Queanbeyan end Douglas Cup drought as ‘Creek claims lower grade spoils

More than a decade since they last lifted the century-old Douglas Cup, Queanbeyan have claimed the 1st Grade two-day Premiership with a dominant performance against Weston Creek Molonglo, their second title for the season after appearing in the Grand Final of all three formats.

In the lower grades, Weston Creek Molonglo claimed the 2nd and 4th Grade Premierships over Queanbeyan and Western District respectively, while Tuggeranong edged Queanbeyan in the 3rd Grade Grand Final.

Dean Solway QDCC and John Rogers WCMCC shaking hands prior to the 2023/24 Douglas Cup Grand Final

1st Grade Men’s two-day Grand Final at EPC Solar Park in Phillip

Queanbeyan got off to a dream start after sending the ‘Creek into bat, Guy Gillespie removing dangerous opener Robbie Trickett in only the third over of the match.

From there the WCM top order struggled to build momentum in the game, reeling at 5/85 after lunch, before Hugh Taylor (81*) knuckled down with lower order batters, Harry Medhurst (36) and Blake Faunce (33) to mount a fightback and put Weston Creek in a steady position at 7/235.

Queanbeyan quick, Thomas Atlee came out firing on the start of day two to pick up three quick wickets and wrap up the tail, the Creekers bowled out for 243 and Atlee finishing with figures of 5-39 off 21.4 overs.

In reply, Queanbeyan’s top order was in the runs, ACT Comet representatives Nic Broes and Tyler Van Luin both registering centuries and combining for a second wicket partnership of 184. Broes finished on 113 runs from 208 balls and Van Luin 117 runs off 164 balls.

Wicketkeeper-bat Mikey McNamara (64*) and skipper Dean Solway (31*) then finished the job for Queanbeyan on day three, reaching 4/374 when the teams shook hands, handing the Bluebags a comprehensive six-wicket victory in what has been a remarkably successful season, with titles in both the one-day and two-day competition.

Douglas Cup Grand Final: Weston Creek Molonglo 243 (100.4 overs - H. Taylor 81*, T. Atlee 5-39, G. Gillespie 2-37) lost to Queanbeyan 4/374 (109 overs – N. Broes 113, T. van Luin 117; J. McNally 2-42) at EPC Solar Park in Phillip.

Greg Irvine Medal (Player of the Final): Thomas Atlee

QDCC's Thomas Atlee accepting the Greg Irvine Medal - Player of the Final, 17 March 2024

2nd Grade Grand Final: Weston Creek Molonglo v Queanbeyan at Stirling

Weston Creek Molonglo and Queanbeyan have become familiar with each other over the course of the season, with the two sides facing off in the one-day and Twenty20 finals, and meeting once again in the two-day final.

And after already securing the one-day and T20 titles, Weston Creek only needed a draw to secure the treble after finishing top of the two-day competition.

Winning the toss, Weston Creek set out to bat time but lost both openers fell early to be strife at 2/12. But from there, the star of their T20 final victory, no.3 Yogesh Marajan rebuilt the ‘Creek’s innings along with Aditya Thumma (51) and Ansh Tiwary (56). Marajan controlled WCM’s innings and batted with extreme patience, bringing up his half-century in 250 balls late on day one.

But after four long sessions, 123 overs in the field and time drifting away to force a result, Queanbeyan elected to concede the game early with WCM well in control at 4/254. Marajan finished 94* off an extraordinary 348 balls, while Queanbeyan paceman Blake Hutchison toiled hard for his 2-47 and spinner Harry O’Rourke bowled an incredible 18 maidens from his 32 overs, conceding just over one run an over.

L to R: Cricket ACT CEO Olivia Thornton, WCMCC Captain Monty Poonia, Cricket ACT Umpire Gary Rees.

3rd Grade Grand Final: Tuggeranong v Queanbeyan at Chisholm

In a repeat of the 2022/2023 two-day final, Tuggeranong were looking for redemption after last season’s defeat.

