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.