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There was a touch of inevitability about the way the Casey Demons’ winning streak was snapped at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday. They went into the game with top spot on the VFL ladder secured if they could win one of their two remaining games but with a line up barely resembling the combination that got them into that position in the first place. With the injuries at Melbourne mounting and the need to take two emergencies out west, the cupboard of AFL players available to play for Casey suddenly became almost bare and only ten of them turned up for the game played for the most part in blustery conditions and driving rain. For the Demons, that equation spelled doom and gloom and put paid to their chances of making it to a club VFL record 13 wins in a row. When the going was bad weather-wise, the Demons kept pace in the hard grind when scoring was tough and the game remained an arm wrestle for most of the opening half. The Hawks managed to slip away to a 13 point lead at the main break and when the weather cleared after half time, they drove home the advantage booting seven goals to three to take a 37-point lead at three quarter time. The final margin was a 45-point car crash despite Casey having a narrow advantage for the game going inside the 50 metre arc. The essence of winning games in such inclement conditions involves playing hard football, keeping your feet, putting your body on the line and tackling ferociously. With a few exceptions, that element was lacking with the Demons and the rump of their AFL was heavily exposed. Tom Bugg and Josh Wagner were the stand outs as far a Melbourne-listed players were concerned while young defender Harry Petty tried hard to stem the tide. Most of the remainder will struggle to hold their places based on this outing. The better players for Casey were again their VFL listers headed by Mitch Gent, Jay Lockhart and Corey Wagner while first gamer Tom Freeman showed up many of his more experienced teammates with an impressive debut. The club’s ruck issues this year have been well-documented and these were compounded with the absence of Sam Weideman and Cam Pedersen to give the inexperienced Demon ruckmen a chop out. As it was, the Hawks no name big men won handsomely in the ruck contests leaving coach Jade Rawlings with a massive headache on the eve of the finals because they were almost completely bereft of the necessary big body strength to win games in tough conditions. The Casey Demons play Williamstown at Casey Fields in next week’s final round and will be hoping for a win to ensure themselves of a home final. Otherwise, they want the Hawks to repeat their winning form at Box Hill City Oval against the third-placed Cats on Saturday. Peter Jackson VFL 2018 Casey Demons 1.3.9 2.6.18 5.8.38 6.10.46 Box Hill Hawks 1.3.9 4.7.31 11.9.75 13.13.91 Goals Casey Demons Lockhart 2 Hutchins Lok Stephenson White Box Hill Hawks Mirra Murphy 3 Brolic Cousins Jiath Maloney Moore O'Rourke Ross Best Casey Demons Lockhart J Wagner Keilty Bugg Gent T Freeman Box Hill Hawks Cousins O'Donnell Mirra Jiath Kilpatrick Duryea Statistics Jaxon Briggs 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 39 dream team points Tomas Bugg 21 kicks 7 handballs 28 disposals 3 marks 7 tackles 106 dream team points Lachlan Filipovic 1 kick 1 disposal 2 tackles 9 hit outs 17 dream tea m points Tom Freeman 12 kicks 4 handballs 16 disposals 7 marks 64 dream team points Jeffrey Garlett 4 kicks 4 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 35 dream team points Mitch Gent 2 behinds 13 kicks 13 handballs 26 disposals 5 marks 4 tackles 95 dream team points Jack Hutchins1 goal 9 kicks 1 handball 10 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 56 dream team points Dion Johnstone 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 45 dream team points Declan Keilty 5 kicks 4 handballs 9 disposals 2 marks 29 dream team points Mitch King 4 kicks 3 handballs 7 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 30 hit outs 49 dream team points Jay Lockhart 2 goals 17 kicks 5 handballs 22 disposals 5 marks 8 tackles 125 dream team points Goy Lok 1 goal 1 behind 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 65 dream team points Pat McKenna 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 1 tackles 39 dream team points Cory Machaya 3 kicks 13 handballs 16 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 31 dream team points James Munro 15 kicks 9 handballs 24 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 82 dream team points Harry Petty 7 kicks 7 handballs 14 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 67 dream team points Angus Scott 7 kicks 9 handballs 16 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 57 dream team points Tim Smith 4 behinds 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 7 marks 4 hit outs 63 dream team points Will Stephenson 1 goal 1 behind 4 kicks 4 disposals 1 mark tackles 34 dream team points Cory Stockdale 3 kicks 3 handballs 6 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 27 dream team points Corey Wagner 19 kicks 9 handballs 28 disposals 8 marks 8 tackles 128 dream team points Josh Wagner 11 kicks 10 handballs 2 1 disposals 2 marks 11 tackles 1 hit out 104 dream team points Mitch White 1 goal 8 kicks 2 handballs 1 0 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 55 dream team points
