The Club has come a long way in its history and its latest achievement is that of gaining Registered Charity Status with the Charities Commission for England and Wales in 2016. This could mean so much for the future of the Club and with a lot of hard work from its members the Club can only move forward.
The Club itself was formed in 1952 and success in terms of league honours have come in the latter years when notably the league format replaced the group format in 1995. The first honour was the Clegg Cup Division 4 Championship of that inaugural year which meant promotion to the third tier as opposed to a knockout between group winners in previous years. The same league was won again in 1999 and again in 2002. In the following season, 2003, the Club went on to strengthen their position by winning the Third Division title. That same league was won in 2007 and although the Club have appeared in Division One this was achieved by either finishing runners-up or third. However, it is still a huge and welcome fact that the Club rose through the leagues to reach those dizzy heights.
The Nines League was formed in 1996 as an alternative to the Knight League for the players who felt they needed a stronger competition on the Tuesday evening. Since its inception there have been seasons where three leagues have been played and some where only two have operated. However, this does not detract from a decent competiton that involves a pairs, triples and fours format and unique points scoring system. Whilst the Club have never won the First Division title they have won the Second Division title on two occasions: in 2007 and 2010.
The Knight Cup saw the Club’s first league honour arrive in 2004 when they won the Division 2 Championship. This remains their only success in the competition so far in terms of titles for the Knight Cup.
The Club were Runners-up in the Challenge Cup at Alnwick in 2015 where shots alone cost the Club the title.
Jubilee Cup Winners, right, left to right:
Brian Rootham (S), Paul Proctor, Jason Proctor, Alan Pomphrey.
The Jubilee Cup is the one major knockout trophy the Club has won during its history and this has occurred twice in recent times in 2011 at St. Georges BC on a lovely hot summer afternoon, and again at St. Goerges BC on 16 July 2017, again with very good weather. Proud days indeed for the Club and its members, see Gallery below where squad members are listed. The Club were Runners-Up in this competition in 2014 on shots and again in 2016 this time via points.
Having got off to a very good start against a confident Newbiggin side in the first match of three in the Final Benfield stamped their authority on the tie from the off, winning well in the end to set up an opportunity to win this trophy for the second time in 7 years.
The second tie against NSWE was much more comfortable with a win which turned out to be relatively easy, will all due respect to the opposition, and this set up a tie against Ponteland to decide the eventual winners.
Both teams had won both opening games and it was a decider that the players felt they could win such was the confidence. After taking a single shot in the opening end Benfield were lying three extremely well played shots in the second only for the Ponteland skip to get two very fortunate wicks from a very tight last bowl which spun to the jack and carried for four.
1-4 down and it could have gone sour after that with only nine ends per game but Benfield rallied back and took the game 9-5 to win the Jubilee Cup for the second time.
CONGRATULATIONS to the players who took part in the competition this season. Now… we need to retain it next year.
George Batey presents the Jubilee Cup to Team Skip Brian Rootham in 2011. The team for that year, left to right: Alan Welsh, Paul Proctor, Jim Taylor, Les Yeomans, Brian Hill and Brian Rootham.