowing Phil Milton and James Mitchell (30*) to see Barrow home with 15 overs to spare.  No sooner had the game finished than it rained heavily.

With the win Barrow move back to fourth in the table. No game this week for the first team but they finish the season with three home games and all to play for.

Dominant YMCA Halt Barrow Promotion Push

Barrow Gurney 2nds’ recent good run came to an abrupt halt against YMCA 5ths at Hobbs Lane on Saturday.

Batting first YMCA lost a wicket to the first ball of the innings from Mark Fisher but that was the only moment of joy, as first the stylish Cox (52) partnered M Smith for 97 for the second wicket, and then Higgins joined Smith to put on 171 for the third wicket. Higgins made only 33 of them whilst Smith, in a demonstration of sustained clean hitting rarely seen in Division 11, hit 11 6s and 15 4s in his 177 not out. At least 8 balls were lost in all parts of the surrounding countryside. The young Barrow team stuck to their task well despite the carnage. YMCA concluded on 312-4.

With no realistic prospect of chasing such a formidable total, Barrow set off in pursuit of respectability and batting points. Early wickets left Barrow 3-2 and 21-3, before acting captain Jordan Allen (36) and Jonny Sykes (25) staged a bit of a recovery. Connor Jones, returning after some weeks away, made a welcome 50, hitting 10 4s in the process before Frank Forge and Mike Lilley defended stoically to avoid Barrow being bowled out.

Barrow can take comfort that they remain 2nd in the table and with a good run-in might are still in a good position to obtain promotion.


Captain’s Innings Seals Win In Annual Encounter

On Thursday James Mitchell was the stand-in skipper for the game against the touring New Ash Green CC. The visitors batted first. Matt Owen and Mark Fisher opened the bowling and hit decent lines and lengths, ensuring New Ash Green got off to a slow start but on a good batting wicket and quick outfield, their openers grew in confidence and put together a stand of 147 in 30 overs. Finally their stand was broken with their opener Barlett falling for 56 (with three different bats) to a Mark Fisher yorker. Although when the score is 147 – 1 you don’t really want to see a batsman walking out to the middle that scored a century against you last year. However, he also fell in quick succession to Mark Fisher (2-35) as he spooned a catch up in the air. The last ten overs were action packed with 7 wickets falling, two dropped catches and 67 runs being scored. Oscar Livesey picked up two quick wickets including the other opener for 72 and had bowled impressively throughout the innings, maintaining good line and length, getting some spin, and bowling to his field. He ended with 2 for 38 off 9 overs. The two Owens, Kieran and Matt bowled well at the death, despite a dropped catch from Daddy Owen, Steve. Kieran (2-45) removed the dangerous Payne and then missed a chance to grab a hat trick by bowling a no ball! The innings ended with a solid total of 216 for 7 off 40 overs.

After a lovely tea, Frank Forge and Guy Fisher opened up against some pretty accurate bowling. Unfortunately, Frank fell early to a good catch in the slips. Johnny Sykes fell in quick succession, marred with some controversy. Guy Fisher then also fell for 11 and we were soon aproximately 20 for 3. Steve Owen and James Mitchell rebuilt the innings and managed to put on a stand of around 140. James fell towards the end for 108. Steve also fell quickly for an excellent 48. This brought in James Halladay who smacked several fours before falling by running halfway down the wicket and turning a normal ball into a head high full toss!

Anyway, this got Barrow down to the last over with four required. Kieran Owen calmly clipped the first ball of the over off his legs for four to win the game. A good game of cricket played in the right spirit and New Ash Green are keen to come back next year. Also, thanks to the – self-proclaimed – ‘Barrow Gurney’s Billy Bowden’ (Oscar) who umpired for 30 overs.

Barrow’s Torquay Tour Diary

This year’s Barrow Gurney Cricket Club tour again was based in Torquay and featured some old rivalries and some new fixtures. It all started by marking a special birthday, as you can read in Ali Hood’s Tour Diary


Tour started with a wet drive down the M5 but by the time we reached our rendezvous at the Beer Engine for a quick pre game pint the sun was out & remained so through most of the week.

