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GAMBIT by KC from Casey

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The opening gambit of Saturday afternoon’s game told us everything about who would be its main players and who would come out on top. The Casey Demons were eager to turn the tables on the Box Hill Hawks who beat them in last year’s grand final and then gave them a first up mauling at City Oval, Box Hill. Kicking with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening term, Braydon Preuss’ first hit out went straight to the diminutive Jay Kennedy Harris who pounced with a 70 metre shot at goal that sailed through the big sticks with just 13 seconds on the clock. That pair shared the best on ground honours with Preuss amassing 64 hit outs and 17 disposals while his roving partner-in-crime, better known as “JKH”, finished with 24 touches and three goals. 

Box Hill returned the favour a minute later but Casey took total control from then on. At one stage in the middle of the opening term, the Demons had been inside the 50 metre arc a dozen times to one but errant kicking kept their lead to manageable proportions. They were up by 26 points at the first break but that was pared back to 15 at the main break. The Demons whisked away in the third and then held on to a complete a comprehensive 34 point victory.

The win makes it three on the trot for Casey and the second for new coach Sam Radford and it lifts the team to within sniffing distance of a finals berth. That it was achieved against one of its main rivals for a place in the top eight was particularly gratifying in light of the loss of some important players through injury and last week’s playmaker Jordan Lewis who was called up to travel to Brisbane with the AFL team.

Preuss’ ruck dominance made a complete contrast to the team’s last few outings against the Box Hill Hawks and he had excellent assistance from fellow tall, Liam Wale-Buxton. Together they fed a midfield headed by the clean ball handling of JKH who reveled in the conditions. The two Coreys - Maynard and Wagner - were hard at it with their ball winning and tackling that never let their opponents get off the hook, even when they had the wind advantage. And what they didn’t attend to was looked after by Jimmy Munro who continues his fine season. 

On a good day for defenders, Oscar McDonald and Josh Wagner were impressive with their rebounding work, the latter was particularly outstanding. 

Young Demon lister Toby Bedford played his best game to date. He was especially dangerous with his ability to get loose and out on his own up forward but he also maintained pressure when the opposition had the ball. He and Mykelti Lefau were a thorn in the Hawks’ side all day, each ending with two goals. James Jordon also impressed with some solid work and his good disposal in the conditions.

Mitch Gent, on return from injury, and Jack Hutchins were strong contributors among the Casey-listed contingent as was skipper Mitch White although his kicking for goal was a little off the mark. The club also welcomed new recruit Ariek Lual from Noble Park who was a stand out for a newcomer at this level.

Another big game looms next week against fellow finals contenders in the Northern Blues at Casey Fields next Saturday as the team goes for four in a row.

2019 Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL

Casey Demons  4.8.32 5.9.39 10.10.70 12.12.84 

Box Hill Hawks 1.0.6 3.6.24 4.7.31 7.8.50

Goals 

Casey Demons Kennedy Harris 3 Bedford Lefau 2 Dunkley Jordon Munro Wale-Buxton White

Box Hill Hawks Walker 2 Jones Lewis Meadows Mirra Moore  

Best 

Casey Demons Kennedy Harris Preuss C Wagner Maynard Lefau Bedford

Box Hill Hawks Lewis Morrison Jones Brand Miles Mirra 

Statistics 

Toby Bedford 2 goals 10 kicks 5 handballs 15 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 82 dream team points  
Austin Bradkte 2 kicks 1 handballs 3 disposals 1 1 mark 1 tackle 12 dream team points  
Wayne Collis 7 kicks 7 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 42 dream team points  
Kyle Dunkley 1 goal 13 kicks 4 handballs 17 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 70 dream team points  
Tom Freeman 7 kicks 2 handballs 9 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 31 dream team points  
Mitch Gent 15  kicks 4 handballs 19 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 70 dream team points  
Jack Hutchins 6 kicks 3 handballs 9 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 38 dream team points  
James Jordon 1 goal 9 kicks 6 handballs 15 disposals 1 mark 7 tackles 74 dream team points
Jay Kennedy Harris 3 goals 1 behind 14 kicks 10 handballs 24 dis pos als 2 m arks 2 tackles 93 dream team points  
Mykelti Lefau 2 goals 9 kicks 1 handball 10 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 63 dream team points  
Ariek Lual 10 kicks 1 handballs 11 disposals 4 marks 3 tackles 53 dream team points  
Oscar McDonald 15 kicks 4 handballs 19 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 70 dream team points 
Corey Maynard 12 kicks 11 handballs 23 disposals 4 marks 13 tackles 114 dream team points 
James Munro 1 goal 1 behind 10 kicks 8 handballs 18 disposals 1 mark 9 tackles 92 dream team points  
Braydon Preuss 17 kicks 17 disposals 6 marks 1 tackle 64 hit outs 130 dream team points
Aiden Quigley 3 kicks 1 handball 4 disposals 2  tackles 21 dream team points 
Charlie Spargo 7 kicks 6 handballs 13 disposals 2 marks 10 tackles 73 dream team points  
Cory Stockdale 7 kicks 1 handballs 8 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 37 dream team points 
Anthony Vella 8 kicks 4 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 1 tackle 42 dream team points  
Corey Wagner 1 behinds 13 kicks 8 handballs 21 disposals 1 mark 15 tackles 114 dream team points  
Josh Wagner 1 behind 14 kicks 5 handballs 19 disposals 2 marks 6 tackles 78 dream team points  
Liam Wale-Buxton 1 goal 5 kicks 5 handballs 10 disposals 4 marks 1 tackle 17 hit outs 59 dream team points  
Mitchell White 1 goal 4 behinds 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 4 marks 5 tackles 78 dream team points  

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