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ANU sneaks into Douglas Cup semi-finals

ANU fieldsman Michael Schaeffer. Click for more photos

Cricket: ANU v Weston Creek Molonglo

ANU snuck into the top four in their final-round match against Weston Creek Molonglo. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

ANU has pulled off a ''Bradbury'' as its rivals for the last spot in the Douglas Cup top four all fell over to guarantee its first Cricket ACT two-day finals berth since 2006-07.

Despite going down to Weston Creek Molonglo by three wickets in the first innings on Saturday, ANU snuck in to book a semi-final date with minor premiers Queanbeyan.

That match will be held at Stirling Oval from Friday, with Eastlake to face Wests/UC in the other three-day semi-final at Kippax.

ANU finished level with North Canberra Gungahlin on the table with 16 points, but snuck in courtesy of a superior quotient.

Just as Winter Olympic gold medallist speed skater Stephen Bradbury crossed the line first after everyone else wiped themselves out, ANU limped over the line as its competitors failed to capitalise on its slip-up.

Norths had a first-innings loss to Tuggeranong, which needed an outright victory to make up an eight-point deficit on ANU.

Ginninderra also needed the maximum 10 points, but had to settle with a first-innings win over Wests/UC, while Weston Creek also ran out of time to catapult into the finals.

While disappointed not to be carrying winning form into the finals, ANU captain Mark Bennett was relieved when he found out his side's season was alive.

"It's a great achievement to make the top four, but it would've been nice to win this game to go in with a bit of momemtum,'' Bennett said.

"It was really quite nerve-racking towards the end trying to find out the other results.

"We're there now, so it's quite pleasing.''

Defending a small total of 210, ANU was on track for victory when it had Weston Creek 7-152.

But a classy innings from veteran batsman Cade Brown gave Weston Creek the perfect way to end its season, finishing on 8-256 declared.

ANU was 2-121 in its second innings, getting in some valuable batting practice before it faces Queanbeyan.

With the minor premiership already wrapped up before the last round, the Bluebags used their match with Eastlake to get several players a valuable hit-out.

The match ended in a draw, Queanbeyan 6-127 in reply to Eastlake's 247.

Queanbeyan captain Blake Dean said his side couldn't be better placed to back up its success in the one-day competition.

"Everyone got what they needed out of it and we're looking pretty good,'' Dean said.

"It's a matter of switching on on the day and doing the hard work during the week.''

Douglas Cup: Tuggeranong 5-191 (dec) bt North Canberra Gungahlin 122 and 6-138. Eastlake 247 drew Queanbeyan 6-127. Weston Creek Molonglo 8-256 (dec) bt ANU 210 and 2-121. Ginninderra 6-195 (dec) bt Wests/UC 192 and 2-99.

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