ANU batsman Michael Shafer gets a lucky break with a slips catch going begging against Queanbeyan on Saturday. Photo: Graham Tidy
AN IMPRESSIVE all-round bowling performance from Queanbeyan has put the Douglas Cup ladder leader within touch of the finals.
Queanbeyan needs just another 28 runs with six wickets in hand against ANU at Freebody Oval to guarantee a spot in the top four.
Paceman Josh Bennett claimed the honours with 3-31 from 13 overs, but received great support from Sam Taylor (2-25 from 11), Vele Dukoski (1-28 from 14) and Guy Gillespie (1-24 from 11) to restrict fourth-placed ANU to 132 in its first innings on Saturday.
A defiant 48 not out from Michael Curtale has Queanbeyan 4-105 at stumps.
Going into the penultimate round, Queanbeyan was on top of the table on 28 points, holding an eight-point buffer over Wests/UC and Eastlake, both on 20.
ANU and North Canberra Gungahlin are close behind on 16 points in the battle for the last place in the finals.
Gillespie said the lure of locking up the berth in the finals led to a quality team effort with the ball.
''That's one of the main reasons why we played the way we did today,'' Gillespie said. ''It was a pretty good toss to lose and we used the conditions pretty well.
''The quicks bowled as a unit today and it went well.''
Queanbeyan was without opening batsman Jono Dean, who is managing a hip injury, but should be fit for the ACT Comets for the Futures League match with Western Australia starting Monday.
Five wickets from paceman Jackson Nicholls have Eastlake slightly ahead in its match with Weston Creek Molonglo at Kingston Oval. Eastlake will resume next week at 4-143, trailing Weston Creek Molonglo by 39 runs with six wickets remaining.
Nicholls did the damage taking 5-43, while captain Michael Delaney and tail-ender Michael Crilly both made 60 to lift Weston Creek Molonglo from 7-81 to a respectable total of 182.
A hard-earned century from Adam Hewitt has put Wests/UC in a strong position in its match with North Canberra Gungahlin at Jamison.
Hewitt made 117 from 200 balls and Joe Cooke chipped in with 57 in Wests/UC's total of 259.
Ashish Rathod was the best of the Norths bowlers with 4-33.
Norths is 0-6 in reply.