Ben Judd (1996/97 – 2016/17)


Was Ben Judd Wistow’s Best Bat?

The evidence places Ben on a level with other top batsmen before or since in terms of ‘A’ Grade long service and consistent run scoring per season; and also the winning of trophies of which he won the ‘A’ Batting Aggregate eight times and nine ‘Average’ awards. Though unable to play for the association team for several seasons due to work commitments he eventually played in the Meyer Shield in 2007/08, the season he thought of as his personal best.

The quality that set Ben Judd ahead was his unflappable calmness in the pressure innings of finals, particularly Grand Finals where he scored a century on two separate occasions, to almost single-handedly ‘take the game from the opposition’!

Never one to wear a helmet Judd wasn’t troubled by the bouncer as his batting was based on a sound defence, mixed with smooth stroke play, all around the wicket. His trademark was timing and placement between the fielders which seemed to inspire his batting partners to play with more confidence.

Ben’s family lived at Nairne and he began playing, at age 14, for the Nairne C.C. Colts, progressing to senior cricket and ‘A’ Grade there in 1987, aged 16. An extremely talented footballer, Ben played 110 games for Sturt in the SANFL between 1990-1997 and was twice drafted by AFL clubs, first by Carlton with pick 67 in the 1989 AFL Draft and then by Melbourne with pick 39 in the 1992 Pre-Season Draft, however, on both occasions he chose to remain in South Australia. Towards the end of his SANFL career, Ben decided to join some ex-school friends at Wistow for the 1996/97 season where he played ‘A’ grade until retiring in 2010, although he did play several ‘fill-in’ games afterwards and in more recent seasons has turned out to play with his sons for Wistow’s archrivals at Hahndorf.

During Ben’s ‘A’ Grade career at Wistow, he played in 12 finals matches including six grand finals, winning four premierships – all top highlights for him.

Ben said of his 11 centuries, the Grand Final 106 against Bremer/Callington at Milang was memorable as was his Grand Final 120 not out against Hahndorf at Langhorne Creek a few years later. He well remembers his highest score of 169 not out against Nairne at Nairne and his century against Mount Barker at Mount Barker as a 40 year old. This was a period complimented by, not only a handy batting order but also a good bowling attack.

HONOUR BOARD

Four-time A Grade Premiership Player – 1999/00 (top scored – 106), 2002/03, 2004/05 (top scored – 120*) & 2007/08

1996/97 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 394 runs @ 43.78

1999/00 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 493 runs @ 30.81

2003/04 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 482 runs @ 53.56 **Stats are incomplete for this season**

2004/05 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 569 runs @ 94.83

2006/07 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 518 runs @ 43.17

2007/08 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 404 runs @ 36.73

2008/09 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 216 runs @ 27.00

2009/10 A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 442 runs @ 36.83

2011/12 A Grade Batting – Average – 48.00 (240 runs)

4,379 runs scored in A Grade @ 40.55 including 18 half centuries and a club record 11 centuries