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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Still no pro, but top spot is within Barrow’s grasp

BARROW CC could find themselves top of the Northern Premier League tomorrow night – not bad considering they will be using their FOURTH sub professional in six games

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IN WITH A SHOUT: George Smith has been called into the Barrow first team squad

The Ernest Pass outfit can leapfrog Division One leaders Fleetwood if they beat them, in a match which will see South African Werner Coetsee employed as stand-in pro.

He will be the third Springbok to turn out for Barrow this season – with Travis Townsend and Pieter Malan having already stepped in, along with Pakistani Adnan Rasool – with the club having been left frustrated by visa delays over their new professional Vaughn Van Jaarsveld.

Barrow had hoped Van Jaarsveld would be making his debut at home to Fleetwood, but he is still waiting for clearance, so fellow countryman Coetsee, who plays for Lancashire League outfit Enfield, will join Chris D'Leny’s squad for the top-of-the-table clash.

Barrow moved up to second place after last weekend’s double-header – which saw them beat Darwen with another impressive bowling display from Daryl Wearing and Gary Collins – before being saved by the rain at St Annes on Monday, when former Keswick professional, Sri Lankan Dinuka Hettiarachchi, had them in a spin, taking 6-39.

Director of cricket Ian Sharp said: “We had a sticky patch against Darwen – we were 50-4 at one point – and then Liam Livingstone (62) and Chris D’Leny (43) had a good partnership in the middle and gave us something to bowl at, at 180.

“We didn’t really bowl well to start off with, but after the drinks breaks we regrouped and bowled much better.

“Daryl has had two five-fers and Gary is really coming up trumps at the moment. The wickets suit him when they are fairly soft.

“We are playing good cricket, we just need that mental toughness in the batting.

“We’re not building enough partnerships at the top of the order and we need to take that responsibility.

“We are just getting caught in the headlights a bit with spin bowling. You have to be positive against them, have a game plan and go for it.

“We are in good spirits though. Although we were disappointed with Monday’s game, St Annes are a good team, they were champions last year so hopefully we can improve on that performance.

“As I’ve said before, we always thought we had a hard start in the first five games so we to have won three, lost one and had one abandoned, is pretty good.

“We would have settled for that at the start of the season.

“Fleetwood are the surprise packages at the moment. They are top of the league, it should be a cracker and we’re looking forward to it.”

Along with Coetsee, another new face in the Barrow first team line-up, will be young all-rounder George Smith, who has made a big impact since making the move up Abbey Road from Furness. Smith destroyed Darwen seconds last week with 8-12, and Sharp said: “George has done really well so we are going to give him an opportunity.

“He’s got bags of confidence and we just felt we should throw him in and see how he goes.

“If players are doing well in the seconds they should be given the chance.

“George is a player we can work with, he has a good attitude, he rises to the challenge and hopefully he can grasp the opportunity.”

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