Locals debut

Heath Briggs, pictured playing for Cora Lynn, made his VFL debut on the weekend. 192850 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Hayley Wildes

Casey’s horrible start to the 2019 VFL season continued on Saturday in Werribee.

The Demons were slow out of the blocks against Werribee and at quarter-time found themselves down by 13 points, 4.3 (27) to 2.2 (14).

Werribee continued to work hard in the second quarter and the side’s pressure was too much for Casey as they outscored the Demons three goals to one to take a 24-point lead into the main break.

Despite the score line, the work of returning Melbourne player Steven May (13 first half disposals) was a highlight. He was clunking key marks and using his sublime foot skills to great effect out of the backline.

While the half-time score wasn’t insurmountable, Werribee scored the first two goals of the third quarter to ensure it kept the scoreboard pressure squarely on Casey. With a quarter to play, the Demons were 30 points adrift, 9.8 (62) to 4.8 (32).

The Demons finally managed to get some goals on the board in the final quarter, but Werribee continued on its merry way up forward as well to ensure the result was never in doubt.

Werribee ran out 35-point winners, 13.10 (88) to 7.11 (53). The game was won around the contest as ex-AFL star Michael Barlow (33 disposals) and Josh Clayton (32 disposals) dominated proceedings through the middle for Werribee.

May (22 disposals) was the standout for Casey and looks set for a return to AFL action, while Corey Wagner (25 disposals and 10 tackles) was a constant source of effort.

While the result wasn’t what Casey fans had hoped for, there were positives to come out of the loss – namely in the form of three locals making their 2019 Casey VFL debuts; Cranbourne’s Anthony Vella, former Gippsland Power player and number three pick in last week’s AFL mid-season draft Kyle Dunkley, and Cora Lynn’s Heath Briggs.

Vella looked at home in the red and blue with his impressive kicking and willingness to take the game on, while Briggs and Dunkley (12 disposals each) were both strong contributors.

The loss sees Casey drop to 2-6 on the season to sit 11th on the ladder. The Demons will be looking to get back on the winners list on Sunday afternoon at home when they take on 12th placed Collingwood.