2002 RFL SEASON RESULTS

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PLAYER TRANSFERS

IN: Warwick Armstrong (Leeton-Whitton), Trevor Clarke (Osborne), Craig Conlan (Barellan), Cian Ebert (Cora Lynn), Josh Fisher, Anthony Freyer, Michael Johns (Canberra), David Kidman (Leeton-Whitton), Matthew Olney (Berrigan).

OUT: Gary Argus (Hillston Swans), Adam Boag (Coleambally), Malcolm Burke (Hillston Swans), David Dunn (Barellan), Brent Hathaway (Barellan), Dean Jamieson (Ardlethan), Hamish Munro (Melbourne), Adrian Pavese (Hillston Swans), Glenn Vaccari (Hillston Swans), Paul Woolnough (Griffith Blacks, Rugby).

 SWANS EXPECTED TO SHARE MORE RESPONSIBILITY  - By Peter Baker 

Griffith Swans can expect to share more responsibility in the Riverina Football League next season. New captain-coach and on-baller Cian Ebert has plans to expand the leadership roles within the side when he resumes training on January 14. Ebert said yesterday he would be sitting down with the coaching panel next week and talking about plans for 2002. "We will be discussing a fair few things including the structure of the side and expanding the leadership group," Ebert, 29, said. "I hope to have a few footballers involved in the leadership role, rather than just the traditional coach and his assistant. "The more people we have with the ownership of the side, the greater the effort."

Ebert had three training sessions prior to Christmas-New Year and was impressed with the enthusiasm. He said two sessions had yielded nine players and the third 18. "I was not expecting big numbers at that time of year as many players were involved in festive activities and summer sports," Ebert said. "Those players who attended did everything asked of them and it is a sign of good things to come." Ebert joined the Swans on a high recommendation from former work-aholic captain-coach Jon O'Dwyer, who remains with the club. O'Dwyer and Ebert were teammates at Queanbeyan in the Australian Football League-Canberra, in 1998 and 1999. Completely new to the RFL and Riverina,

Ebert has been closely following the happenings of Wagga Tigers and gathering information on the other RFL sides. "I will be relying on O'Dwyer and other Griffith players and officials to bring me up to scratch on the opposition," Ebert said. "I stayed with Griffith president Ian Wade for five weeks and he filled men in on many club happenings." Equally at home at half forward and halfback, Ebert joins Griffith with a wealth of experience gained from various places in Victoria. His first two senior seasons, 1989 and 1990, at Pakenham in the West Gippsland League resulted in premierships. He switched to the now defunct Dandenong in the Victorian Football Association in 1991 and returned to Pakenham in 1992.  Ebert had five years at Warragul in the Latrobe Valley from 1993 to 1997, the last season being captain-coach. Prior to joining Griffith, Ebert was at Cora Lynn in West Gippsland in 2000 and 2001. Ebert may not be the only new Swan, but he said any signings were still a long way off.  (The Daily Advertiser - Saturday January 5, 2002). 

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 FIRST FULL MATCH FOR SWANS - By Rebecca Kroek 

The Griffith Swans will play their first full length game tomorrow when they take on Wangaratta at Barooga. For captain-coach Cian Ebert, it will be his first opportunity to assess the players in normal game conditions. The Swans completed at the Temora 15-a-side tournament last weekend, reaching the semi-finals before going down to eventual champions, the Wagga Tigers. While the short matches were completely different to the Riverina Football League clashes ahead of the Swans, Ebert was pleased with how the players performed. "It was pretty positive even though we only won one game, the boys kept endeavouring to do the things we want them to do," Ebert said. While he said the format of the day made it difficult to pick out individual players who stood out, Ebert was overall happy with the effort. "From the start to the finish last weekend I was very impressed, especially with the fact that they just kept trying to do things we've been working on at training," he said.  However, he said one aspect of the side's game which needs work is set shots at goal, with too many basic chances at six-pointers missed. While the club found itself struggling on the day at Temora with injuries, Ebert said most of those players will be right to play against Wangaratta. Jon O'Dwyer dislocated a finger in the Swans' second game in Temora and will be out for three weeks, but should be ready to play by the start of the RFL season. While Damien Scott, who fell victim to a hamstring injury, may be rested this weekend to give him some extra time to recover, Michael Duncan (shin) and Ben Ford (arm) should be fine to play. Ebert said Wangaratta been "pretty ordinary" in recent years but have recruited heavily in the off-season, with a couple of Victorian Football League players joining the club. Wangaratta played reigning Ovens and Murray premiers Lavington recently and came away with a win. "They're pretty good at this stage and it'll be a good challenge for us," Ebert said. He said there will be five or six senior players who were available last weekend, who he is hoping to see play tomorrow. At this stage, Ebert is still assessing players and trying them in different positions, with the game against Wangaratta an ideal opportunity to continue with this. "I think we've came a long way since we started preseason, but there's still a hell of a way to go until the season finishes," he said. Ebert also said that anyone who has been thinking about playing but is yet to come to training should come down or make contact with the club, as there are still openings for senior players. The Swans will be holding a reverse draw on Sunday, with all club members welcome to attend at Exies-on-Burrell at 1pm. (The Area News - Friday March 22, 2002).

Round 1 - Saturday April 6, 2002 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm

Mangoplah-CUE ... 3.1 .. 5.3 .. 5.5 .. 7.6 (48)

Griffith .................... 3.4 .. 6.10 .. 13.10 .. 20.17 (137)

Goals: M Deacon 2, S Allen, Matt Byrne, W Smith, G Spriggs, Mick Byrne

Griffith: J Bennett 4, D Curran 3, D Beriman 3, T Clarke 2, D Scott 2, P Rowston, J Malone, K Malone, L Condon, S Conlan, B Giason

Best: MCUE: N Lawson, C Higgins, T Balding, B Sanbrook, Mick Byrnes, G Bruce

Griffith: J Bennett, J O'Dwyer, T Clarke, P Rowston, D Curran

Mangoplah-CUE: G Bruce, G Spriggs, D Howard; X Higgins, M Balding, W Smith; M Deacon, D Pike, L Kendall; B Sanbrook, C Higgins, A Short; S Allen (c-c), T Balding, A McVilly; S Lawrence, N Lawson, W Schultz; Mick Byrnes, D Martin, Matt Byrnes

Griffith: S Conlan, M Olney, J Malone; J O'Dwyer, C Blanchard, D Kidman*; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; R Duncan, D Curran, Craig Conlan*; J Bennett, D Beriman, D Scott; B Giason, C Ebert (c-c)*, T Clarke; J Mickan, L Condon, Chris Conlan

Umpires: D Waterman, R Wilson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 25.21 (137) d Mangoplah-CUE 1.1 (7)

Goals: G Foley 6, Myles Bunn 3, M Kenny 2, A Trotter 2, R Simpkin 2, P Thornton 2, S Ruyg 2, D Best, B Ford, A Noad, A Sparks, W Armstrong, Matt Bunn
Under 18: Griffith: 13.7 (85) d Mangoplah-CUE 9.5 (59)
Goals: A Gardner 6, L Catanzariti, T Condon, B Wade, B Murphy, W Archibald, N Ireland, B Browne

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Round 2 - Sunday April 14, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ............. 8.6 .. 13.8 .. 23.9 .. 28.13 (181)

Turvey Park .... 2.0 .. 9.0 .. 12.2 .. 16.7 (103)

Goals: Griffith: D Beriman 11, J Bennett 5, L Condon 3, M Olney 2, R Duncan, Craig Conlan, Chris Conlan, J Mickan, M Kenny, K Malone, P Rowston

Turvey Park: C Cerato 5, D Isaac 4, A Loughman 3, W Sykes, M Carroll, B Campbell, B Rodham

Best: Griffith: D Beriman, J Bennett, B Giason, J O'Dwyer, M Duncan

Turvey Park: L Mills, O Gooden D Isaac, C Cerato, J Masterson

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; J Malone, C Blanchard, D Kidman; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; R Duncan, D Curran, Craig Conlan; J Bennett, D Beriman, M Olney; B Giason, C Ebert (c-c), L Condon; J Mickan, Chris Conlan, M Kenny

Turvey Park: B Brown, A Dowdle, B Daniher; Blair Campbell, J Masterson (c-c), S Killalea; M Carroll, A Loughman, C Cerato; D Isaac, M Rake, W Sykes; L Mills, T Richards, O Gooden; N Clarke, D Cameron, B Rodham

Umpires: S Hatherall, R Wilson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 27.14 (176) d Turvey Park 2.3 (15)

Goals: S Ruyg 8, A Trotter 4, J Way 3, M Johns 3, T Bradley 2, Myles Bunn 2, S Driscoll 2, G Lamont 2, P Thornton
Under 18: Turvey Park 12.13 (85) d Griffith 7.4 (46)
Goals: B Hicken 3, A Gardner, B Wade, A Hill, M Wade

Match report: An exciting new full forward by the name of Danny Beriman has emerged in Riverina Football League. The Griffith Swans' young star booted 11 goals in a top-of-the-table clash against Turvey Park at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval, Griffith, yesterday. Beriman became the focal point of the Griffith attack as the Swans won 28.13 (181) to 16.7 (103) to remain on the top of the competition table on percentage.  The performance of Beriman - the RFL's leading goal-kicker on 14 majors after two rounds - is even more creditable as Griffith lost centre half forward Dave Curran with an ankle injury early in the second quarter. It was not their only casualty as last years best and fairest winner Rodney Duncan damaged his wrist and the two players will have  X-rays today for possible breaks. Despite the setbacks, Griffith's forward zone was in full flight with Jamie Bennett kicking five goals and many other players contributing to a convincing win.

The Swans took a grip on the game in the first term by kicking 8.6 (54) to 2.0 (12) and never let it slip. The Bulldogs second quarter effort saw them reduce the margin considerably but the Swans' attack still scored well. Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert said he was pleased with the way the backline performed. He said the performance of the halfback line was important to the success with Dave Kidman, Jon O'Dwyer and Jason Malone not putting a foot wrong. "The ruckman, Brendan Giason and Matt Olney worked hard in tandem," Ebert said. "We hit our targets more times than we missed and this made a big difference to our game." Turvey Park ruckman Leith Mills tried hard to contain his two strong opponents and went well around the ground. Bulldogs' leader Jeremy Masterson was strong but could not cover the gaps while Owen Gooden, Dale Isaac and Chris Cerato were effective in the forward zone. (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday April 15, 2002). 

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 GRIFFITH LOSES IT'S BEST AND FAIREST  - By Peter Baker 

Griffith's worst fears have been realised with last year's best and fairest winner Rodney Duncan out for six weeks. Duncan has a broken wrist and is the first player out of the big clash with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong on Sunday. The two sides are the only to remain undefeated in the RFL and this weekend's game is shaping as a terrific struggle at Logan Oval, Ganmain. A cloud will hang over Swans' centre half forward Dave Curran, whose precautionary X-ray did not reveal any damage to his ankle. However, Curran must be considered doubtful and much will depend on how he recovers during the week. The unfortunate Duncan, carrying on with the form he displayed throughout last season, originally broke his wrist while holidaying on the Gold Coast over the summer. Despite the loss of Curran and Duncan from across the Swans' half forward line last Sunday, the side still functioned smoothly. Griffith president Ian Wade said full forward Danny Beriman  took over as the leading tall in the forward zone. The club was in a fortunate position to have two players like Curran and Beriman with the height. "We are not relying on just one player to score our goals as Jamie Bennett on the half forward flank is also doing well," Wade said. He said the Swans were eagerly looking forward to the game at Logan Oval. "The boys were talking about the trip to Logan Oval on Sunday night, but they will need to be wary," Wade said. "Many a good Griffith side has gone to Ganmain over a long period and came home without the four competition points. "The Lions have won two games and from what I heard are playing well." (The Daily Advertiser - Tuesday April 16, 2002).  

Round 3 - Sunday April 21, 2002 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm

Ganmain-GGM ... 4.1 .. 7.2 .. 8.7 .. 9.10 (64)

Griffith ................. 5.4 .. 10.6 .. 16.8 .. 23.14 (152)

Goals: GGGM: Jed Lawton 2, J Crozier, S Hamblin, J Obudzinski, R Brill, S Crozier, N Irvine, N McPherson

Griffith: D Beriman 11, M Duncan 5, J Bennett 3, S Ruyg 2, J O'Dwyer, P Rowston

Best: GGGM: S Hamblin, S Crozier, B Lenon, N McPherson, J Crozier

Griffith: C Blanchard, J O'Dwyer, D Beriman, J Malone, P Rowston

Ganmain-GGM: A Symons, W Smith, M Hatty; D Symons, S Hamblin, B Lenon; M Carroll, J Crozier, M Steele; N Irvine, C Kelly, B Smith; R Brill, S Kelly, J Obudzinski; D Logan, N McPherson, S Crozier; C Hamblin, P Hamblin, J Lawton

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; J Malone, C Blanchard, D Kidman; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, L Condon; J Bennett, D Beriman, S Ruyg; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; Chris Conlan, M Kenny, N Creevy

Umpires: J Fisher, A Crook (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 13.16 (94) d Ganmain-GGM 8.9 (57)

Goals: T Bradley 3, S Driscoll 3, A Trotter 2, M Harris, A Noad, S Gash,  Thornton, M Johns
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 10.7 (67) d Griffith 8.10 (58)
Goals: A Gardner 2, B Hicken 2, B Wade 2, J Hampel, M Fyfe

Match report: Griffith full-forward Danny Beriman was a man on a mission against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in the Riverina Football League yesterday. He was successful and kicked 11.4 at Logan Oval (Ganmain Sportsground), to just eclipse his effort of 11.1 the previous round against Turvey Park. As the game progressed Beriman became the focal point of the Swans' attack, which swept home to win 23.14 (152) to 9.10 (64). The Swans' powerful display makes them clear-cut RFL leaders and the only undefeated side after three rounds.

In successive weeks Griffith have brushed aside its two major opponents in Turvey Park and Ganmain-GGM. Despite Beriman's scintillating performance, which could have yielded more goals had he been accurate with his kicking, he was not the only Swans to stand out. Whatever Beriman did not get, half-forward flankers, Michael Duncan (five goals) and Jamie Bennett (three), were ready to use. And down the other end of the ground fullback Jon O'Dwyer, centre half-back Chris Blanchard and half-back flanker Jason Malone hardly put a foot wrong in containing the Lions' attack. Griffith centre Phil Rowston, captain-coach Cian Ebert, on-baller Luke Condon and Shane Ruyg also made valuable contributions. 
The Lions tried hard with centre-half back Scott Hamblin and rover Scott Crozier living up to expectations. Playing his 199th senior game for the club, other on-baller Jamie Crozier and teammate Nathan McPherson were strong around the packs while Brett Lenon was a good support for Hamblin, both of whom were under a lot of pressure. Ebert said he was happy after half-time as it took his side a little time to get into the game. He said the Lions dropped a man back and cluttered up Griffith 's forward line in the first two quarters."The boys kept working hard and to our plan and everything came together for us in the last two quarters," Ebert said.

"We lifted our work rate, the boys were committed and the result was fantastic. "The last to weeks have been tough games and brought out the best in us. "Having not won down here for some time, we knew today's game, always a traditionally tough fixture, would be hard. "Credit to the Lions as they never gave up and made a real contest of it and we have plenty of sore boys in the dressing rooms. "The forward line has been working well and that is due to the fact the boys are training hard. "Our policy is the harder the players work, the more rewards they get and that came to fruition today. "The backline has been awesome as it gets a lot of rebounds and sets the forward zone up for us." (By Peter Baker - The Area News, Monday April 22, 2002). 

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - CHRIS BLANCHARD 

It has been three years since Chris Blanchard tasted premiership success with the Griffith Swans under 18's side of 1999 and he is determined to gain more success this year, but this time in the club's first grade side. Blanchard's goals are simple; he wants nothing more, nothing less than the premiership. Blanchard commenced his Australian Rules Football career at the age of nine, and was part of a very successful junior side that won three premierships and participated in many final series. However, since 1999 there has been a drop off in the numbers of juniors coming through the ranks, instead preferring to go to other football codes and this has affected the success rate of the teams Blanchard has played with. In his first year out of the junior ranks, Blanchard has really stepped up and made the centre half-back position his own. It could have been a different story as at the start of the year he was considering taking a year off football to concentrate on his mechanic apprenticeship. "Work was piling up, with the study and everything, and I wasn't getting to preseason training at all. "Ebo (coach Cian Ebert) approached me and told me that I was in his plans for a successful combination for this year, to hold down centre half-back, and that kind of gave me the incentive to make time for football."
The Swans are glad he did as Blanchard has played three very good games, the 18-year-old controlling the half-back line and keeping in check some much older and more experienced opposition. Against Ganmain-GGM last weekend, Blanchard dominated in the back line to earn best on ground award from supporters. Whilst just 18, Blanchard is tall, relatively quick and strong, which makes him a tough player for opposition teams to counter. He is playing with confidence not seen for some years. "I guess that confidence is coming through from the other players. I have a great deal of confidence in my teammates, so if I stuff up, they will be there to help me out. "That gives me the confidence to just go for it. There is a great feeling out there on the ground." Blanchard and his teammates face Narrandera this weekend at the Exies Sports Oval in the night game on Saturday. "We are pretty confident this weekend. We may get Dave Curran and Brendan Giason back from injury, so the team will nearly be full strength." While Blanchard and his mates aren't getting over confident about the teams prospects this year, 'things are looking pretty positive'.  With any luck, the on-field success Blanchard is striving for will be obtained in the form of a premiership come late September. (The Area News - Friday, April 26, 2002).

