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Hornets Swarm to Win Historic Premiership

The Cricket Ipswich community is celebrating a breakthrough achievement by the Hornets men’s first grade team following a stunning grand final victory in the prestigious KFC T20 Max.

Spurred on by a big crowd of vocal supporters at Allan Border Field on Saturday, the Hornets beat a Norths side boasting former Test batsman Joe Burns and current Big Bash star Josh Brown.

The comprehensive five wicket victory was the Hornets’ first ever men’s premiership, a fitting reward for the club’s early pioneers and current stalwarts who have backed the Hornets over the past 11 years.

Ipswich was simply brilliant in the field, restricting Norths to 168 on the back of some brilliant catching from the likes of Jack Wood and Bryn Llewellyn.

Quicks Jem Ryan and Sean Lutter took four wickets apiece, allowing the Hornets to take plenty of momentum into their batting innings.

Wood continued his brilliant KFC T20 Max form with the bat, smacking 42 from 24 balls, with Harry Sheppard also in great touch in just his second top grade game.

Sheppard hit 38 from 18 balls, igniting a pro-Ipswich crowd with every lusty blow.

Norths showed plenty of fight to pick up four quick wickets, but their joy was short lived as captain Anthony Wilson (24no) and Jake Cross (37) put the game beyond doubt.

Cross hit four massive sixes, while Wilson struck one blow onto the roof of Queensland Cricket headquarters before hitting the winning run from the bowling of Will Prestwidge in the 17th over.

Ipswich Hornets coach Brendan Creevey summed up the emotional nature of the win and what it meant for the club.

I've been around cricket for many years both as a player and a coach, and I've had my successes over the years, but since my involvement at the Hornets who have not tasted the success of a premiership until this T20 competition, I have come to resonate with many of their stories,Creevey said.

The stories of the Wood brothers, and their families, who bleed brown and gold. The uniqueness of the Lutter twins and the way they have toiled for many years without the opportunity to raise a trophy.

The humbling acknowledgment of the Wilson brothers, and their families, who have long served Ipswich cricket. But also to have the likes of Mark Rasmussen (first ever Hornets captain), and Jack Little (cap #1) present at the game, and seeing them with a tear in their eye after the game made it all real.

So to answer the question of what this win means for the Hornets, you'd have to look into the eyes of those who have represented the club for many years, and understand their story.

It's only then that you'll come to realise exactly what this win means to those individuals, Ipswich Cricket and all the players past and present who proudly represent the Hornets. Creevey said it was a true team effort and acknowledged the contributions made by the entire squad and support staff.

I would like to acknowledge those in the team who stepped into roles somewhat unfamiliar to them from the past, such as Jake Cross, Noah Emmerson and Bryn Llewellyn, Creevey said.

Not just for the final, but in all the lead up games, their control of the innings down the order was one of the pillars of our success. The guys behind the scenes who gave their time to support the players, such as Jack Geldard (12th man), Josh Creevey, Ben Newton and Paul Nasser, who all came to bowl to the guys in the nets beforehand. Creevey was full of praise for young Hornets Ryan and Sheppard. Jem Ryan is an asset to any team he is in, not just for his bowling ability, but a great team man who is ready to step up at any time. He had a plan for specific batsmen and was able to execute those plans exceptionally well and as a result he took 4/27 and the man of the match honours, Creevey said. As for Harry Shepherd, I know personally, I've never believed in anyone more in recent times.

To bat with such freedom, and belief as he took on quite possibly the fastest bowler in the state and a quality first class cricketer in Will Prestwidge, was really inspiring to watch.

He has a huge future in this game and I sincerely hope the Under 19 state selectors were watching to reassess where he sits in their depth charts.

In a high-quality competition littered with players with First Class Cricket and Big Bash League experience, including many boasting an Australian Cap on their resume such as the likes of Michael Neser, Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns, Mitchell Swepson, D’Arcy Short and Gurinder Sandhu, this is a victory of the ages for Cricket Ipswich.

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