The first game was at the picturesque Shobrooke  Park, a team we have been playing for many years who are always very hospitable & play the game in the right spirit. Club legend Mick Hardy ‘fresh’ from his surprise 60th birthday party at the weekend was skipper and as is the tradition we batted with the aim of posting a score of around 200. Ed Holdaway (21) & Jordan Allen (25) made starts but Mark Gracey & Sam Turner fell cheaply leaving Barrow on 88 -4 off 17. This brought Ali Hood(39) and Mick Hardy  together, who put on 70,  before falling in quick succession, Mick for 58 just shy of 60 on his 60th! The lower order with some lusty blows from Ed Jones & Premil Torrington took us to the perfect score of 201 from our 40 overs

Tea was befitting of Mick’s recent Evening post article where he nominated Shobrooke as his favourite ground & tea. Worryingly Mick appeared to then have the first ‘senior moment’ of his 7th decade when he opened the bowling with Sam but it turned out to be inspired as he bowled 7 overs for just 10 runs meaning Shobrooke were well behind the rate when Johnny Sykes picked up the 1st wicket. This brought Frank Forge, who was guesting for the opposition, to the wicket and it’s fair to say that he did little to up the tempo. Fernando bowled well before Ali was brought into the attack to help up the run rate but with wickets for Ed Jones, Premil & Mick the total proved beyond Shobrooke & Barrow earned an opening win. One blot on the tour was Dan Jones going over on his knee putting him out of the rest of tour at least in terms of playing.


Brixham 1

Mick got 90 odd & there were centuries for Ali, Sam & Gracey – unfortunately all made at Dainton Park golf course! Gracey holed a 6ft putt on the last to ensure Hardy/Gracey had a share of the match for anyone who is interested. Meanwhile in Brixham a youthful Barrow side led by Ed Holdaway was playing Llanhydrock from Cornwall, who wore coloured kit & produced a pink ball for us to bowl with.

Llanhydrock batted first & went after literally everything with some mediocre success but lost wickets regularly – Frank Forge 2-24, Mark Fisher 1-37, Oscar Livesey 2-6, James Halladay 2-45 & were reduced to 90-8 before a couple of batsmen took advantage of some generous bowling from Barrow to dramatically increase the score to 220.

Llanhydrock opened up with some very hostile bowling that ripped through the Barrow youth and we were soon 30-5, when Premil was then bowled off an inside edge that no one actually saw hit the stumps but was found to have dislodged the bail the game was pretty much up and despite some late order resistance Barrow were all out for 118.

Barrow retired back to the hotel for a BBQ, a few beers and some well earned sleep in the bunk beds!

Brixham 2


Well the best thing about this game is that we could walk to the ground!

Torquay fielded a team of overseas players & 1st /2nd teamers – whilst our side was weakened by the loss of Premil & Fernando which was a real blow as this year we did not have a number of other regular 1st team tourists. It was always going to be a tough day in the field. Ed Holdaways’s figures were a very acceptable 3-42. The remaining bowling figures are best not be printed as Torquay pumped us for 348 off 40 overs, however Oscar does deserve a mention for a brilliant piece of bowling that with fine support from Jordan saw their no 3  beaten by flight & width & comprehensively stumped. Other than that it should be said that everyone kept going in the field.

With eleven very good cricketers in their side it was no surprise that the opening bowlers were testing & quickly removed Gracey & Sykes before Ali fell to the first change bowler – so at this point we were staring down the barrel again but Mick & Sam dug in before Mick was run out, not really anticipating a bullet throw from cover with 1 stump to aim at! At this point the part time bowlers came on & Sam Turner cashed in with a half century. With 9 wickets down James & Frank decided to restore some pride by ensuring that we were not all out with a dogged last wicket partnership but a heavy defeat none the less


So to the final cricket day of tour and we headed off for our first proper game against Abbotskerswell (we played a 20 over game there last year) – with Mick & Sam on their way back to Bristol & Dan & Jordan injured we were down to the bare bones so Ali invited the opposition to have first bat. Abbots’ team was probably the best balanced for a tour game with some decent young players interspersed with a few senior pros all very ably marshalled by their affable Chairman & Groundsmen Paul. Unfortunately our Chair/Groundsman’s competitive activity was limited to quizzes & the crossword by injury!

Frank picked up an early wicket & Johnny deserved a better return than 0-29 from his 8 overs. The 2nd wicket partnership rode their luck ( and our ‘ it’s been a long week’ fielding) to take the score up to 160 before Ed 2-32 & Ali 3-36 kept the score to a respectable 240 odd. It should also be noted that Gracey picked up a wicket – caught at the 3rd or 4th juggle by Ali at cover with the batsmen wondering how he got the Gracey dribbler up in the air!

In reply we lost the Forge’s early Bernie conventionally & Mark retired hurt after getting one on the toe – Gracey (finally getting into double figures for the tour) & Ed 30 put on a decent partnership but after that we fell away a bit until some terrific late strikes from Steve Allen gave us all something to cheer before we ran out of overs about 100 short of the victory target

So only the one win and some tough games  but everyone had a good time, enjoying the opportunity to play with or share a beer/game of pool with people they may not normally see too much of during the regular season.

Seconds Go Second With Second Win Over Portishead

On Saturday Barrow 2nds embarked on what was a must win game against second placed Portishead, who had only lost 4 games this season (one of them against Barrow in the reverse fixture), if they were to stand any chance of promotion this season.

