White Hills has given itself the opportunity to cause one of the biggest finals upsets in BDCA history after an enthralling day one of its semi-final clash with Strathdale-Maristians at Bell Oval.
The all-conquering Suns were expected to have little trouble in defeating a White Hills team that stuttered into the finals on the back of two-straight losses.
By the end of day one the match was evenly poised after the Suns were bowled out for 173 and the Demons finished 0-14 at stumps.
Co-coaches Rhys Irwin and Mitch Winter-Irving set the tone for White Hills with a brilliant first 30 minutes with the ball.
In the first over, Irwin had Suns' opener James Vlaeminck feather an outswinger behind.
In his second over he grabbed the prized wicket of Cameron Taylor, who was well caught by Caleb Barras in the gully for two.
Winter-Irving then dismissed Jack Neylon for one after he hit a square drive straight to his former team-mate Dylan Bailie at point.
Neylon's departure left the Suns a staggering 3-4.
Fresh from 178 not out against Sandhurst, Suns' skipper Ben DeAraugo set about changing the momentum of the match.
DeAraugo and the patient Grant Waldron looked set for a long partnership before Waldron (10 off 79 balls) became Winter-Irving's second wicket when he was smartly caught in the slips by Jack Bourke.
After Bailie removed Daniel Clohesy for 13 (another good catch in the slips by Winter-Irving), DeAraugo moved to yet another finals half-century before he was bowled by Irwin for 51 off 110 balls.
With Strathdale 6-83 the Demons had a chance to put the Suns away for a score of less than 140.
When it comes to Strathdale, that doesn't happen.
Sam Johnston decided attack was the best form of defence.
Johnston hit the second and third balls he faced to the boundary.
By the time he'd faced his 10th ball he'd hit five boundaries and was on 21.
Johnston cracked another four before Irwin had the left-hander caught behind for 27 to leave the Suns 7-116.
Wily veteran Linton Jacobs and Jacob DeAraugo produced the best partnership of the day.
Jacobs (40) and DeAraugo (20) added 52 for the eighth wicket and looked set to push the Suns above 200.
Led by Irwin, the Demons took the final three wickets for five runs.
In an inspirational performance, Irwin finished with 6-45 off 23.5 overs.
Winter-Irving was economical, conceding just 11 runs off his 15 overs.
The left-armer took two wickets and bowled 10 maidens.
Winter-Irving (six not out) and Irwin (six not out) survived a tough eight-over stint at the end of the day.
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