 BERIMAN CHASING MORE RECORDS - By Peter Baker 

The Riverina Football League player on everyone's lips, Danny Beriman, will be hoping to again break his own personal goalkicking record against Narrandera this evening. Beriman - 25-years-old, 185 centimetres and 95 kilograms - has chalked up records at his last two outings and could boot another bagful of goals at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval, Griffith. The Griffith full-forward has grabbed the spotlight since the opening round when he showed potential with 3.3 against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes. He followed up with 11.1 against Turvey Park to beat his previous best of nine goals at Eaglehawk in the Bendigo League more than three seasons ago. Beriman then booted 11.4 against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong last Sunday and could have been 13.2 but for two relatively easy shots at goal going astray. He displayed good ruck-work to make another goal for half-forward flanker Jamie Bennett in the second quarter, and then knocked the ball over for the other half forward flanker Michel Duncan to register a major in the third term. The big task of minding Beriman this evening will go to Narrandera full-back Damon Burden, who has turned in some good performances. Beriman and his fellow forwards, including Bennett and Duncan, are well fed at the moment. While Beriman heads the RFL goal kicking list with 25 majors, Bennett is next with 12. 

Joining Griffith four seasons ago from Robinvale-Euston in the Sunraysia League when asked to do so by then Swans captain-coach Paul Eyles, Beriman is finally living up to the potential which brought him to the RFL. It has not been an east path to the top of the goalkicking list for Beriman, who suffered an ankle injury in his first season with the Swans in 1999. He had an operation and in his second season (2000) played mainly reserves and broke back into the seniors in 2001. This year he is determined to show his best. Beriman he has played in every key goal-to-goal line position during his stay at Griffith, Robinvale-Euston and Eaglehawk. Beriman said the success of the Swans this season has come through a change of direction and attitude by the players and coaches. "There's is a lot of self belief in each other and the club and everything is falling into place. "Our game plan is different this year and there is more direction." "Confidence is at an all-time high and certainly the best since I have been with the club." Beriman said part of the plan was having several avenues to goal including Bennett, Duncan, Dave Curran, Shane Ruyg and Matt Olney. He said any one of them was capably of kicking a swag of goals if a team-mate was having an off-day. Despite comfortable wins over Turvey Park (78 points) and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong (88 points), Beriman said the sides could not be discarded. He said only three rounds of the RFL has gone and too many things could happen before and during finals. "Like all the clubs we hope to avoid injuries, which can ruin a good start." (Weekend Advertiser - Saturday April 27-28, 2002).

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Round 4 - Saturday April 27, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 5.00pm

Griffith .........  .. 7.4 .. 11.7 .. 15.8 .. 23.12 (150)

Narrandera .... 0.1 .. 1.1 .. 3.2 .. 3.5 (23)

Goals: Griffith: D Beriman 7, M Duncan 3, C Ebert 2, J Bennett 2, L Condon 2, C Blanchard 2, M Johns 2, M Olney, K Malone, D Scott

Narrandera: T Durnan, L Hutchins, J Vearing

Best: Griffith: P Rowston, J O'Dwyer, T Clarke, C Blanchard, C Ebert

Narrandera: A Thomson, C Smith, L Hutchins, D Irons, M Harrison

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; J Malone, C Blanchard, D Kidman; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; J Mickan, S Ruyg, L Condon; J Bennett, D Beriman, Chris Conlan; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; M Kenny, N Creevy, M Johns

Narrandera: D Matthews, D Burden, S Irons; J McKenzie, S Hutchins, H Hutchins; D Stockdale, C Smith (capt), J Coleman; M McLelland, A Thomson (coach), W Kiley; M English, T Durnan, J Vearing; B Powell, L Hutchins, M Harrison; B Smith, L Baumgartner

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, R Wilson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 23.24 (162) d Narrandera 0.0 (0)

Goals: W Armstrong 3, S Driscoll 3, Myles Bunn 3, T Bradley 2, Matt Bunn 2, B Ford 2, B Giason 2, Craig Conlan 2, J Fisher, L Testoni, J Way, A Noad
Under 18: Narrandera 11.14 (80) d Griffith 5.7 (37)
Goals: K Duncan 2, B Hicken, T Condon, A Gardner

Match report: Griffith's impressive start to the Riverina Football League season continued on Saturday night, the Swans posting a massive 23.12 (150) to 3.5 (23) over Narrandera under lights at the Exies Oval. Although never giving up, Narrandera found the going tough against the undefeated Swans, who kept the visitors to just eight scoring shots for the match. Griffith full forward Danny Beriman continued his run of big hauls, bagging seven goals to add to his 25 he kicked in the first three rounds. Jon O'Dwyer was again solid at the back to be one of the best for Griffith, while Phillip Rowston, Trevor Clarke, Chris Blanchard and captain-coach Cian Ebert all stood out. Beriman finished with seven goals to lead the Swans' scoring and Michael Duncan played well to finish with three majors. Ebert, Jamie Bennett, Luke Condon, Blanchard and Michael Johns kicked two goals each while Matt Olney, Kaine Malone and Damien Scott added one each.

Neither side was able to score early in the opening term, with the Swans slipping easily into the fast flowing football they have been successful with this season, but Narrandera keeping pace well. Almost six minutes passed before Ebert got the Swans on the board with a long left foot kick from 70 metres out which bounced through for a goal. The Swans added two more goals and a behinds before Narrandera got on the board with a point, but then the home side dominated for the remainder of the quarter to lead 26-1 at the break. Goals were harder to come by in the second quarter as the Swans' intensity dropped, the home side kicking one major and two behinds in the first 15 minutes. Narrandera's first goal came with 17 minutes gone, to the delight of the visiting supporters, but the Swans put on three late goals to lead 73-7 at the long break. The Swans opened the third quarter with two majors before the Eagles got another goal on board. Griffith lost ruckman Matt Olney to injury halfway through the quarter, but Beriman moved from full forward to fill the gap. Although the Narrandera players were determined not to give up and continued to push the Swans, the home side added four majors for the term. The Eagles picked up their third goal to make it 98-20 at the end of the term. However, that was the last major Narrandera kicked as the Swans lifted in the final quarter. The intensive pre-season fitness training is paying off for the Swans, who put on eight goals in the final quarter in a similar effort to previous weeks. Narrandera refused to give up and played it out right to the final siren, but the Swans maintained their effort right through for a 127-point win. Best for Narrandera were Ashley Thomson, Lachlan Hutchins, Steven Irons and Matthew Harrison. Goals went to Tim Durnan, Hutchins and John Vearing. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday April 29, 2002).

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - TREVOR CLARKE 

In just his third game back in the Griffith Swans colours, Trevor  "Trucka" Clarke has already earned the upmost respect from his peers, both players and supporters, as a result of his willingness to put his body on the line at every contest and to run all day. Clarke, returning to the club after a four-year stint in his hometown of Osborne, was awarded the player's player award after last Saturday's game against Narandera. The player's player is the award voted on by the players and given to the person they believe was the most inspirational on the field, to the person who did everything in his power to win the game for his team. "Saturday's game was OK," said Clarke. "My form is slowly improving after a late start to the pre-season, but I would like to think there is a fair bit of improvement left." Clarke's pre-season was hampered by a knee operation that he underwent last November to have a cyst removed. "I couldn't really get out onto the track at all until February, and again, I am still having a little bit of trouble with it. Even now I can't train every session, or it blows up too much and I can't walk the next day." Clarke has been playing the game for nearly 20 years now, starting at Osborne at the age of nine, and then into the senior team. It was the start of 1996 that first brought Clarke to Griffith, moving here with his employment. Clarke played two seasons in his first stint, and was successful in 1997 in winning the club's Senior Best and Fairest award. After that success, Clarke decided that he wished to play in the same team as his brothers. As all his brothers were back in Osborne to play seniors was enough for  Clarke to make the move back to his home town. It was a successful move for Clarke, being involved in a number of premierships. "The best was in 1999. We came up against Lockhart in the grand final and they hadn't lost a game all year. They even had their premiership T-shirts already printed, they were that cocky. We got up by a point. "It was awesome, but that's why I'm not getting too excited about our prospects this year. "OK, we are four and zip at the moment, but anything can happen on the day. "That's always in the back of my mind, what happened that year to Lockhart." Clarke is looking forward to having the week off this weekend, due to a general bye for the Inter League game. "It'll give me a week to rest the knee and have it a lot better next week for East Wagga," he said. (The Area News - Friday May 3, 2002). 

 SWANS TO PLAY IN REPRESENTATIVE GAME - By Rebecca Kroek 

While the Riverina Football League has a general bye this weekend, a number of Griffith Swans players will still be in action when the RFL representative side takes on Farrer League at Narrandera tomorrow afternoon. Swans assistant-coach Phillip Rowston has been named captain of the RFL team, while seven others Griffith players have been selected in the squad, with the team for tomorrow to be finalised after training tonight. "I think it'll be a pretty even contest, because we definitely haven't got the big name players we had last year and they (Farrer) are pretty confident," said Swans assistant-coach Jon O'Dwyer. O'Dwyer, who is in the RFL side for the second year in a row, said a number of the Griffith players have "niggling" injuries which they are trying to shake. "We're all sort of walking wounded at the moment," O'Dwyer said. Kaine Malone has been forced to withdraw from the RFL squad because of a thumb injury, while O'Dwyer has a sore heel and will see how he trains tonight. Dave Curran trained for the first time this week after missing two Swans games due to an ankle injury, while Matt Olney has not trained since limping off the field in the thirs quarter of last weekend's win over Narrandera and will need to prove his fitness tonight. Leading goalkicker for the RFL after four rounds, Danny Beriman, pulled up sore after the Narrandera game but O'Dwyer is confident he will be right to play tomorrow. The remaining two Griffith players named are Luke Condon and Michael Duncan, who O'Dwyer said will definitely play tomorrow, whether in the seniors or the under-21's. O'Dwyer said having eight players selected in this year's squad is "a true indicator" of how the Swans have started the season. (The Area News - Friday May 3, 2002).

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Inter League (Nesbitt Trophy) - Saturday May 4, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground

Riverina FL ... 5.3 .. 13.6 .. 18.9 .. 23.14 (152)

Farrer FL ...... 3.5 .. 8.5 .. 10.7 .. 12.8 (80)

Goals: Riverina: S Allen 6, D Beriman 3, M Carroll 3, S Hamblin 2, M Byrne 2, J Charlton, D Thomson, M Olney, M Hard, P Rowston, M Sharman

Farrer: J Milliken 3, A Carroll 2, B McKelvie 2, J Driscoll, T Doyle, M Currie, B Byrnes, S Lenon

Best: Riverina: M Sharman, M Carroll, M Hard, C Smith, M Duncan, S Allen

Farrer: S Lenon, D Bruckner, J Milliken, J Driscoll, A Thornton, B Aitken

Riverina FL: Neil Lawson, Jonathon O'Dwyer, Chris Smith; Matt Sharman, Matt Olney, Tim Hilton; Dane Campbell, Phillip Rowston (capt), Mick Byrne; Matt Carroll, Scott Hamblin, Jamie Charlton; Aaron McVilly, Danny Beriman, Scott Crozier; James Geale, Scott Allen, Matt Hard; Blair Campbell, Grant McLarty, Michael Duncan, Daniel Thomson. Coach: Russell Campbell

Farrer FL: Lochie Rowlings Doug Bruckner, Ben Kotzur; Nathan McDonald, Ian Carroll, Matthew McDonald; Brent Byrnes, Shane Lenon (capt), David Pieper; Brad Aitken, Liam Fleming, Andrew Thornton; Justin Driscoll, Brendan McKelvie, Matthew Currie; John Carroll, Travis Doyle, James Milliken; Stuart Blackwell, Anthony Carroll, Steve Thompson, Luke Godden. Coach: Russell Durnan

Under 21: Riverina FL 16.11 (107) d Farrer FL 8.7 (55)

Under 16: Wagga 20.17 (137) d South West 5.6 (36)

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Round 5 - Saturday May 11, 2002 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm

East Wagga-Kooringal ... 5.4 .. 10.6 .. 13.10 .. 16.13 (109)

Griffith ................................ 5.2 .. 11.8 .. 13.13 .. 20.14 (134)

Goals: EWK: L Bourne 2, J Charlton 2, M Fabre 2, D Bromham 2, B Murnane 2, K Brain 2, J Richards, T Gorham, S Bond, G Hopkins

Griffith: M Olney 8, M Duncan 3, L Condon 2, T Clarke 2, Chris Conlan 2, D Beriman, S Conlan, C Blanchard

Best: EWK: J Keenan, K Brain, G Hopkins, J Geale, J Richards

Griffith: M Olney, J Malone, C Blanchard, M Johns, M Duncan

East Wagga-Kooringal: D Spencer, J Geale, S King; B Miller, M Gorham, J Keenan; G Hopkins, K Brain (c-c), C Campbell; J Charlton, S Bond, B Murnane; M Fabre, L Bourne, D Bromham; T Gorham, J Richards, S Quirk; B Schumack, S Bromham, W Pollard-Carver

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; J Malone, C Blanchard, Craig Conlan; Chris Conlan, P Rowston, M Kenny; J Mickan, S Ruyg, L Condon; D Curran, D Beriman, M Duncan; B Giason, M Johns, T Clarke; Matt Bunn, K Malone, M Olney

Umpires: P Hughes, P Guthrie

Reserves: Griffith 27.21 (183) d East Wagga-Kooringal 2.2 (14)

Goals: R Simpkin 8, G Foley 4, T Bradley 3, B Owen 3, P Thornton 2, A Freyer 2, D Best 2, M Harris, Myles Bunn, B Ford
Under 18: Griffith 19.24 (138) d East Wagga-Kooringal 1.3 (9)
Goals: D Cunial 5, B Hicken 3, B Owen 2, S Stubbs 2, R Brill 2, L Catanzariti, T Matheson, A Gardner, K Duncan, B Murphy

Match report: It was a "reality check" for the Griffith Swans on Saturday when they had to come from behind in the final quarter to take a 20.14 (134) to 16.13 (109) win over East Wagga-Kooringal, in their Riverina Football League clash at Gumly Oval. The home side came out hard early and put on four goals before Griffith got on the scoreboard, but the Swans fought back to trail by two points at the first break 34-32. In the second quarter the Swans managed to take the lead but by half-time were only up 74-66. The Hawks kept the pressure on in the third term, kicking three goals four behinds to Griffith's two majors and five behinds. Holding a slim three-point lead heading into the final quarter, Griffith went goal for goal with the Hawks until 20 minutes into the term when East Wagga booted two consecutive majors. This put the home side up, before the Swans then lifted to regain the lead and hold on for a 25-point win. "It was a bit of a test ... it certainly tested the boys' character there towards the end," said Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert. "It was credit to the boys the way they fought, it was one of those close ones that in years gone by, we've let opposition sides win. "You have to win the close ones to be a good side so it's goods from that point of view." 
Forced to watch from the sideline due to a niggling injury, Ebert said sitting on the bench with the match in balance is not an experience he wants to repeat. He said he was happy with the last 10 minutes, but the majority of the game saw the Swans making too many skill errors and turning the ball over. "It was a bit of a reality check for the boys," Ebert said. "They put a bit of pressure on us but we put more pressure on ourselves by not doing the things we've been working on. "It proved what can happen if you're not on your game, if you give anyone a chance they'll take it and East Wagga certainly did. "The most striking thing was the turnovers and skill errors, which haven't been part of our game at all, really crept into it and gave the opposition a chance."

Ebert said Matt Olney was one player who really stood out for the Swans, taking some good marks and kicking seven goals for the match. Playing at half-back, Jason Malone had another solid game for Griffith, while Michael Duncan and Damien Scott were others who stood up when it counted. Duncan kicked three goals and Trevor Clarke, Chris Conlan and Luke Condon added two majors each. "We've certainly got plenty of things to work on, but in the end it was good to be five and 0, rather than four and one,' Ebert said.  (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday May 13, 2002).

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - MATT OLNEY 

Matthew Olney is one Swans player who wants to go all the way. He wants to all the way to the grand final in September and all the way to selection in the NSW team to contest the Australian Country Championship in South Australia come July. Olney first played for Griffith way back in 1992 as a 12-year-old in juniors. He left in 1996 to move to Canberra under a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, where he was part of the NSW/ACT Rams program. Olney returned to Griffith in 1998 for a season of senior football, before an opportunity to gain a plumbing apprenticeship saw him move to Berrigan, where he had three excellent years of football. Now back in the red and white, Olney is relishing the opportunity of playing a key role in the teams fortunes, whether it be up forward, in the backline or rucking around the ground. "I've played a few different positions this year. I started at full back, but now I seem to be playing more in the ruck and changing down in the forward line. "That's cool though, I don't mind snagging a few goals if I can," Olney said. Olney's terrific form culminated in selection in the Riverina Football League representative team along with four of his Griffith mates. "That was great. Week in week out you play for your team and your team colours, but to go out and represent the whole league, playing against the best players the other league can throw at you, and then play well, yeah, that was huge." Olney's game resulted in him being selected for the representative team to travel to Sydney to play against the best players of the Sydney leagues.  "If I play well there, I may even get selected for the NSW team to go to South Australia and play against teams from all over Australia. I want to go as far as I can with my football, play the best I can, and rep footy is one way I can get to do that." This week though, Olney's mind will be on Saturday's game against Leeton-Whitton at Woodstock Oval, Leeton.  "There's a great rivalry between us teams. Over the past few years, they've slagged us off a bit in their papers and in other articles, so we like nothing better than to stick it up them." Griffith defeated Leeton on both occasions last year, the second victory knocking the Crows out of finals contention. "They will be pretty keen to knock us off. Everyone loves to beat the league leaders, especially an undefeated team. We have to be prepared for this every week now. "After such a great start to the year, all teams will be extra determined to beat us when they come up against us. I myself will go out there and have some fun with it, keep playing the same way I have so far this year, and hopefully the grand final and rep selection and stuff will look after itself." (The Area News - Friday May 17, 2002). 

