A fragile Border Bullets' top order has cost Cricket Albury-Wodonga a trip to the SCG.
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The Bullets slumped to 3-14 against home outfit ACT Aces in their T20 clash on Sunday, realistically ending their hopes.
"Once again the top order struggled," disappointed Bullets' coach Daryl Tuffey said.
"The skill level is obviously there, the guys have got it, it's maybe confidence against better teams.
"We were by no means inferior to them.
"I gave the top order a bit of a rev-up and expected them to fire in the second game."
However, any hopes of a response were washed out when the Bullets-Wagga Sloggers game was called off.
It adds another year where CAW hasn't beaten Wagga.
The Aces will now contest the final at the SCG with two wins from their only completed games.
The Bullets split their two matches after toppling Murrumbidgee in last week's opening round.
ACT won the toss and made 135 with opener Matt Condon's 56 the major obstacle.
"They started well, but we pegged them back with Fraser Ellis outstanding," Tuffey said.
"We kept them to 135 which was gettable out here."
Ellis finished with 2-24 from his four overs, while spinners Greg Daniel (2-21) and Romario Greaves (2-33) also chipped in.
But the Bullets' hopes of an upset were skittled when Ash Borella (five runs), Tom Johnson (four) and Jack Craig (four) were out in the first four overs.
Former Zimbabwean international Tarisai Musakanda, who was coming off a ton and half-century at club level for New City, fell for 11, although Nathan Brown (58) and Greg Daniel (21) handed the visitors some chance in the final overs.
"The partnership between Nathan and Greg got us close, but they just had too much work to do," Tuffey said.
Greaves chipped in with 13, while the lower order of Ryan Addison (one not out), Cam Suidgeest (four) and Angus Kilby (two not out) had too much work left in the frenetic final overs.
The Bullets finished 8-128, with Tyler Van Luin claiming 3-20.
Despite bowing out of the representative campaign, the Bullets will take heart from their strong win over Murrumbidgee last week.
The visitors' Theo Valeri smashed a classy 78, which in the shortened form can prove the difference.
However, the Bullets ran down the target of seven runs per over with Borella blasting 47, with Craig (26), Musakanda (25no) and Greaves (23no) combining strongly in the successful chase.