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RAINING PREMIERS by KC from Casey


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If the threatening dark grey skies that loomed above Ikon Park before the VFL Grand Final didn’t provide a sufficiently inhospitable reception for our visitors from sunny Queensland, the rains that bucketed down after quarter time certainly did.

For years, the Casey Demons have welcomed opposing teams at their home fortress with rain, hail, wind and frosty conditions and it was just Southport’s luck that they met those conditions head on in the VFL’s big dance. They suited Casey’s skillful players backed by a couple of hardened veterans of the competition right down to the sodden ground.

Both during and after the deluge, the Sharks struggled. They were held to a mere two goals after quarter time while the Demons piled on eight to march away with the flag to the tune of 38 points.

In truth, the Casey Demons would most likely have won in any weather conditions as they demonstrated throughout 2022 when they won 20 out of 21 games played, ironically losing their only match in balmy South East Queensland to the Brisbane Lions a month ago. 

But they were never going to lose this one. 

For starters, they were a team replete with 16 AFL-listed players of varying levels of experience and size backed up by two lion-hearted hard nosed performers in captain Mitch White and the brutal hard-tackling Jimmy Munro in the midfield. 

Both the skipper and the trusty Munro have been at the wheel in previous unsuccessful premiership campaigns but played in losing grand finals in 2016 and 2018. On Sunday, they were indefatigable in their attack on the ball and their opponents. White (29 disposals, 13 tackles) was a fitting recipient of the Norm Goss Memorial Medal for the best afield in the VFL grand final while Jimmy Munro was close behind with 21 touches including a goal plus an incredible 17 tackles. With those tackle counts,  they wore down the solid-mature bodied Southport outfit and allowed players of the calibre of Luke Dunstan, Toby Bedford, Kade Chandler and Oskar Baker to create enough regular forward thrusts to break the game apart.

In the end, it was the brilliance up forward of Jake Melksham who kicked the opening goal to add three more in the final term to ice up the game. Mitch Brown was another experienced hand up forward who contributed a couple of goals.

Premierships are rarely won without having a superb defence and here, Casey excelled through the agency of Adam Tomlinson, Joel Smith, Daniel Turner, Matt Buntine, Corey Ellison and rookie Judd McVee. They were certainly helped by the conditions but, after the first break they were so miserly that they hardly let the wind and rain through and warmed the hearts of coach Mark Corrigan and the fans. 

Special mention needs to be made of the continuing emergence of Sam Weideman as a ruckman. He held his own against a much bigger opponent and his mobility around the ground was crucial to Casey’s effort in denying the Sharks the first use of the football.

Although they weren’t prolific ball winners on the day, the likes of Jacob Van Rooyen, Taj Woewodin and Bailey Laurie all showed enough to suggest that there’s a lot more in store for the Demons from players of their calibre. 

And there ended a brilliant season from the Casey Demons with the first flag under the new banner of a century old club. Long may they reign.

CASEY DEMONS 2.2.14 4.5.29 6.8.44 10.10.70

SOUTHPORT SHARKS 3.3.21 3.5.23 4.5.29 5.8.38

Goals

Casey Demons Melksham 4 Brown 2 Bedford Laurie Munro Woewodin

Southport Sharks Townsend 2 Johnson King Pescud

Best

Casey Demons Bedford Melksham White Munro Dunstan Weideman 

Southport Sharks Woodcock Boakye Joyce Townsend Crossley Manteit

Statistics 

Oskar Baker 1 behind 19 kicks 6 handballs 25 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 82 dream team points
Toby Bedford 1 goal 2 behinds 8 kicks 6 handballs 14 disposals 5 marks 7 tackles 84 dream team points
Mitch Brown 2 goals 1 behind 11 kicks 11 disposals 6 marks 64 dream team points
Matt Buntine 7 kicks 2 handballs 9 disposals 2 marks 35 dream team points
Kade Chandler 12 kicks 11 handballs 23 disposals 8 marks 7 tackles 107 dream team points
Luke Dunstan 24 kicks 7 handballs 31 disposals 4 marks 9 tackles 128 dream team points
Corey Ellison 5 kicks 1 handballs 6 disposals  6 tackles 43 dream team points
George Grey 7 kicks 7 disposals 5 tackles 44 dream team points
Blake Howes 2 kicks 2 handballs 4 disposals 3 tackles 22 dream team points
Bailey Laurie 1 goal 1 behinds 4 kicks 4 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 45 dream team points
Judd McVee 12 kicks 2 handballs 14 disposals 2 tackles 47 dream team points
Jake Melksham 4 goals 12 kicks 4 handballs 16 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 96 dream team points
Andy Moniz-Wakefield 4 kicks 4 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 30 dream team points
James Munro 1 goal 14 kicks 7 handballs 21  disposals 3 marks 17 tackles 128 dream team points
Aidan Quigley 2 kicks 1 handballs 3 disposals 2 marks 6 tackles 38 dream team points
Joel Smith 1 behind 10 kicks 2 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 52 dream team points
Adam Tomlinson 14 kicks 5 handballs 19 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 68 dream team points
Daniel Turner 6 kicks 1 handballs 7 disposals 3  marks 2 tackles 35 dream team points
Ryan Valentine 2 kicks 1 handball 3 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 5 hit outs 18 dream team points
Jacob Van Rooyen 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 1 hit out 41 dream team points
Sam Weideman 12  kicks 6 handballs 18 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 35 hit outs 101 dream team points
Mitch White 24 kicks 5 handballs 29 disposals 3 marks 13 tackles 135 dream team points
Taj Woewodin 1 goal 10 kicks 4 handballs 14 disposals 4 marks 3 tackles 68 dream team points

CaseyGF2022.png

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