2006 RFL SEASON RESULTS
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IN: Joel Brown (Leeton-Whitton), Larry Cavallo (Merbein), Sam Hickleton (Bannockburn), Luke McLean (Newcomb Power), Daniel Meade (Deakin Uni), Tom Morgan (Bridgewater, SA), Dan O'Connor (Thomson), Nathan Petersen-Gray (Mt Lofty, SA).
OUT: Tim Birks (UK), Trent Bradley, Adam Brander (MDU), Adrian Burns (MDU), Mathew Crack (work), David Curran (Barellan), Jason Hampel, Nic Hetherington (Narrandera); Tom Morgan (South Aust.), Dan O'Connor (Thomson).
SWANS SIGN COACH - By Matt Malone
THE Griffith Swans have signed their new coach for the 2006 season - 2005 Victorian Country Football League medallist Luke McLean. McLean, 25, will have his first crack at senior coaching with the Swans, but will arrive in Griffith from Victoria with outstanding credentials as a prolific onballer. McLean spent 2005 with Newcomb Power in the Bellarine Football League, where he claimed the premiership, club best and fairest and best on ground in the grand final. With always having ambitions to coach, McLean can't wait to get started with the Swans. "It's very exciting, I'm looking forward to getting here and meeting the boys," McLean. "I'm happy to get my chance at coaching, I've been an assistant coach since about 22 or 23, so it's good to get the opportunity." Having seen the Swans in action through videos, McLean is happy with what he sees, but will still aim to bring players with him. "I've had a look at a couple of tapes and they look to be very young and enthusiastic,: McLean said. "We'll use a pretty simple game plan, work on the one percenters and play as a team. "I've been chatting to a few young fellas down here and some blokes are on footy trips, but I hope to bring a few players with me." McLean met with some of the Swans officials two weekends ago and was quite impressed. "They were very professional," McLean said. "It seems like a good country footy club. And the competition seems like it's a pretty good standard, I'm hoping we'll be able to get back into the grand final." In something the current Swans can look forward to, McLean is big on fitness which he hopes to stamp into his new team. "I'm doing a fitness course at the moment and I want us to be fit, hard-running side," he said. After head-hunting McLean, Swans president George Duncan was thrilled to have signed the new coach. "We're very happy, we've chased him for a while and we knew that he was talking to a few other clubs, so we're happy to get him," Duncan said. "Judging from his football resume, we're looking forward to some good stuff. "Now, hopefully, the locals can get behind and support him." (The Area News - Wednesday November 2, 2005).
SINGH APOLOGISES TO SWANS - By Matt Malone
EIGHT months after star recruit walked out on the Griffith Swans, Balraj Singh admits he's sorry, regrets his actions and hasn't ruled out a return. The imposing centre-half-forward remarkably left the club after the Swans' first game and has since had time to think about the situation and wants to make things right. Singh arrived in Griffith just days out from the Swans' opening clash earlier this year amid plenty of hype and anticipation and the former Adelaide Crows didn't disappoint in his first showing. But only days later, Singh left the Swans without notice and moved back to Melbourne where he spent the season with Mooroopna in the Goulburn Valley Football League, booting 63 goals in 15 games. Currently in Sydney, Singh said he was sorry for what he did to the Swans. "I would sincerely like to apologise to the Griffith Football Club and especially George Duncan for what he had done to get me to Griffith," Singh said. "I dearly regret leaving there, especially when there were friendship involved with a few of the boys." While in Melbourne, Singh admitted to following the Swans' results throughout the year and even blamed himself for Griffith not finishing as high as they would have liked. Singh has since learned from his mistake and hopes for forgiveness from the Griffith club. "This incident will give me valuable experience for the future and keeps me in good stead for not repeating my actions to another club, unfortunately it was Griffith that it happened to," Singh said. "I wish the club all the best in future years and wish their new coach all the best in his first year of his coaching career ... I hope they get into the grand final, where where they should be with their outstanding local footballers and juniors coming through." As for the chances of Singh lining up wit the Swans in years to come, only slight. "Never say never but I don't think they would want me back anyway," Singh said. (The Area News - Wednesday November 9, 2005).
CHARITY TICKLED PINK OVER SWANS' FUNDRAISER SUCCESS - By Matt Malone
WHEN the Griffith Swans donned the pink guernsey for their home game against Coolamon late in the season, it had a lot of people laughing. But the Swans and the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group had the last laugh this week when the football and netball club handed over $3500 from the fundraiser. Over one busy weekend, the Swans were able to raise the funds through an auction of the Swans netballers' bums on a Friday night, walking the streets with buckets on the Saturday and a raffle at the footy on Sunday. Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group's Jan Newman said she was thrilled with the donation. "I'm ecstatic, it was such a wonderful day," Newman said. "It just shows again and again the generosity of the Griffith people." Ms Newman said the money would go towards those dealing with all kinds of cancer. "We supply people with wigs ... and provide support for people affected by cancer," she said. "And it's not only breast cancer it's all type of cancer." Griffith Swans treasurer Damien Scott thanked the community for making the fundraiser such a success. "We've now looking at making it an annual event," Scott said, on behalf of the Swans, thanked the Telstra Shop for sponsoring the event and providing them with their daring jumpers. All parties wished to thank Brad George who came up with the idea and promoted the event. (The Area News - Wednesday November 16, 2005).
MEDALLIST TO STAY A SWAN IN 2006 - By Matt Malone
THE Griffith Swans are working their way towards building a potentially premiership winning team after one half of their dynamic midfield duo signed on for another season. Jim Quinn Medallist Matt McDonald has agreed to terms with the Swans for the upcoming season, the prolific onballer staying true to the Swans after receiving strong interest from several prominent clubs. While one half of the duo signed the other, Mick Duncan, is unsure of what lies ahead for the upcoming season at this stage. After weighing up his options, McDonald can't wait fr the exciting year ahead with the Swans. "To win the flag is going to be our first aim," McDonald said. "We've got what looks to be a pretty good coach and he's hoping to bring a few blokes with him. "He's (Luke McLean, coach) only 25 and has been playing some good leagues down in Geelong so it looks good for next season. McDonald was targeted heavily from ACT Canberra club Queanbeyan Tigers, while he also received offers from Ovens and Murray clubs North Albury and Wangaratta. After being awarded with the Riverina Football League's best and fairest medal, McDonald knows more is expected of him. "It's put a lot of pressure on me, I'm now expected to perform to that level," McDonald said. "There is going to be a lot of added pressure, this year especially, but I'm really looking forward to it." With the Swans expected to retain most of the team from season 2005 and add a few new faces from Victoria, McDonald believes they will be able to match it with the best. "Ganmain are going to be the team to beat again," McDonald said. "They're picked up a few handy players and got a very good new coach so they're going to be the main danger. "But we're going to be able to give them a shake, we'll be in the top three easy." While McDonald is locked away for another season, partner in crime Duncan is unsure of what he is doing. "I haven't worked out what I'm doing yet, I was considering playing in Cairns but (ex-Swan) an Ebert isn't coaching up there now, so that put a stop to that," Duncan said. "I've spoken to a few clubs and I'm also considering going overseas. "'I've got more to work out what I'm doing personally before working out footy but I know I'll have to let the Swans know pretty soon." (The Area News - Friday December 2, 2005).
SWANS COACH PLANS PLAYER FITNESS DRIVE - By Matt Malone
NEW Griffith Swans captain-coach Luke McLean unveiled the club's new recruit upon visiting the city for the club's Christmas Party on Saturday night. McLean secured the services of versatile Geelong League Sam Hickleton for the oncoming season and both were impressed with what Griffith had to offer. Also visiting at the weekend were South Australian footballers from the Sturt Football Club, who McLean held talks with over the weekend. McLean refused to make any bold statements on where the Swans were heading this season but instead focused on building for the start of the season. "Obviously to win the flag is always your goal," McLean said. "But I'm focusing on taking a professional approach and working towards solid fitness and working on our game pan. "I had a look at the draw and we've got a good draw with a lot of home games at the start of the season which is a chance to gain some momentum. Upon hearing the Swans near-perfect record at home last season, McLean was not shocked. "That didn't surprise me once I saw a nice big ground we've got," McLean said. "Along with the club on the wing there, the club has pretty impressive facilities. McLean held talks with both recruits from out of the area and unsigned current players and was happy with the result. "We haven't signed the guys from Sturt but they were down here on the weekend and seemed pretty happy with the place." McLean said. "I had a chat with a few of the current guys who weren't sure what they were doing and hopefully they will be with us again." Overall after getting to know the players and the club a lot better, McLean was happy with what he saw. "It was a good weekend, we had a Christmas party which was good fun and we played a few games," McLean said. "I came down and checked out the accommodation, and had a look around. "I've been here before when I spoke to them last time but I like the place and they seem to be a good bunch of people." McLean said he planned on arriving in Griffith on January 6 where he will start training the Swans a week later. (The Area News - Monday December 12, 2005).
SWANS FEATHERS FLY - By Matt Malone
NEW high-profile Griffith Swans netball coach Roz Fraser has come under attack amid claims she is driving players away from the club. With Fraser residing in Wagga, the Swans A grade netball team will be training once a week in Narrandera along with pre-season gradings and coaching camps in both Narrandera and Barellan. Fraser, a state league coach from Adelaide, was a huge coup for the Swans and the signing was likened to Griffith signing "an AFL coach" for the football team. In a letter to The Area News, a Griffith netballer slammed home the move to appoint Fraser and questioned whether the new coach is worth the hassle. The netballer, who wished not to be named due to the fear of making enemies at the club, said she was given a "rude shock" when she heard the travel required. "Correct me if I am wrong but I thought they were the GRIFFITH Swans," the letter read. "If the new coach won't travel to Griffith every week, is she really worth it? "The Griffith Swans netball club isn't only about winning premierships - it is about having fun, cheering on the footballers, social events after the games and supporting the Griffith community." Upon hearing of the letter on Monday, Fraser was shocked to hear of the comments and said she was only trying to help the Griffith Swans netballers. "I feel it a bit surprising there has been such an uproar," Fraser said. "The thing is Griffith approached me to coach, I didn't approach them, the whole idea was to bring more experienced coaching to the Riverina. "I give 100 per cent for any club I coach and I'm disappointed that people are unhappy but you have to commit to training because A grade netball is about winning premierships." Fraser also said she was required to travel as well, not just the players and it was up to them from the beginning. "I work full-time and then have to jump in a car and travel to Narrandera to coach for two hours. "I'm happy to do it but it's quite an effort," Fraser said. "I told Jodie (Landy) from the start that it was up to the girls to decide if they want to do it." Organiser of the netball coaches for the 2006 season, Jodie Landy, was upset that someone would question Fraser's appointment. "Unlike the footy we can't afford to pay for coaches to come to Griffith," Landy said. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Griffith to have a coach such as Roz who is doing the majority of the travelling from Wagga and she's doing it for nothing." (The Area News - Wednesday February 15, 2006).
NEW APPOINTMENT SHOWS AFL HAS GAME AT HEART IN MIA REGION - By Matt Malone
THE AFL has pledged its continuing support in the MIA with the announcement of Griffith Swans coach Luke McLean as its new development officer this week. In a strong show of commitment to the area, McLean will now take the role of the area's development officer in which he will work at promoting Australian Rules football at a junior level. Former Griffith AFL development manager Paul Habel said the appointment was a huge boost for the sport in the MIA and believes McLean couldn't be better suited for the role. "The thing we like about Luke is even though he is the Griffith coach, he has the development at heart," Habel said. "Luke really impressed through the interview process and is really keen to start getting involved. "The appointment is another strong show of our continuing commitment to the area where the game is very healthy." McLean will not only cover the Griffith area but also Narrandera, Leeton, Coleambally, Ardlethan and Barellan. The job is a 30-hour-a-week role which will see McLean attend South West football meetings and also have regular contact with Auskick co-ordinators throughout the region. McLean was thrilled to join the Southern AFL team and can't wait to get started. "I'm definitely looking forward to the chance to work with the kids and promote the game. It's an ideal job," McLean said. "At my previous club in Geelong I spent a bit of time helping out with Auskick and I loved it." "I hope to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the role especially with the (Sydney) Swans winning the premiership last season. It's an important time for the game in NSW." Habel said McLean will implement the AFL's school program and more so the AFL's intra-school program and co-ordinate that. The AFL has also created a five-hour-a-week job at Hay while another 18-hour-a-week position covering the Northern Riverina. McLean's appointment comes after previous development officer Eddie Sullivan decided to return to teachers college. (The Area News - Friday March 10, 2006).
SEASON PREVIEW - Matt Malone
WITH the Griffith Swans bowing out last season a lot earlier than expected, the hopes of Griffith Swans supporters are even higher this season with the signing of several good players. Unfortunately for the Swans, they're not the only club to bolster their playing ranks, with two-time reigning premiers Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong Lions, Leeton-Whitton Crows and Eastern Hawks all recruiting well. Griffith has kept a low profile throughout the pre-season and we won't fully know where they're at until the end of round two. The Swans take on Leeton-Whitton away, then Ganmain-GGM at home and these two games will let us know how the Swans have came together. Ganmain-GGM will again be the team to beat and look likely to take out their third consecutive title with the addition of several good players. Former Jim Quinn medallist and AFL player Christin Macri has returned to the RFL to coach the Lions and is a big boost along with the signing of former AFLACT representative and Wagga Tiger Matt Rava. While a lot of attention will be on Macri, Rava is a player to watch with the fit midfielder possessing the ability to tear the competition apart and is my early tip for the Quinn Medal. Our neighbours, Leeton-Whitton, have also gone on a pre-season signing spree but have opted for a Dad's Army instead of youth. With two former Sydney Swans they will be dangerous, but the Swans should be too good in the local derbies. Eastern Hawks, on the back of a strong finish to last season, which included a 100-point flogging of the Swans in the last round, have also signed plenty of talent from AFLACT. They will be a danger. Coolamon has lost every man and his dog other than Matt Hard and they will struggle. Narrandera are in the same boat and won't reach the heights of their 2005 grand final appearances. Turvey Park have recruited no-one and struggled last season, but with plenty to play for after the horrific accident of vice-captain Ben Harper, I believe they'll be a stronger side in 2006. Mangoplah have signed an impressive coach but will be no danger to the heavyweights. The top four could be Ganmain-GGM, Griffith, Eastern Hawks and Leeton-Whitton. Griffith will need to be firing come the end of the season, especially if they want to be a chance of stopping Ganmain. (The Area News - Friday March 31, 2006).
