1994 RFL SEASON RESULTS
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IN: Andrew Barber (Dookie College), Eldon Barker (Anglesea), Craig Bretherton (Bentleigh), Brendan Browne, David Eichler (St Marys, GFL), Shane Fitzsimmons (West Adelaide), Tim Fraser (Waratah, NT), Danny Litchfield (Coleambally), Warren McKenzie (South Barwon), John McNamara (Port Fairy), Chris Parr (Mildura), Phillip Rowston (Sydney Swans), Richard Telfer.
OUT: Joe Agresta, Scott Angrove, Owen Brown (Barellan), Matt Coad, David and Peter Dunkley, Glen Garner, David Gee, Stewart Egan (St Arnaud), Brent Hathaway (Marrar), Mark O'Connor, Jason Wescott (St Arnaud): Eldon Barker, John McNamara (Port Fairy).
COLLINS IN CHARGE
FORMER player of the Griffith Australian Football Club, Darrell Collins, has taken over as president for the 1994 Riverina Football League season. Collins who played over 200 senior games for the Swans, was elected unopposed at the annual general meeting held on Wednesday night at the Ex-Servicemen's Club.
He has taken over from Terry Bennett, who stepped down from the position due to work commitments.
Brett McAlister who shared the secretary position with Collins last season will be on his own for next year, while former treasurer Ffiona Beverley has stepped back into that breach.
Beverley has taken over from Brian Files, who has also stepped down with work commitments, while Steve and Shane Best have been re-elected as vice-presidents.
The meeting heard the club is in a sound financial position going into next season and with a new coach Shane Fitzsimmons signed, it will be looking for a couple of main position players. Fitzsimmons will be in Griffith tomorrow to sign and will shift to the town in early January. (The Area News - Friday, November 26, 1993).
TAKE TWO FOR FITZSIMMONS
NEW Griffith Australian Football Club captain-coach, Shane Fitzsimmons, arrived in town on Wednesday and is already making plans to ensure the Swans have a successful season.
Fitzsimmons, a rover or a centreman, said this year the Swans training sessions would be taking a new direction with the introduction of weight training and defensive plays. Another Fitzsimmons' initiative is a training camp in late February at the Wagga Army Base. Fitzsimmons said the reason for the training camp at the army base was just not for fitness, but to help the Swans' motivation and team spirit.
In 1993 Fitzsimmons had agreed to coach the Swans, but was told by his then club, West Adelaide, that they would be taking up a 12-month option on his contract.
Fitzsimmons later said he felt he owed the Swans was to ensure they had a successful season in 1994.
With the Swans starting training on January 10, Fitzsimmons said he was excited about the 1994 season because of some player developments. "A few blokes who did not play last year have announced they would be coming out of retirement next season, and they are all locals which is good," Fitzsimmons said.
"I am hoping to sign a few more players, but nothing is definite as yet."
Fitzsimmons said he was looking forward to going from a not so successful team to a successful side. "Last year with West Adelaide we finished second last," Fitzsimmons said. "Personally I had a good season, but winning the premiership is more important."
Fitzsimmons said he was impressed with the professionalism of the Swans committee, especially in the way they made sure they kept in close contact with all the players.
Swans president, Darrell Collins, said he was pleased to have Fitzsimmons as the 1994 coach. "After previously missing out on getting Shane's services we are very pleased to get the chance again," Mr Collins said.
"Shane will be a good asset, and we are looking forward to a good season. "Because Shane has played under some top level coaches his experience will be of great value, especially to our juniors."
For the past five seasons Fitzsimmons has played with West Adelaide and was regularly named among the best best players each week. (The Area News - Friday, January 7, 1994).
GRIFFITH SWANS BEATEN IN FIRST PRACTICE MATCH
THE Griffith Australian Football Club threw off the cobwebs on Saturday, when it played its first practice match against ACT based Belconnen at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval No. 2 oval. Coach Shane Fitzsimmons wasn't looking for any great performances so early in the season against a side ready to start its competition next weekend.
"We were short of numbers for the two sides due to unavailability and cricket finals, but it was a good hit-out," he said. While scores didn't mean a lot in these games, Belconnen won 17.18 (120) to 7.13 (55) in the first grade and Griffith reserves, mostly made up of juniors, lost 18.17 (125) to 0.2 (2).
Griffith slipped away to a good start when it led 20 points to nine at the end of the first quarter, but wasted a lot of opportunities kicking with the wind. This wasn't the case with the visitors, who put on 8.7 in the second term, while holding Griffith scoreless, and it was only Griffith's inaccurate kicking in the third stanza which saw it fall behind. Trailing by 35 points, Griffith added 3.8, which could have been easily 8.3 and allowed Belconnen to run away in the final quarter to win by 65 points.
It was an underdone side which took the field for the Swans and they did very well against a strong ACT combination. Fitzsimmons said he was happy with the players who took the paddock, especially some of the new ones to the club this season. He said former Barellan and Sydney Swans' player Phillip Rowston did well on the half forward line and at centre half back during the match. "He will be a handy player for the club, but he is waiting to see what happens with the AFL player draft next Wednesday and needless to say, he has some other offers, but he is reasonably keen to line-up," Fitzsimmons said.
Another to stand out was former Mildura player Chris Parr, who has been shifted to Griffith in his employment. The well-built centre half forward was one of the best on ground for the locals and without too much pre-season training according to Fitzsimmons.
Another to show out was rangy ruckman Andrew Barber, who is a local lad from Hanwood, but has been away studying and did a good job s a tap ruckman during the game.
While Fitzsimmons said he was short of players for the match, he also made the comment the players who did take the paddock would have knocked six goals off the deficit with another four weeks of training. 'They did very well, but the season isn't for another month, so its no good peaking too early. "Any side without Gary Argus, Brett Davis, David Gee, Owen and Mark Brown, Paul Young, Shane Ruyg and new players Dean Jamieson, from Barellan and Anthony Trewella from Darwin, is going to find it hard. "On the other hand, add these to the players who took on Belconnen and we are looking strong for the season," he added.
Fitzsimmons also said he was interested in hearing from past players and supporters who would be interested in the running of the club. "We need people to take on the tasks of selectors and team managers, as well there might be some parents of the juniors who would like to be involved, but feel they would be pushing in. "All they have to do is make themselves known to either myself or Darrell Collins at training and we will find a spot to slot them into the organisation." (The Area News - Monday, March 14, 1994).
SWANS GOOD EARLY SEASON FORM
THE Griffith Australian Football Club showed it won't be far off the pace in the Riverina Football League this season after a good performance against Wodonga Raiders on Saturday.
Again Griffith was underdone with players unavailable, but it took the match up to the Raiders and at one stage during the third quarter was five goals in front. Griffith faded in the final quarter against a side set to start its competition earlier than the locals, but also finished the match with only 17 players.
The Swans lost the Quinn Medal winner, Gary Argus, early in the second quarter and Shane Ruyg had to leave the ground during the final quarter. At that stage both were doing well and to fill the gaps, the Swans had to run on players who had already played in the reserve grade match earlier.
Even though the side was defeated, coach Shane Fitzsimmons was pleased with the effort and the run-on game shown by the players. "We need a bit more fitness and some players have started a bit late, but we have three weeks to make up the slack and we should be right by the first game. "We were missing about eight players who would make the side on Saturday, but those that did take the field did very well."
Two of these players he was talking about only arrived at the club unannounced on Friday. David Eichler, a rover from St Mary's in the Geelong Football League and Warren McKenzie, a ruck-rover from South Barwon in the Bellarine Peninsula League, showed they will be a great acquisitions to the club with their displays on Saturday.
Add to these the performance of Chris Parr at centre half forward, Leo Tenace, ex Echuca, and Griffith has started to look good. David Alpen, who missed a lot of the pre-season due to work commitments, filled in as a ruckman and won his position until the tiredness set in, while the return of Jamie Bennett made a difference at the bottom of the packs. With the return of players like Brett Davis, Anthony Trewella, Andrew Barber, Greg Collins and Craig Seton, and Griffith look like being a formidable opponent for any side in the league.
The players will have a rest this weekend, though training will be earnest and Fitzsimmons hopes to organise a match prior today against for Saturday, April 9. Prior to that the club will be holding its Jumper Presentation and Calcutta at the Exies Club on Friday April 9. (The Area News - Monday, March 28, 1994).
ROWSTON SIGNS WITH GRIFFITH SWANS
FORMER Barellan junior and Sydney Swan, Phillip Rowston, has signed with the Griffith Australian Football Club for the 1994 season. Rowston, who joined Sydney as a 17-year-old in 1990, was cut from the list a fortnight ago and has since been talking to other clubs, but decided on Friday he would play with Griffith.
"I think I have made the right decision as I am looking forward to going back near home," he said from Sydney yesterday. The 21 year-old has a year to serve on a green-keeping apprenticeship and he has a position with the club's sponsor, the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club.
He left Barellan in 1990 to join Sydney and played in the under 18's, under Greg Harris for the first half of the season and spent the balance in the reserves. He made the pre-season Fosters Cup side in 1992, but was sent back to the reserves. During his time in Sydney, luck didn't run his way as he lost half of the 1991 season with stress fracture to his back and half the 1992 season with the same type of fracture to an ankle.
Last June he thought it was the end of his AFL career when he was dropped from the list just prior to the draft, but was redrafted when the club couldn't find anyone better.
His football improved from that point on, as he was a regularly mentioned in the best players in the reserves and was named as an emergency in the final two or three matches in 1993.
"I put in a good pre-season this year and was going well until a couple of weeks ago when I was rung up and asked to get to the Swans' office. "Ron Joseph and Ron Barassi were there and told me I was too slow, which I had to agree with I was a few yards behind," he said.
While he was "chopped" from the list, he had nothing but good to say about his time with Sydney. "I learnt a lot about football, met a lot of good friends and trained under some good coaches.
"Col Kinnear and Mark McClure were here when I first came and they were good, but Barassi would have to be the best I have seen in Sydney," he said.
He said he was looking forward to getting back home and with tongue in cheek added he was looking for a good year in a good side and winning a few games. "I have a lot of good friends in the area and am looking forward to seeing them and settling down in my work."
At the moment he is training under two former Sydney players in David Murphy and Neil Cordy, who are coaching sides in the local league and expect to be in Griffith on Wednesday week. "I would have liked to be there sooner, but I had to give notice at work." (The Area News - Monday, March 28, 1994).
A NEW LOOK SWANS SIDE
NEW coaches and new look sides seem to be the order of the day when Griffith meets East Wagga-Kooringal at Gumly Oval, Wagga tomorrow in the first round of the Riverina Football League's 1994 competition.
Griffith goes into the match under former West Adelaide player Shane Fitzsimmons, while East Wagga has gained the services of former Batemans Bay coach Jason Baulch. Both have come to their respective clubs with good references and both sides seem to have built up playing personal during the off season.
While the East Wagga Hawks have won Owen Geddes from Osborne, Brent Bailey from Portland, Barry McLachlan from Coolamon and Marc Rose from Wagga, it has lost some quality players. Missing are Brett Page, Jamie Ross, last season's coach Peter Whittle, John Raczkowski and Jason Bonham.
While the Hawks have filled holes of players lost, Griffith have been in much the same position, losing a lot of players from last season. Coach Peter Dunkley, David Dunkley, Stewart Egan, Todd Cody, Jason Wescott and Matt Coad have all gone on to greener pastures, while Gerard Toscan and Owen Brown have retired and Brent Hathaway is in college at Wagga. The club has added Tim Fraser, David Eichler, Chris Parr, Warren McKenzie, Phillip Rowston, Anthony Trewella, Myles Bunn and Andrew Barber.
Griffith has traditionally battled on Gumly Oval against the Hawks and even when it was strong some three seasons back and East Wagga on the bottom, it only won by small margins. The side looks stronger, but Fitzsimmons said he will have to wait until tonight before he finalises the selection.
"Some players are carrying niggling injuries and if they don't come up they won't be playing. "We had a inter-club match last weekend, which wasn't good preparation for the first match, but we couldn't find a side to play us.
"The boys have been training well, but to date we haven't had a full side on the paddock in the practice matches and probably wont have one for this match," Fitzsimmons said.
Of the new players, Tim Fraser will probably line up at fullback, David Eichler, with his speed and ball skills looks a natural wingman and Chris Parr has a good pair of hands and these will be put to use at centre half forward. Phillip Rowston, who has experience with Sydney Swans, will play as a ruckrover and half forward flanker, along with Warren McKenzie and Andrew Barber with share the ruck work with Greg Collins.
Anthony Trewella, who has joined the club from Darwin, will probably fill in the centre half back position and Myles Bunn is a rover and forward line goal sneak.
The match will be an interesting encounter for both sets of supporters as they evaluate the performances of their sides, looking forward towards the balance of the season. Both sides have a bit more than the four points at stake as it will be the first match of the season for the Natural Gas Challenge Cup.
It is a new cup set up this season and for every week a club holds the cup, $100 goes towards the club's coffers.
(By Brian Files - The Area News, Friday, April 15, 1994).
