2005 RFL SEASON RESULTS

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PLAYER TRANSFERS

IN: Gary Argus (Hillston Swans), Tim Birks (Uni Blues), Adam Brander (Sale), Malcolm Burke (Barellan), Tony Butcher (Hillston Swans), Craig Conlan (UK), Merv Firebrace-Jones, Graham Foley (Hillston Swans), Roger Heenan (Portland), Matthew Kenny (Port Maquarie Magpies), Craig Lugton (East Wagga-Kooringal), Balraj Singh (Lower Plenty via Waratah, NT), Michael Wilson (Turvey Park).

OUT: Simon McClure (Goolgowi, Rugby League), Shane Pound (Coleambally), Brett Owen (Avonvale Heights), Phillip Rowston (Barellan), Ben Wade (Glenelg); Balraj Singh (Mooroopna).

 BEN WADE JOINS GLENELG - By Grace Uhr 

GRIFFITH Swans star Ben Wade is about to take the biggest step of his football career, signing with South Australian National Football League club Glenelg.  Wade, 18, signed with the club last Thursday after they approached him about two weeks ago and is looking forward to the challenge of playing in what is regarded as the second-highest state competition after the Victorian league. "I'm really excited, just to see what it's like to play over there," Wade said. "My goal will be just to get the best out of myself and just know what I'm capable of. The SANFL is very strong and is probably one of the top leagues in the country and it's a good recruiting ground for the AFL. Wade came into his own as a player at the Swans this season, taking out the club's best and fairest despite being one of the youngest players. "I was reasonably happy with my year and the club was reasonably happy with the team's performance," he said. Glenelg are now well into preparations for next year's SANFL season, Wade set to move over there at the end of next week and commence training the following week. It will be his first move away from Griffith, but he said it is unlikely to be too much of a culture shock. "Glenelg's right on the coast just outside of Adelaide and they said it's just like a big country town, so it won't be too fast-paced for me," he said. Glenelg finished seventh out of nine clubs in the SANFL last season and are currently in a state of rebuilding, yet to sign a first grade coach after their former coach David Noble was pursued by the Adelaide Crows. Glenelg development manager Ken Applegarth, who was behind Wade's signing, said it was family connections that brought Wade to their attention. "A personal friend of the family said young Ben had an ambition to pursue his football," Applegarth said. "It seemed the best option for him at his age and he's got some pretty strong friends and relatives down here. "It's a good club and nice spot and it should be a good move for the lad." Wade joins a long list of Riverina Football League players who have made the step up to the SANFL, including Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong star Murray Hamblin, who played with Central Districts two seasons ago. (The Area News - Monday October 25, 2004).

 HISTORIC CHANGE FOR LEAGUE 

A NEW era for Australian football in the region was unanimously voted in last Thursday by the president of the Hume, Riverina, Farrer, Coreen and Northern Riverina leagues. The historic meeting at Narrandera saw the formalisation of the new body named the Southern Region Australian Football and Netball Association that will centralise administration and concentrate on development of the code as a whole, instead of leaving it up to individual leagues. The association will be chaired by John Wright with the other directors to include Garry Buchanan, the regional manager of Southern NSW and ACT AFL, and the president of each of the leagues. "There is not going to be any wholesale changes in the foreseeable future with the new board," Buchanan said. (The Area News - Monday October 25, 2004). 

 POUND TO RETURN TO COLY BLUES - By Grace Uhr 

SHANE Pound and two of his talented brothers have turned their backs on an offer from the Griffith Swans, electing to take up spots with other local clubs next season. Pound, 26, played just one season with the Swans this year, but will return to his home club the Coleambally Blues in 2005 and take up the assistant coaching role there under current coach Shane Mannes. Pound said he and younger brothers Carl, 23, and Jay 21, were all approached by the Swans to play next season. Shane and Jay now set to join brothers Troy, 25 and Dean, 19 at the Blues with Carl still yet to decide whether to remain with current club the Wagga Tigers. "There was more work out here on the farm," Pound said. "It was good (at the Swans), I'll be sad to leave. "It was something different, a little bit of a step up, but I decided to come back to Coly." Pound will be a big loss to the Swans, who have also lost Phil Rowston to Barellan and Ben Wade to Glenelg and may also suffer from several retirements. Coleambally president Phil Price said the assistant coaching was the main lure which brought Pound back to the club. "He knows all the locals and the job of the assistant coach interested him, he was looking to his future a bit," Price said. "He started his career here, he was runner-up in the Coreen league best and fairest in 2003 and best and fairest for Coly." Swans president George Duncan said he was disappointed not to resign Pound, who booted 34 goals for the side this year, including six in the first semi-final and one in the grand final against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. "We're not happy to lose Shane, he was a very handy player," Duncan said. (The Area News - Friday December 24, 2004).

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PAUL HABEL LOOKS TOWARD NEW CHALLENGE - By Grace Uhr

THE learning curve that Paul Habel has spent the last 10 years riding is about to get that little bit steeper. After almost a decade of service to AFL development in Griffith, Habel and family will now call Wagga home when Habel takes over the regional development manager role at AFL House later this month. A tireless true believer and patron of the game in the region, Habel has brought grass roots through school development programs and junior clubs. But when he closes the door on his office overlooking the Ex-Servicemen's Oval this month, Habel said this would not be the end of his relationship with the town that has been home for himself, wife Jenny and children Luke, 16, Josh, 12 and Chelsea, 10, since March, 1995. "We really settled in here, we've made some great friends," Habel said. "But I've been given the opportunity to move on, a promotion, and decided to take it." While based in Wagga and likely to be more office-bound initially, Habel still expects to return to Griffith at least once a week to continue his quest to promote the game in the area. "I know the area and the footy market," he said. "Griffith is a town that can cater for four codes of football and there's a different market place for the whole lot and I'm there to promote the game and do it the right way. "I look at football in the region and it's pretty healthy. "There will be a few challenges out there no doubt. "It's going to be another learning curve and a lot more management after being used to working by yourself." Habel described his initial move to Griffith as "a real culture shock" coming from the AFL heartland of Victoria, but said a lot of the shock was reduced by those he had met. "I just want to thank everyone within the region I've worked with, the people out there have been enormous support to me and also the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club for the office space and use of the ground. Not limiting himself to just football, Habel had dedicated his summers to Griffith cricket, holding the GDCA secretary position this season, as well as umpiring and coaching and also part of Murrumbidgee Cricket Council.  (The Area News - Monday January 3, 2005). 

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 PAVESE BACK HOME TO HELP RESURRECT YOUNG SWANS - BY Grace Uhr 

ADRIAN Pavese is determined to be the saviour on the under 18's Griffith Swans this season. The young Swans have been in a crisis for the last few years with dwindling numbers forcing them to forfeit Riverina Football League games, finishing in last spot on the ladder for the last two years. But new coach Pavese is determined to bring a new attitude and so far it seems to be working. We've been training for about four weeks now and we've been getting 20 to 25 at training," Pavese said. No stranger to the red and white, Pavese coached the junior Swans teams throughout the 1990's, taking the under 18's in 1993, 1998 and 1999. He had the reserve grade side in 2000 and 2001, his side losing a dramatic extra-time grand final in 2000, before taking on the coaching role at Hillston for the last three seasons, "When I resigned at Hillston I thought I'd try and help bring the Swans 18's back up," Pavese said. "When I coached them in the 1999 grand final, a lot of them I'd coached since under 11's and I just don't think they've had that group coming through. "But we've got another group this year." Pavese said the key to keeping interest and numbers high in the side involved giving players in the team a sense of responsibility. "You've got to show the young blokes a bit of respect, they don't want to be dictated to," he said. "I want to give them a say and show them they're part of the club." A young side with an average age of 16, Pavese has named two of the older players as co-captains this season, Tim Matheson and Rhys Newman with Cint Munro as vice-captain. Pavese said while numbers had been positive so far, there was definitely room for more, training held at Jubilee Park on Thursday's from 6pm. (The Area News - Friday February 11, 2005). 

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 SIX PLAYERS TO BOOST SWANS RANKS FOR RFL SEASON 2005  - By Grace Uhr 

MEET the new flock of Griffith Swans. For the first time since club president George Duncan can recall, work transfers have brought with an AFL background to town and couldn't have come at a better time for the Swans. "We're pretty happy because the guys came to town for employment and that's a first for us," Duncan said. "We're confident, because we lost four or five guys, that we've got capable replacements for them and we're confident of a successful year. "I don't know too much about them, but we're pleased to have them and we're glad they came to town because we didn't really have anyone to replace the guys we lost. The club has welcomed six new players into their ranks, three moving to Griffith for work, one returning player from overseas, a former team mate of coach Adrian Burns and a teacher at Griffith High. A work transfer brought former Turvey Park ruckman Michael Wilson, 23, to Griffith two weeks ago and despite playing against the Swans for the last three years, he is looking forward to donning the red and white. "I can't wait for the season to start," Wilson said. He's not the only one. Duncan is thrilled with the fact the side can add another tall player to the ranks. "Wilson being a ruckman is a big boost and he'll help Dave Curran out a lot, it'll be great having an extra tall," Duncan said. Tim Birks, 24, and Roger Heenan, 29, are also in town through work, both hailing from AFL territory in Victoria. On-baller Birks was with the Uni Blues in Melbourne last year, while half-back Heenan hails from Western Border league club Portland. Following in coach Adrian Burns' footsteps is centre half-back Adam Brander, 21, who played with Burns' old club Sale in West Gippsland-Latrobe league and Craig Conlan, 25, returns after a year overseas away from football. "I've been back for three weeks ans I'm slowly getting my fitness back," Conlan said. The forward flanker played with the Swans in 2002 and their grand final winning team in 2003 before leaving in early 2004. Finally Mervyn Firebrace-Jones also joins the club and to add some spice to the line-up. (The Area News - Friday March 4, 2005).

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 SWANS TO SINGH - By Grace Uhr and Matt Malone 

IN what Griffith Swans president George Duncan is calling one of the club's biggest player signings of all time, the club has secured the services of an ex-AFL player to their ranks. To add more power to an already strong forward line, former Adelaide Crow, Balraj Singh is set to join their ranks for 2005.  Singh was the first ever Indian player to be drafted and spent two seasons with the Crows before being delisted and since then racking up a tidy football resume. Swans president George Duncan is thrilled with the signing, and said that Singh was just what the Swans looking for. "This is one of our biggest signings as a player," Duncan said. "He'll really fit in with our game and with our running players and should suit our style of game." The addition of Singh to the Swans forward-line comes in handy after the loss of prolific goalkicker Shane Pound to Coleambally. Singh is expected to join fellow forwards Ashley Gardner and Rod Duncan in all-new, three-prong attack up front for Griffith. George Duncan said Singh would bring many attributes to the side. "He takes a strong mark, and can kick the ball a fair distance," Duncan said.  Duncan and former president Ian Wade first spotted Singh playing in Canberra three years ago and commented how good it would be to have him play for the Swans. The dream became a reality after Rod and Mick Duncan played alongside him with Northern Territory side, the Waratahs in 2003-04. Singh told the club he had enjoyed playing with the Duncan brothers and said he would love to renew old acquaintances. The signing comes two weeks after the Swans announced six other new recruits for the side's 2005 season. (The Area News - Wednesday March 16, 2005).

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 NEW LOOK SWANS READY FOR NETBALL ACTION - By Grace Uhr 

A CENTRE-COURT face lift will see a new-look Griffith Swans A grade netball side take to the court when the season begins early next month. Four new players have joined the club during the off-season, making up for several departures, and returning A grade coach Caryn Stuckings said all is in place for a strong season. "A grade is almost a total change, there's a few new faces through the centre court," Stuckings said. "We've been doing preseason for about a month now and we've rebuilt well during the off-season. "We have a good chance this season, but I think Turvey Park will be strong and Coolamon." Leading the wave of new blood will be star centre Jodie Landy, who makes a return to the Swans' fold after a year with Barellan. Sharnie Moore is set to boost the shooting circle, returning to competitive netball after a break for about four seasons, originally playing in Wagga. Mulwala's Shellie White will also be a welcome inclusion in the centre court, as will returning player Lynette Bortolin. The Swans have also announced their coaching appointments for the season, with Stuckings signing on for her second season as A grade leader. Nikia Collins will take on the B grade role, Alison Douglas takes over C grade, and Charlotte Jones will coach the juniors. (The Area News - Wednesday March 16, 2005).

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 NEW SWANS SET TO SWOOP - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans will unveil their new-look outfit for the first time on Saturday evening in the season opener against Turvey Park. And, from all accounts Turvey Park are going to be in for a long afternoon in Griffith. The Swans will take to the park with up to nine new faces from the team that was runner-up last season. Captain-coach Adrian Burns is confident that his new-look side will be able to match it with Turvey Park on Saturday. "We wouldn't be playing out there if we weren't confident," Burns said. "We came from behind last year to beat Turvey Park over there, and I'm sure they're still pretty upset about it. "It will still be in the back of our minds as well." Burns said the Swans will take the field with a new, much more committed approach. "Turvey can expect a very committed side," Burns said. "We'll be expecting a quick running side from them and a side that has improved a great deal from last year. "We believe they've picked up Pat Gribble who is a pretty good player and their coach Blair Campbell is also pretty handy." But Burns is more than happy with the way the Swans have recruited over the off-season. "What we lacked last year was height and this year we've fixed that," Burns said. "We expect Balraj Singh to perform well, everyone is excited about him and there's no reason why he won't turn it on. "With Roger Heenan, Tim Birks, Adam Brander, Michael Wilson and Balraj Singh, we've recruited very well. (The Area News - Friday April 1, 2005).

Round 1 - Saturday April 2, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 5.00pm

Griffith ............ 6.8 .. 14.12 .. 22.19 .. 27.23 (185)

Turvey Park ... 0.0 .. 3.3 .. 5.4 .. 9.8 (62)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 5, A Gardner 4, M McDonald 3, B Singh 3, C Conlan 3, M Crack 3, R Duncan 2, M Wilson, T Birks, A Burns, J Hampel

Turvey Park: J Hoey 2, D Brown 2, M Ness, R Meyers, N Flanigan, W Sykes, T Richards

Best: Griffith: M McDonald, A Brander, C Conlan, C Conlan, R Simpkin, A Burns, R Heenan

Turvey Park: J Hoey, M Drombroski, B Harper, G Bourne, J Fletcher

Griffith: T Bradley, S Spiers, Myles Bunn; R Heenan*, A Brander*, Matt Bunn; B Ford, A Burns (c-c), C Conlan; T Birks*, B Singh*, T Matheson*; R Simpkin, J Micken, M Duncan; M Wilson*, R Duncan, M McDonald; J Hampel, M Crack, A Gardner

Turvey Park: J Hoey, J Fletcher, P Donaldson; B Cooper, G Bourne, C Whelan; C Barker, M Dombroski, L Spokes; W Sykes, B Harper, D Brown; L Webb, D McLean, N Flanigan; T Richards, Blair Campbell (c-c); R Myers; Michael Ness, A Regan, M Regan

Umpires: D Potts, G Walsh, P Smith (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 30.17 (207) d Turvey Park 3.1 (19)

Goals: G Argus 11, D Graham 4, M Firebrace-Jones 2, G Foley 2, N Hetherington 2, B Hicken 2, T Wilson 2, G Dreyer

Under 18: Turvey Park 10.12 (72) d Griffith 7.10 (52)

Goals: D Crack 2, W Jaffrey 2, R Hannon, J Gastin, A Robertson

Match report: Griffith Swans stamped their authority on the Riverina Football League on Saturday night with a 123-point thrashing of Turvey Park. In what was a rematch of the 2003 grand final, the Swans were all class as they proved they will be the side to beat in 2005. Turvey Park coach Blair Campbell labelled Griffith's performance as one of the best performances he has seen in the competition as Turvey showed no improvement on last year's dismal performance. The Swans controlled the game from the first bounce, scoring nine unanswered goals before 17-year-old first-gamer Michael Ness stood tall to kick the Bulldogs' first goal 14 minutes into the second quarter. The Swans killed their opposition all over the ground. Swans captain-coach Adrian Burns was delighted with the side's performance, declaring he could not have asked for a better start to the season. "It was a good start, I couldn't have asked for much more out there tonight," Burns said. "Our tackling improved, we were a lot more committed and we really were a strong unit out there. But we can't get over excited." After kicking nine goals before the Bulldogs' first, Griffith went into half-time in front by 75 points. New recruit Balraj Singh provided a focal point up forward as Turvey Park targeted the forward early with a high shot that broke out in a small tussle as Singh took his first mark for the game. With the attention on Singh up forward, it left the door open for goal sneak Mick Duncan, five goals, and full-forward Ash Gardner, four, to take advantage. The second-half saw a slight improvement from Turvey, but the Swans kept slamming the goals on to take the match and run away resounding winners 27.23 (185) to 9.8 (62). Turvey coach Blair Campbell was extremely disappointed with the start to the season."That was pretty ordinary," Campbell said. "But they were a pretty slick outfit." (Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday April 4, 2005).

