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In a game that was billed as Casey’s last chance to fight its way back into contention for a vital top four place on the VFL ladder with one round left before the finals, the Demons fell short by eight points after a disastrous display in front of goals in the second half against Carlton VFL at Ikon Park on Sunday.

After booting six goals from eight scoring shots to half time to trail by 9 points, Casey’s forward line accuracy fell apart in the second half kicking 3.13 to 4.6 in that period. During the final term, the ball virtually lived in their forward line (inside 50s were 17 to 5 in their favour) they managed one single goal while the Blues scored goals in their only two forays forward in the first twenty minutes of the quarter. The Demons can only blame themselves as they missed several easy shots at goal, hit the post on numerous occasions and made poor decisions in the front half. In addition, the disposal and decision-making going forward also left a lot to be desired. 

Early in the game, Carlton’s small brigade outran the Demons and forced their defence into error with their dominance. It was only through individual efforts that Casey managed to claw its way back into the game. All that was nothing in a wasteful third term that was compounded by the many misses at the end.

Luke Dunstan was once again prolific in his ball getting and endeavour towards the ball but not necessarily always in the execution. He had 38 disposals, eight clearances, seven tackles and kicked a goal. Similarly, James Harmes was active with 30 disposals, one more than Bailey Laurie who also had a busy day along with Charlie Spargo (28 touches). Taj Woewodin showed the benefits of his stint at AFL level with 25 touches and seven clearances.

The Demons came into the game at the scene of their 2022 VFL premiership triumph looking for a key forward to cover the loss of Harrison Petty through injury but it was the limited impact of their talls that was their Achilles Heel with limited marks taken up forward despite no lack of opportunity. In his comeback from a long layoff, Tom McDonald managed just one goal, as did youngster Matt Jefferson while the usually accurate Josh Schache  finished with three behinds. Will Verrall battled hard in the ruck and showed a lot of promise for the future with his 17 hit outs.

Matt Buntine was the best of the Casey listed players and Jimmy Munro was his usual indefatigable self. Tom Freeman defended strongly in the second half.

All in all however, it was a disappointing result for the Demons who will rue some narrow defeats late in the season and must now win next week against the Brisbane Lions VFL side if they are to avoid a wild card playoff in a fortnight’s time.

CASEY DEMONS 2.1.13 6.2.38 8.10.58 9.15.69

CARLTON VFL 2.3.15 7.5.47 9.11.65 11.11.77


CASEY DEMONS Brown Buntine Dunstan Grey Jefferson Laurie McDonald Spargo White

CARLTON VFL Cahill 4 Ronke 2 Akeui Boyd Crocker Honey McMahon


CASEY DEMONS Dunstan Laurie Spargo Tomlinson Woewodin Buntine

CARLTON VFL Binns Boyd Young Cowan Ronke O’Brien


Jed Adams 6 kicks 3 handballs 9 disposals 4 marks 1 tackles 40 dream team points
Kynan Brown 1 goal 1 behind 5 kicks 3 handballs 8 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 43 dream team points
Matt Buntine 1 goal 1 behind 10 kicks 9 handballs 19 disposals 5 marks 4 tackles 86 dream team points
Luke Dunstan 1 goal 16 kicks 22 handballs 38 disposals 7 marks tackles 149 dream team points
Kyah Farris-White 1 handball 1 disposal 1 tackle 6 hit outs 12 dream team points 
Tom Freeman 9 kicks 3 handballs 12 disposals 7 marks 1 tackles 58 dream team points
George Grey 1 goal 1 behind kicks handballs disposals marks tackles dream team points
James Harmes 15 kicks 15 handballs 30 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 82 dream team points
Matt Jefferson 1 goal 6 kicks 3 handballs 9 disposals 6 marks 48 dream team points
Bailey Laurie 1 goal 13 kicks 16 handballs 29 disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 109 dream team points
Tom McDonald 1 goal 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 9 hit outs 60 dream team points 
Tom McRae 6 kicks 6 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 48 dream team points 
Andy Moniz-Wakefield 1 behind 8 kicks 8 handballs 16 disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 71 dream team points 
James Munro 1 behind 4 kicks 14 handballs 18 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 63 dream team points
Josh Schache 3 behinds 6 kicks 4 handballs 10 disposals 2 marks 36 dream team points 
Deaykin Smith 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 3 marks 3 tackles 46 dream team points
Charlie Spargo 1 goal 16  kicks 12 handballs 28 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 105 dream team points
Roan Steele 1 behind 5 kicks 7 handballs 12 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 47 dream team points
Adam Tomlinson 23 kicks 4 handballs 27 disposals 8 marks 2 tackles 104 dream team points 
Kye Turner 4 kicks 1 handballs 5 disposals 14 dream team points
Will Verrall 2 kicks 8 handballs 10 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 17 hit outs 43 dream team points
Mitch White 1 goal 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 5 marks 1 tackle 61 dream team points 
Taj Woewoedin 1 behind 12 kicks 13 handballs 25disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 92 dream team points


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