Last year BGCC website followers voted that James Riley was the club’s “Personality of the Year”, who will follow him by winning this year’s online poll. Why not case your vote for one of this year’s 6 contenders?
Adam Brace was the club’s second highest wicket taker in the season with 35. Often playing both Saturday and Sunday, Adam was reliable in keeping the batsman under pressure and getting a bit of nip off the pitch. He was often deadly when he first changed to round the wicket and surprised the batsman with the change of angle. With the bat he contributed some vital lower-order runs, getting the 2nd XI over the line in at least one very close game. Famed for using all parts of his body to field the ball, he ended the season with a vast collection of bruises. Who can forget the memorable moment when he emerged, half dressed, from behind the sightscreen to field the ball at Blagdon?
Frank Forge was the 1st team player of the year after finishing the season with two five wicket hauls, ending the season as top wicket taker in all cricket. He had a memorable duel with Torquay’s overseas player whist on tour, finding some new variations of flight and guile and withstood an attempted onslaught to eventually get his man. Although limited in opportunity with the bat in the firsts, on Sundays and in the T20 games he showed some flair with the bat as his season became fixated on hitting his first genuine 6. He tried very hard, hitting the boards on the half volley a few times, and came quite close with a ramp shot on tour (played without a helmet), but he ended up having to be satisfied with a seasons average of 25 instead.
Guy Fisher was the club’s top run-scorer in the year. Making his first hundred on a Sunday he was reluctant to retire and came off after his captain’s insistence with the demeanour of a man who had been out first ball. His second hundred though was not far behind and with some other enjoyable knocks he showed what a clean striker of the ball he can be. 719 runs at over 37 per innings was a great return and was complemented by his new incarnation as a leg-spinner which showed some promise. Top of list of catchers with 11, he would be the first to admit that he dropped just as many!
Ali Hood professed that he hadn’t enjoyed cricket as much for years, as he experience a new lease of life in the 2nds after many years in the firsts. With 2 hundreds and 3 fifties, he averaged well over 50 in the 2ndXI games and was extremely severe on any loose bowling, finding that it was fairly common in Division 13! For much of the season he found himself with the wicket keeping gloves too, withstanding a challenge from the team vice-captain when, having arrived late, he won a memorable argument on the field in front of two rather bemused batsmen. He had a rather thin tour, but a memorable one, batting in flip flops when called into to bat in the last over, before a captain’s innings at Shobrooke Park when he attempted a scoop first ball, hit himself in the face and retired hurt!
Ed Holdway played more games for Barrow than he had in recent seasons and it was good to see him back as he became a key allrounder in the firsts. His hundred against Bristol was a joy to watch showing great responsibility in digging the team out of a crisis before opening his shoulders and clearing the ropes several times. His overall stike rate of almost a run a ball in the season showed how fluent he was with the bat. As well as averaging 38 with the bat he took 18 wickets for the firsts including a memorable spell bowling in tandem with James Riley as they ran through the Bristol Civil Service side. Ed was a key figure in keeping up the morale of the team after a series of defeats and helping his skipper in shepherding the young team.
Rod Reeves had a typically niggardly season with the bat proving extremely hard to dismiss on Sundays. He perhaps played the most important single figure innings of the season at Harptree, when on a wicket with no bounce at all he batted 20 overs or so for his 8 not out, sometimes without glasses, gloves or other protection! The result was a win by 1 wicket in a low-scoring game. He was delighted to score his first half century for several seasons at the end of the season. His fielding, as always, belied his 70 + years, and one catch he took on the boundary in a 2nd XI game would have been caught by no-one else in the team! His season will always be remembered for the trouser malfunction whilst batting at Bath Exiles which resulted in them being at half-mast by the time he had completed a run. Rod endured many difficulties and frustrations but still managed to organise yet another successful cricket tour.