Sent into bat, Tuggeranong consolidated early after losing a wicket in the first over, with William French (26) and Krish Joshi (23) combining for a second wicket partnership of 56. Queanbeyan then crawled their way back with the introduction of young spinner Ishan Dalvi, who ripped through Tuggeranong’s middle order and had the Vikings on the backfoot at 7/114 heading into Tea.

After the break, skipper Greg Lemin (34) stood tall under pressure alongside Minh Ngo (21) to give the Tuggeranong bowlers something to defend, bowled out for 174.

After surviving two tricky overs at the end of the first day, Queanbeyan openers Mathew Rebus and Guy Randell capitalised early on day two, combining for an opening stand of 69. As things began to look south for Tuggeranong, skipper Lemin brought himself into the attack, and removed Rebus (43) and Randell (26) heading into lunch.

The final then took a dramatic turn in only the second over after lunch, with Tuggeranong seamer Karthik Subramaniam picking up three wickets in one over to have Queanbeyan reeling at 5/81. The wickets fell at quick intervals from there, including the key wicket of Peter Solway cheaply, who only two weeks ago hit 103* against Tuggeranong in the final round game of the season.

Last wicket pair, Kai Randell (11) and Fraser O’Rourke (15*) proved tough to crack as they looked to salvage an unlikely victory at 9/145 and needing 30 runs to win. However,

Tuggeranong paceman Reece Parry had other ideas and went through the defences of Randell to secure the two-day title for the Vikings, their first in eleven years.

TVCC 3rd Grade team with Two-Day Premiership trophy, 17 March 2024

4th Grade Grand Final: Weston Creek Molonglo v Western District at Kaleen

Western District proved to be the team to beat throughout the regular season, going undefeated in the two-day competition, while Weston Creek was riding high after a good win against a strong Queanbeyan outfit in their semi-final.

Weston Creek won the toss and sent Western Districts into bat. And the Lions started strongly at 0/74 before the ‘Creek were rewarded for their persistence and picked up three quick wickets to leave Western District 3/80. The Creekers continued to toil all day after Wests batted with patience throughout day one, opener Fletcher Tarry (61) and Ryan Selmes (51) both notching half-centuries to guide Western Districts to 210.

Peter Radford was the pick of the Weston Creek bowlers picking up 3-18 off his 15 overs, including seven maidens.

In response, Weston Creek got off to a solid start and were 2/65 with no.3 Luke Jirman applying the pressure early on the Western Districts bowling attack with 36 runs from 74 balls, alongside opener Mansib Zaman who scored a patient 21 runs off 127 balls.

From there, Wests fought back with three quick wickets to have the Creekers 5/91 to have the game evenly poised. Radford then came to crease and swung the game back in Weston Creek’s favour with a knock of 68 from 102 balls to guide WCM home by three wickets, with valued contributions from Chris Peiris (25) and Phil Marchant (23) along the way.

WCMCC 4th Grade team with the Two-Day Premiership trophy, 17 March 2024

Full list of ACT Premier Cricket Winners for 2023/2024:

1st Grade

  • Greg Chappell Cricket Centre Twenty20 Blast: Tuggeranong Valley
  • John Gallop Cup One-Day Competition: Queanbeyan
  • Two-Day Competition: Queanbeyan

Women’s Grade

  • Glenda Hall Shield Twenty20: Eastlake
  • Lynne O’Meara Cup One-Day Competition: Eastlake

2nd Grade

  • GCCC Twenty20 Blast: Weston Creek Molonglo
  • One-Day: Weston Creek Molonglo
  • Two-Day: Weston Creek Molonglo

3rd Grade

  • GCCC Twenty20 Blast: Queanbeyan
  • One-Day: Weston Creek Molonglo
  • Two-Day: Tuggeranong Valley

4th Grade

  • GCCC Twenty20 Blast: Queanbeyan
  • One-Day: Western District
  • Two-Day: Weston Creek Molonglo

5th Grade

  • ANU

Article by UC Sports Media student Oliver Nguyen

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