Depleted Lancaster crumble at Barrow

Lancaster professional Michael Barry.
Lancaster professional Michael Barry.

Professional Michael Barry stood alone as Lancaster’s batting line up capitulated away at Ernest Pass on Saturday.

In a side without Ben Simm, Iain Perrieman, Dylan Conroy, Sam Moorby or Lee Sparks, Lancaster were up against it from the start against an outfit they haven’t beaten away since 2010.

It was a familiar story for Jamie Heywood as he once again made a bright start with a pair of well-timed cover drives before being bowled through the gate by Barrow skipper Daryl Wearing for just 14.

Wearing was his consistent self, plugging away at a length and nipping the ball off the seam. His approach was too much for Charlie Swarbrick and Danny Welbourne as the former chipped to short cover before the latter fell first ball playing across the line, both making nought.

Barry continued on his way regardless, looking in far less trouble than his teammates, dispatching anything loose away from Wearing’s end to keep the visitors’ innings from stalling completely.

Lancaster reached their 50 in good time, but wickets were a regular occurrence with Iain Burstow and Alex Metcalfe giving Wearing his fourth and fifth wickets and taking the visitors to 65-5.

Barry continued his stoic resistance however, moving to his 50 with a single nudged into the leg-side.

Kaustubh Pawar continued the good work of Wearing by removing Tom Whitehouse and James Davies bowled playing back when they should have been forward as the scored moved to 76-7.

Matthew Liver played a gritty innings at number nine, supporting Barry and taking a limping Lancaster past three figures. Liver joined his teammates, bowled playing back but in the meantime Barry was well on his way to his own three-figure score.

Gary Collins had other ideas however as a perfectly pitched delivery spun between Barry’s bat and pad to remove the Lancaster pro for a vital 78.

Pawar mopped up the tail removing Rik Ghosh caught at square leg to leave Lancaster an uphill task defending just 120.

With the wicket playing low, Heywood invited Burstow and Moffat to open in tandem to upset the openers’ rhythms. Burstow made immediate inroads, castling Dean Williams first ball before bowling professional Pawar with a picture perfect off-break through the gate and it was 3-2.

Sam Dutton and Ryan Brown rebuilt for the hosts as the ball softened and the pitch improved for batting.

Moffat kept up the pressure but went wicketless as Heywood replaced Burstow with the leg-spin of Metcalfe.

Despite the control of these two, Dutton and Brown chipped away at the total through a mixture of skill and good fortune taking the score past 50.

In desperate need of a wicket, Heywood introduced Liver, and, after initially conceding boundaries, he made a double breakthrough dismissing Dutton and Wellings in quick succession leaving Barrow 89-4.

This glimmer of hope was rapidly extinguished as Graham Dawson targeted the leg-side in a bright and breezy 25.

Whitehouse picked up the consolation wicket of Brown to give Lancaster at least a point before Barrow eased home with a five-wicket win, finishing on 124-5.