Mark Gracey lost the toss and was put into bat on what was a damp and bouncy wicket. This proved to be a good decision by Portishead as they took the early wickets of Bernie Forge and Roger Finnemore with balls which bounced quite high allowing them to take easy catches. With the score 20/2, Jordan Allen joined his captain needing to dig deep and rebuild. They successfully did just that putting on a 53 run partnership before Jordan was bowled. With the score 73/3, Jonny Sykes joined Gracey in a much needed 94 run partnership before the impressive Jonny was caught out by a straight ball being dismissed LBW. Mike Lilley and Steve Owen added a couple more runs before Kieran Owen (1 not out) and Gracey( who batted the entire 40 overs for 58 not out) set Portishead a competitive score of 180/6.

After tea, Frank Forge and Kieran Owen set out to limit the run chase. Kieran was keen to replicate his fantastic bowling in the reverse fixture (where he bowled 35 dot balls and only conceded 1 six off the final ball in his first spell). Kieran didn’t quite manage to replicate this feat, but after his first 6 overs only went for 19 runs but with no wicket. Frank on the other hand managed to pick up the wicket of a Portishead opener with a reflex catch off his own bowling. The ball was returned back to him with interest and after deflecting the ball in the air, caught the ball at the second attempt. This bought in Rowsell who, after bowling with great accuracy (10 overs, 2 or 19), in an eye catching white helmet started to accelerate the scoring with a quick fire 36.

Jordan Allen was then brought into midwicket and the following ball Rowsell skied a high one straight to him. Now the danger man was out, Barrow felt they had a chance. The run rate required never really deviated from the 4.5 required from the outset and despite the remainder of the wickets falling at regular intervals with no batsman looking particularly threatening the game never looked like it was in the

bag. All Barrow’s bowlers bowled with good economy and the wickets were shared (Frank 1, Kieran 2, Jonny 2, Mike 1 and Liam Moore 2). Liam (a direct hit with only one stump to aim at) and Oscar Livesey (with a long flat throw) also had run outs. The final wicket falling after 37 and a half overs leaving Portishead 160 all out.

This result gave Barrow 29 out of a possible 30 points and they have now overtaken Portishead by 11 points into a promotion 2nd place.

Saturday In LA Brings No Happy Ending

This week Barrow 1st Team travelled to near-neighbours Long Ashton, who they beat in a good game earlier in the season.  With the rain on Friday the toss was always going to be important and unfortunately Captain Phil Milton lost it and Barrow were put into bat. Sam Turner and Mark Brown opened up but Barrow were soon one down when Sam dragged on, Brown went soon after caught behind leaving Barrow 18-2.  Nick Moore and James Mitchell rebuilt taking the score to 90 before both went quickly as they tried to accelerate the scoring leaving Barrow 98-4 in the 32nd over.  Ali Hood joined his captain and upped the tempo before a couple of run outs.  Barrow finishing 168 from the 45 overs, probably 20 or 30 short of a competitive target.

Barrow needed to start well in the field but unfortunately did not do so.  The LA openers got off to a flier and Barrow could not take a wicket until the 23rd over at which point LA were on 125 and cruising.  Nick Heal, a late call up, took his first 1st team wicket and was the pick of the bowlers showing good control of line and importantly length.  LA wrapped up victory in 31.2 overs with 9 wickets to spare.

Sunday Sun At Last For Friendly XI At Chew Magna

After a 5 week break due to weather and the opposition cancelling, the Sunday XI were back in action last week at Chew Magna. Barrow were greeted with beautiful sunshine and a warm welcome as Lee Bryant (also known as the Barrow Under 15 coach) captained the Chew Magna team which also contained Jackson Bryant and Frazier Thomas, two of the leading lights of the Under 15 team.

Chew Magna batted first and their top order laboured under accurate bowling from the Owen brothers before Oscar Livesey, bowling with flight and spin, and Nick Heal, with accurate seam bowling, took 3 wickets each to leave Chew Magna in need of a Captain’s innings. Lee Bryant duly obliged with a seemingly measured innings which belied the rate with which he kept the total moving. On reaching 50 he retired, as did Griffiths who ably supported him for a long partnership. Chew Magna finished on 215 off their 40 overs. Oscar taking 3/36, Nick 3/22, Matt Owen 1/21 and Kieran Owen 1/40.

