The 2nd XI were forced to settle for a draw in their opening fixture of the 2018 season against Runcorn despite a terrific unbeaten half century from Nick Lathbury.
Met with uncharacteristic cloudless skies for the middle of April, the decision to insert the hosts looked a poor one from the Barns when loose bowling and aggressive batting by Beech got Runcorn off to a flyer.
Only the introduction of Jordan Collins and Dan Martin after six overs pulled the scoring rate back back as Martin (1-31) made the first breakthrough, while Collins produced a superb run out to get rid of the dangerous Beech for 46.
Collins (3-33) then took three wickets either side of drinks in an excellent 12-over spell. Despite reducing Runcorn to 110/5 with some generally tight bowling, including a promising spell from debutant Charlie Romer, Runcorn closed on 200/6 – still a decent effort from Barns considering the poor start.
Collins (22) and captain Tom Entwistle (22) made it to drinks without any further loss, but were soon both dismissed within the space of an over, with the visitors losing a further three wickets in quick succession.
However, Matt Tasker joined Nick Lathbury and the pair showed great resolve to carefully negotiate the final few overs, with the latter playing some superb shots on his way to passing fifty in the last over.
Barns eventually closed on 153-7, taking nine points back to Brooks Drive – a decent effort considering a number of players were unavailable at a ground that the 2nds haven’t won at for six years.