The Casey Demons kept their unbeaten run intact with a 12.14 (86) to 6.8 (44) win over Essendon on Sunday.
After a four-week break, the Casey boys were ready for a contested game of football. Following an extra week off, due to a scheduled bye, the Demons had a tough ask of a young Bombers outfit. While Essendon has been inconsistent this season, they have been pushing sides to the wire.
It was a tight game early on with the Bombers doing the initial scoring. It wasn't until a nice passage of play from a free kick on the wing saw Casey score its first goal through Aaron vandenBerg. After that, the Demons game lifted with multiple inside 50s, but the Demons just couldn't convert with the scores, all tied up at quarter time.
It was much the same for the start of the second quarter with neither side letting up. Casey was able to score the first goal from Ben Brown who soccered it off the ground, before the Bombers replied almost immediately.
Nathan Jones took advantage of an awarded free kick and slotted a nice goal from 40 metres out on the boundary to give the Dees a seven-point lead. When Mitch White kicked his first, it gave Casey a two-goal lead. Casey continued to dominate the back half of the quarter again with consistent inside 50s and held a 15-point lead at the main break.
In the third quarter, the Bombers kicked three unanswered goals to take the lead. Enter Brown. He concerted back-to-back goals to give the Demons the lead again, halfway through the third. Jake Melksham added his first of the match after a few shots on goal from Casey went wayward. The Demons had a 19-point lead heading into the final quarter.
It was all Casey in the last. The Demons finally found their groove and were able to control the game and continually put on scoreboard pressure on Essendon. Melksham started things off with a nice soccer goal while Brown added another two goals to his tally of five for the day.
Essendon had a small serge midway through the quarter, but it was too late. Sam Weideman and Neville Jetta kicked late goals while skipper White kicked his second of the afternoon. In the end, the Demons ran away with a 48-point win to keep their undefeated season going.
“We are pleased with the outcome in the end,” VFL Coach Mark Corrigan said post-game.
“It was a real arm wrestle for three quarters, as Essendon brought the heat around the contest and the ball and lead the way in that regard.
“The Bombers were on top in stoppages and clearances, making it a challenge for us to resurrect that momentum.”
Corrigan also went on to explain the slower starts in each of the quarters.
“Today especially, we probably needed to keep it a little simpler in there, and not try to be too perfect,” he said.
“We needed to get the ball forward where we could and enable our forwards to go to work.
“There are some learnings out of that, and structures we need to look at moving forward, however, the pleasing aspect was the boys found a way to respond.”
Former Melbourne captain Jones put on a brilliant performance with 36 disposals, which included 19 kicks and 17 handballs, along with six tackles and one goal to his name for the afternoon.
“Jonesy lead by example and was super all day,” Corrigan said.
“His work in the stoppage, but also his ability to get out and his composure with the ball was fantastic.
“Jake Bowey down back played a really strong game. His one-on-one defending was really good and his ability to win the ball back in those contests, drive the ball forward and then use the ball really well.
“Also, Sam Weideman and Ben Brown were fantastic.
“They just kept presenting all day, Brown got on the end of a few in terms of goals, and Weideman’s work rate within the ruck and then resetting the ground inside the forward 50 was very good.”
Our top ?? performers from the VFL.— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) June 28, 2021
Take a look at those who put their hand up for selection at Casey Fields yesterday. ??
Whilst it took some time for Casey to get going, the Demons kept up with the pressure and challenges that the Bombers threw at them and were deserving winners at the end of the day. Next week the Demons will face GWS at home with the game day and time still yet to be confirmed.
Casey Demons 1.2 4.7 7.11 13.14.92
Essendon 1.2 2.4 5.4 6.8.44
Goals: 5 Ben Brown, 2 Mitch White, Jake Melksham, 1 Sam Weideman, Nathan Jones, Aaron vandenBerg, Neville Jetta
Best: Nathan Jones, Jake Bowey, Ben Brown, Sam Weideman, Aaron Vandenberg, Joel Smith