Round 1 - Saturday April 16, 1994 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm
East Wagga-Kooringal ... 4.5 .. 6.7 .. 11.9 .. 12.14 (86)
Griffith ............................... 1.2 .. 5.7 .. 10.12 .. 17.20 (122)
Goals: EWK: T Gorham 4, B McLachlan 3, D Cuthbert, J Baulch, B Suckling, S Bitters, T Terry
Griffith: W McKenzie 3, S Ruyg 3, P Rowston 2, P Casey, C Parr, R Burdett, J Wadley, G Collins, G Argus, S Fitzsimmons, D Eichler, B Davis
Best players: EWK: M O'Leary, J Baulch, N Graetz, T Gorham, M Blundell, C Absolum
Griffith: P Casey, S Fitzsimmons, W McKenzie, B Davis, S Ruyg, J Bennett
Griffith: Jason Wadley, Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston*, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson*, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr*, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber*, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c) *, Gary Argus, David Eichler*, Peter Casey, Tim Fraser*, Mark Brown, C Bretherton*, Chris Noack, Warren McKenzie*
Umpires: Tim Beard (RUA) and S Frogatt (ACT)
Other matches - SUN: Coolamon 11.17 (83) def GGGM 25.15 (165), Leeton 11.6 (72) def by Wagga 18.13 (121), Turvey Park 20.13 (133) def Narrandera 11.7 (93)
Reserves: Griffith 12.12 (84) d East Wagga-Kooringal 13.5 (83)
Goals: C Cassidy 6, R Irvin 2, B Browne, M O'Bryan, S Collis, A Negri
Best players: C Cassidy, M O'Bryan, G Foley, R Telfer, M Cameron
Under 18: Griffith 9.6 (60) d East Wagga-Kooringal 4.7 (31)
Goals: B Harrison 6, T Schmetzer, M Agresta, C Browne
Best players: M Burke, T Schmetzer, N Clausen, M Agresta, M Bunn
Match report: Griffith's new-look combination had a shaky start to the Riverina Football League season before grinding its way to a 36-point win against East Waga-Kooringal at Gumly Oval on Saturday.
The Swans were on the wrong side of the ledger at every change but found a new lease of life in the final term to overpower East Wagga 122 to 86. Griffith etched its name in the RFL annals with its gritty performance, becoming the inaugural winner of the National Gas Challenge. The challenge, which carries a $100 bonus, was launched at the season opener by RFL president Clive Willis.
Griffith had 10 new recruits in its line-up and made a tardy start to the game, conceding four goals before recording its final score. The Swans remained under pressure in the second and third terms but got their act together in the last quarter when they piled on five goals in a 12-minute period.
"We had far too many turnovers early on and they capitalised on our mistakes," said Griffith's new captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons. "Once we started to hit our target in the second half we pushed ahead." Fitzsimmons dismissed suggestions the Swans' edge in fitness proved a telling factor. "Our fitness might have helped a bit in the last quarter, but we still have a lot of room for improvement," said the former West Adelaide on-baller.
The final score-line flattered last season's preliminary finalist, which had to push itself to the limits against the Hawks. "What disappointed me the most was the size of the margin," said East Wagga captain-coach Jason Baulch. "It was only 15 minutes of football which made the difference. "We started on a positive note but our skill level fell away when we got tired in the last quarter."
Griffith relied heavily on Fitzsimmons, wingman Peter Casey and half forward flanker Warren McKenzie in its fightback. The Swans' strength was put to the test by the loss of outstanding ruck rover Gary Argus in the second quarter. Argus, who was the RFL's best and fairest last season, aggravated a calf muscle injury and spent the remainder of the game on the sidelines.
East Wagga also had its share of problems, with representative defender Cameron Mitter leaving the ground with a knee problem and fullback Ken McPherson suffering a similar fate.
Griffith was reduced to 17 players midway through the third term when centre half forward Chris Parr was sent off for 15 minutes for swearing. Only a minute later Hawks key forward Barry McLachlan, who had three goals to his credit, was also ordered off for the same offence.
(By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday, April 18, 1994).
Round 2 - Sunday April 24, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .............. 3.0 .. 4.3 .. 7.7 .. 13.9 (87)
Turvey Park .... 2.7 .. 8.10 .. 15.12 .. 19.14 (128)
Goals: Griffith: C Cassidy 4, S Ruyg 2, W McKenzie 2, J Bennett, P Rowston, G Argus, G Foley, C Parr
Turvey Park: W Sykes 4, M Holgate 4, H Mooney 3, D Toose 2, M Hewitt, M Mooney, T Melcan, T Ryan
Best players: Griffith: M Henderson, G Dreyer, P Rowston, G Foley, C Cassidy, A Barber
Turvey Park: W Sykes, M Hewitt, S Woods, K Johnstone, S King, H Mooney
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Colin Cassidy, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Rick Burdett, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Gary Argus, David Eichler, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie, Richard Telfer*
Umpires: Rob Bartholomew and Rob Matthews (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 2.12 (24) def by Coolamon 13.12 (90), Wagga 26.24 (180) def EWK 9.14 (68); SUN: GGGM 28.25 (193) def Leeton 3.6 (24)
Reserves: Turvey Park 24.12 (156) d Griffith 11.4 (70)
Goals: M Reid 2, D Gee 2, M Cameron 2, W Tyndall 2, P Vardanega 2, J Reid
Best players: P Vardanega, B Hammmond, G Ceccato
Under 18: Griffith 13.4 (70) d Turvey Park 6.1 (37)
Goals: B Harrison 5, C Browne 3, M Burke 2, S Taylor, T Schmetzer
Best players: M Burke, N Campbell, B Harrison, R Best
Match report: Griffith Swans supporters got a glimpse of what is to come this season in the last quarter against Turvey Park at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval, but there wasn't too much to get excited about in the first three.
The Swans, without captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons, got a football lesson on how to move a football over a large terrain and went down, 128 to 87. Griffith was also defending the National Gas Challenge but relinquished the title - and its $100 bonus - without a struggle.
Griffith went into the match underdone and carried a couple of players with injuries, but the selectors did find a player of the future in Graham Foley. Foley came into the side to replace Fitzsimmons and battled hard all day, but he ran out of mates very quickly.
Fitzsimmons wasn't too unhappy about the performance and the side can improve. "We went in underdone and had a few players carrying niggling injuries, but we had no one to replace them. "It was a learning experience for our players on how to use the football and we will learn from that and be a different side next time we meet them," he said. The closest the Swans got to the Turvey Park Bulldogs was in the first quarter when they trailed by a point, in what was a good effort considering they played the bulk of the term one man short.
Phillip Rowston was sent off from the field for 15 minutes in what would have been the softest sending off since the rule came in and worse physical contact would have been seen on the netball court. With Rowston missing, the Swans battled hard in keeping the Bulldogs at bay, but bad kicking from the opposition kept the Swans in the match. Turvey put on 2.7 for the quarter, while Griffith kicked three straight goals, two in the last three minutes, to get back from 10 points down.
Griffith was outplayed in the second term as Turvey kicked six goals and Griffith lone major was more luck than good management. During this quarter, Griffith set the pattern for the day as it stood and watched Turvey run the ball down the field with players from every line joining in. The Griffith players looked as though they were stuck to the spot as, with perfect hand and foot passing and good backing up, the Turvey players did as they liked.
The third quarter in an Australian Football match is classed as the championship quarter and that is exactly the way the Bulldogs went about it. They added seven goals to three and apart from Griffith adding the first two after the break, it was all Turvey.
Griffith went into the last change 53 points behind, and it looked to be a case of how far Turvey. Turvey had winners all over the ground, led by Warren Sykes, Heath Mooney, Tony Melican and Matthew Holgate.
Holgate, in particular, was very damaging during the term kicking his four goals for the match, while Melican, who was playing at centre half back, wandered down field and kicked a beautiful left foot goal on the run.
Sykes started at full forward, and it was lucky for Griffith he didn't have his kicking boots on as he had plenty of chances and then moved onto the ball. He and Mooney did what they liked around the ground, picking up kicks at will and rarely missing the target they were aiming at.
Even with all this going on and Griffith running around in circles, it was a credit the way the Swans fought back in the final term. When a side is running as freely as Turvey was, it is very hard to stop, but with a bit of tenacity, picking up players and some hard tackling, Griffith found itself playing the better football.
But in what was a fitting end to a good performance by Turvey and a best on ground vote to Sykes, he kicked the final goal of the day and his fourth, as the siren sounded. (By Brian Files - The Area News, Monday April 25, 1994).
Round 3 - Sunday May 1, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............. 7.3 .. 12.7 .. 15.13 .. 19.16 (130)
Narrandera .... 3.2 .. 6.3 .. 9.7 .. 14.9 (93)
Goals: Griffith: W McKenzie 4, J Bennett 3, S Fitzsimmons 3, G Argus 2, S Ruyg 2, B Davis 2, M Henderson, E Barker, C Cassidy
Narrandera: H Hopwood 7, D Brookes 2, P Bloomfield 2, J Vearing, S Bloomfield, T Arbuthnot
Best players: Griffith: P Rowston, W McKenzie, B Davis, G Argus, J Bennett, A Barber
Narrandera: M Hopwood, P Bloomfield, H Hopwood, C Spencer, T Ryan, J Vearing
Griffith: Eldon Barker*, Shane Ruyg, Colin Cassidy, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Rick Burdett, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Peter Casey, Tim Fraser, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Andrew Lade and Peter Smith (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 13.11 (89) def GGGM 26.13 (169); SUN: Leeton 14.9 (93) def Coolamon 22.9 (141), Turvey Park 10.6 (66) def by Wagga 19.14 (128)
Reserves: Narrandera 8.13 (61) d Griffith 6.3 (39)
Goals: M Cameron 2, D Gee, D Norman, S Aubrey, R Knox
Best players: D Alpen, M Cameron, D Hosking, D Gee, C Conlan
Under 18: Griffith 17.5 (107) d Narrandera 2.4 (16)
Goals: B Harrison 6, T Schmetzer 3, D Clark 3, D Leask 3, J Longford, M Thompson
Best players: K Duncan, G Vaccari, D Clark, M Kenny, D Leask
Match report: Griffith discovered the value of a strong first quarter on its way to a 37-point victory against Narrandera in the Riverina Football League. The Swans led at the opening change for the first time this season and went on to defeat the Eagles 19.16 (130) to 14.9 (93) at Ex-Servicemen's Oval.
Griffith had to play catch-up football in its previous two games against East Wagga-Kooringal and Turvey Park but went onto the attack from the opening bounce yesterday. Griffith moved the ball quickly and effectively as it utilised centreman Brett Davis and on-ballers Gary Argus, Jamie Bennett, Shane Fitzsimmons and Andrew Barber. Narrandera outscored Griffith in the second half - kicking 8.6 to 7.9 - but the deficit was too much for the Eagles to bridge. The Eagles had to re-shuffle their line-up after losing captain-coach Glen Cole and leading goalkicker through injury. Griffith also had its share of injury problems, with fullback Tim Fraser (shoulder ligaments) and wingman Peter Casey (hand) leaving the ground prematurely.
Former Sydney Swans player Phillip Rowston relished his new role at centre halfback and was the major force behind Griffith's win. Warren McKenzie made his presence felt on a half forward flank and bagged four goals, while Davis, Argus and Bennett were consistent contributors. Narrandera's teenager defender Heath Hopwood excelled when he was switched to attack and landed seven goals. Ruckman Michael Hopwood, rover Peter Bloomfield, wingman Craig Spencer, centre half forward Tony Ryan and utility John Vearing were also among the Eagles top performers. (The Daily Advertiser - Monday, May 2, 1994).
Round 4 - Saturday May 7, 1994 at Robertson Oval 2.10pm
Wagga Tigers .... 4.3 .. 5.9 .. 8.11 .. 11.12 (78)
Griffith ................. 2.2 .. 2.3 .. 3.6 .. 10.9 (69)
Goals: Wagga: T Daniher 5, J Dore, M Barber, N Turnbull, M McIntyre, G Treacy, A Jones
Griffith: G Argus 2, W McKenzie 2, E Barker, J Bennett, R Burdett, B Davis, C Parr, S Fitzsimmons
Best players: Wagga: T Daniher, P J Irvine, G Pieper, S Schultz, J Dore, S Priest
Griffith: S Fitzsimmons, B Davis, P Rowston, D Eichler, C Bretherton, G Argus
Griffith: Eldon Barker, Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Chris Conlan, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Graham Foley, Mark Cameron, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Eric Rodgers (RUA) and M Butler (ACT)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 14.11 (95) def Leeton 9.11 (65); SUN: Coolamon 20.27 (147) def EWK 10.13 (73), GGGM 16.14 (110) def Turvey Park 9.16 (70)
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 21.16 (142) d Griffith 5.5 (35)
Goals: D Norman 2, M Koschel, J Wadley, A McCashney
Best players: D Moylan, B Miller, B McAllister, C Noack, J Wadley
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 14.5 (89) d Griffith 5.6 (36)
Goals: D Clark, S Clarke, M Burke, B Harrison, C Sargeant
Best players: M Burke, D Clark, K Duncan, W Donatto, A Sara, G Vaccari
Match report: Wagga Tigers captain-coach Terry Daniher could hear the warning bells ringing before the final siren signalled his team's nine-point escape against Griffith on Saturday. The Tigers had to pull out all stops in the last 10 minutes to fend off a late charge from the Swans. They won 11.12 (78) to 10.9 (69) in an exciting Riverina Football League game at Robertson Oval, Wagga.
