Tony clocks up 600 matches for Drayton

CHRIS LAKEY Drayton stalwart Tony Gregory popped the champagne corks after clocking his 600th game for the club at the weekend.


Drayton stalwart Tony Gregory popped the champagne corks after clocking his 600th game for the club at the weekend.

The 59-year-old passed his milestone with a comfortable afternoon at Drayton Rec in the A team's Norfolk League Division Eight victory over Topcroft B.

Having skittled the visitors out for 29 inside 18 overs, skipper James Kay fittingly sent Gregory out to open, with Paul Eggert and they saw Drayton home with ease.

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Eggert almost managed to ruin the script with the scores level, but a good stop prevented his extra cover drive troubling the scoreboard and Gregory was able to score the winning run and he left the field under a tunnel of stumps and bats.

Gregory scored seven - although his previous two innings had seen him hit 59 against Winterton and an unbeaten 63 against Great Yarmouth.

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Gregory has been club president since 2003 and was chairman from 1995 to 2002 - as well as being first team skipper for 11 years. He joined the club in 1983, thanks to his involvement in football.

“Years ago I played for Wroxham and Hoveton, then Gothic and then Carrow, and we used to play at Lakenham,” he explained. “I also used to play football for Drayton and I also ran a friendly side at Lawrence, Scott called Vikings and because of the football link I knew one or two of the cricketers who played football at Drayton and I got involved that way.”

Gregory has hit the 500-run mark in 12 different seasons and in 1993 almost his four-figures, finishing the campaign with 975 runs, when he also achieved the highest score of his Drayton career, an unbeaten 109 against Hemsby. So far he's notched 121 sixes for the club - and 43 ducks.

His honours lists includes three Ruth Watling Cup success, two in the RG Carter Cup and two in the Reepham Cup, as well as this year's Ken Ottaway Shield. He also helped Drayton to the Norfolk League Division Two title in 1993.

It's been a long innings - for a simple reason.

“It's the atmosphere at the club more than anything else,” he said. “We do have a lot of club members who have been here for many years.

“I will keep playing as long as my healthy allows me and if I were top set a target it would probably be to make 12,000 runs - I'm past the 11,000 mark now.”

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