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The opening stanza at North Port Oval was as bizarre a start to a game of football as you will ever see.

For the second week in a row, the Casey Demons were overwhelmed by a fast-starting opponent away from home, and for the second week in a row, the opposition blew it with atrocious kicking for goal. 

Last week, the Dolphins paid dearly and lost by over 100 points. This time Port Melbourne hit the post five times in the first quarter, lost the lead before half time and broke away again in the third quarter before their fast finishing visitors took control with five goals to two in the last.

The game opened with the ground bathed in sunshine and a zephyr of a breeze whistling across the ground. The Borough dominated but were erratic in front of goal, at one stage, having scored only one goal from ten shots. Those posters were expensive considering that at the 25 minute mark, the Demons were scoreless while Port Melbourne had amassed 2.9.21 - eleven scoring shots to nil. 

It was at precisely this juncture that Harley Balic ran into an open goal and Port’s punishment began. Jay Kennedy Harris scored another and when the siren sounded, the home side only had a lead of eight points to show for its hard work. 

When the teams changed ends, the Casey charge continued and ironically, it was deadly accurate in front of the goals. Both sides had seven shots for the term - the Demons split the middle six times, the Borough twice. At one stage the lead was out to 19 points but a late goal to Port saw the half time score at 8.2.50 to 4.14.38. 

Port was if nothing else persistent, despite the loss to injury of captain Jordan Lisle and Dylan Van Unen, both out of the game by the main break. They came out firing and, once again held sway to quickly make up the deficit and zoom ahead. Twenty minutes into the second half, it was all Port - the Borough had added 4.3 to a single point to lead 8.17.65 to 8.3.51.

Casey’s class turned the game around for a second time. Players like Billy Stretch and Dom Tyson who had been working hard in the midfield for most of the game, came to the fore and together with the speed of youngster Oskar Baker, heavy pressure applied to the Borough backline caused another momentum change. Tyson goaled and Kennedy Harris followed with another and the Demons trailed by a solitary point at the last change.

Much of the Borough’s ascendency for the first three quarters was due to its ruck dominance and the lack of marking power on the Demons’ forward line. Casey coach Jade Rawlings moved Declan Keilty, who had been playing well down back, into attack and the move immediately paid dividends. After Balic kicked his second to put Casey back in front, Keilty swooped to kick another and the Demons were suddenly 10 points up and never to be headed for the match although it must be said that Port never gave up. 

Kennedy Harris, Tom Bugg and Balic all added goals to their rallies and, while the 15 point victory was flattering in light of the awful kicking of their hosts, it was nevertheless a hard earned victory.

For the second week in a row, the defence deserved praise for its courage under fire and for applying pressure when the opposition was pumping the ball forward with regularity. Keilty, Sam Frost and Harry Petty were outstanding in their roles as tall defenders with the latter’s name to be marked down for the future. The Wagner brothers provided great run down back as well.

Stretch wasa prolific ball winner all day and had 28 touches to deservedly be named best player for the second time in three matches. Baker continues to improve and is a likely AFL debutant for later in the season while Tyson was a class above at this level (35 disposals, 2 goals). Jay Lockhart was solid again and Mitch Lewis confirmed the selectors’ faith in him but Mitch White who had been solid, seemed to badly injure his shoulder late in the day.

The quirky VFL fixture sees the Demons away from home for the third week in a row. They visit Williamstown in what is always a tough trip to make and next Sunday’s match up promises to be no different.


Casey Demons 2.1.13 8.2.50 10.5.65 15.8.98   

Port Melbourne 2.9.21 4.14.38 8.18.66 10.23.83    


Casey Demons Balic 3 Bugg Kennedy Harris Tyson 2 Garlett Keilty Munro Quigley J Smith C Wagner      

Port Melbourne Conway O'Sullivan 2 Carr  Haretuku Lange Lisle Pearson Wooffindin     


Casey Demons Stretch Lewis C Wagner Petty Frost Keilty     

Port Melbourne Conway Dickson O'Sullivan Beddison Lange Carr    


Oskar Baker 1 behind 10 kicks 5 handballs 15 disposals 4 marks 1 tackles 58 dream team points 
Harley Balic 3 goals 9 kicks 9 handballs 18 disposals 7 marks 81 dream team points 
Tomas Bugg 2 goals kicks handballs disposals marks tackles dream team points    
Lachlan Filipovic 2 kicks 8 handballs 10 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 26 hit outs 57 dream team points 
Sam Frost 9 kicks 7 handballs 16 disposals 12 marks 77 dream team points 
Jeff Garlett 1 goal 1 behind 9 kicks 7 handballs 16 disposals 2 marks 1 tackles 59 dream team points 
Dion Johnstone 6 kicks 2 handballs 8 disposals 4 marks 3 tackles 41 dream team points 
Declan Keilty 1 goal 7 kicks 14 handballs 21 disposals 9 marks 1 tackles 86 dream team points 
Jay Kennedy Harris 2 goals 1 behind 14 kicks 11 handballs 25 disposals 5 marks 5 tackles 113 dream team points 
Mitchell King 3 kicks 5 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 12 hit outs 32 dream team points
Mitchel Lewis 11 kicks 9 handballs 20 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 73 dream team points
Jay Lockhart 10 kicks 5 handballs 15 disposals 4 marks 43 dream team points 
Goy Lok 1 behind 2 kicks 3 handballs 5 disposals 1 mark 1 tackles 17 dream team points 
James Munro 1 goal 1 behind kicks handballs disposals marks tackles dream team points 
Harrison Petty 12 kicks 3 handballs 15 disposals 11 
 marks 3 tackles 83 dream team points 
Aidan Quigley 1 goal 2 kicks 4 handballs 6 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 39 dream team points 
Angus Scott 1 behind 13 kicks 6 handballs 19 disposals 7 marks 3 tackles 86 dream team points 
Joel Smith 1 goal 4 kicks 7 handballs 11 disposals 4 marks 1 tackles 48 dream team points 
Billy Stretch 18 kicks 10 handballs 28 disposals 5 marks 10 tackles 129 dream team points 
Dom Tyson 2 goals 18 kicks 17 handballs 35 disposals 10 marks 10 tackles 161 dream team points 
Corey Wagner 1 goal 1 behind 15 kicks 9 handballs 24 disposals 4 marks 6 tackles 104 dream team points
Josh Wagner 15 kicks 7 handballs 22 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 87 dream team points 
Mitchell White 6 kicks 1 handballs 7 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 6 hit outs 43 dream team points

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