A personal highest score of 87 not out by Jonny Sykes was the highlight of last weekend’s games, as the Sunday 3rd XI recorded their first win of the season over near neighbours Blagdon.
This was a much-needed fillip for Barrow after a combination of rain interruptions, strong opposition bowling attacks and batting frailties resulted in two heavy defeats for the Saturday sides.
The First XI lost by 10 wickets to Bath 3rds having been bowled out for 67. Alex Muse (4/12) and Phil Lyle (4/14) did the damage with only Ali Hood and skipper Paul Glazzard offering much resistance.
Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane rain delayed the start and interfered several times during YMCA’s innings. Remarkably, despite long periods off the field, YMCA were able to bat for 35 overs and after a poor start (with Peter Rooney taking his first couple of wickets for Barrow), they were severe on the Barrow change bowlers amassing 235-4. Psychologically it was going to be hard to chase such a total after letting a good position slip (YMCA having been 99-4 at one stage), and, compounded by some uneven bounce later in the day, the Barrow reply slipped to a disappointing 74 all out.
So it was that there were some long faces on arriving at Hobbs Lane on Sunday afternoon. Winning the toss and bowling first, Barrow came up against a positive young Blagdon opener who played a shot a ball and was difficult to set a field to, but Steve Owen (3/27) successfully opened up the other end with two early wickets, before the early introduction of spin saw Frank Forge get one past the advancing opening bat and had him stumped by the ever-enthusiastic James Riley. Frank (3/27) bowled accurately and troubled all the batsman as did Adam Brace (2/30). Melissa Owen and Leo Brace kept up the pressure on Blagdon by bowling well to their field.
At 71-7 Barrow were in a commanding position but a determined and skilful 8th wicket partnership began to steadily claw the visitors back into the game. Jonny Sykes (2/22) finally broke through with a couple of key wickets, before Steve Owen dismissed the opposition skipper to end the innings at 170.
In reply Barrow lost Pete Holdaway to one that kept low, and skipper Mark Forge to a diving slip catch to be 16-2 before James Riley (47) and Sykes put on a partnership of 84 with Riley hitting an enormous 6 before being bowled straight after drinks just short of a well-deserved half century. Jonny then took charge, scoring at more than a run-a-ball in trademark fashion with swashbuckling drives, tempered with some neat flicks off his toes. Steve Owen kept one end secure to allow Jonny to take Barrow home with 5 overs to spare.