THE DEMONS four-game winning streak has come to a frustrating end against Footscray falling to the form side of the VFL by seven points under the roof at Marvel Stadium.
Casey Demons 10.13 (73) defeated by Footscray Bulldogs 12.8 (80).
Having trailed throughout the early stages of Sunday afternoon’s contest, Casey produced its best football of the match in the final term, forcing the Dogs to battle, scrap and persist to hold on to preserve the hard-fought victory.
But it was the failure to capitalise on early game chances which proved costly for Casey when the game was there for the taking.
Starting with more energy in the opening quarter than their opponents, the Demons dominated the stoppages and thrusting the ball forwards, leading the inside 50 count 14-9 in the first quarter.
But Casey could not make the domination count on the scoreboard, while the Bulldogs were making the most of their limited opportunities recording six scores on nine entries.
It was a brave grab and goal by Oskar Baker in the final minutes of the opening quarter which kick-started Casey’s challenge.
Baker put together another impressive performance for Casey finishing with 26 disposals and providing the much-needed surging run from the Demons midfield.
But it was his running mate Corey Wagner who continues to show he is a class above at the VFL-level.
Wagner was sensational collecting 30 disposals, recording 11 tackles and booting two goals, including an incredible solo-effort running snap in the second quarter to help the Demons remain in the contest.
But despite Wagner’s brilliance at times, the Demons performance was frustrating at others.
Casey won the tackle count (88-60) and the possession count (353-305) but never looked like being able to take the advantage in the contest, making costly unforced turnovers and committing unnecessary free-kicks which derailed any resemblance of Demon momentum.
Turnovers which allow the Bulldogs to escape the Casey zone and relieve any pressure the Demons were able to build, going on to quickly convert the turnovers into goals.
While Footscray was looking for the knockout blow at the end of the third term, the Demons were able to climb off of the canvas to earn their way back into the contest in the fourth quarter booting the last three goals of the match.
But by then the difference was too much to claw back down the stretch, leaving Casey wondering on what could have been a season-defining victory.
The loss sees the Demons remain in ninth place on the VFL ladder but will welcome Geelong to friendly confines of Casey Fields in Round 16 as Casey looks to remain in the race for the top eight in season 2019.
CASEY DEMONS 1.3 4.5 7.9 10.13 (73)
FOOTSCRAY 4.2 7.4 11.6 12.8 (80)
Baker, Wagner, Munro, Hutchins, Kennedy Harris
Bradtke, Wagner 2, White, Baker, Lefau, Buxton, Bedford, Jordon