IN A THRILLING final few minutes, the Casey Demons has clawed its way to victory over the Darebin Falcons by 1-point on Sunday afternoon keeping the side’s VFLW finals dream alive.
Casey Demons 2.6 (18) defeated the Darebin Falcons 2.5 (17).
Heading into the final term trailing by a lone point, the Demons needed to lift in the final 20 minutes after allowing the Falcons to swoop on costly turnovers in the third term.
But the home side was able to dig deep and believe in their abilities and play to the team plan to fight back in the contest, something the coaches always believed they could.
“The girls were good, they stuck to the plan which was the key,” Assistant coach Troy Hemming told Melbourne Media post-match.
“By sticking to our strengths… Keeping the ball in our forward half it gave us more opportunities to score.
“It was a good win.”
The Darebin defenders started to buckle under the unrelenting Demons pressure in the final term, with a superb smother by Ruby Clayton keeping the ball trapped, and the outstanding play of Casey Sherriff forcing marking contests which stopped the Falcons attacks.
Sherriff’s efforts led to the second goal for Kate Hore and earned her team a chance at the win and the praise of her coaches.
“Casey gets herself into the right positions… She is really good at reading the play,” Hemming said.
Another outstanding defender was Meg Downie.
Returning after being out with a shoulder injury, the Melbourne AFLW star was dominant in defense and provided a calming influence to the young Demon backs.
“I thought Meg was really good, and it was great having her back in the team today,” Hemming said.
“She was taking intercept marks and changing lanes and switching the play for us… It is great having her back.”
Today’s game marked a significant achievement for the Casey VFLW program with the club’s first 50-game player, with the beloved Alicia Johnson reaching the mark.
Being chaired off the ground post-match showed the respect and love the team has for the hard-working forward, sentiments echoed by her coaches.
“Leesh is a good girl… She deserves everything,” Hemming said.
“She works hard, she is a great teammate… I am really happy for her.”
The win keeps the Demons dream of finals football alive and with two must-win games remaining in their regular season, the coaches believe the team is excited for the challenge
“We don’t go away from what we are doing, we have a great feeling amongst the group,” Hemming said.
“The coaches are all really positive, I don’t think we go away from anything, the girls are loving being around the club.”
Next week the Demons face another difficult test as they head to Box Hill City Oval to face the reigning premiers in Hawthorn.
But if Casey can show the determination and grit shown today, the Demons should be confident they can win.
CASEY DEMONS 1.0 1.1 1.2 2.6 (18)
DAREBIN FALCONS 0.0 1.2 1.3 2.5 (17)
Hore, Sherriff, Heath, Downie, Birch, Zanker