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Round 6 - Sunday May 19, 2002 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton-Whitton ... 2.1 .. 3.3 .. 5.3 .. 6.4 (40)
Griffith ................... 6.3 .. 16.6 .. 24.9 .. 30.15 (195)

Goals: Leeton-Whitton: B O'Mara 2, A Brown 2, L Whelan, M Cunningham
Griffith: D Beriman 6, D Curran 5, M Duncan 4, J Bennett 4, T Clarke 2, M Olney 2, Craig Conlan, B Giason, L Condon, D Kidman, S Conlan, K Malone, Matt Bunn 
Best: Leeton-Whitton: B O'Mara, D Elwin, G McLarty, L Whelan, M Sharman
Griffith: M Duncan, P Rowston, M Olney, J Bennett, J O'Dwyer
Leeton-Whitton: E Hillman, S McCarten, M Flagg; T Lang, M Cunningham (c-c), Kane Bullock; D Harrison, M Sharman, S Piltz; B O'Mara, G Looby, D Fraser; A Brown, Kurt Bullock, D Elwin; G McLarty, L Whelan, S Whelan; N Durkin, B Hillier, M Meladonis
Griffith: Matt Bunn, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; M Johns, C Blanchard, Craig Conlan; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; J Mickan, D Curran, L Condon; J Bennett, D Beriman, M Olney; B Giason, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; S Conlan, M Kenny, D Kidman
Umpires: S Crowley, P Guthrie (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 24.18 (162) d Leeton-Whitton 3.3 (21)

Goals: S Ruyg 8, J Way 6, Myles 2, Chis Conlan 2, S Driscoll 2, T Bradley, G Foley, B Ford, P Thornton
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 9.20 (74) d Griffith 6.0 (36)
Goals: K Duncan 3, B Wade, D Condon, B Owen

Match report: The Griffith Swans returned to stunning form against Leeton-Whitton on Saturday, kicking 30.15 (195) to 6.4 (40) win over the Crows at Woodstock Oval, Leeton. In a dominant display, the Swans kicked six goals three behinds for the first quarter, while Leeton-Whitton finished with six goals four behinds for the entire match. After a close match against East Wagga-Kooringal last week, Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert was very pleased with the way the side lifted against the Crows. "It was probably our best and most consistent game in terms of doing everything right for more times than we didn't," Ebert said. During the week the Swans identified a number of areas which needed improvement, with skill errors and turnovers keeping EWK in the game the previous week. We really went over there (to Leeton) determined that we were going to change that and to the boys' credit we performed well," Ebert said. "I think last week was really good for us, it made us realise that if you don't go out there every week ready to play your game, everyone a chance to beat you. "We were really determined this week to get back to basics and work at the things that have worked for us so far." 
The return to basics worked well for the Swans as the side skipped away to a 26-point lead by the first break. Although the Crows kicked the first major of the match, Griffith settled in quickly after that. "From then on our work rate was really high, our commitment to each other was high and we just didn't give them a chance to get into the game," Ebert said. "It's not that they played bad, we just didn't give them any opportunities." A massive effort in the second quarter saw the Swans boot 11 goals three behinds, while the Crows could only manage just one major and two behinds. Trailing by 87 points at the long break, Leeton-Whitton had no hope of coming back for a win in the second half, but the side continued to press. The Swans could not repeat their 11-goal effort but still kicked seven majors for the third term, with the Crows adding two goals. Griffith slowed down a little in the final term and the side's accuracy suffered, adding six goals six behinds to finish 155-point victors.

Danny Beriman led the scorers with six goals while Dave Curran booted five in his first game back from an ankle injury. Jamie Bennett, also returning from injury, kicked four goals as did Michael Duncan, with Trevor Clark and Matt Olney adding two each. Among the best for Griffith were Duncan, Phillip Rowston, Olney, Bennett and Jon O'Dwyer, although Ebert said it was difficult to pick out the better players."

However, although sitting comfortably at the top of the ladder, Ebert said the players need to keep making the effort. "It's important that the boys make sure they get to training and we keep working hard," he said.  Ebert said there were a couple of under 18s players who were badly injured and everyone at the club is thinking of them. He also thanked all the support staff for the work they did for the club at Leeton yesterday. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday May 20, 2002).

 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - MICHAEL DUNCAN 

Emerging Swans' star Michael Duncan is a rare breed around the Griffith Australian Rules football team this year, as one of only a handful of current players to have spent their entire career in the red and white colours. Duncan began playing at the age of five in the under 11's, a huge effort for a young boy of his size. It didn't take long for Duncan to shine out with his dazzling footwork and speed, assisting in him having an extremely successful junior career and winning three premierships. In 1999, at 16 years of age, Duncan stepped up to under 18's football and was captain of another premiership side, also taking out the best and fairest award in a stellar year. It was in '99 that the senior team began to realise the potential Duncan had, and started to include him in their side to give him invaluable experience for the future. Duncan played six senior games that year and another six in 2000, where he spent the majority of the year in the reserves causing havoc, and was part of the team that lost the grand final in overtime. "That was probably the best game of football I have ever been involved in," Duncan said. "Even though we lost, the game had everything. The skill level was high, the commitment from every player was amazing, the excitement.

It was just a great game to be playing in." Duncan has now cemented his place in the firsts, and last week's game against Leeton-Whitton showed to all watching how much he adds to the team's structure. 'Class', 'skillful' and 'just too good' were comments heard in the crowd as Duncan, and the rest of his teammates gave Leeton a football lesson. "We are playing very good football. To be honest, if we don't win the premiership this year, I'll be devastated," Duncan said. "It's just a great team, a great bunch of blokes, and a fantastic club to be playing for." 
Duncan's own form led the RFL selection in the inter-league game two weeks ago against the Farrer League at Narrandera. Another classy performance there has seen him selected to travel to Sydney this weekend as part of the MVAFA team to take on the Sydney Football League. At 19 years of age, Duncan is easily the youngest member of the team, but is taking it all in stride. "Rep footy is great. The skills at training are so good that you have to keep lifting your own standards to stay with the other blokes. Playing with the best players, in the league obviously helps your own game improve too." Having made the RFL side was my goal at the start of the year. Now I guess I'll just have to concentrate on besting Jamie Bennett in the goalkicking," he laughed. (The Area News - Friday May 24, 2002). 

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NSW State Championship - Saturday May 25, 2002 at Macquarie Fields, Campbelltown

SYDNEY FL. ... 4.6 .. 9.9 .. 14.11 .. 17.12 (114)

M.V.A.F.A. ....... 0.0 .. 1.1 .. 6.3 .. 6.4 (40)

Goals: Sydney: C O'Brien 3, S Thomlinson 2, J McPherson 2, L Campbell, A Seccull, R Moller, C French, M Parker, M Sier, J Crosby, M Brady, C McPherson, M Brewster

MVAFA: J Charlton 4, S Hamblin, D Curran

Best: C O'Brien, V Dell, M Brady, M Sier, G Garner, M Brester, M Ghobrial

MVAFA: J O'Dwyer, M Hard, J Charlton, L Carroll, D Campbell, M Duncan

Sydney FL: Chris Bishop, Michel Ghobrial, Mark Levy; Mark Brady, Vaughn Dell, Christen McPherson; Anthony Lowes, Craig O'Brien (capt), Michael Sier; Mathew Parker, Adrian Seccull, Jason McPherson; Leigh Campbell, Bradley Moller, Cameron French; Dale Hodges, Glenn Garner, Martin Brewster; Scott Thomlinson, Jarod Crosby, Matthew Johnson, Peter Carey. Coach: Brett Allison

Murrumbidgee Valley AFA: Blair Campbell, Jonathan O'Dwyer, Matt Sharman; Dane Campbell, Scott Hamblin, Luke Carroll (capt); Michael Duncan, Aaron McVilly, Travis Doyle; James Milliken, Matt Olney, Jamie Charlton; Scott Allen, Dave Curran, Matt Currie; James Geale, Kane Johnstone, Matt Hard; Grant McLarty, Chris Cerato, Ben Murnane, Chris Smith. Coach: Russell Campbell

Round 7 - Sunday June 2, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ..... ..... 9.3 .. 18.5 .. 25.7 .. 31.11 (197)

Coolamon ..... 1.0 .. 2.0 .. 6.1 .. 6.1 (37)

Goals: Griffith: B Wade 6, D Beriman 4, M Duncan 4, D Scott 4, Craig Conlan 3, D Curran 2, K Malone 2, M Kenny 2, L Condon, T Clarke, C Ebert, J Bennett

Coolamon: M Hard, B Mattingly, D Moorhead, H Dyce, A McKenzie, M McKinley

Best: Griffith: P Rowston, J Mickan, C Ebert, M Duncan, T Clarke

Coolamon: A McCaig, L Drum, S Martin, A Breust, A McKenzie

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; L Condon, C Blanchard, D Kidman; Matt Bunn, P Rowston, M Duncan; M Olney, J Mickan, Craig Conlan; B Wade*, D Beriman, J Bennett; B Giason, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; D Curran, M Kenny, K Malone

Coolamon: M McKinley, Scott Bradley, B Garrett; P Edmunds, L Drum, T Hilton; B Cook, M Hard (c-c), A McKenzie; S Martin, F Furner, B Mattingly; D Moorhead, J McKenzie, J Talbot; A McCaig, A Breust, M Moodie; D Crocker, H Dyce, G Rowland

Umpires: W Tilyard, P Ross (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 27.17 (179) d Coolamon 3.2 (20)
Goals: S Ruyg 12, G Foley 4, Myles Bunn 2, B Ford 2, J Way 2, R Simpkin 2, S Driscoll 2, W Armstrong
Under 18: Griffith 18.4 (112) d Coolamon 9.6 (60)
Goals: A Gardner 6, K Duncan 5, B Hicken 2, B Owen, L Catanzariti, R McClintock, M Smith, N Malone 

Match report: The Griffith Swans continued their early dominance of the Riverina Football League competition, a 31.11 (197) to 6.1 (37) victory over Coolamon seeing the side through the first round of matches undefeated. With the Wagga Tigers having left the RFL, Swans captain-coach Cian Ebert wanted his side to be the new benchmark in 2002. Having defeated every other side convincingly in the first full round for seven consecutive wins, the Swans appear to have achieved that aim. "We're really rapt we got through the first round of games and won them all," Ebert said. He said Griffith started off in a "fantastic" manner, kicking nine goals in the first term. Making his first grade debut was under-18s captain Ben Wade, who had the perfect start to his senior career with five goals in the first quarter and six for the game, to lead the Swan' scorers. The side had scored 100 points by half-time, which Ebert described as "something special". "We knew we had to start well because it was a worry last time after we had a week's break ... but we got out of the blocks really well," he said.   

However, he said that there is still room for improvement - sure to be an unwelcome statement for the other RFL sides. "On the whole we went well, but it was probably our worst skill day all year," Ebert said. "We missed a lot of targets and turned the ball over a lot ... there's still plenty of things to work on." It was an ideal start for the Swans as they kicked nine goals three behinds in the first term while keeping Coolamon to just one major.

The Hoppers doubled their score in the second quarter, but the Swans added another nine majors for an 113-12 lead at the long break. A minor comeback in the third term saw Coolamon kick four goals one, but Griffith continued to score easily with seven majors for the quarter for a 120-point lead at the final break. While the Hoppers did not give up, contesting every kick and pass through the final term the Swans extended its lead by another 40 points. Coolamon was held scoreless in the final term while Griffith added another six majors and four behinds for a 160-point win. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday June 3, 2002).

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - BEN WADE 

You could not have written a better script for Ben Wade's game for the Griffith Swans senior side against Coolamon last weekend if you were a screenwriter in Hollywood. Five kicks in the first quarter for five goals, showing all the skills in the book. From taking high marks to roving packs at ground level, Wade showed his immense talent that forced the selectors to include him in their undefeated team. Wade ended the match with six goals and a hand in several others in a performance that can only be described as a dream come true. "I was very nervous before the game," Wade commented this week. "To look around and see players I've respected for years, such as Jono and Rowdy, and to be running out with them was pretty good." Wade will remember his first kick in senior football. "I took a chest mark off a mongrel kick into the forward line. I was about 35 metres out, pretty much straight in front and kicked it through. "In the years to come, it will probably end up being 65 metres out on the boundary." In fact, Wade's first five kicks were all goals, a feat that is unlikely to ever happened before anywhere. "It was a good start, but I want to stay in the ones now. I've trained fairly solidly all week and hope I get picked again." 
Wade's career began back in the under-11's at the age of eight in 1993. Progressing through the age groups, Wade found some team success in 1999 as part of the premiership team in the under-16s, while just 14 years of age. Personal success was found last year when Wade was successful in winning the under-16s best and fairest. Its been the last two years that Wade's football has really started to take off. "A couple of years ago I was just going through the motions and was not playing that well and was a bit overweight. "Then I just decided to have a crack, and I've trained really hard, lost a lot of weight and have grown a bit of height, which has helped. I do extra running and gym work, and all that hard work is starting to pay off," he said. Until last weekend game against Coolamon, Wade has spent the year playing for the under-18s, of which he is captain. "Being named captain was a pretty big honour. There are a few good players in the team, so for Hilly and Drisco to chose me was great," he said. Wade still dreams of playing in the yellow and black of the Richmond Football Club in the AFL. "Which kid doesn't dream of that," he said. For now, his dream is to play in the senior side of the Griffith Swans side and let his footy continue to develop. (The Area News - Friday June 7, 2002).

Round 8 - Sunday June 9, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .................  ... 6.10 .. 11.16 .. 17.19 .. 18.25 (133)

Mangoplah-CUE .... 2.2 .. 5.6 .. 6.7 .. 7.11 (53)

Goals: Griffith: D Beriman 8, J Bennett 5, Chris Conlan 2, B Wade, Craig Conlan, D Curran

MCUE: R Thomas, N Lawson, X Higgins, M Balding, G Spriggs, W Smith, B Roberson

Best: Griffith: J Bennett, Chris Conlan, J Mickan, Craig Conlan, K Malone

MCUE: X Higgins, E Smith, N Lawson, W Schultz, G Spriggs

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; J Mickan, B Giason, L Condon; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, D Curran, Chris Conlan; B Wade, D Beriman, J Bennett; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; Matt Bunn, S Spiers, M Kenny

Mangoplah-CUE: G Bruce, D Pike, A Short; S Wheeler, G Spriggs, X Higgins; W Schultz, A McVilly, G Millar; B Sanbrook, T Balding, R Thomas; Brad Roberson, C Godde, P Byrnes; S Lawrence, N Lawson, C Higgins; G Langfield, D Howard, B Killalea

Umpires: G Steinke, R Jones (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 36.22 (238) d Mangoplah-CUE 2.1 (13)
Goals: S Ruyg 17, S Driscoll 4, A Trotter 4, G Dreyer 3, T Bradley 3, W Armstrong 2, D Best, Myles Bunn, B Owen
Under 18: Griffith 24.19 (163) d Mangoplah-CUE 2.1 (13)
Goals: A Gardner 12, B Hicken 5, B Owen 2, N Malone, S Stubbs, M Davis, D Creevy

Match report: Although not playing up to their usual standard, the Griffith Swans posted an 80-point, 18.25 (133) to 7.11 (53) win over Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes at the Exies Oval yesterday afternoon. The Swans turned over plenty of ball and struggled with accuracy in front of goal, but still did enough to ensure a comfortable win on the scoreboard. Among those to standout were Jamie Bennett, Chis Conlan, Craig Conlan, Jeff Mickan and Kaine Malone. Bennett finished with five goals after working hard all game, while Chris Conlan kicked two and Craig Conlan one. Danny Beriman led the scoring again, booting eight majors, while Ben Wade and Dave Curran added one each. The Swans began slowly, Mangoplah clearly determined to make a game of it against the undefeated competition leaders. More than three minutes had gone before the first score, a behind to Griffith, with the opening goal coming with the clock at 5.00 minutes to see the home side to an 8-1 lead.

Mangoplah was playing well, although unable to get close enough to goal to add to its score, while Griffith were making too many mistakes and turning over possession. However, by the end of the quarter Griffith led 46-14, inaccuracy keeping the margin from being even greater. The second term was a more even affair on the scoreboard, as the sides fought out a battle played mostly in midfield. Griffith kicked five goals six for the term, while Mangoplah lifted to boot  three goals four, both sides having opportunities to score more but let down by behinds. By half-time the score was 82-36, the Swans holding a comfortable lead. It was the third quarter which was the decider as Griffith lifted to blow out the gap between it and Mangoplah. The Goannas were still in the match, if only barely, but needed to score several goals before Griffith could get on the board to narrow the gap. However, the Swans had their best quarter of the game, kicking four goals two before the Goannas could get on the board. By the time Mangoplah kicked a behind after 21 minutes, the margin had blown out to 71 points.

Beriman added two more majors before Mangoplah finally kicked a goal in the final minute of the term, the result virtually decided at three-quarter time at 121-43. The final quarter was a poor effort by both sides in the terms of scoring, Mangoplah kicking a goal with the clock at 2.45, but it was followed by a string of behinds. More than six minutes had passed before Griffith scored in the final term, the Swans then kicking five behinds in a row. Mangoplah added two more points before Ben Wade kicked the second goal and the Swans' first for the quarter with 21 minutes gone. The Goannas kicked two more behinds before the siren, to see them finish with 1.4 for the term and Griffith with 1.6. However, although not one of their best efforts, Griffith still came away with a comfortable 80-point win. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday June 10, 2002).

