The second team returned to their home from home, Patchway Cricket Club, for their third time in 3 years and found a good batting wicket. However with a strong bowling side and no forecast of rain Barrow’s captain, Ellie Holdaway opted to bowl.
Paul Gard and Mike Lilley opened up with some threatening bowling, Lilley being Mr Economic as always and Gardy was first to strike dismissing their able opening batsman, Ted Milburn for 18.
From there Steve Owen capitalised taking 3 wickets of his own while Pete Rooney, on Barrow debut, was swinging the ball like a banana at the other end. Unfortunately, this swing into the batman was so effective that it was hard for Pete to control, causing a few leg side wides that in no way reflected the bowling spell itself as he had accomplished Patchway batsman Paul Thompson playing and missing even as the batsman approached his well-deserved 100. Finally, Adam Brace wrapped up the innings with some much needed tight bowling and Patchway ended up on 185-5 off of their 40 overs. Barrow fielded well on the large outfield and particular highlights included the unlikeliest of Gracey catches (one handed, above his head, jogging backwards) and young Leo Brace providing the close fielding stop of the season with his titanium ankle, he then reluctantly went off to rest before returning a few overs later without so much as a mark. The rest of the team agreed we would have done the old ‘effort dive but realistically I don’t want to get anywhere near that absolute bullet’ but clearly he’s a braver chap than most.
With the loss of our hero from last week, Roger Finnamore, Holdaway junior and senior opened up the batting, with Ellie being unlucky to be out to the thinnest of snicks down the leg side before Mark Gracey at 3 fell to another feather. Next to fall was Holdaway senior who managed to pick out the man at square leg and then shortly after came Mark Forge who was very unlucky to dragthe ball onto his own stumps. Barrow were not in a good situation having lost 4 fairly quick and cheap wickets. Enter ‘plenty of time’ Grant Ashley who relished the chance to play himself in by trying to hit his first ball for six and skying it into the hands of a nearby fielder – this later lead to an epiphany from our six hitting South African that maybe you should play a few balls before trying to hit sixes!
Barrow were really struggling and it was all that a cameo from Paul Gard (who was dropped first ball and nearly bowled before he had scored) and Steve Owen partnership could do to get Barrow over the 100 mark. Adam and Pete Rooney continued to try and propel the team towards the unlikely target but alas it was too little too late for Barrow’s resilient middle order. Despite a dismal batting display there was one significant highlight when Leo, ‘titanium ankle’, Brace was able to secure himself his first second XI run, outscoring other members of the team almost twice his age!!
Congratulations to Leo on a superb debut but unfortunately a poor loss for Barrow.