A SECOND half fade out has seen the Casey Demons lose by 17 points to the Footscray Bulldogs at Casey Fields on Sunday.
Casey Demons 8.11 (59) defeated by Footscray Bulldogs 11.10 (76).
After leading at the main break on the back of a stellar second quarter, another third-quarter fade out by the Demons saw all the hard work undone.
As the Bulldogs were too strong down the stretch and bolt Casey Fields as the victors.
Leaving head coach Jade Rawlings relenting a chance at victory gone to the dogs.
“Another tough game against a good opponent,” Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“The Bulldogs got out the blocks, kicking the first four goals.
“Our boys were able to fight back, but we gave up a costly goal on the siren.
“In the second half they were a bit stronger around the ball, a bit cleaner, they used the ball better… We were just a bit too far off the mark.”
After a joyful reception from the crowd welcoming milestone man James Munro to the field in his 100th game.
But the crowd’s feelings quickly turned to sorrow as the Dogs exploded out of the gates.
Benefitting from a substantial breeze, Footscray raced out to a four-goal margin, leaving the Demons to do the chasing.
After a spirited second-quarter surge, Casey wrestled its way back into the contest.
Ramping up the defensive pressure, trapping the ball in the Casey attacking half, and forcing the Bulldogs defenders into costly mistakes.
Hard-running wingman Oskar Baker was the beneficiary of the pressure.
The Melbourne-listed player booted two goals in a scintillating period, drawing the cheers from the Melbourne AFL players watching from the balcony, and the adulation of his coach.
Cory Wagner with 24 disposals was another standout, but there wasn’t many on a miserable day for the Demons.
“Oskar Baker had an impact on the game,” Rawlings said.
“I was really pleased with Cory Wagner.
“But we probably didn’t have a broad enough spread of contributors today.”
The loss put on a damper on the milestone of beloved club stalwart James Munro.
Playing his 100th VFL game, an achievement commended by his coach.
“It’s a great effort to play 100 games of VFL footy in an aligned club,” Rawlings said.
“It’s very challenging [to reach the mark] with all the things that come and go at aligned clubs, but he is highly respected and really valued at our club.”
A sentiment echoed by the Captain.
“He is described as the ‘heart and soul’ of our team,” Mitch White said.
“You feel a bit taller running out there with him… He is as hard as a cat’s head… He will always keep running and trying to the end.”
While the boys couldn’t secure the victory, there were glimpses of the Casey type of football which has enjoyed so much success over the past few seasons.
But next weekend doesn’t get any easier for a Casey Demons team trying to string together a complete four-quarter performance.
As the team travels to Windy Hill to face the undefeated Essendon side, currently sitting atop of the ladder.
The Demons will look to have a solid week on the training track to get back to their winning ways.
CASEY DEMONS 2.2 5.6 5.8 8.11 (59)
FOOTSCRAY 4.2 4.4 9.8 11.10 (76)
Wagner, Baker, Weideman, White, Quigley
Baker, Weideman 2, White, Chandler, Munro, Quigley