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Darley is out to put an exclamation mark on a flawless first half of the 2019-20 campaign when it plays host to Buninyong on Saturday.
The Lions had been the big movers and shakers in the off-season and their strong recruiting drive has paid dividends.
Darley is unbeaten and on top of the ladder, a handy nine points clear of the rest of the first grade competition.
Lions coach Brian Wheelahan said he "couldn't be happier" with his team's position after eight rounds.
"...I still don't think we've hit our straps and put in a complete performance, but we are definitely not far away," he said.
Wheelahan said an unchanged line-up from the one that beat Ballarat-Redan last weekend would take on the Bunnies at Darley Park.
Liam Brady, the captain/coach at Buninyong, said Geordie McLeod and Cam Gell were among the inclusions for the round nine encounter.
The Bunnies are sixth on the Ballarat Cricket Association ladder, six points behind the fourth-placed Wendouree.
The Red Caps are out to bounce back from their loss to Golden Point. Wendouree skipper Gavin Webb has made a couple of changes to the side for the T20 battle with Ballarat-Redan and most notable is the return of opening bowler Angus Creelman.
The Two Swords were well beaten by Darley last weekend and sit second last on the table.
Mt Clear and East Ballarat were shock losers in round eight, but still sit inside the top four.
Mounties captain Darcy Thomson said his team was perhaps a bit complacent against Brown Hill last weekend and needed to get back to winning ways against bottom side Naps-Sebas.
"We aimed to be in the top four at Christmas so as long as we win this week we should stay in there," Thomson said.
Over at East, batsman Jarrod Blandford is a significant out for the reigning premiers, which will take on the Bulls at Russell Square.
The other match on Saturday is between North Ballarat and Golden Point.
Veteran all-rounder Jason Crosbie has been left out of the Roosters' team due to the T20 conditions, while the Pointies are set to go in with the same line-up to the one that beat the Red Caps.
All round nine winners will receive three points towards the regular premiership table and results also count towards a separate Twenty20 ladder.