It was the simple case of too little too late on Saturday for Casey in their round six VFLW game versus Geelong.

The Demons had a late charge at the Cats in the last quarter to almost pinch the win but fell short, going down 4.6 (30) to Geelong’s 5.2 (32). 

The game was always going to be a tightly contested one and the Demons looked to make their own chances early on.

“For us, the theme was creating opportunities,” stand-in senior coach Tamara Hyett told Melbourne Media.

“We also wanted to limit Geelong’s (opportunities) and needed to be really strong in taking our own, by moving the ball forward with speed and basically putting scoreboard pressure on. 

“It's pretty much what it (the message) came down to and just being the first to move in offence and defence and getting numbers to and work rates up for contests.”

With the rain setting in for the afternoon, the first quarter was a slog for each side, firing shots and going into the first break all squared up at seven points apiece.

There still wasn’t too much in the game by half time. Both Geelong and Casey had four scoring shots each, only for the Cats to be one kick more true than the Demons. 

It wasn’t until the third quarter that Geelong was able to break away and give itself some breathing space, making the most of its opportunities and scoring two goals. Casey wasn’t as accurate, failing to kick a goal and trailing by 14 points going into the last quarter.

Frustrated with the patchy play, the win was very much still on the cards for Casey.

“The disappointing thing was in patches in the first half and especially in the third quarter we weren’t pairing off quick enough, we weren’t the first to move and we were very reactive rather than coming forward to defend,” Hyett said.

“The main thing was Geelong showed that you can score even though the conditions were trying, as they did in the third quarter - as much as it was tough, it was still three goals in 20 minutes which was pretty feasible I thought.

“The girls just needed to be brave, attack and take the ball forward with speed and try not to slow play it because it’d give Geelong the chance to get numbers back, so we really wanted to take the ball forward and just stick to our theme, being to ‘attack’ going into the last quarter.”

The final quarter proved to be Casey’s best with a few changes on the ball. The Demons had three scoring shots for two goals and one behind, whilst also keeping Geelong scoreless.

However, it was the inconsistency and inaccuracy earlier on that cost Casey the four points. 

“We moved a couple of magnets to get a little bit more drive across the middle and that tended to work,” Hyett said.

“I guess the one thing that we had feedback from the players, especially the midfield group, was we basically gave them the licence to go forward with speed and it helped us.

“The message after the game delivered quite firmly that we can’t play in patches and we have to make sure we play the full four quarters. Especially in those conditions, you need to pull your sleeves up and dig deep.

It was disappointing, as we had a lot of opportunities, but I think our game smarts probably and some connections to the game just weren’t up to par for three quarters, so work will need to be done in that area.

“It's certainly not all doom and gloom, even after today. We have high expectations being that it is an elite football program (we run) and the girls need to be able to measure themselves up against something.”

Despite the narrow loss, Shree Fairchild provided plenty of grit and determination in a best on ground performance for the Demons, racking up 18 disposals, 15 of which were contested, and also managed nine tackles for the afternoon. 

Accompanying Fairchild with a notable game was Isabella Simmons up forward with her two goals and 17 disposals, while Megan Fitzsimon (16 disposals) offered plenty of support in the midfield along with Meg Macdonald (14 disposals), who relished her new role in the middle.

“Shree’s will to get to a contest and repeat effort was just fantastic. She and Megan Fitzsimon were probably the two standouts – I thought the midfield group worked really well,” Hyett said.

“Emma Humphreys was also good in the second half. She gave us a lot of drive and Meg Macdonald played her first game as a midfielder. She was really good in the contest and had some really good game smarts, which is something I thought we had a lot of with the ball in our forward half, but we lacked those game smarts to finish it off.”

Losing the last two games has now put the Demons back with the pack sitting fifth, yet on equal points with the Southern Saints (sixth) and Carlton (seventh) with only percentage separating them.

Casey will need to continue to improve and fine-tune their patchy play if they are at all going to make inroads when playing the top sides.

“In the marginal games, it’s the little things (that make a difference) - manning the mark really strongly, understanding running patterns and making sure that you're competing, not letting players out the back giving extra numbers (to the opposition), it’s really basic stuff that we weren’t switched on with today,” Hyett said.

“Reinforcing those little things, it's not always a kick or handball stat, it's the things we are doing without the footy that we need to do better across four quarters which hopefully will mean we are on the other side of the ledger and we get the win.”

This week provides a big opportunity for Casey to return to the winners’ list against a young Hawthorn outfit. While the Hawks haven’t been as victorious, they have been competitive but with the Melbourne AFLW side now out of the finals, it will see a few players drop back into the VFLW line up.

“There will be a few players (Melbourne AFLW) that need a week or two off after the finals campaign, however, we might get six to eight players that will play with us,” Hyett said.

“Nine games is a long time to not play until next season, therefore the players will probably be more predominantly the younger ones to gain a bit more game time - there is a lot of growth in this group which is just really exciting.”

*Tamara Hyett took the reins in round six due to senior coach Pete Mercoulia travelling with Melbourne – he is an assistant coach of the AFLW side.

Casey Demons           1.1       2.2       2.5       4.6.30
Geelong                      1.1       3.1       5.2       5.2.32

Goals: 2 Isabella Simmons, 1 Harmony Thomas, Emma Humphries

Best: Shree Fairchild, Megan Fitzsimon, Meg Macdonald, Emma Humphries, Bridie Winbanks, Eliza West

Next Game: Round 7 v Hawthorn Saturday 17th April @ Box Hill City Oval - 11:30 am