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - SHANE RUYG 

Kicking 17 goals in a game of Australian Rules Football is a feat not too many players can lay claim to having done. In last weekend's game against Mangoplah-CUE, Griffith Swans player Shane Ruyg tallied 17 goals in the reserves game, an outstanding effort that earned him the Player of the Week award. Ruyg was extremely modest when contacted regarding his performance. "I was on the end of some fantastic delivery and had plenty of opportunities as the ball was coming into the forward line fairly regularly," Ruyg said. "I've never kicked 17 goals before. My previous best was 14 in the juniors back in Donald." Ruyg began his football career in the Victorian country town of Donald as a 12-year-old. Breaking into the seniors in 1987, Ruyg played four years of senior football for his home town and was part of a senior premiership victory in 1989. Ruyg relocated to Griffith in 1991 and is one of just five still active players from that year, the year in which the  Griffith first grade side last competed in the grand final. "That was probably my best year of footy for the club, I was the leading goal kicker for the year at half forward flank with 72 goals. We really should have won the premiership too," he reminisced. Apart from 1996 and 1997, when Ruyg moved to Queanbeyan for a crack at the stronger Canberra league, he has played for Griffith ever since. 
Ruyg's career has generally been spent in the senior side, except for 2000 when injury forced him to miss a number of games and resulted in him playing out the year in the reserves, and was an integral member of the side which lost the grand final in overtime. Ruyg began this year in the senior side, however injury and form have again seen him relegated to a stint in the twos. "I wasn't getting a lot of the ball in the ones. Ebo (Cian Ebert) talked to me about going back down to the ressies and just try to get a bit of confidence back, to try and kick a few goals. "That's just what I'm trying to do, and hopefully, at some stage, I might get the call up again. While it's great to be running around in the twos, I still have aspirations of playing senior footy again," he said. While the senior side is travelling as nicely as it is at present, Ruyg may have to bide his time in the reserves. Though much of the talk around town is about how well the seniors are doing, the reserves side is also undefeated with no team really having got close to defeating then yet. Ruyg will simply continue to play his best, no matter which team he is selected in. (The Area News - Friday June 14, 2002). 

Round 9 - Sunday June 16, 2002 at Maher Oval 2.10pm

Turvey Park ... 4.6 .. 11.7 .. 16.11 .. 24.12 (156)

Griffith ............ 2.2 .. 8.2 .. 9.2 .. 13.4 (82)

Goals: Turvey Park: A Loughman 8, S Nimmo 4, Nigel Clarke 3, A Dowdle 3, W Sykes 2, O Gooden 2, L Mills, C Cerato

Griffith: D Beriman 4, Chris Conlan 2, M Duncan 2, S Ruyg, P Rowston, C Ebert, J Mickan, J O'Dwyer

Best: Turvey Park: M Donaldson, A Loughman, J Masterson, M Wheatley, W Sykes, M Carroll

Griffith: P Rowston, Chris Conlan, M Olney, Craig Conlan, S Conlan

Turvey Park: C Grentell, C Barker, M Donaldson; C Cerato, J Masterson (c-c), M Wheatley; Blair Campbell, D Campbell, Nigel Clarke; W Sykes, A Dowdle, S Anderson; O Gooden, A Loughman, S Nimmo; L Mills, M Carroll, T Maiden; T Richards, J Nimmo, L Warr

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, D Scott; L Condon, B Giason, D Kidman; K Malone, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, Chris Conlan; J Bennett, D Beriman, S Ruyg; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; Matt Bunn, S Spiers, M Kenny

Umpires: B Webb, C Hooper (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 16.8 (104) d Turvey Park 15.9 (99)
Goals: Myles Bunn 4, S Driscoll 3, M Johns 2, W Armstrong 2, T Bradley, G Dreyer, G Foley, A Trotter, B Ford
Under 18: Turvey Park 15.15 (105) d Griffith 5.4 (34)
Goals: S Stubbs, B Hicken, N Malone, A Gardner, M Fyfe

Match report: Riverina Football League took a new shape when Turvey Park dismantled previously undefeated Griffith by 74 points at Maher Oval yesterday. In its best performance for the nine rounds, Turvey Park raced away to win 24.12 (156) to 13.4 (82). Turvey Park's success, coupled with Narrandera's first win of the season at the expense of top five side Leeton-Whitton, puts a whole new aspect on the RFL at the halfway mark.

Bulldogs' captain-coach Jeremy Masterson put the highest accolade on the Turvey Park's effort, saying it was the best win since he started coaching the side in 2001. "Our defeat at Griffith in round two this season was the worst one we have suffered since I started the club and this was our best win so it was a fantastic result today," Masterson said. "It was good to get on top and pay them back. "There were no lapses at all and it was the first time all year we played four consistent quarters." Griffith captain-coach and on-baller Cian Ebert said he hoped the defeat would do the Swans more good than harm in the final analysis. He said the boys had a lot of character and he expected them to show it in coming rounds leading up to the next showdown with Turvey Park. "I think we are a lot better side that we showed today and should improve,' Ebert said. "We have to get back to the hard work and basics which worked at the start of the season. "Today's defeat was a reality check for the boys as the side has been coasting along, working hard and doing a lot of things right. "However, in the last game and a half we started developing a few bad habits, like not looking after each other and just going through the motions. "Turvey Park proved to be a good side and the better side today. "We were a bit behind the eight ball against a side which was really keen and played well - full credit to them." 
Masterson had a big influence on the game as he starved the Griffith forward line with good support from Mark Donaldson and Michael Wheatley. Only at one stage did Griffith appear to be in the game when they hit the front momentarily 10 minutes in the second quarter as centre Phillip Rowston, full forward Danny Beriman and Ebert kicked successive goals to give the Swans a two-point lead. Turvey Park replied almost immediately with majors by centre half forward Adrian Dowdle, Nigel Clarke, on-baller Owen Gooden and forward pocket Simon Nimmo to take the lead and open up a match-winning lead of 23 points. Turvey Park full forward Andrew Loughman put the icing on the cake for the Bulldogs when he kicked five goals in the last quarter giving him 8.2 for the game. Bulldogs' on-ballers, Warren Sykes and Matt Carroll, cut Griffith to shreds around the ground with clever handball and good judgment while Gooden, wingman Blair Campbell (until injured in the third quarter), Simon Nimmo, Chris Cerato and Dowdle stood out at various times. Ebert and centre Phil Rowston gave their best and ruckman Matt Olney was prominent until injured while the three Conlans - Chris, Craig and Shawn - tried hard for the Swans. (By Peter Baker - The Area News, Monday June 17, 2002). 

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - SHAWN CONLAN 

Shawn Conlan started playing football for Barellan in 1983. The highlight of his football career has been beating Ungarie in the (1998)  grand final when playing for Barellan. Shawn played in the Northern Riverina Football League for 7 years before making the move to the more competitive Riverina Football League. He is currently playing his third season for the club with with a very consistent run in the senior side. Over the time Shawn has played 42 senior games. Last season he managed three goals, which was a sensational effort from the back pocket position. With the Swans travelling so well this year, Shawn is looking forward to reaching some excellent milestones with the club. In August, Shawn will play his 50th senior game and if he can hold his position in a very competitive team, looks like he will be playing finals series this year. (The Area News - Friday June 21, 2002).

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Round 10 - Sunday June 23, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .................. 4.3 .. 7.3 .. 13.6 .. 20.10 (130)

Ganmain-GGM ... 2.3 .. 3.6 .. 7.6 .. 11.8 (74)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 4, R Duncan 3, D Beriman 2, J Bennett 2, L Condon, C Ebert, J Mickan, Craig Conlan, Chris Conlan, B Wade, P Rowston, Matt Bunn, M Kenny

GGGM: P Hatty 4, J Crozier 3, M Carroll 2, S Hamblin, N Irvine

Best: Griffith: J Mickan, M Olney, T Clarke, S Conlan, B Giason

GGGM: L Carroll, C Kelly, S Rava, M Hatty, S Kelly

Griffith: S Conlan, B Giason, D Scott; Matt Bunn, C Blanchard, D Kidman; L Condon, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, R Duncan; J Bennett, D Beriman, Chris Conlan; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; S Spiers, M Kenny, B Wade

Ganmain-GGM: M Hatty, S Kelly, D Symons; A Symons, S Hamblin, S Rava; N Irvine, L Carroll (c-c), M Steele; J Crozier, D Logan, M Carroll; C Steward, W Smith, P Hatty; C Kelly, B Lenon, N McPherson; J Noble, R Brill, P Walsh

Umpires: A Crook, R Davidson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 26.15 (171) d Ganmain-GGM 12.4 (78)
Goals: S Ruyg 13, S Driscoll 3, K Malone 2, R Simpkin 2, L Testoni 2, Myles Bunn, B Ford, G Dreyer, G Foley
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 8.8 (56) d Griffith 6.5 (41)
Goals: A Gardner 5, B Hicken
Match report: After a slow start the Griffith Swans rediscovered their form yesterday afternoon at the Exies Oval, blowing Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong away with a 13-goal second half to take a 20.10 (130) to 11.8 (74) victory. At half-time the Swans led 45-24, inaccuracy in front of goals by Ganmain-GGM putting the visitors further behind than they possibly should have been. Griffith picked up the pace in the final two terms to add 13 goals to Ganmain's eight and secure victory. The win puts Griffith a game clear at the top of the Riverina Football League ladder after Turvey Park went down by a goal to Coolamon. Redeeming themselves after last weeks loss to Turvey Park, the Swans worked hard all game apart from some short lapses and kept the Lions from fighting back into the match. Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert was pleased to see a good all-round effort from the players. "I'm rapt with the endeavour from the boys," Ebert said. "It was by no means a pretty game or skillful game, but they just kept on having a crack. "We got a bit of feeling back today and worked hard, we knew they were going to be at us all the time and they were. "It's good to get back to somewhere we were at the start of the season." While not wanting to single out individuals out in what he said was an all round effort.
Ebert said it was great to have Ben Wade backing up after playing under-18's, while the return of injury of Chris Blanchard and Rod Duncan also helped out. "It was great to have Chris Blanchard back being our rock at centre half back and Rod Duncan came back in and kicked three goals and really shut down their play-maker. Among the better players for the Swans were Jeff Mickan, Matt Olney, Trevor Clarke, Shawn Conlan and Brendan Giason, who all put everything they had into the game. Standing out for Ganmain-GGM were Chris Kelly, Luke Carroll, Shaun Rava, Matthew Hatty and Mitchell Carroll. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday June 24, 2002).

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 GRIFFITH SWANS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - JEFF MICKAN 

Entering into the sanctity of marriage can effect a footballer in varying ways. For Jeff Mickan, since his special day three weeks ago at the Exies-on-Burrell, his football form has flourished. Over the past three weeks, Mickan has had to take on a larger responsibility around the half forward area due to a leg injury to Griffith Swans big man David Curran, but it is a responsibility that Mickan is enjoying. "I prefer to play forward. Over the past few years I've been playing mostly in the backline, and it has taken me a while to become accustomed to the pace of the league coming from Barellan. This has been my best season for Griffith, though," Mickan said. Mickan began his Australian Rules career at the age of 11 in the Barellan under-12s. He continued to play fot the Two Blues and was rewarded with senior selection in 1996 and was an integral part of the team which won three premierships in a row from 1996 to 1998.

It was in the year 2000 that Mickan, along with good friend Shawn Conlan, decided to come to Griffith to play a higher standard of football against the Wagga teams. Mickan immediately made an impression with his flexibility and strong marking and the will this week line up for his 47th senior game in the red and white. "Barring injuries, I'll play my 50th game against Coolamon. I'm looking forward to that, " he said. Mickan was reasonably happy with the team's performance to date, is wary of becoming over confident too early. "We are very well positioned at this stage, but we now know there are two or three contenders for the premiership in Turvey Park, Ganmain and possibly Coolamon or even East Wagga," he said.  "I remember back in 1998 when playing for Barellan and we didn't beat Ungarie all year, but managed to win the grand final by five points. It just goes to show that nothing is for certain. This weekend Mickan and his team mates will line up against Narrandera on the wide-open spaces at Narrandera. Mickan will be hoping that marriage continues to have a good effect on his performance, and that the team can come away with another victory. (The Area News - Friday June 28, 2002).

 CLARKE TO PLAY HIS 50TH SENIOR GAME THIS SUNDAY 

Several Griffith Swans players will achieve their milestone this year when they play their 50th senior game. The first of these is Trevor Clarke, who will have the honour of leading the team onto the Narrandera Sportsground this Sunday. Trevor commenced his junior football with Osborne in 1983 when at the age of eight, he played under-14s. H played with the Sydney Swans under-11s at the age of nine and was chosen for the under-14s state squad in 1985 when only 10. In 1992 he was runner-up best and fairest for the Osborne reserves, going one better in 1993 and winning it. Trevor played in Osborne's first grade premiership teams in 1994 and 1995. In 1996 and 1997 Trevor played for Griffith Swans, chalking up 40 games in two seasons and being runner-up for the best and fairest in1996 and winning the now defunct Coca Cola award for the best and fairest and the players player award. In 1997 Trevor won the first grade best and fairest. In 1998 Trevor returned to Osborne to play with his brothers and they won premierships for the next four consecutive years. Trevor has played 100 senior games for Osborne and won the coaches award in 2000 and best and fairest in finals for 2001. During all those years Trevor has lived in Griffith and travelled each week to Osborne to play and the Griffith Swans are delighted that he has now decided he's had enough of travelling and agreed to play with them again. He is without doubt an integral part of the team. (The Area News - Friday June 28, 2002)..

Round 11 - Sunday June 30, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm

Narrandera ... 0.1 .. 2.7 .. 4.7 .. 6.7 (43)

Griffith ........... 5.5 .. 10.6 .. 15.9 .. 21.12 (138)

Goals: Narrandera: I Limbrick 3, S Hutchins, J Coleman, 1 short

Griffith: C Blanchard 4, J Bennett 3, T Clarke 2, M Duncan 2, Craig Conlan 2, J O'Dwyer, J Mickan, R Duncan, M Kenny, B Ford, Chris Conlan, M Olney, B Giason

Best: Narrandera: Brett Powell, A Thomson, J McKenzie, I Limbrick, D Hopwood

Griffith: C Blanchard, J Bennett, M Duncan, T Clarke, M Olney

Narrandera: D Piltz, A Thomson (coach), H Hutchins; D Hopwood, B Richens, J Vearing; S Irons, D Burden, M Williams; M McLelland, S Hutchins, D Sergeant; J McKenzie, I Limbrick, J Coleman; Brett Powell, D Thomson, L Hutchins; M Hair, D Stockdale, G Hair

Griffith: Matt Bunn, B Giason, D Scott; S Conlan, C Blanchard, K Malone; L Condon, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, R Duncan; J Bennett, J O'Dwyer, B Ford; M Olney, C Ebert (c-c), T Clarke; Chris Conlan, N Creevy, M Kenny

Umpires: B Webb, P Wegener (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 21.12 (138) d Narrandera 4.9 (33)
Goals: S Ruyg 6, Myles Bunn 4, G Foley 3, W Armstrong, A Noad, R Hill, A Gardner
Under 18: Narrandera 19.12 (126) d Griffith 10.4 (64)

Goals: A Gardner 6, B Hicken 2, T Matheson, D Creevy 
Match report: The Griffith Swans found themselves well-suited to the Narrandera Sportsground yesterday, thrashing the home side 21.12 (138) to 6.7 (43) in the Riverina Football League. Although several Swans played at Narrandera in the RFL-Farrer League representative game earlier this season, it was their first look as a team at the ground where they hope to find success come finals time. With 13 different players making the goal scoring list, it appears the Swans settled in well to the wide open spaces at Narrandera. Chris Blanchard, in only his second game back from injury finished with four goals, while Jamie Bennett booted three. Trevor Clarke, Michael Duncan and Craig Conlan added two goals, while Jon O'Dwyer, Jeff Mickan, Rod Duncan, Matt Kenny, Ben Ford, Chris Conlan, Matt Olney and Brendan Giason each kicked a major. The Swans got away to an early lead with a five goal first quarter, while Narrandera managed just one behind. Another five majors in the second term saw Griffith stretch its lead, the Eagles struggling with accuracy as they kicked two goals six for the quarter. The Swans went into the sheds at half-time with a comfortable 45-point lead and appeared to be toying with their rivals. They continued their relentless assault on the Eagles in the third quarter, kicking five goals three behinds, while restricting Narrandera to just two majors for the entire quarter. As it has done all season the Swans' defence proved too tight for the Eagles, again allowing Narrandera only two goals in the final quarter. The Swans convincingly ran out the final quarter kicking a further six goals to record an easy 95-point win. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday July 1, 2002).

