Everards County League: Barkby United up and running in Premier

Tom Flowers EMN-160305-105922002
Tom Flowers EMN-160305-105922002

Barkby United broke their Premier Division duck at only the second attempt as they eased past Sileby by five wickets at Beeby Road.

In their first home game of the season, Barkby were looking to bounce back from the opening day defeat at Loughborough, and with skipper Steve Flowers absent, his brother and vice-captain Tom won the toss and bowled first on a very good April wicket.

What came next was outstanding as Barkby restricted Sileby to just 75-3 off the first 25 overs.

This was largely thanks to the quartet of Waplington, Morris, Kirk (3 for 21) and Johnson who bowled with fantastic control and patience against a strong Sileby top order.

At this stage, the home side knew two further wickets would allow the home spinners to turn the screw.

Townsend (3 for 23) and Bourke (8-3-16-0), once a second teamer at Sileby, and Drake (2 for 3) obliged to bowls the visitors out for 124.

In reply Barkby lost Kirk in the first over, trapped leg before for two, but Matt Boyce and Flowers played positively and took the attack to Sileby.

Flowers made 45 from 54 balls before Aiden Morris (33 not out) and Bourke (5 not out) steered Barkby to their target in the 31st over.

Sileby: 124.

Bowling: R. Waplington 7-1-24-0; A. Morris 5-0-20-1; J. Johnson 5-0-16-1; I. Kirk 10-2-21-3; R. Townsend 10-0-23-3; E. Bourke 8-3-16-3; J. Drake 4-1-3-2.

Barkby: I. Kirk 2, M. Boyce 16, T. Flowers 45, M. Harby 8, A. Morris 33*, R. Townsend 4, E. Bourke 5*, Extras 15. Total: 128-5.

* Barkby United Second XI came within a whisker of an emphatic win at Illston Abbey in Division Five East on Saturday.

Illston won the toss and put Barkby in to bat, but openers Hollis and Wilkinson started steadily before Wilkinson (24) was caught at mid-wicket. Phillips (8) and Ghorecha (3) couldn’t find their form on an unpredictable track and were both caught, but Percy joined Hollis in the middle and soon adapted to the conditions.

Hollis was stumped for 35, but Wood and Percy set a platform for a good score, the former making 24 before he was caught on the boundary looking to maximise their batting points.

Percy reached his first half-century of the season on the way to an unbeaten 60 and was well supported by Moore (11) as Barkby finished their innings on 189-6.

After tea, the skies darkened and it became obvious after only a few overs that Illston were not willing to attempt the chase.

Cookson (11-4-18-4) and Hammond (8-1-13-1) put the new ball in the right areas to allow the uneven track to do the work.

Even though wickets fell, Cookson introduced spin into the attack with Botting (10-3-14-0) and Moore (10-4-28-3) giving Illston’s middle order a new challenge.

Cookson also called on Hollis (1-0-2-0), Wilkinson (4-2-3-0) and Keightley (1-0-1-0) to get further wickets as Illston’s injured batsman returned to the crease after retiring hurt.

Illston’s last pair blocked out every delivery in the final 11 overs to hold on for the draw, finishing on 79-9. Moore bowled the last over, and there was a chance of victory when he found an outside edge, but diving second slip Percy could not quite keep the ball within his grasp.

Barkby had to settle for 20 points for a winning draw in an overall solid performance. Barkby host Kibworth on Saturday, looking to achieve their first win of the season.

Barkby: B. Hollis 35, J. Wilkinson 24, L. Phillips 8, K. Ghorecha 3, C. Percy 60*, J. Wood 24, S. Moore 11, F. Hammond 0*, Extras 24. Total: 189-6. Illston Abbey: 79-9.

Bowling: F. Hammond 8-1-13-1; A. Cookson 11-4-18-4; J. Wilkinson 4-2-3-0; D. Botting 10-3-14-0; S. Moore 10-4-28-3; B. Hollis 1-0-2-0; J. Keightley 1-0-1-0.