Barrow’s second pre-season friendly was played out in significantly higher temperatures than the previous week, however the batting did not sufficiently warm up as Backwell/Flax Bourton comfortably dominated proceedings.
The match was played in a similar fashion to warm up games on recent England tours with both teams committed to bowling 40 overs against each other irrespective of the number of wickets down or the match result.
Batting first Barrow started well with the opening partnership of Bernie Forge and Guy Fisher playing well against a spirited opening attack, but some middle order set-backs slowed the scoring rate and whilst Bernie struggled with her timing grafted her way to top-score of 39, it was Paul Gard (31) who injected some pace to the innings clearing the ropes a couple of times off the spinners. When he fell the lower order contributed little apart from one glorious lofted straight drive from Isaac Todman.
Batting a second time Ed Holdaway (22) and Guy Fisher took the score to a disappointing 186.
As Flax’s quality players Martin and Flowers both put on unbeaten half centuries, with Martin in particular looking in excellent early season form, it was clear they would easily exceed Barrow’s total. But Frank Forge rotated his bowlers making sure they all got some overs under their belt with Isaac Todman the pick of them with 2/22. Matt Owen, Mark Fisher and Kian Ware all took one a piece and bowled better than their figures suggested against the height of the Flax onslaught. Finally, Frank finished matters off with a couple of wickets in the final over. Flax finished on a genuine 239-7.
Next week the final pre-season game against Blagdon at Hobbs Lane, and an opportunity for the Barrow batters, in particular, to get some time at the crease under their belts and adjust to outdoor play after indoor nets.