Gympie's Troy Ashton had a strong bowling performance over the weekend.
Gympie's Troy Ashton had a strong bowling performance over the weekend. Leeroy Todd

Gold upset Snakes as Lighthouses keep hopes alive

Cricket: Gympie Gold have shown their competition the talent that claimed the premiership two seasons ago, with a dominant victory of 2/147 over 142, against competition frontrunners Caboolture at the tail end of the season.

On a second day of round 12, where matches were converted to one-day contests after losing play the previous week, Gympie faced the risk of being pushed out of the top four by a victorious and rising Caloundra.

The dreaded road trip to the home of the Caboolture Snakes proved little peril for the Gold as the home side batted first, Bryson Mitchell bowling Matt Schubert first ball. Dan Book and Ryan Baker worked their way to 39 before Anthony Reid removed both within eight runs, and then the lanky figure of Troy Ashton made the morning his own.

In his 20th season of Coast division one, the same as the Gold where he started retiring six years ago, Troy removed Snakes' ace Glen Batticciotto, then proceeded to dispatch the middle order.

Caboolture slumped from 3/65 to 8/118, and pushed to 142 with 32 from an obstinate Matt Parkinson, Ashton's last wicket in a 5/31 haul. In 252 games for the Gold, and just six balls short of 2500 overs, Ashton reached 432 wickets at a 14.6 average. But the day wasn't over for the reminders of past glory, as Steve Brady returned from a 15-month lay-off with an injured knee, stroked 83 with Dan Shepperson and Lewis Waugh in Gympie's 2/147 win.

Caloundra needed a win to stay in contention for a finals surge, and did just that, reaching 8/218 and dismissing Tewantin-Noosa for 160. Josh Winen was best with 61 in a steady accumulation of runs for the Lighthouses, and after four wickets to Jack Cockram had the Thunder top order in the shed at 4/47, Jarrod Officer and Reid Campbell dragged the side past 150. Three consecutive wins have lifted Caloundra to seven points shy of Gympie in fourth, 15 short of third placed Glasshouse.