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 BALRAJ SINGH LEAVES SWANS - By Matt Malone and Elise Overs 

AFTER just six days in the city of Griffith, gun recruit Balraj Singh is gone. One game into the Riverina Football League season and just hours after finding a job, the Griffith Swans recruit has walked out on the Swans. And his reason, Griffith was boring. "To be honest I thought the place was a little better than what it was," Singh said. "I was bored and there wasn't much to do." After constant calls over the last week from Mooroopna coach and ex-AFL player Derek Hall, Singh will attempt to play with the Victorian club next Saturday. But Singh's relationship with the Griffith Swans has not ended just yet, with the Swans having the right to refuse to clear Singh to play anywhere else in the 2005 season and be held to his contract. "If they don't clear me I'll take them to the courts," Singh said. "It would be pretty low for them to keep a bloke out of footy for a year." But Swans president George Duncan was adamant that Singh is still a contracted player and remains so for the rest of the 2005 season. "As far as I'm concerned he is still a contracted player," Duncan said. "If he turns up at training on Friday night, all will be forgotten and he will play on Sunday. "He told us he had to go back to Adelaide for family commitments. "We hope he wakes up to himself and comes back." After stints in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast and Griffith in the last five years, Singh wants to head back to Melbourne. "It's now time to settle down." Singh said. "I'm going to settle down in Melbourne. "Melbourne is the best city around; you've got the footy and the nightlife." Singh did travel to Adelaide and that it where he made his decision. "I went to Adelaide and discussed it with my parents and they said if I can't see myself in Griffith after the footy season then maybe I shouldn't bother," Singh said. "It wasn't anything to do with the board or the club. "Why waste Griffith's money on a player who doesn't want to be there. Mooroopna plays in the Goulburn Valley Football League and has a bye this Saturday with Singh attempting to get a clearance before the following Saturday. (The Area News - Friday April 8, 2005).

Round 2 - Sunday April 10, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm

Narrandera ... 2.1 .. 5.3 .. 11.7 .. 15.9 (99)

Griffith ........... 5.4 .. 5.8 .. 7.9 .. 13.11 (89)

Goals: Narrandera: M English 4, B Cios 2, B Grant 2, D Burden 2, J McMartin, N Reynoldson, J Coleman, T Durnan, K Brunt

Griffith: M Duncan 4, N Hetherington 2, M McDonald 2, M Crack, A Gardner, A Burns, R Simpkin, J Mickan

Best: Narrandera: Brett Powell, D Burden, J McMartin, P Bloomfield, N Reynoldson, A Thomson

Griffith: A Brander, Matt Bunn, M Duncan, C Conlan, M McDonald, R Simpkin

Narrandera: P Bloomfield, D Burden, T Durnan, S Brooker (coach), M English, H Hutchins, Ben Powell, A Thomson, C Smith, S Hutchins, B Cios, L Richmond, J McMartin, Brett Powell, J Coleman, K Blunt, B Kiley, J Sullivan, N Reynoldson, B Grant

Griffith: J Hampel, R Heenan, T Bradley; Matt Bunn, A Brander, Craig Conlan; B Ford, A Burns (c-c), T Mathieson; T Birks, J Mickan, N Hetherington*; R Simpkin, A Gardner, M Duncan; M Wilson, R Duncan, M McDonald; M Kenny, M Crack, G Foley

Reserves: Narrandera 20.13 (133) d Griffith 10.5 (65)

Goals: B Hicken 3, M Burke 2, J Bennett 2, K Duncan, D Graham, G O'Connor

Under 18: Narrandera 15.22 (112) d Griffith 3.3 (21)

Goals: T Wade, W Jaffrey, P Dickens

Match report: Narrandera Eagles made sure Griffith Swans finished off their horror week on a bad note when they upset the Swans by 10 points yesterday at Narrandera Sportsground. In a dramatic finish the Swans charged home from 22 points down at three-quarter time to hit the front with minutes remaining but Narrandera steadied to take it out 15.9 (99) to 13.11 (89). The lack of umpires and the Riverina Football League's decision for side's to provide umpires is now under the microscope when a boundary umpire provided by the Eagles intervened and called a crucial free-kick in the dying minutes that ended up in Narrandera's winning goal. The free kick was awarded for a Swans player who was alleged to enter the square before the bounce. "Umpires out there definitely shouldn't be provided by either of the sides," Griffith coach Adrian Burns said. "I'm not sure whether he was in the square or not but it is dodgy and concerns me." The Swans will now put their awful week behind them, that saw them lose major signing Balraj Singh, and will now try and prepare to meet an in-form Coolamon side in Griffith on Saturday. Burns was devastated at his side's performance, stating the Swans need to become more committed to their football. "We need to be a bit more dedicated," Burns said. "It is footy season now and we have to become committed to training. "But it's all going to change from now."

The Swans started off strongly kicking five goals to two in the first quarter and look to have Narrandera covered all over the ground. But the Swans seemed to slack off at the start of the second quarter and only managed a disappointing four points, while Narrandera chipped away scoring three goals to draw within a goal at the half-way break. Narrandera used the momentum they gained throughout the second quarter to demolish the Swans in the third with the Eagles' forward-line starting to stamp their authority on the game. Narrandera piled on six third-quarter goals to the Swans two and the Eagles ran into three-quarter time 22 points in front. After the three-quarter time break the Swans appeared to be a totally different outfit, kicking two goals in the first three minutes to be only 10 points behind. But Narrandera hit back and undisciplined play from the Swans resulted in a 50m penalty and goal that put them again 22 points behind and with 12 minutes remaining. The Swans worked their way back to just three behinds at the 22-minute mark, when Mick Duncan took a contested mark in the goal square to put the Swans in front with just five minutes remaining on the clock. It was then at the bounce back in the middle when the controversial free kick was awarded that sent Narrandera quickly into attack and then goaled. Eagles coach Shaun Brooker was thrilled with his side's win. "We're very happy," Brooker said. "Our fitness was good, we worked as a team and in the end it was our persistence that got us over the line."

Burns summed up the effort of some of the Swans as 'pathetic'. "It was a poor performance," Burns said. "Some of us out there today were pathetic and I can't put it any better than that." (Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday April 11, 2005).

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 ON THE BALL - Matt Malone 

TO start this week, I can't let the week's biggest talking point go past without comment. The Griffith Swans last week lost a major drawcard and a footballer that I believe, held the key to the Swans' premiership hopes. Singh not only held enormous potential, but was also going to help the team by drawing the opponents' two best defenders each week, allowing for the rest of the Swans'  forward-line to become more dangerous. From that aspect, the loss of Singh will be significant. To many, the walkout of Balraj Singh did not come as a surprise. Singh arrived in Griffith with an impressive football resume, but a history that the Swans hoped he'd left behind. The Griffith Swans showed faith in their star recruit but, unfortunately, for the Swans' board, their trust didn't mean a thing. Despite the loss on the field, Singh showed his true colours upon leaving. The Swans' committee bent over backwards to ensure Singh was happy while in Griffith, even providing him with accommodation in their our home. Singh escaped town without letting anyone know, and it was only a phone call hours after his departure that he decided to inform the Swans of his decision. A face-to-face talk with an apology, a thank you or even an explanation would have been handy. The Swans are better off without a bloke' like that, and the Swans have absolutely every right to feel ripped off and refuse his clearance. Let's hope a year out of footy does him good, and the big man gets the chance to do some growing up. (The Area News - Wednesday April 13, 2005).

 SINGH CLEARED AFTER SIDESTEPPING SWANS - By Matt Malone 

GRIFFITH Swans' ex-recruit Balraj Singh has used a loophole in the system and has been cleared to play with Mooroopna in the Goulburn Valley Football League this Saturday. The ex-Adelaide Crows player claimed the Griffith Swans had failed to clear him correctly, meaning he only had to gain a clearance from former club Lower Plenty to play this weekend. The Griffith Swans allegedly cleared Singh from Waratahs, a Darwin-based team in the Northern Territory Football League which uses a totally different type clearance format. Because the Darwin competition is played during summer, players don't need a clearance to play for Darwin sides, leaving Singh still registered as a Lower Plenty player. Mooroopna then went straight to Lower Plenty and cleared Singh, leaving him right to play this weekend. "At the end of the day footy is only a game," Singh said. "Griffith didn't clear me properly. "I haven't spoken to George (Swans' president) since I left." The Griffith Swans' president said he was unsure of the situation. "I haven't heard anything," Duncan said. "If that's the case (Singh playing for Mooroopna this weekend) well a contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." (The Area News - Friday April 15, 2005).

Round 3 - Saturday April 16, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ......... 6.2 .. 13.4 .. 19.10 .. 23.14 (154)

Coolamon ... 3.3 .. 6.5 .. 8.10 .. 12.14 (86)

Goals: Griffith: A Gardner 7, Craig Conlan 3, J Mickan 2, B Ford 2, M Duncan 2, A Burns 2, R Simpkin, A Brander, Myles Bunn, N Hetherington, T Matheson

Coolamon: M Hard 3, B Cooke 2, J Parr 2, R Wettenhall, T Hilton, N Scott, B McPherson, G Rudd

Best: Griffith: Matt Bunn, J Mickan, A Gardner, R Heenan, Myles Bunn, A Brander

Coolamon: J Maddox, T Hilton, R Mortimer, M Hard, B Edyvean, N Scott

Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, D Scott; M Crack, A Brander, R Heenan; T Birks, A Burns (c-c), B Ford; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, J Hampel; R Simpkin, A Gardner, M Duncan; Ryan Hill, Matt Bunn, M McDonald; T Bradley, N Hetherington, T Matheson

Coolamon: P Edmunds, B McPherson, N Edyvean; R Bartholomew, B Garrett, G Rudd; B Munro, J Maddox, A McKenzie; S Martin, J Parr, B Cooke; Matt Bradley, R Wettenhall, R Mortimer; B Edyvean, N Scott, M Hard (c-c); P Thornycroft, J Hard, T Hilton

Umpires: T McDonald, B Webb, G Walsh (RUA)

Reserves: Coolamon 12.12 (84) d Griffith 10.18 (78)

Goals: G Argus 4, D Graham 2, K Duncan, M Kenny, Reece Hill, T Wilson

Under 18: Coolamon 19.13 (127) d Griffith 4.3 (27)

Goals: P Dickens, R Hannon, K Hicken, J Gastin

Match report: Awful one week, awesome the next. The roller coaster ride that is season 2005 for the Griffith Swans was back on a high on Saturday as they thumped undefeated Coolamon side by 68 points. The Swans said they had put their infamous week behind them and they certainly did, making Coolamon the second side to leave Griffith in awe of the Swans. The move to centre half forward for Swan Jeff Mickan proved decisive as the versatile footballer took over 15 marks and played a huge part in the win. Swans coach Adrian Burns was happy with his team and said it was exactly the type of performance he expects. "Today was pretty much what I expect of the Griffith Football Club," Burns said. "They have set the standard, now I expect us to play at this level."

The Swans had their minds on the job from the outset booting four unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes. The Swans then again during the middle ten minutes in the second quarter scored another six answered goals, and Coolamon could not handle the onslaughts the Swans were throwing at them. It was a dirty day Coolamon that reigning Jim Quinn Medallist (Nigel Scott) sent from the field and the undefeated Hoppers did not look half the side that upset premiership favourites Ganmain-GGM just two weeks ago. Leading by 41 points at half-time, the Swans did not stop there kicking another six goals to two in the third quarter.

Coolamon coach Matt Hard was angered by his side's performance. "We were disgraceful, ordinary, lackluste," Hard said. "I'm not happy, we lacked dedication today." However, the man of the moment for the Swans was Jeff Mickan, who was a match winner for the Swans. "He (Mickan) played really well today," Burns said. "He played centre half forward all last year and played well their today," Burns added it was a more committed approach that saw the Swans soar. "Our whole approach was better," Burns said. "We went back yo basics." (Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday April 18, 2005).

Round 4 - Saturday April 23, 2005 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm

Eastern Hawks ... 5.4 .. 10.7 .. 15.8 .. 17.10 (112)

Griffith ................. 3.3 .. 9.6 .. 12.8 .. 17.10 (112)

Goals: Eastern Hawks: R Campbell 4, M McPherson 4, P Evans 3, D Bromham 2, D Cuthbert, L Adams, D Purtill, B Roberts

Griffith: A Gardner 5, M Duncan 4, Craig Conlan 3, N Hetherington 2, A Brander 2, B Ford

Best: Eastern Hawks: G Cole, D Purtill, K Vanderfeen, J Grieve, P Evans, R Campbell

Griffith: M Duncan, A Brander, A Burns, R Heenan, J Mickan, B Ford

Eastern Hawks: M Adams, D Cheney, J Keenan; J Peace, G Cole, J Grieve; L Adams, D Cuthbert, C Campbell; D Purtill, P Evans, B Roberts; R Campbell, B Perkins, K McPherson; K Vanderfeen, K Malone, D Bromham; L Pollett, K Griffiths, J Richards

Griffith: Myles Bunn, A Brander, D Scott; M Crack, R Heenan, J Hampel; T Matheson, M McDonald, M Kenny; Craig Conlan, R Simpkin, N Hetherington; J Mickan, A Gardner, B Ford; Ryan Hill, A Burns (c-c), M Duncan; G Foley, D Graham*, C Munro*

Umpires: G Walsh, J Hilton (RUA). Reports: Matt McDonald for tripping - case dismissed

Reserves: Griffith 16.14 (110) d Eastern Hawks 6.19 (55)

Goals: G Argus 7, W Tyndall 3, J Moat 3, M Smith, K Duncan, C Lugton

Under 18: Eastern Hawks 17.10 (112) d Griffith 4.3 (27)

Goals: W Jaffery, D Crack, K Hicken, C Harrison

Match report: The Griffith Swans' troubles on the road continues after they drew with the winless Eastern Hawks at Harrison and Higgins Oval (Gumly Oval) yesterday. The Eastern Hawks managed to snare their first points of the season with a thrilling draw. After leading Griffith for the majority of the game, the Hawks fell over at the final hurdle, unable to contain the Swans with the team drawing 17.10 (112) to 17.10 (112). The Hawks showed plenty of ticker throughout the duration of the game, to be in front at quarter, half-time and three quarter time breaks. While Griffith hit back hard, they were unable to stop the dogged determination of the Hawks, who managed to guts it out to take the lead. Last year's wooden spooners were solid in defence, led well by Glen Cole, Damien Cheney and James Keenan. Except for a lapse in the opening 10 minutes of the final quarter when Griffith put on three quick goals, the Hawks proved themselves accountable. Eastern Hawks coach Michael McPherson was disappointed with the end result, however praised his team for the four quarter effort. Where the Hawks of old would have dropped their heads at any Griffith fight back, the Hawks counter-attacked to win the football. "We can take a lot of confidence out of this game," McPherson said. "We are a good team but we aren't winning our games. We wanted to win out there and that's why we went hard at the football. "Everyone's contribution during the game was excellent. Now all we need is just a win. We have to look at the positives and take them from the game. (The Area News - Monday April 25, 2005). 

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 I'M INNOCENT: McDONALD - By Matt Malone 

GRIFFITH Swans' star onballer Matt McDonald will front the judiciary tonight to contest the one-week suspension offered by the Riverina Football League tribunal. McDonald was reported in Sunday's clash against the Eastern Hawks for allegedly attempting to trip an unknown Hawks player. Under the new tribunal system, the RFL offers a penalty where the umpires, victim and the accused choose whether they will accept the verdict. But the Griffith Swans blatantly refused to accept the punishment, with McDonald declaring he did not attempt to trip anyone. "I just kicked the ground in disgust," McDonald said. "It was all in frustration." The incident came after the umpire awarded a free kick against McDonald for a high tackle. When he argued the decision, the Hawks were awarded a 50m penalty. "He was a young umpire and I didn't even get him high, so I argued it a bit," McDonald said. "So they got 50 and one of the Hawks' players, who wasn't even in the play, was giving me a bit of lip. "And after that I kicked the ground, a few of the players told the umpire I tried to trip him, he didn't fall over or anything. "So the umpire just sent me off." McDonald, who is known for his sportsmanship, admitted to losing his temper, but said he did not try to trip his opponent. "If I tried to trip him, then fair enough I would take it, but I didn't," Swans' president George Duncan backed McDonald and said the club would not accept the penalty. "We will challenge the one-week suspension," Duncan said. "He was frustrated and he kicked the dirt. I don't know what their story is. "They haven't even named the player be was meant to have tried to trip. McDonald will front the tribunal tonight, with the Swans expecting him to be cleared, due to lack of evidence. (The Area News - Wednesday April 27, 2005).

