A FINAL quarter fade out has seen Richmond run over the top of the Casey Demons by 39 points in Bendigo on Sunday afternoon.
Casey Demons 4.2 (26) defeated by Richmond 9.11 (65).
The Demons gave a tremendous effort through the opening three quarters trailing by only two points at the final change, but Richmond overawed Casey in the final term with a flurry of goals to run out convincing winners.
“We really competed through the first three quarters against a physical and strong opposition,” Casey Demons head coach Damien Keeping told Melbourne Media.
“They were able to get a hold of us in the last quarter, so there is some real learning there.
“We have a lot of inexperienced players that we have played over the last few weeks.
“To come up against an opposition like that, they can really get an idea and a feel of what it means to compete at this level… Which is a really good learning opportunity.”
It was always going to be to a challenge going up against the undefeated Richmond side, led by it's recently recruited superstar Katie Brennan.
The AFLW-star dominated the opening contest putting immense pressure on our Demons defenders, it wasn’t until our own AFLW-star Harriet Cordner took the challenge upon herself to move into a shutdown role on the Richmond player, getting Casey back into the match.
The move worked wonders for the Demons, as our co-captain not only shut down their best player, but continually won the ball herself thrusting Casey forwards.
“I thought there were some exceptional individual efforts today… Harriet was one of them,” Keeping said.
“To be selfless in the role she played for us, but still be able to provide drive out of the contests.
“As well as taking account for Brennan, I thought was an exceptional performance.”
Heading into the main break trailing by 10 points, Keeping challenged his side to begin the second half, Chantel Emonson and Shelley Heath answered the call.
Emonson again gave another stellar performance powering her side from the mud-filled centre of Queen Elizabeth Oval, keeping her feet and surging the ball towards attack resulting in goals for Amanda McDonough and Eden Zanker.
While Heath continues to showcase the pressure and intensity of an elite footballer.
“The drive Chantel Emonson gave us in parts of the game was really significant,” Keeping said.
“Shelley’s work around the contests and her tackling efforts were enormous.”
Sunday’s game saw head coach Keeping start to display the flexibility of his talented side, giving player’s new challenges and new opportunities.
Kaila Bentvelzen shifted from full back to full forward, Alicia Johnson pushed up on to wing from attack, and Heath dropped deeper into defence to maximise her tackling pressure.
“As the game goes on, we found various opportunities to throw new challenges at different players,” Keeping said.
“Kaila has been amazing for us down back… But we identified the opportunity to put her down forward and have her present up at the ball and play a different role.
“We will keep throwing those challenges at the players as the season goes on.”
This game sees the Demons fall to their fourth straight loss, but the games and the locations continue to give the youngsters new experiences of what it means to be VFLW footballers.
Today's match was against the top side, saw many of the side travel over four hours round-trip to the country ground, again new experiences the Coach is enjoying for his side.
“We have been at Geelong last week, and here at Bendigo this week, it has been good to get out of the four walls at Casey,” Keeping said.
“But we will be certainly pleased to get back there next week for the challenge of Melbourne Uni next week.”
The Demons welcome Melbourne Uni to their home surrounds of Casey Fields next Saturday, with the match-up beginning at 11:30am, the game gives Casey a chance at getting it’s season back on-track.
CASEY DEMONS 2.0 3.0 4.2 4.2 (26)
RICHMOND 2.5 3.10 4.10 9.11 (65)
Zanker, Cordner, Emonson, Heath
Sherriff, Emonson, McDonough, Zanker