update: Thursday 24 April 2014
Team Selections for Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April can be found here.
New Season underway
The curtain came up on the 2014 season with wins for the first and second elevens and a loss for the third eleven.
The first eleven bowled out Blaydon for 77 in 39 overs, with professional Zohaib Khan claiming 6 for 12. In reply the Hill lost nine wickets chasing their winning target.
At Denton Bank the second eleven had a convincing win over Blaydon by six wickets. The visitors won the toss and batted first but were soon in big trouble losing their first five wickets for only 29. They were eventually bowled out for 106, Joe Kilpatrick taking 4 for 12 off 7.4 overs. The Hill reached their target for the loss of four wickets.
The West Tyne third eleven lost by seven wickets to Stamfordham. The Hill's total of 166 for 9 was largely due to Dan Hunter's fine 81.
Smithson Cup 2014
The draw for the 2014 Smithson Cup has taken place. Benwell Hill, the current holders, face a tough trip to Alnmouth & Lesbury in the first round. The full draw can be found here.
A reminder that the first outdoor junior practice of 2014 gets underway on Tuesday 22 April, weather permitting. Timings are as follows:
Under 11s - 4.30pm to 5.30pm
Under 13s - 5.30pm to 7.00pm
Under 15s - 7.00pm to 8.30pm
New members are also very welcome, so if you know of any friends or family who would be interested in coming along to learn about the game as well as having fun, please let them know the details above.
Real Ale at the Hill
Good news for connoisseurs of real ale as the club launches the introduction of a cask conditioned ale into the club. The popular Indian Pale Ale Deuchars will be on sale at the bar from Good Friday.
It's hoped that if this proves a popular move with members the club will offer a selection of different real ales over the coming months.
The first meeting of the selection committee for the 2014 season has taken place and the result of their deliberations can be found here.
A reminder to all players that subscriptions are now due. The subscription rates, which once again show no increase, are as follows:
Players (21 and over) £80.00
Players (18 and under 21) £45.00
Players (under 18) £35.00
Rates in other categories are:
Vice Presidents (OAPs half rate) £25.00
Patrons (OAPs half rate) £20.00
Dates For Your Diary
Cricket Force 2014
This year's Cricket Force event will take place on Saturday 5 April from 9.00 am until noon. Once again there will be a range of tasks to be undertaken as we prepare for the new season. Further details will appear here nearer the time.
NEPL Junior Presentation Night
The North East Premier League Junior Presentation Night
will take place on Friday 28 March at Boldon Cricket Club. The Hill's under 15 side will be officially presented with the NEPL trophy they won last summer.
Benwell Hill Junior Registration Evening
A registration evening for all junior cricketers will take place on Monday 7 April commencing at 7.15 pm. More information about the evening will follow.
A pre-season friendly has been arranged at Bamburgh on Sunday 13 April. Anyone interested should contact Scott Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Golly, going, gone!
The Hill received the disappointing news this week that former Player/Coach David Rutherford has decided to join South Northumberland for 2014. In email sent to club officials, (Simon Lunn and Phil Nicholson) Rutherford explained that his long-time friend Lee Crozier had been instrumental in persuading him to sign and that the lure of playing with Crozier was one of the biggest factors in his decision. He went onto to say that whilst he had previously said he would not play for South Northumberland, the prospect of having to fight for a role in their side was attractive challenge for him at this advanced stage of his career (although it is interesting to note that South North all-rounder Joe Coyne has decided to re-join his home club Boldon for 2014).
Rutherford, who will be 38 next month declined the Player/Coach role at the Hill for this season and will make South Northumberland the sixth club of his career, after spells at Morpeth, Ashington, Swalwell and Philadelphia. He has also had four separate spells at Denton Bank (1997-99, 2001-2,2009-11 and 2013). The six month pursuit of Rutherford by South North has finally born fruit for them; however it would be churlish of the Hill not to acknowledge here that he will go down as one of the finest players to have represented the club in our long history.
