Bowls Northumberland was formed in 1922, and previously known as Northumberland County Bowls Association. We formed as Bowls Northumberland with full unification with both sections merging in 2014.
Under the Men’s section we’ve boasted no fewer than 49 players that have represented their country with one current international – Gosforth’s Chris Yeomans. We also had eight players play in the England Junior International Team, with two of the players leading their team with them being captain. The individuals were Paul Ging (2004) and Josh Minto (2018 and 2019).
Further back in History our county had success in the Commonwealth and Empire Games, and also winning a gold medal in the fours events in 1930 and 1962. Also in 1962 Syd Drysdale not only won the fours but was also Team Manager.
In the Middleton Cup, the most prestigious men’s inter-county competition we had much success in the 1980’s, winning twice, in one of those overcoming the great David Bryant CBE, and we also were twice runners-up over this period. Unfortunately, we have only returned once in the semi-finals since this time, in 2017. In other inter-county events we have enjoyed two national titles – White Rose Trophy in 2000 and Balcomb Trophy in 2012. We nearly captured the Balcomb Trophy title again in 2016, narrowly going down by two shots to Leicestershire in the final.
In national finals we’ve lifted 20 titles, including six of the singles. In addition, we have lifted three British Isles Titles – Pairs, Triples and Under-25 Singles.
Recently we’ve enjoyed success in the national competitions. Some of these being the Top Club, where Gosforth BC triumphed in lifting the national title in 2015, also runners-up in 2005. The final competition is the Family Pairs, with Les Yeomans and Chris Yeomans enjoying great success, winning back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.
Other notable facts include WG Grace playing a Test Match for England against Australia at Gosforth BC, and the men’s Under-25 National Finals being staged at the same venue.