Griffith had only three goals to their credit at three quarter time but piled on another seven in a barnstorming finale. The Swans were still 34 points down at the 17-minute mark of the last quarter before they closed the gap with five majors in the space of 13 minutes. Wagga had breezed through its three previous games with an average winning margin of more than 70 points, but the story was vastly different on Saturday.
Daniher was clearly not satisfied with his players effort and talked to them behind closed doors after the match.
The ruckman, who proved the difference between winning and losing for the Tigers, later said he was relieved to hear the final siren. "It would have been interesting if the game had gone for another 10 minutes," Daniher said. "Griffith got their tails up in the last quarter and we were found wanting a bit. "The inexperience told on the younger boys and a few of the older ones slowed up. "We almost stopped to a walk late in the game," he said.
Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons said his team left its challenge too late. "You can't expect to win by playing one good quarter of football," "We didn't hit our straps until the game was almost over."
Fitzsimmons said the Swans would have to consider all aspects of their performance when they reflected on the four quarters. "Quite a few positives and a lot of negatives came out of the game for us," the on-baller said.
"We had far too many turnovers early, which ended up being our downfall. "But the players began to believe in themselves towards the end - they showed confidence in each other in the last quarter."
Griffith went into the game undermanned and was further depleted when wingman Chris Conlan aggravated a knee injury in the second stanza. "We have a lot of injuries at the moment, and we'll only get better when we get all of our players back," Fitzsimmons said.
Daniher was instrumental in the Tigers victory, kicking five valuable goals and gathering possessions all over the ground and he received good assistance from Gerald Pieper, Paul J Irvine, Stephen Schultz and centreman Steven Priest, while Fitzsimmons, Brett Davis, Gary Argus and Phillip Rowston gave their all for the Swans, and David Eichler and Craig Bretherton were consistent performers.
(By Scott Sanbrook -The Daily Advertiser, Monday, May 9, 1994)
Round 5 - Sunday May 15, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................... 0.1 .. 4.4 .. 5.5 .. 6.6 (42)
Ganmain-GGM .... 2.1 .. 6.1 .. 10.7 .. 13.13 (91)
Goals: Griffith: S Fitzsimmons 2, S Ruyg, G Collins, G Argus, D Eichler
GGGM: S Carroll 4, S Lenon 4, L Winter 2, M Carroll, J Crozier, N Carroll
Best players: Griffith: B Davis, S Fitzsimmons, P Rowston, M Brown, D Eichler, G Foley
GGGM: S Lawton, N Carroll, S Hamblin, S Carroll, John Lawton, S Lenon
Griffith: Eldon Barker, Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Myles Bunn*, Graham Foley, Mark Cameron, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Garry Foster and Ken Wink (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 20.18 (138) def Leeton 7.6 (48), Wagga 20.11 (131) def Narrandera 10.10 (70); SUN: Turvey Park 23.22 (160) def Coolamon 12.10 (82)
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 30.16 (196) d Griffith 4.5 (29)
Goals: P Vardanega 2, M O'Bryan, B Miller
Best players: C Noack, P Vardanega, M O'Bryan, D Hosking
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 9.10 (64) d Griffith 6.9 (45)
Goals: B Harrison 2, A Sara, T Schmetzer, W Donetto, A Campbell
Best players: N Campbell, W Donetto, D Leask
Match report: The lack of a key forward showed out in the Griffith Swans' line-up at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval on Sunday when they went down to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, 91 to 42. The Swans were in the match nearly all over the paddock but missed out on the scoreboard.
Like last week against Wagga Tigers, Griffith found it hard to kick a score, but in that match, it came home well in the final term and supporters were waiting for it to happen again. It wasn't to be, and the Swans battled to add two goals two behinds in the final two terms while the Ganmain Lions added 7.12.
Griffith lost centre half forward Eldon Barker to a stomach complaint during the second quarter and while coach Shane Fitzsimmons tried a few players in the key position, none really worked. "The amount of possession we had, we should have been five or six goals in front at half-time, but we squandered chances," he said.
Griffith's first goal didn't come until the four-minute mark of the second term, and it came from back pocket player David Eichler, who had followed his man downfield and then received a 50 metre penalty.
Stephen and Nicholas Carroll were causing plenty of havoc for Griffith during the first half and it was Stephen who was keeping the Lions in the match. He kicked the only two goals in the first quarter and got his third of four mid-way through the second but was picking up plenty of kicks along the way.
The comeback the Swans supporters were looking for looked like happening when Gary Argus took a strong mark in front of Scott Lawton at the five-minute mark of the last term and goaled to get within 26 points of the Lions. But that was the end of the section and while the Lions never really ran away with the match, thanks to the Griffith defenders, they never looked like losing.
The Griffith backline, led by Phillip Rowston at centre halfback, repelled the Lions time and time again. The back pockets, David Eichler and Craig Bretherton, along with fullback Mark Brown, were solid all day, while the flankers, Greg Dreyer and Chris Parr did some good things.
Again, it was the same faces and names which took the match up to the Ganmain-GGM side. Brett Davis had plenty of possessions in the centre, Shane Fitzsimmons and Gary Argus also gave drive out of the middle, while Rick Burdett and Mark Henderson did well. The best player on the ground was Scott Lawton at centre half back for the winners, while John Lawton did well at fullback and Shane Lenon got plenty of kicks.
The Swans day finished on a bleak note when they lost Shane Ruyg and halfback flanker Greg Dreyer. Ruyg limped from the ground with an ankle injury, while Dreyer was sent off for 15 minutes for misconduct.
(By Brian Files - The Area News, Monday May 16, 1994)
Round 6 - Sunday May 22, 1994 at Kindra Park 2.10pm
Coolamon .... 4.5 .. 6.10 .. 9.14 .. 12.19 (91)
Griffith ......... 5.1 .. 8.5 .. 13.9 ..17.14 (116)
Goals: Coolamon: G Bench 7, D Gillett, P Sutton, K Hanna, J Anderson, G Adams
Griffith: G Argus 6, E Barker 3, J McNamara 3, J Bennett 2, S Fitzsimmons 2, B Davis
Best players: Coolamon: M Buchanan, B Buchanan, N O'Connell, W McLoughlin, G Bench, A Pleming
Griffith: P Rowston, G Argus, D Eichler, B Davis, S Fitzsimmons
Griffith: Eldon Barker, Shane Ruyg, John McNamara*, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Malcolm Burke, Myles Bunn, Graham Foley, Dominic Norman*, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Norm Maraldo and Aaron Beard (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 17.19 (121) def Narrandera 13.12 (90); SUN: GGGM 17.12 (114) def Wagga 7.14 (56), Leeton 3.12 (30) def by Turvey Park 16.15 (111)
Reserves: Coolamon 10.8 (68) d Griffith 3.14 (32)
Goals: M O'Bryan, J Wadley, K O'Driscoll
Best players: C Noack, M O'Bryan, R Telfer, J Wadley, S Cunial
Under 18: Griffith 8.4 (52) d Coolamon 6.12 (48)
Goals: B Harrison 4, D Leask 2, T Schmetzer, A Sara
Best players: K Duncan, G Vaccari, W Donetto, A Poole, C Rawle
Match report: Griffith continued to prove Coolamon's nemesis when it consolidated fourth position on the Riverina Football League ladder with a 25-point win at Kindra Park, Coolamon. The Swans had to work overtime in the first three quarters to maintain the front-running before edging clear for a 17.14 (116) to 12.19 (91) victory. Griffith has built up an impressive record against the Grasshoppers during the past two years, winning six of their seven confrontations. The latest victory has given Griffith a four-point buffer on Coolamon, Narrandera and East Wagga-Kooringal on the league ladder.
Former Sydney Swans' player Phillip Rowston was the match-winner for Griffith at centre halfback. Rowston was the core of the Griffith tight defence - he was particularly effective in the second half - and received excellent assistance from David Eichler.
The Swans used Gary Argus as the main avenue to goal and he bagged six majors for the match.
Coolamon had more scoring shots than Griffith in the opening quarter but still trailed at the first break.
The Swans landed five goals from six attempts - compared to Coolamon's 4.5 - and were two points in front at quarter time. Coolamon enjoyed plenty of possessions in the second stanza but was again restricted by inaccuracy, booting 2.5. The Hoppers, who were seven points down at half-time, kicked a couple of early goals in the third quarter to hit the lead. Rover Michael Buchanan and key defenders Bryan Buchanan, Nick O'Connell and Warren McLoughlin were working tirelessly for Coolamon.
Griffith steadied midway through the term and booted three goals approaching the time-on period to hold a 19-point break at the last interval. Coolamon maintained a high level of pressure on Griffith in the last quarter but was unable to take any ground of its rival.
Centreman Brett Davis and captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons, a rover, kept a high profile around the ground to ensure the Swans' victory. Full forward Glen Bench landed seven goals in a losing team, while Anthony Pleming gathered his share o possessions at the opposite end of the ground.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday, May 23, 1994)
NSW State Championships Qlf Final - Saturday May 28, 1994 at Maher Oval
Riverina F.L. . . .... 2.3 .. 9.8 .. 16.11 .. 26.16 (172)
Farrer F.L. .............. 3.2 .. 3.6 .. 8.10 .. 11.10 (76)
Goals: Riverina: Heath Mooney 6, Gavin Adams 4, Michael Hewitt 3, Shane Lenon 3, Terry Daniher 3, Simon Wilson 2, Stephen Carroll 2, Brett Davis 2, Shane Fitzsimmons
Farrer: Paul McCarty 7, Mark Conway 2, John Lidgerwood, Peter Sculley
Best players: Riverina: Shane Lenon, Gavin Adams, Terry Daniher, Shane Fitzsimmons, Simon Wilson, Heath Mooney
Farrer: Greg Brain, John Lidgerwood, Robbie Harper, Brett Page, Paul McCarty, David Broomby
Riverina FL: Glenn Treacy, Luke Carroll, John Dore; Phillip Rowston, Scott Lawton, Lewis Winter; Shane Lenon, Steven Priest, Jason Baulch; Brett Davis, Heath Mooney, Michael Walsh; Michael Buchanan, Terry Daniher (c-c), Simon Wilson; Ken Howe, Mark West, Shane Fitzsimmons; Gavin Adams, Nick Carroll, Michael Hewitt, Stephen Carroll
Farrer FL: Antony Cole, Graham Fellows, David Broomby; Todd Goldsmith, Richie Robinson, Michael Morton; Ken Fairman, John Lidgerwood, Scott Macklin; Gavin Hoffert, Brett Page, Peter Sculley (capt); Robbie Burgess, Paul McCarthy, Robbie Ellis; Mark Conway, Robbie Harper, Greg Brain; Adrian Hamilton, Chris Ross, Dick Carey, Jim Corbett
Umpires: Tim Beard (RUA) and Mark Phillips (AUL)
Under 18: Riverina FL 15.6 (96) d Farrer FL 10.5 (65)
Goals: Riverina: Brent Harrison 7, S Stockton 2, C Hubbard 2, D Underwood, M Farrell, B Miller, M Hamblin
Farrer: A Hopkins 3, D Reid 2, M Doyle 2, L Quade, J Wild, M Chaplin
Best players: Riverina: D Millman, B Miller, C Smith, B Harrison, C Hubbard, M Hamblin, M Nixon
Farrer: M Williams, M Robinson, J Taber, A Hopkins, R Maloney, S Marston, J Wild
Umpires: John McDonell and Gene Hodgins (RUA).
