Our Seventeenth Season

A premiership?
No, not a premiership, THE Giddings Shield Premiership.
The top grade of our Association.
And in only the seventeenth season of Strathmore Cricket Club.
We must have got some things right.

And there were just eleven players who could totally share that moment of glory (sorry Bully).

But it would be hard to pick eleven who would better represent the things Strathmore Cricket Club has got right.

For a start, there was Bouckley, Cuthbertson, Jackson, Joronen, Trebilcock and Youl.

Forget the players, it’s their parents I am talking about now.

Every one of them has made a major contribution to the kind of club which can win the Giddings Shield—and be a safe house for some hundreds of kids over the years who have been able to explore a bit more of life through playing this great game.

Arthur was the backbone of our lower eleven sides for many years. Bruce has been president and Wendy treasurer. Keith injected some necessary method into scoring and committee meetings. JJ as always helps out whenever there is a need. Stanley is a legend, the club’s greatest player. And Fred, the long serving secretary, junior coach and groundsman, had to be drafted as president for the premiership year.

Back in the team we also have Dale Kennedy, Bruce Stephens and Tim Stapleton.

All came to the club several years ago as senior players and found it was somewhere worth staying.

Dale would have been happy just to be there and show again that he was worth his place, although he could still have done with one less worry during the after match celebrations.

Stevo has already been everything from captain-coach to stand up comic to stand-in secretary. In an unassuming sense he is still the leader of the senior players.

And Timmy was not just the hero, he was made for the part. There is no better way to top off your best season than to be the only grand final century maker while nobody else even gets to fifty.

Then there was the new captain-coach, Wayne Tyrrell, small in stature but big in presence.

On the field he captained and he coached and he led from the front whenever a bit of the gamesmanship which is part of any top grade competition had to be accommodated and he kept wickets.

The eleventh player was not part of the past, yet he was anything but the kind of high priced recruit who in the past have been thought of as essential for success at the top.

Neil Challis just turned up this year after a club with which he had plenty of success in recent seasons could not continue. With twenty-three players used in the firsts during the season, Neil just fitted in at the business end of the season and his second innings partnership with Timmy could be seen in hindsight as the turning point of the game.

Like three of his older teammates, players like Neil who arrive and stay are a vital part of any club’s future.

Now back to Bouckley, Cuthbertson, Jackson, Joronen, Trebilcock and Youl. But this time to the players themselves.

All started their cricket careers with Strathmore under 12 teams in various years, and all are still young in cricketing terms. Three tried bettering their careers elsewhere at different times, the other three have only ever played for Strathmore.

F’s return was widely welcomed. He has something of a reputation as a quick bowler, and takes the wickets to back it up. That caught and bowled at deep square leg almost said it all. The computer people I know would take it as a mark of respect for me to say that F is just about the ultimate ‘sports hacker’.

Jason is one of those rare people who is just about above criticism, a person who nobody would begrudge whatever good fortune came his way—it would certainly have been earnt through shear endeavour.

Jacko’s contribution has been broader than anybody who knew him as one of the club’s most talented juniors could ever have expected. From his NACA award presentations to his close friendship with the fourths, he made the senior part of the club a much more substantial unit. While I wish him well in London, it will be good to see him back again someday.

Daffy earnt another try at the right time and justified his resurrection—something which he still may not believe. When he finally gains the confidence that his ability and his selfless personality warrant, he will be able to make an even bigger contribution.

Just when the game looked like not seeing a third day, let alone a fourth, Brendan stepped in and stopped the rot. He simply plays the way you have to for success at the top level.

Rod’s talent shows out no matter how he tries to play his cricket. Who could have guessed that at the business end of the season, he would be the one taking the wickets ‘at the other end’.

Eleven players. Their moment of glory as Strathmore’s first Giddings Shield premiership team. A moment to last them a lifetime. Fred’s presidency. Sticker’s life membership. And lots of other good things at all levels which maintain the strength and depth of the club. That was our seventeenth season.

This report by Tony Smith originally appeared in More News.