The Casey Demons were unlucky in their loss to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday, falling short by a two-goal margin, 4.4 (28) to 5.10 (40).
In the last game of the rebel VFLW home and away season, the Western Bulldogs were still a chance to make the finals but needed to defeat Casey and hope that North Melbourne got the win over the Southern Saints.
For Casey, it was a chance to continue their winning form into finals next week.
The first quarter was a hard battle between both sides, with the Bulldogs looking the better team early on. The Demons kept pursuing but couldn’t evade the Bulldogs’ pressure around the ball. Going in at quarter time, Casey had failed to kick a goal, trailing by seven points.
In the second quarter, Casey picked up its game, kicking three goals to the Bulldogs’ two, which had them only be five points down going into the main break.
Jackie Parry started things off with a nice snap, and it was backed up with a sensational run and goal from the wing from Casey Sherriff, while Alyssa Bannan managed to keep her feet in the goal square. All lines played a part in the comeback for the Demons.
A big third quarter was on the cards, with the Demons in line to overrun an impressive Bulldogs outfit. And they did just that early on, controlling the play and gaining the lead for the first time in the match with another goal from Parry; her second of the day.
The Bulldogs then regrouped and had a few inside 50 entries late in the quarter, with a couple of chances to kick goals but only managed three behinds. It was still the Western Bulldogs in front at the three-quarter time break by two points.
The final quarter saw the Casey Demons start well and continue to pressure the Bulldogs with consistent inside 50 entries, however, the Demons were unable to capitalise on those opportunities.
It was in the late stages of the final quarter when the Western Bulldogs kicked back-to-back goals to give themselves some breathing space and their best chance of playing finals when they took the win by 12 points.
“In glimpses, during the game, we played the way we wanted to,” Casey Demons VFLW captain Sammie Johnson said when speaking to Melbourne Media post-game.
“Unfortunately, we fell short which is disappointing going into finals next week.
“There is a lot that we can take out of this game though, like, our tackling pressure and making sure they stick, and when we move the ball the way we want to, we look dangerous, and we score quickly.
There were some great performances on the day, giving the Demons something to build on heading into finals next week.
“Casey Sherriff out on the wing was fantastic, especially when she took a couple of bounces and kicked a nice goal,” Johnson said.
“Eliza West, as per usual always contests hard in at the ball and is a bit of a bull for us.
“And Nicole Hales played a really good game for us down back, she was reading the ball really well especially in the first half."
While the loss hurts for the Demons, they will need to regroup and focus on Essendon for their elimination final next week. They lost at home to the Bombers by eight points after a flat start back in round two of the season.
It’s the Casey Demons’ inaugural finals appearance and one that everyone around the club is proud of and will be looking for them to go all the way.
Casey Demons 0.1 3.1 4.2 4.4.28
Western Bulldogs 1.2 3.6 3.9 5.10.40
Goals: 2 Jackie Parry, 1 Casey Sherriff, Alyssa Bannan
Best: Casey Sherriff, Nicole Hales, Shelly Heath, Eliza West, Grace Matser, Emma Horne