Jamie Morgan produced a stunning century as Market Deeping made light work of defeating Skegness in the Lincs Premier Division on Saturday.
Morgan smashed four sixes and 14 fours during his knock of 121 as Deeping won by eight wickets to continue their solid start to the season.
It was the 24-year-old’s first Lincs Premier century on Saturday but he insists team glory is far more important than personal achievements.
Morgan, who played for Leicestershire side Kibworth as a youngster, has been with Deeping for eight years and was better known as a wicket-keeper in his early days at the club.
But he has been opening the batting since the age of 20 and has now established himself as one of the best in the division.
Morgan followed up his solid 42 at Spalding last week with this aggressive knock by the seaside in a match reduced to 40 overs due to rain on Friday and also Saturday morning.
He said: “I have never set myself personal targets but I hope the team finish in the top half again and it would be great if we could make the top three. I think we have a good chance.
“I was pleased to get my first century in the league. I have been in the nineties a few times so it was nice to get into three-figures and shut a few people up who were taking the mickey, like my brother!
“I had a bit of luck with a couple of chances. I had one that didn’t go to hand when I was on 46, so that took me to my half-century, and another chance at 70-something but they went my way.
“I didn’t feel nervous when I was in the nineties as we were well on top and not chasing a big score so it was just a bit of fun.
“They were weakened as they had a couple of key players missing so I felt quite relaxed.”
Deeping’s top-end batsmen have begun the campaign impressively.
Chris Jones wasn’t able to add to last week’ half-century but teenager Alex Wheatley again impressed and has now scored 96 runs in two Lincs Premier innings without being dismissed.
Wheatley played a totally different innings to Morgan. While Morgan was smashing the ball left, right and centre, Wheatley produced a more measured display as he calmly picked out his shots en route to a score of 31 not out.
Wheatley scored the winning run as he and skipper David Gillett were once again together at the crease at the end. Gillett, like Wheatley, has yet to be dismissed in his two innings although he has only faced three balls and it yet to trouble the run-scorers.
Gillett said: “You won’t see a more dominant batting display in this league than Jamie’s knock. You might see bigger scores but you won’t see anyone dominating the bowlers in the way he did.
“No matter what type of bowler he came up against he totally dominated and he was smashing the ball all over the place.
“It just shows what rewards you can get when you give the talented youngsters a chance. He has the ability to be the best non-professional batsman in this league.”
Gillett’s only disappointment was the fact they didn’t dismiss Skegness, who reached 166-9.
He added: “We played well, but I am disappointed we didn’t pick up maximum points. Had we taken that last wicket we would have got an extra four points so I do feel we could have been more clinical. Maybe I am being overly-harsh but we have set ourselves high targets and those four lost points could make a difference.
“Our batsmen have started the season well as we have had a century, plus a further two half-centuries and some thirties and forties so we have to be pleased.”
Morgan’s score was not the biggest in the division on Saturday as New Zealand ace Tim McIntosh scored 133 for reigning champions Sleaford against Billingborough.
Billingborough won the toss and elected to bowl but former McIntosh hit 133 off 140 balls, including 11 fours and a couple of sixes as the hosts reached 259-4.
The Kiwi then took four wickets as Sleaford recorded a winning draw, failing to get the final wicket they needed as Billingborough finished on 185-9.
Andy Scott and Nathan Mill put on 52 for the opening wicket with Joanthan Miles top-scoring on 53.