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Round 12 - Sunday July 7, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ................................ 7.10 .. 11.14 .. 15.17 .. 21.21 (147)

East Wagga-Kooringal .... 1.3 .. 5.5 .. 7.7 .. 9.12 (66)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 5, J Bennett 4, D Beriman 3, M Olney 2, M Kenny 2, J Mickan 2, Craig Conlan, B Wade, P Rowston

EWK: J Charlton 4, B Murnane 2, S Bromham, J Geale, M Fabre

Best: Griffith: P Rowston, B Giason, M Duncan, J Bennett, M Olney

EWK: B Murnane, J Charlton, L Rodman, G Hopkins, S Quirk

Griffith: Matt Bunn, B Giason, S Conlan; C Ebert (c-c), D Scott, K Malone; M Kenny, P Rowston, B Ford; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, Chris Conlan; J Bennett, D Beriman, M Duncan; M Olney, R Duncan, T Clarke; D Kidman, B Wade, Myles Bunn

East Wagga-Kooringal: S Staines, S Bond, S King; W Pollard-Carver, J Geale, J Keenan; S Bromham, B Murnane, J Pearce; L Bourne, G Hopkins, L Rodman; B Shumack, M Fabre, J Richards; T Gorham, J Charlton, S Quirk; A Farrell, R Campbell, B Miller

Umpires: T Beard, R Davidson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 40.17 (257) d East Wagga-Kooringal 2.3 (15)
Goals: S Ruyg 14, W Armstrong 10, A Freyer 4, A Gardner 3, M Johns 2, J Malone 2, J Wat, B Owen, G Foley
Under 18: Griffith d East Wagga-Kooringal on forfeit
Match report: A lightening start start initiated by New South Wales squad member Mick Duncan propelled Griffith to an 81-point win over East Wagga-Kooringal yesterday. Duncan kicked four goals in the first 15 minutes as the Riverina Football League competition leaders raced away and eventually won 21.21 (147) t 9.12 (66) at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval, Griffith. Starting in the forward pocket, Duncan, 19, became the menace for the defence as his first two goals rolled through and the others were snap shots from difficult positions in the pocket and at full forward. Other forward pocket Jamie Bennett kicked two goals and another by Matt Olney completed seven for the quarter as the Swans took a firm grip on the game at the first change. In addition to seven majors, Griffith peppered the goals for 10 behinds against the sluggish Hawks, who had to play catch-up football for the remainder of the game. Duncan kicked his fifth midway through the second quarter and went on to the ball where he played a handy role in the Griffith success. Normally starting on the ball or on the wing, Duncan found himself in the unusual position of forward pocket in the first term. He said it was a bit hard to adjust but the four goals soon boosted his confidence. "It was the first time this year I had been in the pocket for the first two quarters and did not do too much running," Duncan said. "I was just a bit fortunate the ball kept coning down so much and happened to be in the right place at the correct time. "There was not an easy kick all day against the Hawks, who kept at us all game. "Although we won well, I think we did not play to our full potential mainly due to the pressure the Hawks applied." Our first quarter kept us in the box seat all game and we put in a strong last term." Griffith centre Phil Rowston and wingman Matt Kenny were responsible for a lot of drive from the middle of the ground and ruckman Matt Olney proved his worth around the ground. As the scores indicate, Griffith's defence was solid throughout with Brendan Giason, Damien Scott and Rodney Duncan noted for their good work. Hawks' assistant coach Ben Murname continued to have one of his best seasons and another NSW squad member Jamie Charlton was among the side's major contributors. East Wagga's other main performers - Lucas Rodman, Geoff Hopkins and Steve Quirk - tried hard but Griffith was too strong in several departments. (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday July 8, 2002)

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Round 13 - Sunday July 14, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .................. 7.7 .. 9.10 .. 10.18 .. 12.23 (95)

Leeton-Whitton ... 0.0 .. 0.2 .. 1.4 .. 6.5 (41)

Goals: Griffith: D Beriman 4, P Rowston 2, B Wade, J Bennett, M Kenny, Craig Conlan, G Foley, Matt Bunn

Leeton-Whitton: M Sharman 3, K Bullock, T Lang, B Waters

Best: Griffith: S Conlan, Matt Bunn, D Scott, M Olney, R Duncan

Leeton-Whitton: M Cunningham, G McLarty, E Hillman, B Waters, K Bullock

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, Matt Bunn; D Scott, B Giason, J Malone; M Kenny, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, W Armstrong*, J Mickan; B Ford, D Beriman, B Wade; M Olney, R Duncan, J Bennett; Myles Bunn, G Foley, B Owen

Leeton-Whitton: E Hillman, A Brown, J Davidson; D Elwin, G McLarty, D Harrison; B Hillier, M Sharman, L Whelan; S Whelan, Kurt Bullock, Kane Bullock; P Hanrahan, T Lang, B O'Mara; M Cunningham (c-c), B Waters, M Flagg; G Looby, D Sullivan, J Wells

Umpires: S Crowley, J Fisher (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 23.17 (155) d Leeton-Whitton 1.2 (8)
Goals: S Driscoll 7, S Ruyg 6, A Gardner 3, J Way 2, R Simpkin 2, K Malone, L Testoni, A Hill
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 22.17 (149) d Griffith 5.3 (33)
Goals: A Gardner 2, T Webb, K Duncan, S Stubbs  
Match report: After completely overwhelming Leeton-Whitton early on for a 62-point lead at half-time, the Griffith Swans survived a Crows resurgence to take a 12.23 (95) to 6.5 (41) victory in their Riverina Football League match at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval yesterday afternoon. The Swans dominated the first half, Leeton held scoreless in the opening term and managed just two behinds in the second quarter as the home side booted 9.10 for a massive half-time lead. However, the Crows came out in the third quarter with nothing to lose and more than matched their opposition for the rest of the game as the Swans struggled to find their usual rhythm. Denied easy shots by the Leeton defence, Griffith booted an unimpressive 1.8 for the third term and only just managed to better that in the last, two late goals the only Swans majors for the quarter.  The Crows kicked 6.5 for the second half to outscore their more fancied opposition, although in the end the margin was too great to bridge. (By Rebecca Kroek - The Area News, Monday July 15, 2002).

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 MICKAN AND GIASON TO PLAY 50th SENIOR GAME FOR THE SWANS 

Jeff Mickan commenced his junior football at 12 years of age with Barellan. He came to the Swans in 2000 and is one of the team's most consistent players, having not missed a game since he joined the club. During his time at Barellan, Mickan played in three premiership sides from 1996 to 1999. He was named most improved in 1996, most consistent in 1997 and 1999, and in 1998 he was named the Two Blues best and fairest player. In his first year at the Griffith club he won the prestigious coach's award from Jon O'Dwyer. This season Mickan has been used in several positions and acquitted himself well. He is a very strong mark and is fast becoming known as "sticky fingers" because there are very few times when he doesn't hold a mark when he flies for it. He travels in from Barellan three times a week for training and is a very dedicated and popular member of the team.
Brendan Giason is a soccer convert, not taking up the game of Australian Rules until 1997 when he was 21. He made first grade in his first season at the game and has shown great talent. Unfortunately work commitments prevented him from participating in the 2001 season and only played nine reserve games and three senior games. However, this season has been better for Giason as he has only missed one game. In 2000 Brendan won the award for the most improved. Giason is an important cog in the Swans' wheel and is hoping he can be part of a Swans' premiership side. (The Area News - Friday July 19, 2002).

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Round 14 - Sunday July 21, 2002 at Kindra Park 2.10pm

Coolamon ..... 3.4 .. 5.7 .. 7.12 .. 11.15 (81)

Griffith .......... 6.2 .. 8.7 .. 15.11 .. 19.14 (128)

Goals: Coolamon: Scott Bradley 2, M Moodie 2, G McKelvie, M Hard, Shaun Bradley, A McKenzie, T Donohue, T Hilton, M McKinley

Griffith: A Hill 6, M Olney 4, K Malone 3, D Beriman 2, Craig Conlan, M Duncan, Chris Conlan, R Duncan

Best: Coolamon: A McCaig, M Hard, A McKenzie, G McKelvie, M Moodie

Griffith: R Duncan, M Olney, A Hill, P Rowston, K Malone

Coolamon: S Bradley, L Drum, P Edmunds; B Garrett, F Furner, M McKinley; J Moncrief, M Hard (c-c), P Thorneycroft; D Moorhead, T Donohue, G McKelvie; Shaun Bradley, J McKenzie, A McKenzie; A McCaig, A Breust, M Moodie; S Martin, O Breust, D Conroy

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, Matt Bunn; D Scott, B Giason, J Malone; M Kenny, P Rowston, M Duncan; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, B Ford; A Hill, D Beriman, J Bennett; M Olney, R Duncan, K Malone; Chris Conlan, G Foley, B Owen

Umpires: G Osborne, P O'Donoghue (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 23.10 (148) d Coolamon 4.10 (34)

Goals: S Ruyg 13, A Gardner 5, J Way, S Driscoll, A Freyer, M Harris, M Johns

Under 18: Coolamon 16.16 (112) d Griffith 5.8 (38)

Goals: A Gardner 2, T Webb, T Condon, D Creevy

Match report: Griffith added its latest weapon, Andrew Hill, to its already impressive forward line armoury in a 47-point win over Coolamon in the Riverina Football League yesterday. Full forward Hill used his 190 centimetres and bulk to good advantage to finish with 6.2 as the Swans won 19.14 (128) to 11.15 (81) at Kindra Park. It was Hill's first senior game this season and he combined well with the Swans' other "talls" in Matt Olney, Danny Beriman and centre half forward Jeff Mickan. Griffith coach Cian Ebert said Hill's performance was exactly what the Swans were looking for with so many players out. He said Hill led and marked well and kicked accurately, which made him a dangerous footballer. "The last time we faced Coolamon we brought in young Ben Wade for his initial senior game and he kicked six goals," Ebert said. "Coolamon must be ruing us bringing new players into the side when we meet them. "We just hope Hill keeps putting his hand up now. "Overall it was a fantastic effort taking into account how depleted we are at the moment. "We had good numbers to the ball and when we got it to our zone we had three our four options." Coolamon's captain-coach Matt Hard turned in another outstanding leader's performance but it was not enough to combat the pressure Griffith applied.

He said the Hoppers put it to Griffith in the first two quarters but lapsed badly in the third session. "We made them earn every possession in the first two quarters," Hard said. "The most pleasing factor was the fact we did not lie down in the last quarter." Leading by 18 points at half-time the Swans took a firm grip of the game with three goals by Rod Duncan, Hill and Matt Olney in as many minutes as the third term got under way. Olney, Chris Conlan and Hill added majors midway through the quarter to hold a lead of 53 points at one stage. Duncan was back to the form which won him the Swans' best and fairest last season. He initiated many attacks from around the ball as did Phil Rowston while Olney, Kaine Malone, Craig and Chris Conlan shone at times in attack.

Swans defenders Damien Scott, Shawn Conlan and Jon O'Dwyer never let the Coolamon forwards settle and gave them little latitude. Hard, on-baller Michael Moodie and ruckman Andrew McCaig were strong for the Hoppers over the four quarters while Greg McKelvie and Adam McKenzie did well with limited chances. (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday July 22, 2002).

 DUNCAN TO PLAY HIS 50th SENIOR GAME FOR THE SWANS 

Michael Duncan, who will play his 50th senior game this Saturday, commenced his junior football with the Griffith Swans in Mod Rules in 1988 at the age of six and has been playing for 13 years. When Duncan was eight he began playing in the under-11s and stayed in this age group for four years from 1990-93. During this time won a couple of coach's awards, a premiership and best and fairest in 1992 as well as best clubman. In the under 13s Michael played in two grand finals and won one premiership. He also picked up a best and fairest in 1995.

In 1996 be played under-15s, then stepped up to under-18s in 1997 at the age of 15. The same year he represented Riverina CHS at the State Championships, played in the undefeated premiership winning under-15s, was runner-up for best and fairest and took out the Ian Manning Memorial Award for Footballer of the Year. In 1998 Duncan won the Gloria Butcher Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year and played his first senior game under coach Phillip Rowston. He also played games for the reserves and won the most improved trophy. The following year saw Duncan win the under-18s best and fairest and captain their premiership team. In 2000 Duncan played with the NSW/ACT Rams and in six senior games, but qualified to play reserves for the finals that year and won the best in finals award. Duncan played his first full season in the seniors in 2001, winning the most consistent and he has not missed a game since. Duncan has also had a fantastic representative record.

He represented the SWJFL from 1992-97; RFL under-18s in 1998 and 1999 and was vice captain in 2000. His senior representative games include RFL v Farrer, and MVAFA v Sydney this year. He was also picked in the New South Wales squad but just failed to make the team for the State Championships last weekend. Duncan is the kind of footballer a club dreams about, as he is dedicated and passionate about the game. After 13 years most footballers have had enough, but not Duncan. At 19 years of age he has his best years ahead of him and 200 games should be just a formality. (The Area News - Friday August 2, 2002).

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MICK DUNCAN

Round 15 - Saturday August 3, 2002 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm

Mangoplah-CUE .... 1.4 .. 2.6 .. 3.8 .. 4.8 (32)

Griffith .................... 1.4 .. 2.7 .. 6.8 .. 9.11 (65)

Goals: MCUE: S Wheeler, Mick Byrne, S Allen, D Pike

Griffith: M Johns 2, Craig Conlan 2, D Beriman 2, M Olney, A Hill, J Bennett

Best: MCUE: M Balding, B Killalea, A Short, Brad Roberson, C Higgins, N Lawson

Griffith: P Rowston, M Olney, A Hill, J Bennett, C Ebert

Mangoplah-CUE: A Short, M Balding, G Pike; N Lawson, C Higgins, P Byrnes; Brad Roberson, B Sanbrook, M Byrne; T Balding, G Spriggs, W Schultz; A McVilly, S Wheeler, C Godde; S Lawrence, X Higgins, S Allen (c-c); B Killalea, N Woods, G Bruce

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, Matt Bunn; D Scott, B Giason, J Malone; M Duncan, P Rowston, K Malone; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, J Bennett; A Hill, D Beriman, B Owen; M Olney, R Duncan, C Ebert (c-c); B Ford, Chris Conlan, M Johns

Umpires: P Guthrie, R Davidson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 27.16 (178) d Mangoplah-CUE 3.1 (19)
Goals: P Thornton 5, S Ruyg 4, S Driscoll 4, R Simpkin 3, G Foley 3, D Curran 3, L Condon, Myles Bunn, T Bradley, D Best
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 10.12 (72) d Griffith 5.5 (35)
Goals: A Gardner 3, M Fyfe 2

Match report: Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert made a sparkling return from injury as the Swans brought down Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes by 33 points at Mangoplah on Saturday. Ebert showed little effects of being sidelined since July 7 with a groin injury by consistently pumping the ball forward under pressure. The Swans big guns all stood up when it counted. Phil Rowston directed traffic from the midfield, Matt Olney called the shots in the ruck and Jamie Bennett was a constant headache up forward for the Goannas defence. Only several costly turnovers prevented MCUE from leading at half-time as each time the visitors made them pay on the scoreboard. But there was no stopping Griffith in the third term when it broke the shackles in the centre and gave Danny Beriman and company an abundance of one-out opportunities. The Swans added seven goals to two after half-time to gain another of confidence ahead of this weekend's epic battle with Turvey Park.

Turvey Park embarrassed rival's East Wagga-Kooringal by 114 points. With star centre half back Dane Campbell making a grand return from injury, the Bulldogs soon put a stamp on the match and showed the difference between second and fifth on the ladder.  Nigel Clarke, Blair Campbell and Michael Wheatley also helped to restrict last year's grand finalists to two goals. East Wagga's coach Kerry Brain was speechless in summing up the performance and would have been horrified to see his team had 29 less scoring shots than the opposition. Coolamon edged out Leeton-Whitton by 21 points at Woodstock Oval. The Hoppers trailed for most of the first-half but Matt Hard, Greg McKelvie and Andrew McCaig kicked clear in the dying 15 minutes. Defender Kurt Bullock valiantly tried to lift the Crows and only fell short of clinching one of the upsets of the season.     Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong proved too strong for Narrandera. (By Brett Kohlhagen - Border Mail, Monday August 6, 2002). 

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 SWANS DUO TO CELEBRATE THEIR 50th SENIOR GAME 

While the Griffith Swans will be chasing a win over Turvey Park this Sunday to stake their claim on the minor premiership, they could also be hoping to take the points for another reason. Both Kaine Malone and Jon O'Dwyer play their 50th game for the Swans this Sunday and  while be hoping it is one to remember for the right reasons. 
Kaine Malone is another of the very important Barellan connection currently playing for the Griffith Swans. Malone commenced his football as a junior with Barellan playing in the under-8s. He continued playing rules until he was 12 and then switched to rugby league for four years returning to play with the Barellan under-17s in 1993 where he won most improved. In 1994 be played both under-17s and seniors winning the under-17s best and fairest award. The following saw his first full season with the seniors playing in the premiership side as well as winning the most improved award. In 1996 Malone played under-18s and reserves for the Wodonga Raiders and in 1997 went to Leeton where his brother Jason was playing, picking up the most improved award. In 1998 he also travelled back from Wagga to play for Leeton, but in 1999 he decided to stop travelling and had a season with North Wagga where he won the best backman and most determined awards. With the opportunity to again play with brother Jason, Malone moved to Griffith in 2000 and being an integral part of the senior side won the best and fairest award - and who will ever forget the longest acceptance speech in history! Malone again played seniors in 2001 and until this year had not missed a game. This season he has played a couple of games in the reserves but now seems to have consolidated his position in the senior side.
Jon O'Dwyer commenced his junior football with Barooga in 1981 and then went to play for Assumption College. In 1989 he was a member of the Sydney Swans under-19s side and was runner-up for their best and fairest. His first senior game of football was with Sydney University in 1991 and he won their best and fairest. He played for them again in 1992 then the following year returned to Barooga and was runner-up for their best and fairest. He continued with Barooga for 1994 and 1995, once again being runner-up best and fairest in his last year there. In 1996 O'Dwyer played for East Sydney and in 1997 he went to Queanbeyan for three years, being runner-up in '97 for their best and fairest. O'Dwyer also has an impressive representative record. He played under-17s for Picola FL in 1986, 1988, in 1992 represented Sydney FL, in 1994/95 was chosen in the Murray FL team and was its best player. In 1997-98 he represented ACTFL and in 2001-02 he represented the Riverina Football League. This year also he was named the RFL's best player when they took on Sydney. O'Dwyer came to Griffith as coach in 2000 and can take a lot of credit for the side he handed over to Cian Ebert this year. He laid the foundation over the past two years and always believed that the Swans "were just about there". With the inclusion of a couple of former players who returned to the fold and Cian's ability as a coach and player, the Swans are there. A tough footballer who plays with a passion. O'Dwyer is determined that he will do anything in his power to ensure a Swans premiership and is playing the best football of his career for the Swans.  (The Area News - Friday August 9, 2002).

