FOR THE SECOND round in a row the Casey Demons have endured a frustrating defeat by less than 10 points, this week it was the Geelong Cats utilising a significant final quarter breeze to pile on the pain for the Dees.
Tom Freeman was the standout in defence, while Jay Kennedy Harris provided what drive he could along the treacherous wings.
DISPOSALS: Freeman 30, Hutchins, Kennedy Harris, Munro 20, Baker 19
GOALS: Kennedy Harris, Lefau, Keilty, Smith, Briggs
Kennedy Harris continues an impressive run of form
On a difficult Casey Fields deck which was hit by a Winter’s deluge, JKH effortlessly glided above the slosh and the mud to provide what run he could along the wing, finishing with 20 disposals, 11 tackles and booting the opening goal.
While it proved not to be a game-winning performance, it was a game which should see him be considered by Simon Goodwin for the Demons next AFL match.
The third quarter curse strikes again
With a substantial breeze blowing across Casey Fields, the Demons needed to make use of the advantage to kick away in the premiership quarter and give the Cats something to chase.
But rather than capitalise on the advantage, the Demons could only manage one goal in the quarter.
To make matters worse the Cats were able to counter-attack and hit back with two goals to trim the lead to three before coming home with the running and the breeze to win the match.
Again the third quarter is proving to be the danger time for the Demons chance at victory, something to correct in the final four games of the regular season.
Defensive duo reduce deficit; Keep Casey in contention
If it wasn’t for the outstanding play of defensive duo Tom Freeman and Jack Hutchins, the deficit could have been much worse for the Demons.
Freeman finished with an equal game-high 30 disposals and took a number of key intercept marks to stifle Geelong attacks, while Hutchins was superb in shutting down Geelong’s leading goal-kicker Wylie Buzza holding the AFL-listed forward goalless.
No one wants to consider what could have been without those two shoring up the Demons defence.
Finals hopes are in doubt
With only five rounds remaining in the season, every match needs to be treated with the urgency of a must-win contest to keep the Demons finals hopes alive.
Now with only four games left on its schedule, the task has become all that more difficult for Casey as the side lingers in 9th place on the VFL ladder.
With Werribee holding off Port Melbourne at home means Werribee remains a game clear in the 8th and final spot for September.
A word from the coach
“It was a real slog today,” Head coach Sam Radford told Melbourne Media.
“It was probably just the third quarter where we didn’t capitalise when we had the wind.
“But to Geelong’s credit they were super around the ball… Just smashed us in contested possessions, clearances, stuff that we pride ourselves on… They were really good in that part of the game and deserved the win.”
Next week Casey continues its string of must-win games to make finals, as the Demons head to Wilson Security Trevor Barker Beach Oval to face the pesky Sandringham Zebras.
A side battling their own inconsistency this season and in the midst of a devastating losing streak, the Zebras will not be an easy match-up for the Demons, so the boys will need their best to secure the victory.