Bowlers key in dismantling Wests/UC in Douglas Cup grand final

THE Queanbeyan Cricket Club first grade side will today start their mission in gaining the Douglas Cup for the first time since the 2011/12 season when they take on Wests/UC at Manuka Oval.

The club will also feature in the fifth grade final, to be played at Freebody Oval, when that side takes on North Canberra-Gungahlin on Saturday.

There is much anticipation heading into the main game at Manuka, to be played over three days, as Queanbeyan only need a draw to take the Cup, but Wests can claw it back with first innings points.

And Queanbeyan vice captain Dean Solway sees Wests/UC's batsmen as their biggest threat.

The joint venture has one of the strongest batting lineups in the ACT region, and last week big hitters Darren Richards, Matthew Condon, Adam Hewitt and skipper Ben Oakley piles on a mammouth 584 runs in destroying Eastlake.

"They've got some guys in really good form, but they still walk out here on Friday and they're on zero," he said.

Solway said Queanbeyan's bowling attack would be their greatest weapon, with the likes of national Future's League player of the year Vele Dukoski packing with skipper Blake Dean, Sam Taylor, Guy Gillespie and Josh Bennett on the hunt of Wests/UC batsmen.

And with wet weather creating sporting havoc this week, Solway believes conditions will suit bowlers better.

"I think it'll be a bit flatter than the wicket for the one day final [also played at Manuka earlier this month] and that wasn't a batting-friendly pitch," he said.

"I'd like to think our attack is stronger than their's."

"They scored 500-odd last weekend, but we're pretty confident we can restrict them and get them out for lower scores than that."

While Wests/UC progressed easily in their semi-final, it almost was not to be for the minor premiers and John Gallop Cup winners, who managed a first innings tie with ANU, who came close to an unlikely outright win in the second innings.

A maiden century from all-rounder Dukoski saved the game, and Solway said individual brilliances in the dying stages of the grand final could be needed.

"We all know cricket's a team game, but in a final it comes down to individual efforts and combining those together for long periods of time," he said.

"That will determine who wins on the weekend."

Coach and captain Dean is likely to select his final 11 this morning after inspecting conditions at the wicket.

Play starts at 11am each day.

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