update: Wednesday 28 April 2016
Team selections for the period Thursday 28 April to Monday 2 May can be found here.
Weekend Round Up
The 2016 cricket season finally got underway on Saturday (23 April), although the weather still had the feel of January rather than the end of April as a very keen north-easterly continued to keep temperatures in single figures. Hardly cricketing weather, but we are hardy souls here in the north east and all three matches involving Benwell Hill teams were played to a conclusion.
The first eleven recorded a fine five wicket win at Chester-le-Street. The hosts won the toss and batted first and having recovered from 76 for 5 set the Hill 197 to win in 58 overs. Sameet Brar the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 56 from 20 overs, there was a brace each for club professional Paul van Meekeren and Joe Kilpatrick and one each for debutants Adam Hickey and Anth Hunter.
Despite the early loss of James Schofield and Adam Hickey for 33 the the combined efforts of Jack Clark (40), skipper Kyle Coetzer (78) and 52 not out from man-of-the-match Sameet Brar saw the Hill home with 20 balls to spare.
The second eleven were very much second best at the Hill to Chester-le-Street second eleven. The Hill batted for 52 overs for 150, a total only made possible by a partnership of 77 between John Chambers (54) and Max Williamson (37*). The visitors reached their target with few alarms.
The new West Tyne third eleven regime of Dan Hunter and Andrew Dawson got off to a great start with a 26 run win over Haydon Bridge. They took first use of the Riding Mill wicket and posted 119 for 8 in their allotted 42 overs the basis of which was a typically stoic 40 from former skipper David Ladd. In reply Haydon Bridge looked favourites at 52 for 1 but then collapsed to 93 all out as Darshana Thiranga (5 for 20) and Joe Torre (5 for 33) bowled the Hill to an excellent win.
The first eleven faced Sheriff Hutton Bridge in National Knock-Out at Denton Bank on Sunday. Unfortunately the Hill's interest in the competition is over for another year as they were completely out-played by the team from just outside of York. Set 257 to win the Hill were bowled out for 96 as the visitors proved to be too good on the day.
The scheduled NEPL Sunday Division 1 game at Washington was called off due to an unfit outfield.
2016 Season - start delayed!
The new season failed to get underway as the wet weather of the previous week forced the cancellation of the entire North East Premier League programme of opening fixtures.
Not a single game was able to be played on Saturday and the wet conditions also forced the cancellation of the 3rd XI game against Newcastle at Denton Bank.
The League Management Committee will decide over the next few days as to whether Saturday's programme of matches should be rescheduled, with the August Bank Holiday, Monday 29 August the favoured date.
The new selection committee have met for the first time in 2016 and the results of their deliberations can be found here.
Players Social Evening
A reminder that a players/non-players social evening has been arranged for the first Saturday evening of the season, 16 April.
More BHCC Scorecards at Cricket Archive
The Benwell Hill hermit, aka David McKay has been busy again and aficionados can now trawl through Benwell Hill's wartime cricket between 1943 and 1945 on CricketArchive.com
A much remembered card is the 1944 Benwell Hill v RAF Ouston game which featured Keith Miller, widely regarded as Australia's greatest ever all-rounder. Miller served with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II and was based at RAF Ouston.
Cricket Force 2016
Thanks to those brave souls who braved the cold and rain on Saturday morning (2 April) to lend a hand in this year's Cricket Force.
A number of small but important jobs were completed as part of the preparations to prepare the ground for the new season. Thanks also to Gillian Haxon (below) who supplied hot drinks (much needed) and bacon rolls (much appreciated) to those working outside.
Cricket Scotland's Head Coach at the Hill
The Cricket Scotland Head Coach Grant Bradburn will be making a flying visit to Benwell Hill Cricket Club on Tuesday 5 April between 7.00 pm and 8.15 pm.
This will be an opportunity to question Grant on the current T20 World Cup and all other things cricket related as we rapidly approach the start of the 2016 season.
Grant played seven Test matches and 11 One-Day Internationals for New Zealand and ended his career as the player with most appearances for Northern Districts with 115 matches scoring 4,614 runs. Grant also took over 350 wickest throughout his professional career.
We look forward to welcoming Grant to Benwell Hill and creating a long lasting relationship with Cricket Scotland.
All players and members are welcome to attend - make sure you come prepared with a question or two.
There is always plenty to learn!
