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The Casey Demons took second spot on the VFL ladder with a comfortable victory over stand alone side Williamstown on Sunday in an often spiteful game that broke a long drought at Point Gellibrand as the club had not won there since 2007. The game opened in calm and sunny conditions on what is an often windswept Williamstown Football Ground but nothing was calm about the tough game that ensued for the participants. The Demons got the upper hand with the opening goal to Harley Balic but the game developed into an arm wrestle with scores close until the visitors drew away late in the second term thanks to some strong play by Cameron Pedersen and the flair of Jeff Garlett who each booted two goals in the first half. With injuries opening up at least one and possibly more vacancies for places in the Demons' AFL side for their Queens Birthday blockbuster against the Magpies, the game became an audition for the 18 players eligible for selection in that game with the eye on key defenders likely to take the place of Jake Lever whose ACL injury was confirmed during the afternoon. None of the main contenders in Sam Frost, Joel Smith and rookie Declan Keilty definitively claimed the vacancy but each had their moments and Frost would be the clubhouse leader from my perspective if the Melbourne selectors decide to go with a tall for the position. Pedersen continued to dominate in the third quarter as the breeze came up a little and thanks to his strength and marking dominance and the continued good form of Billy Stretch and the recent improvement of Jay Kennedy Harris, the Demons skipped away to a 40-point lead with five goals to one for the term. Sam Weideman stepped his game up after the break to finish with two goals and could easily have finished with more. Dom Tyson was busy but not as influential as last week. The game was marred by several behind the play incidents that seemed to increase with the Seagulls' level of frustration as the game slipped away from their hands. The final quarter saw several missed opportunities in front of goal with the only major scored by the home team but an incident in mid term which saw Pedersen's head hit the ground after a marking contest near the boundary took out whatever sting was left in the game. He left the ground seemingly concussed and most likely out of contention for a senior recall after ten goals in his last two games. Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner were two other contenders, the former being influential in the first half and receiving some close attention from an opponent. Balic is another who performed well and put his hand up for a possible debut with Melbourne next week. However, with only a limited number of positions available for the game on the big stage, the game was still a valuable exercise for those who will not make it through the audition for Queens Birthday as it was a perfect dress rehearsal for Saturday's televised game at Casey Fields against Collingwood VFL. Peter Jackson VFL 2018 Casey Demons 4.4.28 6.8.44 11.12.78 11.18.84 Williamstown 3.3.21 4.7.31 5.8.38 6.10.46 Goals Casey Demons Pedersen 4 Garlett Weideman 2 Balic Frost King Williamstown Dorgan Ebinger George Marcon Masters Schultz Best Casey Demons Stretch Pedersen Balic Kennedy Harris J Wagner Williamstown Greiser Myers Tippett George Dorgan Meese Statistics Oskar Baker 10 kicks 13 handballs 23 disposals 7 marks 77 dream team points Harley Balic 1 goal 4 behinds 12 kicks 5 handballs 17 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 83 dream team points Tomas Bugg 1 behind 8 kicks 5 handballs 13 disposals 2 marks 8 tackles 68 dream team points Lachlan Filipovic 5 kicks 5 disposals 4 marks 4 hit outs 31 dream team points Sam Frost 1 goal 9 kicks 5 handballs 14 disposals 5 marks 5 tackles 78 dream team points Jeff Garlett 2 goals 2 behinds 9 kicks 8 handballs 17 disposals 2 marks 5 tackles 84 dream team points Jayden Hunt 13 kicks 8 handballs 21 disposals 2 marks 1 tackle 61 dream team points Dion Johnstone 12 kicks 6 handballs 18 disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 75 dream team points Declan Keilty 5 kicks 6 handballs 11 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 55 dream team points Jay Kennedy Harris 1 behind 12 kicks 12 handballs 24 disposals 2 marks 5 tackles 85 dream team points Mitchell King 1 goal 4 kicks 2 handballs 6 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 17 hit outs 58 dream team points Mitchel Lewis 1 behind 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 43 dream team points Jay Lockhart 1 behind 8 kicks 10 handballs 18 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 62 dream team points Cameron Pedersen 4 goals 1 behind 12 kicks 6 handballs 18 disposals 11 marks 4 tackles 5 hit outs 122 dream team points Harrison Petty 9 kicks 6 handballs 15 disposals 4 marks 53 dream team points Aidan Quigley 1 behind 1 kick 8 handballs 9 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 28 dream team points Angus Scott 12 kicks 6 handballs 18 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 65 dream team points Joel Smith 13 kicks 4 handballs 18 disposals 5 marks 5 tackles 82 dream team points Billy Stretch 1 behind 12 kicks 16 handballs 28 disposals 8 marks 6 tackles 117 dream team points Dom Tyson 9 kicks 14 handballs 23 disposals 4 marks 8 tackles 97 dream team points Corey Wagner 1 behind 14 kicks 10 handballs 24 disposals 4 marks 6 tackles 99 dream team points Josh Wagner 16 kicks 10 handballs 26 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 95 dream team points Sam Weideman 2 goals 1 behind 8 kicks 3 handballs 11 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 2 hit outs 71 dream team points