Round 7 - Sunday June 5, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .... 10.1 .. 17.4 .. 24.10 .. 29.14 (188)
Leeton ...... 0.3 .. 4.4 .. 6.4 .. 8.7 (55)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 9, J Bennett 5, W McKenzie 3, S Fitzsimmons 3, B Harrison 2, B Davis 2, P Rowston, E Barker, D Eichler, G Dreyer, C Parr
Leeton: S Whelan 2, C Howe 2, W Armstrong, L Anderson, G Henman, A Wakeman
Best players: Griffith: S Fitzsimmons, G Argus, D Eichler, S Ruyg, W McKenzie
Leeton: C Seton, A Soley, D Baxter, G Henman, S Stockton
Griffith: Eldon Barker, Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie, Brenton Harrison*
Umpires: Brian Smedley and Robert Hunt (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 5.9 (39) def by GGGM 23.15 (153), Wagga 18.12 (120) def Coolamon 9.11 (65); SUN: Turvey Park 24.16 (160) def EWK 14.6 (90)
Reserves: Griffith 15.15 (105) d Leeton 5.6 (36)
Goals: M O'Bryan 3, D Norman 3, R Telfer 2, S Collis 2, J Andrews 2, P Crowe, M Cameron, A McCashney
Best players: M O'Bryan, R Telfer, R Irvin, S Wade, C Noack, A McCashney
Under 18: Leeton 7.13 (55) d Griffith 6.12 (48)
Goals: M Olney 3, G Collis, M Thompson, A Sara
Best players: M Kenny, M Burke, K Duncan, C Browne, J Vaccari
Match report: Brilliant utility Gary Argus led the onslaught for Griffith when he bagged nine goals in a 133-point demolition of Leeton at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. Argus provided his teammates with a target at the goal-mouth and he rarely missed a chance in the Swans 29.14 (188) to 8.7 (55) win in the Riverina Football League encounter. The 1993 Jim Quinn Memorial Medallist is best known for his exploits as a ruck rover but has been effective in the past two games at full forward. Argus was particularly dominate in the first two quarters yesterday and had seven majors to his credit at half-time. Despite his massive haul, Argus was overshadowed for best on the ground honours by Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons, a rover, was a tireless worker and gathered more than 40 possessions for the game. Griffith realised a percentage boosting win was necessary against the bottom team to enhance its chances of qualifying for the finals. The Swans made their intentions clear with a 10-goal burst in the first quarter - thanks largely to the boot of Argus.
Leeton, which was shell-shocked, managed only three behinds for the term and faced a 58-point deficit at quarter-time. Griffith never relented in the second stanza and piled on another seven goals, increasing its break to 78 points. Fitzsimmons was proving a handful for the opposition and David Eichler and Shane Ruyg initiated many of the Swans' attacking moves from the halfback line.
There was little Leeton could do in the second half against a team riding on confidence.
Griffith did not have as much control after the long interval but was still able to compile 12.10 to the Redlegs' 4.3.
Fitzsimmons stood out in a team which had no passengers and Eichler, Ruyg and half forward flanker Warren McKenzie were consistent winners
Ruckman Craig Seton never stopped trying for the Redlegs, but he did not receive enough support. Ruck rover Andrew Soley, centreman Danny Baxter, utility Graham Henman and late replacement Stephen Stockton ranked among the better performers for Leeton. (The Daily Advertiser - Monday, June 6, 1994)
NSW State Championship Final - Saturday June 12, 1994 at Football Park, Canberra
ACTAFL ....... 6.5 .. 10.12 .. 17.16 .. 22.19 (151)
Riverina FL ... 3.2 .. 8.5 .. 11.8 .. 14.9 (93)
Goals: ACT: Michael Niesen 7, Gerard Zochling 3, Reece Langan 3, Brett Ryan 2, Alan Mapleson 2, Tony Wynd, Steve O'Brien, David Skuta, Brent Smith, Jeff Mohrwinkel
RFL: Stephen Carroll 3, Simon Wilson 2, Terry Daniher 2, Heath Mooney 2, Nick Carroll 2, Jason Baulch, Jason Morton, Glenn Adams
Best players: ACT: Peter Banfield, Matt Conway, Mark Armstrong, Michael Niesen, Tony Wynd, Brent Smith
RFL: Shane Fitzsimmons, Phillip Rowston, Nick Carroll, Luke Carroll, Shane Lenon, Mark West
ACTAFL: Jason Gilbert, Michael Gosier, Brett Boots; Matt Conway, Mark Armstrong, Jeff Gilbert; Matt Ryan, Peter Banfield, Brent Smith; Steve O'Brien, Tony Douglass, Tony Wynd; Gerard Zochling, Michael Niesen, Jeff Morwinkel; John Dickie, Reece Langan, Aldo DiPetta; Stuart Annand, Andrew Bishop, Alan Mapleson, David Skuta. Coach: Steve Harrison
Round 8 - Sunday June 19, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................................. 3.1 .. 7.5 .. 11.10 .. 15.13 (103)
East Wagga-Kooringal .... 4.0 .. 8.3 .. 9.7 .. 12.8 (80)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 7, B Harrison 2, J Bennett 2, S Ruyg , B Davis, G Collins, J Wadley
EWK: B Bailey 2, J Baulch 2, B Suckling 2, B McLachlan 2, T Gorham, S Bitters, M Dobojski, M O'Leary
Best players: Griffith: B Davis, J Bennett, D Eichler, G Collins, C Parr
EWK: C Absolum, D Cuthbert, S Bitters, M Blundell, J Baulch
Griffith: Eldon Barker, Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Chris Parr, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Gary Argus, David Eichler, Brendan Browne, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Cameron, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie, Brenton Harrison
Umpires: Wayne Braybrook and J Whitehead (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 10.14 (74) def Turvey Park 17.15 (117), Wagga 22.26 (158) def Leeton 4.4 (28); SUN: GGGM 9.12 (66) def Coolamon 7.9 (51)
Reserves: Griffith 8.6 (54) drew East Wagga-Kooringal 7.12 (54)
Goals: D Gee 3, S McDermott 2, M Teffaha 2, S Collis
Best players: A McCashney, R Irvin, M O'Bryan, M Teffana, M Reid
Under 18: East Wagga-Kooringal 7.6 (42) d Griffith 5.11 (41)
Goals: D Clark 3, D Leask, N Campbell, A Sara
Best players: G Collis, M Thompson, G Vaccari, S Taylor, M Burke
Match report: Griffith centreman Brett Davis delivered the goods in his team's time of need to lift the Swans to a 23-point win against East Wagga-Kooringal at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. Davis played a dominant role in Griffith's second-half turnaround to record a hard-earned 15.13 (103) to 12.8 (80) in the Riverina Football League match. The Swans, who are entrenched in the top four, were under plenty of pressure from the sixth-placed Hawks before edging clear in the third quarter. Davis enabled Griffith to gain the advantage in midfield and earned best on ground accolades for his performance.
The Swans had to contend with the absence of their state representatives Shane Fitzsimmons and Phillip Rowston, which added further merit to the victory. Griffith's success was tarnished by a serious injury to centre half forward Eldon Barker in the third term. Barker was taken to hospital with suspected medical ligaments damage to his knee and could be sidelined for the rest of the season.
East Wagga started the game as the underdogs but took the challenge right up to Griffith.
The Hawks booted four straight goals in the first stanza and held a five-point break at quarter-time. Griffith marginally outscored East Wagga in the second term but still trailed at the long interval. Craig Absolum and Darren Cuthbert were generating a lot of drive for East Wagga from the halfback line and captain-coach Jason Baulch was prominent around the ground. Griffith's effort to kick 4.5 and hold East Wagga to a solitary major in the third quarter was a telling factor in the win. The Swans were 15 points on top at three-quarter time and maintained the advantage throughout the final quarter.
Davis received excellent support from rover Jamie Bennett, half forward flanker David Eichler, ruckman Greg Collins and centre halfback Chris Parr. Griffith's Gary Argus had a seven-goal haul at full forward.
Absolum, Cuthbert and fullback Mark Blundell had huge workloads for the Hawks, as did Stuart Bitters and Baulch. (The Daily Advertiser - Monday, June 20, 1994)
COACH WANTS REASONS FOR BAD LUCK
THE Griffith Australian Football Club's captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons is still wondering why he deserves all the agony bestowed on him this season. Fitzsimmons who didn't play last week as he and Phillip Rowston were in Brisbane with the New South Wales side, arrived home to find he has lost more players through injury.
It isn't a good sign coming up against Turvey Park at Maher Oval, Wagga on Sunday, in a match Griffith would love to win as it hasn't defeated any side above it on the ladder to date.
Centre half forward Eldon Barker is the latest serious injury when he fell awkwardly last week and injured a medial ligament in his knee. Barker is in Melbourne at the moment seeing a specialist and up to the time of printing, the club hasn't heard the result of his tests.
Others who could miss this week are Shane Ruyg with a hip injury and Warren McKenzie with a foot injury.
The Swans also wouldn't have known until last night as to whether new recruit John McNamara will play as he is involved in the end of the financial year stocktake with his company.
In fact, some doubt hangs over McNamara's availability this season, due to his extra work commitments.
Barker joins a long list of injuries at the Griffith club with Peter Casey still sidelined with a broken hand, Mark Brown still overcoming a groin injury and Rick Burdett is still carrying a shoulder injury.
The good news is that Chris Conlan has been training well after his knee operation and could get a berth on the interchange bench on Sunday.
The side did a good job last week against East Wagga-Kooringal and with the inclusion of Fitzsimmons and Rowston will be stronger for this encounter against Turvey Bulldogs.
Griffith has had problems with the centre half forward position for the past few seasons and with the loss of Barker, who was just starting to hit his straps, it has gone back to square one.
McNamara was to be the saviour and Fitzsimmons says he doesn't know what he will do this Sunday.
He has the option of moving either Rowston or Chris Parr to centre half forward, but both have been playing well on the backline. The forward line was just starting to function with the moving of Gary Argus to full forward and Barker getting match fit at centre half forward.
In the early matches, Griffith could hold sides to reasonable targets, but had trouble in kicking a winning score and just when it looked like it had turned around, Barker goes down injured.
Even with the injuries Griffith should be able to take the points at Maher Oval, a ground which hasn't been a happy hunting area in the past. Since the formation of the Riverina Football League in 1982, Griffith has only defeated Turvey on the ground once. Fitzsimmons said he was quietly confident of doing well on Sunday. "The feeling around the club and amongst the players is very good at the moment, which should help us lift for the match. (The Area News - Friday, June 24, 1994).
Round 9 - Sunday June 26, 1994 at Maher Oval 2.10pm
Turvey Park .... 3.3 .. 4.5 .. 5.7 .. 8.13 (61)
Griffith ............. 3.1 .. 5.1 .. 8.3 .. 11.3 (69)
Goals: Turvey Park: W Sykes 5, K Johnstone 3, B Ashcroft
Griffith: G Argus 3, D Litchfield, J Wadley, B Davis, G Collins, D Eichler, T Fraser, C Bretherton, A McCashney
Best players; Turvey Park: K Johnstone, S Woods, T Ashcroft, W Sykes, S Bourne
Griffith: B Davis, S Ftzsimmons, P Rowston, D Eichler, J Bennett, G Dreyer
Griffith: Danny Litchfield*, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Brendan Browne, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Michael Reid, Craig Bretherton, Andrew McCashney, Brenton Harrison
Umpires: Wayne Moriarty and Jonathon Burns (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 4.9 (33) def by Wagga 15.13 (103); SUN: Coolamon 21.12 (138) def Narrandera 13.10 (88), Leeton 7.8 (50) def by GGGM 17.20 (122)
Reserves: Turvey Park 18.12 (120) d Griffith 0.0 (0)
Best players: D Norman, R Telfer, S Collis, M O'Bryan, S Cunial, B McAlister
Under 18: Griffith 6.5 (41) d Turvey Park 4.4 (28)
Goals: N Campbell 3, N Clausen, R Armstrong, S Clarke
Best players: M Burke, S Taylor, N Clausen, N Campbell, G Collis
Match report: Griffith underlined the authenticity of its premiership aspirations when it leaped a psychological barrier were a dour eight-point win against Turvey Park at Maher Oval, Wagga. The fourth-placed Swans had failed to beat a team ranked higher on the ladder before upsetting the Bulldogs 11.13 (69) to 8.13 (61 in the Riverina Football League match of the round. Griffith capitalised on Turvey Park's high error-rate to build up a 14-point lead by three quarter time and found extra reserves of strength in a desperate final stanza.
The win lifted the Swans to equal third on the ladder with Turvey Park and showed they are a genuine threat to the RFL's heavyweights. "A lot of people thought we couldn't beat a team above us, but we proved them wrong today," said Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons. "If we can win against Wagga Tigers later on, we will be looking at second spot and the double chance in the finals."
Fitzsimmons, who starred in midfield along with Brett Davis, said his team's level of desire was the deciding factor in the victory. "On a wet day you need a bunch of goes - and that's what we had," he said. "It all boils down to endeavour and how much the players wanted the ball."
Fitzsimmons pointed out the Swans are still below full strength with injuries, and he believes yesterday's performance will be the steppingstone to bigger things. "We're only going to get better when we get our best team on the ground," he said. "But at the moment the 20 players in our line-up are doing a tremendous job."
Davis was a consistent ball-winner out of the centre and gained best on ground accolades, just ahead of Fitzsimmons. Wingman David Eichler and rover Jamie Bennett also generated enormous drive for Griffith, while Phillip Rowston and Greg Dreyer were the core of a disciplined defence.
In contrast to the Swans' long list of contributors, Turvey Park's good players were few and far between. "The players were undisciplined, lazy and wanted to take the easy option," said a disappointed Bulldogs' coach Glenn Vardanega. "There are a few blokes who think they rare, better than they are."
(By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday, June 27, 1994).
BETWEEN THE POSTS
FOR those supporters who didn't travel to Coolamon to see South Australian recruit John McNamara play for the Griffith Swans, then you have just missed out.
McNamara was going to be the saviour of the Swans playing at centre half forward, but only lined-up for the one match.
