Lachlan Herring scored his third century of the season to boost Darley’s chances of reaching a maiden Ballarat Cricket Association firsts grand final.
Herring’s innings of 116 helped the Lions to 7-255 during day one of the semi-final against Mt Clear at Alfredton.
The opener’s knock lasted 228 balls before he was the last man out shortly before stumps.
Brad Barnes (39) and captain Heath Pritchard (28) also batted well, while Drew Locke made 45 from just 34 balls late in the afternoon.
Darcy Thomson (4-82) and Tim Griffith (3-64) were the only Mounties bowlers to enjoy any success.
At Eastern Oval, Napoleons-Sebastopol picked up two Wendouree scalps before stumps as it looks to defend a first innings total of 223.
Red Caps batsmen Mathew Begbie and Gavin Webb were both dismissed cheaply as the minor premiers slumped to 2-18 from a brief seven-over stay at the crease.
Earlier in the afternoon, Tyler Dittloff (63) and skipper Matt Ringin (66) helped Naps-Sebas to a solid total, with Tom Le Lievre (4-58) and Ryan Simmonds (3-32) the best of the Red Caps’ bowlers.
The Mt Clear and Wendouree run chases will continue on Sunday.