As has already been mentioned below, this year's Cricket Force will take place on Saturday 2 April between 9.30 am and 12.00 noon.
As ever the Vice-Chairman will be in charge and 'He's got a little list - Oh yes, He's got a little list!'
There will be a free T-Shirt for all volunteers* and Mrs. Haxon will be dishing up bacon sarnies, so worth coming for those alone!
*while stocks last!
An unofficial outdoor senior practice will take place on Wednesday 30 March starting at 5.45. It gives everyone an opportunity to get outside and practice with new season now only three weeks away. The practice will be very relaxed and the content will be a mixture of fielding/games and some batting/bowling skills work. Everyone is welcome.
Official outdoor practice is scheduled to commence on Saturday 2 April after Cricket Force (see below).
It should be stated at this point that mention of the weather is now strictly forbidden!
Hill welcome Yorkshire duo
The Hill have further strengthened their squad for 2016 as the season nears. Yorkshire duo Anthony Hunter and James Schofield have signed to increase the competition for places in Kyle Coetzer's team.
Anthony is a tall-seamer with several years playing experience with Scarborough Cricket Club. He has played regular first team cricket since 2011 and featured against the Hill in a National KO match last season. His contribution that day was to bowl Sameet Brar first ball of the match and finish with 1-10 in five overs, although it was the Hill who triumphed back in April with a 74-run win. He will bring a welcome variation to the bowling options.
James has plenty of league experience too with Rotherham Town in the Yorkshire Premier League. He is compact right-hand bat and has played 33 YPL matches since his debut in 2012. He will add to the competition for batting spaces, which has also increased with the return of Ben Mussett from South North.
All our new signings have been working hard during the indoor sessions and are welcome at Denton Bank. Everyone here wishes them a successful summer at the club.
Matchball Sponsorship 2016
Once again we offer you the opportunity to sponsor the matchballs throughout the coming season.
For as little as £25 you can sponsor the matchball for any 1st or 2nd XI game in 2016.
Anyone interested should contact Phil Nicholson on 07778 738434.
Special General Meeting
A reminder that there will be a Special General Meeting of the club on Tuesday 29 March. Members should have already received their agenda to the meeting through the post. The meeting commences at 7.15 pm in the club lounge.
Players Social Evening
A players social evening has been arranged for the first Saturday evening of the season, 16 April.
Peter Halliday has agreed to organise a FIFA competition and there will be also be food provided. Everyone should make an effort to come along.
NB. For older members a FIFA competition is a computer game. For the same older members Subbuteo may be provided!
Cricket Force 2016
This year's Cricket Force will take place on Saturday 2 April between 9.30 am and 12.00 noon.
Groundsman Geoff Chambers and the Ground Committee would be delighted to see a good turnout at the above event. We have a variety of tasks that need some basic DIY skills to help get the Hill ready for what promises to be an exciting season.
Please wear some scruffy clothes and be prepared to 'muck in'.
A couple of hours should crack it and we'll organise some hot dogs to reward the labourers at about 11.30 ish.
Weather permitting it is planned that cricket activity should break out after noon even if only on the 'artificials'.
The following article appeared in the Evening Chronicle on Thursday 24 March. It was written by Stuart Rayner.
From World Twenty20 to North East Premier League is no fall from grace, says Kyle Coetzer
Kyle Coetzer has been appointed the new cricket development manager at Benwell Hill Cricket Club.
Former Durham batsman was back in his new job as Benwell Hill’s cricket development manager after playing for Scotland at the 20-over World Cup.
Kyle Coetzer is still a few weeks away from his 32nd birthday, younger than some Test debutants. A week-and-a-half ago he was playing for Scotland at the World Twenty20. Twelve months earlier he was scoring 156 in the 50-over World Cup. Now he is shivering at a bright but chilly Benwell Hill, getting ready to play in the North East Premier League for the first time in six years.
It is tempting to ask the former Durham and Northamptonshire batsman where it all went wrong. He sees it very differently. “Parts of the jigsaw puzzle have all come together,” he grins.
Coetzer is embarking on the next phase of his career, as Benwell Hill’s cricket development manager, but adamant it is not the end of his playing career. Released by Northamptonshire, he has signed his first full-time contract with Scotland, and will captain the North East Premier League side’s first team this summer. If the phone rings from any counties, he will be sure to pick up.
“I saw it as being a very big part of the continuation of my career in cricket in a different way,” he says of his new role. “It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, really.
