2007 RFL SEASON RESULTS
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IN: Robert Bridgen (Ardlethan), Ryan Bull (Coleambally), Chris Forwood (Barellan), Jason Hampel, Brenton Harrison (Camden), Brock Harrison (Noorioopna, SA), Peter Hunt (Barellan), Dean Jamieson (Ardlethan), Zach Lewis (Deakin Uni), Jason Malone, Phillip Rowston (Barellan), Jarred Wilson (Blighty).
OUT: Gary Argus (Hillston Swans), Matthew Bunn (Hillston Swans), Ashley Gardner (Mulwala), Sam Hickleton (Geelong), Ryan Hill (Lockhart) Tim Matheson, Nathan Petersen-Gray (Mt Lofty, SA); Brock Harrison (Noorioopna, SA), Jarred Wilson (Blighty).
SWANS STARS FLY THE COOP - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH Swans captain-coach Luke McLean says the club has the player depth to cover for the shock departure of two of its biggest stars. Talented centre-half back Nathan Petersen-Gray and rover Mick Duncan, both of whom are NSW Country representatives, are set to leave the Swans in an exodus that could leave the 2006 Riverina Football League semi-finalists reeling. Petersen-Gray returned to his home in Adelaide earlier in the month, while Duncan said he should move to the Gold Coast around Christmas. McLean said the departure of the two players was a "big loss", but was confident the Swans' younger brigade could cope without two of the most consistent performers in the RFL this year. "I'm sure we can fill the void somewhere and I think we can re-fine our game plan a bit," McLean said. One possible move would be for McLean to use his influence in his native Geelong to try and attract some gun recruits. After a brilliant debut season with the Swans, Petersen-Gray looks to have played his last of his football in Griffith. The 20-year-old is chasing a job in a mine near Port Headland in Western Australia and he said if he lands that, any speculation of a possible return to the Swans next year would be quashed. Returning to Griffith is not out of the realms of possibilities ... I find out at Christmas time but I don't think I'll play next year if I get the job," Petersen-Gray said. "I really enjoyed my time in Griffith and met a great group of friends." Duncan, 24, has already been in talks with two Queensland (QAFL) clubs - Broadbeach and Southport - and is looking for a sea change after enjoying a week on the Gold Coast this year with the NSW Country team for the Australian Country Championships. Duncan has family in the area and said he would like to continue his trade as an electrician. However, he said the door was still open for a return to the Swans next year, but with one condition. If (Petersen-Gray) comes back, then I'll come back," Duncan said. "I told him that at the presentation night if the footy club can get him back then I would. "I want to play 200 games for the Swans, I'm on 120 so I've got 80 to go so whether that's in the next couple of years or in five we'll see." (The Area News - Wednesday October 18, 2006).
SWANS FEEL PINCH AS DROUGHT IMPACTS CLUB
THE Griffith Swans football and netball club held their annual general meeting last Wednesday night. There was a good attendance of Australian Rules enthusiasts. The balance sheet presented found the club's financial position being satisfactory, but unforeseen happenings, declining sponsorship revenue and not being helped by the ongoing drought conditions, all played a part in the loss of $9336 for the past 2006 season. George Duncan and Ian Wade, both old football identities of the Griffith club, were elected unopposed for a fourth term in their respective positions of president and vice-president. 2006 season RFL netball president Alison Ward was elected as secretary, replacing Ffiona Beverley, who returns to her old role of treasurer. The directors are Alison Ward and Darryn Savage (sponsorship), Kate Toscan and Myles Bunn (fundraising), Robert Harrington (football), Brenda Spears (catering), Bob Spears (recruitment), Janet Harrington (netball liaison), and Terry Potroz (junior Swans liaison). The general committee is Graham Foley, Louise Hornery, Peter Knox, Ernest and Sue Wade. Club president George Duncan assured all general committee members they are more than welcome to attend meetings and would not be left in the dark as they all work for the football club and have the right to know what is going on. Ian Wade endorsed Duncan's gesture, saying "the more the merrier." Regarding new recruits for the coming season, a cautious Duncan announced the club was still looking around and had talked to four or five players but at this early stage, someone was yet to sign on the dotted line. The next general meeting will be held on Tuesday November 21 at the main Ex-Servicemen's Club boardroom at 6pm. (The Area News - Wednesday November 1, 2006).
