It was not the way Sion Morris will have wanted to go out as captain, but the stepping down Colwyn Bay skipper can still look back on his reigns with great pride.
Yesterday saw the long-serving Morris lead the Bay for the final time in the 1st XI’s last match of the 2019 season.
It was not a happy occasion as a two-wicket defeat at Leigh meant the Penrhyn Avenue outfit are relegated from the Liverpool and District Competition 1st XI ECB Premier League after a four-year stay.
The good news for the club is Morris is not retiring and still intends to make himself available for selection in 2020.
The 42-year-old has chalked up in the region of 13,000 league runs in the Liverpool Comp for the Bay since making his debut against Neston on June 8, 1996.
He passed the 10,000 mark in June 2013 and has hit 13 centuries with a highest score of 176 not out at Liverpool on April 23, 2005.
Morris has had two stints as Bay captain, his latest lasting five years, with a previous one of four on his cricketing CV.
The now former skipper has enjoyed some tremendous times with the Bay, the highlight probably being the 2015 season when the club won the Welsh Cup for the first time and also stormed to the Division One title, only missing out on a unique treble when they were beaten finalists in the Ray Digman Knockout Trophy.
Bay defeated Ammanford in the 2015 Welsh Cup Final at The Gnoll, Neath, on an unforgettable August Bank Holiday weekend.
The South Walians were bowled out for 93, man of the match Harrison Jones taking 4-20, then Morris made the match-highest score of 47 not out as the North Walians made it to 94-4 to clinch a six-wicket triumph.
In Morris’ time at the club, Bay were also LDCC Division One runners-up in 2005 and finished second in the Premier the following year.
Under his leadership they reached three other prestigious finals – the Ray Digman and Welsh Cup again, as well as the LDCC T20 – but unfortunately lost them all.
St Asaph-born Morris’ successes have not just been limited to club cricket.
He made his Minor Counties Championship debut for Wales in 1998 against Cornwall. From 1998 to 2003, he represented the team in 12 Championship matches.
His MCCA Knockout Trophy debut for the team came in 2001 against the Worcestershire Cricket Board. From 2001 to 2004, he represented the side in four Trophy matches. His debut List A appearance came in the third round of the 2002 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy against Durham.
From 2002 to 2004, he turned out for the team in four List A matches, the last of which came against Middlesex. His highest score was 46.
Looking back on his Colwyn Bay captaincy years, he said: ” The 2015 Welsh Cup success was definitely a highlight for me personally, but I was very proud of winning a Division One title as well.
“Also four finals in the last five years as captain is quite pleasing although it would have been nice to win more than one.
“Personal highlights would include playing four times at Lord’s undoubtedly. Also sharing changing rooms with so many fantastic professionals at the Bay – (Debasis) Mohanty, (Andre) Nel, (Samad) Fallah and getting to play regularly with club legends like (Andy) Puddle, (Glyn) Gibbons, (Paul) Jenkins….
“It sounds like I’m retiring which I’m certainly not considering at the moment, but George Johansen will be taking over as the new captain next year.
“I think it’s probably the right time for the club to go in a new direction.”