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Windy day footy has always been the domain of those who play the game hard: on days when the breeze gusts all over the place and the ground has been sodden by recent rains, the player needs to get all aspects of his game together and be hard of body and mind, to concentrate and attack the football. The Casey Demons came out on their own deck in such conditions and under a mainly sunny sky and gave it a crack for half a game but they lost sight of the fundamentals of playing hard in difficult conditions in the third quarter while their opponents kept their composure and held sway in the end. Indeed, the home side was lucky still to be in the game as time on began in the final quarter when Jaxon Briggs goalled to level the scores. In the end, Cats veteran Scott Selwood decided the issue with a goal and the visitors won by 9 points. It was Casey’s second defeat in a close game against a top eight team and virtually put put an end to the Demons’ finals hopes for 2019. Earlier, Casey had come out of the blocks with the strong wind at their backs and scored three goals while holding the Cats scoreless. They backed that up by holding them to a single goal at the main break but when their second term with the wind came, they were outscored by the more experienced opposition. Tim Smith’s goal late in the third quarter was his team’s first for almost half a game. And that was the problem. The undermanned and inexperienced Demons had nobody to kick goals. Nobody to come out packs with a big mark, nobody to crumb a goal from ground level and they were smashed in the hard contests. From a Melbourne perspective there is very little to work on for the future (Oskar Baker and James Jordon excepted). Let’s face it, given the club’s injury woes, if you’re not in the heart of the continent with the AFL team and you’ve been around a few years, your prospects aren’t very good. The fact of the matter is that Melbourne’s AFL contingent were shown up by their VFL counterparts in young Tom Freeman who finished with a career best 30 possessions which included a few timely marks out of defence, hard nosed Jimmy Munro who once again displayed the fundamentals of playing in trying conditions and led the way with his 16 tackles and Jack Hutchins who was strong in defence and beat his well credentialed AFL opponent goalless. We saw fair efforts from Kennedy Harris and Baker but most of the rest were disappointing so it was really good that the team was able to stay so close and be in the game right to the end. Had they made the most of their opportunities in the opening term, they might even have won the game. Casey travel to the Trevor Barker Beach Oval for a meeting with old rival Sandringham. Hopefully, a better performance awaits. 2019 Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL Casey Demons 3.4.22 3.5.23 4.7.31 5.9.39 Geelong VFL 0.0.0 1.7.13 3.10.28 5.18.48 Goals Casey Demons Briggs Keilty Kennedy Harris Lefau T Smith Geelong VFL Narkle Selwood 2 Jones Best Casey Demons Freeman Hutchins Kennedy-Harris Munro Baker Smith Geelong VFL Narkle Jones Menegola Abbot Constable Buzza Statistics Oskar Baker 12 kicks 7 handballs 19 disposals 5 marks 5 tackles 83 dream team points Toby Bedford 2 kicks 7 handballs 9 disposals 2 tackles 26 dream team points Jaxon Briggs 1 goal 1 behind 5 kicks 2 handballs 7 disposals 2 tackles 31 dream team points Kade Chandler 2 kicks 1 handball 3 disposals 1 mark 4 tackles 26 dream team points Wayne Collis 6 kicks 2 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 7 tackles 57 dream team points Tom Freeman 27 kicks 3 handballs 30 disposals 10 marks 1 tackle 118 dream team points Matt Gahan 2 kicks 6 handballs 8 disposals 2 tackles 26 dream team points Mitch Hannan 1 behind 7 kicks 5 handballs 12 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 50 dream team points Jack Hutchins 13 kicks 7 handballs 20 disposals 8 marks 3 tackles 87 dream team points James Jordon 1 behind 5 kicks 8 handballs 13 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 45 dream team points Declan Keilty 1 goal 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 5 marks 7 tackles 4 hit outs 74 dream team points Jay Kennedy Harris 1 goal 15 kicks 5 handballs 20 disposals 6 marks 11 tackles 123 dream team points Mykelti Lefau 1 goal 6 kicks 4 handballs 10 disposals 4 marks 3 tackles 57 dream team points Mitch Lewis 4 kicks 3 handballs 7 disposals 3 marks 6 tackles 52 dream team points Corey Maynard 8 kicks 4 handballs 12 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 40 dream team points James Munro 7 kicks 13 handballs 20 disposals 2 marks 16 tackles 119 dream team points Aiden Quigley 1 behind 4 kicks 6 handballs 10 disposals 4 marks 8 tackles 69 dream team points Tim Smith 1 goal 10 kicks 4 handballs 14 disposals 2 marks 11 tackles 3 hit outs 94 dream team points Charlie Spargo 10 kicks 5 handballs 15 disposals 6 marks 7 tackles 87 dream team points Cory Stockdale 4 kicks 4 handballs 8 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 45 dream team points Luke Tynan 11 kicks 4 handballs 15 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 54 dream team points Liam Wale-Buxton 2 kicks 3 handballs 5 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 25 hit outs 46 dream team points Mitch White 1 behind 8 kicks 8 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 55 dream team points