Likewise, it looks like ex-captain Ali Maiden has played his last game for the Hill after his promotion to Second XI Coach at Durham CCC. In a letter to the club Ali explained that as part of his new role, he will captain the Durham Cricket Academy in the NEPL in 2014. Ali, like David Rutherford has been one the club's finest players, especially in the NEPL era with his 155* v Stockton in 2010 the highest by an amateur Hill batsman in the league. He captained the club between 2009-12 leading the club to three top five finishes in that time and a host of cup successes. He will remain a social member of the club.
Nick Jones may not have played his last game for the Hill, but his cricket career looks to be on hold after deciding to work abroad (Azerbijian to be precise) for the next few months. It seems unlikely that he will play any more than a handful of matches in 2014. Ever present in 2013, John Chambers too may have restricted availability due to a changed work situation this time round
However it is not all doom and gloom by any means! To offset some of the holes created in the First XI squad Matthew Muchall has already joined the ranks as Player/Coach and has made an impressive start to that important role. In addition the club are delighted to have secured the signature of Richard Coughtrie, who has returned to Denton Bank after a five year gap. He made a huge contribution back in 2009 before spending the last four years with Gloucestershire CCC, where he played all three formats of the professional game with the county. He is currently teaching in Gloucestershire and will play in the school holidays, including Easter and May half-term. It is a real coup to have him back! Richard will be joined in the First XI squad by Jassy Singh. A off-spinning all-rounder Jassy has both a NEPL hundred and five-wicket haul to his name in his time at Sunderland and hurt the Hill last year for his 2013 club - Gateshead Fell. Jassy lives close to the Hill and is looking forward to joining the set-up and working with overseas professional Zohaib Khan in particular. Both players are welcome at Denton Bank.
A word too about the early indoor sessions where some of the young players who starred in the Second XIs best ever NEPL finish in 2013 have impressed already with their desire to improve. A little stronger, older and perhaps focused (!) these players have worked hard on their technique under the watchful eye of Player/Coach Matthew Muchall and club captain Phil Nicholson. There are opportunities in 2014 for players young and old who want to play for this fine club!
New Captains, Vice-Captains and Officials
The following have be confirmed as captains and vice-captains for the 2014 season:
1st XI Captain: Phil Nicholson;
1st XI Vice-Captain: Jonny Craigs;
2nd XI Captain: Joe Moore;
2nd XI Vice-Captain: Joe Kilpatrick
3rd XI Captain: Scott Williamson*
3rd XI Vice-Captain: Leighton Hopper*
3rd XI Captain: David Ladd†
3rd XI Vice-Captain: Ross Marley†
*NEPL 3 and Northumberland C Division
†West Tyne League
After the recent AGM the following have been elected as chairs of the following sub-committees:
Social - Gordon Haxon
Ground - Simon Lunn
Finance - Larry Dawson
Cricket - Phil Nicholson
House and Bar -Phil Haves
Phil takes over from Tom Williamson who is standing down after something like 400 years running the bar and just about everything else concerning the club building. A huge vote of thanks goes to Tom from everyone connected at the Club.
Oooh Caleb . . !
Some interesting reading in the February issue of the Courier - 'The Independent Voice of Newcastle University Students'. Caleb Jones our seamer from Sale figures prominently on Page 13 having taken part in a Rag Week Blind Date/Take Me Out show.
It would appear that Caleb is looking for love and is a 'hedonistic man.' Caleb was awarded 8 out of 10 by the lovely Amy which seemed generous given that his personal hygiene was called into question. Further details here!!!
Pictures In A Exhibition?
A selection of images from the 2013 season can be found here. As ever thanks go to Martin Avery for the photography.