Young Demon forward Sam Weideman's 2017 has been up and down all year. There have been times when he looked good and others, not so - but he showed enough promise to suggest that at some stage, he would break out and play a really strong game at VFL level. The explosion came in the opening quarter at City Oval, Box Hill when the young forward bagged four goals to set up the Casey Demons' fifth consecutive win after a flat start to the season. Weideman's goals came from strong marks including a couple that were strongly contested. His confidence built and his kicking for goal, usually a strong point, was a treat to watch, even when he was shooting from outside fifty. Early in the second term he took a screamer and slotted his fifth and from then on he was double and triple teamed which limited his output until he fittingly kicked the easiest of goals for his sixth late in the game. The effect of the full forward's heroics was infectious and the Casey midfield, many with their own cases to put to the Melbourne selectors, put their hands up with some prolific efforts. Jay Kennedy-Harris has had a sensational month producing big possession numbers in 3½ games (he was rested from half time as the carry over emergency in the Collingwood game a fortnight ago). His haul this time of 39 disposals certainly sent a message while Ben Kennedy was close behind with 35 touches. Dean Kent also produced the kind of display his coaches have been expecting of him all season and his 34 disposal game was electric. They were well backed up by the experience of Jack Trengove and the consistency of rookie Corey Maynard. Meanwhile, Mitch White was a tower of strength and quietly went about the job of stoutly defending anything that came near him. Light-bodied youngster Bayley Fritsch was always a danger around goals and provided the perfect foil for Weideman to finish with three goals. James Munro and Mitch Gent were again solid as usual. The game didn't go all Casey's way. After leading by 17 points at the main break, the visitors saw their lead dwindle to just four points halfway through the third term with Fritsch steadying the ship. A couple of goals from Tyrone Vickery for the Hawks caused a few heart flutters but Casey finished the game strongly with the last two goals to ensure a fifth straight victory and consolidate their position in the VFL top 8. Peter Jackson VFL 2017 Casey Demons 5.1.31 7.7.49 11.9.75 14.15.99 Box Hill Hawks 2.1.13 5.2.32 8.5.53 11.7.73 Goals Casey Demons Weideman 6 Fritsch 3 Scott 2 Cox Gent Morris Box Hill Hawks Vickery 4 Brolic Stewart 2 Adduci Jones Willsmore Best Casey Demons Kennedy Kennedy-Harris Weideman White Kent Trengove Box Hill Hawks Moore Cousins Stewart Whitecross Vickery Warren Statistics Liam Hulett 2 behinds 5 kicks 4 handballs 9 disposals 2 marks 1 tackles 35 dream team points Dion Johnstone 1 behind 7 kicks 8 handballs 15 disposals 5 marks 6 tackles 34 dream team points Declan Keilty 3 kicks 8 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 51 dream team points Ben Kennedy 26 kicks 9 handballs 35 disposals 6 marks 2 tackles 121 dream team points Jay Kennedy-Harris 22 kicks 17 handballs 39 disposals 7 marks 7 tackles 151 dream team points Dean Kent 21 kicks 13 handballs 34 disposals 8 marks 6 tackles 135 dream team points Mitch King 5 handballs 5 disposals 1 tackle 5 hit outs 19 dream team points Corey Maynard 13 kicks 12 handballs 25 disposals 5 marks 4 tackles 92 dream team points Jake Spencer 1 kick 6 handballs 7 disposals 1 mark 6 tackles 25 hit outs 69 dream team points Jack Trengove 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 7 marks 4 tackles 73 dream team points Sam Weideman 6 goals 8 kicks 6 handballs 14 disposals 5 marks 89 dream team points Mitch White 20 kicks 5 handballs 25 disposals 8 marks 3 tackles 100 dream team points The Casey Demons held onto third spot on the Development League ladder with a comfortable 38-point win over last year's premiers. The Johnston brothers again stood out. AFL Vic Development League 2017 Casey Demons 7.2.44 13.2.80 16.6.102 19.9.123 Box Hill Hawks 4.3.27 6.7.43 8.12.60 12.13.85 Goals Casey Demons Gardiner 4 Dam Johnston Machaya 3 Baker Cotte Vander Haar 2 Dwyer Foote Lefau Box Hill Hawks Godwin Hehir 2 Burt Codd-Miller Cox Kilpatrick Murphy Traynor Walker Williams Best Casey Demons Dan Johnston Dam Johnston Machaya Ambler Dwyer Vander Haar Box Hill Hawks O'Sullivan Horner Walker Godwin Rusan Hollins