CASEY has gone down to Richmond in a 1-point nail-biter at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon.
Casey Demons 8.3 (51) defeated by Richmond 7.10 (52).
It what was the best game of the VFL season so far, both teams had their chances for the victory in the match.
But it was a rushed Richmond behind in the final few moments which proved to be the difference.
“It was one of the best VFL games we have been in for a while,” Casey Demons head coach Jade Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“It was a genuine contest for four quarters … Both teams having a crack at the ball.
“But their class was probably just a bit too much there at the start of the third quarter.”
After bursting out of the gates in the opening half, Casey went into the half-time break with an 8-point lead.
But a third-quarter malaise allowed Richmond to power back into the contest kicking four unanswered goals.
Breaking the game open and leaving Casey on the verge of being blown out.
The margin stood at a game-high 18 points at the final change.
When Rawlings implored his charges to fight back in the last quarter.
Jack Hutchins answered the call.
The 80-game veteran was immense in a fantastic last quarter to give Casey a chance at the victory.
"Hutch" took key marks in the forward 50, set-up ruckman Liam Wale-Buxton for his second goal and challenged contests all over the park.
But most impressively, Hutchins slotted a major of his own from deep within the pocket, tying the game and drawing the roars of the Casey faithful and the songs of his coach.
“Hutch made a massive difference in our forward line,” Rawlings said.
“Despite him not feeling too well ... He was sensational for us today.”
But as the seconds continued to tick towards the siren, Richmond repelled the waves of Casey attacks.
Forcing the ball forwards where Harry Petty was waiting.
The savvy defender was again there to cut off any challenge, as he continues his great play in 2019.
Pairing with Oscar McDonald to make a formidable duo to challenge the tall Richmond forwards for most of the game.
“Our tall backs where able to contain them for the majority of the match,” Rawlings said.
“Except for the stretch to open the third quarter.
“McDonald played a great game as well … It makes a massive difference when you have two strong backs in your team.”
Another shining light in the gloomy conditions at Casey
Going up against AFL-listed Ivan Soldo is a daunting task for any player, let alone in your third VFL game.
But Wale-Buxton not only held his own against the 204cm tall man-mountain but was able to fight in the contests finishing with 33 hit-outs and booting two goals against the Richmond ruckman.
“We thought Liam was sensational today with how he competed,” Rawlings said.
“His marking is improving, and he is showing he can go forward and kick goals.
“He has been very, very important for us this season.”
While the Demons didn’t get the result, the resiliency shown in the final quarter provides a solid foundation to build on for the next round of the season.
And it will be needed, as the Demons welcome the Footscray Bulldogs to Casey Fields next Sunday at
Footscray looks one of the form sides of the competition, winning its two games of the season so far.
Hopefully, Casey can bounce back and record the victory in Round 5.
CASEY DEMONS 3.0 4.1 4.2 8.3 (51)
RICHMOND 1.0 2.5 6.8 7.10 (52)
Wale-Buxton, J. Wagner, C. Wagner, White, Hutchins, Baker, McDonald
White, Wale-Buxton, Keilty 2, Chandler, Hutchins