The Sussex League cricketer who's waited 28 years for a league ton

John Morgan hailed his maiden Hastings Priory CC ton after waiting 28 years for it – but said it was a shame it didn’t help them win.

Morgan has been playing for Priory since 1995 but his knock of 107 in Priory’s seven-wicket loss to Three Bridges on Saturday was his first ton for them. We asked him about the knock and Hastings' season so far...

When you did you realise in the innings a century might be on?

Probably the first time was when I quickly moved into the 70's after a couple of 6's. Seaver Cowley was batting very maturely for an 18 year old in his innings of 34 and we had a very good partnership going. I felt pretty at ease at the crease and knew the ball was going softer so would be less effective despite the Three Bridges bowlers bowling well. For both the team posting a competitive score and the opportunity to get to 3 figures, i just didn't want to miss out.

John Morgan is celebrating his first league ton for Hastings Priory / Picture: Martin Denyer

Is batting something you have worked on or have you just improved like a fine wine?!

Not particularly, I started out as a batter at school and junior cricket and bowling only really became my main discipline when I started playing for Hastings Priory 1st XI in 1995. Throughout the back end of the 90's and in particular the 2000's we have had an extremely strong batting line up so was quite happy batting at 9,10, Jack & concentrate on my bowling. I've always known I was capable of getting a 100 but probably thought it had passed me by for Priory in the Sussex Premier League.

You have been on form with the bat and ball this season - just proves age is number but a number is it?

Yeah this season has been good for me personally, with both bat & ball. At the age of 45, you do think how many more years can you keep going but a wise former Priory player did say to me you are a long time retired, I've just tried to enjoy the game more this year and what will be will be in terms of the results just give it 100% & have no regrets. I've tended to keep everything a bit simpler the last couple of years and not over think everything when playing. Maybe you could say I've actually learnt something over 28 seasons in the Sussex Cricket league.

Hastings Priory have a new sponsor - Paul Heneke of Global Computer Spares

Have you ever scored a century in any other format?

I've scored a good number of centuries in School & Junior cricket & Sunday/Midweek friendlies but had always hoped to get a meaningful one for Hastings Priory.

Can we expect more centuries this season?

Who knows, would be nice but ultimately, I just want to contribute in any which way whether bat or ball to help Hastings win. I've always said that I prefer to get a first ball duck and nought for when bowling if it meant Hastings won the game, so the disappointment was that it didn't contribute to a win for the team.

Obviously the season is not going as well as you would like as a team - what do you need to improve?

Availability has been a big issue for us this season, either due to injuries, work or school matches. I know all teams have these issues but it has really had a big impact on us this season so far. We have had a couple of games where we have bowled teams out cheaply and unfortunately just haven't been able to get over the line in the run chases.

We are a very young side (obviously me being the exception) with a huge amount of potential and talent, it's just the experience that we require in knowing how to close games out. We are very much about growing & bringing our own players through and developing them to lead Hastings for the next 5-10 years. Our spirit is good and we have great a bunch of lads who will just keep fighting very much likely we did last season in winning our last 4 games to stay in the Sussex Premier League.

* Hastings Priory have a new sponsor - Paul Heneke of Global Computer Spares, who has agreed to become their main sponsor for this season and the next two years. Paul is absolutely delighted that as a former Hastings person my company are to be sponsoring Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC for the next three years. "My support will encompass financially assisting with sponsored clothing and equipment for the juniors and the new exciting live streaming of the club's matches," he said.