An unbeaten century from Matt Goonan has all but secured Mt Clear’s place in the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts finals series.
Ballarat’s Melbourne Country Week captain made 110 to help the Mounties pass Darley’s total of 212 with five wickets in hand at University of Ballarat on Saturday.
The win leaves Mt Clear third on the ladder, 10 points and percentage clear of fifth-placed Brown Hill moving into the last round of the home and away season.
Goonan’s innings was the catalyst behind the victory, as was a 107-run stand between he and all-rounder Darren Fletcher (54), which took the home side from 5-114 to 6-221.
With the quick University outfield a benefit to batsmen, Darley’s task was made tougher with skipper Matt Cape not being able to bowl through injury.
Recruit Ryan Ali and Peter Moore did some early damage to have the home side in strife at 3-30, before a handy innings from Daniel Hopkinson (21) and captain Lincoln Blake (20) took the hosts to 5-114 just before tea.
Goonan and Fletcher then controlled the run chase, taking the Mounties across the line before Fletcher departed shortly after reaching his half century.
Goonan then scored his first ton of the season before play was called off.
Darley remains seven points ahead of the Bulls and Golden Point, which needs an outright to have any hope of a finals berth next round.
The Lions next take on lowly Coronet City.