Round 5 - Saturday April 30, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 5.00pm

Griffith .................... 5.7 .. 11.9 .. 15.11 .. 21.15 (141)

Mangoplah-CUE ... 3.0 .. 10.2 .. 14.3 .. 15.3 (93)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 6, A Gardner 5, T Birks 3, Craig Conlan 3, Myles Bunn, A Burns, J Hampel, R Simpkin

MCUE: R Simms 5, M Reberger 5, C Websdale 2, W Smith, P Treloar, T Air

Best: Griffith: M Duncan, R Simpkin, Matt Bunn, A Gardner, S Spiers, Myles Bunn

MCUE: M Reberger, D Howard, S Balding, N Lawson, R Simms, C Higgins

Griffith: T Bradley, S Spiers, Myles Bunn; M Crack, J Mickan, Matt Bunn; B Ford, A Burns (c-c), M Kenny; N Hetherington, A Brander, R Simpkin; Craig Conlan, A Gardner, M Duncan; Ryan Hill, T Birks, J Hampel; G Foley, T Matheson, D Catanzariti*

Mangoplah-CUE: R Robinson, S Creasy, A Howard; B Howard, D Howard, C Higgins; A Stow, N Lawson, T Air; P Treloar, R Simms (c-c), X Higgins; W Smith, J Warden, C Websdale; S Balding, M Balding, M Reberger; D Martin, S Bennett, B Kendall

Umpires: R Wilson, T McDonald, S Roberts (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 18.11 (119) d Mangoplah-CUE 11.12 (78)

Goals: Griffith: G Argus 7, K Duncan 4, M Smith 2, G O'Connor, J Moat, D Graham, C Munro, G Dreyer

Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 15.21 (111) d Griffith 7.7 (49)

Goals: D McGreal 2, P Dickens 2, N McGrath, J Poscoliero, J Gastin

Match report: The Griffith Swans kept their unbeaten run at home intact on Saturday night with a hard-fought 48-point win over MCUE. A six goal to one last quarter from the Swans was enough to see off a gallant Goannas team that was behind from the outset but pressed the Swans all game. The two-pronged attack of Ashley Gardner and Michael Duncan from the full-forward line hurt the Goannas when it counted, booting 11 goals between them. Swans coach Adrian Burns was pleased with the Swans' performance. "I's great to get the four points," Burns said. "We had a lapse of concentration throughout the middle of the game but we got back on track and fought the game out. "We're getting close to the fitness level I want us to be at, but it has been hard due to an interrupted pre-season." The Swans got off to a sizzling start but due to inaccurate licking led by 19 points at quarter time. MCUE fought back hard early in the second quarter, kicking consecutive goals but the Swans were equal to the task in what was turning into a shootout. The Goannas seven goal second term was not enough to find the lead at the main break and trailed by 13 points. The third quarter was a much tighter affair with the two teams going goal for goal and both sides were a chance the Swans in front by 14 points. But that was as close as MCUE was going to get as the Swans superior experience and fitness level ran over the top of the Goannas and dominated the last quarter six goals to one. Burns said that with the grand final rematch looming this weekend against Ganmain-GGM things were looking good for the clash. "We've still got a bit of work to do," he said. "It was good to see the return to form fully of blokes like Rod Simpkin and Jason Hampel. "Mick Duncan brained them up forward tonight and Dean Catanzariti did okay." But it was the tackling and intensity of the Swans that impressed Burns the most. "I was happy with the tackling and pressure tonight," Burns said. "And towards the end of every quarter we improved and lifted at the stage when teams can often kick a couple of late goals."  The win also capped off the milestone match for the Swans, something that capped off the night according to Burns. "We made a point of it before the game," Burns said. "But these guys (Jeff Mickan and Myles Bunn) can now look back on the memories and in their 100th game they won. "And that's a feather in their cap."  (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday May 2, 2005). 

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 SWANS HAVE A BIG ASK AHEAD - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans face the biggest task of their year to date this Sunday when they look to avenge on last year's grand final loss to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. Swans coach Adrian Burns admitted the loss is still in the back of his head but the task is going to be a tough one with even more injuries hitting the Swans after the weekend. Matt McDonald and Dave Curran are expected to miss another week while Burns and in-form Rod Simpkin are also doubtful for the clash. The Swans are down but not out according to Burns and Ganmain-GGM can expect a dedicated Swans team come Sunday. "Anything's possible and we're definitely going over there to win, that's for sure," Burns said. "We're going over there with a fair few out but we're not defeated yet." Last year's grand final loss is still a sore spot with the Swans and Burns said they will try not to think about it this round. "That day we had a few of senior players out injured," Burns said. "We're not going to focus on it too much yet, the fact that we got belted. "But it is going to be in the back of our minds." While the Swans are on the back of a strong win over MCUE, Ganmain-GGM are coming off a thrilling draw against Leeton-Whitton. Unfortunately for the Swans, Burns said the Lions will be tougher than ever. "Playing them over there is always a tough match but we're looking to give them a run for their money," Burns said. "They're a fairly strong and tall sort of side." With Burns doubtful and assistant-coach Rod Duncan still on the injured list, Matt Bunn may get the opportunity to lead the team for the first time. But although the injuries are costly early in the season, Burns is happy for the fringe players to be given the opportunity. "We're looking down the list a bit," Burns said.  (The Area News - Friday May 6, 2005).

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Round 6 - Sunday May 8, 2005 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm

Ganmain-GGM ... 3.2 .. 7.9 .. 14.14 .. 23.18 (156)

Griffith ................. 0.1 .. 2.3 .. 2.4 .. 4.8 (32)

Goals: GGGM: A Carroll 6, A Johnston 4, K Hamblin 3, M Carroll 2, L Habel 2, C McPherson 2, P Lucas, 3 short

Griffith: M Duncan, M Crack, Myles Bunn, T Birks

Best: GGGM: M Carroll, B Lenon, M Braybon, C Hamblin, C McPherson, E Sullivan

Griffith: Matt Bunn, M Duncan, S Spiers, Myles Bunn, T Birks, J Ward

Ganmain-GGM: C Hamblin, L Walsh, A Symons; D Symons, C McPherson, T Lenon; Mitch Carroll, C Lenon, A Roberts; K Hamblin, S Hamblin, B Ryan; P Hamblin, A Carroll, A Johnston; M Braybon, N McPherson, E Sullivan; P Lucas, L Habel, B Sullivan

Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, T Birks; T Bradley, A Brander, J Ward*; J Hampel, M Duncan, M Kenny; M Crack, J Mickan, Craig Conlan; T Matheson, A Gardner, N Hetherington; Ryan Hill, Matt Bunn (capt), B Ford; C Lugton*, D Catanzariti, C Munro

Umpires: G Walsh, R Wilson (RUA)

Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 24.17 (161) d Griffith 13.5 (83)

Goals: G Argus 5, W Tyndall 2, A Cappello 2, J Gastin, P Thornton, D Crack, J Bennett

Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 19.12 (126) d Griffith 7.6 (48)

Goals: J Toscan 3, A Robertson 2, R Best, D Crack

Match report: It was meant to be to be a showpiece match, a reply of last year's grand final with Griffith swearing revenge for the devastating defeat. But Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong rubbed salt into the Swans' wound, poured vinegar over the gash and then really began the humiliation the heavily overmanned Griffith to win by more than 120 points, 23.18 (156) to 4.8 (32). The Lions were also without some star players, including captain-coach Shane Lenon and David Rava, but on the field they were simply too big and too strong for a Griffith team too inexperienced to escape being over run. At time times the Lions were awesome, their flow out of the middle was constant, their big men up front presented unlimited targets and almost every attacking foray into the Swans forward 50 was repelled by a towering Christen McPherson and fellow backliners. They managed to blood a pair of tiny teenagers in Luke Habel and Kirk Hamblin, both performed with distinction - the latter, at only 15, snaring two goals with his first two kicks in senior football.  It was a full four quarters of excellent football that had the injured Lenon smiling despite his stint on the sideline. "That was really good out there today, we can't get carried away because the Swans had nine or 10 guys out but the way we went about it was excellent," Lenon said. The Swans were never in the game with Lion's Brett Lenon and Mitch Carroll so dominant out of the middle that the Swans could never get a flow on. Injured Swans captain-coach Adrian Burns confirmed the miss-match. "It was disappointing, we were undermanned out there," he said. "They were just too strong out there and we had a bunch of kids playing out there on them but we cannot wait to play Ganmain at full strength." (The Area News, Monday May 9, 2005).

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Round 7 - Sunday May 15, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .................. 5.2 .. 10.4 .. 13.7 .. 18.10 (118)

Leeton-Whitton ... 5.4 .. 9.8 .. 13.9 .. 16.9 (105)

Goals: Griffith: A Gardner 6, J Bennett 3, J Mickan 2, M Crack 2, A Burns 2, T Birks 2, Craig Conlan

Leeton-Whitton: M Lang 5, B Greatz 3, D Dunscombe 3, M Sharman 3, T Irvin, D Clayton

Best; Griffith: M Duncan, Craig Conlan, Matt Bunn, T Birks, J Mickan, G Foley

Leeton-Whitton: J Davidson, B Dryburgh, D Harrison, M Lang, K Bullock, M Sharman

Griffith: D Catanzariti, S Spiers, J Ward; Myles Bunn, A Brander, Craig Conlan; J Hampel, M Duncan, B Ford; M Crack, J Mickan, J Bennett; G Foley, A Gardner, A Burns; Ryan Hill, T Birks, Matt Bunn (capt); N Hetherington, T Bradley, K Duncan

Leeton-Whitton: G Dale, J Davidson, B Gilmore; A Cameron, J Broadbent (c-c), B Dryburgh; A Howe, M Sharman, T Doyle; M Meladonis, G Looby, D Dunscombe; M Lang, R Thomason, B Greatz; Kurt Bullock, T Irvin, D Clayton; D Symes, D Harrison      Umpires: P Smith, ?

Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 15.14 (104) d Griffith 10.7 (67)

Goals: M Burke 5, M Butcher 2, W Tyndall, J Gastin, G Dreyer

Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 11.14 (80) d Griffith 10.11 (71)

Goals: D Crack 4, J Gastin 3, K Hicken, R Hannon, T Wade

Match report: The Griffith Swans produced their most telling win to date yesterday when they came from behind to beat a more fancied Leeton-Whitton side by 13 points. In front of a large home crowd at Exies Oval, full-forward Ash Gardner produced a sensational last quarter to get the injury-ravaged Swans across the line. Thanks to two quick goals from Matt Sharman early in the last quarter, Leeton got out to a 14-point lead but the Swans replied with five goals in 11 minutes to take the game in fine style. The four points to the Swans also meant the end of their troublesome run. Swans coach Adrian Burns said it was a big win for the club. "It's been a tough six weeks," Burns said. "A lot of people have bagged us and written us off. "So I'm pretty happy to get the win on the board." The game got off to an eventful start with the Crows leading by two points at quarter time. Leeton-Whitton was outscored in the second quarter with the Swans midfielders running forward and chipping in with goals while Matt Lang up forward for Leeton-Whitton, was proving hard to contain. In a seesawing encounter, consecutive goals to Drew Dunscombe had Leeton-Whitton surging away with the game. But the Swans kicked four goals straight to draw back within two points heading into the last quarter. A composed Burns then addressed his charges and asked for one last effort while Jamie Broadbent pleaded for his side to lift. Sharman kicked two goals in the first five minutes and Griffith looked gone. But showing spirit, the Swans came back and with Ash Gardner proving miraculous up forward slotting goals in from everywhere and the Swans came away with an emphatic 13-point win. Continuing his best season yet, Swans on-baller Mick Duncan had the ball on a string and single-handedly kept the Swans in the game at stages. Burns named Duncan as best on the field while commending Ryan Hill, Josh Ward, Myles Bunn and Craig Conlan on gutsy efforts. For Leeton-Whitton it was a case of running out of legs when it counted, but Lang and Sharman proved reliable.   (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday May 16, 2005).

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Inter League (Neville Nesbitt Trophy) - Saturday May 21, 2005 at Culcairn Sportsground

Riverina FL .... 3.3 .. 5.3 .. 6.4 .. 8.6 (54)

Farrer FL ....... 1.2 .. 3.5 .. 4.7 .. 6.11 (47)

Goals: Riverina: Ben Perkins 3, Stuart Hutchins 2, Drew Dunscombe 2, Ryan Chamberlain

Farrer: Doug Bruckner 2, Brad Aiken, David Clout, James Elliott, Corey Pavitt

Best: Riverina: Christen McPherson, Ashley Thomson, Craig Conlan, Ben Harper, Marc Braybon, Brett Lenon

Farrer: Travis McKee, Brad Aiken, Kane Bulllock, Doug Bruckner, Scott Blackwell, James Elliott

Coaches: Shaun Brooker (Riverina), Russell Durnan (Farrer).  Gate: $3030.

Black Diamond FL 12 .14 (86) d Hume FL 10.10 (70)

Round 8 - Sunday May 29, 2005 at Maher Oval 2.10pm

Turvey Park ... 4.1 .. 9.4 .. 11.7 .. 15.8 (98)

Griffith ............ 3.1 .. 7.2 .. 10.5 .. 13.5 (83)

Goals: Turvey Park: L Webb 5, W Sykes 4, M Sykes 2, J Daniher, T Carroll, D Brown, M Dombroski

Griffith: A Brander 4, M Duncan 3, A Gardner 2, M McDonald 2, K Duncan, N Hetherington

Best: Turvey Park: B Harper, T Carroll, G Bourne, C Barker, L Webb, C Whelan

Griffith: M Duncan, Matt Bunn, Craig Conlan, G Foley, Myles Bunn, J Ward

Turvey Park: B Cooper, D McLean, D Brown; C Barker, G Bourne, C Whelan; N Flanigan, M Dombroski, L Spokes; J Daniher, R Myers, M Sykes; W Sykes, L Webb, D Campbell; B Harper, T Carroll; A Craig, A Regan, Tolsa Harrison

Griffith: R Heenan, S Spiers, J Ward; Myles Bunn, A Brander, Matt Bunn (capt); B Ford, M Duncan, R Simpkin; M Crack, J Mickan, N Hetherington; J Hampel, A Gardner, G Foley; Ryan Hill, Craig Conlan, M McDonald; T Bradley, T Matheson, K Duncan

Umpires: --------

Reserves: Griffith 18.11 (119) d Turvey Park 5.9 (39)

Goals: G Argus 11, D Best 3, M Scott, M Kenny, D Crack, T Wilson

Under 18: Turvey Park 13.8 (86) d Griffith 7.10 (52)

Goals: K Hicken 3, C Munro 2, D Crack, J Toscan

Match report: The Griffith Swans have experienced some ups and downs so far this season, but it sunk to a new low yesterday when they were outclassed by a winless Turvey Park. Griffith may not be the team they were two years ago, but it would still count as an upset of the season when Turvey Park toppled them at Maher Oval, 15.8 (98) to 13.5 (83). The Bulldogs have been comprehensive beaten in every game this year, so it was a stirring rendition of the team song that bellowed out of the sheds afterwards. Turvey Park did not get carried away with the win, but it is no coincidence that the rise in form came from the club able to field the strongest team it has all season. Dane Campbell, Truman Carroll and Anthony Craig all played their first games of the season and their inclusion in the team seemed to generate increased confidence and self-belief.

Turvey Park led at every break, holding off a determined Swans team who continued their hugely inconsistent season that sees them look like world-beaters one week and easy-beats the next. Ben Harper was sensational for Bulldogs, leading the way in the ruck and moving around the field like a madman, popping up everywhere. It was not as though Griffith were starved of possession - their onballers saw plenty of the ball but they were repeatedly repelled by the strong half back line of Cameron Barker, Chris Whelan and Grant Bourne. And when the ball moved forward, Luke Webb and Warren Sykes were dangerous, kicking five and four goals respectively. (The Area News - Monday May 30, 2005).

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Round 9 - Sunday June 5, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ........... 5.3 .. 13.5 .. 16.8 .. 20.15 (135)

Narrandera ... 3.2 .. 6.3 .. 10.6 .. 14.10 (94)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 5, A Gardner 4, D Curran 2, M McDonald 2, A Burns 2, J Hampel, Craig Conlan, T Birks, M Crack, G Foley

Narrandera: N Reynoldson 5, L Richmond 2, D Burden 2, C Smith, H Hutchins, D Hopwood, C Walsh, K Brunt

Best: Griffith: M Duncan, S Spiers, M Kenny, Matt Bunn, R Hill, B Ford

Narrandera: B Cios, S Hutchins, N Reynoldson, J Sullivan, C Smith, J Vearing

Griffith: T Bradley, S Spiers, J Ward; Myles Bunn, R Simpkin, J Hampel; B Ford, M Duncan, G Foley; M McDonald, J Mickan, T Birks; D Curran, A Gardner, A Burns (c-c); Ryan Hill, Craig Conlan, Matt Bunn; M Kenny, M Crack, N Hetherington

Narrandera: A Thomson, Brett Powell, S Hutchins; P Bloomfield, S Brooker (coach), J Sullivan; A Black, D Hopwood, C Smith; L Richmond, J McMartin, J Coleman; K Blunt, H Hutchins, C Walsh; B Cios, D Burden, N Reynoldson; Vearing, T Durnan, S Irons

Umpires: S Crowley, G Walsh (RUA)  Gate: $2050

Reserves: Narrandera 20.17 (137) d Griffith 8.10 (58)

Goals: G Argus 4, W Tyndall, B Alban, G Collins, G Dreyer

Under 18: Narrandera 17.13 (115) d Griffith 3.3 (21)

Goals: A Delves, P Dickens, D McGreal

Match report: Griffith Swans hit back in style yesterday with a resounding 41-point win over third placed Narrandera Eagles at Exies Oval. The pressure was on the Swans after a humiliating loss to Turvey Park last Sunday, but they responded in style and at the same time kept their unbeaten record at home intact. A seven goal second-quarter broke the back of the Narrandera team as the Swans raced to a 44-point half-time lead. Swans onballer Mick Duncan continued his impressive start to the year booting five goals and gathering numerous possessions through the midfield in a best-on-ground performance. The Eagles were hurt by the loss of key defender Ashley Thomson, who left the field concussed late in the first quarter and never returned, Swans captain-coach Adrian Burns was happy with the Swans turnaround. "We played much better," Burns said. "The commitment to each other was good. "We played as a team, made sacrifices for each other, we did it." The Swans potentially only needed to lose this round to fall from the top five and Burns was relieved after the win. "It was on the back of my mind," Burns said. "It was a must win, but now we don't need to worry. "We had a lot of people play today with injuries - it was gutsy." Both teams entered the round nine clash undermanned with Narrandera full-forward Mark English missing and Swans centre half-forward Adam Brander also a late withdrawal. But Griffith was boosted by the return of ruckman Dave Curran for his first game this season and Curran made an immediate impact kicking two goals from a forward pocket. Burns was delighted to have Curran back on the field. "To have Dave back in the team gave us a lift,' Burns said. "When he's out there he seems to be inspirational to the other blokes." (By Matt Malone - The Area News Monday June 6, 2005).

