Casey Find Will To Win
The Casey Scorpions sure know how to keep their audience entertained - putting on their fourth enthralling performance of the season thus far; rightfully emerging victorious in a well executed and intense four quarter battle against North Ballarat last weekend as Bridget Hanson reports.
In what was also their fourth home game of the season, the boys from Casey faced the ‘curse of the bye’ as they lined up against the North Ballarat Roosters in their return from an early break in the season last week.
Daunting to some, the break did nothing but spur the Scorps on.
A side challenged by the loss of key individual team members that helped lead the side to a 2011 finals berth, Casey are now equipped with the exciting athleticism of newly recruited players.
The Scorpions boasted many promising attributes in this important win over North Ballarat; and with a relatively even ‘head to head’ record with the Roosters - 13 wins from their last 28 games - on paper, this game was sure to be a close one.
An integral facet of the win was Casey’s determination. Such a characteristic was highlighted frequently throughout the long quarters, by individual players alone and in the unity of the team as a whole.
With the Roosters scoring the first goal of the match against Casey, it was easy to fear the worst after the lacklustre performance they put up against Bendigo’s finest only two weeks ago.
This disappointing pace continued for the duration of the first quarter, with the scoreboard resonating closely to their previous game (a loss) at home.
The Scorpions were four goals down at the siren, and needed to apply some serious pressure at contests if they were ever going to find the upper edge against a strong North Ballarat side.
Fortunately, Casey knew what needed to be done, and they did it.
The Scorpions scored a quick two goals, and a hard battle throughout the quarter meant scores were even by the half time break.
It was in this second half of football that young Melbourne rookie Jai Sheahan and forward running Jamie Bennell complimented the precision and experience of the likes of Wade Lees and Co- Captain Evan Pannozza.
Hunting down a margin that had seemingly escaped them, the team worked together to keep the game at a goal to goal contest. The boys from North Ballarat, however, maintained the lead by 6 points heading in to the fourth.
New addition to the VFL academy, quick thinking Michael Riseley led a second charge as he kicked 3 important goals in the game; Lees also capitalising on the array of errors made by the Roosters, kicking a beautiful goal from an awarded free kick.
The following and final quarter of football is one for Casey’s highlights reel.
With a two goal spree, Casey gained control of the game, struggling only in utilizing the ball from the ruck contests.
It was purely hunger that would win this game, and for Casey – determination. Inspired by the opportunity to win, Tom Couch and Rian McGough continued on to kick a goal a piece.
By the 30 minute mark, the Roosters seemed to be in total control of the score board again. Ahead, yes. Game over, certainly not.
In a series of individual performances boasting the utmost amount of perseverance and resilience, Casey beaded together a fairy-tale ending to this tough battle.
A prime example of the ‘never say die’ attitude Casey have adopted was when Bennell, in a defensive effort, was the victim of a tough but fair bump in the middle of the ground.
Unwilling to give up just yet, he returned to his feet and regained his forward momentum.
On a cold Sunday afternoon, this was Casey encapsulated: at times beaten down, yet determined to play on.
It was ultimately Bennell’s act of resilience that helped to lead the ball toward Sam Blease and his defensive opponent. One of Casey’s best, Blease continued to lay an exceptional tackle and was awarded the ball 40m out from goals.
The goal was kicked by Blease, and after almost 38 minutes, the final siren rang. The Scorpions took the win by a point in a most exceptional fashion.
Casey, who is now vying for a top three position on the ladder, come up against front-runners Geelong at Simonds Stadium. It was the perfect game to provide Casey with the confidence, enthusiasm and determination to tackle this upcoming clash with high spirits.
Whilst Casey sits in fourth spot on the ladder, their percentage of 87.24% does not reflect that of a side that has only lost one game for the year. In fact they have the fourth worst percentage in the competition, which is not surprising with wins by 2, 6, 1 and 1 point this year.
Here’s hoping Casey’s second away game of the season will rival their most recent success; rich in determination and positive in result.