Wayward Demons bring about their own demise at home

Josh Schache kicked four goals for Casey in the Demons' loss to Footscray on Saturday. 325648 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

Inaccuracy in front of goal proved disastrous for the Casey Demons in their 14-point loss to Footscray at home in round two of the VFL on Saturday afternoon.

The Demons failed to convert on four consecutive shots on goal in the second quarter, and six in the third quarter, including the final five of the term, and while the Bulldogs weren’t much better, their two goals and three behinds in the third term grew the margin from eight points at the half to 17 at the final change.

The Bulldogs then kicked two in the opening five minutes of play to push the lead to 30, before Casey fought back with four of the final five majors, the final score reading 15.9 99 to 12.13 85 in Footscray’s favour.

Six goals apiece in the opening term set the scene for a shootout with Josh Schache and Rory Lobb cast as the main characters in the battle.

Schache kicked two and Lobb three, whose height was quickly becoming an issue for the Casey defenders.

The Demons held an 18-point lead late in the opening term but conceded the next three as the visitors tied the scores at the first break.

Schache kicked his third to open the second term but the Demons then let four opportunities to grow the lead slip, kicking four consecutive behinds.

The Dogs had no such issues, kicking three goals on the bounce to retake the lead, before hitting the long break eight points ahead.

With mental demons already infiltrating the playing group from a wayward second term, the third quarter saw the concerns fester and spread in frustrating fashion as players blew chance after chance to reel the Bulldogs in.

Footscray, who humiliated the Demons to end their VFL campaign last season, took their opportunities, and ran away to an unassailable lead early in the fourth term, with Casey’s late fightback only in vain.

Demons’ captain Mitch White led the way for the Demons with 28 touches and a goal, while newcomers Campbell Hustwaite and Leo Connolly continue to impress with 25 and 24 touches, respectively.

Schache dodged the inaccuracy bug with four-straight goals, but Matthew Jefferson (2.3) and Oliver Sestan (1.2) were among the main culprits.

Former Demon James Harmes was right at home at the familiar surrounds of Casey Fields, racking up 33 disposals and a goal for his new side.

An opening fortnight at home did not provide the start that the 2022 premiers would have envisaged, dropping two matches that could prove costly as the season wears on.

The AFL’s Gather Round results in a league-wide VFL bye next week before the Demons head to Port Melbourne with an opportunity to kick-start their season on 13 April.