Eyes on the prize

QUEANBEYAN will welcome back captain and Sydney Thunder all-rounder Blake Dean for the club's Twenty20 finals campaign this weekend.

The big-hitting and tight-bowling of Dean could well make the difference in a double-header to be played on Sunday.

The locals will first have to overcome Albury-Wodonga in a semi-final at Kippax on Sunday morning if they are to have a chance of winning the Konica Minolta Regional Cup, with the grand final to be contested later than night at Manuka Oval.

Batsmen and stand-in captain Dean Solway said he was confident the team could turn around a crushing six-wicket defeat to Wests UC at Freebody Oval last weekend and regain some form in the shortest form of the game.

"We're pretty confident that we'll go alright. We obviously have to turn a few things around from last week, because we had a pretty disappointing loss there," he said.

"But it looks like we'll have Blake Dean back, and Higgsy [all-rounder Mark Higgs] should be available, so we'll have a bit of extra strength to our line up. So I'm pretty sure we can play a lot better than we did last weekend," he said.

Solway and the rest of the top order managed only starts against Wests UC in a 50-over match last Saturday, but failed to turn in any big scores, leaving the tail to help Queanbeyan to a 194-run total. Wests UC overcame that total in just the 21st over.

That's prompted an additional training session scheduled for Friday night as the top order prepare themselves for a more consistent effort.

"I think it was probably just the top six not really being accountable and getting us a good total," Solway said of last week's loss.

"We relied a fair bit on the tail to get us to 200, which wasn't great. And we weren't disciplined enough with our bowling and couldn't maintain areas, so that was costly for us and they chased the total pretty easily.

"And obviously being a T20 game this weekend, obviously that's pretty important for us. You need to be hitting good spots," he said.

But with captain Blake Dean back in the fold, Solway said they'd be a decent chance of taking out the cup.

"He'll be a big addition for us," he said.

"He generally bowls four tight overs for not many runs and then really adds a lot with the bat as well. So he'll be opening if he played, and we'd back him to score a few runs.

"The boys are just really looking forward to firstly getting a win up, and then hopefully a game at Manuka Oval under lights. That would pretty awesome."

n Catch Queanbeyan vs Albury-Wodonga in the semi-final of the Konica Minolta Regional Cup this Sunday from 11am at Kippax 1.

If Queanbeyan win, they'll then head to the grand final at Manuka Oval from 7pm.

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