About Us - History

Bowls Northumberland was formed in 1922, and previously under the umbrella of Northumberland County Bowls Association. We formed as Bowls Northumberland with full unification with both sections merging (Women and Men) in 2014.

Under the Men’s section we have boasted no fewer than 49 players that have represented their country – England, with one current international – Gosforth’s Chris Yeomans.  We also had 8 players play in the England Junior International Team, with 2 of the players leading their team with them being captain. The individuals were Paul Ging (Captained in 2004), and last year (2018) Josh Minto took this accolade.

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 within 1962 Syd Drysdale not only won the fours but was also Team Manager.

In the Middleton Cup, perhaps the most prestigious Men’s inter county competition we had much success in the 80’s, with winning 2 National Titles, one of those overcoming David Bryant; we also were twice runners up over this period. Unfortunately we have only returned once in the semi-finals since this time – in 2017, where previous we had many quarter finals exits during 2000’s. In other Inter county events we have enjoyed 2 national titles – White Rose in 2000 (Under 25 double rinks), and the Balcomb (Double Rinks), with success in 2012 defeating Cornwall in a very tight game. We nearly captured the title again in 2016, very narrowly going down by 2 shots to Leicestershire (losing 4 shots on the very last end).

In the national finals we have lifted 20 national titles, including 6 of the singles (4 Wood). In addition to these we have also lifted 3 British Isles Titles – Pairs, Triples and Under 25 Singles.

Finally and perhaps more recently we have enjoyed some success in the national finals, and in particular the national competitions. Some of these being the Top Club, where Gosforth truimphed in lifting the national title in 2015, this was little compensation for Gosforth where they were narrowly defeated in the final in 2005 3-2 (and on the very last discipline by only 1 shot). Other notable and key successes were in Club Two Fours, where Angus took the title in 1978, and Gosforth qualifying for the last 4 in 3 out of 4 years (2007-10), and losing in one final (2007). The final competition is the Family Pairs, where father and son duo of Les Yeomans and Chris Yeomans had great success, not only winning the title in 2014 but then retaining it in 2015.

Other notable facts W.G. Grace playing a Test Match for England against Australia at Gosforth. The Men’s Under 25 National Finals being staged at Gosforth, this the only time away from Worthing or Leamington Spa.




Middleton Cup Winners – 1926, 1930, 1945, 1951, 1985, 1988

Balcomb Cup Winners – 2012

White Rose Winners – 2000

National Titles – 20

National Competitions – 4

  1. Top Club Winners 2015 (Gosforth);
  2. Club Two Fours 1978 (Angus);
  3. Family Pairs 2014 & 2015 (L Yeomans & C Yeomans Gosforth)


British Isles Titles – 3

British Empire Games – Captain (A.P. Hough) and Fours Winner (I Frith) (Canada 1930)

Commonwealth – Fours Winners (S Drysdale) and Manager (Australia 1962)

English Internationals – currently 49 players that have represented their country.

Under 25 Internationals – 8 players represented England Junior, including captaining the team twice (P Ging 2004 and J Minto 2018).