The rest of the time he was unavailable, when in actual fact the Griffith club had cleared him to his home town of Port Fairy to keep up his match practice.
He would have missed the weekends for the representative match and the long weekend, while the club didn't think it was worth the expense to bring him in for the Leeton game.
With clearances closing today and McNamara's work commitments, it looks as though it was his one and only game with the Swans.
THE Griffith Swans had to call people from all walks of life to fill in the reserve grade side at Turvey Park last Sunday and it showed on the scoreboard.
The players who did line-up were unable to score in four quarters played, but the lack of players isn't because there is trouble in the camp, as have been touted.
With 10 players from the seniors sitting on the sidelines with injuries, their replacements have to come from somewhere and its usually the reserves.
It appears, unlike the old days, for some unknown reason the under 18 players aren't prepared to step up and fill the holes in the senior side, which sees people like the president having to put on the boots.
Not that far back, under 18 players would have killed to play with the seniors in any grade after fulfilling their commitments with the juniors.
These youngsters are part of the club and should be prepared to put the shoulder to the wheel to help out the hard working committee and their teammates in the higher grades.
(The Area News - Wednesday, June 29, 1994)
Round 10 - Saturday July 2, 1994 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm
Narrandera ... 1.0 .. 4.1 .. 7.3 .. 12.7 (79)
Griffith ........... 9.0 .. 13.5 .. 20.7 .. 23.12 (150)
Goals: Narrandera: D Brookes 4, M Wooden 2, P Bloomfield 2, A Driscoll, M Quilter, B Sargeant, T Arbuthnot
Griffith: G Argus 12, G Collins 3, J Bennett 2, S Fitzsimmons, G Foley, S Ruyg, S Collis, D Litchfield, 1 short
Best players: Narrandera: G Cole, M Quilter, C Driscoll, J Walker, M Wooden, B Sargeant
Griffith: S Fitzsimmons, B Davis, G Argus, A Barber, D Eichler
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Danny Litchfield, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Brendan Browne, Michael Reid, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Scott Collis*, Craig Bretherton
Umpires: Mark Phillips and J Whitehead (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Wagga 12.20 (92) def Turvey Park 8.14 (62); SUN: Coolamon 27.23 (155) def Leeton 7.9 (51), GGGM 18.19 (127) def EWK 8.14 (62)
Reserves: Narrandera 16.14 (110) d Griffith 3.2 (20)
Goals: T Finnen, D Gee, S McDermott
Best players: Shane Best, B McAllister, D Collins, M O'Bryan, D Norman
Under 18: Narandera 8.8 (56) d Griffith 7.9 (51)
Goals: B Harrison 3, D Leask 2, M Burke, T Schmetzer
Best players: G Vaccari, A Poole, K Duncan, B Harrison, N Campbell
Match report: Griffith full forward Gary Argus commanded centre stage when he reaped a 12-goal harvest in the Swans 71-point win over Narrandera at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday. Argus compiled the highest tally of an individual in a Riverina Football League game this season as he spearheaded Griffith to a 23.12 (150) to 12.7 (79) victory. The 1993 Jim Quinn Memorial Medallist played a prominent role in the Swans nine-goal burst in their opening quarter and was relentless in his assault on the goals. "Gary Argus just pouring on the goals," said Narrandera captain-coach Glen Cole, who was a top performer for the losing team.
The RFL's previous biggest haul this year was the 10 majors by Narrandera's full forward Darren Brookes on April 23. Griffith earned third position on the ladder at the expense of Turvey Park with its decisive victory.
Although he was the Swan's leading contributor on the scoreboard, Argus was shaded for best on the ground by his captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons and fellow midfielder generated enormous drive for Griffith and Argus was able to cap off their hard work. Narrandera was looking down the barrel of defeat when faced with a 48-point deficit at quarter-time.
The Eagles started the second stanza on a more positive note - kicking three goals in quick succession - but were unable to sustain the pressure. "We got within five or six goals of Griffith and looked like we were going all right, but they kicked away on us late in the quarter," Cole said.
With ruckman Andrew Barber giving his team first use of the ball and wingman David Eichler utilising his pace, Griffith had extended its break to 58 points by half-time. The Swans' superiority was again evident in the third term and they added another seven goals and held the Eagles to three majors.
Holding an 82-point lead going into the final term, Griffith tended to relax and were outscored by the home side by five goals to three. (The Daily Advertiser - Monday, July 4, 1994)
Round 11 - Sunday July 10, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................. 2.0 .. 3.2 .. 6.4 .. 9.6 (60)
Wagga Tigers ..... 0.5 .. 3.8 .. 7.11 .. 11.14 (80)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 3, G Collins 2, M Henderson, D Eichler, J Bennett, A McCashney
Wagga: M McIntyre 3, R Jackson 2, L Pevet 2, G Pieper, M Gooden, S Wilson, T Daniher
Best players: Griffith: T Fraser, P Rowston, B Davis, D Litchfield, A Barber
Wagga: T Daniher, S Priest, S Wilson, J Morton, P J Irvine, M Hundy
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Chris Conlan, Danny Litchfield, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Brendan Browne, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Andrew McCashney, Mark Brown
Umpires: Andrew Lade and Scott Miller (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 21.12 (138) def Coolamon 11.12 (78); SUN: Leeton 12.10 (82) def Narrandera12.9 (81), Turvey Park 10.10 (70) def GGGM 7.7 (49)
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 13.11 (89) d Griffith 3.10 (28)
Goals: M Reid, J Wadley, B Miller
Best players: M Cameron, J Wadley, S Collis, B Miller, S Wade
Under 18: Griffith 12.10 (82) d Wagga Tigers 11.2 (68)
Goals: B Harrison 5, T Schmetzer 2, C Browne, D Leaske, G Collis, M Olney, D Clark
Best players: Matt Bunn, S Taylor, C Browne, G Vaccari, A Sara
Match report: Defending premiers, Wagga Tigers regained their composure following a goalless first quarter and overpowered Griffith by 20 points at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval on Sunday. The Tigers were wayward in the early stages but found their target in the second half to secure a 11.14 (74) to 9.6 (60) victory in the Riverina Football League encounter. Wagga joined Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at the top of the ladder in extending its winning sequence to five. The Tigers also tightened their grip on the double chance in the finals by defeating Griffith, which has dropped from third to fourth on percentage.
Captain-coach Terry Daniher was the catalyst in Wagga's win, lifting the team with his inspirational leadership.
Daniher worked tirelessly in his customary role as ruckman and was unrivalled for best on the ground honours.
Steven Priest, Simon Wilson and Jason Morton combined with Daniher to give the Tigers supremacy midfield. Halfback flanker Paul J Irvine and rover Matthew Hundy were other prominent performers for Wagga.
Key positional player Tim Fraser, centre halfback Phillip Rowston and centreman Brett Davis stood out in the losing team. Wingman Danny Litchfield and ruckman Andrew Barber provided the Swans with good service.
Griffith had less opportunities in attack then Wagga in the first term but still managed to lead by seven points at quarter time. Both teams had been reduced to 17 players during the term when Jason Morton and Greg Dreyer were sent-off for 15 minutes each. The Tigers began to find their form in the second stanza and booted 3.3 to claim the front-running. Griffith was held to 1.2 for the term and face a one-goal deficit at the long interval.
Wagga gained the ascendancy in the centre in the third quarter and gradually built on its lead. The Tigers enjoyed a 13-point break at three quarter time and drew well clear with three successive goals in the final stanza.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday, July 11, 1994).
Round 12 - Sunday July 17, 1994 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm
Ganmain-GGM ... 3.4 .. 7.8 .. 13.13 .. 16.17 (113)
Griffith ................. 0.1 .. 2.2 .. 4.6 .. 7.10 (52)
Goals: GGGM: L Winter 3, M Walsh 3, S Carroll 2, M Carroll 2, A Carroll 2, S Hamblin, D Walsh, J McPherson, N Carroll
Griffith: J Bennett 3, G Argus 2, S Ruyg, T Fraser
Best players: GGGM: S Lennon, L Carroll, L Winter, J Hamblin, D Walsh, S Hamblin, N Carroll
Griffith: D Eichler, A Barber, S Ruyg, D Litchfield, S Fitzsimmons
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Phillip Rowston, Chris Conlan, Danny Litchfield, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Brendan Browne, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: S Forster and Robert Hunt (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 7.7 (49) def by Wagga 20.15 (135); SUN: Coolamon 17.10 (112) def by Turvey Park 20.14 (134), Leeton 15.10 (100) def by EWK 17.17 ((119)
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 17.16 (118) d Griffith 5.11 (41)
Goals: B Harrison 3, D Collins, M Reid
Best players: B Harrison, R Irvin, Myles Bunn, M Reid, R Telfer
Under 18: Griffith 7.7 (49) d Ganmain-GGM 7.4 (46)
Goals: B Harrison 3, C Browne 2, D Clark, M Thompson
Best players: M Kenny, W Donetto, G Vaccari, C Browne, G Collis
Match report: Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong re-attached the wheels which had fallen off seven days earlier when it steamrolled Griffith by 61 points at Ganmain Sportsground. The Lions were on the rebound from their first loss of the season and vented their anger with a 16.17 (113) to 7.10 (52) win in the Riverina Foootball League game. Ganmain-GGM faced a teat of character following its defeat at the hands of Turvey Park and passed the assignment with honours. The encounter was billed as the match of the round but developed into a farce, with Ganmain holding the fourth-placed Swans goalless until the 24-minute mark of the second quarter.
Ganmain captain-coach Tony Hughes praised his players for altering their approach and attacking the game with much more commitment. "The boys changed their attitude at training last week and they increased their work-rate during the match," Hughes said. They now realise they have to work hard to obtain the results - they can't just rely on their ability." Hughes is confident the Lions have passed their ebb this season and are on the way back. "It's almost impossible to keep up a high standard all year ... every team goes through a bad patch at some stage," he said. "I think we have put our slump behind us, and we are building ourselves back up again."
Assistant-coach and rover Shane Lenon was the driving force behind Ganmain's return to form, producing a best on ground display. Lenon was a vital link in the Lions' running game and gathered possessions almost at will.
Luke Carroll, Jason Hamblin and Dennis Walsh instigated many of Ganmain's attacking moves from the backline, while Lewis Winter was a focal point at centre half forward.
The Lions did not carry a passenger whereas Griffith's performance was few and far between. Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons was mystified by his team's effort - or lack of it - yesterday. "We played reasonably well against Wagga Tigers last Sunday and then we ..... missing page ... to be continued.
(By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday, July 18, 1994).
Round 13 - Sunday July 24, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ........... 2.3 .. 8.5 .. 10.9 .. 15.12 (102)
Coolamon ..... 4.4 .. 6.5 .. 10.8 .. 14.12 (96)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 7, J Bennett 2, G Collins 2, S Ruyg 2 D Litchfield, G Foley
Coolamon: G Bench 4, P Hallcroft 3, B Allen 2, N Pleming, K Hanna, G Donaldson, M Buchanan, P Sutton
Best players: Griffith: B Davis, A Barber, D Eichler, G Argus, S Fitzsimmons, G Foley
Coolamon: D Gillett, M Buchanan, R O'Brien, N Pleming, N O'Connell, B Allen
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Chris Conlan, Danny Litchfield, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, S Fitzsimmons (c-c), G Argus, D Eichler, M Reid, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Rob Bartholomew and Peter Andriske (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 15.13 (103) def by EWK 21.15 (141), Wagga 10.8 (68) def by GGGM 10.11 (71; SUN: Turvey Park 29.19 (193) def Leeton 1.2 (8)
Reserves: Griffith 17.18 (120) d Coolamon 4.12 (36)
Goals: D Hosking 3, S Aubrey 3, S McDermott 3, P Crowe 2, B Harrison 2, M O'Bryan, C Noack, S Cunial, B Browne
Best players: R Telfer, M O'Bryan, R Irvin, S Wade, S Aubrey, S McDermott
Under 18: Coolamon 10.12 (72) d Griffith 3.7 (25)
Goals: C Brown, B Harrison, D Leask
Best players: G Vaccari, D Clark, C Browne, T Schmetzer, M Burke
Match report: Griffith needed nerves of steel to stave off Coolamon's sustained charge by a solitary goal in a dramatic finish to the Riverina Football League match yesterday. The lead changed hands four times in the last eight minutes of play before the Swans secured a 15.12 (102) to 14.12 (96) victory at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval.
Centre half forward Shane Ruyg supplied the winning goal for Griffith at the 28-minute mark of the last quarter.
Coolamon fought back valiantly from 11 points down midway through the last quarter but was unable to find a reply to Ruyg's goal in the final 60 seconds.
Swans captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons said they had to withstand enormous Grasshopper pressure in the closing stages. "Coolamon had everything to gain, and they fought it out right to the end," Fitzsimmons said.
Griffith was 15 points clear during the third term, but the advantage had been whittled away to only one point at three-quarter time. "We have been doing it hard at training and the boys got tired for a while, but they picked themselves up again in the last quarter," Fitzsimmons said.