McLEAN'S SWANS ARE READY TO SOAR - By Matt Malone
GRIFFITH Swans captain-coach Luke McLean is not putting too much emphasis on the scoreline in the opening two rounds of the Riverina Football League bu instead asking his squad for good performances. Griffith kick-off its 2006 season on Sunday with a clash against fierce rivals Leeton-Whitton Crows at Woodstock Oval, with plenty of excitement surrounding the game. Both teams will unveil new-look teams, The Swans have had a quite build up to the season, with a win over Narranders before winning the consolation final at the Temora 15s carnival. Jim Quinn Medallist and new assistant coach Matt McDonald is expected to miss the first-round match while recruits Sam Hickleton and Tom Morgan are also in doubt. With plenty of expectations after 2005's wasted season, McLean believes the Swans are ready to fly. "I think we're ready, definitely," McLean said. Everyone is coming along well and everyone seems pretty fit. "I don't mind a quite lead up, there is no point doing the talking in pre-season - I'd prefer to do the talking when we play." Leeton-Whitton is another team which has bolstered its playing stocks through the off-season with the signing of ex-Sydney Swans players Damien Lang and Craig Nettelbeck. McLean, playing his first game in the RFL on Sunday, is not quite sure what to expect from the Crows but knows it will be a challenge. "I don't know as much about them as I would like," McLean said. "They've got some good players and with Damien Lang coming back, he'll be a handy player for them and I'm not sure whether Craig Nettelbeck is playing but he'll be good for them if he is." McLean said he won't be placing too much emphasis on the results of the first two weeks, but instead wants to see the team play a good brand of football. With the silly season over and his squad finalised for the season, McLean believes he has the team to match it with the best in the competition. "I think we've good group of bloke," he said. One of the Swans' Victorian recruits, Dan O'Connor has headed back home and is unlikely to play with the team this season. "Dan's had to head home due to family reasons and will play down there for the start of the season," McLean said. "He hasn't said he won't be coming back, but it's probably unlikely that he will return and I can understand that." (The Area News - Friday March 31, 2006).
Round 1 - Sunday April 2, 2006 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton-Whitton ... 3.4 .. 8.12 .. 9.16 .. 14.21 (105)
Griffith ................... 8.5 .. 9.7 .. 11.9 .. 11.13 (79)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: D Lang 5, M Lang 3, C Nettelbeck, D Harrison, M Sharman, T Doyle, D Duncombe, S Iannelli
Griffith: C Conlan 4, M Duncan, R Duncan, J Mickan, A Gardner, D Meade, D Crack, N Petersen-Gray
Best: Leeton-Whitton: D Sullivan, M Sharman, D Dunscombe, K Bullock, S Hillier, A Nettelbeck
Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, J Ward, C Conlan, M Duncan, D Meade
Leeton-Whitton: M Flagg, G Dale, B Dryburgh; D Sullivan, T Irvin, Kurt Bullock; S Piltz, J Broadbent, B Boots; R Meakin, S Iannelli, C Nettelbeck; M Lang, D Lang (c-c), S Hillier; A Nettelbeck, M Sharman, D Dunscombe; T Doyle, D Harrison, G Lee
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, R Heenan; B Alban, J Ward, M Kenny; B Ford, Matt Bunn (capt.), J Toscan*; R Duncan, J Mickan, A Gardner; N Petersen-Gray*, C Conlan, D Crack*; M Wilson, D Meade*, M Duncan; K Duncan, S Hickleton*, J Brown*
Umpires: B Webb, S Roberts, P Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 14.15 (99) def by Eastern Hawks 25.12 (162), SUN: Coolamon 11.6 (72) def by Turvey Park 20.11 (131), GGGM 20.7 (127) def MCUE 10.13 (73)
Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 13.20 (98) d Griffith 13.3 (81)
Goals: G Argus 4, A Hukins 2, B Sergi 2, A Pavese, M Firebrace-Jones, W Tyndall, T Matheson, L Cavallo
Best: T Matheson, A Cappello, W Tyndall, G Foley, L Cavallo
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 9.14 (68) d Griffith 8.4 (52)
Goals: L Cooper 3, O Acar 3, M Tyndall, K Hicken
Best: L Cooper, C Harrison, J Gastin, J Smith, D McGreal, R Johns
Match report: The Griffith Swans didn't exactly get off to a flying start to the 2006 season yesterday, going down to Leeton-Whitton after holding the lead till the last term. But there is good news for the team according to Swans captain-coach Luke McLean, who sat out the game with a niggling calf injury, saying there was plenty of positive signs for the side and they stuck to their game plan. McLean admitted it was positive in some respects for him to sit out the game as he could see what his new group was capable of. The Swans got off to a strong start when they kept to their plan of running the ball around and using a lot of handballs. They managed to get a good lead of eight goals, five behinds to Leeton-Whitton's three goals and four. But the Swans seemed to use all their strength in the first 20 minutes and although they held the lead at half-time, they only managed to put one more between the posts in the second term. Leeton-Whitton started to take advantage of the Swans' low scoring and grabbed themselves five goals and eight behinds. At half-time the Swans turned into the wind but seemed to find more strength than they had in the second term and clocked up another two goals and two behinds and kept the Crows to a single goal - they could have got more but inaccuracy was plaguing Leeton-Whitton and they collected four behinds instead. Going into the last term, Griffith held a narrow lead of just five points. Leeton-Whitton surged in the last term and managed to run over the Swans, collecting five goals and as many behinds and keeping the Swans to just four behinds, leaving them 26 points short at the siren. McLean said they might have stuck to their plan of handballs too much and let the weather push them around. "We just couldn't hang on at the end," he said. "I think Leeton played well, they probably played smarter than us, but both teams are definitely evenly matched." (By Amelia Elliston - The Area News, Monday April 3, 2006).
Round 2 - Saturday April 8, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................ 3.2 .. 6.4 .. 8.6 .. 13.10 (88)
Ganman-GGM ... 5.6 .. 12.8 .. 14.11 .. 15.13 (103)
Goals: Griffith: S Hickleton 5, N Petersen-Gray 2, R Duncan, A Gardner, B Ford, L McLean, T Matheson, J Brown
GGGM: M Geppert 7, N McPherson 2, J Conway, L Walsh, M Braybon, M Rava, C Macri, M Steele
Best: Griffith: Matt Bunn, S Spiers, S Hickleton, L McLean, Myles Bunn, N Petersen-Gray
GGGM: M Geppert, M Braybon, C McPherson, C Macri, P Lucas, M Rava
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, D Meade; R Heenan, J Mickan, J Ward; B Ford, L McLean (c-c)*, J Toscan; N Petersen-Gray, J Brown, R Duncan; S Hickleton, A Gardner, D Crack; B Alban, Matt Bunn, M Duncan; K Duncan, T Matheson, M Wilson
Ganmain-GGM: J Evans, P Lucas, W Smith; B Lenon, C McPherson, M Fennessy; C Hamblin, C Macri (c-c), L Steward; M Geppert, D Logan, N McPherson; M Steele, J Conway, R McGowan; M Braybon, L Walsh, M Rava; L Habel, A Symons, J Eisenhauer
Umpires: S Crowley, S Harrison (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 14.17 (101) def Leeton-Whitton 7.15 (57), MCUE 6.14 (50) def by Coolamon 12.10 (82), SUN: Turvey Park 18.13 (121) def Narrandera 11.11 (77)
Reserves: Griffith 19.19 (133) d Ganmain-GGM 3.9 (27)
Goals: G Argus 10, C Lugton 5, A Cappello 2, M Burke, Richie Agresta
Best: G Argus, A Cappello, L Cavallo, T Wilson, N Kite, C Lugton
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 12.13 (85) d Griffith 6.6 (42)
Goals: O Acar 4, S Curran, R Best
Best: J Gastin, C Harrison, S Zanotto, A Chalmers, R Johns, M Tyndall
Match report: The Griffith Swans put on a strong second half effort to try and get on top of reigning premiers Ganmain-GGM yesterday, but their burst came too late, and they went down by 15 points. It was the Swans first home game of the season, and their hopes were pinned on gaining their first victory at the Exies Oval, but they had a formidable task ahead of them. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean admits there may have been some stigma to playing GGGM. "There possibly was a mindset playing the reigning premiers, sometimes it happens when you play a side like that," McLean said. "But we settled in and played a more relaxed game." McLean said they started nervously but settled into play well in the second half. "Apart from the second quarter really the guys didn't go too badly," he said. Now the Swans will be focusing on building their confidence and gaining their first win of the season to put them back on the right track. "I think it is a matter of keeping upbeat," McLean said. "We played two good sides first up and we haven't been beaten by a lot. "So now we concentrate and try and chalk up a win." (By Amelia Elliston - The Area News, Monday April 10, 2006).
SWANS NEED WIN, BUT NOT PANICKING YET - By Matt Malone
GRIFFITH Swans star Matt McDonald denies Griffith Swans have hit the panic stations, despite the club's poor start to the 2006 season. The Swans meet former high-flyers Coolamon at Kindra Park on Sunday with Griffith desperate to post their first win of the season after a disappointing start. The former Ardlethan Star and reigning Jim Quinn medallist will play his 50th game for the club on Sunday as McDonald returns from injury for his first game of the season. The Swans have met tough opposition in the opening rounds of the season, going down to Leeton-Whitton before suffering a loss to Ganmain-GGM. But McDonald warned not to write the Swans off just yet and blatantly denied the team was in a state of panic. "No we're not at all, we had Luke (McLean) out in the first week and we've also had a few unavailable, so there no need to panic just yet," McDonald said. "We were disappointed with our loss to Ganmain but we had a couple of blokes out." The Swans will be significantly boosted by the return of McDonald and fellow key player Craig Conlan for the game along with the return of utility, Matt Kenny. Coolamon have been inconsistent so far this season after losing several players in the off-season. The Grasshoppers lost to Turvey Park in the opening round of the season before bouncing back with a gutsy win over Mangoplah. The Swans found a short-term resolution for their forward line against Ganmain-GGM with recruit Sam Hickleton booting five majors, but McDonald said the problem was more related to delivery."Sam will play full forward and he went really well against Ganmain, especially in the first half," McDonald said. McDonald will still have to deal with his knee and will start in the forward-line. After moving from Ardlethan to Griffith four years ago, McDonald is thrilled with his time with the Swans. "The 50 games seems to be dragged out over a few years because of injuries but it means a fair bit to get there," McDonald said. (The Area News - Friday April 21, 2006).
Round 3 - Sunday April 23, 2006 at Kindra Park 2.10pm
Coolamon ..... 5.2 .. 5.3 .. 9.5 .. 9.11 (65)
Griffith .......... 3.2 .. 10.4 .. 14.5 .. 20.11 (131)
Goals: Coolamon: B McKelvie 4, S Drum, P Maloney, H Dyce, M Suidgeest, F Furner
Griffith: C Conlan 6, D Meade 3, S Hickleton 3, M McDonald 2, B Ford 2, Myles Bunn, L McLean, M Duncan, A Gardner
Best: Coolamon: L Maloney, B McKelvie, B Edyvean, B McPherson, S Drum, H Dyce
Griffith: M Kenny, D Meade, N Petersen-Gray, Myles Bunn, R Heenan, C Conlan
Coolamon: J McPherson, L Drum, B McPherson; R Bartholomew, F Furner, B Munro; S Bartholomew, L Maloney, A McKenzie; S Drum, D Smith, H Dyce; N Edyvean, B McKelvie, E Edis; B Edyvean, B Garrett, J Maddox; M Suidgeest, S Martin, S McGowan
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, J Ward; J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, R Heenan; M Kenny, Matt Bunn, B Ford; M McDonald, J Mickan, D Meade; C Conlan, S Hickleton, K Duncan; J Brown, L McLean (c-c), M Duncan; T Matheson, M Wilson, A Gardner
Umpires: P Guthrie, B Robinson, G Walsh (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 14.17 (101) def Leeton-Whitton 7.15 (57), MCUE 6.14 (50) def by Coolamon 12.10 (82), SUN: Turvey Park 18.13 (121) def Narrandera 11.11 (77)
Reserves: Coolamon 12.15 (87) d Griffith 11.11 (77)
Goals: G Argus 4, L Cavallo, A Cappello, C Lugton, A Hukins, G Foley, W Tyndall, N Campbell
Best: G Foley, C Lugton, W Tyndall, G Argus, T Morgan, R Hill
Under 18: Griffith 15.12 (102) d Coolamon 9.13 (67)
Goals: L Cooper 6, D Crack 4, M Vardanega 2, S Curran, M Tyndall, J Iemma.
