The Northern Blues went down comprehensively to the Casey Demons. (PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Paton)
The Northern Blues’ consecutive run of wins has ended after a heavy loss to the second-placed Casey Demons at Casey Fields.
An inexperienced Northern struggled to contain a rampant Casey outfit, who went on deliver the Blues a 20.9 (129) to 5.8 (38) defeat.
The Blues were rocked before the game, with prime midfielders Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge and captain Tom Wilson all late exclusions from the squad.
It meant 19-year-old Mason Blakey stepped up to the plate as captain for the Northern Blues.
In blustery conditions, Northern lost the toss and were put to the sword by the experience Demons early, who were chasing their 11th straight win.
Casey was able to pile on eight unanswered first-quarter goals after a barrage of repeat forward 50 entries, taking full advantage of the breeze.
Patrick Kerr and Jesse Palmer then opened the account for Northern early in the second term after well-struck set shots from outside 50.
However, Cam Pedersen proved a rock in defence for Casey in the term: as a result, Northern was only able to make up a goal with the wind.
Heading into the second trailing by 45 points, Northern again found it difficult to stave off Casey’s forward-half dominance as the margin blew out to over 12 goals.
There was little relief for Northern in the final quarter as they ultimately succumbed to a 91-point loss.
It was a learning curve for the Blues, whose average experience across the squad was just 18 games. Sixteen players were aged 21 or under, with half of those still teenagers.
Amidst an inexperienced midfield, Sam Fisher battled manfully to be one of the Blues’ best on the day. The 20-year-old finished with 27 disposals, 12 tackles and a goal.
Mixing his time between forward and midfield, Jesse Palmer collected 18 disposals to go with his goal in the second term. Forward Patrick Kerr also kept fighting to finish with two goals from his 11 disposals.
With injuries affecting Northern’s midfield, it gave youngster Angus Schumacher the chance for increase exposure at the coalface. The first-year Blue recorded 11 disposals, with seven of those contested.
Harrison Macreadie got through his second match back after an extended period of time out with a hamstring injury.
Northern will return to Preston City Oval next Saturday afternoon for the ‘Battle of Bell Street’ against Coburg, with the first bounce set for 2pm.
CASEY DEMONS 8.5 11.5 16.7 20.9 (129)
NORTHERN BLUES 0.0 4.2 4.4 5.8 (38)
Northern Blues: Kerr 2, Fisher, Myers, Palmer
Northern Blues: Palmer, Kerr, Fisher, Hill, De Koning, Schumacher