By GREG WHITE
SAWTELL century-maker Glen Johnson has been walking on air all week, oblivious to the pain his body is still experiencing.
"It feels like I've been shot in both hips," Johnson said of the physical toll his 100 not out against Coffs Hotel Tigers on Saturday had taken.
With only the second A grade century of the summer, the former Manly grade batsman is relieved to finally prove he deserves a place among the hottest batting lineup in the competition.
"While I have six tons in eight years down south it's been over a year since the last," he revealed.
"The trigger finger was getting itchy."
Johnson's captain Todd Gill was still amused days after the event.
"Poor bloke was stuffed," he grinned.
"The batteries were low so thank heaven's he got that ball at the end."
That fateful last ball of the innings provided the magic number Johnson was lucky to survive past 97.
To that moment, with just two sixes and six fours in the session, most of the scoring had come from running between ends on a day when the sun was searing.
"Some days you give an edge to everything, other days you find every gap," Johnson said.
"This was one of the good days."
There were few chances given in the dig and it wasn't till the nervous nineties Johnson knew he was approaching triple figures.
"Second last over, the umpire asked for a taste of what I was drinking," he said.
"Up till then it was a case of batting and running.
"Finally, the penny dropped and I knew what he was on about."
On 97, Johnson almost trashed the fairytale ending, playing across the line of a ball even batting bunnies would have enough good sense to avoid.
After forcing the scare from his mind a single left him two runs short with one delivery remaining.
Here, Johnson takes up the story.
"That long bloke bowling had pitched up all day to make life difficult," he said.
"Then, he dropped this thing short, so naturally I had to have a go at it."
His captain swears blind, Johnson had already run two before the ball touched terra firma, but the batsman claims that's another Todd Gill leg pull.
"They are great blokes at Sawtell who took as much pleasure in scoring the ton as me," he smiled.
"In fact, they had a drink later like they'd all scored a hundred."
Johnson joined the club at the urging of his brother, already a multi-centurion with Sawtell.
"I'd been giving him heaps that I'd made a ton and he hadn't," brother Rick Johnson said.
"Now he's done it I'll have to stay in second grade with the rest of the old blokes and keep my mouth shut."