Best: D Crack, L Cooper, A Chalmers, J Gastin, S Curran, M Vardanega
Match report: The Griffith Swans scored their long-awaited first victory of the season yesterday after demolishing struggling Coolamon team by 66 points at Kindra Park. The Swans welcomed the return of Craig Conlan who booted six goals up forward, while the inclusion of Matt Kenny also paid off with the hard running player best on the ground. A sensational second quarter, where the Swans ran in seven goals to nil, set up the win after Coolamon worked to an early lead with the aid of a strong wind. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean was satisfied with the win and believes his side is about to hit its straps. "It was a good result, we played well today and had a lot of good passages of play," McLean said. "We stuck to our game plan and it's starting to work a lot better as we get together." McLean praised the efforts of Kenny, Roger Heenan, Mick Duncan and Nathan Petersen-Gray who were the driving force behind the win. With clashes against Mangoplah and Turvey Park awaiting in the next two weeks, McLean is confident the Swans can catch up to the top teams in the competition. "Hopefully we can win at home this week and get back into the mix," McLean said. "I wasn't worried after the first two weeks because I thought we were still playing good. "We didn't play as many practice matches as I would have liked, and we had a lot of reserve players in the games we did play. So, it was always just going to take some time to gel. McLean paid tribute to the side for showing character and fighting back like they did in the second term. "It was good to see we didn't panic," McLean said. On another miserable day for Coolamon, Brendan McKelvie was a focal point up forward and kicked four goals, while Luke Maloney and Brett Garrett also tried hard all day. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday April 24, 2006).
Round 4 - Saturday April 29, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 4.00pm
Griffith ..................... 7.5 .. 12.10 .. 13.13 .. 18.17 (125)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 0.0 .. 2.4 .. 5.6 .. 5.6 (36)
Goals: Griffith: A Gardner 4, S Hickleton 4, M Duncan 3, D Meade 2, J Mickan, M McDonald, K Duncan, N Petersen-Gray, G Foley
MCUE: S Creasy 2, S Balding, M Reberger, J Warden
Best: Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, L McLean, M McDonald, Matt Bunn, R Heenan, Myles Bunn, J Toscan
MCUE: S Creasy, S Balding, J Kendall, M Reberger, J Killalea, G Spriggs
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, R Heenan; L McLean (c-c), J Ward, J Toscan; M Kenny, Matt Bunn, B Ford; M McDonald, J Mickan, D Meade; A Gardner, S Hickleton, K Duncan; J Brown, N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan; T Matheson, M Wilson, G Foley
Mangoplah-CUE: J Kendall, N Johnson, S Bennett; J Killalea, B Howard, S Creasy; K Thompson, M Reberger, L Kendall; X Higgins, G Spriggs, R Walsh; M Heydon, J Warden, M Balding; S Balding, G Bruce, B O'Brien (c-c); C Websdale, G McAlister, B Pattison
Umpires: G Hodgins, G Walsh, R Wilson (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 16.22 (118) def Coolamon 12.13 (85), Narrandera 13.6 (84) def by GGGM 24.15 (159), SUN: Leeton-Whitton 13.19 (97) def Turvey Park 8.15 (63)
Reserves: Griffith 16.5 (101) d Mangoplah-CUE 11.8 (74)
Goals: G Argus 8, L Cavallo 2, R Newman 2, R Frkovic, R Agresta, W Tyndall
Best: W Tyndall, C Lugton, R Newman, N Kite, R Hill, L Cavallo
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 15.4 (94) d Griffith 12.14 (86)
Goals: D Crack 7, S Curran 2, M Vardanega, L Piccolo, J Gastin
Best: D Crack, J Gastin, A Baker, C McGann, D McGreal, J Iemma
Match report: The Griffith Swans produced one of the most dominating opening halves of football ever seen at Exies Oval to set up an 89-point thumping of Mangoplah-CUE on Saturday night. The Swans came out with all guns firing as the two-pronged attack of Ash Gardner and Sam Hickleton alone in the forward 50, blasted the Goannas away. In an embarrassing performance, MCUE was unable to get on the board in the first quarter and didn't post a score until the 25th minute in the second term. Only inaccurate kicking from the Swans saved the Goannas from further humiliation, as the Swans led by 69 points at half-time. The Swans' dynamic midfield was back to its best, with Luke McLean, Mick Duncan, Matt Bunn and Matt McDonald all getting plenty of the ball and feeding the forward line with quality delivery. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said he was happy with the win and could see the team getting better with every week. The Swans piled on the pressure in the opening half, which saw the Goannas panic with the ball, dropping regulation marks and looking sideways when under the ball. The third quarter was a scrappy affair as the skills dropped and physicality levels increased, which was highlighted by an all-in brawl in the opening minutes. The Goannas won the third quarter before the Swans bounced back in the final term, running in five unanswered goals. McLean admitted he was a little surprised at the Goannas' performance. "I think the long trip brought them undone, especially after the start we got,' McLean said. "After that, I think their mind was on other places." Nathan Petersen-Gray was again the standout for the Swans, while their star midfield all played good games. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday May 1, 2006).
Round 5 - Sunday May 7, 2006, at Maher Oval 2.10pm
Turvey Park ... 1.2 .. 5.3 .. 10.3 .. 14.6 (90)
Griffith ............ 6.4 .. 9.5 .. 10.7 .. 13.8 (86)
Goals: Turvey Park: D Brown 4, C Cerato 4, L Webb 2, L Toose 2, N Flanigan, J Hoey
Griffith: G Argus 5, C Conlan 2, M McDonald 2, N Petersen-Gray 2, K Duncan, L McLean
Best: Turvey Park: C Cerato, T Carroll, D Brown, N Byrne, C Barker, J Hoey
Griffith: L McLean, N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, J Mickan, G Argus, S Hickleton, C Conlan
Turvey Park: N Byrne, J Fletcher, A Craig; C Barker, G Bourne, M Dombroski; A Regan, D Campbell, B Regan; C Cerato, J Hoey, N Flanagan; D Brown, L Webb, L Toose; D McLean, Blair Campbell, T Carroll; M Cunningham, D Feary, D Burns
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, M Kenny; J Ward, S Hickleton, L McLean (c-c); T Matheson, M McDonald, B Ford; G Foley, A Gardner, D Meade; C Conlan, G Argus, K Duncan; J Mickan, N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan; D Crack, R Newman*, J Gastin*
Umpires: D Potts, S Roberts (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: GGGM 10.16 (76) def by Leeton-Whitton 15.16 (106), MCUE 9.18 (72) def by Eastern Hawks 19.13 (127), SUN: Coolamon 15.9 (99) def by Narrandera 23.12 (150).
Reserves: Turvey Park 6.9 (45) drew Griffith 6.9 (45)
Goals: R Simpkin 2, D Scott, A Hukins, D Best, T Morgan
Best: R Hill, T Morgan, T Wilson, N Campbell, N Kite, R Simpkin
Under 18: Turvey Park 6.9 (45) d Griffith 2.3 (15)
Goals: T Harrington, J Geddes
Best: J Iemma, D McGreal, T Harrington, S Curran, A Chalmers, A Baker
Match report: Turvey Park yesterday arrived as a genuine RFL finals contender following a courageous four-point win over Griffith at Maher Oval. A left-foot snap from 30m out by ruck-forward John Hoey put Turvey Park ahead with eight minutes remaining and the team held on to win 14.6 (90) to 13.8 (86). Turvey Park will stay level with RFL heavyweights Ganmain-GGM, Leeton-Whitton and the Eastern Hawks. Turvey Parks coach Anthony Dowdle claimed the team had shown it is a worthy contender in the competition. "This is a defining moment for the team," Dowdle said. "Griffith is a top side and we've worked and worked and beaten them." After suffering their first loss to Leeton-Whitton last week, it appeared the Bulldogs season was unravelling in the first quarter as the Swans went on six-goal-to-one rampage. But the Bulldogs improved, slamming on four unanswered goals in the third term to trail by four points at the final change. Goals to Gary Argus and Nathan Petersen-Gray put the Swans back in front, only for Nathan Flanigan to turn the tables moments later. The Swans than took charge through captain-coach Luke McLean, before Turvey Park kicked three consecutive behinds to edge within a point. It appeared the Bulldogs would rue the missed chances, but Hoey's snap proved the game-winner. (The Area News - Monday May 8, 2006).
Round 6 - Saturday May 13, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .............. .... 2.5 .. 8.11 .. 15.16 .. 16.18 (114)
Eastern Hawks ..... 1.4 .. 2.5 .. 5.7 .. 11.10 (76)
Goals: Griffith: S Hickleton 5, Matt Bunn 3, J Brown 2, C Conlan 2, D Crack, J Mickan, G Foley, B Ford
Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 2, D Vanderfeen 2, G Cole 2, J Macauslan 2, K Vanderfeen, J Grieve, P Evans
Best: Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, Matt Bunn, J Brown, Myles Bunn, S Hickleton, M Duncan
Eastern Hawks: K Malone, J Grieve, P Evans, K Vanderfeen, B Roberts, J Macauslan
Griffith: J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, M Kenny; R Heenan, J Ward, S Spiers; Myles Bunn, Matt Bunn, B Ford; G Foley, J Mickan, S Hickleton; D Crack, A Gardner, C Conlan; R Newman, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Brown, J Gastin, T Matheson
Eastern Hawks: P Gribble (c-c), G Cole, B Perkins, P Evans, C De Piazza, D Vanderfeen, S Thompson, J Richards, L Adams, K Malone, D Bromham, J Peace, K Vanderfeen, D Purtill, M Adams, B Roberts, J Macauslan, J Gorman, S Jackson-Ryan, D Cheney, J Grieve
Umpires: S Harrison, P O'Donoghue, P Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Narrandera 24.15 (159 def MCUE 12.13 (85), SUN: GGGM 10.18 (78) def by Turvey Park 11.15 (81), Leeton-Whitton 15.13 (103) def Coolamon 14.13 (97).
Reserves: Griffith 19.7 (121) d Eastern Hawks 6.9 (45)
Goals: G Argus 7, K Duncan 3, J Harris 2, L Cavallo 2, R Simpkin 2, A Huskin 2, 1 short
Best: T Morgan, K Duncan, G Minchin, N Campbell, G Argus, L Cavallo
Under 18: Griffith 15.17 (117) d Eastern Hawks 1.3 (9)
Goals: L Cooper 4, M Vardanega 3, J Geddes 2, J Iemma 2, M Tyndall 2, S Curran, L Piccolo
Best: A Chalmers, J Iemma, T Harrington, D McGreal, C Harrison, M Vardanega.
Match report: The Griffith Swans finally broke through for a major win on Saturday, producing their best performance to date to defeat ladder leader Eastern Hawks by 38 points at Exies Oval. Missing captain-coach Luke McLean and several others, the Swans proved it takes a good team to beat them on their own turf after a superb nine-goal third quarter set up the win. Best on ground was Swans full-back Nathan Petersen-Gray, who along with keeping goal-kicking star Ben Perkins to just two goals, gathering over 20 possessions and provided plenty of drive-in attack. McLean praised the effort of his full-back and predicted Petersen-Gray could be the difference between the two teams later in the year. "Nathan's performance was a major factor in our win," McLean said. "There's not much difference between the two teams apart from Perkins and if Nathan can do the job every time we play them, it's going to help us a great deal. McLean was thrilled to have finally claimed a major scalp in the Eastern Hawks and hopes it could reignite their season. "It's a good win, it's put the belief back in the team, we played a good brand of footy," McLean said. Along with Petersen-Gray, both Matt and Myles Bunn played good games along with Joel Brown, Rhys Newman and Sam Hickleton. Meanwhile, for the Eastern Hawks it was a dirty day with Phil Evans putting in his usual four-quarter effort along with Kaine Malone and Ken Vanderfeen. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday May 15, 2006).
Southern NSW Carnival - Saturday May 20, 2006 at Maher Oval, Wagga
Riverina FL ................. 2.2 .. 5.5 .. 6.6 .. 6.6 (42)
Black Diamond FL .... 0.1 .. 0.2 .. 1.6 .. 6.7 (43)
Goals - Riverina: Ben Perkins 3, Marc Geppert, Jamie Grintell, Craig Conlan
Black Diamond: Maurice Goolagong 4, Clint Austerberry, Mick Ryan
Best - Riverina: Nathan McPherson, Dane Campbell, Craig Conlan, Blair Campbell, Marc Braybon, Christen McPherson.
Black Diamond: Adam Clarke, Maurice Goolagong, Clint Austerberry, Michael Krake, Angus Darling, Chris Gordon
3rd/4th Place: Hume FL 12.6 (72) d Farrer FL 8.8 (56)
Preliminary games at Maher Oval: Farrer 5.1 (31) d Hume 2.7 (19), Riverina 7.9 (51) d Hume 2.1 (13); Riverina 6.3 (39) d Farrer 3.4 (22).
At Anderson Oval: Black Diamond 5.2 (32) d Riverina 3.6 (24), Black Diamond 5.2 (32) d Farrer 3.1 (19), Black Diamond 8.3 (51) d Hume 1.1 (7).
Match report: Riverina Football League coach Matt Hard simply could not believe what had unfolded in front of him. His star-studded line-up had let a 36-point lead slip to lose the inaugural inter league carnival final to visitors Black Diamond at Maher Oval yesterday. A goal to forward Mick Ryan seconds before the final siren completed the stunning 6.7 (43) to 6.6 (42) win. Hard was lost for words on the sideline as the Black Diamond players, coaches, officials and supporters celebrated the unlikely victory. "Really disappointing," he said. "We let them into it." Hard addressed the players on the field after the game, as the reality of the loss set in. It was simply devastating for the RFL. But the players quite simply stopped running in the last 10 minutes. Black Diamond's last roll of the dice was to throw all the fresh legs they could onto the field. Coach Dean Wall made a number of charges, desperate to create midfield drive which the RFL had shut down throughout the final. "We have a young, fit side, so that our only hope," he said. "To create as much run as possible and just sees what happens. "It was a special win." After being beaten in the first round by Black Diamond, the RFL came back with vengeance in the final. The Riverina surge looked ominous when Ben Perkins kicked goals before quarter time. Perkins kicked two more in the second 15-minute term, while Narrandera's Jamie Grintell also goaled as Riverina led 35-3 at half-time. Black Diamond continued to miss opportunities in the third quarter and their first major did not come until Maurice Goolagong snapped a goal just before the end of the term. Goolagong picked up his second goal, then vice-captain Clint Austerberry kicked truly. A point to Liam Gibson appeared to have taken the wind out of Black Diamond's sails. In the end it proved the difference. Goolagong slotted two in quick time to reduce the 29-point three-quarter time deficit to just five points. Then Ryan completed the fairytale comeback inside the last 30 seconds. Black Diamond were jubilant, Hard was left speechless. (The Area News - Monday May 22, 2005).
