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ARGUING THE TOSS by KC from Casey

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The defining act of the VFL qualifying final between the Casey Demons and Williamstown at Burbank Oval may well have been the toss of the coin before the start of the game. 

Point Gellibrand has a reputation for strong winds and when Seagull skipper Ben Jolley won the toss, he elected to kick against the end that looked to be favoured by a breeze that was likely to be tricky for a visiting team with limited local knowledge ... and so it turned out.

The first goal of the game went to Williamstown's Adam Marcon only a few minutes into the game and, for the next fifteen minutes, the visitors were all at sea as the Seagulls dominated the ruck duels and defended brilliantly into the cross breeze that barely favoured the Demons.

The Casey boys eventually broke through for a goal to Tom Bugg to briefly take the lead by the narrowest of margins but they were set back by the ears with two quick goals from the opposition. A chain of handballs ending with a goal to Ed Morris left them five points down at the first break but they were clearly in trouble as the wind was stiffening to the advantage of Williamstown's end by the start of the second term. 

To make matters worse for the Demons, James Munro was off the ground with a back injury and was not destined to reappear. Munro has produced some great stopping efforts in past games and his presence would have been handy against the likes of former St Kilda listed players in Sippos and Dunnell who kicked ended up scoring nine goals between them for the day.

A determined Williamstown was into overdrive from the start of the second term. Its players attacked the ball, kicked long and scored seven unanswered goals in the span of twenty minutes to have Casey reeling and in arrears by 49 points  To their credit, the Demons lifted late in the term to dig in and kick two goals from Bayley Fritsch and Corey Maynard but they still looking decidedly sick as they faced a six goal deficit at half time.

The Demons came out of the sheds after the break and with a howling wind at their backs, the goal kicking prowess of left footer Fritsch and Angus Scott and the strong play of Angus Brayshaw and Corey Maynard allowed them to peg the lead back to a solitary point at the end of the third quarter. 

Things got even better when Scott's snap early in the last found its mark and the Demons had completed a magnificent turnaround with nine unanswered goals to take a five point lead. 

This raised visions of their recent come-from-behind win against a strong wind at Sandringham but this time, a dominant Williamstown ruckman in Meese and some goal kicking heroics from a couple of former Saints and some dubious decisions in the ruck allowed the home side take advantage of the conditions with another long string of unanswered goals that saw them into a preliminary final in a fortnight's time.

The wiry Fritsch's performances throughout the season and particularly in recent weeks should have him high up in the thoughts of the AFL recruiters.  Brayshaw and Billy Stretch were the best of the Demon listed players and were well backed up by Ben Kennedy, the ever-reliable Jack Trengove and defenders Declan Keilty (who also had a stint up forward) and Josh Wagner. 

Casey live to fight again in next week's semi final against Richmond to be played at Port Melbourne but will have to do better to remain in the premiership hunt.

Peter Jackson VFL 2017

Casey Demons 2.2.14 4.3.27 10.6.66 11.7.73

Williamstown 3.1.19 10.3.63 10.7.67 18.10.118

Goals

Casey Demons Fritsch 4 Scott 3 Bugg   Kennedy  Maynard Morris

Williamstown Siposs 5 Dunell 4 Meese Schultz 2  Bewley  Cavarra Cordy Marcon Masters 

Best

Casey Demons Fritsch Brayshaw Keilty Maynard Stretch Scott

Williamstown Siposs Schultz Meese Myers Dunell Currie

Statistics

Angus Brayshaw 19 kicks 17 handballs 36 disposals 4 marks 6 tackles 125 dream team points
Tomas Bugg 1 goal 7 kicks 8 handballs 15 disposals 7 tackles 66 dream team points 
Liam Hulett 3 kicks 1 handballs 4 disposals 4 tackles 25 dream team points 
Dion Johnstone 1 behind 8 kicks 8 handballs 16 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 59 dream team points 
Declan Keilty 5 kicks 4 handballs 9 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 37 dream team points 
Ben Kennedy 1 goal 12 kicks 7 handballs 19 disposals 5 tackles 79 dream team points
Jay Kennedy-Harris 6 kicks 8 handballs 14  disposals 4 marks 7 tackles 71 dream team points
Mitch King 2 kicks 7 handballs 9 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 18 hit outs 45 dream team points
Corey Maynard 1 goal 13 kicks 10 handballs 23 disposals 3 marks 8 tackles 104 dream team points
Jake Spencer 2 kicks 4 handballs 6 disposals 1 mark 4 tackles 28 hit outs 56 dream team points 
Billy Stretch 18 kicks 11handballs 29 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 105 dream team points 
Jack Trengove 9 kicks 2 handballs 11 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 58 dream team points 
Josh Wagner 11 kicks 12 handballs 23 disposals 3 marks 7 tackles 89 dream team points 
Sam Weideman 1 behind 2 kicks 4 handballs 6 disposals 3 marks 1 tackles 28 dream team points

The Development League team overcame a spirited Port Melbourne to win its semi final and will play off in the competition's last grand final in a fortnight's time..

AFL Vic Development League 2017

Casey Demons 2.2.14 4.6.30 5.11.41 9.14.68

Port Melbourne 1.2.8 3.5.23 4.8.32 5.13.43 

Goals

Casey Demons Vander Haar 3 Gardiner 2 Baker Cottee Cox Freeman 

Port Melbourne Wooffindin 2 Gleeson  Hogan  Michael 

Best

Casey Demons Dwyer Dam Johnston Gordon Byers Vander Haar Cox

Port Melbourne Gordon Waddell Wooffindin Iaccarino Cunningham Dove

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