Colby McKercher goes to hit a target against Casey in the VFL. Picture: Maddie Green

North Melbourne has secured its third straight win, defeating Casey Demons 12.11 (83) to 11.11 (77) in a close contest at Casey Fields.

The Roos applied a more methodical style of play, claiming 141 marks to Casey's 63 while leading the disposal count 386 to Casey's 288.

Defender Griffin Logue (14 disposals, six intercepts) successfully returned from an ACL injury that he suffered in July 2023. He played the first three quarters and finished the day with a conditioning block off-field. 

"It was awesome to have him (Logue) back," VFL coach Tom Lynch told NMFC Media.

"He's worked really hard to get back to this point with the high performance team, Daniel Cross (reconditioning coach) in particular.

"He got back into the swing of it and I'm looking forward to seeing his second half of the year."

Coming back from a bone stress issue in his foot, young gun Colby McKercher (31 disposals, eight marks) sat out the first quarter of the match, but when he came on, he was everywhere.

The No.10 continuously opened the game up from defence with his drive, and made an immediate impact after the first change, racking up 11 touches in the second term.

DEMONS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

"He's obviously a very high-quality player and he had a strong influence on the game with his run and distribution," Lynch said.

"We were rapt with his performance today, it was great to have him back out there."


Small forward Robert Hansen jnr (four goals, 18 disposals) was crucial in getting the Roos over line. He kicked two clutch goals in the fourth quarter to help secure the win, with his last of the day coming off the back of an exciting effort inside forward 50.

"Robbie was huge for us in that last quarter," Lynch said.

"He had a great game and we're really pleased for him because he's been working hard."

Big man Finnbar Maley (two goals, eight marks) got off to a high-flying start, taking a strong contested mark and kicking North Melbourne's first of the match in response to a quick Casey opener.

Charlie Lazzaro (31 disposals, eight clearances) racked up the touches off half-back and in the midfield early on, tallying 10 disposals and two intercept marks inside the first 20 minutes of the opening quarter. 

Fellow defender Riley Hardeman (21 disposals, nine marks, eight intercepts) was another Roo on fire early and snagged his first goal in North Melbourne colours after taking a tough mark 40 metres out. 

The Demons were on top at the start of the second quarter, kicking the first two majors, but the visitors were able to answer energetically by slotting five of the next six goals to take a 16-point advantage into half-time.

Cooper Harvey (one goal, 12 disposals), Tyler Sellers (two goals, seven marks), and Hamish Free (36 hitouts, 10 disposals) all added their names to the scoresheet during the stretch, with the ruckman crumbing like a small before snapping his home his goal.

Geordie Payne nailed a set shot to the Kangas rolling in the third quarter, and soon later it was Jack Watkins (22 disposals, four clearances) who was able to burst out the front of the centre square to set up Sellers who provided the Roos with 23-point lead.

Casey pushed the Roos in the fourth quarter, but some brilliance from Hansen jnr proved to be a difference maker, with his two final-term goals proving to be enough.


"We've seemed to be in a lot of close games this year and some have gone our way and a couple haven’t, but they're really good learning opportunities for our players," Lynch said.

"I felt like in the last quarter we had some really good passages of composure, and we were able to maintain possession of the footy and keep it off them (Casey)."

Dylan Stephens looked dangerous throughout the first three quarters after playing a quarter and a half on Saturday night for the AFL side. He finished the day with 24 disposals and seven score involvement and was rested for the majority of the last quarter. 

Jaidyn Stephenson worked out of defensive-50 at Casey Fields and amassed 25 disposals and 14 marks, while Jarrod Lienert was again stout behind the ball with 10 intercepts.

In typical Hugh Greenwood fashion, he extracted 11 clearances on his way to 19 possessions.


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CASEY DEMONS             2.5    5.8    8.8    11.11  (77)     
NORTH MELBOURNE    3.5    8.6    10.10    12.11  (83)     

Casey Demons: Jefferson 4, White, Fullarton, McAdam, Kentfield, King, Laurie, Szybkowski
North Melbourne: Hansen jnr 4, Maley 2, Sellers 2, Free, Hardeman, Harvey, Payne

North Melbourne: Hansen jnr, Lazzaro, McKercher, Maley, Stephens, Logue

North Melbourne:
 Alex Noblett replaced by Dylan Stephens


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