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CLIFFHANGER AT CASEY by KC from Casey

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The small crowd that ventured out to Casey Fields got more than its money worth (admission was free) after a mainly dour, lacklustre performance by the VFL Demons and Hawks ended in a cliffhanger with the home team coming home with a rush and kicking the winning goal late in the final term. 

Apart from a brief period early in the game, Casey had trailed all day after struggling to find the goals for most of the first half. The Demons notched up nine consecutive behinds (including a couple of posters) to the visitors' seven goals four before their star of the day Yilber “Bella’’ Zijai from the Sandringham Zebras via Noble Park posted the first from a free kick in front of the big sticks.

Zijai had a great first up game both in the midfield and up forward and his three goals were crucial in the team's second half comeback. Ed Morris was his partner in crime in a midfield which eventually got on top in a second half in which the Hawks managed just one goal in a second half that provided a stark contrast to each team's first.

Sam Frost returned from injury and showed great toe in defence and was rock solid there although he was clearly being held back in terms of game time. The Hawks were in fine fettle in the early going with their talls controlling the air and their strong midfield looking more polished and dominating proceedings.  

Josh Wagner was another player coming back from injury who worked his way into the game. Pat McKenna showed some good glimpses until injured. Dean Kent showed plenty of pace up forward in another encouraging performance. 

Tim Smith and Declan Keilty overcame quiet starts to kick three goals between them. Smith was often drawn too far under the ball when leading in the first half but was much better in the second while Keilty moved between the forward line and the ruck where he added mobility later in the game. 

Jake Spencer worked hard and eventually got on top against the Hawks' big man brigade which included former Melbourne Demon Jack Fitzpatrick who is no stranger to this ground. Tomas Bugg flashed in and out directing the traffic well and Jack Trengove held the midfield together before spending some time in defence later in the game. 

Bayley Fritsch who is highly thought of at the club but has had his injury woes kicked two goals. 

The home team missed an experienced  pair in skipper Jack Hutchins and James Munro and relied very much on an inexperienced group of VFL listers who worked hard. Two players who were not on the official list were Aloysio Ferreira and Sandringham Dragons' Goy Lok. Both did well and the strongly built Lok booted a goal.

It was certainly a game of two halves which mirrored each other in reverse. The Hillmen looked top heavy in the latter stages of the game and appeared to run out of steam as the new look Casey poured on the pressure to achieve what looked impossible in the game's first hour. 

Casey Demons 0.6.6 2.10.22 7.12.54 10.15.75

Box Hill Hawks 2.2.14 9.6.54 10.8.68 10.12.72

Goals Zijai 3 Fritsch T Smith 2 Bugg Keilty Lok

Best Bugg Zijai Morris Kent Frost Spencer 

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