Golden Square puts its recent finals hoodoo to bed in emphatic style when it thumped Strathdale-Maristians in their BDCA semi-final clash at Wade Street.
The Bulldogs had only won one of their past eight semi-finals and grand finals in one-day and two-day cricket leading into the clash with the finals-hardened Suns.
There were no nerves for the Dogs from the opening ball of the game as openers Tim Wood and Ryan Hartley set the home side up with a brilliant opening stand.
Wood scored two runs off the first deliver from Sam Johnston and then continued his aggressive approach.
Wood and Hartley added 85 off just 17 overs before Wood fell for 50 off just 51 balls.
The loss of skipper Ben Gunn for 10 did little to hinder the Dogs as they pushed on to 2-144 off 33 overs.
However, Sam Johnston's dismissal of Hartley for 63 off 100 balls did change the momentum of the game.
Johnston followed up by removing for Scott Woodman for one and, when Hamish Schumacher departed for 35, the Dogs were 5-165.
Square's batting depth had saved the team in the final two rounds of the home and away season and it proved to be decisive again.
42-year-old club great Scott Johnson, who spent five games in the middle of the season in the second XI before forcing his way back into the first XI side, was the thorn in the Suns' side.
The left-hander timed his innings to perfection.
After a slow and steady start, Johnson put his foot down late in the day, clubbing three sixes and five fours on his way to 78 not out.
He was invlolved in crucial partnerships of 38 with Scott Trollope (22), 37 with Grant Connelly (14) and 52 with tailender Connor Miller (14).
From 5-165 the Bulldogs finished 9-305 off their 85 overs.
Strathdale leg-spinner Cam Taylor bowled unchanged from the city end of the ground from the 11th over of the match and took three wickets.
He finished with figures of 3-115 off 38 overs. In a sign of the Dogs' intent with the bat, they played out just seven maidens in Taylor's marathon spell.
Johnston (2-64) was steady in his return from a foot injutry, while Adrian Pappin and Jake DeAraugo also took two wickets.
For the Suns to have any chance of reeling in Square's big total they needed one of their top-order to reach three figures.
Andrew Chalkley and Jack Neylon threatened to bat the Suns back into the game, but when their third wicket partnership was cut short at 51, the Bulldogs went in for the fill.
From 2-78 the Suns lost 3-12, including the wickets of Chalkley for 32 and Neylon for 26.
Captain Ben DeAraugo tried to steady the ship until he edged a Miller deliver to keeper Hartley for 12 off 85 balls.
Johnston (32 not out) and number 11 Paddy O'Brien (32) added 44 for the final wicket to put some respectability into the Suns' score.
Opening bowler Corey Van Aken took the final wicket of O'Brien to give himself the fine figures of 3-16 as the Suns were dismissed for 175 - 130 short of the target.
"The way Woodsy and Hartley were going at the start we looked like getting 400-plus,'' Gunn said.
"Then it changed and it looked like 220 was going to be a good score. Scott Johnson batted brilliantly and for him and the other boys to squeeze it out to 300-plus was amazing.
"We had to back that up with the ball and I thought our bowlers did an outstanding job.
"They bowled tightly in a good, even performance."
"The trademark of this side is that we don't rely on one or two players to get the job done and that showed again this weekend."
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