THE DEMONS have overcome difficult conditions underfoot to defeat the Coburg Lions by 15 points at Piranha Park on a chilly Sunday afternoon earning a maiden win for new head coach Sam Radford in the process.
Casey Demons 9.11 (65) defeated Coburg Lions 8.2 (50)
Attempting to stifle the potent Casey forward lines, the Lions sat deep in defence in the opening quarter stemming the Demons long ball into attack, holding Casey to only two majors despite having the majority of possessions.
But after Radford’s quarter time address, the Demons came out with a renewed focus in the second quarter taking a grip on the match and holding on in the second half to run out winners.
“It was a pretty scrappy and tough affair, Coburg were really good around the ball,” Radford told Melbourne Media.
“We got of a lot of inside 50s… they defended well… but our boys scrapped and fought and did enough to get the win.
“It was a hard-fought win.”
The victory was powered by another masterclass from Jordan Lewis controlling every facet of the match from a muddy midfield, directing teammates, calling out defensive coverages and setting up goals all leading to the victory.
Lewis finished with an equal game-high 40 disposals, but it was leadership his head coach was most pleased with.
“Jordan has been excellent for us, he is a class above at this level,” Radford said.
“The way he leads and instructs is brilliant… He had an excellent game.”
Another Melbourne-listed Demon to impact the match was Jay Kennedy-Harris.
While almost every player struggled underfoot, the smooth-running Kennedy-Harris dominated along the wing keeping his feet, racking up possessions and providing the key transition link to the forwards.
Finishing with 22 disposals, Kennedy-Harris’ name will be amongst the selection mix come Thursday.
Melbourne head coach Simon Goodwin will be spoilt for choice as many of the AFL-listed players all had solid outings.
Kade Kolodjashnij had 21 touches and a goal, Corey Wagner continued his stellar run of form with 20 possessions, and Kyle Dunkley continues to impress in his third game in Casey colours.
Corey Maynard was marvellous finishing with 26 disposals, and booting a goal, as he works his way back into the excellent form he showed early in the season before sustaining an injury.
“Really happy with Corey’s game,” Radford said.
“I thought his aerial work was really good… It’s good to get him back playing.
“If we can get a few games into him, I think he will have a really good second half to the season.”
It was another impressive performance from the Demons defenders, after allowing three opening quarter goals, veteran Jack Hutchins took charge of the young backs to hold Coburg to only five more goals for the rest of the match.
“The back seven were all VFL-listed boys today,” Radford said.
“So it was a good test for them and I thought they stayed strong.
“First quarter wasn’t great, but after that they made it pretty hard for Coburg to score.”
With two wins in a row, the Demons are heading into the second half of the season with a renewed confidence, after a lacklustre opening to the season, and Radford is excited about what lies ahead for his charges.
“We definitely have to improve, but it’s about getting some games and some familiarity into the squad,” Radford said.
“Building on that each week.”
The season doesn’t get any easier as next up for Casey in Round 13, the Demons welcome the reigning premiers Box Hill Hawks to Casey Fields.
After being manhandled by the Hawks in the opening game of the season, Casey will be looking for revenge on its home deck in the grand final rematch next Saturday at 2pm.
CASEY DEMONS 2.4 6.8 7.11 9.11 (65)
COBURG 3.0 3.0 5.1 8.2 (50)
Lewis, Maynard, Hutchins, Wagner, Kennedy-Harris, Kolodjashnij
Dunkley, Quigley, Maynard, Bradtke, White, Preuss, Kolodjashnij, Bedford, Wagner