Darley has completed the first part of the plan for this season – now it’s about taking the next step.
The Lions have made the Ballarat Cricket Association finals and captain-coach Heath Pritchard doesn’t want to waste the opportunity.
“We have to make something of it,” he said. “I don’t want to come next Sunday night and we’ve been beaten.
“We’ve got an interesting demographic and it could be the last chance for some of the guys.”
The Lions, who finished second, will face Mt Clear in a knockout semi-final at Alfredton Turf, a ground the Lions haven’t played on this year. Wendouree will play Napoleons-Sebastopol in the other knockout semi-final.
“There’s no home ground advantage and that’s the rules,” Pritchard said.
“Mt Clear played there this week and we haven’t seen the ground, but it’s the same as any ground – it has a pitch and stumps. We’ll be ready to play.
“The team who handles the pressure the best will get the win. Often, pressure is in your own mind and builds up.
“If we play our best cricket, we’re definitely a chance. Mt Clear beat us during the season, but apart from one hour I thought we outplayed them.
“If we can avoid that lapse this time, I think we’re a good chance.”
The Lions enter the finals on the back of a big win against East Ballarat.
Having already secured a finals spot, the focus for the Lions was how they played the game.
Pritchard was more than thrilled with the 8-336 the team made on day one. Pritchard top-scored with 97. The bowlers backed it up bowling East Ballarat out for 185.
“They came out hard as they had nothing to gain from the match – they couldn’t go anywhere,” Pritchard said. “We had to bowl less than 50 overs and I managed to give everyone a bowl who I wanted one.
“I thought about sending them back in and looking for an outright victory, but you’re not going to get them out in 30 overs.”
Matt Cape, Hasitha Wickramasinghe and Sajith Rupasingha were among the wickets for the Lions.
Meanwhile, Bryce Galea scored his maiden century playing for the Lions’ fourth XI in BCA one-day C grade against Lucas.
Galea, who has also been playing in a 16 and under competition this season, made an unbeaten 100, including seven fours, in the Lions’ win.