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Rep. Match - Saturday June 11, 2005 at Henson Park

AFL Sydney ......... 5.4 .. 8.6 .. 14 .11 .. 21.16 (142)

Southern NSW ..... 0.1 .. 2.4 .. 6.5 .. 8.5 (53)

Goals: Sydney: J Bradfield 5, Troy Luff 3, Jason McPherson 3, M Parker, M Lord, J Vlatko, M Brewster, A Richardson, Barnaby Howarth

Southern NSW: Hayden Gleeson, Matthew Currie, Nathan Reynoldson, Nathan Scott, Brad Aiken, Jamie Grintell, D Byrnes

Best: Sydney: J Bradfield, M Parker, Barnaby Howarth, Jason McPherson, Troy Luff, B McNamara

Southern NSW: Ash Dikkenberg, Phil Evans, Brandon Ryan, Dan Edwards, Brad Aiken, Hayden Gleeson

Umpires: Brett Webb (RUA), -----

Southern NSW: Brad Aiken, capt., Brent Byrnes (CAK), Nigel Scott (Coolamon), Brent Barber (Culcairn), Phil Evans, Ben Perkins (Eastern Hawks), Marc Braybon, Christen McPherson, Brandon Ryan, Eddie Sullivan (GGGM), Craig Conlan (Griffith), Hamish Townsend (Lake Cargellico), Dan Edwards, James Elliott (Marrar), Nathan Reynoldson (Narrandera), Travis McKee (Nth Wagga), Matthew Currie, Damien Papworth (Nth Jets), Hayden Gleeson (Osborne), Damien Byrnes (Parkes), Ash Dikkenberg (TRYC), Jamie Grintell (West Wyalong). Coach: Russell Durnan.

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Round 10 - Sunday June 19, 2005 at Kindra Park 2.10pm

Coolamon ...... 4.1 .. 7.5 .. 14.8 .. 18.9 (117)

Griffith .......... 2.0 .. 6.1 .. 7.2 .. 12.3 (75)

Goals: Coolamon: G Rudd 3, B Cooke 3, L Maloney 2, P Edmunds 2, J Maddox 2, B Edyvean 2, E Edis, B Munro, R Chamberlain, S Roberts

Griffith: T Birks 5, D Curran 3, A Burns, J Mickan, A Brander, Craig Conlan

Best: Coolamon: B Edyvean, J Parr, R Chamberlain, N Scott, L Maloney, L Drum

Griffith: S Spiers, T Birks, J Mickan, D Curran, A Burns, M McDonald

Coolamon: M Cameron, B McPherson, B Munro; S Roberts, L Drum, B Garrett; J Parr, N Scott, R Bartholomew; L Maloney, N Edyvean, E Edis; P Edmunds, G Rudd, R Mortimer; B Edyvean, R Chamberlain, J Maddox; B Cooke, M Chamberlain, S McGowan

Griffith: G Foley, M Kenny, S Spiers; R Simpkin, A Brander, J Hampel; J Ward, M McDonald, B Ford; N Hetherington, J Mickan, A Burns (c-c); D Curran, A Gardner, Craig Conlan; Ryan Hill, T Birks, M Duncan; M Crack, T Matheson, C Munro

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, T McDonald, S Roberts (RUA)

Reserves: Coolamon 12.16 (88) d Griffith 2.0 (12)

Goals: J Gastin, G Argus

Under 18: Coolamon 10.17 (77) d Griffith 2.3 (15)

Goals: C Goff, D McGreal

Match report: Griffith Swans remains winless away from home after falling to the Coolamon Grasshoppers by 42 points at Kindra Park yesterday. Despite bog-like conditions at Coolamon, the Grasshoppers moved into second place on the RFL ladder with a highly skilled, hard-hitting displayed of wet weather football. The Swans did well to stay close to Coolamon throughout the game, especially as they lacked the all-important Bunn brothers in their backline, but the Hoppers simply outplayed them. controlling possession for too much of the game to win 18.9 (117) to 13.3 (75). And apart from some small lapses in play towards the end of quarters, Coolamon looked resurgent even without the guidance and surging play of injured captain-coach Matt Hard. From the opening bounce it looked as though the Swans would not cope with the running game of Coolamon, as the Hoppers shot out to a four goal lead before Griffith clawed back two just before quarter time. The second quarter was tight, with teams trading goals, but the Swans finished better, kicking the last three, including one from Dave Curran on the buzzer. In the third quarter Hoppers' Ben Edyvean put on an exceptional display of rucking and the team lifted and tore the game away from Griffith with five unanswered goals leading into the break, including two strong kicks from Brenton Cooke. Griffith never laid down - they worked hard all day, coach Adrian Burns throwing his frame around the park all day with power. One solid contest involving Burns saw Coolamon's Luke Maloney leave the field with a suspected broken rib, but this only managed to spur the Hoppers on and they lifted their work rate again. Griffith's Tim Birks played hard all day and deserved five goals, while the defensive work of Simon Spiers and Matt Kenny spoiled several more of Coolamon's scoring opportunities. But in the end they did not have the game to match Coolamon, who were just that little bit harder at the ball. (The Area News - Monday June 20, 2005).

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 SWANS CAUTIOUS AS DANGER GAME LOOMS - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans will be taking a cautious approach against a booming Eastern Hawks' team at Exies Oval on Saturday. Swans' captain-coach Adrian Burns said his team cannot afford to go into the game "cocky" after the Hawks took another unsuspecting victim last week. The Swans are looking to improve on their last effort against the Hawks earlier this year when they escaped with a draw that provided the Hawks with their first points for the year. "We can't afford to be too cocky, look what happened last time," Burns said. "They're a good team, there no doubt about that. This is one of the danger games and we have to bounce back." The Swans will be bolstered by the return of the Bunn brothers, while assistant coach Rod Duncan is also expected to return and should lift the team. "We get the Bunn brothers back, which will be handy, " Burns said. "And Rod Duncan is ready he will be a huge boost to the side. "He's (Duncan) been injured most of the time I've been here, but the games I've seen him play he has shown he is a good player." The Swans will be looking for some much-needed hunger something Burns said the side lacked last week against Coolamon. "The better team won on the day," Burns said. "They wanted the ball more than we did. "They prepared for the conditions better, we don't play in those conditions often." The Swans sit in fourth position on the ladder and, according to Burns, a top-four spot will be enough for their final campaign. "Top four we'll need. There isn't much between the teams, the competition has improved a lot since last year," Burns said. Burns encouraged Swans supporters to head to the Exies Club for the Swans Masquerade Ball on Saturday night. (The Area News - Friday June 24, 2005).

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Round 11 - Saturday June 25, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ................. 9.8 .. 13.14 .. 18.20 .. 26.23 (179)

Eastern Hawks ... 3.1 .. 3.3 .. 4.6 .. 9.7 (61)

Goals: Griffith: T Birks 5, A Burns 4, M Crack 4, Craig Conlan 4, R Simpkin 3, M Duncan 2, J Ward 2, B Ford, T Bradley

Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 3, M McPherson 2, D Vanderfeen 2, C Campbell, D Bromham

Best: Griffith: R Duncan, M Duncan, S Spiers, Matt Bunn, M McDonald, Craig Conlan

Eastern Hawks: P Evans, D Purtill, K Malone, D Cuthbert, K Vanderfeen, J Grieve

Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, M Kenny; J Ward, A Brander, R Duncan; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; M Crack, J Mickan, R Simpkin; A Burns (c-c), T Birks, Craig Conlan; Ryan Hill, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; J Hampel, T Bradley, B Alban*

Eastern Hawks: J Peace, L Adams, D Cheney; K Malone, J Keenan, M Adams; R Campbell, J Grieve, C Campbell; D Purtill, P Evans, B Roberts; D Vanderfeen, B Perkins, M McPherson (c-c); K Vanderfeen, D Cuthbert, D Bromham; J Richards, L Pollett, N Scott

Umpires: -------

Reserves: Griffith 27.20 (182) d Eastern Hawks 6.7 (43)

Goals: G Argus 9, J Bennett 9, Chris Conlan 3, M Butcher 2, W Tyndall, D Graham, J Moat, N Campbell

Under 18: Eastern Hawks 11.3 (69) d Griffith 8.8 (56)

Goals: R Newman 3, T Matheson 2, D Crack, R Best, W Jaffrey

Match report: A slick Griffith Swans demolished bottom-of-the-table Eastern Hawks on Saturday by 118 points. The Swans were up and running from the first bounce, piling on nine goals to three in the first quarter to set up a 43-point advantage at the first break. On-ballers Mick Duncan, Craig Conlan and Matt McDonald were dominate feeding the ball and setting up opportunities for their forwards. The use of the ball by the Swans was excellent despite th amount of rain that fell on the Exies Oval ground during the week, with Tim Birks, coach Adrian Burns and Matt Crack capitalising on the chances. The Swans had 17 scoring shots to four in the first quarter and put the game out of the reach of the visitors. In the second quarter, the Swans continued their ascendancy but were unable to convert with the same consistency they did in the first term. The Swans booted fou goals six behinds to the Eastern Hawks' two behinds. The Duncan brothers, Matt Bunn, Simon Spiers and Conlan all had dominant quarters. The Swans were using the wide open spaces of Exies well coming out of defence and also owned the corridor as they spotted targets up forward with consummate ease. Burns was too much of a handful for the Hawks' defence and even without full forward Ash Gardner, the Swans had plenty of options. In the third term, the Swans again kicked more behinds than goals, kicking five goals, six behinds while, the Hawks could only add one goal three. Rod Simpkin, Josh Ward, the Duncan brothers, Crack and Birks came into their own for the Swans, but generally the home side had winners on every line. The Swans held a 98-point lead by the last break and despite their dominance Burns asked the Bloods to keep running out the game with percentage crucial at the business end of the season. In the final quarter the visitors rallied. They kicked some nice goals, but were still outscored eight goals to five, allowing the Swans to run out victors, 179 to 61. (The Area News - Monday June 27, 2005). 

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Round 12 - Saturday July 2, 2005 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm

Mangoplah-CUE ... 5.2 .. 7.5 .. 8.5 .. 9.6 (60)

Griffith ................... 0.4 .. 5.6 .. 10.8 .. 14.11 (95)

Goals: MCUE: R Simms 4, D Howard, C Higgins, J Warden, 2 short

Griffith: A Gardner 3, M Crack 3, M McDonald 2, R Duncan, B Ford, A Burns, J Mickan, Craig Conlan, D Curran

Best: MCUE: S Balding, R Simms, C Higgins, R Walsh, S Creasy, M Reberger

Griffith: Matt Bunn, M Duncan, M McDonald, J Mickan, A Brander, D Curran

Mangoplah-CUE: C Higgins, D Cameron, X Higgins; M Balding, J Warden, L Kendall; B Howard, N Lawson, T Air; W Smith, R Simms (c-c), R Walsh; P Treloar, D Howard, C Websdale; S Balding, G Bruce, M Reberger; S Creasy, Trent Cohalan, M Warden

Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, M Kenny; J Ward, A Brander, R Duncan; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; Craig Conlan, J Mickan, R Simpkin; A Burns (c-c), T Birks, D Curran; B Alban, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; A Gardner, M Crack, T Matheson

Umpires: S Crowley, D Waterson (RUA)

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 8.9 (57) d Griffith 5.13 (43)

Goals: G Argus 2, N Hetherington, M Burke, G Dreyer

Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 8.3 (51) d Griffith 7.6 (48)

Goals: R Newman 2, K Hicken 2, C Munro, D McGreal, T Matheson

Match report: The Griffith Swans broke their travelling hoodoo on Saturday with a morale-boosting 35-point win over MCUE at Mangoplah Sportsground. Aiming for their first away win of the season the Swans, despite a slow start, proved too classy for the struggling Goannas to come away with the four points. Swans on-baller Mick Duncan continued his stellar season for the Swans while the return of Dave Curran to the ruck was the turning point for the Swans reversal. The Swans found themselves at quarter-time 28-points down and it looked like it would be a similar away story for them but the Swans' midfield of Curran, Duncan and Matt McDonald again did the job for the Swans. Swans captain-coach Adrian Burns said he was pleased with the Swans performance post quarter-time. "It wasn't too bad, it's been a while since we've had an away win," Burns said. "We started terrible but I think that was due to our preparation which wasn't too good. "But it was a good effort to come back and win." The Swans second and third quarters were the difference running in 10 goals to three in the two particular quarters. Quick goals by the Swans in the last squandered any chance the Goannas had as Griffith ran home with a five-goal win. "Just after three-quarter-time we pretty much had their measure," Burns said. "Dave Curran going into the ruck for the first time since he's been back was the difference. "He (Curran) and Mick Duncan, who was easily best on ground, were very good." While the Swans midfield took the points, MCUE were led by their youth brigade with Sam Balding, Stace Creasy, Ryan Walsh and Mitch Reberger all having god games. Best for the Swans were Duncan, McDonald and Adam Brander who held the ever-dangerous MCUE coach Rodney Simms  to four goals. With the all-important clash against Ganmain-GGM awaiting the Swans this week, Burns says they will put up a better effort than their humiliating loss last round. "A few of the players were down on form on Saturday," Burns said. "We'll be a lot more competitive than last time. It should be a good close game." (By Matt Malone - The Area News Monday July 4, 2005).

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ON THE BALL - Matt Malone

WHAT a massive weekend of sport in Griffith! Three blockbusters will take place this weekend in Griffith at three different times, providing a big weekend full of festivities for Griffith sports fans. For mine it sounds like the prime opportunity to get a few mates together for a "sport crawl'. Starting at 3pm at the Coro, we have the Blacks' season on the line when they face the Wagga Waratahs. To make the top five the Blacks must win and a bonus point would help. The bottom line sees them having to beat Waratahs more than Grenfell beat Temora. With Waratahs a much tougher task than Temora, the Blacks will have to on their game.
The next port of call sees us at the Exies Oval at 6pm for the Group 20 local derby with the Waratah Tigers hosting the Back and Whites. For those who don't follow Group 20, it looks as if the two Griffith teams will be competing against one another for the fifth and final spot in the top five. Therefore, with this being the last local derby of the home and away season, they don't come much bigger. A loss for Black and Whites would make it very difficult to make the finals. A loss for Waratahs would see them drop to 5th spot and make it a lot easier for the Black and Whites to steal their spot.
After the rugby league, enjoy your night but be prepared to back it up with the Swans taking on Ganmain-GGM in a grand final rematch of 2004 at Exies on Sunday at 2pm. Not only should the footy be a cracker but it is looming as an important game for the netballers. Griffith need to prove a point to the Lions that they will not be bullied by Ganmain and no better occasion than on the Swans' home turf the last time before they meet in the finals. Come Sunday night you should be more than satisfied from Griffith sports weekend of weekends. The come Monday morning you may also be sporting a nasty little headache.  (The Area News - Friday July 8, 2005). 

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Round 13 - Sunday July 10, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ................. 2.3 .. 3.5 .. 4.9 .. 5.10 (40)

Ganmain-GGM ... 2.4 .. 4.6 .. 8.7 .. 12.13 (85)

Goals: Griffith: Craig Conlan 2, D Curran, A Gardner, Matt Bunn

GGGM: A Carroll 4, M Geppert 3, S Hamblin, A Johnston, D Rava, D Underwood, B Ryan

Best: Griffith: Matt Bunn, B Ford, T Birks, M McDonald, M Duncan, J Ward

GGGM: T Lenon, S Lenon, B Ryan, D Symons, D Rava, C McPherson

Griffith: Myles Bunn, A Brander, M Kenny; T Bradley, J Ward, R Duncan; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; T Birks, J Mickan, R Simpkin; A Burns (c-c), T Birks, Craig Conlan; Ryan Hill, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; A Gardner, M Crack, D Best

Ganmain-GGM: T Lenon, A Symons, D Symons; C Hamblin, C McPherson, L Walsh; M Steele, S Lenon (c-c), Mitch Carroll; N McPherson, D Underwood, A Carroll; B Ryan, M Geppert, S Hamblin; M Braybon, D Johnston, D Rava; P Hamblin, B Sullivan, A Roberts

Umpires: S Harrison, D Potts, P Smith (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 16.9 (105) d Ganmain-GGM 12.5 (77)

Goals: M Burke 6, G Argus 5, J Hampel 2, G Dreyer 2, N Hetherington

Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 11.13 (79) d Griffith 4.7 (31)

Goals: K Hicken 2, A Delves, R Newman

Match report: The Griffith Swans' unbeaten run at Exies Oval came to an abrupt end yesterday after ladder leaders' Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong ran away with a comfortable 45-point win. With only a goal separating the two sides at half-time, the Lions proved why they sit on top of the ladder with a dominating eight goals to two in the second half. The Swans held their own through the midfield, but paid the ultimate price for lacking tall targets around the ground and could not convert their chances up forward. Griffith was dealt a blow early in the second quarter when big man Dave Curran left the field with a hamstring injury. In contrast, it was the Lions' tall forward line that done the damage in the second half with Anthony Carroll, Marc Geppert and Scott Hamblin all proving too big and strong. Swans' captain-coach Adrian Burns remained upbeat despite the defeat. "We just couldn't convert all our hard work," Burns said. "We fell down across centre half-forward. I don't want to sound cocky, but with a full team we'd give them a run for their money. "But today they (Ganmain-GGM) were too good." Lions' captain-coach Shane Lenon was very pleased with knocking over the Swans on their home soil. "It was a really all-round team performance," Lenon said. "To come over here and be the first team to beat them at home when their top three hopes were on the line was a good effort." 
The Lions raced out of the gate with the first two goals, but the Swans replied in red time with goals to Curran and Craig Conlan. The second quarter was a scrappy affair, but the Lions with the wind outscored the Swans two goals to one. The Swans had all the ball at the start of the third term, but couldn't put the score on the board, with the Lions replying with two quick goals through Anthony Carroll and David Rava. The Swans posted the first goal of the last quarter to draw within thre goals, but the Lions ran away with the game to post a 45-point win. Mick Duncan was again serviceable, along with Tim Birks who found plenty of ball. For the Lions it was Brandon Ryan, Shane Lenon and Brett Lenon who led the way. (By Matt Malone - The Area News Monday July 11, 2005).

