IT WAS A CASE of another one that got away for the Casey VFLW team on Saturday, as the Demons fell to another close and devastating defeat, this time against the reigning premiers Hawthorn, falling an agonisingly close three points.
The loss was Casey’s fourth loss this under of 10 points of less.
Sarah Lampard was stellar in her first game back from a long injury layoff.
DISPOSALS: Lampard 28, Guerin, Mithen 16, Hore 15, Cordner 14, Hanks 13
GOALS: Guerin, Cordner, Notman
A heartbreaking end to the finals hopes
It was a tale of two halves in this one, as horrendous weather and torrential rain lashed the players on the field, the savvy veterans on the Hawks starting to impose their might and bigger bodies on the contest taking an 11-point lead into the main break.
But as the clouds parted to begin the second half, the Demons burst through like the sunshine above to surge their way back into the contest.
Heading into the final minutes trailing by only three points and trapping the ball in the Demons forward 50 added to the pain as Casey couldn’t score the winning goal.
The loss brings to an end of the Demons slim finals hopes.
Sarah Lampard: A happy return
One bright light on a miserable day was the incredible return of Sarah Lampard.
After missing the last nine matches, Lampard made a tremendous return on Saturday recording a game-high 28 touches and taking a number of key intercept marks to stifle Hawthorn attacks.
Saturday showcased how much of an impact Lampard makes in the Demons outfit, and her play bodes well for a massive AFLW campaign for Melbourne in 2020.
Harriet Cordner is a superstar
It was another impressive performance from Casey co-captain Harriet Cordner.
After missing the first part of the season, Cordner has quickly established herself as a valuable contributor for her Demons side, spending time in the ruck, playing in defence and going forwards and kicking goals.
Cordner was great when the game was on the line doing whatever it took to keep her side in the contest.
Amanda McDonough sensational in new role
Saturday saw head coach Damien Keeping experiment with a number of new roles for his side, one was having Amanda McDonough play in a tagging role against the Hawthorn midfielders.
McDonough was sensational reducing the impact from one of the Hawks prime ball winners and playmakers.
With 13 tackles, ‘Donut’ was a force in the midfield.
A word from the coach
“Against an opposition, we think will go deep into the VFLW finals, to be able to get the game back on to our terms and for long periods of time to own the game I was happy with today,” head coach Damien Keeping told Melbourne Media.
“We were just short of connecting on some plays… There was some youthfulness about our look ahead on the footy.
“Today’s experience will benefit a number of players who were in those positions.
“But as far as their level of effort and intent our group showed today, we are very proud of how we are finishing the year off.”
Next week the Demons season comes to an end as Casey hosts the NT Thunder at Casey Fields next Sunday at 11:30am.
Last time our girls played the Thunder it was one of the best performances in the program’s history as we dominated the Thunder by 65 points in Alice Springs in Round 10.
Let’s hope it’s a case of history repeating for our Demons to finish their year on a high.