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Melbourne Football Club

Casey remains undefeated at home

Everyone did their bit when they needed to … and we had enough contributors when it counted
Justin Plapp

CASEY has completed the home and away season with an undefeated record at Casey Fields, running away 15-point victors over Werribee on Saturday night.

Casey Demons 11.15 (81) defeated Werribee 9.12 (66).

Werribee’s faith was in its own hands, needing a win to sneak into the final eight, but with Casey’s top-four aspirations on the line, the latter prevailed.

The Tigers converted six goals in the third term to leave the do-or-die clash in the balance heading into the last quarter.

But the Demons responded.

“I put a lot on our leaders,” senior coach Justin Plapp told melbournefc.com.au.

“There was nothing going to be pretty about the last quarter.

“There were some really big individual efforts late in the game … critical contests where they just needed to go and they did.

“Everyone did their bit when they needed to … and we had enough contributors when it counted.”

Casey’s Dylan Gordon drifted forward in the early stages of the final term and was the beneficiary of the Demons fourth 50 metre penalty, slotting through a crucial goal to extend the lead to 10 points.

With recruiters watching on from the stands, Bayley Fritsch delivered an impressive display, showcasing the skills which could see him on an AFL list in 2018. When the game was on the line, Fritsch rose to kick his third goal and give Casey a crucial 16-point lead; ultimately sealing the win.

“I’m pretty impressed with the kid,” Plapp said.

“He’s a class act.

“He’s got some real polish and real excitement about him.”

Tomas Bugg was involved in numerous spiteful clashes with his Tiger opposition throughout the night, but fought on to win critical contests late in the game.

Light rain lingered throughout the match, making for a greasy ball and contested battle.

“There was nothing pretty about a lot of the game tonight, but we just got the job done,” Plapp said.

“We won ugly, but you take it.”

In the absence of skipper Jack Hutchins, Angus Scott stood up, leading by example with two first-half goals and 21 disposals for the night.

Consecutive 50 metre penalties late in the second quarter handed goals to Mitch King and Corey Maynard, giving the Demons a 21-point edge at the main break.

Despite a competitive four-quarter contest, the Demons led for the entirety of the match and responded when challenged.

“I think there was a fair bit of pressure on the night, they (Werribee) were playing for everything,” Plapp said.

“I thought they were super and you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due.

“We had a fair bit to play for as well, but the way they performed with their pressure and attitude to compete was brilliant.

“I can’t give them enough praise, but we just did what we needed to do.”

Ben Kennedy was crafty, weaving around the stoppages with 28 disposals to be one of the Demons best yet again.

Since the mid-season bye, Casey have stormed home with six consecutive wins to register a top-four finish.

The Demons will take plenty of momentum into next weeks qualifying final, as they meet minor-premiers Williamstown at Burbank Oval.

Fresh off a victory over the Seagulls last week, Plapp is confident Casey can repeat that feat.

“I’m going into next week with a fair bit of positiveness,” he said.

“To be able to knock them off at home was significant … but Williamstown at Williamstown is a completely different beast.

“The last two weeks has put us in a pretty good position.”

CASEY DEMONS     3.4   7.6  9.10  11.15 (81)

WERRIBEE             2.2   4.3   9.7    9.12  (66)

CASEY GOALS

Fritsch 3, Scott, Maynard 2, Kennedy-Harris, King, Bugg, Gordon

CASEY BEST

Scott, Kennedy, Maynard, Fritsch