Casey arrests home ground demons in dominant VFL win

Oliver Sestan was a key contributor for the Casey Demons in Sunday's win over Collingwood. 408033 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

A trademark galloping set shot from veteran and AFL premiership-winning forward, Ben Brown.

A slick transition from the back half to Shane McAdam on his lonesome in goal square.

The explosive Oliver Sestan breaking free at a stoppage and saluting on the run.

The skipper, Mitch White, breaking free from a centre clearance and nailing an attempt from outside 50.

A 31-point lead at half time grew to 55 by the 11 minute mark of the third quarter, as the Casey Demons put their feet on Collingwood’s throat in Sunday’s VFL contest at Casey Fields.

It was seven minutes of electric football from the Demons, and a reminder of what they can offer when firing on all cylinders.

Taylor Whitford and his coaching panel, however, will be hoping it can be the catalyst for something more, and kick-start the Demons as they enter the back half of their VFL campaign.

Casey went on to win the contest 18.14 122 to 11.4 70 against the Magpies, notching a first victory of the year at home, and breaking free from the shackles of defeat after three consecutive losses.

The Demons were the stronger side at both ends of the ground, with a spread of 12 individual goal kickers and keeping the Magpies to one of the lowest scores the Demons had conceded in 2024.

Celebrating the history of the Springvale Football Club with throwback navy blue guernseys, it wasn’t just the jumper that made the Demons look a different side to what had taken the park in recent weeks.

Grey gloomy skies circled above Cranbourne as the Demons jumped to an early lead, courtesy of a trio of small forwards.

Kai Windsor, Koltyn Tholstrup and McAdam each converted opportunities in the opening term, but inaccuracy from their teammates saw chances go begging and a lead of just 15 points at the first break.

But the second term saw the home side locate its kicking boots and begin to convert inside 50 ascendency into scores.

It began with a Harvey Neocleous set shot after some slick work at ground level from Brown to find his teammate in space, and the Demons slammed on four more to open a 31-point lead at the long break.

A chain of six handballs from halfback and a daring dash on centre wing from Windsor saw Casey work the ball from back 50 into an open goal for debutant and mid-season draftee Luker Kentfield, in what was a highlight of the afternoon, as was yet another high leap from McAdam, showing his bag of tricks after crossing from Adelaide in the AFL offseason.

Four consecutive Demons goals gave them a 36-point cushion after 20 minutes, before Collingwood hit back with two of the term’s final three goals to stem the bleeding.

But just as quickly as the blood clotted, the cut was flowing freely early in the second half as Casey kicked into gear.

The aforementioned burst killed the prospect of a tight contest in the second half, with a shell-shocked Collingwood outfit unable to recover from the onslaught.

A shootout ensured there was plenty of action in the final term, but importantly for the Demons, the lead never dipped below 39 points, eschewing any danger of a late collapse.

Lapses deep in defence no-doubt frustrated the coaching panel as the Magpies pegged back some crucial percentage points, but six goals to five in Casey’s favour in the final term ensured the Demons could not be questioned of a four-quarter effort.

Kentfield grabbed a second to make it a debut to remember, and Edward King capped his first game at the level with six points of his own, as the Demons broke through the 100-point barrier for the first time in 2024.

A major advantage in the inside 50 count (67-38) and clearances (52-31) reflected the Demons’ dominance, while winning the tackle count no doubt put smiles on faces in the coach’s box.

Tholstrup and White both finished with 29 touches and a goal each and combined for 18 clearances, with Sestan not far behind, with 22 touches, two goals and eight clearances, as he pushes his case for an AFL debut.

The Demons will put their feet up next week courtesy of a mid-season bye, before returning to Casey Fields on Sunday 23 June to face North Melbourne.