Round 7 - Sunday May 28, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ........... 1.4 .. 7.7 .. 11.8 .. 16.15 (111)
Narrandera ... 7.4 .. 9.4 .. 13.8 .. 15.8 (98)
Goals: Griffith: C Conlan 3, D Meade 3, M Duncan 3, D Crack 2, J Mickan, R Newman, J Gastin, N Petersen-Gray, A Gardner
Narrandera: J Grintell 5, J Dawson 3, P Heath 2, T Sullivan, L Richmond, P Robinson, M Ivanoff, S Irons
Best: Griffith: J Toscan, J Mickan, Matt Bunn, N Petersen-Gray, S Spiers, J Brown
Narrandera: D Campbell, P Heath, T Sullivan, J Dawson, J Grintell, T Mathieson
Griffith: Myles Bunn, S Spiers, R Heenan; J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, G Foley; B Ford, Matt Bunn, J Gastin; D Meade, A Gardner, J Mickan; J Brown, C Conlan, D Crack; R Newman, M McDonald, M Duncan; T Matheson, T Morgan*, K Duncan
Narrandera: P Bloomfield, W Kiley, I Donaldson; P Heath, S Hutchins, C Downes; S Irons, T Sullivan, J Grintell (c-c); H Hutchins, J Dawson, C Smith; D Campbell, P Robinson, L Richmond; B Grant, T Mathieson, M Ivanoff; N Hetherington, J Walsh, J Orme
Umpires: S Harrison, D Potts, T Beard (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 12.9 (81) def by Turvey Park 13.14 (92), MCUE 13.17 (95) def by Leeton-Whitton 14.16 (100), SUN: Coolamon 17.9 (111) def by GGGM 22.19 (151).
Reserves: Narrandera 26.6 (162) d Griffith 7.12 (54)
Goals: G Argus 5, R Simpkin 2, J Harris
Best: D Pasin, Ryan Hill, R Frkovic, N Campbell, Chris Conlan, N Kite
Under 18: Narrandera 12.17 (89) d Griffith 8.8 (56)
Goals: J Geddes 4, S Curran 3, L Piccolo
Best: D McGreal, A Chalmers, T Harrington, M Vardanega, J Iemma, J Geddes
Match report: A flurry of late goals from the Griffith Swans posted a stunning 13-point come-from-behind win over Narrandera at Exies Oval yesterday. A blistering seven-goal-to-one opening term was enough for Narrandera to hold the lead for all but the last five minutes of the match as the Swans finally hit the front to snatch victory. After opening in poor style, the Swans came out from the quarter-time break a new-look team and always looked like hitting the front, it was just a matter of when. Narrandera didn't give an inch in the third term and when Eagles centre-half-back Peter Heath ran down the ground for his second goal within the opening minutes of the last term, Griffith looked gone. The Swans didn't help their chances, booting five behinds to start the last quarter, but four unanswered goals within the last 15 minutes saw the Swans run right over the top of a gallant Narrandera team. Swans coach Luke McLean believed his team got out of jail with a narrow win in the dying stages. "Very much so, I thought we dug a hole there but at the same time we had done well to get ourselves out of it," McLean said. "I thought it was a good show of our character to come back and win but full credit to Narrandera. "They're a lot better side than a lot of people give them credit for, and they've got a good game plan and a good coach, and they stick to it very well." Griffith went into the clash undermanned without coach Luke McLean, Sam Hickleton, Josh Ward and Rod Duncan. With Ash Gardner playing up the ground in a a half-forward-flank role, the Swans rotated midfielders Mick Duncan ad Craig Conlan at full-forward which was effective for the final three quarters. Sixteen-year-old James Toscan played his best match for the club on a half-back-flank, proving plenty of drive while Conlan, Jeff Mickan, Simon Spiers and Nathan Petersen-Gray all played good games. Narrandera coach Jamie Grintell was a standout, booting five goals and Peter Heath and Danny Campbell both contributed well. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday May 29, 2006).
Round 8 - Sunday June 4, 2006 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton-Whitton .... 5.0 .. 6.5 .. 11.8 .. 15.9 (99)
Griffith .................... 6.3 .. 9.7 .. 13.12 .. 18.14 (122)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: D Lang 5, T Doyle 4, D Clayton 2, D Elwin, M Lang, D Dunscombe, D Harrison
Griffith: J Brown 3, R Newman 3, C Conlan 2, A Gardner 2, M Duncan 2, M McDonald 2, D Meade 2, Matt Bunn, N Petersen-Gray
Best: Leeton-Whitton: D Dunscombe, S Piltz, T Doyle, D Symes, S Iannelli, K Bullock
Griffith: C Conlan, N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, R Newman, Matt Bunn, M McDonald
Leeton-Whitton: M Flagg, D Harrison, G Looby; B Dryburgh, D Symes, G Dale; D Elwin, J Broadbent, M Melidonis; T Doyle, A Nettelbeck, S Iannelli, M Lang, D Lang (c-c), D Clayton; Kurt Bullock, D Dunscombe, D Sullivan; S Piltz, G Lee, L Aylett
Griffith: B Ford, S Spiers, S Hickleton; J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan; Myles Bunn, L McLean (c-c), G Foley; D Meade, A Gardner, J Mickan; J Brown, C Conlan, D Crack; R Newman, M McDonald, Matt Bunn; T Matheson, J Gastin, D Pasin*
Umpires: P Ross, B Webb (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 20.11 (131) def Narrandera 13.6 (84), GGGM 15.23 (113) def MCUE 4.13 (37), SUN: Turvey Park 14.22 (106) def Coolamon 10.11 (71)
Reserves: Griffith 20.13 (133) d Leeton-Whitton 9.6 (60)
Goals: G Argus 11, K Duncan 2, A Hukins 2, R Frkovic, Chris Conlan, C Lugton, L Cavallo, J Harris
Best: R Duncan, C Conlan, G Argus, W Tyndall, R Frkovic
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 20.19 (139) d Griffith 6.2 (38)
Goals: T Harrington, J Geddes 2, S Curran, D McGreal
Best: D McGreal, T Harrington, A Chalmers, S Curran, K Hicken, C McGann
Match report: The Griffith Swans produced their strongest performance of the season to run out convincing 23-point winners over the second-placed Leeton-Whitton Crows at Leeton yesterday. In the second local derby of the season, the Swans were able to produce a strong four-quarter effort to reverse the result of the opening round and move within a game of second spot. After calling for the senior Swans to stand tall during the week, that's what they did, with Matt McDonald starring along with Craig Conlan, Simon Spiers, Matt Bunn and Mick Duncan. Swans coach Luke McLean was thrilled with the performance and rated it as their best win yet. "Definitely, without doubt, it was the first time all year we've been able to put four quarters together," McLean said. "We ran all day and stuck to the game plan. "But I think the difference was we were hard at the footy, that and we used it a lot better." The Swans managed to kick a big winning score again without a full-time full-forward, with Duncan and Conlan rotating from the position along with the ruckman. While no-one kicked more than three, the Swans had nine different goal scorers, something he thinks is a big advantage on other teams. "We chipped in with goals which was good, and a lot of the goal-kickers is definitely going to be an advantage," McLean said. "We're improving every week which is great but there is still a long way to go for us. "But the good thing is we're still coming along." The Swans were consistent throughout the match, booting nine goals in both halves. The Crows, however, were still in the match at three-quarter time, down by 16 points. But in a stark contrast to last time, Griffith ran out the match strongly, booting five goals to run out 23-point winners. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday June 5, 2006).
SPORTS EDITOR BIDS CITY A FOND FAREWELL - On the BALL Matthew Malone
THE Griffith sporting community is a unique one. One like I've never come across before and I doubt I will ever come across again. After almost two years here in Griffith, it's time for me to move on and head back to Wagga. I arrived in Griffith not knowing too much about the sporting scene, only that every time we came here for soccer, they gave us a hiding. What I soon found out was that it's not only soccer where the city excels, it's almost every single sport. Never before have I seen a place excel in so many sporting fields. A quick check of the sporting ladders at the moment backs this up. The Group 20 ladder sees Yenda on top, with Griffith Black and Whites and Waratah Tigers holding third and fourth. Hanwood and Yoogali are dominating the North Eastern Soccer League, something they have done year after year. The Blacks are back, undefeated after five rounds and looking very hard to beat in this year's Southern Inland Rugby Union competition. And the Swans are fourth but slowly but surely climbing the ladder while the netballers sit on top in three out of the four grades. Griffith should also feel lucky to possess such a classy sporting complex in Exies Oval. It's already a quality facility but the plans for the complex sounds like it's only going to get better and better and events such as NRL trial and Twenty20 we've had this year will keep on coming. As much as where I'm headed, Wagga, think they are the premier sporting city in the Riverina, Griffith continues to land the big sporting events, and this is a fitting reflection on your sporting community. One thing that I'm sure isn't to far away is a Griffith Sporting Hall of Fame. There are so many people here who contribute so much to Griffith sport and what better way to recognise them than a hall of fame. I could go on all day about this place but unfortunately all good things come to an end. Thank you to all the readers, players, coaches, presidents, publicity officers, contributors and columnists for your help and understanding, without you guys the paper wouldn't be what it is today. I'd like to name you all individually but I'm sure you know who you are. And finally, to all the guys here at The Area News, thanks for all your support and friendship, I've had a ball.
Until next time, look after yourselves. (The Area News - Friday June 9, 2006).
SWANS TICKLED PINK
THE Griffith Swans will be out to do things on Sunday against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Exies Oval. The first will be to win the match and stay in touch with the front-runners in the Riverina Football League. Secondly, the Swans will be looking to raise as much money as possible for the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group. Spectators will be adjusting their eyes as a special pink jersey for Sunday's game will replace the Swans traditional red and white colours. The jersey switch, combined with raffles at the game, a variety night on Friday at the Exies Club, a bucket run up Banna Avenue on Saturday morning collecting donations and a charity kicking competition during half-time of Sunday's game are all part of the Swans fundraising efforts. "It's a really great initiative and we hope people will throw as much money as they can afford towards the cause," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "I hope lots of people can get out and really make a day out of it." The fundraising efforts are the brainchild of Swans committee member Damien Scott and local businessman Pat Pittavino, with the idea proving a worthy exercise on its conception last year. Over $3000 was raised in 2005 and it is hoped that figure will be surpassed this year. While the Swans charitable efforts have occupied much of their time this week, McLean is well aware they will have to be sharp on the field this weekend. "It will be a tight game this weekend, and both sides are pretty evenly matched," he said. "This is a big game for us because we really don't want to slip out of the mix. "We're looking for a big performance all around the ball, and our fitness has to play a big part in that," In their last hit-out before the bye, the Swans put on one of their most complete performances of the season with a 23-point win against a strong Leeton-Whitton outfit, but McLean said there is still rook for improvement. "We're looking to improve about 5 per cent each week," he said. "If we can do that, if we can keep going at that rate, we should be hitting our straps at the right end of the season." (The Area News - Friday June 16, 2006).
Round 9 - Sunday June 18, 2006 (Pink Day) at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................. 4.2 .. 10.6 .. 12.12 .. 16.20 (116)
Ganmain-GGM .... 5.1 .. 9.4 .. 17.9 .. 24.10 (154)
Goals: Griffith: C Conlan 4, M McDonald 3, A Gardner 3, N Petersen-Gray 2, L McLean, J Gastin, M Duncan, J Brown
GGGM: C Macri 7, A Carroll 6, S Hamblin 4, D Underwood 2, M Gerpert 2, K Hamblin 2, N McPherson
Best: Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, C Conlan, G Foley, J Mickan, J Ward
GGGM: C Macri, N McPherson, E Sullivan, C Hamblin, A Symons, J Evans
Griffith: B Ford, S Spiers, J Ward; R Heenan, S Hickleton, J Toscan; T Matheson, L McLean (c-c), G Foley; D Meade, J Mickan, A Gardner; N Petersen-Gray, J Brown, M Duncan; R Newman, M McDonald, Craig Conlan; D Crack, J Gastin, D Pasin
Ganmain-GGM: A Symons, P Lucas, D Symons; W Smith, C McPherson, J Evans; D Hitchens, C Macri (c-c), L Steward; M Steele, M Geppert, D Underwood; S Hamblin, A Carroll, E Sullivan; M Braybon, N McPherson, C Hamblin; D Logan, K Hamblin, M Hatty
Umpires: S Crowley, P Ross, G Walsh (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Coolamon 13.8 (86) def by MCUE 20.16 (136); SUN: Leeton-Whitton 24.12 (156) def Eastern Hawks 16.7 (103), Narrandera 19.13 (127) def Turvey Park 8.14 (62)
Reserves: Griffith 27.17 (179) d Ganmain-GGM 5.4 (34)
Goals: G Argus 10, C Lugton 4, K Duncan 3, W Tyndall 3, J Harris 2, G Dreyer 2, Chris Conlan, A Hukins, N Campbell
Best: R Duncan, C Conlan, W Tyndall, G Argus, N Campbell, G Dreyer
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 13.18 (96) d Griffith 6.6 (42
Goals: K Hicken 2, J Gastin, S Curran, L Cooper, J Iemma
Best: J McRae, J Iemma, A Baker, M Tyndall, D McGreal, C McGann
Match report: The Griffith Swans have suffered a mid-season stumble after Ganmain-GGM outgunned the locals in the third quarter to run away with a 38-point win yesterday at Exies Oval. The Swans, buoyed by last round's impressive victory over Leeton-Whitton, began the game strongly and were only narrowly behind at the first break. The home side than rallied in the second quarter and opened up an eight-point half-time lead, but some woefully inaccurate kicking stalled their chances of victory completely. "Ganmain were just more switched on after three-quarter time," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "We've got a few things to work on at training." In total, the Swans had one more shot on goal than the Lions but managed to finish well behind in a costly kicking display. While the loss is an obvious setback for the Swans as they try to mount a mid-season charge up the ladder, McLean remains confident his side will still be within reach of the ladder come the end of the season. "I think we're sitting about fourth now, and we can still make the top three definitely," he said. While the loss proved disappointing for the home fans, they still have plenty to cheer about with the success of the Swans fundraising efforts for the Griffith Breast Cancer Support group undeniable. Not only where the players clad in special pinks jerseys, a good portion of the crowd showed their support by also emblazing themselves in pink and a giant pink ribbon had been spray painted on the ground. "I'm fairly certain we surpassed the figure of $3000 we wanted to achieve," Swans committee member and architect of the 'Pink Day' initiative Damien Scott said. "The celebrity kick-off proved a big hit, and everyone really seemed to have enjoyed themselves." (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday June 19, 2006).