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 SWANS OFFER EXIES OVAL FOR RFL FINAL - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans have put their hand up for an RFL final after doubts were raised over the condition of Coolamon's Kindra Park this week. With the Coolamon ground struggling to handle the recent rain, Griffith Swans' president George Duncan said the club would be happy for a final to be held at Exies Oval depending on its availability. With the grand final, preliminary finals and first semi-final being held at Narrandera Sportsground, the second semi-final going to the minor premiers, Kindra Park is usually the venue for either the qualifying or elimination final. RFL vice-president this week told The Daily Advertiser the league may look towards giving Narrandera another final as it looks like as if Kindra Park won't hold up. But after noticing the state of the ground when the Swans played at Kindra Park less than a month ago, Duncan said Exies Oval was more than capable of holding the final. "We'd put our hands up for it," he said. "I don't think if we keep getting rain, it (Kindra Park) would be able to handle it. But whether they want to travel over here or not is another thing." Duncan believes the Swans' home ground itself is every bit as good as Narrandera', with Narrandera gaining the edge because of seating. "Exies Oval is one of the best grounds in the league," Duncan said. "It is equal to Narrandera, it is only the seating at Narrandera that puts it ahead. "'And if they go to Maher Oval it's going to be dug up enough with the Farrer League finals." RFL vice-president Don Buchanan did not wish to weigh into the debate, but said it all depends on what teams are playing in the allocated games. Buchanan said his recollection of Exies Oval is that it is definitely up to standard needed to host finals and the RFL would consider any grounds available. RFL president Graham Buchanan could not be contacted by The Area News for comment this week. (The Area News - Friday July 15, 2005).

 MICK DUNCAN TO HELP SWANS FLY HIGH - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans will be playing to keep their top three chances alive this Sunday when they clash with the struggling Leeton-Whitton team in the local derby at Leeton. The Crows have been decimated with injuries over the last month, but it looks to be an even playing field with the Swans fielding a team nowhere near their strongest. Captain-coach Adrian Burns is out with a recurring knee problem, key tall Dave Curran is out for three weeks with a hamstring injury and in-form Tim Birks is unavailable. The Swans will look to star on-baller Mick Duncan again for drive out of the midfield, and according to Duncan it is a crucial game for the Swans. "It's a very important game due to the fact we're still contenders for the top three," Duncan said. "If we lose, we could blow it all. "We blew our chances of finishing on top last week, but we're still a big chance for the top three. "If we can finish top three, we get a second chance." Despite the Crows poor form of late, Duncan believes Leeton-Whitton are always a danger team for the Swans. "We are confident," Duncan said. "But Leeton are always good at home. It was a struggle against them last time, so we're expecting it to be tough." The Swans fell away across the centre half-forward last week, but they have all looked to address the problem during the week. "We're going to have two talls there this week," Duncan said. "We'll have Jeff Mickan and Rod (Duncan) up there. "But Leeton aren't a tall team so we'll be looking to make them stretch." Duncan was under a heavy tag against Ganmain-GGM last week, which was a good reflection on the season he's having. With 13 rounds gone and at least four best on grounds so far, Duncan would be one of the favourites to take out the RFL's Jim Quinn Medal come the end of the season. But according to Duncan, he is just taking it as it comes. "It's been good, the ball just keeps popping in my hands," he said. And despite being a permanent fixture in the Swans' impressive midfield, Duncan still sits in fifth spot in the RFL's leading goalkicker quest. (The Area News - Friday July 15, 2005).

Round 14 - Sunday July 17, 2005 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm

Leeton-Whitton .... 1.1 .. 6.7 .. 6.8 .. 9.12 (66)

Griffith ................... 7.1 .. 11.9 .. 13.14 .. 19.9 (123)

Goals: Leeton-Whitton: T Doyle 4, R Thomason 2, M Lang 2, J Broadbent

Griffith: A Gardner 4, Craig Conlan 3, N Hetherington 3, Myles Bunn 2, M McDonald 2, J Mickan, B Ford, R Simpkin, Matt Bunn, M Kenny

Best: Leeton-Whitton: J Broadbent, M Lashbrook, T Doyle, D Sullivan, B Greatz

Griffith: S Spiers, Matt Bunn, M McDonald, M Duncan, J Mickan, J Hampel

Leeton-Whitton: M Lashbrook, G Looby, D Sullivan; B Dryburgh, A Cameron, D Harrison; B Boots, T Doyle, A Howe; M Lang, B Greatz, M Sharman; D Clayton, R Thomason, S Iannelli; Kurt Bullock, J Broadbent (c-c), B Guest; M Meladonis, B Gilmour, G Lee

Griffith: Matt Bunn (capt.), S Spiers, J Hampel; J Ward, A Brander, T Bradley; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; M Crack, R Duncan, J Mickan; R Simpkin, A Gardner, Craig Conlan; Ryan Hill, Myles Bunn, M Duncan; M Kenny, N Hetherington, D Best

Umpires: T McDonald, G Walsh, R Wilson (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 17.19 (121) d Leeton-Whitton 8.10 (58)

Goals: M Burke 5, D Graham 3, J Bennett 3, J Moat 2, R Frkovic 2, W Tyndall, T Wilson

Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 19.14 (128) d Griffith 4.2 (26)

Goals: R Newman 2, J Toscan, A Delves

Match report: Griffith made it three wins on the trot with a comfortable 57-point win over fierce rivals' Leeton-Whitton at Leeton Showground on Sunday. The Swans are now two points behind Narrandera on the ladder and pushing for a top-three spot with a crunch game against the Eagles looming in three week's time. The Swans played clever football using a stiff breeze and an all-in team performance to come away with a very easy 19.9 (123) to 9.12 (66) victory. The game was broken right up in the first term after the Swans won the toss and had no hesitation in putting the wind at their backs in the first term. It worked a charm as they marched out to a six-goal lead by the first break, a gap the Crows were never able to bridge. "We really took advantage of the wind for a change, which is something we have not been able to do this year," Swans' captain-coach Adrian Burns said. "Whenever there is a strong breeze, we stuff it up but our preparation for this game was really good, we talked about starting well and using the wind if we won the toss and that's exactly what we did." The Crows did make a slight resurgence in the second quarter when they had the breeze pushing them up the field, but the Swans managed to charge into the wind with much more force and effectiveness than Leeton had and kicked three goals. The third term was similar to the first for the Swans with another seven goals unleashed on the injured and quickly fading Leeton team that must be getting low on confidence after a horror month on the field. Griffith's defence was just as potent as its attack with the Crows managing to sneak just one point in behind the Swans' backline with the return of Simon Spiers this week down back a real bonus for last years finalists. "(Spiers) was our best player out there today, we really missed him down back last week, so to have him back was a real boost for the team and the backline gelled with him in it out there today," Burns said. "But everyone stood up today and the whole team can go home with their heads up high after the performance. "We really needed to win and now we are only two points behind Narrandera." For the Swans, Ashley Gardner kicked four goals and Craig Conlan three, while for the Crows captain-coach Jamie Broadbent was again a standout. (The Area News - Monday July 18, 2005).

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YOUNG SWANS TAKE ON THEIR FATHERS

ON a great day of football, the Griffith Junior Swans played a game between father of the under 12's, under 14's and under 16's and their sons. Organiser Danny Hardie was impressed with the turnout of fathers, 24 turned out in the Swans strip and anywhere from 30-35 sons were on the field, all at the same time. It was decided that although the ground was crowded it gave all the participants a chance to touch the football and, more importantly the dads, to get a breather. The young guns were determined to show what they could do and the oldies relived past glories. The game was played but "fair", ably assisted by the umpiring of Steve Best and Dave Gastin. The dads' superior size, experience and adrenalin had them in the lead until just before three quarter time when the juniors hit the front. The coaches' appeal to their pride? sparked the dads to dig deep and overrun their sons in the last quarter. The huge crowd of 400, (gate takings, $1430) was greatly entertained by the sheer spectacle, skill and determination of the participants. There were many photos and videos to record the day's events. All agreed it was great fun and talk is that it will be an annual event. As they say, the winner was the game. Final scores were Swans Dads 8.7 (61) d Swans Sons 5.1 (31). Goals-Dads: Mal Brown 2, Paul Rogerson 2, Phil Griffin, Robbie Kelly, Ross Weeding, Mark Tyndall. Sons: Justin Wade, Matthew Patterson, Glen Snaidero, Ben Jaffrey, Jason Corbett. Best Dads: Mark Tyndall and Neil Bruce. Best Sons: Glen Snaidero and Oliver Delves. Reports: None, except for sore bodies and bruises on the dads.  (The Area News - Wednesday July 27, 2005). 

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 HUNGRY SWANS LOOK TO MILESTONES FOR LIFT - By Matt Malone 

THE Griffith Swans will be heading into this week's game against Turvey Park full of confidence and ready for a big win to prepare themselves for important coming weeks. The game will carry extra importance for the Swans with loyal clubman Mick Duncan playing his 100th game for the club, whilst Craig Conlan and Jason Hampel will play their 50th. Returning for the run home to the finals is Roger Heenan after a hamstring injury and ex-Turvey Park ruckman Michael Wilson after not playing since round two. Swans' assistant-coach Rod Duncan said the team is after a big morale-boosting win. "We're looking for a big win with Turvey Park being out of the finals," Duncan said. "We don't want to slack off. "With milestones for Mick, Craig and Jason that will be extra incentive to win. "With clashes waiting against Narrandera and Coolamon in coming weeks, Duncan said the Swans are looking to fine-tune their game for coming weeks. "We've got to build up for games against Narrandera and Coolamon because they're sitting in the two positions above us," Duncan said. Despite wanting a big win, Duncan said they will be wary of the at-times Turvey Park team. "They will be tough, but I think they've got a few injuries, so we're pretty confident of another good win." With the game against Turvey Park signalling the Swans second last home game for the year, Duncan said they want to keep their solid record at home intact. (The Area News - Friday July 29, 2005).

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Round 15 - Sunday July 31, 2005 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ......... ... 5.9 .. 16.11 .. 25.15 .. 31.20 (206)

Turvey Park ... 3.2 .. 8.2 .. 11.2 .. 18.7 (115)

Goals: Griffith: Craig Conlan 10, T Birks 4, A Burns 4, N Hetherington 4, M Duncan 3, M McDonald 2, Matt Bunn, R Duncan, A Gardner, R Hill

Turvey Park: M Ness 3, T Richards 2, L Webb 2, W Sykes 2, C Cerato 2, L Spokes 2, D Campbell, D Brown, M Sykes, R Meyers, M Dombroski

Best: Griffith: Craig Conlan, M Duncan, Matt Bunn, M McDonald, T Birks, R Simpkin, N Hetherington

Turvey Park: D Campbell, C Barker, D McLean, M Sykes, J Fletcher, M Dombroski

Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, J Ward; T Bradley, R Duncan, J Hampel; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; A Burns (c-c), J Mickan, A Birks; R Simpkin, A Gardner, Craig Conlan; Ryan Hill, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; M Kenny, N Hetherington, D Best

Turvey Park: W Sykes, J Fletcher, C Barker; B Cooper, G Bourne, C Whelan; B Regan, D Campbell, L Spokes; Michael Ness, M Sykes, L Webb; T Richards, D Brown, R Meyers; D McLean, C Cerato, M Dombroski; Tulsa Harrison, C Reechman, A Regan

Umpires: R Wilson, P Smith, S Harrison (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 34.13 (217) d Turvey Park 3.2 (20)

Goals: G Argus 16, K Duncan 7, J Bennett 5, B Alban 2, A Brander 2, M Crack, M Burke

Under 18: Turvey Park 16.11 (107) d Griffith 8.5 (53)

Goals: R Newman 4, K Hicken, T Matheson, R Best, C Munro

Match report: The Griffith Swans celebrated the milestones of Mick Duncan, Craig Conlan and Jason Hampel in the best possible fashion steamrolling an undermanned Turvey Park side at home by 101 points. The win was particularly satisfying for on-baller Duncan who vied for best-on-ground honours with fellow on-baller Matt McDonald, damaging forward Tim Birks and Craig Conlan who also kicked 10 goals. Swans' coach Adrian Burns said both Duncan and McDonald threatened to get "leather poisoning" as they wracked up getting possessions, while Birks and Conlan enjoyed the spoils in front of goal. In the first quarter, the Swans struggled to gain ascendancy with the visitors winning the ball out of the centre and the Swans failing to make the most of their opportunities. But the class of Birks shone through booting two goals, while Burns, Matt Bunn and Duncan were dangerous in front of goal. Burns was less than happy at quarter time, saying the Swans should have been six goals up, accusing his players of not running, chasing and tackling to their usual standard. In the second quarter, the Bulldogs flew out of the blocks kicking the first three goals of the quarter. Poor defence allowed two marks to be converted from the square, bridging the gap between the teams to only one point. But the three unanswered goals were the spur the Swans needed, with Burns, Conlan and Duncan all kicking majors. Horrible defence led Turvey Park's Warren Sykes to run into an open goal, but the Swans continued their assault with a major to Burns after a terrific bit of play that brought the ball from the last line of defence to goal. Further goals to Birks and Burns saw the margin out to 33 points. As Turvey Park started to tire, goals to Conlan (3) and Nick Hetherington saw the Swans take an almost unassailable 57-point lead at half-time. In the third quarter, the Swans came out running with Birks, Hetherington and McDonald capitalising on opportunities. The star of the quarter was Conlan, who became the main spearhead with Burns resting kicking the next three goals, helping the Swans to a nine-goal quarter. In the final term, Burns pleaded with his players to make it a special day for the three players enjoying milestones. They responded by kicking six goals and bringing up 200 points, but allowed the plucky Bulldogs to add seven goals and score over 100 points of their own. Burns said he was particularly pleased for Duncan who played an "incredible game" and Nick Hetherington who gets better each week. (Stuart Chisholm - The Area News, Monday August 1, 2005).

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Round 16 - Sunday August 7, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm

Narrandera ... 1.2 .. 2.5 .. 6.9 .. 8.13 (61)

Griffith .......... 3.3 .. 9.8 .. 13.9 .. 19.14 (128)

Goals: Narrandera: J McMartin 4, D Hopwod 2, C Smith, S Irons

Griffith: A Burns 8, M Crack 7, T Birks 2, M Duncan, M McDonald

Best: Narrandera: A Thomson, M Ivanoff, S Irons, D Burden, P Bloomfield, D Hopwood

Griffith: T Birks, Matt Bunn, M McDonald, S Spiers, J Ward, Craig Conlan, A Burns

Narrandera: S Irons, S Hutchins, J Vearing; D Hopwood, A Thomson, P Bloomfield; T Mathieson, C Smith, Ben Powell; J McMartin, T Durnan, K Blunt; L Richmond, B Cios, J Orme; S Brooker (coach), D Burden, M Ivanoff; B Kiley, C Walsh, M English

Griffith: J Hampel, S Spiers, R Simpkin; J Ward, A Brander, R Duncan; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; N Hetherington, J Mickan, A Birks; A Burns (c-c), A Gardner, Craig Conlan; M Wilson, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; T Bradley, M Crack, M Kenny

Umpires: P O'Donoghue, S Graham, S Harrison (RUA)

Reserves: Narrandera 17.11 (113) d Griffith 7.10 (52)

Goals: M Burke 2, H Robertson , C Lugton, K Duncan, W Tyndall, R Heenan

Under 18: Narrandera 14.13 (97) d Griffith 7.5 (47)

Goals: R Newman 2, J Geddes, J Beckton, C Munro, Josh Little, J Poscoliero

Match report: The Griffith Swans slammed any doubt that they couldn't perform on Narrandera's oversized oval, defeating the home side by 67 points. The Swans knew they would have a lot of ground to cover in yesterday's Riverina Football League clash if they were to climb into third spot on the ladder. Swans coach Adrian Burns said that goal spurred his side on to have one of their best opening performances for the season, and held on to their strength for the length of the game. "We ran the game right out, everyone played well, and we put the rest to the doubts that we can't perform," Burns said. "The first twenty minutes was great, we haven't been playing well in the opening stages and we really addressed that. "We turned around and we kept it going for the entire game, we really played for the full 80 minutes." Burns said yesterday's win along with a string of victories the Swans have had recently, has bolstered confidence within the side. "We have been playing well and have been working hard. We are confident, the players are confident in their own abilities and that of their team-mate, " he said. "If we can keep playing like this we shouldn't have a problem continuing our good form." Burns was strong for the Swans getting eight goals, while Matt Crack collected seven. (By Amelia Elliston - The Area News, Monday August 8, 2005).