“Still being a full-time Scotland player – which is also something I’ve never done and I feel as though I’ve missed out from time to time – I’d like to give back as much as I can up there so being two hours from Edinburgh really is an ideal location.”
Coetzer has not shut the door on playing, but his thoughts are turning to life after retirement. “It’s definitely been on my mind for the last couple of years, wanting to get onto the level three coaching course,” he explains. “I’m very close to being signed off and finished with that, which is very positive. I was just aware of my future and the need to look after it.
“I’ve got a young family now and first of all I wanted to make sure they’re looked after. I also need to prepare for the future in progressing my skills in terms of the real world and real life.
“I’ve got various different skills from being on the management group on tours and at World Cups, captaining Northampton for a season and doing various captaincy roles at Durham and with Scotland. There are skills I’ve learnt there but I need to focus them on different areas. It’s part of why I wanted to take up a role like this.
“I see myself as being involved in cricket my whole life. It’s what I’ve always done, it’s what I know.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to gain many experiences of playing in various countries around the world and various tournaments. I hope that will put me in a good position.
“I gained a fair amount of confidence this week when I met with my mentor from level three, Mark Allum, who said some very positive things. He was very complimentary.”
Coetzer and Benwell Hill were thrown together ten years ago, the Aberdonian more or less randomly placed with them as a Durham player, but a bond was forged which is paying dividends now for both.
“It’s a lovely club, a club I loved being part of,” he says.
“For various reasons I had to move on and move away from the area and the club itself. They were very keen for me to come back and be a part of it.
“It was a no-brainer. The people looking after the club are doing a fantastic job.
“They were looking to a slightly new direction and really looking to push the club forward in terms of their set-up here and their competitiveness in the league. There’s a good culture at the club and I think it’s something we can still improve yet.”
Coetzer played for Durham’s greatest sides between 2004 and 2010, scoring four First-Class centuries and playing in the sides which won the club’s first major trophy and their first two County Championship titles.
“I found the environment hugely helpful,” says the right-hander. “I always showed a lot of respect to the elders in the team. There was an element of a hierarchy there and I think that was a good thing.
“Sometimes now I just wish I’d listened a bit more. Sometimes you didn’t really take it on or it didn’t register. Now when you sit back and think, it definitely does. Now that’s part of the challenge for me, to pass on this information in a way that it will sink in that little bit quicker.
“I always remember back to my first game for Durham. It was on TV against Lancashire. Fearless as any young player is, I felt as if I could hit the ball anywhere from any given delivery. Someone like Flintoff would be running in and I’d be thinking, ‘Right, I just want to hit him back past his head!’
“I had the fearlessness, but not the nous. I got to a decent 30 not out, then the spinner came on with long-off back and I’m still looking to hit boundaries, so I tried to hit over extra cover.
“When I look back now I think the field was spread, we still had another 40 overs to bat, why didn’t I just hit the ball hard to the fielder on the boundary or through the field on the floor?
“If I had, I could have been 60, 70 not out before I knew it. I think, ‘What was I doing back then?’
“These are the sort of things you want to pass on to speed up that learning.”
The Hill go Dutch!
Benwell Hill Cricket Club are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch fast bowling all-rounder Paul van Meekeren.
Paul has been involved in the Dutch national setup all the way through the junior system from under 13 level upwards. Over the last couple of years he has broken into a very competitive bowling unit within the Dutch national team, during this time he has showed his huge potential and modern day skills required to perform at the highest level.
Paul has just recently been involved in the World T20 qualifiers in India where he helped Holland defeat Ireland with a devastating career best spell of 4 for 11 in Dharamsala.
Paul has a huge future in the game and as a club we hope we can help play our part in his development into a high quality international bowler and let Benwell Hill become a home away from home. Paul will be a huge addition at The Hill bringing his exciting personality and brand of cricket to the North East.
We have no doubt he will play his part in making the club competitive and helping nurture the young talent at Benwell Hill Cricket Club.
It goes without saying that everyone here at The Hill extends a very warm welcome to Paul and wishes him a successful season.
Junior News and Information
As the 2016 Cricket season approaches, here are details of what will be happening at Benwell Hill Cricket Club at the start of the season.
