Shield of dreams

Durham Ladies take the honours in annual county clash

Durham County Ladies got their hands on the Ballingall Shield for the first time since 2011 when they won the annual derby clash with Northumberland at Tynemouth Golf Club.

Now played annually as a fourball betterball match over 18 holes, the event was originally a target golf competition played at the John Jacobs Golf Centre – now Parklands.

The Shield is inscribed with Northumberland v Durham County Ladies Annual Target Match and was played as such before 1973 at the golf centre where Peter Ballingall was manager at the time.

Peter, or another willing member of his staff, would sit on the roof above the driving range and give the score after each shot.

Spectators from both counties would attend, well wrapped up to try and keep warm and there would be eight players per team, with a player from each side drawn against an opponent.

Each player played six shots to each target which were set out a bit like archery with highest points for a bullseye.

The team with the highest number of points were the winners. When Peter left the centre to move south – he now lives in Spain – he gave the Ballingall Shield and the decision was made to switch to a fourball betterball match in October each year at alternate county venues.