In their first outing in their new colours and under their new name, the Casey Demons failed to bring home the points against Williamstown at Burbank Oval on Easter Monday despite a bright start. The new look Casey combination was a far cry from the team that topped the VFL ladder in 2016 and came within a game of winning the premiership and the 23-point loss was probably flattering given their mistake-riddled efforts on the day. The performance came just a few weeks after the Demons demolished the Seagulls in a practice match with a withering seven goal to one final quarter at Casey Fields. The difference was that back then they had Jake Spencer dominating the ruck, and Dom Tyson and Dean Kent doing as they pleased around the ground supported by a dozen other AFL listed players. This time around, it was a different story with Melbourne's injury toll and a couple of suspensions conspiring to limit the team to 12 AFL Demons including a few rookies and players with limited experience at the top level. They started strongly but like the Demons on Saturday were unable to assert their early dominance on the scoreboard. With Williamstown's experienced ruckman Nick Meese dominating with 63 hit-outs for the day against Casey's undersized rucks in Cam Pedersen and Declan Keilty, the Seagulls took over in the engine room and dominated centre clearances allowing them to grab the lead early in the second term and hold the ascendency with a well earned eight point lead at the main break. The Demons were not let down by Angus Scott whose terrier-like play contributed three valuable first half goals (he finished with four for the day. After half time, the Demons decided to channel their AFL counterparts with an insipid third quarter effort which failed to yield a single goal. Much of this was self-inflicted but in saying that, one shouldn't take anything away from the relentless pressure and tackling of the Seagulls who coasted to a match-winning 31 point lead at the final break. Casey had little focus and failed to judge the conditions at the ground. While they reduced the margin at the end, they were never really in the hunt from 10 minutes into the second term. Apart from Scott, the team's major contributors were the experienced Jack Trengove (33 touches) and Michael Hibberd (25), the latter a strong possibility for immediate promotion to the Melbourne side and the former, not without his own chances. Others to feature were Angus Brayshaw, Ben Kennedy and Pedersen. A shining light for the future would have to be Category B rookie and ex-NBL basketballer Corey Maynard who picked up 25 disposals on debut for the club. Of the VFL contingent, Scott was the stand out and Ed Morris was dependable as usual but the remainder were overwhelmed by the occasion. One who did display something was ex-Sandringham Dragon youngster Goy Lok who showed some pace and skill but missed two easy chances to goal from close in during the game. He should be able to improve on that to become a handy footballer. The Demons should be able to do likewise at home on Saturday night when they take on the hapless North Ballarat Roosters who looked out of their depth when demolished by Richmond to the tune of 30 goals last week. Casey Demons 4.4.28 6.6.42 6.10.46 8.12.60 Williamstown 3.3.21 7.8.50 11.11.77 12.11.83 Goals Casey Demons Scott 4 Brayshaw Fritsch Pedersen Trengove Williamstown Currie Gibbons Masters 2 Cavarra Cordy Dorgan Dunell Marcon Siposs Best Casey Demons Hibberd Trengove Kennedy Smith Brayshaw Williamstown Marcon Meese Fahey Masters Wheeler Greiser Statistics Angus Brayshaw 1 goal 7 kicks 17 handballs 24 disposals 3 marks 7 tackles 95 dream team points Michael Hibberd 20 kicks 7 handballs 27 disposals 7 marks 1 tackle 97 dream team points Dion Johnstone 2 kicks 5 handballs 7 disposals 5 tackles 36 dream team points Declan Keilty 1 behind 4 kicks 7 handballs 11 disposals 2 marks 2 tackles 7 hit outs 49 dream team points Ben Kennedy 11 kicks 19 handballs 30 disposals disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 90 dream team points Jay Kennedy-Harris 1 behind 12 kicks 6 handballs 18 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 79 dream team points Oscar McDonald 11 kicks 8 handballs 19 disposals 8 marks 70 dream team points Corey Maynard 1 behind 9 kicks 18 handballs 27 disposals 7 marks 2 tackles 85 dream team points Cameron Pedersen 1 goal 1 behind 16 kicks 16 handballs 32 disposals 10 marks 2 tackles 9 hit outs 132 dream team points Timothy Smith 2 behinds 15 kicks 7 handballs 22 disposals 5 marks 11 tackles 1 hit out 116 dream team points Jack Trengove 1 goal 18 kicks 13 handballs 31 disposals 9 marks 5 tackles 133 dream team points Mitchell White 13 kicks 5 handballs 18 disposals 9 marks 1 tackle 77 dream team points The Development League team fared better but only after conceding a six goal lead in the final term before they were saved by two late goals. Casey Demons 5.7.37 6.8.44 10.9.69 12.10.82 Williamstown 1.1.7 3.7.25 4.9.33 10.11.71 Goals Casey Demons Cotte 4 Di Pasquale Rout 2 Allsop Collis Dwyer Kingi Williamstown Goetz 2 Bult Carter Gray McMahon Owen Pongracic Schultz Best Casey Demons Vander Haar Lewis-Smith Cotte Kingi Hiscock Gains Williamstown Schultz Gray Pongracic Carter Owen McMahon