Tumby Bay and District Cricket
VETERAN Lipson fast bowler Brenton Stratford has cemented his name with the greats of Tumby Bay cricket by claiming his 600th career wicket on November 25.
Stratford, 46, had been stranded on 599 after claiming 1/18 against Rovers then was left wicketless against Colts on November 18.
Lipson then went against Ramblers at Tumby Bay on November 25 and the elusive wicket was finally achieved with Nigel James caught by Jonah Fatchen off Stratford’s bowl.
The wicket made Stratford only the seventh bowler, second from Lipson and first fast bowler to reach 600 wickets in the association.
Following the match Lipson captain Jordan Telfer presented Stratford with the match ball to mark his achievement.
Stratford said it felt “pretty good” to finally get the wicket as it had taken him a while to reach the milestone.
Stratford has played more than 400 games for Lipson in a career that has included playing in seven premiership sides, winning several association bowling awards and serving as captain and president of the club.
Many of his games were played alongside brothers Darrell and Neville, between them they have claimed more than 1350 wickets.
However Stratford said what he enjoyed most about playing was seeing the next generation of cricketers develop their skills.
“I love to see the young ones coming on and really improving,” he said.
One of those young ones includes his 11-year-old son Brody Stratford, who has been able to play one game in the A grade alongside his father and is one of five Tumby Bay cricketers selected in the under 12 Eyre Peninsula team.
Captain Jordan Telfer said Stratford was a club legend who was also a life member and a part of Lipson’s Team of the Century.
“His contributions to cricket and off the ground, only one or two (other) people had a much of an impact on the club as him,” he said.
Telfer said he did not think the 600 milestone could be achieved again as Stratford was the “last of a generation that will reach 600 wickets”.
Stratford said he hoped to continue playing for a few more years.
While there was reason to celebrate, the match did not go Lipson’s way, with the team falling short of Ramblers’ total by 21 runs, with Telfer top scoring on 58.
Brett Pool top scored for Ramblers with 23 runs while Nigel James had a phenomenal day bowling, finishing with 6/18.
Of Lipson’s bowlers Lachlan Gale stood out with 3/17 while Will Stratford and Jim Snodgrass took two wickets each.
Lipson has now lost its last three games and now sits third on the ladder, two points ahead of Colts.
Stratford said it was always hard when you were a farming based side.
The team will hope to keep its spot in the finals and regain the form that saw them win three of their first four matches when season matches continue on February 3.
While the association is on its extended break Tumby Bay will play its first Henderson Shield match on December 16 against Kimba, followed by a match against Eastern Eyre on January 13.