By Hayley Wildes
When bad weather is forecast, it’s almost guaranteed that Casey Fields will cop the worst of it. Saturday afternoon was no different.
Casey took on North Melbourne in atrocious conditions, but as they have done all season long, the Demons stood up to the challenge and claimed an incredible eighth win on the trot.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Demons’ attack on the footy couldn’t be questioned as they won the ground ball more often than not – and there were plenty of ground balls.
Casey dominated the opening 15 minutes of the game, but was unable to record a goal. Finally, when Mitch Hannan danced around a defender and kicked truly, Casey had the opening goal of the game. With rain bucketing down, the Demons held a 10-2 lead at quarter time.
Despite being just eight points ahead, the Demons were clearly the better team with their clean hands and ball use.
Jay Kennedy-Harris was thriving in the wet and kicked the only goal of the second term to have Casey 15 points in front at half time. Tom Bugg (18 disposals at half time) was involved in everything and Casey’s team defence was impenetrable.
Kennedy-Harris further stamped his authority on the contest with 10 disposals and two goals in a tremendous third quarter display. His class shone through in the slippery conditions; when others were fumbling, he was bursting through packs and taking the game on.
After three quarters, the Kangaroos were goalless and the Demons had stretched their lead out to 32 points.
Players were out on their feet in the fourth quarter, but Casey looked determined to keep the North Melbourne goalless. The Demons were simply ruthless and managed to keep the Kangaroos out for the entirety of the game in a performance that displayed their courage, teamwork and ability to adapt to tricky conditions.
Casey defeated North Melbourne 5.14 (44) to 0.7 (7).
Kennedy-Harris was the match-winner for Casey, slotting three of the five goals scored for the game, while Bugg and Dom Tyson collected 31 disposals each in workhorse performances.
Jay Lockhart and Corey Wagner continued their strong VFL form and Aaron vandenBerg – who had been sidelined for 18 months – made an impressive return, finishing with 23 disposals and a game-high 16 tackles.
The Demons (10-2) remain second on the ladder and will look to extend their winning streak to nine games against Footscray at Casey Fields on Saturday from 2pm.