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Slow start costs Northern Blues

VFL Highlights | Round 17 Watch the highlights from Carlton listed players in the Northern Blues' Round 17 loss against Casey.

The Northern Blues have been beaten by a classier Casey Demons at Casey Fields today.

A slow start proved to be Northern’s Achilles heel, with the Demons going on to record a relatively comfortable 16. 6. (102) to 8. 17. (65) win.

The Blues failed to contain a more polished Demons outfit, with the likes of Christian Salem, Jack Trengove and Jack Watts proving a handful.

The Demons’ slick ball movement and enormous pressure early on led to the Blues’ defence being under siege.

The Blues did not trouble the scorers from a goal perspective in the first term while conceding five to trail by 29 points at the first break.

Northern’s defence managed to hold up well considering the inside 50 count, which saw Casey dominate 21-4 in the opening quarter.

The beginning of the second term was in a similar vein for Northern, with Casey notching up its seventh goal of the game after Watts converted from close-range.

It took a Rhys Palmer 50m penalty to finally break the scoring duck for the Blues as they tried to gain some authority over the match in general play.

The Blues had to negotiate the second half with a man down, after small forward Liam Sumner went down with concussion.

Despite the numbers disadvantage and trailing by 47 points, a young Blues side didn’t relent and had the better of the second half.

On a number of occasions, the Blues drew within under five goals, but couldn’t mount any meaningful scoreboard pressure.

Jaylon Thorpe provided the highlight for the Blues, with the debutant’s classy first the pick of the bunch in a seven-goal second half.

Inaccuracy plagued Northern in the final two quarters, kicking 7.12 to Casey’s 7.3, including five shots which hit the post.

Northern’s Luke Russell battled all day in midfield to record 12 clearances and 10 tackles to go with 27 disposals, while he was well-supported in the clinches by Palmer (30 disposals, two goals).

Despite Casey’s efficiency on the scoreboard, a Blues’ backline led by Harrison Macreadie and Cameron O’Shea fought manfully all afternoon.

It was a blow for the Blues in their finals aspirations, who now need results to go their way to keep their September ambition alive.

CASEY DEMONS               5.1       9.3       11.4       16. 6. (102)
0.2       1.5        4.9         8. 17. (65)

Northern Blues: 
Palmer 2, Wilson 2, Declase, Gallucci, Korcheck, Thorpe