CELEBRITIES KICK START FUNDRAISER
THE Griffith Swans exceeded their aims by raising just under $4000 for the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group last weekend during their "Pink Day" charity efforts. "We raised $1500 from the bucket run in town on Saturday morning, $1200 from the auction, $480 from the celebrity kicking competition and the rest from proceeds of the raffle at the game ion Sunday," Swans sponsorship director Alison Ward said. The kicking competition was one of the highlights of the drive with 16 local identities of varying ability competing. "Tony Delgigante from Noyce, Salmon and D'Aquino top scored with a perfect five from five goals kicked," Ward said. "Darryn Savage from McDonald's, Mark Harris from ANZ, Gus Lico from Griffith Exies, Ross Elliott from Danny's Store and Brad George from Star FM all scored four from five attempts and managed to kick six pointer from 50 metres out. "Brendan Catanzariti from Choice Home Loans and Doug Curran from A&G booted massive torpedo kicks, but they missed out on even getting a behind," she said. "The women were represented by Renae Wynne from WIN TV and Candice Marin from Bertoldo's Bakery and both of them slotted two-a-piece, with Candice managing to score from 40 metres out. "The biggest kicks of the day were from ex-Griffith Swans player Robert Harrington and The Commonwealth Bank's Richard Bligh, both of whom managed to successfully kick 60 metres out. "Roy Spagnolo from Roy Spagnolo and Associates along with Jeff Marin from First Accounting, Dennis Conroy from Country First Credit Union and David Alpen representing Casella Wines, all slotted two from five attempts. "We raised $480 with donations," she said. (The Area News - Wednesday June 21, 2006).
ASHLEY GARDNER TO PLAY HIS 50TH SWANS GAME
THE Griffith Swans will be looking to put last weekend's disastrous kicking display behind them when they tackle Coolamon away from home this weekend. The Swans were in contention up until three-quarter time against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong but continually missed in front of goal cruelled the home side. Not only will the Swans hope to stay in touch with the RFL front-runners, but will also have an added incentive for a win with Ashley Gardner playing his 50th game. "He's been a really good bloke to have around the club," Swans committee member Damien Scott said. "If anyone one of the committee ever needs a hand, he's always there to chip in." Ironically, Gardner played his first senior game as a 16-year-old against Coolamon in 2001 and Scott said his game had developed phenomenally since then. "He was originally a permanent full-forward reserve but he's worked on his game and clocking up 50 is a great result," Scott said. "He' now developed himself as a very potent attacking forward. "This year was his first year with a full preseason behind him and he's certainly seeing the benefits of that now. " But it is with some sadness that Gardner brings up the milestone as his grandmother passed away this week. "It's a very hard thing, but I'm sure all the boys will be getting around him this weekend," Scott said. (The Area News - Friday June 23, 2006).
Round 10 - Sunday June 25, 2006 at Kindra Park 2.10pm
Coolamon ..... 6.1 .. 7.4 .. 8.8 .. 10.12 (72)
Griffith .......... 3.7 .. 4.9 .. 14.13 .. 20.17 (137)
Goals: Coolamon: E Edis 2, L Maloney 2, B Edyvean, M Suidgeest, S Drum, R Maslin, M Goss, M Bradley
Griffith: C Conlan 7, M Duncan 4, N Petersen-Gray 3, L McLean 2, D Meade, D Crack, N Campbell, M McDonald
Best: Coolamon: S Bartholomew, B Edyvean, L Maloney, B McPherson, S Drum, R Maslin
Griffith: C Conlan, D Pasin, M Duncan, N Petersen-Gray, R Hill, L McLean
Coolamon: M Robinson, S Bartholomew, F Furner; N Edyvean, B McPherson, R Bartholomew; A McKenzie, S Drum, R Maslin; Mark Bradley, H Dyce, B Gordon; M Suidgeest, L Drum, L Maloney; B Edyveen, J McPherson, E Edis; D Smith, S Martin, M Goss
Griffith: B Ford, S Spiers, D Pasin; J Ward, R Duncan, S Hickleton; N Petersen-Gray, L McLean (c-c), T Matheson; G Foley, A Gardner, J Micken; R Newman, Craig Conlan, D Crack; R Hill, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Brown, D Meade, N Campbell
Umpires: D Potts, R Wilson (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 18.8 (116) def GGGM 15.13 (103), Leeton-Whitton 17.11 (113) def Narrandera 16.15 (111), MCUE 11.8 (78) def Turvey Park 6.9 (45)
Reserves: Griffith 19.13 (127) d Coolamon 7.6 (48)
Goals: G Argus 8, J Harris 5, A Potroz 3, D Scott 2, G Dreyer
Best: Chris Conlan, N Kite, G Argus, T Wilson, C Lugton, K Duncan
Under 18: Griffith 11.14 (80) d Coolamon 7.11 (53)
Goals: K Hicken 5, J Iemma, A Baker, L Piccolo, C Harrison, J Gastin
Best: R Best, K Hicken, T Harrington, J Gastin, J Fallon
Match report: Griffith gave Coolamon a start and then dished out a hiding in yesterday's RFL clash at Kindra Park. The Swans were stunned by a determined Hoppers team in the first half and trailed by 13 points at half-time. But just as a massive upset was looming, Griffith responded with 10 third-quarter goals before running out 20.17 (137) to 10.12 (72) winners. Injury-plagued Coolamon played with enormous spirit and tenacity in the first-half, only to let themselves down badly with a woeful third term. And Griffith jumped on the chance, with Craig Conlan, Matt McDonald and captain-coach Luke McLean running rampant in the midfield. McLean was pleased with the Swans ability to respond to Coolamon's first half challenge. "We needed to lift," McLean said. "It took us a while to adapt to how they were playing, Coolamon played well today. "After that we got some time and space and took the right options. "We're going along all right, we're still in touch with the leaders and I'm pretty happy with that today," Coolamon was inspired from the first bounce, with Ben Edyvean dominating in the ruck and young guns Edward Edis and Jacob McPherson providing the forward thrust. Then the Hoppers lost the plot and sensing a blowout, Griffith capitalised. Craig Conlan kicked seven goals for the Swans, but earned the best on ground points for his influence in the centre of the ground. When Conlan moved to midfield from full-forward, Mick Duncan played a starring role in the forward line to continue Griffith's onslaught. Duncan booted three in the third-quarter, while Conlan kicked two goals. The tale of woe only got worse for Coolamon, when Edis was stretchered off right on three-quarter time after taking a heavy hit. A furious Coolamon coach Matt Hard delivered a three-quarter time tirade to his players and the Hoppers did offer more of a fight in the final term, but the damage was done. The loss anchors Coolamon to the bottom of the RFL ladder for the first time this season. (The Area News - Monday June 26, 2006).
SWANS COACH SIGNS NEW TWO YEAR DEAL - By Will Gilroy
THE Griffith Swans have wasted no time in re-signing captain-coach Luke McLean to a new two-year deal. McLean's contract was extended from his initial one-year deal, and the Swans said it was McLean's on and off-field commitment to the club that sealed his future with Griffith. "We did our homework early and made sure we got him early," Swans president George Duncan said. "He has performed on and off the field. "He's brought in some new training procedures and methods from back home in Geelong and he seems to be making training enjoyable for the boys." Still in his first year at the club, McLean has made an obvious impression with his peers and fans alike. He said he was pleased with the decision and can now shift his focus to implementing further goals, namely those involving junior ranks at the club. "The club has been right behind me," McLean said. "I'm not walking on seashells now that I may have been with a one-year deal. "I'm looking for the younger boys to take more responsibility, whereas previous coaches seemed happy to do what they wanted." McLean hinted that he would use his contacts from back home in Geelong to try and lure more up-and-coming stars to the club. (The Area News - Wednesday June 28, 2006).
Round 11 - Saturday July 1, 2006 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm
Mangoplah-CUE .... 6.3 .. 9.9 .. 13.13 .. 17.16 (118)
Griffith ..................... 2.3 .. 3.4 .. 6.7 .. 11.9 (75)
Goals: MCUE: D Howard 6, J Foster 5, M Heydon 2, J Killalea 2, N Lawson 2, M Finemore
Griffith: D Crack 2, M McDonald 2, A Gardner 2, D Meade, C Conlan, M Duncan, N Petersen-Gray, L McLean
Best: MCUE: J Foster, J Killalea, D Howard, N Johnson, M Heyden, M Finemore
Griffith: L McLean, N Petersen-Gray, G Foley, M Duncan, M McDonald, D Crack
Mangoplah-CUE: N Lawson, B Howard, K Thompson; S Creesy, N Johnson, G Bruce; B O'Brien (c-c), C Higgins, J Killalea; M Finemore, G Spriggs, X Higgins; D Howard, J Foster, M Heyden; S Balding, M Balding, M Reberger; B Carroll, L Kendall, Trent Cohalan
Griffith: R Duncan, J Ward, J Brown; D Pasin, N Petersen-Gray, J Toscan, T Matheson, L McLean (c-c), B Ford; M Crack, J Mickan, Craig Conlan; D Meade, M Duncan, G Foley; R Newman, M McDonald, Matt Bunn; A Gardner, T Wilson*, N Campbell
Umpires: R Dalgleish, G Hodgins, G Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Coolamon 15.9 (99) def Eastern Hawks 19.13 (127), GGGM 21.22 (148) def Narrandera 11.5 (71) at Matong; SUN: Turvey Park 16.5(101) def by Leeton-Whitton 23.14 (152)
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 15.14 (104) d Griffith 10.5 (65)
Goals: G Argus 4, J Gastin 2, G Dreyer, D Scott, A Cappello, T Wilson
Best: T Wilson, D Best, G Dreyer, J Gastin, L Cavallo, D Milani
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 10.11 (71) d Griffith 5.2 (32)
Goals: K Hicken 2, J Iemma, R Johns, J Cimador
Best: G Snaidero, J Gastin, N McGrath, R Best, J Cimador, J Smith
Match report: The Griffith Swans couldn't recover from a poor opening half allowing Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes a 43-point win at Mangoplah Sportsground on Saturday. The damage was done in the first period as MCUE skipped out to a four-goal lead. Dean Howard and Jordan Foster were the chief destroyers for MCUE, bagging five goals each for the game. "It was a disappointing first half, but they just played better than us across the board," Griffith captain-coach Luke McLean said. "Our forward line didn't go too well but we just could have played better." The Swans did show some fight in the latter stage of the match with a strong five goal final quarter. "It was too little too late," McLean said. MCUE's win was spearheaded by a number of the club's junior players and coach Barry O'Brien was ecstatic with their contribution against the determined Swans side. "Our kids were tremendous, I reckon they're the best young players going around," O'Brien said. "I believe once you play about five to nine games, you're considered a senior player and these young guys are coming up against blokes a lot older than them and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. "These guys have stepped up and played senior footy for a while now and they're going to be very good players." Despite the result, McLean praised Nathan Petersen-Gray and Mick Duncan for their consistent efforts in a losing side. McLean also remains confident his side is still in contention for a finals birth. "The game did hurt a bit but we're still in touch," he said. "We now have to look ahead to Turvey Park which is going to be a big game on Sunday." (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday July 3, 2006).
