There was disappointment for both Barrow Gurney teams on Saturday as they set similar scores which neither opposition found particularly challenging, as wickets affected by the recent wet weather began to dry out as the games went on.
At Hobbs Lane, Barrow firsts played Shirehampton 2nds as both teams fought to escape the relegation zone of Division 4. Put into bat, the opening partnership of Ben Skuse and Roger Finnimore was broken when Ben called for a rather ambitious run and stood no chance of regaining his ground as the bowler fielded athletically after Roger had remained impassive. Ali Hood fell as he middled a flick over midwicket which seemed destined to clear the boundary only to find the tallest fielder on the ground who plucked the ball out of the air. When Roger, who struggled to find any timing, also fell to Sidra Khan, Barrow hoped for some much-needed runs from the middle order. Captain Paul Glazzard looked likely to provide these as he hit three consecutive straight fours off the dangerous Khan but then fell unexpectedly for 22.
Thereafter only Mark Fisher made double figures (12) as the tail fought hard to get to 150 and an extra bowling point. This they did; but on 151 Frank Forge was yorked all ends up by Khan who finished with 3/27. Glazzard remained the highest scoring batsman although wides accounted for 40 of the total and extras 50 in all.
In reply Shirehampton were rarely troubled apart from 8 accurate overs from James Riley who beat the bat numerous times, and they benefitted from some short deliveries from the other bowlers which sat up nicely for the batsmen, and from some fielding lapses. Nurse (43 not out) anchored the innings and despite a couple of wickets taken by Paul Glazzard and Mark Fisher, Barrow’s total loomed quickly into view. When Geddes joined the fray, he lifted the tempo to catapult Shirehampton over the finishing line with almost 14 overs to spare, as Barrow tried some attacking field placings in an attempt to force a break through.
Overall there was little to take from this game to cheer the Barrow faithful who came to support, although there was a rather splendid acrobatic flying display over the Village End courtesy of the Balloon Fiesta which briefly entertained those of us watching proceedings.
Barrow 2nds were at Frenchay to play Old Park 1st XI, again they were put into bat. Bernie Forge and Pete Holdaway put on 63 for the first wicket before Pete, who was struggling to get the ball away, fell for 15. Bernie, having survived an early chance, took on the short ball to good effect as well as adding some flowing drives making her second fifty of the season before being bowled for 56 with the score on 97. Ellie Holdaway (25 not out) and Jordan Allen (20) moved the score along to 120 but the innings then stuttered as Barrow finished on 156-7.
In reply, Old Park’s Kerry Adams (83) steered the home side safely home as some Barrow bowlers struggled with their line and length. Gareth Ashley bowled 8 tidy overs for 21, but it was Ellie Holdaway taking pace off the ball which took a couple of wickets (2/15) with a late burst from Luke Glazzard finally accounting for Adams.
The First XI now have a real battle on their hands to avoid the drop, whilst the 2nds still have a game in hand over the teams in the relegation places in Division 13 with 3 weeks left of the league season.