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
When they took the field for their first home game of the season on Saturday night, the Casey Demons were only a shadow of the team that ran riot in the opening game of the season a month ago. The club started the day with a successful result for its women’s VFL side and followed it up with the unfurling of the last Development League premiership flag. With that competition now redundant, a number of the club’s back up VFL listed team are playing in suburban competitions and not in the club’s own ranks. The consequence of this is that the cohesiveness of a club team is not always there when the AFL listed numbers are as low as they were this weekend. The Demons started poorly and failed to handle the ball in the slippery conditions. It took a whole quarter before Cam Pedersen managed to score the team’s first goal on the siren and they were lucky to be trailing by only 14 points at the time. In the absence of the team’s young ruck duo, Casey relied on a raw first-gamer from the ‘burbs in Kieren Byers who tried hard but was no match for the experiences Zac Smith and his back ups who racked up more than 80 hit outs for the night and gave Geelong’s midfield an armchair ride. By half time, the Cats had opened up a 38 point lead and Casey had only two goals on the board. After the break, the Demons worked a lot harder and were led by the likes of Tim Smith who was relishing the week off and put great pressure on the Cats resulting in a more competitive effort. The move of Sam Frost into the forward line also provided dividends. The impetus for the revival was also provided by some solid efforts from VFL listers Jay Lockhart, Goy Lok (2 goals), the ever reliable Angus Scott and Corey Wagner. A few late goals in junk time made the outcome a more respectable defeat than it should have been and the bye could not have come at a better time to enable some wounds to be licked. The loss was Casey’s first defeat at home after 15 wins in a row at Casey Fields. Casey Demons 1.1.7 2.3.15 5.4.34 9.8.62 Geelong VFL 3.3.21 8.5.53 11.8.74 12.12.84 Goals Casey Demons Baker Lok Scott 2 Bugg Pedersen J Smith Geelong VFL Jones McLachlan Reid 2 Crameri Dobson McLachlan Miers Smith Tsitas Best Casey Demons T Smith Lok Scott C Wagner Lockhart Frost Geelong VFL House Buzza Smith Reid McLachlan Atkins Statistics Oskar Baker 2 goals 7 kicks 5 handballs 12 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 63 dream team points Tomas Bugg 1 goal 6 kicks 4 handballs 10 disposals 2 marks 10 tackles 78 dream team points Kieren Byers 3 kicks 3 handballs 6 disposals 1 mark 4 tackles 8 hit outs 39 dream team points Sean Dwyer 2 handballs 2 disposals 1 tackle 5 dream team points Sam Frost 13 kicks 9 handballs 22 disposals 6 marks 4 tackles 6 hit outs 95 dream team points Jeff Garlett 12 kicks 7 handballs 19 disposals 3 marks 7 tackles 87 dream team points Mitchell Gent 5 kicks 3 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 2 tackles 35 dream team points Dion Johnstone 8 kicks 5 handballs 13 disposals 2 tackles 42 dream team points Declan Keilty 1 kicks 3 handballs 4 disposals 1 marks 4 tackles 25 dream team points Jay Kennedy-Harris 5 kicks 7 handballs 12 disposals 4 marks 6 tackles 60 dream team points Mykelti Lefau 1 kicks 4 handballs 5 disposals 2 tackles 16 dream team points Jay Lockhart 10 kicks 7 handballs 17 disposals 4 marks 1 tackle 58 dream team points Goy Lok 2 goals 1 behind 13 kicks 1 handballs 14 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 83 dream team points Ryan Morrison 10 kicks 7 handballs 17 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 70 dream team points James Munro 8 kicks 4 handballs 12 disposals 1 mark 5 tackles 1 hit out 53 dream team points Cameron Pedersen 1 goal 1 behind 11 kicks 4 handballs 15 disposals 4 marks 7 tackles 11 hit outs 100 dream team points Harrison Petty 6 kicks 5 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 5 tackles 54 dream team points Angus Scott 2 goals 1 behind 10 kicks 9 handballs 19 disposals 5 marks 77 dream team points Joel Smith 1 goal 5 kicks 12 handballs 17 disposals 1 marks 3 tackles 51 dream team points Timothy Smith 12 kicks 13 handballs 25 disposals 2 marks 12 tackles 117 dream team points Billy Stretch 6 kicks 14 handballs 20 disposals 1 mark 9 tackles 86 dream team points Corey Wagner 13 kicks 8 handballs 21 disposals 2 marks 7 tackles 85 dream team points Mitchell White 1 behind 14 kicks 6 handballs 20 disposals 6 marks 6 tackles 99 dream team points