After a sumptuous tea, Barrow opened up with Bernie Forge and Oscar Livesey. Oscar fell to Frazier Thomas early on but Bernie batted well keeping out her Under 15 team mates and taking on the Chew spinners, hitting them over the top for four on several occasions. Denis Atkins finally made his debut, returning to cricket after a few years away , and having been frustrated by the recent abandoned games. After looking a little rusty to start with, he gave Bernie good support and became increasingly fluent, especially through the leg side. Bernie retired on 51 not out (her highest score for Barrow), while Denis made 36. Kieran Owen continued his recent good form with the bat making 39, retiring when it was obvious that Barrow would fall short to enable sister Melissa (Barrow Under 13 player) to come in and make a stylish 3. Melissa had stepped into the breach to replace an injured Pete Halladay in the field early in the match and showed great enthusiasm allied to a better throwing arm than the skipper!

Barrow’s innings closed on 179 for 5 to end a game played in a wonderful spirit. Although there was no time to elect a man of the match there were several candidates as can be seen from the above report.

Low Scoring Loss Fails To Spoil Mick’s Celebrations

Barrow Gurney Firsts are hoping for a better day against Long Ashton this Saturday after being on the losing end of an unusually low-scoring encounter last week at Hobbs Lane against Failand & Portbury.

Everything started promisingly enough as the Failand team collapsed to 100 all out in 27.5 overs, with paceman James Riley doing the bulk of the damage with 5 wickets for 32 in his 12 overs. Paul Glazzard provided excellent support with 12 overs 2 for 35.

Barrow would surely only have to bat time to overhaul the total. But the bowling attack gave nothing away and Sam Buckley’s 7 wicket haul meant few of the Barrow batsmen got going. Mick Hardy’s 23 not out was the only resistance as, despite batting 31.5 overs, Barrow could muster only 58 in reply.

It was fitting that Mick was the top-scorer as he was about to enjoy a surprise 60th birthday party in the pavilion which was attended by many family, friends, former and current players. Even the result could not dampen that special occasion.

Opening Pair Set Up Win For Seconds At Bradley Stoke

Barrow Gurney second team arrived at Bradley Stoke Community School hoping to reverse the loss they had suffered earlier in the season and keep their good form of two wins in a row. Jordan Allen stepped in as captain to gain experience as Mark Gracey wanted a week off.  Jordan won the toss and decided to bowl on the artificial wicket that could do anything as the Bradley Stoke captain ominously informed Jordan before the toss.

The Fisher twins opened the bowling, both Mark and Guy bowling really well with good pace, line and length, building pressure on both the opening batsmen. But then Bradley Stoke’s opening batsmen Page started to open up his shoulders with one of his fours going under two fences with half the Bradley Stoke team bringing a javelin, broom and cricket bat trying to get the ball back. Then Mark got his own back by getting Page to chop on to his stumps, Guy also getting the number one batsmen in our league, English, who batted for 37 overs only making 36. Mark finished with 4 for 39 and Guy 1 for 31

Will Kerswell picked up one wicket for 37 with Liam Moore taking a sharp catch on the 45. Liam himself bowled with good control until his back started to play up, which brought Dan Jones onto bowl as the pressure started to build on the Bradley stoke batsmen. Dan finished his 7 overs with figures of 1 for 20, Bradley stoke completed their innings finishing on 192 for 8 wickets.

After tea Will Kerswell and Bernie Forge opened the batting for Barrow with aggression, trying to chase down such a big score. With Will and Bernie both playing some lovely shots hitting several boundaries before the first wicket to fall was Bernie going for 46 with everybody in the team on the sidelines hoping she got to her half century. The opening partnership left Barrow on 116  for the first wicket. New look number three batsmen, Mike Lilley came in and played a very sensible innings for 29 and with Will, the second wicket to fall, for a really well played 80 although he was dropped 4 times before he got passed 35. Resting skipper Mark Gracey came to the crease and he scored two before getting bowled leg stump for the second week in a row. Jordan Allen hit a quick 24 before trying to win the game with a six and edging to backward point which left Barrow needing four runs to win which came in the next over with Mike unleashing a flashing cover drive and edging the ball over slip for 4. Barrow won with 3.5 overs to spare.

Barrow took 28 points out of a maximum of 30, which moves them closer to Portishead who are the opposition this weekend so Barrow need to do the double over them to continue their push towards promotion.

Barrow Cricket Fun Day Announced For 5th August

Barrow Gurney Cricket Club have announced they are hosting a Cricket Fun Day for children in Years 4 to 6 on 5th August in the beautiful setting of the Hobbs Lane ground. Led by ECB trained coaches who are fully CRB checked, those who take part are assured of a great day learning some cricket skills and lunch will be provided. Those who attend will be invited to free coaching sessions over the winter at Globe Sports indoor net and, who knows, next year you could be playing for our Under 11 or Under 13 teams, and maybe one day playing in our adult teams, many of whom joined Barrow Gurney as juniors.

For more details see our poster below with contact details to register your interest.

Cricket Fun Day