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Round 16 - Sunday August 11, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ............ 3.4 .. 6.11 .. 8.14 .. 13.17 (95)

Turvey Park ... 0.2 .. 2.3 .. 4.8 .. 6.13 (49)

Goals: D Curran 3, M Duncan 3, A Hill 2, M Olney, C Ebert, Craig Conlan, D Beriman, K Malone

Turvey Park: S Anderson, A Dowdle, C Masterson, L Mills, C Cerato

Best; Griffith: M Duncan, J O'Dwyer, P Rowston, C Ebert, J Mickan

Turvey Park: M Wheatley, C Cerato, L Mills, W Sykes, D Cameron

Griffith: S Conlan, B Giason, Matt Bunn; D Scott, J O'Dwyer, J Malone; M Duncan, P Rowston, K Malone; Craig Conlan, D Curran, J Mickan; A Hill, D Beriman, T Clarke; M Olney, R Duncan, C Ebert (c-c); Chris Conlan, L Condon, C Blanchard

Turvey Park: S Nimmo, C Barker, C Grentell; M Wheatley, J Masterson (c-c), C Cerato; J Kennedy, D Campbell, B Campbell; W Sykes, A Dowdle, S Anderson; J Nimmo, A Loughman, D Isaac; L Mills, Nigel Clarke, M Carroll; D Cameron, B Daniher

Umpires: A Crook, C Hooper (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 16.21 (117) d Turvey Park 2.7 (19)

Goals: S Ruyg 8, J Way 5, D Kidman, R Simpkin
Under 18: Turvey Park 8.16 (64) d Griffith 3.13 (31)
Goals: T Condon, A Gardner, B Hicken

Match report: Griffith gained more than the glory of winning when it defeated Turvey Park by 46 points. Not only did the Swans clinch the four competition points, the Riverina Football League minor premiership and the right to stage the major semi-final on Sunday, September 8, but they gained a morale boosting success, 13.17 (95) to 6.13 (49) on their home ground, the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. Griffith's convincing win yesterday emphasised how difficult it will be for Turvey Park and the other prospect, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, to be successful at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval in September. Not only was Turvey Park outpointed on the field and scoreboard but it lost captain-coach Jeremy Masterson (shoulder), centre Dane Campbell (shoulder) and Josh Kennedy (concussion). Campbell hurt his shoulder in the first quarter and Kennedy was knocked out in a high tackle late in the second term. The two players were taken to Griffith Base Hospital, and Kennedy was kept overnight. Masterson did not resume after half-time and along with assistant-coach Troy Maiden (groin) watched as the Bulldogs struggled against superior odds.
Griffith took a grip of the game in the first quarter when it outscored the Bulldogs, who kicked with the strong wind. Griffith backline gained a tactical advantage when it contained Turvey Park to two behinds for the term while ruckman Matt Olney, forward Andrew Hill and rover Mick Duncan kicked goals to open up a gap of 20 points. Turvey Park's backs defended just as grimly in the second quarter but Griffith grafted out to a 32 points advantage, which always looked to be a good platform for success in the last two quarters. The Bulldogs chances of making progress were revived by a goal from centre half-forward Stuart Anderson early but Duncan, full-forward Danny Beriman and captain-coach Cian Ebert added three majors among seven behinds to put the game out of the visitors reach, Griffith experienced footballers in Ebert, centre half-back Jon O'Dwyer, centre Phil Rowston and centre half-forward Jeff Mickan took command of the first quarter and held it to the end.

The Duncan brothers, Mick and Rodney, and Olney also shone at various times. Turvey Park defenders- Michael Wheatley, Chris Cerato and Cameron Grentell - did well considering the amoubt of ball which came their way. As usual Leigh Mills toiled in the ruck and around the ground while Warren Sykes, Matt Carroll, Dale Cameron and Blair Campbell showed plenty of desperation against the odds. (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday August 12, 2002).

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Round 17 - Sunday August 18, 2002 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm

Ganmain-GGM ... 3.3 .. 5.5 .. 7.7 .. 10.10 (70)

Griffith ................. 4.7 .. 9.13 .. 15.17 .. 26.22 (178)

Goals: GGGM: S Hamblin 3, D Underwood 2, R Brill 2, S Rava, B Lenon, N McPherson

Griffith: D Beriman 6, J Bennett 5, D Curran 4, A Hill 2, M Duncan 2, M Olney 2, Chris Conlan 2, K Malone 2, Craig Conlan

Best: GGGM: C Kelly, L Carroll, D Logan, R McGowan, D Symons, A Symons

Griffith: Matt Bunn, P Rowston, Chris Conlan, M Duncan, J O'Dwyer

Ganmain-GGM: M Hatty, S Kelly, D Symons; L Carroll (c-c), A Symons, J Turner; N Irvine, B Lenon, M Steele; R McGowan, D Logan, B Smith; D Underwood, S Hamblin, J Crozier; C Kelly, N McPherson, S Rava; H Milne, R Brill, C Hamblin

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, Matt Bunn; D Scott, B Giason, J Malone; M Duncan, P Rowston, K Malone; Craig Conlan, D Curran, J Mickan; A Hill, D Beriman, J Bennett; M Olney, T Clarke, C Ebert (c-c); Chris Conlan, L Condon, C Blanchard

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, B Webb (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 29.16 (190) d Ganmain-GGM 5.6 (36)
Goals: S Ruyg 10, S Driscoll 4, D Kidman 3, W Armstrong 2, T Bradley 2, Myles Bunn 2, G Foley 2, M Kenny, S Spiers, D Best, J Way
Under 18: Griffith 12.9 (81) d Ganmain-GGM 8.4 (52)
Goals: A Gardner 8, T Condon, S Stubbs, K Duncan, B Wade

Match report: Griffith was in full flight as it went on a goal scoring spree to defeat Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong by 108 points in the Riverina Football League yesterday. The Swans midfield section won plenty of ball and their "talls" up forward were in control for most of the game at Ganmain Sports Club Oval. Had Griffith's forwards been accurate in the first two quarters the final margin - 26.22 (178) to 10.10 (70) would have been even greater. Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert and other on-baller Mick Duncan and centre Phil Rowston won more than 100 possessions between them. An elated Ebert said the game against the Lions was a strong physical contest, which was good for the Swans at this time of the season. He gave full credit to the opposition particularly the pressure in the first two quarters. "We did not look after each other enough in the first two quarters and were a little bit too quite," Ebert said. "Things changed after half-time when we lifted our work rate and won the hard ball." Having defeated Turvey Park last week and now Ganmain - second and third respectively - in the last two rounds, Ebert sees a new campaign emerging for the finals.

Ebert said he was happy with everything but the Swans still have a hard task ahead. "I think Turvey Park was a bit undermanned and Ganmain is a good finals side so there is no room for complacency," Ebert said. "Finals are a totally differently story with results in the home and away series put on the back burner but we are pretty happy the way things are going." Lions tireless leader Luke Carroll said despite the looss, all was not doom and gloom and the club learnt a lot from the defeat. He said the first two quarters were good and the Lions problem of losing concentration took over again. "We just cannot afford to fall away against sides like Griffith and Turvey Park," Carroll said. With Rowston, Ebert and Duncan thumping the ball goalwards, Griffith's marking power in Jeff Mickan and Dave Curran across the half forward line and Danny Beriman and Andrew Hill at the spearhead eventually took control.

The Symons brothers, Drew and Adam,Luke Carroll, ruckman Chris Kelly, David Logan and Raphael McGowan put in strong four quarters for the Lions.  (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday August 19, 2002).

 ROWSTON FOUND NOT GUILTY AT TRIBUNAL - By Peter Baker 

Griffith centre Phil Rowston was found not guilty of attacking the head of an opponent by the Murrumbidgee Valley Australian Football Association tribunal at Ganmain Bowling Club last night. Rowston was appearing before the tribunal after being cited by Turvey Park for an incident in the second quarter of the game at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval, Griffith on Sunday, August 11. As a result of a tackle by Rowston, Turvey Park wingman Josh Kennedy broke his jaw in two places. Tribunal chairman Peter Kimpton said it could not be proven that Rowston's arm broke Kennedy's jaw. "It was not an easy case to hear but after exhausting all avenues of questioning we believe Kennedy broke his jaw when his head hit the ground," Kimpton said. The tribunal listened to evidence and viewed a video of the incident for 90 minutes before taking another 30 minutes to decide Rowston was not guilty.

A relieved Rowston said he was glad the hearing was over and all he wanted to concentrate on was next Sunday's game against Narrandera. While central umpire Craig Hooper did not attend the tribunal, he submitted a letter which one tribunal member asserted did not coincide with any of the evidence presented. The video showed Rowston attempting to intercept a hand-pass from Turvey Park half-back flanker Michael Wheatley to Kennedy and when he failed, he made the tackle. As Rowston initially tackled Kennedy with his left arm, the two players spun 360 degrees to the ground and a penalty was given by Hooper but no report was made. Griffith witness, former umpire Gary Gardner, said Hooper was in perfect position for the situation. (The Daily Advertiser - Friday, August 23, 2002).

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Round 18 - Sunday August 25, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ............. 6.4 .. 11.6 .. 20.11 .. 25.15 (165)

Narrandera .... 3.6 .. 3.9 .. 6.9 .. 9.11 (65)

Goals: Griffith: A Hill 6, D Beriman 5, J Bennett 3, C Ebert 2, Chris Conlan 2, M Olney, K Malone, P Rowston, D Curran, R Duncan, L Condon, B Giason

Narrandera: S Hutchins 3, I Limbrick 2, D Sergeant, B Seymour, J McKenzie, L Hutchins

Best: Griffith: P Rowston, M Olney, A Hill, R Duncan, Matt Bunn

Narrandera: D Thomson, C Smith, A Thomson, P Tait, D Burden

Griffith: S Conlan, J O'Dwyer, Matt Bunn; B Giason, C Blanchard, J Malone; M Duncan, P Rowston, K Malone; L Condon, D Curran, J Mickan; A Hill, D Beriman, J Bennett; M Olney, R Duncan, C Ebert (c-c); Chris Conlan, Craig Conlan, D Scott

Narrandera: A Black, J Vearing, H Hutchins; D Hopwood, A Thomson (coach), J McKenzie; L Hutchins, C Smith (capt), T Durnan; D Sergeant, S Hutchins, W Hutchins; B Seymour, I Limbrick, D Stockdale; P Tait, D Thomson, D Burden; S Irons, J Coleman, D Piltz

Umpires: P Guthrie, W Tilyard (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 25.13 (163) d Narrandera 1.2 (8)
Goals: S Ruyg 9, S Driscoll 8, G Foley 2, R Simpkin 2, D Best, T Bradley, Myles Bunn, W Armstrong
Under 18: Griffith 15.16 (106) d Narrandera 6.9 (45)
Goals: A Gardner 10, D Norbiato, B Owen, T Condon, K Duncan, R Brill

Match report: Griffith completed its most successful Riverina Football League home-and-away series when it defeated Narrandera by 100 points yesterday. The Swans finished three games ahead of their nearest rival after defeating Narrandera by 25.15 (165) to 9.11 (65) at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. Griffith full-forward Danny Berriman completed the season with 80 goals to win the leading goal kicker after booting another five goals against Narrandera. The Swans had to struggle hard early against Narrandera, who held a narrow lead until the 20 minute mark of the first quarter. However, once Griffith got to the front it showed its superiority despite the good intentions of Narrandera to contain it. The Swans major ball winners, centre Phil Rowston and Rod Duncan, provided plenty of chances to the forwards, who took advantage of the situation. The "talls" Danny Beriman and Andrew Hill kicked 11 of the 25 goals and Jamie Bennett chipped in with three. Griffith ruckman Matt Olney was again strong in many departments and Matt Bunn was solid in defence. The Thomson's Daniel and Ashley, and centre Chris Smith won many possessions for Narrandera and Paul Tait and Damon Burden finished the season with good efforts. (By Peter Baker - The Daily Advertiser, Monday August 26, 2002).

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 SWANS SCORE RARE TRIPLE - By Rebecca Kroek 

The Griffith Swans dominated the Riverina Football League leading goal kicking tables after the competition of home and away games, with Danny Beriman, in the first grade, Shane Ruyg in reserves and Ashley Gardner in under-18s finishing with the most majors in the league. It was an impressive season for the Swans, with all three grades making the finals and the firsts and reserves both taking out minor the premiership. Beriman finished with 80 goals for the season and he and Ruyg, who kicked 130 in reserve grade, have been clear leaders for much of the season. In the under-18s Gardner has had a battle with Leeton-Whitton's Paul Hanrahan and it was not until a 10-goal effort in the last game against Narrandera that he edged ahead by two, finishing with 67 majors to Hanrahan's 65. While Beriman, Ruyg and Gardner were pleased to finish as leading goal kickers, all agree that a premiership is something they would treasure even more. "I'm fairly pleased with it, I didn't expect to be playing in the position (full forward) I've been playing," Beriman said. "I just wanted to work hard and have a good year, I more wanted to win a premiership than play well myself." It was while playing at full forward for much of the first half of the season that Beriman took an early lead in the goal kickers' list, his best hauls coming against Turvey Park and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, with 11 goals in each game. Although switching to the ruck in recent weeks, he has continued to add to his total and after booting five against Narrandera last weekend, he finished with 80 goals for the season. This put him well clear of the rest of the field in first grade, with second place filled by Turvey Park's Andrew Loughman who kicked 44. Beriman's focus at the start of the year was to work hard in training to give himself the best chance possible of having a good season and his hard work has payed off. With the home and away games finished and the Swans in first place on the table, Beriman's next goal is for the team to win the grand final. "I think the last two years we're been building up to it ... (this year) everyone's done the jobs that they've had to do," Beriman said. "I think everyone's got the same goal, the same mindset, that hard work's what we've built everything on."
While Shane Ruyg is pleased to kick more than 100 goals in a season for the first time in his career, he agrees with Beriman that the premiership is more important, especially as he has not won one in 12 years with the Swans. "It was the first time I've ever kicked 100 and obviously to kick that many in only 14 games wasn't too bad," he said. "It been a good year, but in retrospect it doesn't mean much if we didn't win the grand final, so that's my main aim." The reserves grade Swans are looking in good form heading into the finals, having won all 17 of their games this season, many by huge scores. Ruyg said while regularly winning by more than 100 points can lead to complacency, he has no doubt the players will lift for the finals. "At times winning by so much makes it a little bit tough to get motivated, but I don't think it'll take much for the boys to get motivated in the finals ... there's a light at the end of the tunnel in finals," he said.
Meanwhile, in the under-18s, Ashley Gardner lined up against Narrandera last Sunday knowing that he needed to kick at least nine goals to pass Hanrahan, who had booted seven the day before. However, he started the game thinking more about beating Narrandera to give the Swans a chance at the finals than worrying about goals. "At the start I was just hoping that we'd go out there and win the game and then we were winning pretty easily, so I started looking for them (goals)," Gardner said. "I'm excited, I just missed out last year by a couple of goals so I wanted to get there this year," he said. As with his senior clubmates, Gardner's aim now is on the Swans making their way through the finals, although the under-18s have a tough road to win the premiership from fifth place.  (The Area News - Friday August 30, 2002).

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2002 RFL NETBALL Ladders

A grade: Turvey Park 64, Coolamon 56, Ganmain-GGM 52, Griffith 48, Leeton-Whitton 32, Narrandera 28, Mangoplah-CUE 8, East Wagga-Kooringal 0.

B grade: Coolamon 68, Turvey Park 60, Griffith 54, Ganmain-GGM 38, Leeton-Whitton 32; Narrandera 28, Mangoplah-CUE 8, East Wagga-Kooringal 0.

C grade: Griffith 40, Coolamon 34, Leeton-Whitton 12, Ganmain-GGM 8, Turvey Park 6.

Juniors U15's: Griffith 50, Narrandera 32, Coolamon 32, Leeton-Whitton 24, Turvey Park 10, Ganmain-GGM 0.

Qualifying Final - Saturday August 31, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground

Ganmain-GGM ... 5.5 .. 7.8 .. 13.12 .. 17.15 (117)

Turvey Park ...... 2.1 .. 6.6 .. 10.9 .. 13.12 (90)

Goals: GGGM: S Kelly 4, S Hamblin 4, H Milne 3, J Lawton 2, N Irvine, R McGowan, L Carroll, B Lenon

Turvey Park: A Loughman 3, L Mills 2, W Sykes 2, S Nimmo 2, J Elliott, A Dowdle, M Carroll, C Cerato

Best: GGGM: L Carroll, S Kelly, H Milne, R McGowan, N Irvine, D Symons

Turvey Park: M Wheatley, M Carroll, J Masterson, C Cerato, D Cameron, C Barker, A Loughman

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, W Tilyard, S Crowley (RUA). Gate: $4902

Reserves: Turvey Park 16.15 (111) d Ganmain-GGM 10.12 (72)

Under 18: Narrandera 20.12 (132) d Coolamon 10.15 (75)

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Elimination Final - Sunday September 1, 2002 at Maher Oval

East Wagga-K. ... 4.0 .. 8.1 .. 13.1 .. 17.7 (109)

Coolamon .......... 3.5 .. 4.9 .. 7.16 .. 10.19 (79)

Goals: EWK: J Richards 5, J Charlton 4, B Miller 3, J Geale 2, C Campbell, B Murnane, T Gorham

Coolamon: M Hard 3, S Martin 2, G McKelvie 2, Glen Rowlands 2, A Breust

Best: EWK: G Hopkins, B Murnane, J Geale, C Campbell, W Pollard-Carver, J Charlton

Coolamon: M Hard, Shaun Bradley, L Drum, P Thornycroft, M McKinley, T Hilton

Umpires: D Potts, B Webb, C Hooper (RUA). Gate: $5381

Reserves: Coolamon 9.16 (70) d Narrandera 6.8 (44)

Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 21.27 (153) d Griffith 7.6 (48)

Goals: Griffith: Ashley Gardner 4, Brett Owen 2, Shaun Stubbs

Best: Griffith: Brett Owen, Ashley Gardner, Ben Wade, Terry Condon, Jason Hampel, Shaun Stubbs

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First Semi Final - Saturday September 7, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground

Turvey Park ....... 7.7 .. 12.10 .. 14.18 .. 23.19 (157)

East Wagga-K. ... 2.2 .. 6.4 .. 7.6 .. 9.7 (61)

Goals: Turvey Park: A Loughman 4, A Dowdle 3, S Anderson 3, Matt Carroll 2, Blair Campbell 2, M Wheatley 2, M Fraser, C Cerato, Bryce Campbell, J Nimmo, L Mills, J Masterson, T Maiden

EWK: K Brain 2, D Bromham 2, B Miller, T Gorham, B Murnane, J Richards, M Gorham

Best: Turvey Park: J Masterson, Matt Carroll, M Wheatley, C Cerato, Blair Campbell, C Barker, A Dowdle

EWK: K Brain, W Pollard-Carver, B Murnane, T Gorham, J Keenan, G Hopkins

Umpires: A Crooks, C Hooper, W Tilyard. Gate: $5129

Reserves: Coolamon 15.9 (99) d Ganmain-GGM 14.7 (91)