Round 12 - Sunday July 9, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............. 1.3 .. 11.15 .. 15.22 .. 29.26 (200)
Turvey Park ... 6.3 .. 7.3 .. 9.5 .. 10.10 (70)
Goals: Griffith: C Conlan 6, G Gardner 5, M McDonald 3, L McLean 3, S Hickleton 3, M Duncan 2, D Meade 2, G Mickan 2, D Crack 2, J Harris
Turvey Park: D Brown 4, M Beckmans 2, L Webb, J Hoey, B Campbell, M Paul
Best: Griffith: L McLean, M Duncan, M McDonald, C Conlan, Myles Bunn, J Mickan
Turvey Park: N Byrne, J Hoey, M Paul, J Fletcher, A Reagan, C Reechman
Griffith: Myles Bunn, J Brown, T Wilson; D Pasin, J Ward, J Toscan; Craig Conlan, L McLean (c-c), B Ford; D Meade, J Mickan, G Foley; S Hickleton, R Duncan, D Crack; Ryan Hill, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Harris, A Gardner, D McGreal*
Turvey Park: P Donaldson, D McLean, N Byrne; J Hoey, C Barker, B Reagan; A Reagan, D Campbell, M Williams; M Beckmans, J Fletcher, L Toose; D Brown, L Webb, N Flanagan; C Reeckman, Blair Campbell, M Paul; B Cooper, D Feary
Umpires: S Graham, P Ross, R Wilson (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 15.16 (106) def MCUE 7.13 (55), Narrandera 19.15 (129) def Coolamon 17.7 (109); SUN: Leeton-Whitton 8.5 (53) def by GGGM 28.15 (183)
Reserves: Griffith 24.19 (163) d Turvey Park 5.4 (34)
Goals: L Condon 6, G Argus 5, L Cavallo 4, M Harris 3, K Duncan 2, R Newman, Ritchie Agresta
Best: G Dreyer, D Best, R Newman, L Catanzariti, G Vaccari, L Cavallo
Under 18: Turvey Park 12.9 (81) d Griffith 9.14 (68)
Goals: K Hicken 3, M Condon 2, J Iemma, J Geddes, M Vardanega, J Fallon
Best: N McGrath, C Harrison, G Snaidero, A Baker, J Iemma, R Best
Match report: The Griffith Swans put in two scintillating quarters of football to humiliate Turvey Park by 130 points at Exies Oval yesterday. The Swans were at their destructive best, scoring 10 unanswered goals in the second period and 14 majors in the last term as the hapless Bulldogs had no answers. The Swans, notorious for their slow starts, were again struggling early as Turvey Park streaked to a 30-point lead at quarter-time. But the Swans seemed rejuvenated after the first break and were equally dynamic in attack and defence and full of running in the second quarter to blitz the travelling Bulldogs. "We are starting slowly but we just stuck to what we wanted to do," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "We did come out a bit slow, but we knew the wind would do its work and we came out and played our game and had lots of numbers at the ball. In the second quarter, the Swans suddenly started converting the chances that they had squandered in the first period. Three goals to the home side within three minutes was the catalyst for the drubbing, with McLean landing the final goal of the blitzkrieg with a booming 40-metre effort. The Swans had more sting in their defence and more flair in attack as Turvey Park was left to contemplate their sudden disintegration. Ashley Gardner was ever-present in the forward line for the Swans and could lay claim to one of the day's best marks - a spectacular hanging effort right in his own goalmouth which he instantly thumped between the posts for one of his five goals. The game developed into a red and white procession in the final quarter as the Griffith side piled on a phenomenal 88 points. The win still leaves the Swans in fourth place on the RFL ladder, but they were able to create some breathing space with Turvey Park remaining in fifth place. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday July 10, 2006).
SWANS RECRUIT PETERSEN-GRAY KEY TO LIMITING HAWKS STAR
GRIFFITH will be placing their faith in star recruit Nathan Petersen-Gray to shut down RFL leading goalkicker Ben Perkins in the blockbuster clash at Gumly Oval on Sunday. With just six rounds remaining until finals, Griffith and Eastern Hawks will battle it out for third spot. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean was impressed with his team's last three quarters against Turvey Park last Saturday and is still confident his team can be a major player come finals. After Petersen-Gray got the better of the Hawks' star goal kicker in their earlier meeting this year, McLean has high hopes the former South Australian can lead the Swans to victory again. "It's going to be pretty important that we stop Perkins so Nathan will probably play on him again and I think he can do the job," McLean said. "He's a confident young fella and is definitely good enough to play on him. "But no matter how good Nathan is, we're got to help him by putting pressure on their midfielders and they're delivery to Perkins." The Swans yet again this season have struggled away from home and McLean is keen to try and find the reason behind the Swans' inconsistent form. After trying several different ways of travelling to away games this season, McLean has this week chosen to invite players' partners, netballers and supporters all on the one bus. "We've got a bus for everyone at the club this week, players, reserve grade, girlfriends, everyone," McLean said. "Hopefully it will work and just make us a little more settled. "This weekend is going to play a big part in where we finish, we're got a good run home but it is important to us to win this game." McLean said he was happy with the return of Rod Duncan who has been playing well off the half-back flank after a long stint on the sidelines. (The Area News - Friday July 14, 2006).
Round 13 - Sunday July 16, 2006 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm
Eastern Hawks ..... 1.4 .. 8.14 .. 15.16 .. 18.18 (126)
Griffith ..................... 7.5 .. 11.7 .. 13.12 .. 15.22 (112)
Goals: Eastern Hawks: D Vanderfeen 5, L Adams 4, B Limbrick 3, B Perkins 2, D Purtill, K Vanderfeen, D Bromham, N Scott
Griffith: C Conlan 5, S Hickleton 2, L McLean 2, A Gardner, J Mickan, D Crack, M Duncan, M McDonald, Matt Bunn
Best: Eastern Hawks: D Cuthbert, D Bromham, D Vanderfeen, P Evans, L Adams, B Limbrick
Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, J Mickan, M McDonald, C Conlan, L McLean, M Duncan
Eastern Hawks: J Peace, S Thompson, J Grieve; D Cuthbert, E Bowman, K Malone, S Jackson-Ryan, G Cole, J McAuslan; L Adams, P Evans, B Limbrick, B Roberts, B Perkins, D Vanderfeen; K Vanderfeen, D Purtill, D Bromham; C De Piazza, L Pollett, N Scott
Griffith: Matt Bunn, N Petersen-Gray, J Brown; T Wilson, J Ward, J Toscan; B Ford, L McLean (c-c), G Foley; D Meade, A Gardner, J Mickan; S Hickleton, C Conlan, D Crack; Ryan Hill, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Harris, J Gastin, G Dreyer
Umpires: S Crowley, G Walsh (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: MCUE 9.10 (64) def by Narrandera 10.11 (71); SUN: Coolamon 14.12 (96) def Leeton-Whitton 14.10 (94), Turvey Park 4.7 (31) def by GGGM 20.19 (139)
Reserves: Eastern Hawks 13.12 (90) d Griffith 9.6 (60)
Goals: D Scott 3, K Duncan 2, W Tyndall, N Campbell, A Cappello, K Hicken
Best: A Cappello, D Best, W Tyndall, G Vaccari, D Milani, M Harris
Under 18: Griffith 11.13 (79) d Eastern Hawks 3.3 (21)
Goals: K Hicken 4, L Piccolo 3, T Harrington, J Iemma, M Tyndall, J Cimador
Best: L Piccolo, J Tyrell, J Iemma, A Baker, C Harrison, M Tyndall
Match report: Eastern Hawks produced an astonishing mid-game comeback to tough out a 14-point win over the Griffith Swans at Gumly Oval in Wagga yesterday. The Hawks fought back from a 50-point deficit midway through the second quarter before holding out a late Griffith charge. With the Hawks leading by 16 points entering the final quarter Griffith dominated the final quarter but kicked two goals 10, including five behinds to Craig Conlan. Griffith continued on from their 130-point thrashing of Turvey Park at the start of the game and looked like tearing the Hawks apart midway through the second term. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean had over 20 possessions in the opening half and the Swans looked set to break their away game hoodoo. But suddenly the Hawks clicked and started attacking the football ferociously and remarkably hit the lead in time-on in the third quarter. While Nathan Petersen-Gray won the battle with Hawks full-forward Ben Perkins, David Vanderfeen, Brett Limbrick and Luke Adams all stood tall for the home team and provided other avenues to goal. Sidelined Hawks coach Pat Gribble said although it wasn't a pretty win, he was proud of the character his team displayed. "The discipline we showed to get the win today was super," Gribble said. "Griffith had a lot of momentum carrying on with them into the fifth-quarter this week and we just had to try and stop it. "We've got a lot of physical presence and we started attacking the football and the man with the football and we turned it around." (The Area News - Monday July 17, 2006).
Round 14 - Saturday July 22, 2006 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm
Narrandera .... 2.5 .. 8.10 .. 17.13 .. 21.17 (143)
Griffith ............ 6.2 .. 9.6 .. 14.10 .. 17.14 (116)
Goals: Narrandera: J Grintell 7, D Campbell 3, T Durnan 3, T Sullivan 2, D Kenna 2, A Black, P Heath, T Mathieson, S Hutchins
Griffith: C Conlan 6, M Duncan 3, N Petersen-Gray 3, Matt Bunn, L McLean, D Crack, T Wilson, K Duncan
Best: Narrandera: J Grintell, J Dawson, T Durnan, C Downes, S Hutchins, D Campbell
Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, J Mickan, C Conlan, M McDonald, R Hill, J Toscan
Narrandera: P Bloomfield, S Hutchins, H Hutchins; W Kiley, I Donaldson, S Irons; D Kenna, T Mathieson, A Black; J Zac, P Heath, N Hetherington; T Durnan, D Campbell, J Dawson; J Horne, J Grintell (c-c), M Ivanoff; T Sullivan, C Downes, P Williams
Griffith: G Vaccari, D Meade, J Brown; Myles Bunn, N Petersen-Gray, J Toscan; B Ford, L McLean (c-c), K Duncan; Matt Bunn, J Mickan, J Harris; A Gardner, C Conlan, D Crack; Ryan Hill, M McDonald, M Duncan; T Wilson, D Best, G Dreyer
Umpires: S Harrison, T McDonald, P Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SUN: GGGM 34.16 (220) def Coolamon 9.12 (66), Leeton-Whitton 18.12 (120) def MCUE 9.9 (63), Turvey Park 12.9 (81) def by Eastern Hawks 13.15 (93)
Reserves: Narrandera 19.4 (118) d Griffith 9.16 (70)
Goals: R Frkovic 2, R Newman 2, K Duncan, A Cappello, M Burke, L Catanzariti, J Vaccari
Best: Chris Conlan, D Scott, A Chalmers, N Campbell, N Kite, M Harris
Under 18: Narrandera 14.12 (96) d Griffith 8.9 (57)
Goals: K Hicken 2, L Piccolo 2, M Vardanega 2, L Cooper, J Iemma,
Best: A Chalmers, C Harrison, J Smith, D McGreal, M Vardanega, J Fallon
Match report: The Griffith Swans slumped to their second successive loss in the Riverina Football League after going down to Narrandera by 27 points at Narrandera Sportsground. The Swans stormed out of the blocks after a six-goal opening term, but they saw the lead whittled down to just two points by half-time. Craig Conlan tried to inspire his side with six goals, but the Swans failed to fire in the second half. "We didn't switch on all day, and we had a good first half but inexperienced cost us," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "We didn't use the ball very smart and turned it over too often and it was pretty disappointing." McLean and the Swans have been trumpeting their desire to finish in the top three before the finals, but this weekend's loss to Narrandera has forced a revision of their goals. Asked if his side's current form warranted a top-three finish, McLean was frank. "Not at the moment," he said. "We've got to focus on getting a win against Leeton, the week after next weekend general bye. "We've beaten every team in the competition at least once except Ganmain and at the moment we're just a bit hot and cold, and we need to be a lot more consistent and focus on getting a win rather than a top-three position." (The Area News - Monday July 24, 2006).
SWANS DUO TO AIM FOR HIGHER HONOURS - By Will Gilroy
TWO leading Griffith Swans players have been rewarded for their superlative form this year with selection in the New South Wales Country AFL side for the up-coming Australian football championships. Mick Duncan and Nathan Petersen-Gray are part of a 24-man squad that will fly to the Gold Coast tomorrow and complete in the two-tiered round-robin event against Western Australia, ACT, Victorian country, Queensland, a combined Aboriginal side and even a team from New Zealand. While this weekend offers both players a tremendous opportunity to show their wares against some of the most talented bush football players in the country, the journey to make the final squad has been an arduous one. "They first picked a 57-man squad and then that was cut to 45, then to 30 and now to 24 and we've been training every second week in Culcairn," Duncan said. "It should be a good experience and maybe open a few doors to play at a higher level." While Duncan, 23, has played all his football for Griffith, Petersen-Gray's selection is a reward for a phenomenal debut season. The 20-year-old, who has a strong history of representative football, this year moved from South Australia for work reasons but has fitted into the Swans with immaculate ease. "I've played for the South Australian under-18's before I moved here, " he said. "It's a good competition here, maybe not as strong as South Australia but I'm enjoying it." Both said they are aiming for selection in the combined Australian side that i picked from the best players over the weekend, but competition for that will again be fierce. "There's a couple of ex-AFL players that will be playing this weekend," Duncan said. "Michael Stevens who used to play with North Melbourne is playing for Victoria country team and Darryl White, the duel premiership winner with Brisbane, is playing for the combined Aboriginal side." While Duncan and Petersen-Gray will play for higher honours this weekend, they are well aware the Swans are locked in a battle to remain in contention to qualify for the finals in the Riverina Football League. The Swans are sitting precariously in fourth position on the ladder on 28 points, only ahead of fifth-placed Turvey Park on percentage and just one win ahead of Narrandera. "We've had a few players out with injuries ... but we haven't bee able to put four quarters together all year and until we do that we can't be thinking about a top-three spot," Duncan said. (The Area News - Wednesday July 26, 2006).
