Barwick pleased Goresbrook mark SNEL debut with success over West Essex
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 May 2019
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Skipper hit a century as Goats opened new league term with 78-run success
Shane Barwick was pleased Goresbrook's first-ever Shepherd Neame Essex League match saw them beat Division Three rivals West Essex by 78 runs.
The May & Baker Sports Club side only transferred into the SNEL over the winter having previously played in the T. Rippon Mid-Essex League.
The Goats began life in a new league in perfect fashion with Saturday's success on the road, with skipper Barwick hitting a superb century.
And the Goresbrook captain was delighted his side began the new league season with a fine success.
"It's all a bit of a trip into the unknown this year, but we were well aware that West Essex finished bottom last season, so this looked like a good introduction to the SNEL for us," said Barwick.
"In the end, I'm delighted we got 25 points given that we lost the toss and the pitch settled down a lot in the second innings."
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After being inserted on a damp pitch, Brook lost openers Kurt Whisker and Joe Curley before they had reached double figures.
However, a fine partnership developed between Danny Gillham (44) and Barwick that took the score on to 133 before the former was dismissed.
Barwick was in irresistible form and he brought up a magnificent century from 91 balls, mixing watchful defence on a tacky wicket with some explosive hitting.
The skipper departed shortly after bringing up his ton for 105, but Jordan Calverley (28) pushed the score over 200, before Stuart Greaves and Arul Gopalasamy helped the Goats close 223-7.
Gopalasamy then took three early wickets in the West Essex reply to leave the hosts 24-3 and the Goats heading for a seemingly comfortable afternoon.
However, with the ground now bathed in bright sunshine and the pitch having lost whatever erratic bounce it had earlier, the hosts dug in.
A sharp spell from Kane Messenger yielded one wicket, but the bulk of the overs were bowled by Brook's spinners as Billy Smith (1-25) and Gillham (2-16) left West Essex hanging on.
Barwick then stepped up to bowl the 48th over and took two wickets to seal an opening-day victory for Goresbrook.
The Goats will hope to repeat the trick on Saturday when they make the welcome Westcliff in the league.