By Nick Creely
VFL REVIEW – ROUND 12
It took Casey well over an hour to settle into Saturday’s clash with Richmond – but by then it was too late.
With heavy wind and rain setting in to Holm Park in Beaconsfield through the game, the Demons paid for their poor start, with Richmond running out 28-point winners in the end.
In a typical wet weather match of football reliant on gaining territory, the Dees were lacklustre as the Tigers bullied them in the stoppages and used their pace on the outside to create opportunities up forward.
It took until near the 20th minute for the first goal to be scored through Tigers’ forward Callum Moore, who ran into an open goal in front of a napping Casey defence.
Another goal on the quarter time siren to Corey Ellis saw the Tigers take an early and ominous 16-point lead.
As the rain got heavier, the Tigers’ intensity got fiercer, as the Demons struggled to halt the momentum.
Quick goals to Danko Bzenic (three goals) and Todd Elton (two goals) early in the second quarter saw the margin blow out to 29-points, before a piece of magic from Alyosio Ferreira – with a mid-air volley through the goal – finally gave the Demons their first major.
But it was short lived as the zippy Shai Bolton, Bzenic and Tom Silvestro piled on quick goals to hand the Demons a 40-point half time deficit.
More pressure and intensity returned to the Demons in the second half with a win unlikely, as Jack Trengove, Ben Kennedy and Jimmy Munro (17 tackles) started to get the game on their terms, cracking in hard and giving some opportunities to the forwards in Sam Weideman and Bailey Fritsch.
Ben Kennedy opened the final quarter account with a cracking goal under pressure to give the Dees some spark, before Corey Maynard sharked a tap from Jake Spencer to snap a goal and give the visitors some hope.
But the Tigers steadied late to run away comfortably despite two quick goals in the final moments to Fritsch and Angus Scott.
Jack Trengove (31 disposals) was classy with the ball in hand and was Casey’s best, while Munro and Maynard both did commendable jobs in the midfield.
Understandably disappointed, Casey coach Justin Plapp didn’t pull any punches in describing his side’s first half.
“We were terrible in the first half,” Plapp told the club’s website.
“They (Richmond) were pretty good for four quarters, but we were pretty ordinary for a quarter and it cost us.”
Despite being dominated around the ground in the first half, Plapp was pleased with the side’s fight in the second half.
“We adjusted some things at half-time,” he said.
“We certainly got the game back on our terms.
“I’m disappointed, make no mistake about it, but I think with where our club is at the moment … it was a respectable loss in the second half.”
The Demons fall out of the eight as a result and sit with a 6-6 record, and have the bye this week.
RICHMOND 2.5 7.6 9.8 11.10(76)
CASEY DEMONS 0.1 1.2 3.3 7.6(48)
GOALS: D. Bzenic 3, C. Moore 2, T. Elton 2, T. Silvestro, J. Townsend, S. Bolton, C. Ellis.
BEST: N. Broad, J. Townsend, H. Beasley, C. Moore, D. Bzenic, J. Fletcher.
GOALS: A. Scott 2, B. Fritsch 2, B. Kennedy, C. Maynard, A. Ferreira.
BEST: J. Trengove, C. Maynard, J. Munro, B. Fritsch, B. Kennedy, D. Johnstone.