Round 15 - Sunday August 6, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................... 3.2 .. 6.4 .. 15.6 .. 19.10 (124)
Leeton-Whitton .... 5.5 .. 12.9 .. 15.10 .. 20.11 (131)
Goals: Griffith: C Conlan 4, M McDonald 4, M Duncan 2, L McLean 2, S Hickleton 2, J Mickan, J Gastin, J Brown, B Giason, G Foley
Leeton-Whitton: D Lang 9, D Clayton 4, G Dale 3, M Sharman 2, M Lang, K Bullock
Best: Griffith: J Mickan, C Conlan, Matt Bunn, L McLean, D Meade, G Foley
Leeton-Whitton: D Baxter, T Irvin, D Lang, G Looby, M Sharman, K Bullock
Griffith: D Meade, J Ward, B Giason; J Toscan, J Brown, D Pasin; N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, B Ford; M McDonald, J Mickan, G Foley; S Hickleton, C Conlan, Myles Bunn; Ryan Hill, L McLean (c-c), Matt Bunn; D Crack, J Gastin, D Best
Leeton-Whitton: M Flagg, B Browne, G Looby; D Sullivan, B Dryburgh, S Piltz; D Elwin, M Sharman, B Boots; J Davidson, D Baxter, D Clayton; M Lang, D Lang (c-c), G Dale; Kurt Bullock, J Broadbent, D Dunscombe; M Melidonis, T Irvin, T Doyle
Umpires: R Wilson, S Graham, G Walsh (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: MCUE 4.5 (29) def by GGGM 29.21 (165), Narrandera 28.18 (166) def Eastern Hawks 13.7 (85); SUN: Coolamon 16.11 (107) def Turvey Park 11.12 (78)
Reserves: Griffith 16.15 (121) d Leeton-Whitton 8.8 (56)
Goals: G Argus 10, R Agresta 2, C Lugton 2, K Duncan, W Tyndall, L Cavallo, M Harris
Best: R Agresta, M Harris, G Argus, C Conlan, R Frkovic, C Lugton
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 22.9 (141) d Griffith 5.2 (32)
Goals: K Hicken 2, M Patterson, S Curran, R Johns
Best: A Chalmers, S Curran, T Harrington, N McGrath, H Shaw, C McGann
Match report: The Griffith Swans final chances suffered a severe dent yesterday when they lost a seesawing game against Leeton-Whitton by seven points at Exies Oval. The Swans' deficiency to piece four quarters together again led to their downfall at two crucial indiscretions in the final minutes dashed any chance of an unlikely victory. The Crows started strongly and jumped to a 41-point lead at half-time. A nine-goal third quarter from the home side saw the Crows' lead cut to just four points and a stirring win looked inevitable. The Swans hit the lead in the final term but in the 22nd minute the Crows were awarded the first of two controversial 50-metre penalties which saw them edge ahead by seven points. Just a minute later the Swans' Matthew McDonald was penalised for an overzealous challenge and from the ensuring play Leeton-Whitton's Damien Lang opened up a two-goal lead when he kicked truly. The Swans were offered a glimmer of hope with less than two minutes remaining when Ben Ford grubbed a goal to reduce the Crows' lead to just six points but that was as close as the Swans got. "We got back into the game, but our discipline let us down with those 50-metre penalties," Duncan said. "There were a few positives we can take from that, but it was disappointing to let it go and especially now with the finals on the line." Of particular frustration to Duncan was the Swans' patchy play. This season the Swans have produced some irresistible quarters of football but have often followed them up with mistake-ridden efforts. "The fact is we can string two or three quarters together, but we can't afford to give teams an eight-goal lead at half-time and expect to win," he said. "We'll have to be at our best next week (against GGGM) or if not our season with be over in two weeks. "It's going to be a big game against the number one side because if we drop that we'll have to win the next two and that's no guarantee. It was a big loss." (By Will Gilroy - The Area News - Monday August 7, 2006).
Round 16 - Sunday August 13, 2006 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm
Ganmain-GGM ... 7.8 .. 13.13 .. 17.18 .. 24.21 (165)
Griffith ................. 1.1 .. 8.3 .. 9.7 .. 14.11 (95)
Goals: GGGM: A Carroll 10, M Rava 4, D Underwood 3, S Lenon 2, C Hamblin, B Ryan, N McPherson, B Lenon, C Macri
Griffith: J Toscan 4, M McDonald 2, C Conlan 2, M Duncan 2, L McLean, D Meade, Matt Bunn, D Crack
Best: GGGM: A Carroll, M Rava, E Sullivan, D Underwood, B Ryan, M Steele
Griffith: M McDonald, J Mickan, L McLean, J Toscan, D Best, C Conlan
Ganmain-GGM: A Symons, P Lucas, L Walsh; D Symons, C McPherson, B Lenon; M Steele, C Macri (c-c), C Hamblin; N McPherson, M Geppert, M Rava; D Underwood, A Carroll, S Lenon; M Braybon, E Sullivan, B Ryan; L Habel, J Evans, M Kelly
Griffith: D Pasin, G Vaccari, R Heenan; B Gaison, J Brown, D Meade; Myles Bunn, M Duncan, B Ford; M McDonald, N Petersen-Gray, J Ward; C Conlan, S Hickleton, J Toscan; J Mickan, L McLean (c-c), Matt Bunn; D Crack, D Best, J Harris
Umpires: S Crowley, R Wilson, P Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 9.13 (67) def by Leeton-Whitton 16.9 (105), MCUE 15.13 (103) def Coolamon 12.9 (81); SUN: Turvey Park 11.9 (75) def by Narrandera 14.15 (99)
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 12.18 (90) d Griffith 11.11 (77)
Goals: J Gastin 3, G Argus 2, C Lugton 2, R Newman 2, L Cavallo, W Tyndall
Best: Chris Conlan, W Tyndall, N Campbell, M Harris, A Cappello, J Gastin
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 24.15 (159) d Griffith 2.2 (14)
Goals: K Hicken, R Johns
Best: K Hicken, S Curran, R Best, L Piccolo, M Tyndall
Match report: Griffith Swans chance of a spot in the finals now relies on the next two weeks of home games after they were devastated by Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong yesterday. GGGM are the benchmark in the Riverina Football League competition, and it was always going to be a mammoth test to beat them at home. Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said they now know exactly what they are up against if they are to secure a spot in the finals. "They are a well drilled side, and they were better on the day," McLean said. "They have won the last two flags and they are looking for a third, so it isn't going to be easy." The Swans now have two home games against Coolamon and Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, games they must win to grab last spot in the finals race. "Coolamon are the second bottom side on the ladder and if we can't beat them at home we don't deserve to be in the finals,' McLean said. "We know we have to win but if we can get through to the finals, we know that we can be competitive. "We have beaten every side this year, except for Ganmain." McLean named James Toscan and Daniel Best as two of the better players on the pitch in their loss to GGGM. (The Area News - Monday August 14, 2006).
Round 17 - Sunday August 20, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .......... 5.2 .. 11.3 .. 16.5 .. 20.8 (128)
Coolamon .... 3.4 .. 6.11 .. 9.14 .. 15.15 (105)
Goals: Griffith: G Argus 6, C Conlan 3, M Duncan 3, J Ward 2, M McDonald 2, D Crack 2, J Mickan, L McLean
Coolamon: A McKenzie 3, D Crocker 3, P McKelvie 2, S Drum 2, R Bartholomew, J McPherson, L Drum, E Edis, B Munro
Best: Griffith: N Petersen-Gray, M Duncan, Matt Bunn, J Mickan, C Conlan, D Best
Coolamon: S Drum, F Furner, M Hard, S Martin, P McKelvie, D Crocker
Griffith: R Heenan, Matt Bunn, G Vaccari; N Petersen-Gray, S Hickleton, D Best; D Crack, M Duncan, B Ford; D Meade, J Ward, J Toscan; C Conlan, G Argus, G Foley; J Micken, L McLean (c-c), M McDonald; J Brown, J Harris, B Giason
Coolamon: B McPherson, F Furner, S Bartholomew; M Robinson, N Edyvean, R Bartholomew; S Drum, L Maloney, A McKenzie; R Maslin, P McKelvie, E Edis; H Dyce, M Hard (c-c), J McPherson; B Edyvean, L Drum, B Munro; D Crocker, S Martin, D Smith
Umpires: T Beard, S Harrison, P Smith (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: MCUE 6.10 (46) def by Turvey Park 13.17 (95), SUN: GGGM 23.14 (152) def Eastern Hawks 13.10 (88), Leeton-Whitton 17.14 (116) def by Narrandera 23.11 (149)
Reserves: Coolamon 10.7 (67) d Griffith 8.18 (66)
Goals: T Wilson 2, A Gardner 2, W Tyndall 2, C Lugton 2
Best: Chris Conlan, D Milani, N Campbell, N Kite, C Lugton, M Harris
Under 18: Griffith 16.14 (110) d Coolamon 4.7 (31)
Goals: J Tyrell 3, L Piccolo 2, S Curran 2, T Harrington, K Hicken, J Gastin, J Fallon, J Smith, A Baker, M Tyndall, D McGreal, C McGann
Best: A Baker, J Tyrell, L Piccolo, J Fallon, J Iemma
Match report: The Griffith Swans still remain in finals contention after a solid 23-point victory against Coolamon at Exies Oval yesterday. The win was the Swans' first in five rounds. It leaves the side in fifth spot and gives them a genuine chance of making the post season. "It good to get the monkey off our backs ... and it was more of the same but still a bit patchy," captain-coach Luke McLean said. The Swans built a comfortably 32-point lead at half-time and managed to keep a struggling Coolamon unit at bay for the rest of the match. McLean said he trialed a new coaching method for yesterday's game that involved breaking the match down into four "mini games" in an effort to make his team focus on the task at hand. "I tried to break it into four different games, and we aimed to win each of those games,' he said. "I think it keeps it pretty simple as it doesn't allow you to worry about things that are too far ahead." McLean praised the performances yesterday of Swans' NSW Country representatives Mick Duncan and Nathan Petersen-Gray. (The Area News - Monday August 21, 2006).
Round 18 - Saturday August 26, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ..................... 7.5 .. 10.11 .. 14.12 .. 19.20 (134)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 0.4 .. 2.9 .. 7.10 .. 9.12 (66)
Goals: Griffith: M McDonald 3, L McLean 3, C Conlan 2, G Argus 2, J Ward 2, D Crack 2, A Gardner, M Duncan, J Mickan, D Meade, Matt Bunn
MCUE: B O'Brien 5, G Spriggs, M Reberger, N Johnson, N Lawson
Best: Griffith: M Duncan, Matt Bunn, J Toscan, G Foley, R Heenan, M McDonald
MCUE: C Higgins, N Johnson, X Higgins, S Balding, B Howard, M Balding
Griffith: Matt Bunn, Daniel Best, G Vaccari; J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, R Heenan; D Crack, M Duncan, B Ford; D Meade, J Brown, J Ward; C Conlan, G Argus, G Foley; J Mickan, L McLean (c-c), M McDonald; D Pasin, Myles Bunn, A Gardner
Mangoplah-CUE: X Higgins, C Higgins, P Treloar; B Howard, G Spriggs, S Creasy; L Kendall, N Lawson, A Howard; S Bennett, S Balding, M Cooke; M Heydon, B O'Brien (c-c), D Howard; N Johnson, M Balding, M Reberger; Z Creasy, S Wheeler, J Gorrie
Umpires: S Crowley, S Harrison (RUA)
Other matches - SAT: Eastern Hawks 22.19 (151) def Coolamon 21.10 (136), Narrandera 12.9 (81) def by GGGM 23.16 (154); SUN: Turvey Park 16.19 (115) def Leeton-Whitton 5.12 (42)
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 15.9 (99) d Griffith 10.14 (74)
Goals: J Harris 3, R Agresta 2, C Lugton 2, M Harris, W Tyndall, L Cavallo
Best: D Scott, A Chalmers, N Kite, N Campbell, R Frkovic, G Minchin
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 16.9 (105) d Griffith 3.2 (20)
Goals: K Hicken, M Patterson, J Tyrell
Best: J Smith, T Harrington, A Chalmers, N McGrath, J Gastin, D McGreal
Match report: Following a turbulent final month of football the Griffith Swans secured their place in the Riverina Football League finals on Saturday after dominating 68-point win against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes at Exies Oval. The win not only secured the side's final berth but also meant they leapfrogged Narrandera and took fourth place on the ladder after Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong thumped the Eagles by 73 points on Saturday. The Swans started with a bang, scoring seven first-quarter goals to lead by 43 points at the first break - something that captain-coach Luke McLean had stressed to his side before the match. "It's always good to play finals footy and we did a good job and fought hard," McLean said. "Now we have to keep winning because if we lose, we're out - it's very, very simply." The home side then continued the rout in the second quarter and extended the lead to 50 points. However, as in previous rounds, the Swans were guilty of letting their opposition off the hook in the third term but stormed home in the fourth quarter to finish with a five goal to two run in. McLean praised the Swans 2006 best and fairest Mick Duncan for his influence on Saturday's game. "I can't speak highly enough of him. He probably had his best game of the year,' McLean said. (By Will Gilroy -The Area News, Monday August 28, 2006).
2006 RFL NETBALL Ladders
A grade: Griffith 46.00, Coolamon 39.60, Leeton-Whitton 33.60, Mangoplah-CUE 32.00, Turvey Park 32.00; Ganmain-GGM 29.07, Narrandera 8.53.
B grade: Griffith 64.00, Coolamon 60.00, Leeton-Whitton 48.00, Turvey Park 48.00, Ganmain-GGM 32.00; Narrandera 20.00, Mangoplah-CUE 16.00, Eastern Hawks 0.00.
C grade: Griffith 64.00, Turvey Park 52.00, Mangoplah-CUE 28.00, Coolamon 28.00, Narrandera 22.00, Leeton-Whitton 16.00, Ganmain-GGM 6.00.
Juniors U15's: Griffith 40.00, Narrandera 30.00, Leeton-Whitton 18.00, Ganmain-GGM 8.00, Coolamon 4.00.
TALENTED MICK DUNCAN WINS BEST AND FAIREST AWARD
The Griffith Swans football and netball sides handed out their best and fairest awards yesterday, with Mick Duncan named the Swan's first grade side's best. Craig Conlan finished runner-up, while he also was the side's leading goal scorer. In reserves Norm Campbell was best and fairest, while Gary Argus was runner-up and leading goal scorer. In the under 18's Andrew Chalmers won best and fairest, Trent Harrington was runner-up and Kris Hicken was the leading goal scorer. In the Swans' netball awards Caryl Stuckings won A grade's best and fairest award, while Karen Conlan was runner-up. In B grade Emma Heenan was named best and fairest, while Alison Ward was runner-up and in C grade Peta Argus won best and fairest, while Louise Martin was runner-up. In the Swans' junior side Annaliese Jones was best and fairest, while Ashley Tyndall was runner-up. (The Area News - Monday August 28, 2006).
