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The Casey Demons have landed in the Peter Jackson VFL top eight for the first time this year after a strong performance against Collingwood VFL at Casey Fields. The team made a shaky start to a scrappy game in which both sides displayed some poor skills, particularly with their disposal although the visitors' accuracy for goal made the game a much closer contest than it should have been. The Demons welcomed back Jake Spencer in the ruck and, although he looked understandably rusty, his 35 hit outs aided by some good work from Declan Keilty were a highlight in a team that has so far this year been consistently beaten in the ruck department. The winning ruck gave it many opportunities to open up play and run the ball forward and this resulted in a dominating 55 to 36 advantage in the inside 50 count. The teams are close competitors in the finals race and the Magpies made Casey rue some early missed chances in front of goal when they hit the lead with the opening two goals of the second term. However, from that point onward, the Demons took control with a six goal spree that stretched into the second half. Collingwood attempted a comeback with three goals on the run but Casey settled and was well in control even though it conceded some late goals in the end. Defenders Josh Wagner (27 disposals, 1 goal) and Mitch White (18 touches) were superb in defence and James Munro played a great stopping role getting into the face of Magpie forward Kayle Kirby who was a match winner last week with six goals. VFL interstate representative Bayley Fritsch underlined his talent with three first half goals and he looks eminently draftable. Ed Morris was another VFL-listed player who stood out. One of the highlights for Melbourne people would have been the form of key forward Sam Weideman who overcame a slow start to finish full of running kicking two games in a game in which he could easily have finished with five. With another preseason including more strength and conditioning work, he should become a regular fixture as an AFL key forward who can add further value by helping out in the ruck. Other Demons who showed out were Ben Kennedy, Billy Stretch, Jack Trengove, Dean Kent and Jay Kennedy-Harris who called it a day at half time in order to stay fresh in the event of being required as an emergency for Monday. Corey Maynard continues to do well after his recent enforced two week lay off from concussion. The win was a big improvement on the equivalent game from last year when the Casey side was kept to a mere two goals on a bog heap. This time the ground was in good nick and the Demons who have now won three games in a row, took the points because they had a clear skill advantage over their rivals. They return to Casey Fields next Saturday night for a replay of last year's grand final against Footscray VFL although at least half of the team that took part in the disappointment of that loss will not be out there on the field this time around. A win is needed to keep them in the finals race. Peter Jackson VFL 2017 Casey Demons 4.4.28 8.8.56 13.11.89 15.12.102 Collingwood VFL 3.1.19 5.4.34 8.5.53 13.5.83 Goals Casey Demons Fritsch 3 Kent Stretch Weideman 2 Johnstone Lewis-Smith Maynard T Smith Trengove Wagner Collingwood VFL Mayne 4 Cox Kirby 2 Daicos Hellier Keeffe Lane Sier Best Casey Demons Wagner Kennedy Stretch White Weideman Munro Collingwood VFL Blair Keeffe Ramsay Hellier Mayne Cox Statistics Liam Hulett 3 kicks 2 handballs 5 disposals 1 marks 2 tackles 2 hit outs 24 dream team points Dion Johnstone 1 goals 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 2 marks 8 tackles 74 dream team points Declan Keilty 1 behind 4 kicks 5 handballs 9 disposals 2 marks 7 tackles 15 hit outs 72 dream team points Ben Kennedy 15 kicks 13 handballs 28 disposals 3 marks 6 tackles 100 dream team points Jay Kennedy-Harris 8 kicks 5 handballs 13 disposals 1 marks 6 tackles dream 61 team points Dean Kent 2 goals 1 behind 13 kicks 9 handballs 22 disposals 4 marks 6 tackles 1 hit out 102 dream team points Corey Maynard 1 goal 3 behinds 9 kicks 13 handballs 22 disposals 3 marks 8 tackles 94 dream team points Tim Smith 1 goal 1 behind 4 kicks 5 handballs 9 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 50 dream team points Jake Spencer 1 behind 3 kicks 5 handballs 8 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 35 hit outs 68 dream team points Billy Stretch 2 goals 6 kicks 18 handballs 24 disposals 1 mark 6 tackles 90 dream team points Jack Trengove 1 goal 7 kicks 12 handballs 19 disposals 3 marks 6 tackles 82 dream team points Josh Wagner 1 goal 12 kicks 15 handballs 27 disposals 6 marks 1 tackles 88 dream team points Sam Weideman 2 goals 3 behinds 13 kicks 8 handballs 21 disposals 8 marks 4 hit outs 99 dream team points Mitch White 16 kicks 2 handballs 