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 BURNS DECIDES TO COP IT SWEET - By Cameron Storey 

GRIFFITH captain-coach Adrian Burns made sure he would be available for the RFL finals by taking the prescribed two-week penalty for "an act of misconduct" yesterday. Burns was reported for an incident during the Swans emphatic victory over Narrandera on Sunday and took the two weeks instead of fighting the charge at the judiciary. If Burns had been found guilty he faced the prospect of missing a portion of the finals. This proved too much of a risk despite the Swans facing a tough battle to retain a top three spot over the next fortnight. Burns will miss the team's last two home and away games against Coolamon and Eastern Hawks but will be available for a return during the first week of finals on August 27 and 28. It is a blow for the Swans as Burns had at last recovered from injury and kicked eight goals last week against an Narrandera backline that has rarely been dominated this season. "It is pretty disappointing for us he was providing a very good target up front in the last couple of weeks," Swans assistant-coach Rod Duncan said.  "It is two weeks leading into the finals so it is a bit of a blow. I haven't spoken to (Burns) about it but I think he took the early plea to make sure be was not going to miss any finals."

The Swans early season inconsistency seems to have been replaced by confidence and urgency and Duncan is certain they will not fall in a heap around the captain's suspension. Burns has missed several games this year through injury and with the possible return of key tall Dave Curran looming, the Swans have the manpower to plug the gap until he returns. "I know he is the captain and he is out but there are other players around who will fill the position," Duncan said. "We will miss him but there are people like Roger Heenan pushing for a spot and Dave Curran will hopefully be back if he pulls up well at training this week." The Swans also have several goal scorers on hand with Ashley Gardner, Michael Duncan and Craig Conlan all currently top ten goalkickers. "I just don't think it is going to affect us too much in the end, (Burns) will still be on the sidelines and the boys are just all really focused o finishing with a great win loss record at Exies,' Duncan said. (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday August 10, 2005).

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Round 17 - Sunday August 14, 2005 (Pink Day) at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ....... .. 3.2 .. 7.5 .. 10.7 .. 13.9 (87)

Coolamon .... 4.7 .. 4.12 .. 9.17 .. 13.20 (98)

Goals: Griffith: M McDonald 6, A Gardner 2, Craig Conlan 2, G Foley, M Duncan, T Birks

Coolamon: J Parr 3, E Edis 3, M Hard 2, B Munro, B Garrett, L Maloney, R Mortimer, R Bartholomew

Best: Griffith: M McDonald, T Birks, S Spiers, M Duncan, G Foley, R Simpkin

Coolamon: M Hard, R Chamberlain, G Rudd, F Furner, R Bartholomew, B Munro

Griffith: J Hampel, S Spiers, Myles Bunn; J Ward, A Brander, R Duncan; B Ford, M McDonald, G Foley; M Crack, J Mickan, R Heenan; R Simpkin, A Gardner, Craig Conlan; M Wilson, T Birks, M Duncan; Ryan Hill, T Bradley, N Hetherington

Coolamon: M Cameron, B Garrett, F Furner; B Munro, G Rudd, N Eadyvean; A McKenzie, M Hard (c-c), R Bartholomew; S Bartholomew, J Parr, J Maddox; L Maloney, R Mortimer, P Edmunds; B Edyvean, N Scott, R Chamberlain; B McPherson, P Thorneycroft, E Edis

Umpires: S Crowley, P Smith, B Webb (RUA)

Reserves: Coolamon 18.11 (119) d Griffith 9.4 (58)

Goals: M Burke 3, G Argus 2, B Alban 2, G Dreyer, W Tyndall

Under 18: Griffith 11.9 (75) d Coolamon 9.5 (59)

Goals: J Gastin 3, K Hicken 2, A Baker 2, C Munro, J Toscan, J Nancarrow, R Newman

Match report: The Griffith Swans' top three chances were dealt a harsh blow at Exies Oval yesterday going down to second-place Coolamon  by 11 points. After leading by 11 points at half-time the Swans fell apart in the second half and failed to capitalise on the strong breeze in the last quarter to lose just their second game at Exies Oval this season. The Swans must beat Eastern Hawks next week and rely on Coolamon to defeat Narrandera to secure third spot and the second chance. Coolamon captain-coach Matt Hard was at his destructive best as he racked up numerous possessions and single-handedly destroyed the Swans in a polished best on ground performance. Swans' coach Adrian Burns who watched from the sideline was shattered by the result. "What can I say, it was just disappointing," Burns said. "There was a good feeling before the game and we had good preparation leading up to it. "They got the upper hand there in the second half and were just too good." Burns said poor disposal cost his team the ultimate price. "Our kicking was shocking," Burns said. "We were spraying them all over the place, it was terrible." Despite kicking with the breeze in the opening term the Grasshoppers who booted four goals seven to get out to an early 11 point lead. But the Swans turned it around in the second term kicking four unanswered goals while restricting Coolamon to just five behinds to sneak ahead by 11 points at half-time. Coolamon came out firing after half-time and scored the opening two goals but Swans' onballer Matt McDonald kept his team in the game with three three quarter goals to see Griffith four points down. With the wind at their back the Swans kicked the opening goal of the final term but the Grasshoppers responded with three straight goals to get out to a 16 point lead at the 12 minute mark in the final quarter. But through goals to Tim Birks and McDonald again the Swans got back within two points. With the game on the line, Coolamon's Ryan Bartholomew was left unmarked in the goal square and booted an easy goal to give Coolamon the game. For the Swans Matt McDonald and Mick Duncan were again outstanding through the midfield, Jeff Mickan worked tirelessly across centre half forward and Myles Bunn held the backline together. Burns is still confident the Swans can finish top three. "Once we get to full strength we should be right," Burns said. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday August 15, 2005).

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 'PRETTY IN PINK' PROVES A WINNER 

SPLASHED with pink and seeing red, the Griffith Swans showed their heart yesterday. The Aussie rules side suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Coolamon but raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research. The idea, to swap their signature jersey for a pink one for the home match, was hatched up by StarFM's Brad George and Pat Pittavino from the Telstra Shop earlier in the month. An army of Swans and Swannettes made their vision a reality, digging deep on and off the field to make the weekend a success. Although unsure of a final figure, co-organiser and Swans life member Damien Scott said the concept was a hit. "It was just awesome and shows the community will put their hands in their pocket for cancer research," Mr Scott said. "Everyone that came said it was a wonderful idea." The weekend started off on a "cheeky" note, with the Griffith Swans firsts netball side selling their backsides as billboards for yesterday's match. Eight girls bent over backwards to help, with the auction raising $1800. A gold coin bucket drive on Saturday also saw a further $1300 raised. (The Area News, Monday August 15, 2005).

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Round 18 - Saturday August 20, 2005 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm

Eastern Hawks .... 5.5 .. 8.9 .. 14.11 .. 21.16 (142)

Griffith .................. 1.2 .. 1.6 .. 3.8 .. 6.13 (49)

Goals: Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 11, D Vanderfeen 5, P Evans 2, B Roberts, D Cheney

Griffith: D Curran, R Simpkin, Matt Bunn, A Brander, M Duncan, M Crack

Best: Eastern Hawks: B Perkins, K Vanderfeen, D Cuthbert, D Purtill, P Evans, B Roberts

Griffith: M Duncan, Matt Bunn, G Foley, R Simpkin, J Ward, R Heenan

Eastern Hawks: J Peace, D Cheney, J Keenan; J Grieve, K Malone, M Adams; L Pollett, D Purtill, L Adams; B Roberts, P Evans, P Gribble; M McPherson (c-c), B Perkins, R Campbell; K Vanderfeen, D Bromham, D Cuthbert; D Vanderfeen, C Campbell, T Barrett

Griffith: Myles Bunn, A Brander, R Heenan; J Ward, S Spiers, J Mickan; B Ford, Matt Bunn (capt.), G Foley; Craig Conlan, M Kenny, R Duncan; A Gardner, D Curran, M Crack; M Wilson, M McDonald, M Duncan; R Simpkin, T Bradley, N Hetherington

Reserves: Griffith 26.13 (169) d Eastern Hawks 2.6 (18)

Goals: G Argus 17, J Bennett 3, W Tyndall, T Wilson, D Graham, K Duncan, H Robertson, M Burke

Under 18: Eastern Hawks 11.16 (82) d Griffith 0.3 (3)

Match report: Griffith Swans' premiership aspirations were dealt a hefty blow while Eastern Hawks were left to rue what could have been at Gumly Oval on Saturday. Hawks were so superior it seemed ridiculous that the Swans were regarded as serious premiership contenders, while their opposition will watch the finals from the sidelines after marching to victory over Griffith 21.16 (142) to 6.13 (49). The Hawks were still a chance of making the five if Mangoplah-CUE had beaten Leeton-Whitton but the Goannas stumbled. So amid the pleasure of thumping such a strong outfit and the rapturous celebrations that followed Hawks full forward Ben Perkins kicking his 100th goal for the season, there was still a feeling of disappointment.

The Hawks have turned into a very formidable unit over the past five weeks and on current form would have provided a much bigger threat in the finals than the Crows will. They were instead left to ponder how a team with such talent could miss the finals. "It's just an unfortunate set of circumstances but it is ridiculous to be relying on another team to lose six or seven in a row for us to get in," Hawks assistant-coach Pat Gribble said. "We should never have been in this position considering the quality we have here and it is even more disappointing to have a win like that over a team who will play finals." The Hawks dominated the ruck, the clearances, possessions, inside 50's and every other aspect of the game against the Swans, who were made to look second rate. Perkins was at his best, needing nine goals to break the magic ton in as season and by quarter time he had already had five of those and after that the Swans were never in the game. Fifteen minutes after the game had finished, Swans coach Adrian Burns could still be heard through the walls of the change room spitting invective at his team. (The Area News - Monday August 22, 2005).

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2005 RFL NETBALL Ladders

A grade: Turvey Park 60, Coolamon 54, Ganmain-GGM 50, Griffith 48, Mangoplah-CUE 38; Leeton-Whitton 30, Narrandera 8, Eastern Hawks 0.

B grade: Griffith 68, Coolamon 64, Narrandera 48, Ganmain-GGM 32, Turvey Park 32; Leeton-Whitton 24, Mangoplah-CUE 20, Eastern Hawks 0.

C grade: Griffith 72, Coolamon 44, Narrandera 40, Mangoplah-CUE 38, Ganmain-GGM 38; Turvey Park 34, Leeton-Whitton 16, Eastern Hawks 6.

Juniors U15's: Griffith 36, Narrandera 32, Leeton-Whitton 24, Ganmain-GGM 12, Coolamon 0.

 FINALS REIGNITE OLD RIVALRY - By Matt Malone 

FOR the first time this season Griffith Swans captain-coach Adrian Burns has a full list to pick from - and it could not have come at a better time. The Swans will meet close neighbour and arch-enemies Leeton-Whitton Crows in Sunday's Elimination Final at Narrandera Sportsground. After a horror result last Saturday where the Swans went down to the sixth placed Eastern Hawks by 93 points Burns has promised it will not happen again. "There will be definitely no repeat performance of last week," Burns said. "I think all the team are pretty excited. "And if not, they should be, it's finals."The Swans copped plenty of criticism since last weekend saying they did not deserve their spot in the finals, even from the Hawks, but Burns is adamant his team will be a threat. "They (Eastern Hawks) can have their glory but we're in the finals and they're not," Burns said. "It's finals now, the home and away season is over we've made it and we're going to see what happens from now." Burns admitted there could be several changes to the Griffith side after their performance last week. Burns will return after a two week suspension while Tim Birks has declared himself available for Sunday. With one extra player added on the bench for finals, Burns said it was a possibility the Swans would expose all three big men, Dave Curran, Michael Wilson and Ryan Hill, for the first time this year. The Swans and Crows' rivalry has grown in previous years and Burns admitted beating the Crows would be an added incentive to some players. "I'd imagine so, the rivalry is there," Burns said. "This is especially so among the players who have been at the club for a while. "And I expect those blokes to stand tall on Sunday." Finishing in fourth spot, the Swans face the prospect of back-to-back do or die games for the next three weeks if they are to make their fourth consecutive grand final. Burns along with plenty of supporters believe if the Swans use the ball wisely they can go all the way. "Our big strengths are our midfield and the backline," Burns said. "We get a lot of drive from there. "So we'll be looking for our on-ball brigade along with our centre-half backline to turn it on." (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Friday August 26, 2005).

Qualifying Final - Saturday August 27, 2005 at Ganmain Sportsground

Coolamon ...... 3.1 .. 7.4 .. 16.6 .. 16.10 (106)

Narrandera ... 6.2 .. 8.7 .. 10.9 .. 12.13 (73)

Goals: Coolamon: T Hilton 5, N Scott 4, R Chamberlain 3, P Edmunds 2, E Edis, M Hard

Narrandera: D Hopwood 3, N Reynoldson 3, J McMartin 2, J Coleman 2, B Cios, D Burden

Best: Coolamon: R Chamberlain, T Hilton, A McKenzie, B Edyvean, M Hard, R Bartholomew

Narandera: D Hopwood, P Bloomfield, T Mathieson, Brett Powell, N Reynoldson, J Vearing

Coolamon: Greg Rudd, Matt Cameron, Nathan Edyvean; Brett Garrett, Francis Furner, Ryan Bartholomew; Luke Maloney, Matt Hard, Adam McKenzie; Jamie Parr, Ryan Mortimer, Bryan Munro; Jamie Maddox, Tim Hilton, Edward Edis; Ben Edyvean, Nigel Scott, Ryan Chamberlain; Paul Thorneycroft, Brendan McPherson, Stephen Bartholomew, Pat Edmunds

Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Steve Irons, John Vearing; Chris Smith, Stuart Hutchins, Brett Powell; Brad Kiley, Ashley Thomson, Kane Brunt; Ben Powell, Jason McMartin, Dean Hopwood; Tim Durnan, Ben Cios, Damon Burden; Shaun Brooker (coach), Tim Mathieson, Nathan Reynoldson; Jason Coleman, Jeremy Orme, Liam Richmond, Chris Walsh

Umpires: M Davidson, P O'Donoghue, S Roberts (RUA). Gate: $5231

Reserves: Coolamon 20.14 (134) d Ganmain-GGM 4.1 (25)

Under 18: Narrandera 16.12 (108) d Coolamon 6.7 (43)

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Elimination Final - Sunday August 28, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground

Griffith ................... 3.0 .. 6.3 .. 7.8 .. 14.10 (94)

Leeton-Whitton ... 5.3 .. 8.7 .. 11.11 .. 17.13 (115)

Griffith: A Burns 3, T Birks 2, M McDonald 2, A Brander 2, C Conlan, R Simpkin, A Gardner, R Heenan, M Crack

Leet-Whit: D Clayton 4, M Lang 3, A Howe 3, D Dunscombe 2, T Doyle, B Boots, D Sullivan, B Guest, M Sharman

Best: Griffith: T Birks, Matt Bunn, M Duncan, R Simpkin, T Bradley, A Brander

Leet-Whit: K Bullock, G Looby, D Clayton, A Howe, B Dryburgh, T Irvin

Griffith: Myles Bunn, Simon Spiers, Matt Bunn; Roger Heenan, Adam Brander, Josh Ward; Ben Ford, Adrian Burns (c-c), Graham Foley; Rod Simpkin, Jeff Mickan, Tim Birks; Matt Crack, Ashley Gardner, Craig Conlan; Michael Wilson, Matt McDonald, Michael Duncan; Trent Bradley, Jason Hampel, Nic Hetherington, Ryan Hill

Leeton-Whitton: Justin Davidson, Greg Looby, Ben Lang; Graham Dale, Ben Dryburgh, Jamie Broadbent (c-c); Brad Boots, Daryl Clayton, Travis Doyle; Brendan Greatz, Steve Iannelli, Matt Sharman; Drew Dunscombe, Matt Lang, Brett Guest; Kurt Bullock, Travis Irvin, Daniel Sullivan; Adrian Howe, Giles Lee, Bruce Gilmore, Rhys Thomason

Umpires: T McDonald, D Potts, B Webb (RUA). Gate: $5823

Reserves: Griffith 19.12 (126) d Mangoplah-CUE 5.11 (41)

Goals: Griffith: G Argus 6, M Burke 4, R Frkovic 2, D Graham 2, K Duncan, J Bennett, M Kenny, T Wilson, L Catanzariti

Best: Griffith: M Kenny, R Frkovic, C Lugton, D Scott, K Duncan

Griffith: Luke Catanzariti, Damien Scott, Dean Catanzariti; Tim Wilson, Craig Lugton, Daniel Best; Kris Duncan, Greg Dreyer (c-c), Matt Kenny; Danny Graham, Rick Frkovic, Tim Matheson; Andrew Cappello, Gary Argus, Malcolm Burke; Blair Alban, Jamie Bennett, Wayne Tyndall; Linden Cullen, Justin Moat, Heath Robertson, Matt Scott

Under 18: Turvey Park 10.6 (66) d Eastern Hawks 4.15 (39)

Match report: Just weeks ago Leeton-Whitton lay coughing and spluttering on its RFL deathbed but yesterday it ended Griffith's season and moved into next week's first semi-final against Narrandera. The Crows are a different team to the one travelling from ground to ground and being flogged week in, week out by lowly teams leading into the finals. Yesterday they out-hustled, out-run and most importantly outscored Swans to win 17.13 (115) to 14.10 (94). A team that just scraped into the finals by the hair of its teeth now finds itself pitted against Narrandera, an outfit that has beaten them just once in the last three years, albeit the last time they met. The Crows led at every break and although Griffith did fight hard in the last term, the result never really looked in doubt. The feeling in the Leeton-Whitton sheds afterwards was jubilant after the strong team performance led forcefully by ruck Kurt Bullock, Greg Looby in the backline aand a very dangerous Daryl Clayton up forward. "We talked all week about how we wanted passion out there, strength in the midfield and just hard tackling and that's what happened," Crows' captain-coach Jamie Broadbent said. "The best thing though was it was a team effort. Griffith kept coming at us but we just kept stepping up." The pressure the Crows applied to Griffith with their hustle was instrumental in breaking the Swans down. There were uncharacteristic Swans mistakes all over the place, passes going nowhere, turnovers, free kicks given away and Leeton-Whitton took advantage of them. It was a disappointing performance from the Swans but to the Crows credit they are a different outfit to recent weeks and this will only lift their spirits. (The Area News, Monday August 29, 2005).