Fitzsimmons was much happier with the Swans' performance than the previous weekend when they went down to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. "We were harder at the ball today and our forward line worked a lot better,' he said.
Griffith had to contend with losing on-ballers Jamie Bennett and Danny Litchfield with injuries in the first half.
Coolamon caught the Swans by surprise in the opening stanza and held a 13-point lead at quarter-time. The Hoppers again started the second quarter on a positive note and had built up their advantage to 19 points by the 13-minute mark. Griffith then recovered from the slow start and piled on six goals for the term to take a 12-point lead at half-time. Griffith held the running throughout the third stanza as full forward Gary Argus created an impact on the game. However, Coolamon landed two majors in the latter stages to reinforce its claims.
The final quarter proved a see-sawing affair, with Coolamon having an answer to the majority of Griffith's goals. Griffith had gained an 11-point buffer by the 15-minute mark of the term before the Hoppers annexed two quick goals through teenager Paul Hallcroft. Griffith forward pocket Greg Collins kicked an important goal approaching the time-on period to put his team five points in front. But the Hoppers replied almost immediately with a six-pointer to utility Keith Hanna.
Griffith were teetering on the brink of defeat until Ruyg bisected the tall timber.
Brett Davis, Andrew Barber, David Eichler and Argus, who finished with a seven-goal haul, were all stars in the Swans win. Fitzsimmons and back pocket Graham Foley also provided valuable contributions for Griffith.
Coolamon was best served by David Gillett in the ruck, rover Michael Buchanan, wingman Rod O'Brien, centreman Neil Pleming, centre halfback Nick O'Connell and centre half forward Brett Allen.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday, July 25, 1994).
Round 14 - Sunday July 31, 1994 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton ........ 0.0 .. 2.2 .. 4.4 .. 5.5 (35)
Griffith ....... 3.3 .. 9.5 .. 13.6 .. 14.10 (94)
Goals: Leeton: T Elwin 2, C Howe, S Stockton, A Soley
Griffith: G Argus 8, S Fitzsimmons 2, R Irvin, M Reid, B Davis, B Browne
Best players: Leeton: G Henman, D Clayton, D Meline, N Aliendi, C Seton, T Elwin
Griffith: S Fitzsimmons, G Argus, C Conlan, B Davis, M Bunn
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Phillip Rowston, Chris Conlan, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, Brendan Browne, Michael Reid, Myles Bunn, Mark Cameron, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Chris Noack, Richard Telfer, Ron Irvin, Malcolm Burke
Umpires: Aaron Beard and Chris Beale (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: EWK 6.0 (36) def by Turvey Park 16.17 (113); SUN: Coolamon 5.5 (35) def by Wagga 18.19 (127), GGGM 21.18 (144) def Narrandera 3.9 (27)
Reserves: Griffith 13.13 (91) d Leeton 6.7 (43)
Goals: G Toscan 4, S McDermott 2, D Hosking 2, K O'Driscoll 2, L Kimball, M O'Bryan, D Gee
Best players: S Wade, D Norman, M O'Bryan, D Gee, B Dixon-Flint
Under 18: Leeton 6.10 (46) d Griffith 4.6 (30)
Goals: A Sara, K Duncan, M Burke, B Harrison
Best players: C Browne, N Clausen, M Kenny, A Sara, N Campbell
Match report: Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons mesmerized his Leeton opponents when he waved his magic in the Swans' 59-point win at Leeton Showground. The state representative rover was in sensational form and was unrivaled for best on ground honours in Griffith's 14.10 (94) to 5.5 (35) victory in the Riverina Football League game. Fitzsimmons has been a shining light since joining the Swans from West Adelaide at the start of the year and is rated a leading contender for the league's Jim Quinn Memorial Medal.
Griffith full forward Gary Argus gained his share of the limelight yesterday by kicking eight goals. The effort earned Argus the outright lead on the RFL's goalkicking table. Coolamon full forward Glen Bench was joint leader with Argus going into the weekend's round but did not add to his tally yesterday.
Leeton failed to score in the opening quarter and never recovered. "Griffith got the jump on us and they had runners all day," said Redlegs' ruck rover Andrew Soley. "Our backline tried hard, but there was not a lot they could do." The Swans led by 21 points at quarter time and poured on the pressure with a six-goal second term.
Griffith held a 45-point advantage at the long interval but did not score as freely in the second half.
The Redlegs held Griffith to five goals in a low-scoring second half and managed to add 3.3 to their total.
Leeton halfback Glen Bartram was taken to hospital after having a tooth knocked out in the last quarter.
Fitzsimmons and Argus were well supported by midfielders Chris Conlan and Brett Davis, and back pocket Myles Bunn. Rover Graham Henman and teenage centreman Daryl Clayton carried a huge workload for Leeton, as did defenders David Meline and Nathan Aliendi, ruckman Craig Seton and forward Tom Elwin.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday, August 1, 1994).
Round 15 - Saturday August 6, 1994 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm
East Wagga-Kooringal .... 2.1 .. 2.1 .. 7.4 .. 9.5 (59)
Griffith ................................. 2.5 .. 9.13 .. 12.15 .. 16.23 (119)
Goals: EWK: B McLaughlan 2, G Darcy 2, N Greatz, J Charlton, J Baulch, B Suckling, P Bourne
Griffith: G Argus 5, W McKenzie 4, D Eichler 3, G Dreyer, G Foley, S Ruyg, B Davis
Best players: EWK: J Baulch, MO'Leary, N Greatz, B Suckling, C Absolum
Griffith: D Eichler, G Foley, S Fitzsimmons, B Davis, T Fraser
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Phillip Rowston, Chris Conlan, Danny Litchfield, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Michael Reid, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Cameron, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: John McDonell (RUA) and P DeBeus (ACT)
Other matches - SUN: Coolamon 12.11 (83) def by GGGM 22.19 (151), Leeton 3.4 (22) def by Wagga 18.24 (132), Turvey Park 13.10 (88) def Narrandera 10.9 (69)
Reserves: East Wagga-Kooringal 11.8 (74) d Griffith 8.11 (59)
Goals: S McDermott 3, G Toscan 3, D McCallum, R Telfer
Best players: M O'Bryan, R Telfer, D Norman, J Wadley, D Collins
Under 18: Griffith 8.9 (57) d East Wagga-Kooringal 6.10 (46)
Goals: B Harrison 4, T Schmetzer, D Leask, C Browne, M Burke
Best players: B Harrison, T Schmetzer, S Taylor, R Best, W Donetto
Match report: Griffith showed the damage it can cause when given free reign for one quarter on its way to recording a 10-goal win against East Wagga-Kooringal at Gumly Oval, Wagga, on Saturday.
The Swans cut loose in the second stanza and their seven-goal haul proved the difference in their 16.23 (119) to 9.5 (59) victory in the Riverina Football League match. East Wagga was only eight points behind at quarter-time but failed to score in the second term and never recovered. The fourth-placed Swans now have three successive wins behind them as they intensify their preparation for the finals.
Griffith running players have held a high profile throughout the season and they again excelled on Saturday. Speedy on-ballers David Eichler, Graham Foley and Shane Fitzsimmons, and highly-skilled centreman Brett Davis engineered the Swans' win. East Wagga burdened captain-coach Jason Baulch and in-form ruckman Mark O'Leary with most of its workload.
Griffith had seven scoring shots to East Wagga's three in the opening quarter but was wayward in its kicking.
The Swans managed a full-scale attacking raid in the second stanza and opened up a match-winning break in the process. Using leading full forward Gary Argus and Warren McKenzie as their main avenues to goal, the Swans piled on 7.8 for the term.
Griffith's backline, led by Tim Fraser, proved water-tight and enabled the Swans to take a 54-point lead at half-time. East Wagga outscored the Swans 5.3 to 3.2 in the third term but still faced a 44-point deficit at the final change Griffith had plenty of strength left in the last quarter and capped off their win with another four goals.
David Eichler was rated best afield and Gary Argus continued to set the pace in the RFL's goalkicking award with five goals for the match. Jason Baulch and Mark O'Leary stood out for the Hawks and centre half forward Nathan Graetz, rover Barry Suckling and half back flanker Craig Absolum turned in solid performances.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday, August 8, 1994).
Round 16 - Sunday August 14, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .............. 2.0 .. 4.2 .. 6.2 .. 14.6 (90)
Turvey Park .... 9.3 .. 12.8 .. 16.10 .. 20.12 (132)
Goals: Griffith: G Collins 3, G Argus 3, G Dreyer 2, T Fraser 2, S Ruyg, S Fitzsimmons, G Foley, W McKenzie
Turvey Park: H Mooney 5, W Sykes 5, T Melican 5, T Ness 2, M Hewitt, M Holgate, D Wallett
Best player: Griffith: A Barber, G Argus, D Eichler, G Dreyer, M Brown
Turvey Park: T Melican, H Mooney, T Ashcroft, B Maginnes, W Sykes, B Hewitt, S King
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Gerard Toscan, Phillip Rowston, Danny Litchfield, Rick Burdett, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Michael Reid, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Warren McKenzie
Umpires: Garry Foster and Scott Miller (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: GGGM 17.16 (118) def Leeton 4.5 (29); SUN: Narrandera 17.21 (123) def Coolamon 10.12 (72), Wagga 24.18 (162) def EWK 14.5 (89)
Reserves: Turvey Park 10.14 (74) d Griffith 4.4 (28)
Goals: S McDermott 2, D Norman, R Telfer
Best player: R Telfer, J Wadly, S Wade, R Irvin, D Collins
Under 18: Griffith 18.11 (119) d Turvey Park 4.3 (27)
Goals: D Clark 5, B Harrison 5, D Leask 3, T Schmetzer 2, P Crowe, N Campbell, W Donetto
Best player: C Browne, M Kenny, D Clark, M Burke, D Leask
Match report: Turvey Park had the last word in the debate over which team will carry the favourite's tag into the Riverina Football League first semi-final when it brushed aside Griffith by 42 points. The Bulldogs made their intentions clear with a nine-goal burst in the opening quarter to lay the foundations for a 20.12 (132) to 16.6 (90) win at Ex-Servicemen's Oval. Both teams have been vying for third place on the ladder for the majority of the season and were playing yesterday for a psychological edge leading up to the final's series.
The Bulldogs produced a polished display of teamwork to stress they will make life difficult for the Swans in the first semi-final on September 4. Turvey Park captain-coach Glenn Vardanega, a late withdrawal from the line-up with a hamstring injury, was playing down the win after the match. "Every game is different, and I am sure we won't get things as easy in the first semi-final," he said.
Vardanega said the Bulldogs' hard work behind the scenes was responsible for the first quarter blitz. "The boys prepared themselves the right way and showed they meant business from the start," he said. Vardanega was not overly concerned the Bulldogs conceded eight goals in the last quarter after leading by 68 points at three-quarter time. "Considering we had two players on the ground who could hardly walk, and another couple injured on the bench, I didn't think we did a bad job," he said.
The Swans had more than their share of injury worries after the game. Attacking players Danny Litchfield and Warren McKenzie were both taken to Griffith Base Hospital suffering ankle problems. Griffith's State representative Phillip Rowston suffered a hamstring injury and watched from the sidelines in the last quarter as the Swans battled with only 17 players.
Swans' captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons said his team paid the penalty for a poor build-up to the encounter. "Everything comes back to what we do on the training track - our lack of preparation showed through in the first quarter," Fitzsimmons said. "We had players missing from training on Friday night and that's what did the damage." Fitzsimmons said Griffith's revival in the latter stages provided little compensation. "We pegged them back a bit after quarter-time, but it didn't do us much good," he said.
Griffith half forward flanker Shane Ruyg, Bulldogs' defender Brett Hewitt and Fitzsimmons were ordered off for 15-minute periods during the second stanza. Rowston and Turvey Park half forward flanker Heath Mooney were sent off following a clash in the third term.
Tony Melican and Heath Mooney were excellent contributors for the Bulldogs with five goals apiece and Blair Maginness, Troy Ashcroft and Brett Hewitt were the core of a tight defence. Warren Sykes, who ruck roved in the second half, maintained his top form. Ruckman Andrew Barber, Gary Argus, wingman David Eichler, Greg Dreyer and defender Mark Brown gave good service for Griffith.
(By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday August 15, 1994).
