update: Monday 23 March 2015
Cricket Force and Outdoor Practice
Cricket Force will take place on Friday 3 April (Good Friday) 9.30 am till 12.00 noon. Ground Secretary Simon Lunn together with Groundsman Geoff Chambers, have produced a task list for anyone who is willing to give up a little of their time to put the finishing touches to the ground in preparation for the new season.
The artificial practice nets will be open as from Wednesday 1 April and grass facilities will be available from Saturday 4 April, all weather dependent of course!
With the new season now only five weeks away a number of pre-season friendlies have been arranged.
Club Captain Phil Nicholson takes his first eleven squad to Carlton Cricket Club in Edinburgh on Saturday 11 April. This is followed by the short trip back over the border to Tillside Cricket Club on Sunday 12 April. Both games start at 1.00 pm.
Also on Sunday Joe Moore takes a Benwell Hill XI to Bamburgh Cricket Club for a 1.00 pm start.
The weekend cricket is followed by two mid-week T20 warm-up games. First up on Tuesday 14 Apri,l Ponteland are the opposition followed by Percy Main on Thursday 16 April. Both games start at 5.45pm start.
Saturday 11 April v Carlton (Edinburgh) (a) 1.00 pm start
Sunday 12 April v Tillside (a) 1.00 pm start
Sunday 12 April v Bamburgh (a) 1.00pm start
Tuesday 14 April v Ponteland (h) 5.45pm start
Thursday 16 April v Percy Main (h) 5.45pm start
Under 11 Fixtures
Fixtures for the under 11s can be found here.
Under 15 Fixtures
Fixtures for the under 15 XI can be found here.
Under 13 Fixtures
Fixtures for the under 13 XI can be found here.
Saturday Night Football
A reminder that the club lounge will open early on Saturday evening (21 February) thus enabling you to enjoy the Manchester City/Newcastle United game live on SKY TV. Alternaively BBC2 is showing a repeat of the Great British Sewing Bee followed by a repeat of Flog It!
Please note that Alan's funeral will take place on Tuesday 17 February at 11.45 am and not at noon as previously stated.
All senior fixtures for the 2015 season can now be found here.
Benwell Hill Cricket Club
Sadly the website has to report the deaths of two more people with connections to Benwell Hill Cricket Club that extend over many years.
Doreen Green wife of Club President Norman and sister of Alwyn Harrison has died and a memorial service will be held on Thursday 12 February at St Mary's Ponteland at 11.15am.
Alan Turnbull a former social member of the club and a man of great good humour died earlier this week after a long illness. Alan's funeral will take place on Tuesday 17 February at the West Road Crematorium at noon.
NB. Alan March's funeral will take place at noon on Wednesday 11 February at the West Road Crematorium.
Umpire and Scorer courses
The Northumberland Cricket Board have announced details of upcoming umpire and scorer training opportunities, whether a current official or wish to be involved for the first time there are courses for you.
ECB ACO Level 1 Umpire Course
Saturday 21 March and Saturday 28 March, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm at Benwell Hill Cricket Club
£40.00 per candidate - BOOK HERE
Aimed at those who wish to umpire matches at their club or possible entry into league cricket.
Scorer Introductory Course 1
Tuesday 24 February, Tuesday 3 March and Tuesday 10 March, 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm at Walbottle Campus School
£10.00 per candidate - BOOK HERE
Aimed at those wishing to learn the basic skills to score at their club
Scorer Introductory Course 2
Wedesday 1 April, Wedesday 8 April and Wedesday 15 April,
7.00 pm - 9.00 pm at Cramlington Sporting Club
£10.00 per candidate - BOOK HERE
Aimed at those wishing to learn the basic skills to score at their club
Alan March 1923-2015
It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Alan March. Alan passed away peacfully in the early hours of Thursday (22 January).
What follows is a personal apreciation of Alan by vice-chairman Simon Lunn:
Alan March one of the great stalwarts of Benwell Hill Cricket Club has died at the age of 91.
I first met Alan in the Centenary year of 1983 when I made the move from arch rivals Benwell. My initial impressions were of a somewhat austere man who watched a huge amount of cricket whilst lapping the ground at a rate of knots with his hands clenched behind his back. I think it was John Charleton who pointed out Alan's passing resemblance to Sid James which led to a number of other BHCC comparisons to the Carry On team which have fortunately been lost in time.
In due course I was elected to the BHCC General Committee which was inimitably Chaired by Alan from 1975 – 1990. Meetings were run with military precision but the thing I remember vividly is that every member was allowed to have their say provided they kept to the point. I have sat through innumerable meetings in my time but I do not believe I have ever come across a better Chairman.
Over the years I discovered more about Alan – his travels on the high seas during the war, his long and successful career in banking, his fantastically competitive sporting spirit (on the golf course and the tennis court rather than the cricket field) and I found out that the U in A. U. March stood for Urquhart. I learned that Alan was a staunch family man with a long happy marriage to Mary and a family of which he was inordinately proud. In all matters he was an absolute stickler for doing things the right way and a gentleman in every respect.
Nobody could accuse Alan of going 'quietly into that great goodnight' - any query as to his health in recent times was always greeted with the reply 'bloody awful'. The body slowly began to pack in but the spirit was unquenchable and the mind remained sharp. Alan was a sage advisor on all matters of BHCC business and I sought his counsel on many occasions over the years. Nobody believed more in the values of 'sport for all' than he.
In March 2013 I was proud to receive an invitation (formal and by post of course) to a special gathering to celebrate Alan`s 90th birthday. Nothing was going to stop Alan from standing to thank his guests for coming and he made a brilliant speech which was humorous and reflective in equal measure.