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 SWANS COACH 'DISAPPOINTED' WITH LOSS 

GRIFFITH captain-coach Adrian Burns struck a dejected figure yesterday sitting alone on the bench, head bowed, in the shower room. The Swans 2003 premiers and 2004 finalists, had just been knocked out of the Riverina Football League finals by a Leeton-Whitton team that had just won once in the past seven weeks, and Burns was taking it hard. The hard-hitting coach had returned from two weeks suspension and looked vert rusty from the opening bounce. He did end the game with three goals after a last quarter fightback, but he was the leader of a well beaten team, with his future at the club uncertain after their finals' exit. "(Leeton-Whitton) were just too good for us, they played well and we played badly, it's as simply as that," Burns said. "We don't have any excuses they were just better than us and we couldn't keep up. "We have beaten Coolamon this year and Narrandera and we have beaten Leeton-Whitton all year, so to come and play the way we did was and end our season like that is just very disappointing. It is unknown whether Burns will retain the coaching job at Griffith next season after injuries and suspension this year ruled him out of several games while the early exit from the finals is likely to place even more pressure on his tenure. (The Area News, Monday August 29, 2005).

First Semi Final - Saturday September 3, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground

Narrandera .......... 4.3 .. 9.4 .. 14.7 .. 18.10 (118)

Leeton-Whitton ... 3.4 .. 8.6 .. 9.8 .. 16.10 (106)

Goals: Narrandera: J McMartin 4, N Reynoldson 3, Brett Powell 3, D Hopwood 2, T Mathieson 2, J Coleman, Ben Powell, S Hutchins, B Cios

Leet-Whit: M Sharman 5, D Clayton 3, B Gilmore 3, B Greatz, S Iannelli, D Dunscombe, D Harrison, M Lang

Best: Narrandera: D Hopwood, N Reynoldson, Brett Powell, T Mathieson, J McMartin, J Sullivan

Leet-Whit: B Boots, A Howe, B Dryburgh, K Bullock, J Brodbent

Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Brett Powell, John Vearing; Ashley Thomson, James Sullivan, Tim Sullivan; Brad Kiley, Tim Mathieson, Ben Powell; Stuart Hutchins, Chris Smith, Dean Hopwood; Jason McMartin, Ben Cios, Jason Coleman; Shaun Brooker (coach), Damon Burden, Nathan Reynoldson; Jeremy Orme, Tim Durnan, Liam Richmond, Steven Irons

Leeton-Whitton: Graham Dale, Greg Looby, Justin Davidson; Ben Dryburgh, Jamie Broadbent (c-c), Ben Lang; Brad Boots, Travis Irvin, Adrian Howe; Matt Sharman, Steve Iannelli, Brendan Greatz; Matt Lang, Drew Dunscombe, Brett Guest; Kurt Bullock, Daryl Clayton, Daniel Sullivan; Travis Doyle, David Harrison, Bruce Gilmore, Rhys Thomason

Umpires: M Davidson, S Harrison, T McDonald (RUA). Gate: $7404

Reserves: Griffith 9.12 (66) d Ganmain-GGM 0.4 (4)

Goals: Griffith: G Argus 3, R Frkovic 3, J Bennett, A Cappello, D Catanzariti

Best: Griffith: K Duncan, M Kenny, T Matheson, C Conlan, G Dreyer, D Best

Griffith: Dean Catanzariti, Damien Scott, Daniel Best; Chris Conlan, Craig Lugton, Luke Catanzariti; Matt Kenny, Greg Dreyer (c-c), Tim Matheson; Tim Wilson, Rick Frkovic, Andrew Cappello; Kris Duncan, Gary Argus, Malcolm Burke; Blair Alban, Jamie Bennett, Wayne Tyndall; Danny Graham, Linden Cullen, Heath Robertson, Jonathan Gastin

Under 18: Turvey Park 17.9 (111) d Coolamon 6.5 (41)

Match report: The Griffith reserves graders took one further step towards a RFL grand final appearance with a 62-point thrashing of Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. The Swans did not allow the third-placed Lions to kick a goal and ran out resounding winners 66 to 4. It was a consistent effort from the Swans, who kicked two goals two behinds in both the first and second quarters while the Lions to a point a quarter. There was still a possibility of a second half comeback from the Lions but it was not to be as the Swans ran in three third-quarter goals to seal the game. Matt Kenny was full of run on the wing and provided plenty of drive into the forward line, while Chris Conlan proved to be the general through the midfield. Gary Argus at times moved out to centre half forward and provided a solid focal point and Kris Duncan and Jamie Bennett provided run throughout the ground. (The Area News - Monday September 5, 2005).

Second Semi Final - Sunday September 4, 2005 at Ganmain Sportsground

Ganmain-GGM ... 5.1 .. 10.6 .. 15.10 .. 24.16 (160)

Coolamon .......... 3.1 .. 6.1 .. 6.3 .. 9.4 (58)

Goals: GGGM: D Rava 3, M Geppert 3, D Underwood 3, A Johnston 3, M Steele 2, N McPherson 2, E Sullivan 2, B Lenon 2, S Lenon 2, A Carroll, S Hamblin

Coolamon: E Edis 4, B Edyvean 2, B Garrett 2, P Edmunds

Best: GGGM: B Ryan, D Rava, E Sullivan, C McPherson, M Carroll, S Lenon

Coolamon: G Rudd, M Cameron, B Munro, E Edis, B Garrett

Ganmain-GGM: Chad Hamblin, Drew Symons, Adam Symons; Brandon Ryan, Christen McPherson, Troy Lenon; David Rava, Shane Lenon (c-c), Mitchell Carroll; Nathan McPherson, Marc Geppert, Luke Walsh; Daniel Underwood, Anthony Carroll, Mitchell Steele; Andrew Johnston, Marc Braybon, Eddie Sullivan; Ben Sullivan, Brett Lenon, Scott Hamblin, Andrew Roberts

Coolamon: Ryan Bartholomew, Matt Cameron, Brett Garrett; Luke Maloney, Greg Rudd, Nathan Edyvean; Bryan Munro, Matt Hard (c-c), Adam McKenzie; Jamie Maddox, Ben Edyvean, Nigel Scott; Ryan Mortimer, Tim Hilton, Edward Edis; Jamie Parr, Francis Furner, Ryan Chamberlain; Paul Thorneycroft, Brendan McPherson, Stephen Bartholomew, Pat Edmunds

Umpires: B Webb, S Roberts, G Walsh (RUA). Gate: $7195

Reserves: Narrandera 10.6 (66) d Coolamon 7.17 (59)

Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 12.22 (94) d Narrandera 6.10 (46)

 MAJOR WIN FOR 'TOP SWAN' MATT McDONALD - By Matt Malone 

GRIFFITH Swans midfielder Matt McDonald was the toast of the Riverina Football League last night when he was announced the Jim Quinn Medallist for the 2005 season. McDonald shared the honour with Narrandera Eagles midfielder Nathan Reynoldson after the pair finished on 19 votes apiece. With one round to go the 22-year-old Swan led by three votes to Reynoldson and Eastern Hawks' Phil Evans. But with Swans' big loss to the Hawks, McDonald failed to poll while Reynoldson got three votes on a best on ground performance in their win over Coolamon. The win was somewhat of a shock to Swans supporters, with onballer and club best and fairest winner Michael Duncan the one everyone expected to poll well. McDonald was voted best on ground in four games during the year and polled in eight of the 18 games this season and missed two through injury. It could have been a different story for McDonald after he was reported in round four against the Eastern Hawks for tripping. But McDonald was eventually cleared due to lack of evidence. McDonald has played 49 senior games for the Griffith Swans after crossing from Ardlethan in 2003. He only played 12 games in his initial year in Griffith due to injury but returned to play every game last season. McDonald was the Swans' equal best in the award last year when he tied with Ben Wade on 13 votes, 15 shy of winner Coolamon's Nigel Scott. Griffith Swans secretary Ffiona Beverley said McDonald had a wonderful season. "Matt had his best season ever with the club," Beverley said. "He was in our top five players every game he played this year I'd say. "He was a very consistent year." McDonald's win capped off a good night for the Swans at the league presentation night at Narrandera. Greg Dreyer finished in equal second position in reserve grade with 12 votes while Renae Rawle took out the B grade league best and fairest. Other Swans to poll well were Shelly White who finished in third place in A grade while Kayleen Ward finished in third place in B grade. (The Area News - Wednesday September 7, 2005).

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 SWAN STILL IN SHOCK OVER MEDAL WIN - By Matt Malone 

GRIFFITH Swans midfielder Matt Malone is still getting used to his win in the Riverina Football League's Jim Quinn Medal on Tuesday night. Heading to Narrandera for the awards presentation with no expectations of winning the award, the win came as a huge shock to McDonald. "I'm still coming to terms with it McDonald said. "There are so many good players in the league, I just never expected it. "I sat there having a few beers, I didn't even think I had a chance so I wasn't nervous at all." It was a huge moment in the 22-year-old's career after just three season with the Griffith Swans. McDonald said the win was one of his career highlights. "It was an unbelievable feeling," McDonald said. "It was a pretty emotional night. It's up there with the grand final win a couple of years ago." McDonald was in the top three almost all the night but never really considered he was a chance to the final round. "A quarter of the way through I was in the top three, then half-way I was still up there. "Towards the end I was still up there and thought 'gee what's going on'. "Then with one round to go I knew I didn't get a kick in the last game and everyone was telling me I couldn't lose." If it weren't for injury McDonald could have well and truly bolted away with the award. But it was that injury that was the main reason McDonald never considered himself a chance. "My year was not too bad," McDonald said. "I had injuries through the middle part of the season and I missed some games. "And it took me a couple of games to get back into it so I didn't really expect it." McDonald was the Swans' first Jim Quinn Medallist since Phil Rowston in 2000. (The Area News - Friday September 9, 2005).

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Preliminary Final - Sunday September 11, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground

Coolamon ..... 2.6 .. 3.10 .. 6.16 .. 9.16 (70)

Narrandera ... 6.1 .. 7.6 .. 8.10 .. 13.12 (90)

Goals: Coolamon: T Hilton 3, A McKenzie 3, L Maloney, B McPherson, J Maddox

Narrandera: D Hopwood 5, J Coleman 2, N Reynoldson 2, K Brunt 2, S Hutchins, C Smith

Best: Coolamon: B Munro, S Bartholomew, M Cameron, R Chamberlain, G Rudd, E Edis

Narrandera: D Hopwood, D Burden, J Coleman, B Kiley, T Mathieson, Brett Powell

Coolamon: Ryan Bartholomew, Matt Cameron, Francis Furner; Paul Thorneycroft, Greg Rudd, Nathan Edyvean; Luke Maloney, Matt Hard (c-c), Adam McKenzie; Brett Garrett, Jamie Parr, Bryan Munro; Jamie Maddox, Tim Hilton, Edward Edis; Ben Edyvean, Nigel Scott, Ryan Chamberlain; Brendan McPherson, Leigh Drum, Stephen Bartholomew, Pat Edmunds

Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Ashley Thomson, Steven Irons; Tim Sullivan, Brett Powell, Ben Powell; Brad Kiley, Tim Mathieson, James Sullivan; Dean Hopwood, Stuart Hutchins, Chris Smith; John Vearing, Jason McMartin, Jason Coleman; Shaun Brooker (coach), Damon Burden, Nathan Reynoldson; Ben Cios, Jeremy Orme, Liam Richmond, Kane Brunt

Umpires: S Crowley, D Potts, G Walsh (RUA). Gate: $7245

Reserves: Coolamon 13.13 (91) d Griffith 6.8 (46)

Goals: Griffith: G Argus 2, K Duncan 2, B Alban, R Frkovic, T Wilson

Best: Griffith: D Best, B Alban, G Dreyer, T Wilson, L Catanzariti

Griffith: Dean Catanzariti, Damien Scott, Luke Catanzariti; Clinton Munro, Craig Lugton, Daniel Best; Matt Kenny, Greg Dreyer (c-c), Tim Matheson; Andrew Cappello, Rick Frkovic, Tim Wilson; Malcoln Burke, Gary Argus, Kris Duncan; Blair Alban, Chris Conlan, Wayne Tyndall; Norm Campbell, Danny Graham, Heath Robertson, Jonathan Gastin

Under 18: Turvey Park 14.10 (94) d Narrandera 5.3 (33)

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 SWANS NETBALLERS SET TO FIRE IN GRAND FINALS 

THIS Sunday the Griffith Swans B, C and junior netball grades all play in the Riverina Football League grand final. B Grade will be taking on rivals Coolamon in what should be a spectacular and very close game. With B Grade suffering their only loss of the season to this side, they will be looking to take an early lead. The players to watch in the Swans Riverina Netball League B Grade best and fairest Renae Rawle and runner-up Kayleen Ward in top shooter and goal keeper respectively. Players to watch from Coolamon are goal attack Tamara Hamilton and centre Kylie Parr. C Grade will encounter Narrandera in their game, in the 2004 grand final re-match. The Swans lost the grand final last year to the Narrandera side, but this year the Swans have a lot more skill and knowledge, and should be able to take the cake home on this game. With the Swans taking a 21 goal victory over Narrandera just under two weeks ago, it is difficult if Narrandera can come up with the goods to defeat the Swans. Players for the Swans to watch are goal attack Louise Hornery and keeper Jeanette Ward. Players for Narrandera to watch are shooter Erin Hands and Kate Martin. Players to for the Swans juniors game against Narrandera are versatile Erin Patterson and goal defence Clare Irvin. The juniors start grand final day with their game at 9.30am, C-Grade at 10.30am, followed by B-Grade at 11.30am, all played at Narrandera Sportsground. (The Area News - Friday September 16, 2005).

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Grand Final - Sunday September 18, 2005 at Narrandera Sportsground

Ganmain-GGM ... 1.8 .. 5.10 .. 8.14 .. 14.21 (105)

Narrandera ......... 2.1 .. 2.3 .. 5.7 .. 8.9 (57)

Goals: GGGM: A Carroll 4, B Ryan 3, D Underwood 2, S Lenon, E Sullivan, A Johnston, N McPherson, B Lenon

Narrandera: S Hutchins 2, D Hopwood 2, J Coleman, N Reynoldson, S Irons, T Mathieson

Best: GGGM: B Ryan, D Rava, L Walsh, C McPherson, M Steele, S Lenon, M Braybon

Narrandera: C Smith, D Hopwood, Brett Powell, L Richmond, A Thomson, Ben Powell

Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong: Chad Hamblin, Adam Symons, Drew Symons; Luke Walsh, Christen McPherson, Troy Lenon; David Rava, Shane Lenon (c-c), Mitchell Carroll; Mitchell Steele, Marc Geppert, Nathan Mcperson; Scott Hamblin, Anthony Carroll, Braydon Ryan; Andrew Johnston, Marc Braybon, Eddie Sullivan; Daniel Underwood, Ben Sullivan, Brett Lenon, Andrew Roberts

Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Ashley Thomson, Steven Irons; Tim Sullivan, Brett Powell, Ben Powell; Brad Kiley, Tim Mathieson, James Sullivan; Dean Hopwood, Stuart Hutchins, Chris Smith; John Vearing, Jason McMartin, Jason Coleman; Shaun Brooker (coach), Damon Burden, Nathan Reynoldson; Ben Cios, Jeremy Orme, Liam Richmond, Kane Brunt

Umpires: D Potts, T McDonald, B Webb. Gate: $20,094

Reserves: Coolamon 10.12 (72) d Narrandera 9.4 (58)

Umpires: G Webb, R Wilson, S Crowley (RUA)

Under 18: Turvey Park 11.8 (74) d Ganmain-GGM 6.11 (47)

Umpires: J Hilton, M Davidson, P Smith (RUA)

Netball - A grade: Turvey Park d Ganmain-GGM; B grade: Coolamon 24 d Griffith 20; C grade: Griffith 37 d Narrandera 24; Juniors: Griffith 41 d Narrandera 20.

Match report: Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong was touted as the best team all year but it was made official yesterday when they clinched back-to-back premierships against Narrandera. The Lions were far too good for a hard-toiling Narrandera team in a game that resembled many grand finals in that it was built around determination and commitment over any heights of skill. It was hard and it snapped the legs of every player on the paddock but the Lions simply starved Narrandera of possession and ran out very comfortable 14.21(105) to 8.9 (57) winners. For Lions' coach Shane Lenon, perhaps playing his last game at Ganmain, the win was hard-earned and well-deserved after an extremely tough year of training. "We were the best side all year and out there today finally proved that," Lenon said. "I have seen the best side get to this stage before and get knocked off but we come away with the win and all boys thoroughly deserve it because I worked them so hard this year." The Lions began the game with a glut of ball but some very poor kicking kept the Eagles in the game when it could almost have been sealed by quarter time. At one stage the Lions led 1.8 (14) to 0.0 (0) but late goals to Jason Coleman and Stuart Hutchins kept the Eagles in the game at quarter time. Narrandera were able to add their major tally in the second term while the Lions kicked four to go in ahead by 25 at the half-time break. That set the tone for the rest of the game, with Ganmain-GGM dominating possession but the Eagles working hard to no avail. When the Lions came out in the fourth term and kicked the first four goals of the term, the game was won. "The boys really showed some ticker out there today because we lost Troy Lenon and Scott Hamblin early and just really gutsed it out," Lenon said. "But that what this club is about, good old fashion determination and guts and I could not be more proud of the boys." (The Area News - Monday September 19, 2005).

