Queanbeyan rises to challenge
Queanbeyan captain Aaron Ayre says his team is hitting its straps at the right time of year. Photo: Melissa Adams
Queanbeyan's young guns are hitting their straps at the right time as the Bluebags launch an assault on the Douglas Cup.
The Bluebags will be out to enter the finals with a full head of steam through a dominant performance on the second day of their two-day game with ANU at ANU Oval on Saturday.
ANU will resume at 4-62 in reply to Queanbeyan's 194.
Last week's seaming wicket made the 97 from 18-year-old Lakshmn Shivakumar, who received handy support from fellow teenager Mark Solway, all the more impressive.
Shivakumar is one of several new faces in the Queanbeyan side this season after the Bluebags collected every trophy on offer last summer.
The Bluebags finished with a remarkable clean sweep, taking out the two-day, one-day and Twenty20 competitions, along with the NSW regional limited-overs title.
While they haven't reached those lofty heights, Queanbeyan captain Aaron Ayre believes his side can be a serious force in the finals.
''It's been very rare for us to have our best team on the park this year due to rep commitments and blokes being away,'' Ayre said.
''If we can put a full team out on the park and build pressure and play to our full potential, I think we can knock anyone off.
''Lakshmn's been promising all year and so has Mark, and for them to step up when we needed them the most was really pleasing.''
Tuggeranong has the weekend off and the minor premiership after paceman Chris Prescott's incredible 15-wicket haul to secure an outright win against North Canberra Gungahlin last weekend.
Wests/UC and Eastlake will warm up for the finals after last week's play was washed out at Jamison Oval.
Weston Creek is 2-26 in its second innings, needing another 35 runs to force Ginninderra to bat again.
John Douglas Cup: ANU v Queanbeyan at ANU North; Wests/UC v Eastlake at Jamison; Weston Creek v Ginninderra at Stirling. All games start at 11am.