IT didn't happen overnight ... but it did happen.
Dorrigo teenager Ben Neaves waited until the seventh round before producing the first century of the 2010-11 Coffs Harbour District Cricket competition.
Playing at Fitzroy Oval against Diggers Ex-Services, Neaves belted a rapid-fire 136 runs off 87 deliveries before bowler Troy Herbert and Diggers skipper Steve Meakins combined to finally bring him to heel.
But his epic performance may have come to nothing had Diggers not missed a golden opportunity in the first over Neaves faced.
“They say catches win matches and we let this one slip badly,” Meakins said.
“Ben is a fine young cricketer and delivered a great innings. He had a ‘life' in the first over and probably had five of them overall.
“Still his knock was great ... the Dorrigo boys were in the mood to celebrate and Ben had first drinks already lined up on the bar when we got back to Coffs Ex-Services Club.”
The century is Neaves' highest score in almost two full seasons of first grade.
In 2009-10, his top score was 45 with an average of 14.44.
His aggregate has now risen to 212, substantially improving his average from five matches (and four innings) to 53.00 runs.
A talented all-round sportsman, Neaves played centre with the Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies who played Orara Valley in last year's Group 2 under-18 grand final and club president Josh White predicted a bright future for him when he steps up permanently into the top grade.