A SECOND half surge by the Casey Demons has fallen agonisingly short, as the Dees fall to Collingwood by three points at Casey Fields on Sunday.
Casey Demons 5.1 (31) defeated by Collingwood 5.4 (34).
After the visitors used a three-goal breeze to their advantage kicking away in the second term, an inspired Demons outfit fought their way back into the thrilling match.
Heading into a final term trailing by three points, the fight back started in the midfield with players like Maddie Guerin, Nicole Garner and Bianca Jakobsson starting to get their hands on the ball winning centre clearances and giving their team a chance at victory.
The hard work saw the ball thrusted into Casey’s forward 50, but the Demons could not get the reward for their effort as time ran out on the final quarter seeing the home side endure a narrow loss.
“It was a really high-quality game… Against a really high-quality opponent, we were in the game for a long time,” Casey Demons head coach Damien Keeping told Melbourne Media.
“We created ourselves opportunities to win the game… But just fell away on execution… That was right throughout the game.
“We presented ourselves with some really good opportunities to score but we didn’t capitalise and we will take some learnings out of today.”
Going up against a star-studded Collingwood line-up with names like Chloe Malloy, Sarah Dargan and Ruby Schleicher wearing the prison bars provided a massive challenge for our young squad.
But it was recent Collingwood recruit Brianna Davey who had the biggest impact on the match, that was before Keeping shifted our own star recruit Libby Birch onto the ball winner, stopping Davey’s influence immediately.
Birch was able to put intense pressure on Davey in the contests, winning the ball herself, fizzing the ball forwards towards our leading forwards.
The focus on Davey stemmed Collingwood’s progress and allowed the Demons to get back into the match, as the Melbourne AFLW-listed recruit continues to impress in her first season in the red and blue.
“Libby has been amazing since she joined the club,” Keeping said.
“The way in which she has integrated with her teammates, the standards which she has driven amongst the group already.
“Her commitment to the role she is asked to play has been outstanding.
“We are really, really pleased with the way she has introduced herself into this group, and we can’t wait to see where she gets to throughout the VFLW season.”
With the loss, the Demons fall to 3-2 on the young season, but fielding a rather inexperienced list, Keeping is happy with how his team is progressing during the season, poised for the next step in the squad’s evolution.
“We came out of the game today understanding that during this first part of the season we are really competitive in the VFLW competition,” Keeping said.
“Right through the entire list there were experiences today which every player can learn from.
“That’s where we want to be and at the same time, we are learning a lot both collectively and individually.
“We are pretty pleased with where we sit currently in terms of how the program is going.
“We want to win games, and we want to be competitive… But that is driven through the opportunity to learn and progress and I think we are doing that really well.”
Adding to the pain of the loss, key defender Kaila Bentvelzen was stretched off of the field late in the third quarter after what looked like an errant knee to her head in a ground ball contest, and Ainslie Kemp limped from the field with trainers but appeared jovial in the rooms post-game.
Next week the Demons have their first bye of the season, coming at the perfect time granting the squad a week to overcome some sores and game plan for the next stage of the season, with the hope of getting the Demons back to their winning ways.
CASEY DEMONS 2.1 2.1 4.1 5.1 (31)
COLLINGWOOD 1.0 4.3 4.4 5.4 (34)
Guerin, Birch, Cordner, Smith, Heath, Lampard
Guerin 2, Kemp, Smith, Cordner