THE XXXX Legends sevens team (blue) returned to the Whitsunday Cricket Sevens this year.
THE XXXX Legends sevens team (blue) returned to the Whitsunday Cricket Sevens this year.

Canecutters Young Guns down legends

THE FIFTEEN year dominance of the Whitsunday Cricket Sevens by the XXXX Legends ended at the weekend due to the efforts of the Canecutters Young Guns.

The Young Guns overhauled the 70 run target set for them by defending champions the XXXX Legends in Sunday's final, with just one ball remaining.

The final was a tense and fiery encounter with the Legends hell bent on defending their title while the Young Guns were just as determined to wrest it from them.

The XXXX Legends, a team comprising former Queensland, NSW and Brisbane A Grade players, called on all their experience in an attempt to psyche the less experienced Young Guns into error, but they were held together by Dave Steven - just as he has done on many an occasion during the local fixture season so far this season.

The final could not have begun better for the Young Guns with the wicket of the prolific run scorer and Legends driving force, Mark Gaskell, off just the second ball of Scott Milne's opening over.

Russell Townsend took over as the Legends man of the hour but Craig Brown struck again for Young Guns in the next over with the wicket of Scott Williams to bring Dustin Gaskell to the crease.

Gaskell and Townsend proceeded to put the Legends innings back on track until Tom Polkinghorne struck to have Gaskell (17) well caught in the deep by Gavin Milne.

Michael "Steely" Dann (13) and Townsend moved the score past 60 runs until "Steely" was run out with just one ball of the innings remaining. Paul Spence finished off the innings with a boundary to take the Legends total to 69 from their six overs.

What Dave Steven lacks in power with his batting he makes up for with determination and the ability to give his more flamboyant partners the bulk of the strike. He carried out this to perfection during the Young Guns innings. He added 35 with Michael Robinson (23) before Robinson fell to Gaskell in an over that bought the Legends right back into the final.

Gaskell also removed Gavin Milne (1) in his over, while Russell Townsend accounted for Scott Milne (4) in the next over.

The Legends were a real chance of pulling victory out of the jaws of defeat at this stage but again Dave stood tall, this time urging on young Tom Polkinghore (19 not out).

With the Legends having utilised all their strike bowlers it was left up to veterans Mark Gaskell and John Bell to carry them to victory but Tom and Dave were not to be denied and methodically worked their way to victory with just one ball remaining. Steven finished with just 13 not out but more importantly he was at the crease during the whole of the Young Guns innings, continually talking to his younger and more attacking partners.

The Social A Grade final was taken out by Bowen's Black Tar Gang after they scored the same 77 runs as their opposition, the Num Nuts. The final was awarded to the Black Tar Gang by virtue of them losing less wickets in the final than their opponents.

Scott Nosworthy (36) was the best with the bat for the Num Nuts while Kieran Murray (37) led the scoring for the Black Tar Gang.

The Social B Grade final was won by the Deep South Mix who were too strong for the all female side of the St Angelica's Legendettes.

The girls put together a modest total of 37 with Adeline Poid (14) and Antwine Vanderwolf (10) leading the way. The total was never enough for the Deep South with Trent Peters (22) steering his side to victory with more than one over to spare.

The Whitsunday Sevens was again a huge success with 23 teams competing over two long days of competition this year. There was the usual amount of fantastic fielding efforts, spectacular catches and some big hitting but not as much as in previous years. The weather tried to interfere but the Sevens players are made of sterner stuff than ordinary fixture players and played on despite the rain interruptions on Saturday.

Open Grade: Player of the Grade, Michael Robinson (Young Guns); Best Batsman, Dave Steven (Young Guns); Best Bowler, Chris Vanderwolf (Bowen Raiders).

Social A Grade: Player of the Grade, Josh Korn (Gateway Guzzlers); Best Batsman, Matt Flowers (Black Tar Gang); Best Bowler, Matthew {"Ducky" Forsyth (Dixie Normous).

Social B Grade: Player of the Grade, Adeline Poid (St Angelica's Legendettes); Best Batsman, Frank Davy (Deep South Mix); Best Bowler, Gillian Menzies (St Angelica's Legendettes).

The weekend's cricket was preceded by a hotly contested Sponsors Golf Day.

The day, played under a three ball ambrose format, was won by the team cpmprising Danny York, Ashley Murray and Joel Lucht with 56 nett. Runners up were Michael Dann, Gavin Milne and Adam Stroud. Best gross were Mark Gaskell, Warren Deighton and Steve Abel.

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