Sport

English import Ed Barnard helps out old mate Mark Solway and a reduced Queanbeyan cricket side

When their fathers played together in his homeland, English recruit Ed Barnard and Queanbeyan teammate Mark Solway were barely old enough to catch a ball. 

Fast forward 15 years and Barnard has been a vital cog in Queanbeyan's fast start to the summer after their squad was devastated by the departure of several quality batsmen. 

The right-hander, who helped England to third place in this year's under-19 World Cup, scored an unbeaten 72 to guide Queanbeyan to victory against Tuggeranong last week. 

Barnard is rooming with the Solways, his relationship with the family beginning when local cricket legend Peter Solway played with his father Andy at Birmingham Premier League side Shrewsbury in 1999. 

"Mark and I were about three or four back then. It's good to be back after all these years playing together," Barnard said. 

"The whole family came over and we became quite close friends with them and stayed in contact.

Advertisement

"When the opportunity came up to play in Australia, it was too good an opportunity to miss."

The Blue Bags, third on 16 points, have started the two-day competition well despite a player exodus. They have a crucial clash with second-placed Wests (19) at Freebody Oval on Saturday. 

Barnard is on the books with Worcester and hopes to break into the county cricket scene within two years. 

"Coming over I felt out of my depth living on my own for the first time and not having my family about," he said. 

"Getting some early runs was crucial, and hopefully gives me the confidence to kick on now and score some more."

In between banter from his teammates on Australia's 5-0 Ashes whitewash last summer, Barnard pays the bills helping keep the grounds at Freebody. 

He insisted Queanbeyan had not placed any pressure on him as the import to make big runs. 

"They try and keep the pressure off me. When you lose four or five players like Queanbeyan has from last year, it's going to be a transitional phase," Barnard said. 

"We had to fill the gaps in the team and so far the team has done that really well. 

"I'm on the books at Worcester, so hopefully I can break into the first team over the next couple of seasons."

A full round of Konica Minolta Cup Twenty20 matches will also be played on Sunday. 

SATURDAY

Two-day competition (from 11am): North Canberra-Gungahlin v Ginninderra at Harrison no.2 oval; Queanbeyan v Wests at Freebody Oval; Eastlake v ANU at Kingston Oval; Weston Creek Molonglo v Tuggeranong Valley at Stirling Oval. 

SUNDAY

Konica Minolta Cup, 10am matches: Tuggeranong Valley v Eastlake at Chisholm Oval; Wests v Albury Wodonga at Jamison Oval; Weston Creek Molonglo v South Coast at Stirling Oval; ANU v Ginninderra at ANU North. 

2pm matches: Eastlake v Albury Wodonga at Kingston Oval; Queanbeyan v Wests at Freebody Oval; Ginninderra v South Coast at Kippax Oval.

Advertisement