THE DEMONS have made it threes win in a row with a dominant 34-point victory over the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Casey Fields.
Casey Demons 12.12 (84) defeated Box Hill Hawks 7.8 (50).
Battling atrocious Winter conditions in the opening term, Casey surged out of the gate making the most of a significant breeze to kick away, leading by 18 points at the first siren.
But it was a resounding third quarter effort by the Demons which broke the match open, powered by the marvellous game of Braydon Preuss.
The dominant Casey big man finished with 17 disposals and an incredible 63 hit-outs, out duelling the Hawks rucking pair 63-26, impressing his coach with his work around the stoppages.
“A fantastic win… To come up against a really good quality team with plenty of AFL talent, I am rapt with how the boys went about it,” Casey Demons head coach Sam Radford told Melbourne Media.
“Preussy’s contest work was brilliant.”
Another Melbourne-listed star who shone in the terrible conditions was Jay Kennedy Harris.
JKH was sensational from the opening bounce, taking the first Preuss tap to boot a 70m bomb in what could be the fastest goal in VFL history.
His second goal was even more impressive, outpacing his Hawks opponent, who had a near 10-metre head-start to dribble kick the ball from the pocket across the goal-line, finishing with three goals and 24 disposals, Kennedy Harris continues to play his way into Melbourne contention.
“Kennedy Harris was just so clean in difficult conditions… so clean with the ball, and his finishing was outstanding,” Radford said.
“A really good game for both him and Preussy.”
It was a day for the contested football beasts, thankfully Casey has two of the best in the VFL as Corey Maynard and Corey Wagner dominated the midfield, combining for 44 possessions and an absurd 28 tackles, providing the drive for the Demons engine room.
“Both had huge tackle numbers… Corey Wagner has done that for us for a few weeks in a row now,” Radford said.
“Corey Maynard is building really nicely… he has missed a lot of the season.
“I thought he was very good last week. But he went even better this week.”
Despite a significant breeze, the Casey defenders were able to quell many of Box Hill’s attacks, it was a sublime game from Josh Wagner and a superb welcome back game for Oscar McDonald.
“Oscar and Josh were outstanding down back,” Radford said.
“They helped us set the ground up, especially in that last quarter.
“We looked really safe behind the ball.
"Oscar looked really strong in the contests and strong in the air… It was a good welcome back to football for Oscar.”
It was a sensational debut for Ariek Lual contributing to the decisive victory.
After signing with Casey from Noble Park in the Eastern Football League during the week, the 20-year-old tall utility pulled on the red and blue guernsey and made an immediate impact.
“Dell has fit in really well already,” Radford said.
“Last week he is playing at Noble Park, this week he is lining up against a really good team in Box Hill.
“But he certainly wasn’t afraid or worried about it, he just went out and played footy.
“I thought he got better and better as the game went on... The more he understands our game style, it will be even easier for him.”
With the victory, the Demons move into ninth place on the VFL ladder and within striking distance of the top eight but appear poised to make a barnstorming run home in the second half of the season.
Next up Casey welcomes the Northern Blues to Casey Fields on Saturday, July 6th at 2pm.
Losing to Geelong today, the Blues will be looking to get back on the winners' list in Round 14, while our boys will be looking to make it four victories in a row.
CASEY DEMONS 4.8 5.9 10.10 12.12 (84)
BOX HILL HAWKS 1.0 3.6 4.7 7.8 (50)
Preuss, Kennedy Harris, Maynard, C Wagner, J Wagner, Lefau
Kennedy Harris 3, Lefau, Bedford 2, Munro, Dunkley, Jordon, Buxton, White