With the new season only eight weeks away a number of pre-season games have been organised. On Saturday 12 April we visit Carlton Cricket Club in Edinburgh for a 40 over game starting at 12.00 noon. There will be an overnight stay in Edinburgh before travelling back over the border to play Tillside Cricket Club in the picturesque village of Etal. This is also a 40 over game starting at 12.30 pm. Anyone wishing to stay overnight in Edinburgh should contact club captain Phil Nicholson.
These two games are followed by two T20 games on Tuesday 15 April against Tynedale and Ponteland on Thursday 17 April. Both games are at Denton Bank and start at 5.45 pm.
Finally, on Sunday 20 April a 50 over game at Denton Bank against a Northumberland Development XI starting at 12.00 noon completes the new season's preparations.
1st, 2nd and 3rd 2014 NEPL fixtures can now be found here. 3rd XI West Tyne fixtures can be found here.
Congratulations to Alasdair Appleby (above left) and Max Williamson (above right) who have both been selected not only for their county age group squads, but also the county's elite squad under the banner of Emerging Players Programme.
The sessions commence with a two-day programme on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February which will address all the technical elements as appropriate for each player (batting, spin & pace bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping) as well as elements of Tactical, Physical and Mental development.
The first live music event of the year at the Hill takes place on Saturday 22 February when Judge Nutmeg take the stage at 8.30 pm. Tickets are £5.00 and are on sale now and are available at the bar.
The Hill is alive with the Sound Of Music . . .
. . . or it will be on Monday 24 February when the club hosts a showing of Rogers and Hammerstein's famous musical. The event which starts at 7.00 pm will feature a sing-a-long to all the the famous songs, is in aid of St. Oswalds Hospice. There will be ice cream, popcorn and snacks on sale and there is a prize for the best dressed Sound Of Music cinema-goer!
Tickets are £5.00 and are available from Muriel or Kate Dawson or by contacting email@example.com
Ten of our members/members friends intend to picture the Tyne as they Zip The Tyne over the weekend of 29/30 March in aid of the Stroke Association.
They will descend 918 feet from the top of the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Arts to raise funds for Stroke survivors and their families. The brave ten are: Maria Williamson, Christine Hamilton, Mary Lunn, Teresa Stephenson, Rachel Haxon, Jimmy Mottram, Martin Avery, Martin Murphy, Michael Murphy and Jeff Hunter.
Anyone interested in joining our intrepid group should contact Tom Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Northumberland Cricket Board Officials Association have organised ECB level 1 and Level 1A umpire courses to be held in February and March at Benwell Hill Cricket Club, information can be found attached or via the Northumberland Cricket Board website here.
These courses are a great way to continue involvement in the game and support the future development for all.
The NEPL fixtures for the 2014 season have been published.
The first eleven travel the short distance to Blaydon on the opening day, which this year comes slightly earlier on Saturday 19 April. This is then followed by the visit of Sunderland to the Hill and then a visit to Jesmond to play Newcastle. The second eleven mirror the first eleven fixtures with Blaydon at the Hill on 19 April followed by Sunderland away and Newcastle at home.
The third eleven open their season with Blaydon at home on 27 April, although this will have to be re-arranged as both first elevens are at home in the first round of the ECB National Clubs Knock Out competition.
The West Tyne League fixtures are expected later this week and C Division and junior fixtures will follow in due course.
Winter Indoor Nets
As promised here are full details of the Winter Practice Sessions:
Senior Training at South North Indoor Centre
Start Monday 3 February to Monday 31 March inclusive (apart from 17 February - half term week)
8.00 – 10.00 pm
Cost: £ 45.00 for the 8 sessions
All Juniors hoping to play Senior cricket 2014 should attend
12 to 14 year old Training Sessions at Westgate Centre
Start Monday 20 January to Monday 31 March inclusive
6.00 - 7.00 pm
Cost: £ 3.00 per session
If interested, call Stephen Davidson on 07890423819
Under 11 Training Sessions at Westgate Centre
Start Monday 3 February to Monday 24 March inclusive
4.30 – 5.30 pm
Cost: £ 3.00 per session
If interested, call Barry Pearson on 07846508532.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting will take place in the club lounge on Tuesday 4 February at 7.15 pm.