SWANS NETBALL COACH HIGHTAILS TO LEETON - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH'S premiership winning A grade netball coach Roz Fraser has left the Swans after just one year at the helm. Fraser will return to coach Leeton-Whitton Crows for next year's Riverina Football League netball season - a team she took to the grand final in 2004. Fraser said she only intended to coach Griffith for one year if the Swans won the A grade crown. "When I joined Griffith in the first place I told them I would be here for one year, but I'd see how things went, and the aim was to get the premiership and we did," Fraser said. "I'm not going to cut all ties with the Swans, it's not my personal - I just need to do this for myself." The move also means Fraser will no longer coach the Griffith under 17 representative side. Instead, she will take over the Leeton team. But she insisted she would be prepared to facilitate a training run between the two sides before next year's state championships. Fraser's defection has left the Swans searching for a suitable replacement to bolster their playing roster, as well as looking for a new coach. Talented junior Erin Patterson, who figured prominently for the Swans A grade team last season, decided to follow her mentor to the Crows next year. The 16-year-old said the chance to learn under Fraser for another year was too good to slip. "I'd like to stay but I want to keep developing my game," Patterson said. At the core of Fraser's decision to rejoin the Crows was some "unfinished business" dating back to 2004 grand final, when Leeton-Whitton lost the grand final to Turvey Park. In addition to luring Patterson, Fraser has secured the services of Manngoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes' player Michelle Lumsden for next year. Fraser said despite her absence, she expected the Swans to continue their strong form, which this year saw then take out the A and B grade and junior grand finals. (The Area News - Friday December 8, 2006).
GRIFFITH GET BEHIND LOCAL HERO - By Julian Drape
GRIFFITH AFL community is wishing former star player Ben Wade all the best after he suffered terrible head injuries in a freak accident in South Australia last week. Twenty-one-year-old Wade, who won the Swans' best and fairest in 2004 in his second year with the seniors, was working as a plumber in the Adelaide suburb of Largs North last Wednesday morning when a trench collapsed on him. It is believed Wade hit his head when he tried to jump out of the way and was then buried up to his chest. It took emergency services 40 minutes to dig him out, by which stage he had lapsed into unconsciousness. He was rushed to Royal Adelaide Hospital and spent the Christmas period in an induced coma. Swans president George Duncan said everyone involved with the club was thinking of Ben and his parents, Ian and Barb, who immediately flew to Adelaide following the accident. The Wades are a huge part of the footy club and Ben was a great player for us," Duncan said. "He moved to South Australia at the end of 2004 to play with Glenelg to try and break into the big league." Former team-mate Damien Scott said surgeons operated on Wade last week to relieve the pressure around the brain. "He started to wake up in the last few days and has been cooperating with his doctors," Scott said. "Apparently he even wanted to get out of bed ... he's showing positive signs. "He's young and fit so he has the best chance of recovering." Scott said Wade's parents had been "overwhelmed" by the level of support from the Griffith community. "People have been asking if there's anything they can do, and calling and texting," he said. "We're all just hoping he can make a good recovery." Scott said Wade was doing well at Glenelg, a leading team in the South Australian National Football League, and had been appointed vice-captain of the reserves. A Royal Adelaide Hospital spokeswoman yesterday confirmed Wade condition had come out of his "sedated state" and was now in a stable condition. (The Area News - Friday December 29, 2006).
NEW COACHES SET THEIR SIGHTS - By Amelia Elliston
THE Griffith Swans have two new faces in the coaching ranks this year. Gerard Toscan and Roger Heenan have taken the roles of under 18's and reserve grade coaches. Toscan is stepping into the role as under 18's coach after being associated with the club for many years and said he had always wanted to be more involved. "I am a past player and I have wanted to be more involved for a while, but my son was in the team and didn't think it was the right time," Toscan said. "Now he's gone up I'm looking forward to it. "I want to get their skills up individually and try and help some of the guys have a go at seniors. "And to win more games than we lose - that's my goal this year." Heenan has taken on reserve grade and said he wants to see the squad go a step further than last year, when it was knocked in the first round of the finals. Heenan will be a playing coach. "I want to get them working really well as a team, not a few guys really pushing and the others lagging," he said. "But I think we will be all right; there are already quite a few interested to play and I am just looking forward to the season. (The Area News - Wednesday January 17, 2007).
