The VFL home and away season couldn’t have ended in more painful fashion for the Casey Demons as they have once again lost a tight contest, this time at the hands of Brisbane, the final score 12.6 78 to 11.14 80.
Casey had almost their best start of the season against Brisbane as they dominated proceedings.
Casey was controlling the tempo of the match, applying pressure to the ball carrier around the whole ground and were in overall control.
The Demons pressure off the ball was elite, the best it has been all season.
For a do or die, finals deciding fixture, it was the ultimate start that the Demons would have dreamt of.
Casey was finding a flow and rhythm on the ball, finding pockets of space out the back of the Brisbane defence.
Four unanswered goals from Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo, Ziggy Toledo on debut and Luke Dunstan, gave the Demons the prefect start.
The Lions worked themselves into the contest and managed to plug the gaps the Casey forwards were creating.
A second goal to McDonald before the first break enabled the reigning premiers a 21-point lead.
Two quick goals from Matthew Jefferson and Dunstan extended the lead out to 34-points before the fate of the game began to turn.
Brisbane found their natural game suddenly.
Cutting off the Casey scoring routes, intercepting the ball across the ground, winning the ground balls, suddenly the Lions were totally dominating the game.
Four goals to the travelers before the main break was a big wake up call to the home side.
The game wasn’t over, and the Lions could sniff that they had a chance in this game.
They don’t call the third quarter the premiership quarter for no reason, and it certainly provided entertainment for the neutral fan.
Back n’ forth, finals like footy from both teams.
Trading goal for goal, the Lions eventually found themselves with a slim lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.
McDonald managed to kick his third, before the captain Mitch White stood up when his team needed him most kicking another goal to make in two in three minutes.
Ziggy Toledo kicked his second of the game thanks to a downfield decision and right before the final term, Casey gave themselves a buffer.
But it wasn’t enough.
A goalless last period for the Demons is almost the perfect way to summaries the last three weeks.
Fast starts, playing the minutes of the game and falling short at the end.
The Lions flooded their defence in numbers once they gained the lead.
Toledo found himself against four defenders at times and Casey couldn’t find the answers they needed.
The result continues a run of close losses for the Demons.
One-point against Williamstown, eight vs Carlton last week and now two points in a finals deciding game.
The pain can only make the mentality of this team stronger.
Hungry and determined to make a difference in finals, the Demons are still a very dangerous team to play in finals.
Casey will play North Melbourne next week in a wildcard clash, with the winner going on to play Footscray the following week.
The results need to start falling the Demons way sooner rather then later, with every game remaining an all or nothing clash.
CASEY: 5.1 7.2 12.3 12.6 (78)
BRISBANE: 1.4 5.7 9.10 11.14 (80)
GOALS: 3 McDonald, 2 White, Toledo, Dunstan, 1 Woewodin, Spargo, Jefferson
DISPOSALS: 31 Dunstan, 25 Turner, 24 White, 23 Spargo, 23 Munro