Lancaster’s mixed campaign ends with a whimper at Barrow

Lancaster captain Ben Simm finshed the season on 499 league wickets.
Lancaster captain Ben Simm finshed the season on 499 league wickets.
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Lancaster’s 2015 season ended with a whimper in a crushing 10-wicket defeat at Barrow on Saturday.

Ernest Pass has rarely been a happy hunting ground for the Lune Road men and with little besides pride to play for Lancaster folded.

A wet outfield and dry pitch gave Ben Simm enough incentive to bat first but that was the only period of the day where Lancaster had the edge.

Alex Metcalfe (4) was the first to go as his season ended after a spectacular left-handed diving catch by Tharanga Paranavitana at gully – 9 for 1.

Jamie Heywood was the next to go at three. Heywood has had a middling season with the bat and it was a familiar foe that removed him – a nip-backer between pat and pad made it 12 for 2 and gave Mowat his second.

Charlie Swarbrick (10) threatened briefly with a lofted straight boundary but he became the first of five Daryl Wearing wickets when a good ball found his outside edge and carried to Dean Williams at first slip.

With Lancaster’s middle-order exposed Barrow didn’t let up. Mowat kept taking wickets as this time Sam Moorby (1) found himself on the wrong end of an LBW decision at 23 for 4.

The visitors’ stand-in professional Atif Ali Zaidi fared little better as Wearing got one to find his inside edge and cannon into to the stumps – 30 for 5.

With half of Lancaster’s innings gone – the other half fared little better. Veteran Danny Welbourne’s 19 was the only semblance of anything that resembled resistance.

Ben Simm’s form with the bat couldn’t withstand Wearing’s unerring accuracy. Simm attempted one too many cover drives and an outside edge found a tumbling Mowat at slip.

Iain Burstow (7 not out) held firm as chaos reigned around him. Welbourne’s innings came to an end as one big shot too many found one of the in-field – Mowat now with four at 40 for 7.

Youngster Reuben Orr had a tough debut as Wearing set about mopping up the tail – the Cumbrian wicketkeeper falling LBW to his first delivery for a duck.

Matthew Liver fared little better at 10 as another smart catch off Wearing sent him back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers.

Ethan Markland and Iain Burstow added runs in a late flurry but it was not to last. A mix-up saw Markland well short of his ground as Lancaster limped to 57 all out.

With such a small total to defend there was little the visitors could do to prevent an early finish.

Simm will have to wait until 2016 to bring up a personal milestone – the off-spinner will winter with a tally of 499 league wickets after he and Liver couldn’t make in-roads into the Barrow top-order.

Tharanga Paranavitana showed his Test status against Simm using his feet to good effect in his unbeaten 38.

Liver did pose one or two problems for Dean Williams at the other end but there was scant reward for bowlers with so few runs on the board.

Barrow overcame the total in the 13th over to signal the end of a mixed campaign for Lancaster.

Despite reaching Twenty20 finals day and a league semi-final at Leyland those events papered over what was essentially a disappointing league campaign.

With little consistency in the starting XI each week the close season will see the club look to bolster both their first and second team squads.