Under 18: Coolamon 10.10 (70) d Leeton-Whitton 10.6 (66)

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Second Semi Final - Sunday September 8, 2002 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.30pm

Griffith .................. 5.5 .. 9.7 .. 16.7 .. 19.10 (124)

Ganmain-GGM ... 1.4 .. 2.5 .. 5.9 .. 5.10 (40)

Goals: Griffith: J Bennett 4, D Curran 4, D Beriman 3, Craig Conlan 2, A Hill 2, M Olney, K Malone, C Ebert, L Condon

GGGM: S Hamblin, Mitch Carroll, R Brill, D Symons, S Kelly

Best: Griffith: C Ebert, P Rowston, J O'Dwyer, T Clarke, M Duncan, R Duncan

GGGM: L Carroll, J Crozier, S Rava, Mitch Carroll, B Lenon, M Steele

Griffith: Matt Bunn, Jonathon O'Dwyer, Brendan Giason; Jeff Mickan, Chris Blanchard, Jason Malone; Kaine Malone, Phil Rowston, Mick Duncan; Craig Conlan, Andrew Hill, Rod Duncan; David Curran, Danny Beriman, Jamie Bennett; Matt Olney, Trevor Clarke, Cian Ebert (c-c); Chris Conlan, Shawn Conlan, Damien Scott, Luke Condon

Ganmain-GGM: Jamie Crozier, Adam Symons, Warwick Smith; Mitch Carroll, Jed Lawton, Mitch Steele; Raphael McGowan, Drew Symons, Nathan Irvine; Shaun Rava, Stephen Kelly, Brett Lenon; Chris Kelly, Daniel Underwood, Nathan McPherson; Scott Hamblin, Luke Carroll (c-c), Hayden Milne; Rohan Brill, Paul Lucas, Joel Noble, Jason Turner

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, D Potts, S Crowley (RUA). Gate: $6700

Reserves: Griffith 22.14 (148) d Turvey Park 2.8 (20)

Goals: Griffith: S Ruyg 11, Myles Bunn 3, R Simpkin 2, G Dreyer, J Way, S Driscoll, 3 short

Best: Griffith: J Way, N Creevy, S Spiers, D Best, G Dreyer, S Ruyg

Griffith: Daniel Best, Michael Harris, Luke Testoni; David Kidman, Warwick Armstrong, Matthew Kenny; Greg Dreyer; Rodney Simpkin, Jeremy Way, Trent Bradley; Graham Foley, Shane Ruyg, Ben Ford; Nathan Creevy, Simon Spiers, Myles Bunn; Gavin Hill, Ryan Hill, Andrew Trotter, Shayne Driscoll

Under 18: Turvey Park 19.10 (124) d Narrandera 6.11 (47)

Netball - C grade: Griffith 32 d Coolamon 16; Under 15's: Narrandera d Griffith

Match report: Minor premiers, Griffith Swans advanced to the 2002 RFL grand final after scoring a comprehensive 84-point second semi-final victory over premiership contenders, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval on Sunday afternoon. Griffith will now meet the winner of next week's preliminary final between Ganmain-GGM and Turvey Park, who easily outclassed East Wagga-Kooringal by 96 points in the minor semi-final at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday. Griffith captain-coach Cian Ebert was pleased with the outcome and said it had been a while since the Swans had been in the finals and all the players had been nervous to begin with but once they settled down they were able to build up a handy 25-point lead at quarter time. After adding two goals early in the second quarter  Griffith lapsed and it was not until late in the quarter that they were able to score two more majors to go to a handy lead at the long break. In the third quarter saw a more free-flowing style of play through the centre, but due to pressure of the Griffith defence led by Jon O'Dwyer were only able to add three goals as Griffith compiled a further seven goals during the quarter to take control of the game. Griffith restricted Ganmain-GGM to one solidarity point point during the last quarter while adding three goals themselves to run out convincing winners 19.10 (124) to 5.10 (40).

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Preliminary Final - Sunday September 15, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground

Turvey Park ........ 7.4 .. 10.5 .. 17.8 .. 21.12 (138)

Ganmain-GGM ... 3.0 .. 8.5 .. 8.6 .. 13.7 (85)

Goals: Turvey Park: S Nimmo 9, L Mills 4, S Anderson 2, A Loughman, W Sykes, A Dowdle, Bryce Campbell, Blair Campbell, C Cerato

GGGM: S Kelly 2, Jed Lawton 2, N Irvine 2, C Steward 2, S Hamblin, D Underwood, R McGowan, B Lenon, M Steele

Best: Turvey Park: S Nimmo, L Mills, T Richards, Blair Campbell, N Clarke, J Nimmo

GGGM: L Carroll, J Crozier, B Lenon, N McPherson, D Logan, R Brill, S Kelly

Umpires: A Crook, P O'Donoghue, W Tilyard (RUA). Gate: $6310

Reserves: Turvey Park 14.9 (93) d Coolamon 6.12 (48)

Under 18: Narrandera 15.9 (99) d Coolamon 13.10 (88)

Netball - A grade: Coolamon d Griffith; B grade: Turvey Park d Griffith; C grade Coolamon d Leeton-Whitton; Under 15's: Coolamon d Griffith

 TEEN KEEN TO CAP TOP YEAR - By Peter Baker 

A premiership for Griffith wingman Mick Duncan will cap his most successful season since breaking into Riverina Football League seniors in 1998. Mick, 19, and older brother Rod, 22, will be among the 22 Swans attempting to win Griffith's first premiership since 1968 when they take the field against Turvey Park in the grand final at Narrandera Sportsground on Sunday. Individual success again went to Mick last Friday when he won the RFL/Tooheys New Rising Star for 2002 and collected $500 prizemoney. Mick also polled 13 votes in the Jim Quinn Memorial Medal. This season Mick has gained RFL and Murrumbidgee Valley Australian Football Association representation and was named in the initial New South Wales squad to contest the Australian Championships. Mick said while the individual success is fine, nothing substituted for a premiership. He said everything revolved around teamwork and he would not have won the award without the help of his team-mates.

A keen observer at the preliminary final, Mick said Turvey Park's win against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong was impressive. "The Bulldogs who have returned to the side have made a difference," Mick said. "The ball went wide a lot but they are a good running side and will want to use the Narrandera Sportsground in similar fashion in the grand final. "The effort of Simon Nimmo in kicking nine goals sounded a warning to our defenders. "He ran into spaces and made good position to kick for goal. "Full forward Andrew Loughman kicked eight goals against us in one game (June 16) so they have options up forward."

The Swans' best and fairest last season Rod Duncan said he expected a close result after the sides had recorded big wins on the three occasions they have met during thee home and away series. He said the sides have measured up their respective strengths and the game could be decided on accuracy, pressure and mistakes. "I think the game will be pretty physical and quick with no margin for error. "Our game plan is not likely to change with long kicks to our high markers in Dave Curran, Danny Beriman and Andrew Hill. "We have had a good preparation over the four weeks and coach Cian Ebert is leaving nothing to chance." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday, September 18, 2002).

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 CONLAN CLAN TO SHARE BIG DAY - By Peter Baker 

It will be 34 years to day on Sunday that Frank Conlan played in Griffith's last premiership side in the now defunct South West League. He will be a spectator when the Swans meet Turvey Park in the Riverina Football League decider at Narrandera Sportsground this weekend. Conlan will have a keen interest in the game and its outcome but his main thoughts will be on his two sons, Shawn, 25, and Craig, 23, as they play their part in Griffith's effort to win its first senior pennant since 1968. It was on Narrandera Sportsground on September 22, 1968, that Griffith won its second South West League pennant, defeating Ariah Park-Mirrool. Conlan said Griffith's biggest break came when it beat Ariah Park by a point in the major semi-final to get into the grand final. "It left Ariah Park to play Ganmain in the preliminary final and that was another tough encounter for them," Conlan said. "The footballers that Ariah Park-Mirrool had were outstanding in Ricky Quade, Jim Prentice, Noel Walker, the coach Vern Drake, the Chalmers boys, Allan and Bruce, and several others. "Unfortunately for Ariah Park many of them were carrying injuries, which came from a hard campaign they endured during that finals' series.

Taking his mind back to that sunny afternoon, Conlan said there were not many similarities between Griffith then and the Swans of today. He said the style of football had changed and the rules were markedly different. "We had a lot of ability, talent and good footballers but we did not train as hard as they do today," Conlan said. "To put it another way we were not as professional. "I think the running style of game today is a lot easier and if a footballer does not pick up between 10-15 possessions then he is lazy. "We only had one umpire to control that big Narrandera ground and this Sunday there will be three. "There is the threat of the send-off rule, which can make a huge difference in a grand final, if a side is one man short for 15 minutes and the day is hot. "The quality of the footballers then was better then for the style of game which was played.

"Players of a high calibre were sprinkled throughout all the clubs in the South West. Footballers were coming out of Melbourne seeking coaching positions for a few pounds. "It was cheaper to get through the gate, and the crowds were good and there was plenty of atmosphere." Conlan, a true half-back flanker, played alongside one of the all-time greats of Griffith Australian football in centre halfback Sid Robins and formed a strong first line of defence with John Candusso. Conlan said diminutive captain-coach and full forward Ron O'Neill was the game-breaker. (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday, September 19, 2002)

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  SUNDAY A RED AND WHITE AFFAIR FOR KEEN GRIFFITH SWANS SUPPORTER - By Rebecca Kroek  

Staunch Griffith Swans supporter Mary Collins will be donning the red and white when she heads to Narrandera on Sunday to cheer on the first and reserve grade sides in the 2002 Riverina Football League grand finals. While reserve grade found victory in 1997, the Swans club has not won a first grade premiership trophy since 1968. Both sides take on Turvey Park in this year's premiership decider, with the first grade side in the grand final for the first time since 1991 and Mary wouldn't miss it for the world. "My word, we'll all be lined up in our red and white," she said. "I reckon it must be our turn now, I hope somebody's told that to Turvey Park." Mary is originally a convert from rugby union, saying. "I followed rugby for three years before I ever saw an Aussie Rules  game. In 1948 that changed, when she and a friend had nothing much to do one Saturday so they jumped on the supporters bus going over to watch the Swans seconds play in Whitton. "From there on I was a staunch supporter," Mary said. She met her husband, Jack, through the Swans club. He played in 1952 and although not a member of the premiership winning side, he did play during that year. Jack still attends all home games and assists by selling raffle tickets down the street. 
Mary and Jack have a large family and two of their sons, Darrell and Greg, both played over 200 games for the Swans. Darrell was president from 1994 to 1997 and is currently part of the Supporter' Club, while Greg was the recruiting director for the past three years and this season is coaching the undefeated reserve grade side and is a selector for the seniors. Both Darrell and Greg were made life members of the Swans club after playing 200 games, while Mary was made a life member in 1958. Mary was a founding member of the Ladies Auxiliary and its first president in 1949 and served on the club committee from 1979 to 2000. She became secretary of the club in 1979 and held the position for six years. "No one in the league at that stage had ever had a women secretary," Mrs Collins said, but when no one else wanted the job she was nominated and served for six years. She was then joint treasurer for two years, before taking on the position of president in 1985, which as far as is understood, made her the first president of a football club in Australia. She again took on the job of secretary in 1989 and 1990 and remained a member of the committee until 2000. During this time Mrs Collins also helped out on the canteen with the Women's Auxiliary when she had time and whenever someone wanted to know something it was always "ask Mary".  "I think it's the friendships, you make great friends in this sort of thing and I have ... then when the boys played that was an added interest." Mary said of why she has had such a long association with the club. "Also you can take the kids along to the football ... we enjoyed it and we just kept on going."

Mary remembers the Swans 1968 grand final victory, as well as the 1952 premiership win and she believes it is time for Griffith to claim another title. "I keep telling them if they don't hurry up it'll be too late for me, I'll be gone," she said with a smile. And she'll be there on Sunday, cheering on the boys in the red and white to victory. (The Area News - Friday, September 20, 2002).

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 OLNEY HOPES TO CELEBRATE 50th SENIOR GAME IN STYLE 

While the entire Griffith Swans side will be fired up for a big game in Sunday's Riverina Football League grand final against Turvey Park, Matt Olney has an extra reason to play his 50th senior game for the Swans this weekend. Reaching the 50-game milestone in the grand final makes the occasion even more special, especially when the club is in its first senior grand final in 11 years and has the chance at its first premiership since 1968. Olney, 23, played his first senior game for Griffith against Ganmain-GGM  in 1996 and after playing three season at Berrigan, returning to the Swans in 2002. He played his junior football with Berrigan under-14's (1991), before joining the Swans in the under-13's in 1992 and was named Most Consistent in the side which won the South West Junior League premiership. In 1993 Olney was named Most Consistent and Footballer of the Year for the under-15 Swans, before winning the league Best and Fairest, club Best and Fairest and Footballer of the Year awards in 1994. The following year he stepped up to under-18's and took out the Swans' Best and Fairest. 

After making the step up to senior level, Olney was named Best Utility Player for the Swans in 1998, before heading to Berrigan where he played 50 senior games, was runner up Best and Fairest in 1999 and club Player of the Year in 2001. Olney's representative career started in 1991 when he was selected in the New South Wales PSSA team. He went on to make the under-15's State side in 1995 and the under-18's Teal Cup team in 1996 and 1997. He played 34 games for NSW/ACT Rams in 1996 and 1997 and was vice captain and a grand finalist, also winning mark of the year. He was selected in the Murray League representative squad in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and then the RFL and MVAFA sides in 2002. His first season back with the Swans has been a successful one so far and he will be hoping to cap it off with a grand final win on Sunday. (The Area News - Friday, September 20, 2002).

 GAME ON, SAYS SWANS STAR - By Peter Baker 

Griffith centre half forward Dave Curran is predicting a close finish when he lines up against Turvey Park in the Riverina Football League grand final at Narrandera Sportsground tomorrow. Although the margins have been clear cut between the sides on the three occasions they have met this season, Curran believes various circumstances inflated the previous results. "This time the sides are at full strength on a neutral ground in what should be the game of the year," Curran said. "Turvey Park have played four times, including three finals, on Narrandera this season and I reckon that is worth something. "They have additions since we last beat them by 46 points on the Ex-Servicemen's Oval and have run into form at the right time of the year." The two New South Wales Capitol Territory Rams, Brent Fraser and Bryce Campbell, coming back has also been a boost for them." An ankle injury forced Curran off the ground after only one quarter when the sides met on April 14 with the Swans winning by 78 points. The ankle injury kept Curran out for the second meeting (June 16) that went to Turvey Park by 74 points. In his comeback game from ankle problems, Curran kicked 3.2 to combine with Andrew Hill and Danny Beriman to play an integral part in the 46 points success on August 10. Coming from Robinvale in the Sunraysia League three seasons ago, Curran has established himself among the best footballers in the RFL.  A representative player, Curran believes Turvey Park captain-coach Jeremy Masterson will be in the backline at some stage of tomorrow's decider. "I know he has been starting in midfield but I believe he produces his best football when he is in the backline,: Curran said. "He is a straight through type footballer who can thwart an attack."  (Weekend Advertiser - Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002).

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Grand Final - Sunday September 22, 2002 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.30pm

Griffith ............ 4.5 .. 8.9 .. 15.10 .. 20.11 (131)

Turvey Park ... 6.1 .. 12.1 .. 18.4 .. 23.6 (144)

Goals: Griffith: D Curran 4, J Bennett 4, D Beriman 2, M Olney 2, R Duncan 2, Craig Conlan, J Mickan, P Rowston, Chris Conlan, Ebert, T Clarke

Turvey Park: A Loughman 6, S Anderson 4, W Sykes 4, B Fraser 2, Blair Campbell, S Nimmo, L Mills, J Masterson, M Wheatley, T Richards, Bryce Campbell

Best: Griffith: D Beriman, R Duncan, M Olney, T Clarke, Matt Bunn, M Duncan, J Bennett, J O'Dwyer

Turvey Park: J Masterson, M Carroll, T Richards, B Fraser, Blair Campbell, Nigel Clarke, W Sykes, A Loughman

Griffith: Matt Bunn, Jonathon O'Dwyer, Damien Scott; Kaine Malone, Chris Blanchard, Brendan Giason; Luke Condon, Phil Rowston, Michael Duncan; Rodney Duncan, Andrew Hill, Jeff Mickan; David Curran, Danny Beriman, Jamie Bennett; Matthew Olney, Trevor Clarke, Cian Ebert (c-c); Craig Conlan, Chris Conlan, Shawn Conlan, Matt Kenny

Turvey Park: Owen Gooden, Cameron Barker, Chris Cerato; Nigel Clarke, Adrian Dowdle, Michael Wheatley; Brent Fraser, Jeremy Masterson (c-c), Blair Campbell; Warren Sykes, Stuart Anderson, Leigh Mills; Simon Nimmo, Andrew Loughman, Bryce Campbell; Travis Richards, Troy Maiden, Matt Carroll; Dane Campbell, Nathan Clarke, Dale Isaac, Julian Nimmo

Umpires: A Crook, S Hatherall, P O'Donoghue (RUA). Gate: $17,923

Reserves:  Griffith 19.12 (126) d Turvey Park 8.9 (57)

Goals: Griffith: S Ruyg 10, Myles Bunn 4, S Driscoll 3, M Johns, W Armstrong

Best: Griffith: S Ruyg, G Dreyer, D Kidman, Myles Bunn, R Hill

Griffith: Daniel Best, Michael Harris, Luke Testoni; David Kidman, Warwick Armstrong, Simon Spiers; Greg Dreyer (capt); Rodney Simpkin, Jeremy Way, Trent Bradley; Shayne Driscoll, Shane Ruyg, Ben Ford; Nathan Creevy, Michael Johns, Myles Bunn; Graham Foley, Ryan Hill, Gavin Hill, Andrew Trotter

Umpires: P Hughes, S Crowley, P Guthrie (RUA)

Under 18: Narrandera 18.11 (119) d Turvey Park 16.14 (110)

Umpires: M Davidson, C Hooper, W Tilyard (RUA)

Netball: A grade: Turvey Park 43 d Coolamon 41; B grade: Turvey Park 24 d Coolamon 23; C grade: Griffith 28 d Coolamon 24; Juniors: Narrandera 19 d Coolamon 14.

