Williams digs deep to score his maiden ton

REASON TO SMILE: Josh Williams with wife Michelle and daughter Annabel a day after the innings he will never forget. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
REASON TO SMILE: Josh Williams with wife Michelle and daughter Annabel a day after the innings he will never forget. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

With his team missing a plethora of star players, Souths batsman Josh Williams picked the perfect time to score his maiden century.

The part-time first grader batted for almost four-and-a-half hours on Saturday, making 115 as his side amassed 9-313 on day one of their grand final rematch with RSL-Colts at Lady Cutler 2.

With the likes of Mitch Bower, Will Lindsay, Mat Finlay, Corey McDean and Henry Railz missing, the Hornets needed a hero and it was the man they call ‘Ferret’ that stood up.

He batted for almost 69 overs, and hit 11 boundaries and a solitary 6 as he frustrated a Colts side which won the toss and elected to field.

“I’ve never made a hundred before, not in juniors or in the lower grades, so for my first to come in first grade and when we were short on players was pretty special,” a stiff and sore Williams said on Sunday.

“I’ve been around the club for many years and it’s one of my roles to come in and do a job at times when other blokes are missing, and it was good to contribute on Saturday.

“My wife Michelle and eight-month old daughter Annabel were down there for a good chunk of the innings too. It was Annabel’s first game of cricket so that was pretty special too.”

Williams was part of a 50-run opening stand with Angus Norton (39), and also got support from Adam Wells (34) and Scott Tucker (62) along the way, but it all could have come crashing down on the cruelest score of them all.

Needing just one run to bring up his ton, Williams survived a close stumping appeal, and got the shock of his life shortly after when his teammates cheered his next run.

“I had no idea I was on 99. It was a quick ball down legside and it deflected off the wicketkeeper’s gloves onto the stumps,” he said.

“My foot went up and came down, thankfully it just got down in time.

“Then I nudged a single and they started cheering and I realised how close I was to getting out on 99.”

With the club’s representative players back in the fold next week, Williams said he won’t place too much pressure on Bower to keep him in the top grade.

While jokingly agreeing it would be hard to drop a player who has just made a century, Williams played a straight bat when asked if he would remain in first grade beyond this match.

“I’d probably be unlucky to be dropped, but I’m all for the club so I’ll play where I’m needed,” he said.

For Colts on Saturday, Sam Bass was the best of their bowlers with figures of 3-44 off 11 overs, while Wes Giddings played his usual role with the ball, taking 3-64 off a long spell of 21 overs.