TIGERS' RETURN TO HELP SWANS SOAR - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH president George Duncan said Wagga Tigers' imminent return to the Riverina Football League could be advantageous for the Swans' title chances in 2007. The Tigers members met last night to decide whether the club would seek re-admittance to the RFL or continue playing in the ACT-Canberra competition. Duncan said if the Tiger returned a positive vote to join RFL less than five years after their original switch, the Swans' travel schedule would decrease considerably. "I think it would be a good move for the league going to nine teams," Duncan said. "Another team in the competition means we play some teams twice and others three times, and that would stop the excess travel for some of us. " On Thursday, Duncan said he had "a gut feeling" that the Tigers' would return to the competition, but did not want to speculate about how the club would vote. In ACT-Canberra, the Tigers first grade struggled to replicate its dominant RFL form against the cashed-up Canberra clubs. "Obviously they've got their reason but I'm not tied up in that," Duncan said. Duncan said the Tigers' members chose to return to RFL, he was unsure of whether they could hit the ground running. The Tigers have suffered significant losses recently, particularly as the reserve grade side launched an unsuccessful push to enter the Farrer League and merger with Wagga club, Rivcoll. "They've had great success in the past but who's to say Ganmain might dominate for four years and think of going and be brought back down to earth. (The Area News - Friday February 2, 2007).
FORWARD THINK AS SWANS LEAVE - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH will rely on the rotation of several small forwards to help bridge the gap after yet another three players left the Swans' nest for the upcoming Riverina Football League season. Key forwards Sam Hickleton, Ash Gardner and Gary Argus have all left Griffith over the past month, leaving the Swans without a designated full-forward for the new season. Hickleton, Gardner and Argus all played full-forward for Griffith last season with varied levels of success. After moving to Griffith with coach Luke McLean, Hickleton has moved back to Geelong while Gardner has ended his lifelong association with the Swans by moving to Mulwala. Argus meanwhile, who was recalled into the first grade line-up for the Swans ' finals campaign, has accepted the coaching position at Northern Riverina League club Hillston. Despite also losing stars Mick Duncan and Nathan Petersen-Gray for next season, McLean is confident the Swans can overcome the player loses. "We'll look at rotating Craig Conlan and James Toscan at full-forward," McLean said. "As long as we can move it quickly to them it should work ou well. "One on one they are quick out on a lead, and given we use the ball well when delivering it to them it should work well." The Swans have been training for several weeks now with consistent numbers in the mid-20s turning up to each session. Despite no recruits to speak of yet, McLean said Griffith was still on the hunt for potential signings. "We've got reasonable numbers, we're still trying to get a few players but it's a bit quite at the moment," McLean said. "We've go a few maybes but nothing concrete yet." (The Area News - Friday February 2, 2007).
AFL EVENT AT NARRANDERA A WIN FOR LOCAL FOOTY FANS - Before the BOUNCE Brad George
OKAY, I confess. A couple of weeks ago when Collingwood played the Kangaroos at Carrara in their round one clash of the NAB Cup, I was hoping for a loss. There it is in print ... Okay! Sure enough, Collingwood lost and this week my beloved Pies will make the trek to Narrandera to play the Sydney Swans as part of the NAB Regional Challenge. Collingwood mid-fielder Tarkyn Lockyer this week asked: "where is Narrandera?" I can tell you where that Narrandera is all systems go for tonight clash of the AFL titans. Collingwood, steeped in tradition against the pride of NSW, the Sydney Swans. Be warned footy fans, there will be a few fresh faces as both teams will tinker with final team settings before the season proper later this month. It will be the return of Anthony Rocca, and the buzz at the moment following a long flight in a small plane will find Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley in the coach's booth alongside Mick Malthouse. Sydney fans will see tonight their latest edition to the flock Peter "Spida" Everitt from Hawthorn, among Sydney big guns Barry Hall, Adam Goodes, and almost local Brett Kirk from Albury. These teams only played against each other three weeks ago, where the Swans won in Sydney by 15 points.
