IN A HARD-FOUGHT game, Casey Demons VFLW fell just short of claiming victory against the Port Melbourne Borough on Saturday, going down by three points at Casey Fields.

Played in humid conditions, the game was fiercely contested from the outset, with Casey drawing first blood through lively forward Tahlia Fellows. After that, some undisciplined acts lead to Port Melbourne kicking three unanswered goals to take a 15-point lead into quarter time.

The girls seemingly lifted in the second quarter, having four scoring shots to the Borough’s one, with Imogen Milford getting involved and peppering the goals. She was still unable to put any shots through the middle and put any scoreboard pressure back on Port.

In the third quarter, the girls controlled most of the play, but a stalemate term saw neither side score. Casey’s forward half football improved, allowing more entries to inside 50, but a composed Port defence kept a cool head. 

Casey coach Peter Mercoulia asked his group to keep up the competitiveness at the final change, urging them to take their opportunities heading into the last.

The final quarter would have certainly been the Demons best, as they kept Port Melbourne scoreless and had four scoring shots of their own.

Any time the ball was in the forward half of the ground for the Demons, they looked dangerous, with Kelly Thompson kicking a beautiful crumbing goal.

Casey had a few more chances to get on top – the last one being Harmony Thomas marking 25m out in front of the goal, who decided to play on but missed to the left.

In what was a close loss, the Demons can take positives out of their efforts but will need to focus on their composure going forward heading into the season. 

“Our defenders competed well for the game, our contest in the midfield was good in patches and our ability to compete up forward was sporadic,” Mercoulia told Melbourne Media post-match.

“Credit to Port, they are a good side and played the spare behind really well for the entire match, and we couldn’t navigate our ball use around their spare.”

Mercoulia also explained that moving some magnets around worked in the Demons favour.

“After the first quarter, we played forward half footy for the remainder of the game,” he said.

“We changed up the personnel, got more speed up forward and it just allowed us to compete for longer and keep the ball in our forward half for longer periods, which made us more dangerous.

“But at the end of the day, we just couldn’t kick a goal, but that was a credit to Port, their defenders and their willingness to continue to defend multiple occasions. It was really impressive.”

The Demons certainly have some kinks to iron out before round one of the VFLW season, which will commence this weekend.

Casey Demons           1.0       1.4       1.4       2.7.19
Port Melbourne           3.3       3.4       3.4       3.4.22

Goals: T.Fellows, K.Thompson