Last weekend saw Barrow’s 1st XI lose a close game at Frenchay, the 2ndXI struggle at home against St Mary Redcliffe despite a half century from Pete Holdaway, results which dented both team’ hopes of staying in their respective divisions. Meanwhile the Sunday 3rd XI saw their game abandoned due to rain after being in a commanding position.
As Barrow’s Ist XI gathered at Frenchay most of the discussion centred round when they last played at the ground which varied from Ali Hood some 30 years ago to Paul Gard who had played on the adjoining pitch for the two’s last week against Old Park!
Paul Glazzard won the toss and, supported by the overcast conditions opted to have a bowl. James Riley and Matt Owen opened up and bowled tidily – with Matt bowling one of his best opening spells of the season, both inducing edges but the chances which were not easy, but were better than half chances, went down, unfortunately setting something of a pattern for what was to follow. Gard after not for the first time in his career made various excuses about why he may struggle and then took 1-14 from 5 in a very controlled spell and with Frank Forge bowling his 9 overs straight through for only 24 runs. Barrow kept Frenchay in check but remained wary that they were only 1 wicket down. As the game entered into the final third of the Frenchay innings, they looked to push on and gave a number of chances which Barrow spilled with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, one of those was an excellent take by Oscar Livesey but from a Kieran Owen no ball. Will Kerswell did take a sharp chance at cover giving Matt Owen a deserved wicket as he returned 1-36 from 8 very good overs, whilst Kieran bowled quite well, Sam Turner bowled tidily for 2 overs but a 3rd was too much, Skipper Paul Glazzard was a bit patchy and not at his best.
Riley returned to pick up a couple of wickets at the end including the opener who had been dropped twice in the first 10 overs and at least 3 more times for 97, the second wicket coming when a Frenchay player attempted a scoop but only succeeded in guiding it to Jordan via his helmet! So Frenchay posted 216-4 which was a decent but not intimidating score, I they may have wondered why they were unable to accelerate better whilst Barrow were left wondering about the many spilled chances.
In reply Barrow made the best possible start they could have hoped for and by drinks Sam Turner and Will Kerswell remained together with the score on 97-0 so Barrow were very much on top, but credit to Frenchay who remained unphased and continued to stick to their task. Geoffrey Boycott is known for his adage of adding 2 wickets and the score doesn’t always look quite as good and unfortunately for Barrow it was more a case of add 4 wickets as first Kerswell’s excellent knock, including a lovely cover drive and some good clips off his legs came to an end as he fell for 39. Then followed Sam for 46 as well as Ali Hood and Glazzard as Barrow slipped to 124-4.
After a few tighter overs from Frenchay Barrow soon found the run rate pushing up towards 8 and then 9. Oscar Livesey (27) promoted to number 3 to show what he could do (which was quite impressive, he certainly didn’t look out of his depth) and Jordan Allen (33) gave it their best shot and for 3 or 4 overs got the required rate but a couple of low scoring overs soon left Barrow with a lot to do needing 40 off 3 and they ended up falling short by 20 odd runs.
Meanwhile at Hobbs Lane Barrow 2nds entertained St Mary Redcliffe who won a toss which Barrow wanted to win and put the home side into bat. Bernie Forge tucked the first ball away for 4 on a damp wicket which started with slow pace and some uneven bounce. She lost her new opening partner, Steve Owen early on for a single, before being well caught and bowled by Loud for 11. Mark Gracey fell cheaply before Pete Holdaway joined his skipper (and daughter) Ellie at the crease. Ellie found it hard to get the ball away off the slow wicket, whilst Pete treated the spectators to some classic cuts and deflections, as well as, unusually, quite a few off the inside edge. After a partnership of 30, Ellie fell for 5 bringing in the wounded warrior from last week, Rod Reeves. Understandably, after taking a nasty blow to the jaw, Rod took a couple of overs to regain his confidence but soon was back to his dogged best as the lifelong friends put on yet another 50 partnership before Pete holed out to mid on for 52. Adam Brace played a couple of delicious shots over the off side making 15 as Barrow ended on 137-8 which never looked like being enough.
St Mary Redcliffe made a slow start as Adam Brace and Steve Owen bowled with guile and experience and gave nothing away, but the openers gained in confidence as the change bowlers were not quite as accurate as they might have been, and a couple of straightforward chances were passed up. Although a 10 wicket win probably flattered the visitors, there was little doubt that they were the stronger team well-deserving of their win.
As the news came in of other results the 2nds now face a real fight for survival in Division 13 as they are only 6 points from the relegation zone with the 2 teams below them due to play each other next week.
On Sunday the 3rd XI travelled to the lovely ground at East Harptree, receiving a warm welcome on a gloomy day. Losing the toss Barrow were pleased to be bowling first The openers for Harptree were very circumspect in the face of accurate bowling from Nick Heal, Adam Brace, Kieran Owen and Will Kerswell with extras looking favorite to be top scorer for a while. The introduction of Melissa Owen brought the first wicket as Jonny Sykes took a good catch in the outfield.
Then Connor Jones came into the attack and took 2 wickets in 2 balls, adding a third soon after for the weekend’s best figures of 3/4. Jonny induced a nick for a caught behind but at 79-5 off 30 Harptree had already been batting in light rain which decided to get heavier. An early tea was taken but with rain not relenting, Barrow’s Sunday team’s penultimate game was abandoned.