Hot start unsustainable for young Demons in VFL loss

Four goals to Casey Demon Oliver Sestan weren't enough for his side to topple Brisbane at home. 408033 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

A second half fadeout saw the Casey Demons blow a golden opportunity to notch consecutive wins in the VFL on Saturday, falling seven points short of Brisbane at Casey Fields.

The home side shot out to a 26-point lead at quarter time but could only manage one goal in the second half and two beyond quarter time as they were overrun by the visiting Lions 8.9 57 to 8.16 64.

It took just 10 seconds for the Demons to open the scoring, as Oliver Sestan showed his small forward nous by sharking a lose ball in the forward line following a Mitch White clearance, snapping truly to give his side the perfect start.

He added another two goals later in the term, with Matthew Jefferson and Jack Bell also hitting the scoreboard in the first term for a 26-point lead at the first break, having kicked with the breeze to the Berwick-Cranbourne Road end of the ground.

Brisbane managed to stem the bleeding in the second half, with Casey only managing one, a fighting combined effort through a series of hands under pressure finished by Kai Windsor.

Two goals to one in the second term saw Brisbane cut the lead to 19 points at the long break, making small inroads the longer the game went on.

Sestan’s fourth of the afternoon was Casey’s only major in the third term, as Brisbane began to seize the upper hand in the contest.

Wayward kicking from the visitings Lions spared Casey’s blushes, kicking 3.5 in the third term to creep further and further up on the Demons, whose defence was beginning to falter.

Without key pillars in Adam Tomlinson (AFL selection) and Marty Hore (injury), the Demons’ structures were out of sync on a number of occasions leading to simple goals out the back for the Lions.

Brisbane eventually took the lead in amongst a run of 10 consecutive shots on goal spanning across three-quarter-time, courtesy of a Deven Robertson floating snap in the fourth quarter’s opening minute.

The goal gave the Lions a one-point lead, one they never relinquished for the remainder of the afternoon as the Demons failed to answer back.

Robertson’s goal would go on to be the final of the contest, as Brisbane’s poor kicking for goal continued to keep the Demons in the hunt, but Casey could not grasp the opportunity.

Casey lost the inside 50 count by 10, the tackle count by 29 and overall disposal count by 51 as they were forced to draw on the squad’s depth, with Melbourne taking extra emergencies to Perth for its clash with West Coast on Sunday.

Beaconsfield’s Kobe Shipp made his VFL debut and had nine disposals, while Caleb Lewis and Charlie Peters were in just their second contests at the level.

Shipp’s Beaconsfield teammate Mitch Szybkowski had 16 as Andy Moniz-Wakefield, Roan Steele and Bailey Laurie led the disposal count for the Demons.

Casey stays at Casey Fields next week, hosting Sandringham on Sunday afternoon.