FARNWORTH Social Circle captain Matt Parkinson has praised the determination shown by returning all-rounder Chris Barrow after he picked up the Bolton League’s bowler of the month prize for June.

The spinner triumphed over some stiff competition to clinch the award, just pipping team-mate Liam Bones and Bradshaw seamer Steve Foster.

All three bowlers finished on the same number of points, but Barrow recorded the best average – 12.29 – after taking 14 wickets for 172 runs from 50.4 overs.

“Chris had a year out after getting married,” explained Parkinson. “I think he wanted to test to see if he would miss the game, but he has come back with a real determination.

“His bowling and batting have been a real plus for us this season already and it has been great to have him back in the team.”

Barrow became the second Social Circle bowler to claim the prize this season after Dave Mather won it for April and May.

He was pushed all the way by Foster, however, who took 12 wickets for 150 runs from 60 overs at an average of 12.5, while Bones also finished with 14 wickets, but at an average of 16.79.

“Chris has bowled as part of a real unit,” added Parkinson, whose side remain five points clear of Bradshaw at the top of the Bolton League after 11 matches.

“Liam was unlucky not to win the prize this month and Dave won it last month.

“I said at the start of the season that our bowling attack would be the best in the league because it is so well balanced. It gives us so many options.”

Social Circle have responded well since losing their first match of the league season against Farnworth.

They took immediate revenge on their local rivals in the quarter-finals of the Hamer Cup, setting up a last four meeting at home to Little Lever on Sunday after bowling Farnworth out for just 30. Mather was in devastating form in that match, taking eight wickets.

Social Circle went on to win their next four league games, and will look to carry on that form at Kearsley tomorrow.

Bradshaw, powered on by Foster’s clinical bowling, remain their closest challengers to the title. They face a home match against local rivals Astley Bridge tomorrow.

Third-placed Westhoughton travel to Heaton with a 13-point gap to make up on the league leaders, who recently inflicted one of their two defeats this season.

Opener Atiq Uz-Zaman remains a key figure in their title charge after picking up the batsman of the month prize for June, making 268 runs in his four innings.