Scintillating Saints record a dominant win against Casey
Saints record a dominant win against Casey Demons on the back of a scintillating second half to move to 3-2 on the season
Photography: Anthony Vella
Casey Demons hosted the Southern Saints at Casey Fields on Sunday morning, in what was anticipated to be an enthralling clash between two teams close together on the ladder. The first half was an arm wrestle as both sides were able to lock the ball inside their attacking half, but the game broke open in the second half as the free-flowing ball movement from the Saints shone through.
Saints’ goalkickers all kicked multiple goals with Lucy Burke leading the way with four, debutant Abbey Tregellis slotting three straight, and the ever-reliable Gaby De Angelis chiming in with two majors. In the middle of the ground, it was Margaret Kershaw who battled all day against the taller ruck opponent to lead the disposal count with 24 touches, including 20 kicks, alongside nine tackles and 14 hitouts. Her midfield brigade assisted her, with Michelle Podnecky recording 12 disposals and four tackles, and Jemima Wrigley claiming nine touches and laying an equal game-high nine tackles.
The Saints were able to get the first centre clearance of the day from Kershaw, with her long kick inside 50 giving De Angelis the chance to pounce on a loose ball and snap truly to give the Saints the early lead. De Angelis' good start to the game continued with her forward pressure rewarding her with a free kick for holding the ball. She linked up with Wrigley who sold the candy nicely at half forward before kicking long inside 50 to continue the territorial dominance.
At the other end of the ground, Georgia Foran was able to steady the ship with her leadership and communication skills, taking a great intercept chest mark at half back to halt the Demons' transition in its tracks. The Saints sustained the aeriel control with Tessa Boyd who was also able to take a good overhead intercept mark.
The back-and-forth contest was broken up by Burke who converted her set shot from 30m out to give the Saints a five-point margin heading into quarter time.
The ball spent most of the time in the Saints’ forward 50 as we kept the Demons scoreless. Debutant Tregellis was the only goal scorer in this quarter, making the most of her first shot on goal in her VFLW career after taking a great juggled mark inside 50, as her teammates came from everywhere to congratulate her.
The Saints began to dominate the tackle count this quarter as De Angelis, Nicki Cormack, and Deanna Jolliffe all laid strong tackles to force stoppages forward of centre. The one percenters also began to show with Grace Hodder completing two great unselfish shepherds on the wing to allow her teammates to move the ball up the ground successfully.
Kershaw, De Angelis, and Caitlin Matthews led the disposal count at half time with twelve, eleven, and nine respectively, whilst Wrigley set the physical tone with seven first half tackles.
With the margin only 13 points at half time, we knew we had to come out firing in the premiership quarter, and come out firing we did, with De Angelis bagging her second major of the match as the physicality in the contest lifted.
Our brick wall defence held strong with Jolliffe taking two intercept marks within a minute, and Bella Enno taking one to propel the ball back towards the forward line with intent. This gave the Saints’ in-form forwards the chance to capitalise, with Burke fending off an opponent inside 50 and slotting a great goal on the run to stretch the margin out to 25 points.
The fourth quarter started much the same with Tregellis kicking her second, and Burke recording her third to make the lead too big for the Demons to overcome. Both Tregellis and Burke were able to get another one for themselves in the dying stages of the match, as they led the way with seven goals between them in a dazzling display.
Hodder took control in the contest in the second half, laying five tackles to finish with seven, whilst Tayla Kearns dominated the skies with seven marks of her own to go with 12 touches. Burke slotted three second half majors to end with four, and debutant Tregellis impressed with two second half goals to finish with three, as the Saints ran away 42-point victors on Sunday.
Final Score: Casey Demons 2.5 (17) defeated by Southern Saints 9.5 (59)
Goals: L. Burke (4), A. Tregellis (3), G. De Angelis (2)