When most players score their maiden first-grade century, they typically experience elation, joy, excitement. But for Callum Barton, it was simply a feeling of relief.
Relief that after a summer of training hard and grinding away for Kookas in the South Coast competition he had finally broken through with the big score he knew he was capable of achieving.
That big score was an unbeaten 107 in the side's round 13 victory over The Rail, an innings that helped Kookas rise to third on the ladder.
"It was awesome," Barton said. "In the end it was just a relief to finally get the reward for some of the training I've done throughout the year. To do it with my teammates around was awesome."
Now that he's broken through for his first century, the 16-year-old is looking to keep the momentum rolling with the finals just a week away.
Barton experienced a slight hiccup on Saturday when he was dismissed for three against Oak Flats. The century, however, has given Barton the confidence and self-belief to know that he can perform when the stakes are high.
"Now knowing I can perform at the first-grade level, after last weekend’s performance, that definitely solidifies that I know I can do it regularly.
"The two top sides have been very good all year, Oak Flats and Lake Illawarra. Shellharbour are also a good side. If we play well and stick to our strengths, we should have a good day and hopefully come out on top."
Barton's late-season form comes after he had the opportunity to run the water for Steve Smith's Sutherland side during their Twenty20 trial in Wollongong last October. It's an experience, he said, he will never forget.
"Being 12th man at the trial game at North Dalton Park was an unreal experience. It was unreal being around Steve Smith and Shane Watson, they can teach me a lot.
"I can learn from the way they conduct themselves through their warm-up, in games, how they go about constructing an innings at the elite level and how they perform and play cricket at that level."