On Monday 11 April, we will be holding our usual Registration Night. This will be held in the club lounge, and the club will be open from 6.00 pm. This will give parents and junior members an opportunity to come along to fill in the club membership forms as well as pay the junior subscription fee, which once again is a very reasonably priced £35.00. This fee entitles our members to attend all training sessions throughout the season, play for the club teams, and have access to the outdoor nets (subject to availability). You will also have access to the ground to watch any of our senior or junior teams in action throughout the season.
We would encourage as many people to come to the Registration night as possible to get the administrative work out of the way before the cricket starts, and it also presents an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
As I am sure you are all aware, Benwell Hill have made significant changes for this season. We are delighted that Kyle Coetzer has joined the club not only as a Player and First Team Captain but also as the Club Development Manager. In this role, Kyle will oversee the coaching set up of the whole club and he is looking forward to meeting you all at the Registration Night.
The training sessions at Benwell Hill will once again be held on Tuesday nights during the 2016 season. The first session will begin on Tuesday 19 April, and the timings will be the same as last year.
They are as follows:
Under 11 4.30 to 5.30
Under 13 5.30 to 7.00
Under 17 7.00 to 8.30
We hope to see as many of you as possible at the Registration Night, please tell anyone you know who may be interested to come along and they will also be very welcome. Parents can also join the club in their own right as a social member, with the annual fee only £20.00.
Any parents who are interested in helping in the running of the junior section, either by helping with the administration during the training sessions or help provide lifts to matches, please contact Barry Pearson on 07846 508532.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
With the indoor practice sessions now well underway and the new season itself only eight weeks away, we can now publish details of four pre-season games involving the first eleven. They are as follows:
Saturday 9 April v Pudsey Congs (a) 1.00 pm start, 40 overs;
Sunday 10 April v Norton (a) 1.00 pm start, 40 overs.
These games are followed by two T20 games at Denton Bank, both starting at 5.45 pm.
Tuesday 12 April v Percy Main;
Thursday 14 April v Tynedale.
Hill land Hickey
The first major signing of the Kyle Coetzer era has been clinched by the Hill with Adam Hickey agreeing terms for 2016. Adam, who is on the staff at Durham will join the club for next season.
He is a left-handed top-order batsman and an off-spinner with plenty of NEPL experience having played in the league since 2012 with the Durham Cricket Academy. 18-year old, Adam has been in Sri Lanka this month with England U19s taking part in a Tri-Series one-day competition. He also represented his country at U19 level last summer against Australia.
His career with Durham Seconds began in 2013 and he also played some Minor Counties cricket for Northumberland last summer.
Adam is very welcome at Denton Bank and is sure to be a key-part of the developing plans for Coetzer's squad.
Benwell Hill clinch deal with Kyle Coetzer
Benwell Hill Cricket Club are delighted to announce that Scottish international Kyle Coetzer has agreed a two-year deal to become the club’s first Cricket Development Manager. Kyle’s appointment will see him take responsibility for the whole of the club’s coaching set-up and also captain the First XI.
Club officials met Kyle earlier this month and after a productive meeting he agreed to the role last Tuesday. What came across strongly was Kyle’s desire to throw himself into the development side of the club with improving this aspect of the club every bit as important as his playing role. He will aim to progress the fledgling links with local schools, develop an elite player pathway at the club and oversee the work of the coaches already working hard in the club.
As a player and a man Kyle is well known at Denton Bank having played seventeen matches for the Hill in 2006-7. Kyle was our Durham CCC player at that time and made 478 NEPL runs at 34.14 in that time, as he became the Hill’s 64th NEPL player on his debut. He also picked up four wickets at 21.75. His NEPL experience began in 2003 with the Durham Cricket Academy and he was played NEPL club cricket for Gateshead Fell and Blaydon. In all he has made 61 NEPL appearances, so he is well versed in the cricket in the area.
Kyle will combine his role at the Hill with his on-going playing commitments with Scotland, who he has represented over 100 times in all formats combined. Hightlights include 28 T20 matches and 26 ODIs. He has World Cup experience in both T20 and ODIs and averages over 40 in ODIs with a top-score of 156 in last year’s World Cup against Bangladesh. Kyle’s first-class career started with Durham in 2004, who he played for until 2010 before moving onto Northamptonshire from 2011-15. In total he has played 90 first-class matches making over 4000 runs with eight hundreds.
It is clear to see that his signing a real coup for the club and all at the club welcome him and his family back to Denton Bank for 2016 and beyond.