ACT Cricket powerhouse Weston Creek Molonglo sent an emphatic message to Tuggeranong Valley on the eve of their Gallop Cup semi-final clash: We're going to knock you down nice and quick.
Weston Creek had the perfect preparation to the one-day final series after they bowled out ANU in under 50 overs in the opening round of the Douglas Cup on Saturday.
ANU's start to the two-day competition looked dire as the hosts slumped to 5-85 before Ben Mitchell (41) mounted a fightback and finished his innings at 7-150.
But Djali Bloomfield came into the crease and dismissed Lachlan Pedley and Anthony Luchetti for ducks, bowling ANU out for 153 in 47.6 overs.
"I managed to jag a few at the end. I bowled OK at the top and took the first wicket," Bloomfield said.
"There wasn't a whole lot in the wicket for us but we managed to toil away and got the rewards at the end.
"It was a little slow going for a while and they dug in - not that they were scoring a heap of runs but it was slow going for us. We bowled wider lengths hoping they would make a mistake which is what two day cricket is all about.
"It was good to wrap it up nice and quickly like that. It's never fun when their tails start to make a few runs, it can get a little frustrating."
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Weston Creek went into bat and overtook the hosts' haul by sunset, with Joshua Myburgh (62) and Robbie Trickett (52) scoring half-centuries to set up a solid second innings next weekend.
The undefeated side will look to back up their performance when they face Tuggeranong Valley in a one-day semi-final clash at Stirling Oval on Sunday.
"We're pretty glad to have knocked them over nice and quick so we didn't have to spend all day out on the field," Bloomfield said.
"If we were out on the field all day then there would probably be more tired and sore bodies but we went into bat for a while.
"The bowlers have rested and we didn't have to do too much work in terms of bowling a heck of overs.
"Hopefully we can perform and keep going [on Sunday]. Tuggeranong have quite a few good players so we have to make sure we come out on top of them."
Two half-centuries by Michael Barrington-Smith (53) and Thomas Vane Tempest (57) led Tuggeranong to a 213-run total against Western District at Jamison Oval. But captain Shane Devoy was left to rue a slump in the middle-order.
Western District bowled out the visitors in 76 overs, with Nick Broes and Brendan Duffy taking three wickets each, and finished the day with 80 runs.
"I think it was a missed opportunity for us today," Devoy said.
"We went into bat first and it was a pretty true wicket. Barrington-Smith and Vane Tempest had a great partnership at the top and then [Nikesh] Joseph [48no] fought well at the end but I think it was under par for us with the bat.
"Blake [Ivery] put on an absolute show and it goes well for Wests [on Sunday] in the semi.
"We're under no illusion they're one of the best teams in the competition and rightfully favourites to win.
"It's a good opportunity for our younger players to be exposed to that type of challenge. It's just seeing if we can go out there, enjoy the contest and see if a couple of our guys can put their best foot forward."
Meanwhile across the border in Queanbeyan, North Canberra Gungahlin's Giles Tranter set up a competitive 8-265 with an 83-run haul at Freebody Oval.
Brendan Thomas took four wickets in 18.3 overs with eight maidens to help Ginninderra bowl out Eastlake for 182 at Kingston Oval.
The visitors looked like they were going to cruise to a massive victory after Owen Chivers caught Tom Henry out for a duck on the third ball, but Eastlake's middle-order steered the ship with five batsmen scoring over 20 runs.
Round one: WESTERN DISTRICT 1-80 (Broes 3, Duffy 3 wickets) v TUGGERANONG VALLEY 213 (Vane Tempest 57, Barrington-Smith 53); EASTLAKE 182 (Blaney-Brown 36) v GINNINDERRA 5-114 (Hogan 44, Thomas 4 wickets); QUEANBEYAN (Van Luin 3, Dukoski 3 wickets) v NORTH CANBERRA-GUNGAHLIN 8-265 (Tranter 83) ; WESTON CREEK MOLONGLO 4-159 (Myburgh 62, Trickett 52, Bloomfield 4 wickets) v ANU 153 (Mitchell 41, Groenewegen 3 wickets). *Play continues next week.