Round 17 - Saturday August 20, 1994 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............. 5.5 .. 6.5 .. 11.7 .. 15.9 (99)
Narrandera .... 2.3 .. 3.4 .. 5.5 .. 10.9 (69)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 4, G Collins 2, G Foley 2, T Fraser 2, R Burdett, D Eichler, A Barber, S Fitzsimmons, B Davis
Narrandera: G Cole 3, V Hugo 3, J Vearing 2, M Wooden, B Hutchins
Best playing: Griffith: B Davis, D Eichler, M Brown, M Henderson, A Barber, G Collins
Narrandera: R Wadelton, H Hopwood, G Cole, B Sargeant, M Wooden, S Noack
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Rick Burdett, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Gerard Toscan, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Michael Reid, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Chris Noack, Ron Irvin, Scott Wade
Umpires: Rod Sangster and Ken Wink (AUL)
Other matches - SAT: GGGM 24.15 (159) def EWK 10.15 (75); SUN: Leeton 10.5 (65) def by Coolamon 19.22 (136), Turvey Park 11.7 (73) def by Wagga 14.10 (94)
Reserves: Narrandera 16.13 (109) d Griffith 8.7 (55)
Goals: D Collins 2, M Koschel 2, P Vardanega, D Norman, S McDermott, M O'Bryan
Best players: M O'Bryan, D Norman, P Vardanega, G Ceccato, M Teffaha, B McAllister
Under 18: Griffith 12.12 (84) d Narrandera 2.3 (15)
Goals: B Harrison 5, D Leask 2, T Schmetzer 2, P Crowe, M Kenny, Myles Bunn
Best playing: Myles Bunn, C Browne, B Harrison, M Kenny, G Collis
Match report: Griffith officials will have an anxious wait this week after centreman Brett Davis was reported during his dynamic display in the Swans' five-goal win against Narrandera on Saturday. Davis had his number taken for allegedly using abusive language towards the umpire in the third quarter as the Swans progressed to a 15.9 (99) to 10.9 (69) at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. The Riverina Football League representative was unrivalled for best on ground honours but will now have to face the tribunal on Thursday night. "We have enough problems with injuries at the moment without having players reported," said Swans' president Darrell Collins.
Davis was always in the thick of the action along with Griffith wingman David Eichler and ruckman-forward Andrew Barber and Greg Collins. Mark Brown and Mark Henderson were ever reliable in the Swans' backline.
Light rain fell throughout the encounter, making conditions slippery and causing play to be scrappy.
Narrandera was on top in the early stages of the first quarter and had kicked 2.1 before Griffith scored. But the Swans responded with five straight goals and had opened up a 20-point advantage by quarter-time.
The second quarter was a low scoring affair, with Narrandera adding 1.1 to Griffith's one goal.
Rover Brett Wadelton was working hard for the Eagles and teenager Heath Hopwood was proving effective in the fullback role. Griffith broke the shackles in the third quarter to establish a comfortable lead - thanks largely to the efforts of Davis and Eichler. The Swans contributed 5.2 to their tally and were 32 points clear at the final change. Narrandera had the better of the last quarter - kicking 5.4 to Griffith's 4.2 but it was to no avail.
Wadelton and Hopwood stood out for the Eagles and were supported by centreman and captain-coach Glenn Cole, centre halfback Brendon Sergeant, on-baller Matthew Wooden and half-forward flanker Sam Noack.
(The Daily Advertiser - Monday August 22, 1994).
Round 18 - Saturday August 27, 1994 at Robertson Oval 2.10pm
Wagga Tigers .... 7.4 .. 13.6 .. 18.10 .. 22.11 (143)
Griffith ................ 2.1 .. 4.4 .. 9.4 .. 11.5 (71)
Goals: Wagga: D Cook 7, M Barber 3, G Treacy 3, S Priest 2, J Morton 2, R Wadley 2, S Wilson, M Hundy, M McIntyre
Griffith: T Fraser 5, B Davis, G Collins, S Fitzsimmons, G Argus, Myles Bunn, D Eichler
Best players: Wagga: D Cook, S Priest, J Morton, M McIntyre, J Dore, G Treacy
Griffith: T Fraser, D Eichler, G Foley, B Davis, G Collins, S Fitzsimmons
Griffith: Shane Ruyg, Jamie Bennett, Chris Conlan, Rick Burdett, Jason Wadley, Brett Davis, Mark Henderson, Greg Dreyer, Greg Collins, Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Gary Argus, David Eichler, Michael Reid, Myles Bunn, Tim Fraser, Graham Foley, Mark Brown, Craig Bretherton, Chris Noack
Umpires: T Richards and P DeBeus (ACT)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 26.12 (168) def Leeton 3.11 (29); SUN: Coolamon 14.16 (100) def by EWK 20.14 (134), GGGM 15.10 (100) def Turvey Park 11.9 (75)
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 25.20 (170) d Griffith 1.1 (7)
Goals: T Schmetzer
Best players: M O'Bryan, D Collins, R Irvin, S Wade, D Norman
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 10.3 (63) d Griffith 7.10 (52)
Goals: N Campbell 5, D Leask, B Harrison
Best players: N Campbell, S Serafin, N Clausen, M Kenny, D Clark
Match report: Teenage star Darren Cook commanded centre stage when he produced a blockbusting performance in the Wagga Tigers' 12-goal win at Robertson Oval, Wagga on Saturday. The 17-year-old schoolboy controlled play across the Tigers' half forward line and bagged seven goals in their 22.11 (143) to 11.5 (71) victory in the Riverina Football League match.
His strong marking and pin-point disposal was a feature as the defending premiers built up confidence level in its last hit-out before the finals. Cook, who has been a member of the New South Wales under 17's team for the past two years, admits he struggled earlier in the season but has found some form in recent weeks.
Tigers' captain-coach Terry Daniher, who missed the encounter with a knee injury, was satisfied but not overly impressed with his team's display. "We went into the match expecting to win - it was a matter of how we went about it, " Daniher said. "We had a lapse in the third quarter but on the whole the effort was fairly good."
While Wagga will head into the second semi-final full of confidence, Griffith had a less than ideal build-up for its first semi-final encounter with Turvey Park. Injuries to full forward Gary Argus and rover Jamie Bennett added to the Swans' woes on Saturday. Argus aggravated a calf muscle injury and Bennett hurt the same knee which has plagued him for the past four weeks. Griffith officials are hopeful Argus will be fit for the finals but have almost conceded Bennett will spend the rest of the season on the sidelines.
"I wasn't concerned about the result - I just wanted us to get through the game without any more injuries," said Swans' captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons. "But we couldn't even do that."
Griffith's lack of depth was exploited by the Tigers, according to Fitzsimmons. "We don't have the same depth as the teams higher on the ladder and a few of our players are taking it easy because there is no pressure on them to hold their place," he said.
"To be successful we need everyone putting in 100 percent, but that didn't happen today."
One of the few pleasing factors for Griffith was the form of Tim Fraser at full forward. Fraser, who has played at fullback for the majority of the season, marked well and kicked five goals. David Eichler, forward pocket-rover Graham Foley, centreman Brett Davis, ruckman-forward Greg Collins and Fitzsimmons ranked among the Swans' best. (By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday August 29, 1994).
1994 RFL NETBALL Ladders
A grade: Turvey Park, Griffith, East Wagga-Kooringal, Wagga Tigers; Ganmain-GGM, Narrandera, Coolamon, Leeton.
B grade: Turvey Park, Narrandera, Wagga Tigers, Coolamon; East Wagga-Kooringal, Ganmain-GGM, Leeton, Griffith.
C grade: Turvey Park, Narrandera, Wagga Tigers, Ganmain-GGM; East Wagga-Kooringal, Coolamon.
Juniors U15's: Narrandera, Turvey Park, Leeton, Coolamon; Ganmain-GGM
DAVIS WINS BACK-TO-BACK AWARDS FOR SWANS
BRETT Davis hardly played any matches with the Griffith Australian Football Club last season, thanks to a shoulder injury, but he still won the club's best and fairest. This season he played every game and scored points in nearly every one of the 18 played and was a tearaway winner.
He polled 55 votes, which included either five or four votes in 10 of the matches played and probably polled the other eight to amass 10 after the three, two and one votes were counted.
Nearest to him was David Eichler, who polled 32 votes after having 22 at the end of the minor votes counted, but only received two best on ground votes.
Captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons finished with 28, including two five votes and two fours, while next best was Phillip Rowston with 22, which had three best on ground efforts counted.
At the end of the minor voting, Davis and Fitzsimmons had 10 votes and last season's Quinn Medallist Gary Argus had 12. The half way mark counting of the four and five votes saw Davis stick his nose in front of Eichler with 36 and 32 respectively, but from that point on it was a one horse race.
In the reserve grade count, Richard Telfer took the prize with 34 votes, including a massive six best on ground votes. Ron Irvin finished with 28 and these two were a long way in front of Scott Wade, with 18 and Chris Noack,16.
In the under 18's, ruckman Craig Browne took the honours with 27 votes votes, which had three fives and a four among his tally. Matt Kenny was second with 26, Malcolm Burke had 25 and Glen Vaccari got 24 in a very close run race.
The netball winner in A grade was Peta Bennett with 24 votes. She scored five best on court votes in her score and managed to hold the Northern Riverina League's best and Fairest, Karen Evans, in second place with 23 votes.
One vote behind was Nicole Hathaway. In B grade, Louise Hill was the winner with nine votes, made up of three best votes. These players will be presented with their trophies at the presentation dinner at the Ex-Servicemen's Club on October 7. (The Area News - Monday, August 29, 1994).
GARY ARGUS KEEN TO 'MUSCLE' HIS WAY INTO GRIFFITH'S RFL SEMI-FINAL SIDE
GRIFFITH'S star full forward Gary Argus is adamant he can carry a nagging calf muscle injury through to the end of the Riverina Football League first semi-final on Sunday. Argus was forced to the sidelines during the Swans' last game of the home and away series but believes the injury will not restrict him against Turvey Park at Narrandera Sportsground. "I'd be prepared to chance the injury ... I don't know whether the selectors will feel the same way," said the league's leading goalkicker. "But I will be fairly surprised if I don't come up for the game."
The Swans' assistant-coach suffered a tear in his calf muscle while playing in Darwin during the summer and has been unable to fully recover. "It has been an on-going thing but I have managed to pull through most games," said the 27-year-old. "The injury is no worse now than it was before."
Argus, who won the RFL's coveted Jim Quinn Memorial Medal last season, started the season ruck roving before being transferred to the goal-mouth. He averaged six goals a game in the last 12 rounds and finished with 77 majors to be a clear-cut winner of the goalkicking award.
Swans' selectors switched Argus back to ruck rover's role against Wagga Tigers last weekend but he had to leave the ground prematurely after aggravating the injury. "I have been sitting in the goal square for a long time and had hardly done any running," Argus explained. "When I started moving around last Saturday the muscle tightened and the tear gave me problems."
Argus, who is in his third season with Griffith, has been playing in the winter and summer competitions for the past seven years. "I love playing footy but going for so long without a break is starting to tell on me," he said.
"Hopefully I will play another three games (first semi, preliminary and grand finals) before I get a spell."
Argus pointed out Turvey Park has players in a similar position to him and said the two teams' injuries should even themselves out. "Turvey Park has a couple of players - such as Glenn Vardanega and Warren Sykes - in the same boat as me," he said. Vardanega, who is the Bulldogs' captain-coach, and Sykes have been troubled by hamstring problems and wingman Terry Ness missed last weekend with a groin injury.
Argus said the Swans are still uncertain how they will line-up. High class centre halfback Phillip Rowston is trying to overcome a hamstring complaint and half forward flanker Warren McKenzie is battling an ankle problem.
"We have to see who is available and where we can play them," Argus said.
(By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Thursday, September 1, 1994).
A DEPLETED GRIFFITH INTO THE SEMI-FINAL
THE Griffith Australian Football Club could go into the minor semi-final of the Riverina Football League against Turvey Park at the Narrandera Sportsground on Sunday without star players.
The Swans, who have had a horrific year when it comes to injuries, look like lining up without centre halfback Phillip Rowston, while Gary Argus is also doubtful.
Another who is nursing an injury is captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons, but he will be right for the match.
Rowston is trying to throw off the effects of a hamstring injury from three weeks ago against Turvey Park at home, but it isn't responding as well as he would like. He travelled to Sydney last week to get treatment on the leg and is attending the local physiotherapists daily to an attempt to get on the paddock.
"I will give it until Saturday to see how it comes up and hopefully it will be right for Sunday's match."
Gary Argus has been carrying a calf injury this season, which he sustained during the summer in Darwin, but said he will get on the field come Sunday.
Also missing on Sunday will be half forward flanker Jamie Bennett, who jarred his knee which was operated on recently and will not be taking any risks with it, and Warren McKenzie who is still hampered by an ankle injury.
Danny Litchfield is another who has an ankle injury and will not make it by Sunday.
With these players missing and the reserves short of numbers in the final home and away matches, Fitzsimmons will be having a close look some under 18 players. Brent Harrison, who had a taste of first grade early in the season, Malcolm Burke, Jason Vaccari and under 18's best and fairest Matthew Kenny are just some he will be looking at come selection.
Fitzsimmons said it was indicative of the whole of the Swans year with just too many injuries and not enough depth. "It started way back in pre-season when we lost Anthony Trewella with a knee injury and Leo Tenace decided to stay in Victoria and we never seemed to recover. "We lost Eldon Barker with a knee injury just when he was starting to play well and then Jamie Bennett and Scott Collis with his hamstring injury. "It has become a problem of running out of players, but I think we can still win it by having a 'fair dinkum' dip.
