By Geoff Berkeley at Smithfield in Birmingham
Birmingham-born Myles Hesson pulled off a fairytale finish as he claimed men’s 3x3 basketball gold for England with a match-winning shot in overtime at the Commonwealth Games here.
With Australia leading by one point and the match on a knife-edge, Hesson dispatched a two-pointer from the corner of the court as the Smithfield crowd erupted.
England’s Orlan Jackman saw his long-range attempt hit the rim before the ball somehow stayed out when Australia’s Daniel Johnson went for the winner.
After Jackman did brilliantly to claw the ball away in an aerial battle with Jesse Wagstaff, Hesson kept his composure before sending it through the hoop.
It was a dream moment for Hesson who started his career in the youth set-up at the City of Birmingham Basketball Club and used to go Smithfield when it was a market.
"I didn’t want to script it like that," said the 32-year-old, who is now plying his trade with Saga Ballooner in Japan.
"It was a bit nervy for us.
"But we came through it, and I hit the big shot that won the game.
"We all chipped in at individual times of the game, so it was a big team effort.
"I am still trying to figure out the words to put it all together.
"Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be the one making a shot in Birmingham to win a Commonwealth gold.
"It’s a joke."
The match was nip-and-tuck throughout as England and Australia jostled for the lead in a pulsating 20 minutes.
England were just 12 seconds from winning it in normal time only for Johnson to force the final into overtime.
Needing to get to 17 points to win the match, Wagstaff edged Australia 16-15 in front but they had to settle for the silver medal as Hesson became the hometown hero.
"I have played basketball in every corner of Birmingham," said Hesson.
"This is where I used to catch the bus, just here.
"This is where I went to the markets with my gran.
"I am from Birmingham. I am Birmingham.
"And this is where I am today.
"I don’t know how they all got tickets, but there a lot of people in this stadium rooting for me.
"I could hear every last one of them."
Canada sealed the men’s bronze medal after edging Scotland 13-12.
The women’s final also went down to the wire as 3x3 basketball proved a huge hit on its Commonwealth Games debut.
Sarah Te-Biasu was the star of the show and clinched a dramatic victory for Canada when she landed a buzzer-beater to beat England 14-13.
Facing a 13-10 deficit, Shanice Brandi Beckford-Norton reignited England’s hopes of glory when she scored from range before Cheridene Green found the basket with five seconds to go.
The match appeared to be heading for overtime before Te-Biasu struck at the death, rounding off a stunning performance from the Canadian.
Australia completed the podium when they beat New Zealand 15-13.
In the women’s 3x3 wheelchair basketball final, Canada stormed to a 14-5 triumph against Australia, with Kady Dandeneau and Tamara Steeves playing starring roles.
It was redemption for Canada whose men’s team lost 11-9 to Australia in the men’s gold medal match.
Lachlin Dalton and Luke Pople were the key players for Australia.
England won both men’s and women’s bronze medals after seeing off Malaysia 21-11 and Scotland 12-10 respectively.