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The Casey Demons shrugged off back to back losses to fellow finalists Box Hill Hawks and Williamstown on Saturday to record a comprehensive 91 point win over Geelong VFL at Casey Fields. 

The Cats are one of only two teams to have inflict defeat on the Demons on their home turf this year but they were stunned by a withering four goal opening onslaught in the first seven minutes and conceded seven goals to be 41 points down early in the second quarter before offering their only piece of resistance for the game with three unanswered goals of their own to reduce Casey’s lead to 22 at the halfway mark of the term. 

Unfortunately for the visitors, that was the only shot they fired for the game as the Demons regained the momentum to hold a comfortable lead at the main break. They then emphatically bulldozed their way through a final half filled with spectacular highlights and a stunning display of team football that has sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition. 

Geelong was fielding 17 AFL-listed players (five more than Casey) but was reduced to a rabble conceding 13 of the game’s last 14 goals with the Demons scoring the last nine on the trot. 

The pleasing aspect of the win was that it produced a couple of unlikely heroes in little known youngsters Will Collis and Cory Machaya who have had limited opportunities over the past few years and were playing in part by dint of the growing number of injuries incurred recently to the Melbourne playing list. 

Collis, who only played two games during the season, was a surprise selection, but had an immediate impact with the opening goal in the first minute and followed it up with a strong tackle that was rewarded with his and the team’s second. He kicked his third major in the third quarter and in between, did a sterling defensive job on dangerous Cat Jackson Thurlow.

Small forward Cory Machaya has been around the club for a few seasons and, like yesterday’s teammates Collis and Mykelti Lefau played in the club’s Development League premiership team last year. He was a menace to the opposition all day wherever he played but particularly in front of goal where he scored goals in each of the last three quarters - his, second, a stunner kicked over the shoulder while looking the other way, was a highlight.

Coach Jade Rawlings went with a shorter ruck combination against Geelong’s 206cm giant Zac Smith and it worked a treat with Cam Pedersen, Tim Smith and Mykelti Lefau shouldering the hard work at stoppages and while they might not have won many hit-outs at ruck duels, they came away with the clearances and won out around the ground with their marking and attacking football. Pedersen scored two goals in the opening term and hammered an early nail in the Cat’s coffin with his third early in the second before finishing with four for the game.

The Casey Demons have been under pressure in defence of late but they received a boost in this game with the superb form of key defenders Declan Keilty and Harry Petty, the latter keeping Geelong’s Esava Ratugolea dislocating a finger before quarter time. Together with returning defenders Jayden Hunt and Joel Smith they played a big role in limiting the Cats to a mere four goals for the afternoon.

Hunt started slowly on return from an ankle injury but worked his way into the game and had an outstanding third quarter while Smith, solid early down back, was moved forward where he kicked two second half goals. Pat McKenna was on fire early with two goals but was off injured for most of the second half.

Mitch Hannan came back strongly from a knee injury with a three goal performance which included a magnificent hanger that would have a place in any mark of the year discussion. Tom Bugg missed last week as the AFL carry over player, managed 23 disposals before sitting out much of the final term with Hannan and Joel Smith, perhaps to keep the trio fresh in case they are required for Friday night’s AFL elimination final against the Cats’ seniors.

The Demons now have a week’s break before their preliminary final against the winner of next week’s semi final between minor premiers Richmond and the winner of today’s elimination final Collingwood v Essendon.

Peter Jackson VFL 2018   

Casey Demons 6.3.39 9.5.59 16.7.103 20.9.129  

Geelong VFL 0.4.4 3.6.24 4.9.33 4.14.38  

Goals   

Casey Demons Pedersen 4 Collis Hannan Machaya 3  McKenna J Smith 2 Garlett Hutchins T Smith  

Geelong VFL Gardner Grace Jones Narkle    

Best  

Casey Demons Keilty Petty T Smith Collis MacHaya Pedersen  

Geelong VFL Atkins Fogarty House Miers Tsitas Reid  

Statistics 

Tomas Bugg 12 kicks 11 handballs 23 disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 84 dream team points
William Collis 3 goals 8 kicks 4 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 5 tackles 78 dream team points
Tom Freeman 5 kicks 3 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 5 tackles 47 dream team points
Jeffrey Garlett 1 goals 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 1 mark 6 tackles 51 dream team points
Mitch Gent 10 kicks 10 handballs 20 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 65 dream team points
Mitch Hannan 3 goals 10 kicks 5 handballs 15 disposals 7 marks 1 tackle 77 dream team points
Jayden Hunt goals behinds kicks handballs disposals marks tackles dream team points
Jack Hutchins 1 goal 1 behind 8 kicks 2 handballs 10 disposals 6 marks 53 dream team points   
Dion Johnstone 5 kicks 7 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 5 tackles 53 dream team points
Declan Keilty 4 kicks 5 handballs 9 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 31 dream team points
Mykelti Lefau 6 kicks 4 handballs 10 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 15 hit outs 46 dream team points
Jay Lockhart 1 behind 4 kicks 9 handballs 13 disposals 11 tackles 68 dream team points 
Pat McKenna 2 goals 6 kicks 3 handballs 9 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 57 dream team point
Cory Machaya 3 goals 1 behinds 9 kicks 9 handballs 18 disposals 4 marks 7 tackles 102 dream team points
James Munro 9 kicks 13  handballs 22 disposals 14 tackles 104 dream team points 
Cameron Pedersen 4 goals 11 kicks 14 handballs 25 disposals 8 marks 5 tackles 19 hit outs 140 dream team points
Harry Petty 3 kicks 6 handballs 9 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 28 dream team points
Joel Smith 2 goals 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 60 dream team points
Tim Smith 1 goal 2 behinds 18 kicks 4 handballs 22 disposals 9 marks 10 tackles 12 hit outs 147 dream team points
Cory Stockdale 5 kicks 1 handballs 6 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 40 dream team points
Corey Wagner 1 behind 10 kicks 14 handballs 24 disposals 3 marks 10 tackles 106 dream team points
Josh Wagner 11 kicks 4 handballs 15 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 64 dream team points
Mitch White 1 behind 11 kicks 6 handballs 17 disposals 4 marks 3 tackles 70 dream team points 

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