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VFL: Casey outclass Cats

Tom Atkins was strong in the contest with a game-high 12 hard ball gets. - Geelong Cats
Tom Atkins was strong in the contest with a game-high 12 hard ball gets.

The Bendigo Bank Cats were no match for a classy Casey outfit in their Qualifying Final clash at Casey Fields on Saturday.

The home team got off to a terrific start, kicking the opening five goals within 15 minutes and went onto dominate the remainder of the match, running out 91-point winners.

After kicking into a strong wind in the first quarter, the Cats started the second quarter positively but were wasteful in front of goal.

Those missed chances allowed Casey to re-adjust and swing the momentum back their way to take a comfortable 35-point lead into the main break.

There was no stopping Casey in the second half, with the Dees midfield on top and Cam Pederson (four goals) and Mitch Hannan (three goals) proving deadly in attack.

Cats Coach Shane O’Bree was clearly disappointed with the team’s performance.

“They were bigger and stronger around the contest than us and consistently did it well,” O’Bree said.

“It probably showed in the first five to 10 minutes of that game when they were able to win a few of those contests, get it forward and kick some goals, and that put us on the back foot.”

“Being a young group, we tried to respond a few times, but when we had those chances in the second quarter we were not able to kick them to get us back in the game.”

“Full credit to Casey, they were pretty mean around the contest.”

Despite the lop-sided scoreline O’Bree did acknowledge the efforts of captain Tom Atkins and young gun Lachie Fogarty who were the Cats best by a ‘country mile’.

The Cats now get a second chance after finishing the home and away season inside the top four, and O’Bree is hopeful that this performance is a ‘one-off’ as contested football has been a strength of the side this season.

“The positives are we have had a really good year and we have got a second chance for a reason, so I think the boys will learn a lot from today and I am hoping they will respond the way I think they will during the week and be ready for a final next week.”

First-year Cat Charlie Constable played reduced minutes with hamstring tightness.

The Cats will play Box Hill for a place in the Preliminary Finals.

VFL Qualifying Final
Bendigo Bank Cats 4.14 38 def by Casey Demons 20.9.129
Goals: Narkle, Gardner, Jones, Atkins
Best: Atkins, Fogarty, House, Miers, Tsitas, Reid
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Constable (Hamstring tightness)
@ Casey Fields

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs