The Southern Saints have held on to victory at RSEA Park despite recording a goalless second half against Casey, running out eight-point victors to consolidate second spot on the ladder.
Backing up a dominant win earlier in the season, the Saints had total control over the Demons for three quarters, holding their 2022 preliminary final victims goalless until three quarter-time and building a 27-point advantage.
But they had a late scare, as the Demons banged on three goals in seven minutes to give themselves a shot at an unlikely win before the Saints’ defence regrouped to lock away the points.
Despite losing hitouts 52-20, the Saints doubled the Demons’ inside-50 count (42-21) on the back of quality efforts from Winnie Laing (20 disposals, six tackles), Sophie Phillips (17 disposals, five marks, six entries), Georgia Foran (16 disposals, eight marks, six rebounds), Gabriella De Angelis (15 disposals, eight tackles) and Madi Capsalis (14 disposals, eight entries).
Alex Hynes (11), Maighan Fogas (10) and Bella Enno (10) tackled themselves to a standstill.
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Belinda Woolcock was brilliant in defence for the Demons with 21 disposals, five tackles and 10 rebounds, while Shannon Danckert (17 disposals, 12 tackles) and Shree Fairchild (17 disposals, seven tackles) weren’t far behind, Leah Swain did as she pleased in the ruck with 50 hitouts and Ciara Burke snared two goals.
Carlton will be next up on the agenda for the Southern Saints, who will look horns with the Blues at Ikon Park on Saturday 3 June.
SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.5 4.5 4.7 4.7 (31)
CASEY 0.0 0.2 0.4 3.5 (23)
Southern Saints: Tregellis, Neaves, Kearns, Burke
Casey: Burke 2, O'Neill
Southern Saints: Foran, Boyd, Capsalis, Burke, Hynes, De Angelis
Casey: Woolcock, Danckert, Kirkkwood, Swain, Fairchild