Reserve grade match report: Griffith Swans maintained their unbeaten record for the season in defeating Turvey Park 126-57. Never at any stage of the game did Griffith look in any real danger of defeat. After establishing a 6-goal lead by half-time Griffith cruised to an effortless victory over a valiant but outclassed Turvey Park team. Griffith's teamwork and total commitment, which carried them throughout the season, was in evidence with team captain Greg Dreyer dictating play from the centre of the ground. And with assistance from his teammates, they were able to direct play through their full forward Shane Ruyg who led superbly and capped off a memorable season bagging ten goals for the game. In true sporting spirit, triumphant coach Greg Collins gave a special mention to Andrew Noad, Anthony Freyer, Josh Fisher, Grant Lamont, Peter Thornton and others who were unfortunate not to be selected in the grand final team.

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 HOW THE 2002 RFL GRAND FINAL WAS WON & LOST - THE REAL STORY 

First quarter: Griffith kicking to the northern end of the Narrandera Sportsground started the game well but inaccurate shooting for goal after two strong overhead marks by full forward Danny Beriman resulted in only one point being scored. Turvey Park seems to be settling the better with Andrew Loughman kicking the opening goal from 40 metres out after a strong lead. Turvey Park captain-coach Jeremy Masterson stamped his authority on the game early with a hard but fair bump on Griffith's tough defender Jon O'Dwyer. The loose ball spilling out to the Bulldogs' Stuart Anderson who snapped a brilliant goal from the forward pocket to set the pattern of play for the day. A strong tackle by Chris Blanchard on his Turvey Park opponent led to Michael Duncan finding Matt Olney, who's clever handball found Jeff Mickan who goaled from 50 metres. At the 14th minute with Turvey Park attacking constantly, finally broke through for their third goal for the quarter with Masterson accepting a handball on the run and kicking truly from 45 metres. Griffith immediately came back with Jamie Bennett reading the play brilliantly, swooped on the rolling ball as it came off a pack of players, and slammed home his team's second goal. While Griffith continued to be inaccurate in front of the big sticks with behinds to their key forwards Beriman and Dave Curran. Turvey Park seem to score goals with relevant ease with goals coming from Simon Nimmo, Michael Wheatley and Andrew Loughman, who left his opponent floundering after accepting a pin-point pass from evergreen Warren Sykes. Griffith responded at the 25th minute with Beriman taking the ball from the centre bounce, finding Craig Conlan and constructive handball with Rodney Duncan allowed Phillip Rowston to score a brilliant goal from 45 metres. With time running out for the quarter Bennett snapped truly with his left foot after accepting a quick handball from Griffith's captain-coach Cian Ebert. Quarter time: Turvey Park 6.1 (37) to Griffith 4.5 (29). 
Second quarter: Griffith inaccuracy in front of goal continued early in the second quarter when two minor scores were recorded. Turvey Park open up a handy three goal lead after 6 minutes of play with goals from Warren Sykes and Anderson. With both back lines on top scoring chances were hard to come by until Chris Conlan making one of his brief appearances for the game came off the interchange bench to snap a goal from the boundary throw-in. A further goal to Griffith followed with a Rodney Duncan foot pass to the high flying Matt Olney. Turvey Park ruckman Travis Richards was playing an important part for his team scored a great goal after an excellent passage of play from Sykes and Blair Campbell for the Bulldogs ninth. Not to be denied Griffith came back again with Rodney Duncan accepting a lightening handball from Bennett to find the big sticks from 40 metres. Before you could say "Jack Robinson", Griffith skipper Ebert raced in to score a classic six-pointer to put the Swans one-point in front at the 18th minute. After a period of Griffith dominance, Turvey Park through Loughman out-smarted three Swans' defenders to snap a goal from 20 metres and then score another fine goal from a free kick. These goals seem to unsettle the Swans team and with star centre Phillip Rowston unable to have any influence on the game they began to struggle on and off the ground. With the 42-year-old Sykes cutting loose on the forward line it wasn't long before he has master-minded another goal for Anderson. Although Danny Beriman scored the final point for the first half it was quite obvious to many keen observers and supporters that the Griffith "brain trust" were been unwittingly outpointed by their Turvey Park counterparts with their puzzling use of the interchange bench. Half-time: Turvey Park 12.1 (73) to Griffith 8.9 (57).
Third quarter: Turvey Park were the first to get their game going with Bryce Campbell dominating play found Bryce Campbell who kicked a fine 55-metre goal. Leigh Mills received a free kick on the boundary line and goaled after being tackled without the ball by Griffith's defender Shawn Conlan. Blair Campbell then added Turvey Park third goal for the quarter from a handball from Masterson. Griffith came back at the 9th minute as Bennett marked cleverly in front of goals from a Matt Kenny up-and-under for a goal. Big Dave Curran then marked to score Griffith's second goal in a three minute period. Sykes was then awarded a lucky goal after his long shot for goal had deemed to have fully crossed the goal line according to goal umpire Rick Firman. Griffith players were becoming frustrated and a small melee developed as Turvey Park's Sykes received a 50-metre penalty and goaled from a Olney side-on collision. Griffith came back at the 20th minute with Bennett again kicking truly after receiving a free kick from a holding infringement by Turvey Park quickly replied as Sykes combined with Blair and Bryce Campbell for Anderson to goal from 40 metres. At the 25th minute of the quarter a change came over the game as Griffith finally received more drive out of the centre bounce through Beriman to such an effect that four unanswered goals were scored. Fighting back from 35 points in the rear, Craig Conlan received a handball from Olney and his long kick sailed through the big sticks for a goal. Rodney Duncan throwing himself into the play burst through a pack of players and kicked truly from 40 metres. With Beriman now dominating in the ruck, Olney and Curran took spectacular marks in the forward to raise both flags on each occasion. Curran marked strongly in a pack of players in the forward line but his unnecessary handball was rushed through for a behind thus ending an exciting third quarter of football. Three quarter-time: Turvey Park 18.4 (112) to Griffith 15.10 (100). 
Final quarter: Goals to Beriman (2), Trevor Clarke and Curran from 50 metres out gave Griffith a 13-point lead after ten minutes of the last quarter. Turvey Park appeared to be tiring until the umpires pet, that old wily, crafty Turvey Park veteran Warren Sykes received a very dubious free kick from umpire Crook "by name and nature". Sykes booted his fourth from the edge of goal square to reduce the Griffith lead to seven points. Griffith went forward a minute later for Curran to mark strongly and goal from 30 metres. Griffith began to make a few costly errors when going into their forward line with misdirected foot passes, missed tackles and an easy overhead mark split. Turvey Park players seized their opportunities from the Griffith mistakes forcing the ball into their scoring zone with full forward Loughman kicking his fifth goal with ten minutes remaining. This was quickly followed by half forward flanker Brent Fraser adding two more goals in a minute, first from a strong mark and kicking truly from 45 metres, followed up with a right foot snap to make the difference seven points in Turvey Park's favour. With time running out Loughman again marked in the goal square to seal Griffith Swans' fete and record a memorable and well-deserved victory for the Turvey Park Bulldogs. Final score:  Turvey Park 23.6 (144) d Griffith 20.11 (131).  (By Trevor Harrison - Red & White Review). 

2002 RIVERINA FOOTBALL LEAGUE AWARDS

Seniors: Best & Fairest - Jim Quinn Medal

33 - Matthew Hard (Coolamon); 23 - Phillip Rowston (Griffith); 19 - Warren Sykes (Turvey Park); 17 - Tom Gorham (East Wagga-Kooringal), Luke Carroll (Ganmain-GGM), Neil Lawson (Mangoplah-CUE); 13 - Kerry Brain, Jamie Charlton (East Wagga-Kooringal), Michael Duncan (Griffith), Chris Smith (Narrandera), Blair Campbell (Turvey Park); 12 - Scott Hamblin (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Sharman (Leeton-Whitton); 8 - Jonathan O'Dwyer (Griffith), Lee Whelan (Leeton-Whitton), 7 - Matthew Olney (Griffith), Wayne Schultz (Mangoplah-CUE); 6 - Scott Crozier (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Kenny (Griffith), Jack Vearing (Narrandera), Matthew Carroll (Turvey Park); 5 - Jamie Bennett, Cian Ebert (Griffith), Aaron McVilly (Mangoplah-CUE), Ashley Thomson (Narrandera), Andrew Loughman, Simon Nimmo (Turvey Park); 4 - Michael Moodie (Coolamon), Nathan McPherson (Ganmain-GGM), David Curran, Rodney Duncan (Griffith), Lachlan Hutchins (Narrandera); 3 - Scott Bradley, Tim Hilton, Andrew McCaig, Darren Moorhead (Coolamon), Chris Kelly, Raphael McGowan (Ganmain-GGM), Craig Conlan, Brendan Giason, Damien Scott (Griffith), Michael Cunningham, Drew Dunscombe (Leeton-Whitton), Scott Allen, Mick Byrne, David Pike, Geoff Spriggs (Mangoplah-CUE), Stuart Hutchins, Brett Powell (Narrandera), Stuart Anderson, Cameron Barker, Nathan Clarke, Jeremy Masterson (Turvey Park); 2 - Anthony Breust, Brad Mattingly (Coolamon), Mick Fabre, Geoff Hopkins, Ben Murnane (East Wagga-Kooringal), Mitchell Carroll, Jamie Crozier, Nathan Irvine, Shaun Rava, Stephen Kelly (Ganmain-GGM), Danny Beriman (Griffith), Dean Fraser, Grant McLarty, Shane Whelan (Leeton-Whitton), Xavier Higgins, Brendan Roberson (Mangoplah-CUE), Dane Campbell, Troy Maiden (Turvey Park); 1 - Danny Bromham, James Geale, James Keenan, Steven Quirk (East Wagga-Kooringal), Brett Lenon, David Logan (Ganmain-GGM), Jeff Mickan (Griffith), Kurt Bullock, Ty McGregor (Leeton-Whitton), Dale Cameron, Chris Cerato (Turvey Park).

Reserves - Frank Gaynor Medal

21 - Shane Ruyg (Griffith); 19 - Terry Lyons (Leeton-Whitton); 15 - Geoff Johnson (Narrandera); 11 - Darren Conroy (Coolamon), Steven Staines (East Wagga-Kooringal), Trent Bradley, Nathan Creevy (Griffith); 10 - Myles Bunn (Griffith), Damien Clark (Narrandera), Lance Warr (Turvey Park). Other Griffith players to receive votes were: 7 - Greg Dreyer; 6 - Rodney Simpkin; 4 - Ryan Hill; 3 - Shayne Driscoll, Matthew Kenny, Andrew Noad; 2 - Luke Condon, Chris Conlan, Graham Foley; 1 - Warwick Armstrong, Daniel Best, Kaine Malone, Jeremy Way.

Under 18 - Lou Brown Medal

20 - Ben Wade (Griffith); 18 - Jeff Talbot (Coolamon); 16 - Matthew Hood (Leeton-Whitton), Truman Carroll (Turvey Park); 15 - Cameron Steward (Ganmain-GGM); 14 - Ben Seymour (Narrandera); 13 - Drew Dunscombe (Leeton-Whitton); 12 - Stuart Anderson (Turvey Park); Other Griffith players to receive votes were:6 - Ashley Gardner; 4 - Wayde Archibald; 3 - Kyle Archibald, Aaron Hill, Ryan McClintock; 2 - Luke Catanzariti, Neil Ireland, Nathan Malone, Matthew Smythe; 1 - Kris Duncan, Shaun Stubbs.

 

Seniors: Top Goalkickers (h/a) - Stewart Fraser Trophy

80 - Danny Beriman (Griffith; 44 - Andrew Loughman (Turvey Park); 43 - Jamie Bennett (Griffith); 38 - Matthew Hard (Coolamon, Michael Duncan (Griffith); 34 - Simon Nimmo (Turvey Park).

Reserves - Griggs Trophy

130 - Shane Ruyg (Griffith); 65 - Phillip Hatty (Ganmain-GGM); 57 - Dustin Brown (Turvey Park); 50 - Joe Obudzinski (Ganmain-GGM); 46 - Shayne Driscoll (Griffith).

Under 18 - Dalco Trophy

67 - Ashley Gardner (Griffith); 65 - Paul Hanrahan (Leeton-Whitton); 42 - Jamie Parr (Coolamon); 41 - Nathan Ross (Turvey Park); 38 - Stuart Anderson (Turvey Park).

RFL Rep. player of the Year: Matthew Sharman (Leeton-Whitton)

Tooheys New Rising Star: Michael Duncan (Griffith)

Club Championships: Griffith

Netball: Best & Fairest

A grade: Melissa Smeeth (Ganmain-GGM);   B grade: Carolyn McRae (Turvey Park);

C grade: Sonya Furner (Coolamon);   Juniors U15's: Angela Salvestro (Griffith).

Miss RFL Girl of the Year: Heather Stoll (Narrandera).

2002 GOALS - RESERVES & UNDER 18's GRADES

Reserves: Warwick Armstrong 24, Daniel Best 7, Trent Bradley 19, Matthew Bunn 3, Myles Bunn 34, Luke Condon 1, Chris Conlan 2, Craig Conlan 2, Nathan Creevey 0, David Curran 3, Greg Dreyer (capt.) 5, Shayne Driscoll 52, Joshua Fisher 1, Graham Foley 28, Ben Ford 9, Anthony Freyer 7, Ashley Gardner 13, Stan Gash 1, Brendan Giason 2, Andrew Gifford 0, Jonathan Gifford 0, Michael Harris 3, Andrew Hill 1, Gavin Hill 0, Ryan Hill 1, Michael Johns 10, Matthew Kenny 3, David Kidman 4, Grant Lamont 2, Jason Malone 2, Kaine Malone 3, Andrew Noad 4, Brett Owen 5, Shane Ruyg 151, Rodney Simpkin 24, Adrian Sparks 1, Simon Spiers 1, Luke Testoni 5, Peter Thornton 12, Andrew Trotter 13, Jeremy Way 24. Coach: Greg Collins.

 

Under 18: Kyle Archibald 0, Wade Archibald 1, Todd Ashton 0, Daniel Beasley 0, Greg Bonetti 0, Daniel Brady 0, Rheis Brill 3, Brenton Browne 1, Dean Catanzariti 0, Luke Catanzariti 4, Daniel Condon 1, Terry Condon 5, Dan Coromandel 0, Neil Cranston 0, Daniel Creevy 2, Dean Cunial 5, Adrian Davis 1, Kris Duncan 14, Michael Fyfe 4, Ashley Gardner 70, Eddie Gilbert 0, Jason Hampel 2, Brendan Hicken 21, Aaron Hill 1, Reece Hill 0, Neil Ireland 1, Nathan Malone 3, Tim Matheson 2, Ryan McClintock 1, Alistair McCorkelle 0, Paul Milne 0, Ben Murphy 2, Dean Norbiato 1, Brett Owen 9, Tim Rice 0, Matthew Smythe 1, Shaun Stubbs 8, Drew Toscan 0, Ben Wade 6, Mark Wade 1, Terry Wade 0, Tom Webb 2. Coaches: Shayne Driscoll / Andrew Hill.

2002 SENIOR DEBUTS & FINAL SENIOR GAMES / GOALS

Debuts: April 6 - Craig Conlan, Cian Ebert, David Kidman; June 2 - Ben Wade; July 14 - Warwick Armstrong.

Final Games / Goals: Warwick Armstrong (1 / 0), Danny Beriman (48 / 122), Chris Blanchard (18 / 16), Luke Condon (31 / 18), Shawn Conlan (53 / 19), Nathan Creevy (4 / 0), David Kidman (9 / 1), Shane Ruyg (133 / 289).

2002 GRIFFITH AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS

Friday, 11th October, 2002 at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

Major Sponsor: Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

FOOTBALL

Senior grade

Best & Fairest: Phillip Rowston

Runner-up: Matthew Olney

Most Consistent: Michael Duncan

Most Improved: Brendan Giason

Best Utility (Fergie King Memorial): Jeffrey Mickan

Best in Finals: Rodney Duncan

Most Goals Kicked: Danny Beriman

Coach’s Award: Trevor Clarke and Matthew Kenny

Reserve grade

Best & Fairest: Graham Foley

Runner-up: Myles Bunn

Most Consistent: Nathan Creevy

Most Improved: Ryan Hill

Best Utility: Simon Spiers

Best in Finals: Greg Dreyer

Most Goals Kicked: Shane Ruyg

Coach’s Award: Myles Bunn

Under 18's

Best & Fairest: Ben Wade

Runner-up: Nathan Malone

Most Consistent: Eddie Gilbert

Most Improved: Jason Hampel

Best Utility: Brett Owen

Best in Finals: Terry Condon

Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Ashley Gardner

Coach’s Award: Michael Fyfe & Brendan Hicken

Most Promising Player (Ronnie Williams Memorial): Tim Matheson

Encouragement Award (Fred Owen Memorial Shield): Luke Catanzariti

Rookie of the Year (Gloria Butcher Memorial): Kris Duncan

NETBALL

A grade

Best & Fairest: Kristen Ireland

Special Award:

Coach’s Award:

B grade

Best & Fairest: Minnietta Walker

Special Award: Louise Hornery

Coach’s Award: Danae Lamont

C grade

Best & Fairest: Kathy Sparks

Special Award: Krystal Fyfe

Coach’s Award: Heather White

Juniors

Best & Fairest: Angela Salvestro

Special Award: Nikita Browne

SPECIALS AWARDS

Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Joan Hicks Memorial): Grant Lamont

Club Person of the Year (Bill Simmons Memorial): Owen Brown

AFL Volunteer Recognition Awards - 50 years service: Mary Collins

AFL Volunteer Recognition Awards - 20 years service: Neville Gardiner

Travelworld Player of the Year: Ben Wade

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