18 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 71 dream team points Speaking of grand final replays, it was an 189 point turnaround for Casey against the 2016 Development League premier Box Hill in the early game with Mitch King starring in the ruck after a week out with illness and Nathan Gardiner and Corey Machaya kicking five goals each. AFL Vic Development League 2017 Casey Demons 4.3.27 9.7.61 15.10.100 21.16.142 Box Hill Hawks 4.1.25 5.2.32 8.4.52 9.4.58 Goals Casey Demons Gardiner Machaya 5 Ferreira Foote 2 Ambler Cox Di Pasquale Dwyer Johnston King Lok Box Hill Hawks Davies Hehir 3 Codd-Miller Dimasi Maloney Best Casey Demons King Dwyer Briggs Giobbi Gardiner Cox Box Hill Hawks Maloney Hehir O'Sullivan Horner Haynes Fisher
The game against Collingwood VFL at Casey Fields was without doubt the Casey Scorpions' worst performance for the year. In fact, it was the among the club's worst in VFA/VFL history - a game in which it recorded its lowest ever score of 2.7.19 which is three points less than the 3.4.22 it recorded against North Ballarat in 2004 when it was known as Springvale. The conditions were not by any means conducive to good football; the ground was heavy under foot, it rained intermittently, the wind swirled around from time to time and it was freezing cold in between the times when the sun peered through the watery clouds. Perfect conditions for a good, old fashioned scrap. Casey was first into attack but when a kick across the ground presented an easy mark in front of goals to Matt Jones but was dropped, the tone of the day was set. The Magpies pushed the ball forward and recorded two goals in five minutes. The Scorpions took until well into time on (24½ minutes) of the opening quarter to record their first score - a goal to Ben Newton and the game remained pretty much in the balance until well into the third term before the home side eventually capitulated in the face of a four goal final term from the visitors. Casey's second and only other goal for the day came 10 minutes into that quarter and by that time it was a case of too little, too late. The team was only a shadow of the one that has taken almost all before it this season, despite a preeminent exhibition of ruck work that saw Jake Spencer amass the outstanding number of 82 hit outs. Unfortunately, for Casey this domination did not translate into the advantage that number would normally bring a team. The conditions and the congestion of the close in tight packs and the determination and discipline of the Magpie midfield saw to that. Both teams struggled with their marking, disposal and ball handling but, as the result suggested, Collingwood was so much better on the day and their defence reigned supreme nullifying Casey's normal marking strength up forward. Down back, the Scorps' skipper Jack Hutchins continued on his good form and he was assisted by Declan Keilty. Mitch White was steady as usual and Newton had his moments. The Casey on-ballers who usually produce big numbers were not as effective as usual with their ball use and, as a result, their team rarely opened the game up to the swift free-flowing movement that has been characteristic of their 2016 season to date. Next week, the team will have to regroup in another place not usually known for hospitable conditions at this time of year - North Ballarat. Casey Scorpions 1.0.6 1.2.8 1.5.11 2.7.19 Collingwood VFL 2.2.14 3.2.20 4.8.32 8.11.59 Goals Casey Scorpions Newton T Smith Collingwood VFL Cloke 2 Aish Collopy Ferguson Gault Knight Smith Best Casey Scorpions Keilty Michie Hutchins Garland Spencer White Collingwood VFL Aish Smith Cloke Oxley Howe Wills The Development League team sat it out this week due to a bye. Statistics Colin Garland 14 disposals 12 kicks 2 handballs 2 marks 3 tackles 55 dream team points Jeff Garlett 8 disposals 4 kicks 4 handballs 7 tackles 46 dream team points Jack Grimes 14 disposals 12 kicks 2 handballs 2 marks 9 tackles 82 dream team points Liam Hulett 1 behind 8 disposals 5 kicks 3 handballs 6 tackles 46 dream team points Max King 10 disposals 5 kicks 5 handballs 1 mark 6 tackles 10 hit outs 61 dream team points Matt Jones 27 disposals 15 kicks 12 handballs 3 marks 8 tackles 92 team points Viv Michie 23 disposals 17 kicks 6 handballs 1 mark 4 tackles 84 dream team points Alex Neale-Bullen 18 disposals 11 kicks 7 handballs 6 tackles 71 dream team points Ben Newton 1 goal 17 disposals 9 kicks 8 handballs 7 tackles 2 hit outs 84 dream team points Cam Pedersen 1 behind 10 disposals 6 kicks 4 handballs 1 mark 7 tackles 6 hit outs 59 dream team points Jake Spencer 10 disposals 9 kicks 1 handball 2 marks 7 tackles 82 hit outs 142 dream team points Dean Terlich 9 disposals 5 kicks 4 handballs 1 mark 4 tackles 33 dream team points Mitch White 1 behind 19 disposals 7 kicks 12 handballs 1 mark 10 tackles 86 dream team points