Agenda's and Accounts will be available from behind the bar within the next few days or you can download a copy by clicking here.
Here are a few things you may have missed over the last few weeks . . .
You may have noticed a great deal of Weight Watchers branding in and around the club of late, this is a direct result of the club’s agreement with Weight Watchers for hire of the club’s upstairs lounge. Weight Watchers will be ‘on-site’ on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
There was an opening ceremony on Saturday 4 January conducted by Lord Beecham as our picture above shows. There was also time for a little face painting as well . . .
More information regarding Weight Watchers can be found here.
There will be a Players' Meeting on Monday 27 January 2014 in the clubhouse at 8.00 pm to help plan the forthcoming winter practice and the new season. The indoor nets will start on Monday 3 February.
Boxing Day Football
The Annual Boxing Football Match against Benwell & Walbottle ended all square in a 2-2 draw. First eleven opening batsman Sameet Brar scoring both goals for the Hill. Photographs from the game can be found here courtesy of Martin Avery and Charlie Waugh.
Cup Draws 2014
The NEPL recently published the draws for the Banks sponsored competitions together with the groups for the Co-operative Funeralcare T20 cups.
The first eleven begin the defence of the Banks Salver away to Stockton. The winners will host Tynemouth in the next round. The second eleven face a trip to Hetton Lyons in the first round of the Banks Bowl for the right to face Brandon in round two. The third eleven receive a bye in round one of the Banks Cup and travel to Whitburn in round two.
The first eleven are in Group B of the Co-operative Funeralcare T20 Cup along with Boldon, Hetton Lyons, Sunderland, Washington and Willington. The second eleven find themselves grouped with South Northumberland and Eppleton in the 2nd XI competition.
In the ECB National Knock-Out Cup have a first round home tie against Harrogate on Sunday 27 April. The winners will travel to either Hetton Lyons or Stokesley in the next round.
For those of you who missed the ‘Lords Of The Spin’ pantomime at the Xmas Party plans are afoot to get the full video onto You Tube. Watch this space.
Bamburgh Date Set
The annual game against Bamburgh Castle Cricket Club has been arranged for Wednesday 13 August.
Zohaib in good form
Soon to return to the Hill our club professional Zohaib Khan was part of the successful ztbl team who recently lifted the Faysal Bank T20 Cup in Lahore. Zohaib claimed 1 for 24 off his four overs as ztlb beat Sui Northern Gas Pipelines by 78 runs.
The full scorecard can be found here.
A reminder, particularly to players, that subscriptions are now due. The current rate of subscriptions are:
Players over 21 - £80
Players 18 – 21 £45
Players under 18 £35.
David McKay’s herculean efforts to make as many first eleven scorecards available as possible continues as he has now posted scorecards from 1954 and 1955 on the splendid Cricket Archive web site.
Commenting on his recent work David said: “Benwell Hill were runners-up in the league in 1954 and 1955 won the Wilson Cup (League Cup) both under the captaincy of Len Duns. The Hill hadn't won anything for 26 years and didn't win the League Cup again for a further 27 years!
The Cup win was fairly unexpected as Ashington had "Ken" Lobban, the Jamaican fast-bowler as pro and for the Hill went into the game without Tom Hounsome who was unavailable. In stepped veteran Teddy Simpson, who hadn't appeared in the first team for two seasons, and was to become the hero of the evening. The scorecard for that game can be found here.
All other first eleven scorecards from 1954 to the end of the 2013 season can be found here.
Winter Nets 2014
Winter Nets will start on Monday 3 February 2014 and will continue through to Monday 31 March 2014, excluding Monday 17 February because of half-term. The sessions start at 8.00 pm and last for two hours, and take place at the Newcastle Cricket Centre in Gosforth. Costs will be published as soon as we have them.