It is an old cliché that suggests 'we shall not see his like again' but in Alan March's case I suspect it may be true!
He will be much missed.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 10 February 2015 in the club lounge. The meeting commences at 7.15pm and all members and players are welcome to attend. The Agenda for the meeting can be found here.
Junior Winter Indoor Practice Sessions
Junior indoor practice for under 11's will commence on Monday 2 February at the Westgate Sports Centre, West Road. The sessions are one hour long and start at 5.00 pm. The sessions will continue over an eight week period and cost £3 per session.
Indoor practice for under 15's gets underway on Monday 23 February at the same venue, again lasting one hour per session, but starting at 6.00 pm. The sessions will continue over an six week period and cost £3 per session.
Registration forms can be aquired by calling Barry Pearson on 07846 508532.
Semi-Final Agony For Max In The Gulf Cup
Despite two more great bowling performances from Max Williamson in the last group game and then in the semi-final of the Gulf Cup, the Durham Junior Academy finished their Dubai adventure with two narrow defeats. On Monday 5 January, they travelled 100 miles into the desert to play the Al Ain Academy team, who's home ground is only a few miles from the UAE-Oman border.
Batting first on a difficult pitch Durham scored 93 off 30 overs, although getting to the crease for the final two overs, Max was 0 not out, not facing a ball, however he made up for that with another excellent bowling performance of three wickets for nine runs off his six overs, unfortunately it wasn't quite enough to get a result, with the Al Ain Academy reaching their target for eight wickets in the penultimate over.
The defeat meant the Durham lads had to play the same opposition again the Semi Finals on Wednesday 7 January, this time the game being played in the more familiar and fortunately for the travelling parents the more local surrounding of the Skyline University ground in Sharjah. The Al Ain Academy batted first in the semi-final scoring a reasonable 121 off their allotted 25 overs, Max was again in the wickets with 3 for 20 off his five overs. Up against an all spin Al Ain attack, Durham were never quite up with the rate and were steadily losing wickets, eventually going down to a 13 run defeat, Max batted seven, scoring five before rather harshly getting given out LBW in the 23rd over! The Al Ain side deservedly went on to win the final of the Gulf Cup, defeating the Cricket Federation of India side. With missing out on the final, the Dubai tour finished with a low key friendly game against the Leopards student team from the American University of Sharjah on Friday 9 January.
Overall the Dubai tour was a tremendous cricketing and life experience for Max, he finished the Gulf Cup tournament with excellent bowling figures of 22 overs, 3 maidens, 14 wickets for 63 runs, only narrowly missing out on the bowler of the tournament award. He also formed some great friendships with the Durham lads, many of whom he has played against at county level for Northumberland Cricket Board or at club level for the Hill in Premier League fixtures. Hopefully the benefit of the whole experience and the superb coaching from ex Hill man John Windows and James Lowe over the past few months will show in his performances in the upcoming 2015 season.
The first and third eleven fixtures for the coming 2015 season have been published by the North East Premier League.
The first eleven entertain the Durham Academy on Saturday 18 April followed by another home game against Gateshead Fell on Saturday 25 April. Whitburn will be the first away trip on Saturday 2 May.
The third eleven get underway on Sunday 19 April at the Hill with Washington providing the opposition.
In the Royal London ECB National Knock-Out Competition the Hill make the long journey to Scarborough on Sunday 26 April. A trip to South Northumberland awaits the winners.
After receiving a first round bye in the Banks Salver, Seaham Harbour are second round opponents at the Hill on Monday 25 May.
The second eleven begin the defence of the Banks Bowl with a home tie against Stockton on Monday 4 May. Their defence of the 2nd XI T20 Trophy sees them grouped with Sacriston and Hetton Lyons for a place in the quarter-finals. The group games will take place at Denton Bank on Sunday 14 June.
The first eleven are in Group C of the T20 competition together with Blaydon, Chester-le-Street, Sacriston, South Shields and Washington. Newly promoted South Shields are first up at the Hill on Friday 9 May.
The third eleven have been drawn at home to Gateshead Fell in the first round of the Banks Cup.
Winter Indoor Nets
This year's indoor practice sessions commence on Monday 2 February at the Newcastle Cricket Centre in Gosforth.
The sessions, which continue through to Monday 30 March, start at 8.00 pm and finish at 10.00 pm. Please note that there will be NO practice session on Monday 16 February.
As yet we are unable to confirm the cost of these sessions but will do as soon as we have that information.
Two out of three ain't bad for Max
Its been an excellent start to the Gulf Cup tournament for Max Williamson and the Durham Junior Academy side. Within 16 hours of arriving in Dubai the lads were on the pitch on New Years Day in their first ever day/night game under floodlights. The opponents were the Cricket Federation of India academy.
The Indians batted first and were skittled for 98 with Max returning an excellent 4 for 20 off 5 overs. However in reply the Durham lads could only muster 34 all out, with Max scoring 5. A combination of jet lag, a first experience of batting under lights and an 'express' Indian paceman were the undoing of the Durham lads.
The second game was against the Sharjah Academy on Saturday 3 January. Batting first Durham scored 150, Max scoring 18 not out (batting 8) off 16 balls. In reply Sharjah were dismissed with the opening pace bowlers getting the majority of the wickets, Max chipped in with a catch and 1 for 4 of his only over.
The third game on Sunday 4 January was against the hosts and previously unbeaten Dubai UAE academy side. Batting first Durham scored a modest 108, Max scoring 5 before missing a full bunger (his words!). In reply the Dubai academy could only score 71, with Max once again in the wickets, taking 3 for 10 off his 5 overs.
One more group game to go on Monday 5 January, them Semi Finals on Wednesday and hopefully a Final on Thursday.
Keep it up Max!