Qualifying Final - Saturday September 2, 2006 at Narrandera Sportsground
Leeton-Whitton ... 6.3 .. 9.5 .. 12.10 .. 20.11 (131)
Eastern Hawks ... 1.2 .. 4.7 .. 7.11 .. 10.14 (74)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: D Lang 9, M Lang 2, B Boots, S Piltz, D Dunscombe, D Clayton, T Doyle, M Sharman, S Iannelli, J Broadbent, D Harrison
Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 5, J Gorman, P Evans, D Vanderfeen, G Cole, D Purtill
Best: Leeton-Whitton: S Piltz, B Boots, D Baxter, B Dryburgh, M Flagg, D Lang
Eastern Hawks: P Evans, B Kiley, S Thompson, E Bowman, J Gorman, J Solway
Umpires: -------- Gate: $6811
Reserves: Narrandera 14.9 (93) d Eastern Hawks 9.6 (60)
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 17.16 (118) d Mangoplah-CUE 9.9 (63)
Elimination Final - Sunday September 3, 2006 at Leeton Showground
Griffith ............ 5.4 .. 5.4 .. 10.6 .. 11.6 (72)
Narrandera ... 1.0 .. 6.6 .. 6.9 .. 9.13 (67)
Goals: Griffith: J Ward 2, A Gardner 2, B Ford, G Argus, M McDonald, N Petersen-Gray, J Harris, D Best, J Toscan
Narrandera: P Heath 4, T Durnan 2, T Mathieson 2, T Ruffles
Best: Griffith: J Mickan, M Duncan, N Petersen-Gray, J Ward, G Foley, Matt Bunn
Narrandera: C Smith, D Campbell, P Heath, T Durnan, A Black, T Sullivan
Griffith: J Toscan, N Petersen-Gray, D Best; R Heenan, G Vaccari, Matt Bunn; B Ford, M Duncan, D Crack; D Meade, J Brown, Myles Bunn; J Ward, G Argus, G Foley; J Mickan, M McDonald, L McLean (c-c); A Gardner, D Scott, J Harris, D Pasin
Narrandera: P Bloomfield, I Donaldson, S Hutchins; C Downes, S Irons, C Smith; A Black, T Mathieson, J Trainor; N Hetherington, B Grant, T Sullivan; T Durnan, J Grintell (c-c), T Ruffles; P Heath, D Campbell, M Ivanoff; L Richmond, H Hutchins, W Kiley, D Kenna
Umpires: R Wilson, D Potts, G Walsh (RUA) Gate: $6108
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 9.12 (66) d Griffith 5.6 (36)
Goals: Griffith: C Lugton, W Tyndall, L Cavallo, M Harris, R Newman
Best: Griffith: C Conlan, A Cappello, R Frkovic, G Minchin, D McGreal, J Gastin
Griffith: N Kite, N Campbell, D McGreal; D Milani, R Frkovic, G Minchin; A Hukins, G Dreyer (c-c), A Cappello, T Wilson, C Lugton, L Cavallo; M Harris, R Newman, J Gastin; A Chalmers, Chris Conlan, W Tyndall; J Geddes, B Agresta, A Potroz, L Catanzariti
Under 18: Turvey Park 9.16 (70) d Narrandera 3.6 (24)
Match report: The Griffith Swans survived a late scare to hold off Narrandera by five points in the Riverina Football League elimination final yesterday at the Leeton Showground. The narrow win gave the Swans an added bonus with the side set to host this weekend's semi[finals at Exies Oval. With a significant breeze at their backs in the first term the Swans opened up a dominant 32-point lead but the side was at the mercy of the elements in the second quarter when they failed to register a point. "It was probably about a four or five goal wind but we did play well in the first quarter," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "It was a scrappy game ... but we had no passengers out there and the blokes were all switched on." The Swans then kicked a further four goals in the third quarter thanks to the generous wind but were restricted to just one solitary goal in the last quarter while Narrandera edged ever closer. "We had about a 20-point lead at three-quarter time and I wasn't sure if that was enough," McLean said. "They got a goal in the last 10 seconds or so that got them within four. "Our bottom eight were really good today ... we came through unscathed so we can look to next week and the home final." (The Area News - Monday September 4, 2006).
FINAL IS SUDDEN DEATH BATTLE - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH captain-coach Luke McLean insisted tomorrow's home-ground advantage against the Eastern Hawks in the Riverina Football League sudden death semi-final would count for nothing. The Swans boast one of the most impressive home records in the competition and have enjoyed great success against the Hawks at Exies Oval in recent times, but McLean said when it comes to finals football both sides were on a level playing field. "I think with finals footy both teams will come out with all guns blazing," McLean said. "For us we need to come out firing and we have to treat it like a final because the ground alone is not going to do it for us." The decision by the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club to buy the game could be a major blessing as the Swans aim to wear down their much bigger opponents, however it has not pleased some, particularly Eastern Hawks coach Pat Gribble. During the week Gribble attacked the RFL's decision to let the game come to Griffith and said he might even consider making a journey twith his players today in order to better prepare for the final. Irrespective of the Hawks plans and Gribble's assertions of the difficulty of winning at Exies, the Swans will still have to be on their guard. Last time the two sides met in July, the Swans blew a 50-point lead midway through the second quarter and the Hawks eventually claimed a 14-point win. But the game was in Wagga. The Swans' record at home is imposing and a key part to the success is that the Exies ground suits their play perfectly. Regarded as one of the larger playing surfaces in the competition, the ground allows the Swans to fully capitalise on their expansive, running-dominated game and this is where McLean suggested his side had the advantage over the Hawks. "On Sunday we used the ball well .. but no individual can win a finals game, teams do," McLean said. "We're a bit quicker across the ground and they're bigger and slower side, so hopefully we can use the big ground. "It probably suits us while the Eastern Hawks rely on kicking it big to their full-forward ... we rely on running it a bit more." (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Friday September 8, 2006).
First Semi Final - Saturday September 9, 2006 at Griffith Exies Oval
Eastern Hawks ... 3.3 .. 4.6 .. 8.7 .. 11.11 (77) .. 11.11 .. 12.11 (83) A.E.T.
Griffith ................. 0.2 .. 3.6 .. 6.8 .. 11.11 (77) .. 13.12 .. 14.12 (96
Goals: Eastern Hawks: D Vanderfeen 3, G Cole 2, P Evans 2, B Perkins 2, B Roberts 2, S Jackson-Ryan
Griffith: D Meade 5, M McDonald 3, M Duncan 2, J Brown, D Crack, J Toscan, Matt Bunn
Best: Eastern Hawks: K Vanderfeen, E Bowman, D Cuthbert, G Cole, P Gribble, S Jackson-Ryan
Griffith: D Best, M McDonald, R Heenan, M Duncan, N Petersen-Gray, J Mickan
Eastern Hawks: Levi Pollett, Kaine Malone, Pat Gribble (c-c); Stephen Thompson, Darren Cuthbert, Jay Pearce; Sam Jackson-Ryan, Jared Gorman, Brenton Roberts; Phillip Evans, Ben Perkins, Daniel Purtill; David Vanderfeen, Glenn Cole, Luke Adams; Ken Vanderfeen, Heath Gibbs, Danny Bromham; Jeremy Solway, Brad Kiley, Eric Bowman, Nathan Scott
Griffith: Daniel Best, Glen Vaccari, Brendan Giason; Roger Heenan, Nathan Petersen-Gray, James Toscan; Ben Ford, Daniel Meade, Michael Duncan; Dean Crack, Josh Ward, Matt Bunn; Ashley Gardner, Gary Argus, Graham Foley; Jeff Mickan, Matt McDonald, Luke McLean (c-c); Jeff Harris, Joel Brown, Myles Bunn, David Pasin
Umpires: S Crowley, S Graham, T Beard (RUA). Gate: $4644
Reserves: Eastern Hawks 18.9 (117) d Ganmain-GGM 16.5 (101)
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 10.11 (71) d Turvey Park 5.5 (35)
Match report: Little-known Griffith utility Daniel Meade turned into a match-winner hero on Saturday when he booted three goals during extra-time to snatch a dramatic 13-point victory for the Swans over Eastern Hawks in the Riverina Football League first semi-final at the Exies Oval. With the scores tied 11.11 (77) apiece at full-time, Griffith thrived on the extra five minutes each way to move through to Sunday's preliminary final with a thrilling 96-83 win. Meade proved to be the match-winner for Griffith as he kicked the first three in extra-time to almost single-handedly win the Swans the game. After being behind all day and with the wind behind them, Griffith hit the front and looked home with a 13-point lead at the 20 minute mark of the final term before the visitors fought on for one last hurrah. The Hawks rallied and managed to level the score and then had the ball entrenched deep in their forward line when the siren sounded. But extra-time proved too much for the Hawks as they finished their season on a disappointing note, bowing out of the finals race in straight sets. For Griffith, however, it was two cliffhanging sudden death victories within seven days and captain-coach Luke McLean says the close results were doing wonders for his team. "We're starting to build a lot of character for the club and these couple of wins are really starting to bring the team together as a team," McLean said. "The boys played really well today, Eastern Hawks played well and threw everything they had us but we battled through together and got over the line. "Daniel Meade was probably the difference at the end, I think the Hawks took him a bit too easy and he's a good mark and straight kick and he really stepped up at the end." Griffith had several match-winners all over the ground at times but none were better than ruckman and centre half-forward Jeff Mickan, who worked tirelessly all day for the Swans. Mick Duncan spent a lot of time helping the Swans defence in the opening half before moving to full-forward in the final quarter and the NSW Country rep was just the spark Griffith needed as he kicked two goals and set up another to put the home team in front for the first time. Matt McDonald was dominant in the first half, while Nathan Petersen-Gray again won the duel against Eastern Hawks' full-forward Ben Perkins who spent the day trying to drag his opponent away from the play. Hawks coach Pat Gribble was outstanding for his team in defence, while Ken and David Vanderfeen also contributed 100 per cent. (The Area News - Monday September 11, 2006).
Second Semi Final - Sunday September 10, 2006 at Ganmain Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM .... 9.6 .. 16.7 .. 26.14 .. 37.21 (243)
Leeton-Whitton ... 2.1 .. 7.2 .. 8.3 .. 10.3 (63)
Goals: GGGM: M Geppert 9, A Carroll 9, M Rava 4, M Steele 4, D Underwood 4, C Macri 3, L Walsh 2, E Sullivan, P Hamblin
Leeton-Whitton: D Clayton 3, M Lang 3, D Lang 2, M Sharman 2
Best: GGGM: B Ryan, M Rava, M Braybon, C McPherson, D Underwood, E Sullivan
Leeton-Whitton: M Sharman, G Looby, B Boots, D Elwin
Umpires: ------- Gate: $7415
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 15.9 (99) d Narrandera 6.6 (42)
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 9.11 (65) d Leeton-Whitton 7.12 (54)
Preliminary Final Sunday September 17, 2006 at Narrandera Sportsground
Leeton-Whitton ... 2.6 .. 8.18 .. 11.19 .. 18.24 (132)
Griffith .................. 4.1 .. 8.3 .. 15.5 .. 16.8 (104)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: D Lang 10, G Dale 3, D Clayton 3, D Dunscombe, D Baxter
Griffith: M Duncan 4, L McLean 3, M McDonald 3, J Toscan 2, N Petersen-Gray 2, G Argus, J Brown
Best: Leeton-Whitton: D Clayton, D Lang, D Elwin, B Boots, D Sullivan, S Piltz
Griffith: M Duncan, M McDonald, J Mickan, Matt Bunn, L McLean, J Toscan
Leeton-Whitton: Travis Doyle, Greg Looby, Mark Flagg; Daniel Sullivan, Ben Dryburgh, Travis Irvin; David Elwin, Drew Dunscombe, Brad Boots; Daryl Clayton, Danny Baxter, Simon Piltz; Graeme Dale, Damian Lang (c-c), Matt Lang; Kurt Bullock, Jamie Broadbent, Matt Sharman; David Harrison, Dale Symes, Bruce Gilmour, Nick Patten
Griffith: Sam Hickleton, Glen Vaccari, Daniel Best; Roger Heenan, Brendan Giason, David Pasin; Ben Ford, Matt Bunn, Myles Bunn; Josh Ward, Nathan Petersen-Gray, Michael Duncan; James Toscan, Gary Argus, Daniel Meade; Jeff Mickan, Luke McLean (c-c), Matt McDonald; Joel Brown, Graham Foley, Jeff Harris, Dean Crack
Umpires: S Crowley, A Smith, S Graham (RUA). Gate: $8508
Reserves: Eastern Hawks: 16.8 (104) d Narrandera 12.6 (78)
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 16.16 (112) d Mangoplah-CUE 12.8 (80)
Match report: Leeton-Whitton moved through to its first grand final appearance in almost 30 years after producing a courageous comeback to defeat Griffith at Narrandera Sportsground. The Crows slammed home the closing seven goals of the preliminary final to run out deserving victors 18.24 (132) to 16.8 (104). Although the Crows got the result, they made hard work of the win after trailing by as much as 17 points at the six minute mark of the final term. Earlier in the day, Leeton-Whitton entered the main break with just a 15-point lead after dominating the final 15 minutes of the second quarter but could only manage seven straight behinds. The Crows continued on their surge after half-time and got out to a 26-point lead midway through the quarter before Griffith kicked seven goals in a space of nine minutes to go into the final change 10 points in front. Griffith utility Joel Brown kicked the first goal of the final term to extend the Swans' lead to 17 points before the Crows got going again to runaway with a remarkable win. Leeton-Whitton's co-coach Damien Lang was best-on-ground for the Crows as the spearhead booted 10 goals in a dominant performance. Leeton-Whitton's other coach Jamie Broadbent was thrilled to have finally taken the Crows to a grand final. "To the boys' credit, they really had to work hard to win out there today," Broadbent said. "Having won their last couple of close games we knew Griffith was going to come home strong but we lifted and were able to get there. "Griffith had really got on a roll heading into last quarter but we rallied and rallied and got back on top. "I thought we were very good today and you couldn't pick one standout - it was a very good team effort." In a shock move from Griffith, key defender Nathan Petersen-Gray started up forward and was good early, kicking two goals and helping the Swans to a seven-point quarter-time lead. It should have been a bigger le