This week's Q&A is with Benwell Hill Club Secretary and NEPL League committee member Keith Shaw.
Q1. How many years have you been a member at the Hill?
A1. 33 years
Q2. What other clubs/teams have you played for?
A2. Amble, Alnwick, Hull University, Yorkhull, Sunderland, Backworth
Q3. What’s your best performance for the Hill?
A3.Not the most runs - but 45 out of 100 v Ashington when their West Indian Quick was bowling rather briskly. We were 29 for 8 when BR Evans and I put on 60. That was the game where Barry exclaimed (after receiving 3 ferocious bouncers on the trot from Colly Solomon), 'you can bowl them all day at me mate'. I somewhat belatedly then squeaked up at the non-strikers end, 'not for me mate, if that's Ok with you'
Q4. What was your most memorable game and season at the Hill?
A4. Probably winning away at Tynedale in a typically competitive game where Mike Younger (very unusually for him) lost his temper and blasted 85 very quickly. We put on a big partnership - at the end, my contribution was not as many as Mike's.
In my first season at the Club I went on (what turned out to be my only run spree) and got 39, 100, 77 and 79 in consecutive league games.
Q5. Best player you have played with for the Hill? and elsewhere?
A5. ME Younger for the Hill, Steven Greensword for Sunderland, Paul Romaines for Alnwick
Q6. Best player you have played against? Batsman, Bowler and WK?
A6. Batsman - Richie Richardson (G. Fell), Bowler - Rami Verma (Benwell), Wicket Keeper - R Mercer (Durham City)
Q7. Most feared opponent’s when playing for the Hill or other team?
A7. Team: The great Durham City side when playing for Sunderland - Brian Lander, Gary Hulme, Graham Hurst, Tim Hughes, Richard Mercer, Wasim Raja, Mike Weston, Stephen Peel etc
Individuals: All quickies - Kelvin Williams; Ian Callan; Max Alleyne, Henry Twizel; and when young, the late (unforgettable) Graham Wilson.
Q8. Best ground’s played at?
A8. Scarborough, Sedburgh and Downside Schools, Ashbrooke (in the early 1980s), The Hill of course
Q9. Team you always love to beat?
A9. County Club/Jesmond/Newcastle (whatever name they're known by)
Q10. If you could make one change at the Hill what would it be?
A10. Remove the bloody ivy on the clubhouse wall
Q11. If you could make one change to NEPL what would it be?
A11. Move to 50 over win/lose matches
Q12. Advise for young cricketers?
A12. Enjoy the game but don't take it too seriously - it's not life - it's a game
Q13. Favourite cricketers of all time? Batsman, Bowler and WK
A13. Viv Richards, Jimmy Anderson, Alan Knott
Q14. Your best ever Hill XI ?
A14. S Dunsford, A Maiden, J Barret, K Coetzer, J Charleton, M E Younger, Z Khan, PJ Nicholson, B R Evans, H Dyson, S Allen
Q15. Your best ever Northumberland XI ?
A15. Ken Pearson, Mike Youll, AS Thompson, Graham Morris, ME Younger, P J Nicholson, A Brown, A Johnson, L Crozier, Peter Graham, K Norton
Q16. Your best ever NEPL XI ?
A16. A Worthy, S Birtwistle, C Hewison, J Graham, R Waite, Q Hughes, PJ Nicholson, S Humble, L Crozier, J Wightman, K Waterson
Q17. Your best ever England XI ?
A17. G Gooch, A Cook, J Root, K Peterson, B Stokes, IT Botham, A Knott, G Swann, FS Trueman, D Underwood, J Anderson
Q18. Your best ever World XI ?
A18. D Haynes, G Greenidge, IVA Richards, V Kohli, IT Botham, A Gilchrist, I Khan, R Hadlee, S Warne, Muralitharan, D Lillee
Q19. Desert Island Album ? Song ? Book ?
A19. 'Dire Straits' (Groups first LP in 1978); 'Me and Bobby McGee' (Kris Kristofferson); 'The Honourable Schoolboy' by John le Carre
Q20. Finally, funniest memory on a cricket field ?
A20. Many years ago, playing for my first club Amble, one of my colleagues snapped his bat handle in the course of jamming down vigorously on a yorker. The bat rubber then ensured that the remaining part of the bat sprung back violently and struck the batsman a resounding blow on the head (We could hear the smack in the clubhouse). He collapsed at the crease in a pool of blood. 'Help...somebody do something' shouted the anxious batsman at the non-striker's end, whereupon the - now comatose - player's dad ran on brandishing a replacement bat.