IN-FORM: Lewis Waugh was solid for the Gold with 46 off 41.
IN-FORM: Lewis Waugh was solid for the Gold with 46 off 41. Warren Lynam

T20 final goes to the wire as Gold XI take honours

CRICKET: Premiers Gympie added a maiden T20 title to their honour board with a nail-biting win over Maroochydore in the Caloundra Events Centre final this week.

A low-scoring contest was resolved with just four balls remaining when the Swans were dismissed for 83, a boundary away from the Gold's 86 on an evening where the ball and the fielders held sway.

Given the option, Gympie captain Josh Brady elected to bat, and Ash Sippel joined Lewis Waugh at the top of the Gold's order, facing Swan's rookie Tom Olsen, who was adding another first to a growing portfolio.

But it was the man with a suitcase of recognition, Shane Newton, who set the pace after his first ball had been dispatched to the boundary by Sippel, gaining revenge the next delivery.

Waugh was to be the Gympie backbone, and the only batsman to dominate with an eventual 46 off 41 faced.

He added another 15 before Trevor Brady took strike, only to become Newton's second scalp, and from there it became downhill for the Gold on a pitch not vicious but well exploited.

Only Karl Leupold joined Waugh in double figures as Adam Thornton's deliveries stole three wickets in as many overs and Chris Welsh choked the scoreboard, which benefited by just six from his four overs.

A worrying 4/66 turned into a catastrophic 8/78 when Waugh departed, with Kelvin Ventura and a returning Olsen showing little mercy to the tail.

In T20 history no score is safe nor hopeless, and Brycen Mitchell's opening over removed any Maroochydore complacency along with Thornton and an elevated Kevin Schultz to hurt the Swans early.

A settling three overs took the board to 24, then Jarrod Sippel came on to wreck hopes, bowling James Chaplin first ball on his way to 3/15.

The final delivery of his spell added the wicket of Swans' skipper Gerard Flegler, removing the threat of his pairing with Welsh and setting the chase back at 7/55 after 13 overs.

Gympie had the scent of victory yet there was little run rate pressure, and though Josh Brady removed Olsen at 66, Welsh's dozen and Ventura's 10 from Troy Ashton's last over dragged the total to 8/82 with 12 balls left.

Six deliveries remained from the elder Sippel, with no latitude for the bad ball or missed edge. Neither occurred as Trevor Brady behind held the catch off the second delivery, closing yet another gripping struggle between these two well-matched teams.

The Gold will now take their short form confidence into the one day finals.

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