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YILBER DABBA DO by Ice Station

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In a tight contest played on a cold night and in slippery conditions when the lead never stretched beyond the final 13 point margin, a little known Casey footballer was one of only two on the ground to score multiple goals. It was journeyman Yilber Zijai's three goals that made all the difference in the VFL 2016 grand final replay against Footscray to make it four wins in a row for the rapidly rising  Demons at Casey Fields on Saturday night.

Zijai who previously played 27 VFL games for the Sandringham Zebras over a four-year period moved to Eastern FL club Noble Park last year and was recruited to the Demons along with the returning Mitch Gent at the start of this year. He injured a calf in the opening match of the season and this was only his second senior game for the club. His third goal, kicked at the fourteen minute mark of the final term, helped break the deadlock between the teams in a tense period of play. Seven minutes later, first gamer Mitch Cox made the game safe for the home side with a goal after a fifty metre penalty. 

It was a fine effort because the Doggies had 16 AFL-listed players while Casey's team was a far cry from the one that won the minor premiership and contested last year's finals. Gone are the likes of Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes, Matt Jones, Viv Michie, Ben Newton, and Dean Terlich while Colin Garland is out injured and some of the younger players are now at AFL level. 

The Demons did gain from some significant contributions of players on the cusp of an AFL recall, especially given the circumstances of the club's multiple six day breaks at this time. Jack Trengove is one "veteran" of last year's campaign who continues to provide inspirational leadership. His 29 disposals through the middle were huge. Jay Kennedy-Harris was again impressive with his work rate continuing a superb run of form in recent weeks. He was on from the beginning, kicked the game's opening goal and amassed 33 disposals and nine tackles. Billy Stretch was in fine touch and all class with 24 possessions and Josh Wagner also put his hand up for recall. 

Rookie Corey Maynard looks a likely type who has made great strides in the transition from NBA to VFL. On current form, further promotion beckons at some time in the future while James Munro was once again solid and prolific in his ballwinning efforts.

Now holding down sixth place on the ladder, Casey faces a challenging encounter with top-of-the-ladder Box Hill Hawks away from home next Saturday afternoon, especially given the likelihood of some players being rested in a rotation to cover Melbourne's interstate trip of a second six-day break. The game will be telecast by Channel 7.

Peter Jackson VFL 2017

Casey Demons 2.3.15 5.8.38 8.12.60 10.15.75

Footscray VFL 3.1.19 4.3.27 8.5.53 9.8.62

Goals 

Casey Demons Zijai 3 Cox Fritsch Hulett Kennedy-Harris Morris Weideman White

Footscray VFL Smith 2 Campbell English Lipinski Mullenger-McHugh Redpath Tweedie Webb

Best 

Casey Demons  White Stretch Collis Maynard Kennedy-Harris Fritsch

Footscray VFL Young Campbell Collins Boyd Jamieson Webb

Statistics 
 
Liam Hulett 1 goal 4 kicks 2 handballs 6 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 1 hit out 38 dream team points 
Dion Johnstone 5 kicks 5 handballs 10 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 41 dream team points 
Declan Keilty 3 kicks 6 handballs 9 disposals 6 tackles 47 dream team points 
Jay Kennedy-Harris 1 goal 1 behind 19 kicks 14 handballs 33 disposals 4 marks 11 tackles 148 dream team points
Dean Kent 21 kicks 6 handballs 27 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 90 dream team points
Mitch King 1 kicks 5 handballs 6 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 8 hit outs 36 dream team points
Corey Maynard 2 behinds 7 kicks 16 handballs 23 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 84 dream team points
Jake Spencer 1 behind 4 kicks 8 handballs 12 disposals 2 tackles 19 hit outs 58 dream team points
Billy Stretch 12 kicks 12 handballs 24 disposals 2 marks 8 tackles 99 dream team points
Jack Trengove 21 kicks 8 handballs 29 disposals 8 marks 7 tackles 131 dream team points
Josh Wagner 16 kicks 12 handballs 28 disposals 7 marks 2 tackles 101 dream team points
Sam Weideman 1 goal 4 kicks 7 handballs 11 disposals 4 marks tackles 3 hit outs 55 dream team points
Mitch White 1 goal 15 kicks 9 handballs 24 disposals 6 marks 1 tackle 88 dream team points
 
The Development League team had a bye.

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