Everards County League: Barkby United miss their chance in Earl Shilton draw

Barkby United, from left, back - Eamonn Bourke, Rob Townsend, Aiden Morris, Tom Flowers, Matthew Harby, Max Carmichael; front - Matthew Boyce, Martin Troop, Stephen Flowers, Jamie Drake, Ian Kirk. EMN-160628-102447002
Barkby United, from left, back - Eamonn Bourke, Rob Townsend, Aiden Morris, Tom Flowers, Matthew Harby, Max Carmichael; front - Matthew Boyce, Martin Troop, Stephen Flowers, Jamie Drake, Ian Kirk. EMN-160628-102447002

Barkby United kept their place in the Premier Division top four despite a rain-affected draw at Earl Shilton on Saturday.

Steve Flowers’ side had to make do with 10 points as torrential rain ended their run chase on 123-3.

The Barkby skipper won the toss and inserted the hosts who began aggressively. Opening bowlers Ian Kirk and Jack Johnson caused early problems, the former bowling Ali.

Johnson found the edge of Shilton opener Shajeel Butt, but the chance went begging, setting the tone for a frustrating day in the field as Barkby shelled four catches.

Johnson’s good line and length bowled the number three, but Lloyd Phillips and Butt built a good partnership, continuing to play their shots and, at times, riding their luck.

Rob Townsend struggled to find the pace of the wicket and was replaced by Matt Boyce as Barkby failed to maintain pressure on the home batsmen.

Jamie Drake bowled well and finally removed Phillips for a flashy 46. He soon had four victims, two well caught at cow corner by Morris, yet Butt continued to milk the bowling for an unlikely century.

Kirk clean bowled his next victim, and a run-out kept the hosts to 218-8, but Barkby were disappointed not to keep their rivals to well under 200.

With rain around, Tom Flowers and Boyce looked to chase down the target quickly and took 17 off the first over.

Barkby raced to 50 with a combination of aggression from Flowers and classy cover drives from Boyce.

Taking one chance too many, Flower spooned a catch to mid-off, but Townsend and Boyce manage to keep to the required rate of six-an-over as they took the visitors to 100.

The Earl Shilton off-spinner broke the stand with Boyce hitting one to cover as he looked the accelerate the innings, and Steve Flowers being caught without scoring in the same over.

Barkby reached the 20 overs required for a run chase, but torrential rain soon brought the game to a premature end.

* On Saturday, Barkby host league leaders Kibworth (noon start) looking to continue their strong form at Beeby Road.