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  1. The Casey Demons had a number of points to make to themselves, their opponents and the VFL football world when they traveled up to the Gold Coast to take on the Southport Sharks in the 2022 Grand Final rematch at Fankhauser Reserve. After living off the glory of an almost perfect premiership, the Demons stumbled after winning the opening four games of the season and have struggled in their recent northern state sojourns - their only loss in 2022 came at the hands of the Lions in Brisbane and they were given a touch up by Gold Coast in Round 7. Last week, a team of 14 Melbourne listed players folded like a rickety card table in the final term of their match at Werribee. Suddenly, they were in fifth place with a few competitors breathing down their necks. Add some injuries and a suspension and Casey’s season was on the line. As it was a week earlier against Werribee, the Demons were pitted against a committed team with some experienced mature bodies, desperate for a victory to keep them finals contention. This time however, the Demons maintained their composure for most of the game and they were able to do so through the agency of their mix of AFL and VFL listers. Of the former, two in particular stood out. Josh Schache started proceedings for the visitors with the opening goal of the game in its opening minutes. He kicked his second before half time and then booted his team’s only two goals in the last including the final score late in the match that put Casey in front by a solitary point. Apart from his accuracy when up forward, Schache fought valiantly in the ruck against Southport’s man mountain, Brayden Crossley who was called in to the task after the injury to Jake Bell. Crossley was dominant in the ruck duels but Schache's contribution around the ground as well as up forward which included 15 possessions, seven marks, four tackles, and five hitouts on top of the four straight goals was crucial. James Jordon has spent much of 2023 on the cusp at Melbourne with a number of appearances as a substitute. He was back in the midfield at Casey this week but his prolific 30 disposal display was sublime, on top of which his five clearances, and four tackles and a goal were timely given Clayton Oliver’s injury and suspension ahead of the Kings Birthday blockbuster. This spectacular goal has all of the hallmarks of goal of the year. Casey was well led by Mitch White and the experienced Matt Buntine and fueled by outstanding performances from Roan Steele (23 touches, 10 marks) and George Grey (3 goals, 16 disposals, 5 marks and 6 tackles). Two of Grey’s goals came late in the third term after the Sharks had wrested the lead for the first time in almost an hour of play, a contribution that gave the visitors an 8 point lead at the final break. A few young Demons who are pushing hard for AFL promotion in Blake Howes (23 touches, 8 marks), Taj Woewodin (23 disposals, six tackles and three clearances) and Bailey Laurie (22 touches, six tackles) were all busy. Deakyn Smith played a strong game as the small defender while Daniel Turner, Andy Moniz-Wakefield and Ollie Sestan all had their moments. Together, they put together a fine team effort and made their points well in the Queensland sun. With the upcoming Kings Birthday weekend, the Demons return to their home fortress for a match up against Collingwood VFL next Sunday. CASEY DEMONS 1.2.8 6.6.42 9.9.63 11.10.76 SOUTHPORT SHARKS 3.0.18 4.5.29 8.7.55 11.9.75 GOALS CASEY DEMONS Schache 4 Grey 3 Brown 2 Jordon Sestan SOUTHPORT SHARKS Crossley Foggo Lockett Lockhart 2 Fields Heron Thurlow BEST CASEY DEMONS Jordon Grey Schache Laurie Steele Howes SOUTHPORT SHARKS Woodcock Crossley Joyce Dawson Thurlow Spencer Statistics Jed Adams 3 kicks 2 handballs 5 disposals 1 mark 13 dream team points Riley Baldi 4 kicks 4 handballs 8 disposals 3 marks 2 tackles 38 dream team points Jack Bell 2 handballs 2 disposals 1 tackle 6 hit outs 14 dream team points [injured] Ben Brown 2 goals 1 behind 8 kicks 2 handballs 10 disposals 4 marks 1 tackle 56 dream team points Matt Buntine 7 kicks 9 handballs 16 disposals 1 mark 2 tackles 47 dream team points Tom Freeman 12 kicks 2 handballs 14 disposals 4 marks 50 dream team points Rhys Galvin 2 kicks 2 handballs 4 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 17 dream team points George Grey 3 goals 1 behind 11 kicks 5 handballs 16 disposals 5 marks 6 tackles 102 dream team points Blake Howes 14 kicks 9 handballs 23 disposals 8 marks 81 dream team points Matt Jefferson 1 behind 4 kicks 2 handballs 6 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 27 dream team points James Jordon 1 goal 15 kicks 15 handballs 30 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 104 dream team points Bailey Laurie 1 behind 16 kicks 6 handballs 22 disposals 3 marks 6 tackles 97 dream team points Andy Moniz-Wakefield 1 behind 8 kicks 5 handballs 13 disposals 4 marks 4 tackles 63 dream team points Harvey Neocleous 10 kicks 4 handballs 14 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 58 dream team points Josh Schache 4 goals 8 kicks 5 handballs 13 disposals 7 marks 4 tackles 105 dream team points Oliver Sestan 1 goal 1 behind 7 kicks 1 handball 8 disposals 1 mark 4 tackles 51 dream team points Miles Shepherd 6 kicks 2 handballs 8 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 40 dream team points Deaykin Smith 14 kicks 4 handballs 18 disposals 5 marks 2 tackles 76 dream team points Roan Steele 16 kicks 7 handballs 23 disposals 10 marks 1 tackle 93 dream team points Daniel Turner 11 kicks 4 handballs 15 disposals 5 marks 56 dream team points Ryan Valentine 1 behind 2 kicks 5 handballs 7 disposals 1 mark 1 hit out 18 dream team points Mitch White 1 behind 11 kicks 8 handballs 19 disposals 2 marks 6 tackles 75 dream team points Taj Woewodin 1 behind 10 kicks 13 handballs 23 disposals 2 marks 6 tackles 76 dream team points
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