"It will be a battle, but it all works back to us keeping them down to a reasonable score and hopefully we will kick enough to win," he said. Griffith have certainly been able to keep sides to a reasonable score, but until Argus went to full forward, kicking a winning score was the problem.
On the other hand, Turvey Park coach, Glenn Vardanega, said he will have a full squad to select from apart from Darren Wallett, who will miss with an achilles injury. The Turvey Bulldogs rely on a few players to get them moving and once they are free, the others join in. Griffith will have to stop the likes of centre half forward Tony Melican, full forward Warren Sykes, Vardanega and wingman Terry Ness. If these players are allowed to control the game, Griffith will be in trouble, but it has the players to come out on top.
Mark Brown is tough at fullback, Rowston should be able to hold Melican if he plays, while David Eichler will probably get the job on Ness and Chris Conlan and Fitzsimmons are equal to Vardanega.
Ruckman and centre half forward Greg Collins has been in good form of late and the strong marking rangy player will give the side a good target in the passage to goal. Andrew Barber should be able to nullify Turvey ruckman Ken Howe, which should see Griffith get its share of the football out of the centre of the ground, something which is imperative on the large Narrandera Sportsground.
Both sides have the added incentive to chase victory knowing the loser drops out of the race for 1994.
(By Brian Files - The Area News, Friday, September 2, 1994).
First Semi Final - Sunday September 4, 1994 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.30pm
Turvey Park .... 8.6 .. 11.14 .. 14.21 .. 22.15 (145)
Griffith ............. 0.3 .. 6.7 .. 8.8 .. 9.12 (66)
Goals: Turvey Park: Heath Mooney 9, Warren Sykes 4, Tony Melican 3, Michael Hewitt, Glenn Vardanega, Terry Ness, Kane Johnstone
Griffith: Gary Argus 4, Warren McKenzie 2, Brent Harrison, David Eichler, Shane Fitzsimmons
Best players: Turvey Park: Warren Sykes, Tony Melican, Terry Ness, Troy Maiden, Heath Mooney, Sam King, Scott Bourne, Stephen Woods
Griffith: David Eichler, Chris Conlan, Shane Fitzsimmons, Graham Foley, Brett Davis, Greg Collins
Turvey Park: Troy Maiden, Troy Ashcroft, Blair Maginness; Stephen Woods, Heath Mooney, Kane Johnstone; Sam King, Glenn Vardanega (c-c), Terry Ness; Bill Veale, Tony Melican, Mark Mooney; Brett Hewitt, Warren Sykes, Matt Holgate; Ken Howe, Michel Hewitt, Scott Bourne; Nigel Smith, Tim Masterson
Griffith: Craig Bretherton, Tim Fraser, Mark Brown; Greg Dreyer, Gerard Toscan, Michael Reid; Graham Foley, Brett Davis, David Eichler; Mark Henderson, Greg Collins, Shane Ruyg; Warren McKenzie, Gary Argus, Malcolm Burke; Andrew Barber, Shane Fitzsimmons (c-c), Chris Conlan; Rick Burdett, Brenton Harrison
Umpires: Tim Beard (RUA) and Dave Kidney (ACT). Gate: $5755
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 13.11 (89) d Narrandera 10.13 (73)
Under 18: Leeton 11.15 (81) d Ganmain-GGM 7.6 (48)
Match report: Turvey Park's annual time-bomb exploded when it blasted Griffith out of the Riverina Football League premiership race with a 79-point win in the first semi-final. The Bulldogs are renowned for 'firing' in the finals and they burst into this season's series by forging a 145 to 66 victory at Narrandera Sportsground.
Turvey Park, which went through a form slump midway through the year, has a tradition of peaking in September and 1994 was no different. The Bulldogs are on a mission of revenge after losing the past two grand finals and made positive progress yesterday as they bounced back from two losses.
After piling on eight goals and holding the Swans to only three behinds in the first quarter, Turvey Park was always destined to progress to the preliminary final on September 18. Highly skilled rover Warren Sykes was the Bulldogs' prime mover and Heath Mooney, and Tony Melican were the main targets in attack. Mooney finished with 9.9 - he kicked five goals in the first quarter - and Melican contributed three majors from nine attempts.
The game turned fiery in the third term and Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons and Turvey Park utility Kane Johnstone were both reported. Fitzsimmons had his number taken for allegedly striking Tuvey Park wingman Terry Ness, while Johnstone was reported for an alleged intentional trip.
Turvey Park captain-coach Glenn Vardanega expressed his concern over the way his team relaxed following its sensational opening. The Bulldogs were 51 points in front at quarter time but conceded ground in the second stanza when Griffith added six majors. "We've won by 10 or 11 goals, and we still had a lapse, so we must have done something right in the other three quarters," Vardanega said. "But we seem content to just do enough to stay in front rather than push ourselves to the limit. The boys have to realise they can't afford to do the same thing against Ganmain-Grong Gong-Matong or Wagga Tigers.
Griffith captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons admitted the Swans were never in the hunt after they were shell-shocked in the first quarter. Fitzsimmons said Griffith paid the penalty for allowing its opponents too much latitude. "You can't give away start in the finals," said the disappointed rover. "Our players didn't man up ... I don't think they know how to play a defensive game."
The Swans have been a part of the finals for the past three seasons but have failed to qualify for the premiership decider on each occasion. Fitzsimmons was a late inclusion to Griffith's team along with full forward Gary Argus after they passed fitness tests yesterday morning. Argus was severely restricted for the majority of the match but still managed to kick four goals.
Best for the Bulldogs' were Warren Sykes, who gathered a mountain of possessions, as did Melican, Ness, fellow wingman Sam King and ruck rover Scott Bourne. Troy Maiden, Steven Woods and Brett Hewitt had high work-rates in the Bulldogs' backline.
Griffith received most of its drive from David Eichler, ruck rover Chris Conlan, Fitzsimmons and wingman Graham Foley. The Swans also received serviceable games from centre half forward Greg Collins and centreman Brett Davis. (By Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Monday, September 5, 1994).
PREMIERSHIP DROUGHT BACK TO HAUNT SWANS
GRIFFITH can no longer be satisfied with the tag of "the other team in the Riverina Football League four", according to captain-coach Shane Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons said the Swans have to get themselves out of a rut after they were eliminated from the competition with a 79-point loss to Turvey Park on Sunday.
Griffith has been competitive with the RFL super powers - Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Wagga Tigers and Turvey Park - during the past three years but has failed to take the ultimate step and win a premiership.
Fitzsimmons was straight to the point after the Swans after the Swans were outclassed by the Bulldogs. "The whole set-up of the club has become more professional," he said. "People have been taking the attitude we have done enough if we make the finals, but really we should be going all-out for the premiership."
Fitzsimmons pointed out the Swans have been restricted by their lack of depth and said they were facing an uphill battle from the outset of the season. "We were behind the eight-ball all year," said the rover. "Some of the recruits we thought we had didn't turn up, a couple of players retired halfway through the year and we had a stack of injuries. "We didn't have enough depth either, which are shown by our second grade finishing down the ladder."
Fitzsimmons said the seniors will always be limited by the strength of the reserves. "The last time we had a grand final team was in 1991 and our second grade finished on top of the ladder that year," he said. "We have been in the finals in the three subsequent seasons but our reserves have been nowhere near as strong.
(The RFL Inquest with Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Tuesday, September 6, 1994).
FITZSIMMONS ELIGIBLE FOR QUINN MEDAL
SHANE Fitzsimmons will be eligible for the Jim Quinn Memorial Medal this year - regardless of whether he is suspended on a striking charge arising from the first semi-final. Up until last year a player rubbed out during the finals would be ineligible for the best and fairest award, even though the voting ends when the home and away series concludes.
But the constitution was changed at the 1993 annual meeting after a near-controversial case with Griffith's Gary Argus. Argus received a severe reprimand for using abusive language in last year's first semi and went on to win the Quinn Medal. Had he been suspended, Argus would have relinquished his rights to the medal.
"You could have a situation where a player won the medal and was then suspended in the grand final," said league secretary Stewart Fraser. "How could you take the medal off him?"
Fitzsimmons was reported for allegedly striking Turvey Park's Terry Ness in the third quarter and can take an automatic two-match suspension under the prescribed penalty rule.
Turvey Park utility Kane Johnstone also had the option of accepting a two-game penalty but has decided to answer his case at the tribunal on Thursday night.
He would have missed the remainder of the season had he taken the automatic suspension.
(The RFL Inquest with Scott Sanbrook - The Daily Advertiser, Tuesday, September 6, 1994).
Second Semi Final - Sunday September 11, 1994 at Narrandera Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM ..... 3.3 .. 5.5 .. 9.8 .. 14.14 (98)
Wagga Tigers ...... 4.4 .. 11.8 .. 14.9 .. 17.11 (113)
Goals: GGGM: David Cox 3, Michael Walsh 2, Jason McPherson 2, Dean Norgate 2, Jed Lawton 2, Shane Lenon, Peter Goody, Lewis Winter
Wagga: Gerald Pieper 4, Darren Cook 3, Terry Daniher 3, Jason Morton 3, Ray Willis 2, Rowan Wadley, Grant Regan
Best players: GGGM: Michael Walsh, Jason Hamblin, Jamie Crozier, John Lawton, Jed Lawton, Scott Hamblin
Wagga: Steven Priest, Gerald Pieper, Darren Cook, Terry Daniher, John Dore, Murray Barber, Jason Morton
Umpires: Alan Harper (ACT) and Paul Argall (AUL). Gate: $7716
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 18.13 (121) d Turvey Park 9.10 (64)
Under 18: Coolamon 11.9 (75) d Wagga Tigers 7.10 (52)
Preliminary Final - Sunday September 18, 1994 at Narrandera Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM ... 5.3 .. 6.3 .. 8.6 .. 11.7 (73)
Turvey Park ....... 4.1 .. 9.2 .. 12.5 .. 16.9 (105)
Goals: GGGM: Michael Walsh 4, Dean Norgate, Jason McPherson, Jamie Crozier, Scott Hamblin, Luke Carroll, Lewis Winter, Anthony Carroll
Turvey Park: Warren Sykes 5, Bill Veale 2, Heath Mooney 2, Sam King 2, Glenn Vardanega, Kane Johnstone, Tony Melican, Troy Maiden, Michael Hewitt
Best players: GGGM: Michael Walsh, John Lawton, Dean Norgate, David Logan, Scott Lawton, Luke Carroll
Turvey Park: Mark Mooney, Troy Maiden, Matt Holgate, Warren Sykes, Sam King, Brett Hewitt, Stephen Woods
Umpires: Shane McDonell (RUA) and D Hinds (ACT). Gate: $6778
Reserves: Turvey Park 16.12 (108) d Ganmain GGM 9.9 (63)
Under 18: Leeton 15.11 (101) d Wagga Tigers 9.12 (66)
Grand Final - Sunday September 25, 1994 at Narrandera Sportsground
Wagga Tigers ..... 2.3 .. 10.5 .. 11.8 .. 18.10 (118)
Turvey Park ........ 3.0 .. 3.1 .. 4.7 .. 8.8 (56)
Goals: Wagga: Terry Daniher 8, Corey Bocking 2, Murray Barber 2, Darren Cook 2, Gerald Pieper, Jason Morton, Ray Colvin, Matthew Gooden
Turvey Park: Heath Mooney 4, Glenn Vardanega, Warren Sykes, Kane Johnstone, Tony Melican
Best players: Wagga: Steven Priest, Terry Daniher, Mathew Hundy, John Dore, Simon Wilson, Glenn Treacy, Darren Cook, Gerald Pieper
Turvey Park: Scott Bourne, Mark Mooney, Terry Ness, Troy Maiden, Michael Hewitt
Wagga Tigers: Jason Samuelson, Stephen Schultz, Nigel Chamberlain; Paul J Irvine, John Dore, Glenn Treacy; Murray Barber, Steven Priest, Rohan Wadley; Darren Cook, Terry Daniher (c-c), Mathew Hundy; Grant Regan, Jason Morton, Corey Bocking; Matthew Gooden, Gerald Pieper, Simon Wilson; Ray Colvin, Russell Durnan
Turvey Park: Brett Hewitt, Troy Ashcroft, Troy Maiden; Stephen Woods, Blair Maginness, Mark Mooney; Sam King, Glenn Vardanega (c-c), Terry Ness; Kane Johnstone, Tony Melican, Heath Mooney; Matt Holgate, Warren Sykes, Bill Veale; Ken Howe, Michael Hewitt, Scott Bourne; Darren Wallett, Tim Masterson
Umpires: Scott Miller and Jason Dudenas (AUL). Gate: $12,857
Reserves: Turvey Park 15.10 (100) d Wagga Tigers 9.14 (68)
Umpires: Peter Beckwith and Robert Hunt (AUL)
Under 18: Coolamon 9.12 (66) d Leeton 6.8 (44)
Umpires: Noel Pattison and Tony Doherty (AUL)
Netball - A grade: Turvey Park 26 d Wagga Tigers 10; B grade: Turvey Park 36 d Narrandera 31; C grade: Narrandera d Turvey Park; Juniors: Narrandera d Turvey Park.