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 SWANS SOAR FOR A NETBALL DOUBLE - By Amelia Elliston 

Two out of three ain't bad, according to Swans netball president Alison Ward. The Griffith Swans sent three teams to Narrandera to battle it out for the Riverina Netball League premierships yesterday and came home with two. The juniors faced off with Narrandera and were rattled in the first half. The Swans juniors went through the season undefeated, but came out restless and were only up by four points at the first quarter and not increasing their lead much before half-time. But, according to Ward, they found their feet in the second half. "After the second quarter, they really did come good, they got themselves together and played a great game," Ward said. "They were back to the amazing type of game they played all year and it was a good win 41-20. Goal attack Camilla Campbell was named best on court. The Swans also took out the C grade premiership with a strong 37-24 victory over Narrandera. C grade was also rattled in the opening of their match, but again the Swans gained composure for a strong victory. It was seven-all at the first quarter and 15-all at half-time, but in the third the Swans broke away and stabilised their lead. "It took the C grade girls a while but once they got the lead they really kept it up," Ward said. "They put on a good performance." Goal keeper Jeanette Ward claimed best on court. But it was the B grade where the disappointment fell for the Swans as they were defeated 24-20 by Coolamon. The Swans were competitive through the game, but failed to get that of extra strength to take the lead. "It anyone was going to beat us it was going to be Coolamon," Ward said. "They were more accurate than us in shooting and they played a better game." Coolamon was the only side to defeat the Swans throughout the season. (The Area News - Monday September 19, 2005).

 BEN WADE MAKES SANFL GRAND FINAL - By Matt Malone 

THE move to South Australia has paid off for Griffith footballer Ben Wade who this Sunday finds himself in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) reserves grand final. Wade left Griffith at the end of 2004 season after taking out the club's best and fairest in an attempt to try and take his football to the next level at Glenelg. Less then 12 months later and Wade will find himself in front of an expected crowd of 30,000 spectators at AAMI stadium for one of his biggest games in his short career. Wade and his teammates finished as minor premiers before losing the second semi-final to North Adelaide by a goal. They regrouped to win the preliminary final by 23 points and will meet North Adelaide again on Sunday. Wade will start at full-back, a position he has held down all year, and he said he tried not to think too much about the game this week. "I'm pretty excited but trying not to think too much about it," Wade said. After a successful first season in the big league, Wade is happy with the season he has had. "I'm happy with my season without standing out or doing anything spectacular," Wade said. "I've got good improvement and just getting better and better." He also said he is confident they can win the premiership. It's been a big year for Wade who at one stage lined up on Adelaide Crows ruckman Rhett Biglands. (The Area News - Friday September 30, 2005).

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 BURNS IS NOT RIGHT MAN FOR SWANS JOB - By Matt Malone 

GRIFFITH Swans coach Adrian Burns will not coach the club next season after the club informed him on Monday that he is no longer required. Burns will look to head back to Victoria next season after two years with the club where he took them to two final series including a grand final. But Burns experienced a difficult season with the club in 2005 as he struggled with injuries that never seen him fully fit. Swans' president George Duncan said despite not securing a coach for 2006 at this stage, Burns was not the right man for the job. "Its official, Adrian won't be coaching us next season," Duncan said. "At this stage we haven't got a coach, we're in hunting mode. "Adrian had two years with us and the committee decided we need a change. "But we thank Adrian for his experience." Burns said he would have liked to coach for another year but unfortunately that would not be the case. "It's disappointing, my goal was to try and coach a grand final team to a win," Burns said. "And I thought we had the side to do it this year. "But we were just too inconsistent, up and down like a yo-yo. "A third year might have made the difference."  Burns said he wasn't too surprised that his contract was not extended given the club's past history. "It just goes with the history of the club over the last few years that they only keep someone for two years," Burns said. "They might find it hard to try and get someone with AFL experience. "But I enjoyed it here watching the young blokes get better." Duncan defended the club's record with coaches, stating they would love to a long-term coach. "My experience with coaches is that they only want two-year contracts," Duncan said. "We'd love to get a bloke for three or four years if we get the right person." Burns said he is exploring his options and has received several calls. He added he would most likely return to Victoria unless the Swans contact him before he leaves. (The Area News - Wednesday October 5, 2005). 

 GRIFFITH REMEMBERS A LEGEND  - JACK KLOOT 

WHEN Jack Kloot arrived in Griffith from Melbourne to work as a bookkeeper in 1948 he surely could not have imagined that in a few seasons he would become part of the Griffith Swans Football Club folklore. After one season playing under the Griffith coach, Geoff "Sugar" Willis, Kloot packed his bags and left the channel water behind only to return four years later in 1952 to play an important part in the Red and White's premiership glory. One of Jack Kloot's finest and most courageous performances for the Swans happened during a semi-final clash against old local rival, Whitton. On the morning of the game, he experienced what could have been a life threatening moment. Kloot was boarding at the O'Dwyer family residence in Kookora Street when he mistakenly consumed the contents of a bottle of goanna oil thinking it was cough mixture. After a hasty trip to the Griffith Hospital for a "pump out", Jack arrived at the Leeton ground quite pale. Much doubt was expressed as to his fitness to contest the expected hard game, but once the game started those doubts were quickly dispelled. Kloot played in top form, his high marking being particularly impressive. It's no wonder Jack Kloot was the most publicised footballer in Griffith that week. Former team mate Keith Thompson told him he should take the goanna oil every week! Two weeks later on, Griffith finally achieved their goal with a 39 point victory over Whitton - winning their first Premiership in the SWDFL. Jack is the third member of the 1952 Premiership side to pass away this year. Jack  (died on September 25, aged 77) is survived by his wife Vilma, his sons Mark, Simon and Paul and his daughter Leah. (The Area News - Friday October 7, 2005).

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2005 RIVERINA FOOTBALL LEAGUE AWARDS

Seniors: Best & Fairest - Jim Quinn Medal

19 - Matthew McDonald (Griffith) & Nathan Reynoldson (Narrandera); 17 - Jamie Broadbent (Leeton-Whitton); 16 - Phillip Evans (Eastern Hawks); 15 - Ryan Chamberlain (Coolamon), David Rava (Ganmain-GGM); 14 - Matthew Hard (Coolamon); 13 - Michael Duncan (Griffith), Ben Harper (Turvey Park); 11 - Dean Hopwood (Narrandera); 10 - Christen McPherson (Ganmain-GGM), Ashley Thomson (Narrandera); 9 - Marc Braybon (Ganmain-GGM), Damon Burden (Narrandera); 8 - Jamie Maddox (Coolamon), Ben Perkins, Ken Vanderfeen (Eastern Hawks), Matthew Sharman (Leeton-Whitton). 7 - Mitchell Reberger (Mangoplah-CUE); 6 - Nigel Scott (Coolamon), Mitchell Carroll (Ganmain-GGM), Daryl Clayton (Leeton-Whitton), Rodney Simms (Mangoplah-CUE), Stuart Hutchins (Narrandera); 5 - Ben Edyvean, Greg Rudd (Coolamon), Darren Cuthbert (Eastern Hawks), Brandon Ryan (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Bunn, Myles Bunn (Griffith), Michael Dombroski, Chris Whelan (Turvey Park); 4 - Joel Grieve (Eastern Hawks), Chad Hamblin, Clint Hamblin, Daniel Underwood (Ganmain-GGM), Jeff Mickan (Griffith), Kurt Bullock (Leeton-Whitton), Mitchell Balding, Neil Lawson (Mangoplah-CUE), Jason McMartin, Chris Smith (Narrandera); 3 - Danny Bromham, Glenn Cole, Craig Poulson, David Vanderfeen (Eastern Hawks), Andrew Johnston, Shane Lenon, Nathan McPherson, Mitchell Steele (Ganmain-GGM), Adam Brander, Adrian Burns (Griffith), Drew Dunscombe, Travis Irvin, Steve Iannelli (Leeton-Whitton), Sam Balding, Adam Skow (Mangoplah-CUE), Blair Campbell (Turvey Park); 2 - Brenton Cook, Pat Edmunds, Jamie Parr (Coolamon), Marc Geppert, Brett Lenon, Troy Lenon, Eddie Sullivan (Ganmain-GGM), Travis Doyle, Brett Guest (Leeton-Whitton), Peter Bloomfield, Brett Powell (Narrandera), Truman Carroll, Jeff Fletcher, Robert Meyers, Warren Sykes(Turvey Park); 1 - Brett Garrett (Coolamon), Tim Birks, Graham Foley, Simon Spiers (Griffith), Dale Cameron, Dean Howard (Mangoplah-CUE), Ben Cios (Narrandera), Cameron Barker, Dane Campbell, Doug McLean, Luke Webb (Turvey Park).

Reserves - Frank Gaynor Medal

16 - David Cox (Ganmain-GGM); 12 - Brad Mattingly (Coolamon), Greg Dreyer (Griffith); 11 - Warwick Smith, Matthew Woolnough (Ganmain-GGM), Jamie Bennett (Griffith), Ben Matthews (Leeton-Whitton); 10 - Hamish Dyce (Coolamon), Luke Kendall (Mangoplah-CUE). Griffith players to receive votes were: 7 - Malcolm Burke; 6 - Gary Argus; 3 - Blair Alban, Graham Foley, Michael Wilson; 2 - Daniel Best, Norm Campbell, Kris Duncan, Jason Hampel, Wayne Tyndall; 1 - Danny Graham, Matthew Kenny.  

Under 18 - Lou Brown Medal

19 - Chris Downes (Narrandera); 18 - James Macauslan (Eastern Hawks); 17 - Simon Drum (Coolamon); 15 - Edward Edis (Coolamon), Michael Ness (Turvey Park); 14 - Jarrod Conway (Ganmain-GGM); 13 - Marc Kelly (Ganmain-GGM); 12 - Justin Evans (Ganmain-GGM); 11 - Kirk Hamblin (Ganmain-GGM); 10 - James Walsh (Narrandera). Griffith players to receive votes were: 9 - Tim Matheson; 6 - Jonathon Gastin; 3 - Andrew Baker; 2 - Will Jaffrey, James Nancarrow; 1 - Jarrod Duncan, Terry Wade.

 

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

102 - Ben Perkins (Eastern Hawks); 83 - Anthony Carroll (Ganmain-GGM); 55 - Matt Hard (Coolamon); 46 - Ashley Gardner (Griffith); 43 - Marc Geppart (Ganmain-GGM), Rodney Simms (Mangoplah-CUE); 40 - Jason McMartin (Narrandera); 38 - Muchael Duncan (Griffith), Drew Dunscombe (Leeton-Whitton); 37 - Craig Conlan (Griffith); 35 - Phillip Evans (Eastern Hawks).

                                                                                               Reserves - Griggs Trophy

102 - Gary Argus (Griffith); 62 - Pat Robinson (Narrandera); 47 - Paul Lucas (Ganmain-GGM), Trent Lang (Leeton-Whitton); 42 - Brad Mattingly (Coolamon); 41 - Daniel Crocker (Coolamon); 34 - Cecil Parr (Coolamon); 33 - Stuart Jones (Eastern Hawks); 30 Justin Zac (Ganmain-GGM). 
                                                                                                Under 18 - Dalco Trophy

63 - Jarrod Conway (Ganmain-GGM); 53 - Simon Drum (Coolamon); 48 - Chris Maloney (Eastern Hawks); 44 - Brent Fennessy (Ganmain-GGM); 40 - Jacob McPherson; 30 - Michael Cattrell (Turvey Park); 27 - Tim Garrett (Coolamon); 26 Josh Gillies (Mangoplah-CUE); 24 - David Vanderfeen (Eastern Hawks), 23 - Nathan Kember (Ganmain-GGM).

RFL Rep player of the Year: Christen McPherson
Club Championships: Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong


Netball: Best & Fairest
A grade: Tracey Schultz-Cole (Mangoplah-CUE);   B grade: Renae Rawle (Griffith);
C grade: Katherine Furner (Coolamon);   Juniors: Katrina Lenon (Ganmain-GGM) & Corina Bray (Coolamon).

2005 GOALS - RESERVES & UNDER 18's GRADES

Reserves: Blair Alban 6, Gary Argus 113, Jamie Bennett 25, Daniel Best 3, Trent Bradley 0, Adam Brander 2, Malcolm Burke 30, Matthew Butcher 4, Tony Butcher 0, Norm Campbell 1, Andrew Cappello 3, Colin Cassidy 0, Dean Catanzariti 1, Luke Catanzariti 1, Jamie Codemo 0, Greg Collins 1, Chris Conlan 3, Dean Crack 2, Mathew Crack 1, Nathan Creevy 0, Linden Cullen 0, Greg Dreyer 8, Kris Duncan 19, Merv Firebrace-Jones 2, Graham Foley 1, Rick Frkovic 8, Jonathon Gastin 3, Andrew Gifford 0, Danny Graham 15, Jason Hampel 2, Roger Heenan 1, Nick Hetherington 4, Brendan Hicken 5, Reece Hill 1, Ryan Hill 0, Matthew Kenny 3, Craig Lugton 2, Justin Moat 7, Clinton Munro 1, Glen O'Connor 2, Heath Robertson 2, Damien Scott 0, Matt Scott 1, Harpreet Singh 0, Mark Smith 3, Peter Thornton 1, Wayne Tyndall 12, Glen Vaccari 0, Michael Wilson 0, Tim Wilson 8, Terry Young 0. Coach: Greg Dreyer

 

Under 18: Andrew Baker 2, J Beckton 1, Michael Best 0, Rhys Best 3, Marshall Condon 0, Dean Crack 10, Alexander Delves 3, Oliver Delves 0, Paul Dickens 5, Jarrod Duncan 0, Jonathon Gastin 9, Jack Geddes 1, Cirven Goff 1, Reece Hannan 4, Trent Harrington 0, Cameron Harrison 1, Michael Hewitson 0, Kris Hicken 13, Jace Iemma 0, Will Jaffery 5, Tom Kelly 0, Josh Little 1, Tim Matheson 4, Nathan McGrath 1, Daniel McGreal 5, Michael Mogliotti 0, Clinton Munro 6, James Nancarrow 2, Rhys Newman 15, Josh Poscoliero 2, Alex Potroz 0, Andrew Robertson 3, James Smith 0, James Toscan 6, Michael Tyndall 0, Michael Vardanega 0, Terry Wade 2, Josh Ward 0, Brenton Webster 0. Coach: Adrian Pavese.

2005 GRIFFITH AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS

Saturday, October 8,  2005 at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

Major Sponsor: Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

FOOTBALL

Senior grade

Best & Fairest: Michael Duncan

Runner-up: Matthew Bunn

Most Consistent: Simon Spiers

Most Improved: Josh Ward

Best Utility (Fergie King Memorial): Jeffrey Mickan

Best in Finals: Tim Birks

Most Goals Kicked: Ashley Gardner

Coach’s Award: Ben Ford

Reserve grade

Best & Fairest: Jamie Bennett

Runner-up: Kris Duncan

Most Consistent: Craig Lugton

Most Improved: Andrew Cappello

Best Utility: Tim Wilson

Best in Finals: Daniel Best

Most Goals Kicked: Gary Argus

Coach’s Award: Dean Catanzariti

Under 18's

Best & Fairest: Clinton Munro

Runner-up: Tim Matheson

Most Consistent: James Smith

Most Improved: Brenton Webster

Best Utility: Daniel McGreal

Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Rhys Newman

Coach’s Award: Tim Matheson

Most Promising Player (Ronnie Williams Memorial): James Toscan

Encouragement Award (Fred Owen Memorial Shield): Jarrod Duncan

NETBALL

A grade

Best & Fairest: Shelly White

Players’ Player: Edwina Blackney

Coach’s Award: Laura Vardanega

B grade

Best & Fairest: Kayleen Ward

Players’ Player: Rebecca Wade

Coach’s Award: Alison Ward

C grade

Best & Fairest: Louise Hornery

Players’ Player: Jeanette Ward

Coach’s Award: Annette Waide

Juniors

Best & Fairest: Clare Irvin

Players’ Player: Erin Patterson

Coach’s Award: Camilla Campbell

SPECIAL AWARDS

Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Joan Hicks Memorial): Alison Ward

Club Person of the Year (Bill Simmons Memorial): Robert Wilson

Life Member: Joe Catanzariti

2005 SENIOR DEBUTS & FINAL SENIOR GAMES / GOALS

Debuts: April 2 - Tim Birks, Adam Brander, Roger Heenan, Tim Matheson, Balja Singh, Michael Wilson; April 10 - Nic Hetherington; April 23 - Danny Graham, Clinton Munro; April 30 - Dean Catanzariti; May 8 - Craig Lugton, Josh Ward; June 25 - Blair Alban.

Final Games / Goals: Jamie Bennett (217 / 388), Tim Birks (15 / 27), Trent Bradley (46 / 6), Adam Brander (17 / 11), Adrian Burns (32 / 35), David Curran (85 / 137), Danny Graham (1 / 0), Nic Hetherington (14 / 13), Clinton Munro (3 / 0), Balja Singh (1 / 3).

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