ACT Cricket, Douglas Cup semi-finals
Who: Queanbeyan v Wests UC
Where: Chisholm Oval
When: Friday-Sunday. Play commences at 11am.
JONO Dean experienced just about as much success as any cricketer could ask for last season.
A part of every one of Queanbeyan’s 2011/12 championship winning campaigns, Dean was a celebratory figure in more victorious team photos than many players could look forward to in a life-time.
But for the 28-year-old, victory in this year’s two-day Douglas Cup competition would just about top any of Queanbeyan’s most recent title triumphs.
“Definitely it’d be a pretty satisfying one to win,” Dean told The Queanbeyan Age in the lead-up to this weekend’s semi-final clash against Wests UC. “Last year we were expected to win and fortunately for us, we managed to get a few runs on the board.
“This year I don’t know if anyone even expected us to make finals so it’s a nice feeling to be going in as underdogs for once.”
The mass player exodus that hit Queanbeyan last year has been well documented with players the calibre of ACT Comets representatives Michael Spaseski, Blake Dean, Dan Rootes and Dean Solway bidding farewell to Freebody Oval.
Since then, Queanbeyan has been forced to watch on as its SCG Cup, Twenty20 and One-day trophies have been claimed by rival clubs.
And this weekend will see the Bluebags afforded one last chance to maintain its grip on a piece of first-grade silverware this season when they take on Wests at Chisholm.
As it has all year, enormous pressure will rest on the shoulders of Dean and captain Aaron Ayre, two of just a handful of survivors from last year’s championship winning outfit.
“That’s nothing really new for ‘Nug’ and I, we’ve probably always put pressure on ourselves than anyone else ever has to perform for Queanbeyan,” Dean said. “But it’ll be good as well to see what some of the younger blokes especially have got come finals time.”