Tonight will be a game of "footy chess" as both coaches will be switching the players and trialing strategies with fresh faces. No matter the result, this is a major win for football in the Riverina. It's an absolute credit to all involved in Narrandera and the public will vote with their feet with an expected 10,000 strong crowd, a figure that will annihilate the poor showing in Canberra for the Sydney v Western Bulldogs game a few weeks ago. Auskick kids I'm sure will treasure many memories of kick-to-kick with Paul Licuria, Josh Fisher or Michael O'Loughlin.
A word of advice for those looking to attend - get there early. The best position will be snapped up quickly and it will be a great day weather-wise, according the bureau it's going to be fine and warm. Another question I've been asked in the lead-up is whether Eddie McGuire will be there. Footy's a funny game and expect the unexpected. He might just fly in with the boys for a look. Either way, both teams will be fielding strong line-ups, and will look to impress, as all players look to solidify for round one competition. Finally, thank you to the AFL. The people of Narrandera, and both Collingwood and Sydney teams, I'm looking forward to a cracking display of footy at it's best ... A tip? Collingwood by heaps! Go Pies! (The Area News - Friday March 9, 2007).
Round 1 - Sunday April 15, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................. 6.5 .. 11.5 .. 21.8 .. 27.14 (176)
Eastern Hawks ... 1.5 .. 7.6 .. 11.8 .. 15.9 (99)
Goals: Griffith: Z Lewis 5, J Wilson 4, D Meade 4, M McDonald 3, D Crack 3, J Malone 2, M Duncan 2, C Conlan 2, B Ford, L McLean
Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 8, M Reberger 2, L Adams, B O'Brien, J Grieve, G Cole, C Pedler
Best: Griffith: L McLean, M Duncan, J Wilson, Z Taylor, R Heenan, B Ford, M McDonald
Eastern Hawks: L Pollett, B Perkins, J Grieve, W Rolla, M Reberger, J Peace
Griffith: J Hampel, M Kenny, D Jamieson; R Heenan, S Spiers, J Toscan; B Ford, L McLean (c-c), J Ward; D Meade, J Micken, J Wilson*; Z Lewis*, C Conlan, J Malone; Brock Harrison*, M McDonald, M Duncan; G Foley, D Crack, P Hunt
Eastern Hawks: M Adams, A Craig, J Peace; Barry O'Brien (c-c), L Pollett, S Thompson; A White, D Bromham, G Cole; E Whyman, B Roberts, B Kiley; A Ridley, B Perkins, L Adams; W Rolla, J Grieve, M Reberger; C Pedler, R Campbell, N Scott
Umpires: T Beard, P Smith (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 19.17 (131) d Eastern Hawks 8.8 (56)
Goals: Brent Harrison 8, M Crack 3, C Lugton 3, P Rowston 2, J Gastin, J Harris, S Portolesi
Under 18: Griffith d Eastern Hawks on forfeit
Match report: The Griffith Swans have made a statement in their opening round Riverina Football League clash, thrashing the Eastern Hawks by 77 points at the Exies Oval. The Swans' newest recruits shone as Griffith capitalised on some disjointed and sloppy football from the Hawks, who were barely kept in the contest by coach Ben Perkins's eight goals. Griffith hit its straps early with a six-goal opening quarter and continued to punish the Wagga side after the first break. Zach Lewis, who only joined the Swans on Thursday, kicked two first quarter goals up forward and the towering Brock Harrison dominated the ruck. After pushing their lead to six goals midway through the second term, the Hawks clawed their way back to just two kicks behind leading up to half-time. Daniel Meade was clinical in front of goals for the Swans as he, Jarrod Wilson, Matt McDonald and Ben Ford all scored from set shots in the third quarter as the Swans went on a 10 goal to four scoring spree. