Dream knock puts Sawtell in charge
By GREG WHITE
ONLY one story is worth telling from Sawtell's clash with Coffs Hotel Tigers at Richardson Park on Saturday.
It's the tale of Glen Johnson's four-hour assault on the red leather ball that returned 211 runs in Sawtell's massive total of 397.
Just 24 hours after the session, Johnson was yesterday still coming to terms with what's shaping as his annual, personal assault on Tigers.
He'd already scored a century against the weekend rivals in the 2005-06 season.
"It's all still a bit surreal," Johnson offered.
"There was one piece of luck when first slip put me down early in the knock but from there, I put the head down and batted on."
Nobody was more surprised than Johnson when Tigers won the toss and sent Sawtell out to bat.
"Umpire Col Laden said before the game he'd checked out the venues and the surface was 10 times better than the other grounds," he said.
"The ball sat up every time and all you needed to do was hit it in the middle of the bat."
Ironically, the other umpire, Chris Laden, 'stood' in last years big knock.
"When the hundred came up I told Chris she had to be my lucky omen," Johnson said.
"At 150, I told her she was an even luckier omen."
With 20 overs of play remaining, Johnson began sensing a possible fairytale ending.
"I decided to pick it up a bit and the 200 came up in next to no time," he remembered.
"Strange thing was that I'd hit several fours during the afternoon but the only six was the next scoring shot after reaching the double century and I didn't realise until counting up back in the pub after the game."
While double-hundreds have been prominent in lower grades, nobody has registered the milestone in first grade since Craig Howarth belted 225 not out for West Coffs against University Marlins on November 8, 1997.
Speaking yesterday, Haworth said the day is still fresh in his memory.
"I later came close with 190 but it's hard to get," he said.
"Glen should be really proud."
Johnson agrees with the difficulty.
"With the way the game is now played, it's a dream to get to that level," he grinned.
"I'm still pinching myself and reckon I will be for quite a while."
The Tigers face an awesome task batting in reply next Saturday.
"They were pretty shattered as you'd expect," Johnson said.
"But give them credit, Matt Secomb kept talking it up to keep them from falling right off.
"Just the same, I'd hate to be the one chasing the ball around in the hot sun all day."