A YOUNG yet courageous Casey Demons side has been outclassed by Richmond losing by 35 points on Saturday afternoon at the Swinburne Centre.
After letting the home side run out to a 26-point lead at the end of the opening term, Casey attempted to claw back the deficit in the third quarter and looked to have the momentum in the match heading into the fourth quarter.
But a final quarter flurry of goals by the VFL premiership favourites displayed they were a class above today and made the Demons dreams of finals football harder to achieve.
DISPOSALS: Hore 34, Stretch 23, Hutchins 20, Wagner 18, Di Pasquale, Tynan, White 15
GOALS: Lowden 2, White, Bedford, Lockhart, Munro
18 AFL-listed opponents make for a tough day
With the Richmond football club enjoying a stellar run of injury-free football this season, it meant the home side trotted out a team filled with AFL-level talent, while Casey fielded one of its youngest sides of the season to date, with names like Nick Lowden, Matthew Gahan and Austin Bradtke still early in their Demons careers, resulting in what was always going to be a tough task for the red and blue.
The boys battled to the end but on this day the experience of their opponents won out.
Marty Hore: A class above
One of the shining lights for the Demons on a gloomy afternoon was the play of Marty Hore.
In his second game with Casey after returning from a collarbone injury, the Melbourne defender is showing he is a class above the VFL when patrolling the Demons backlines.
Recording 13 first-half disposals before going on to finish with 34 possessions for the match, it was an impressive performance by Hore in a game which should see his name in the selection mix come Thursday night.
Nick Lowden: Breakout performance
One impressive youngster was Lowden, in only his sixth VFL match, the 19-year-old had the best game of his career, finishing with 13 disposals and booting two goals, including a tremendous set-shot from deep in the pocket to open the scoring for the Demons.
The game should see him press for another run in the final two regular-season games of the Casey season.
Missing Jimmy Munro is a major loss
On a difficult day for the Demons, the task got even harder when Casey’s spiritual leader Jimmy Munro sustained what appeared to be a rib injury which ruled him out of the game.
Without Munro providing drive and determination out of the middle, the Demons were not able to recover.
Now with Munro questionable for the remaining two games, it will mean midfielders like James Jordon, Billy Stretch and Jay Lockhart will need to fill the void.
A word from the coach
“We just needed to take our chances,” head coach Sam Radford told Melbourne Media post-game.
“I thought in the second and third quarters, we had the run of play but we just weren’t able to capitalise… When you play a quality team, if you don’t put scoreboard pressure on them.
“Then it’s just a matter of time… Before they hit the scoreboard [themselves].
“I thought our backs were solid after quarter time.
“Marty Hore played a good game, Billy Stretch down back early was good, and Declan Keilty was really strong in the air down back.”
Losing against Richmond makes the Demons journey to the finals a difficult task, with Casey now sitting in ninth place and with two must-win games remaining in the regular season.
Next week the Demons will head to the iconic Victoria Park to face Collingwood on Sunday in Round 19, looking to get back to the decisive and free-flowing football when the Demons are at their best.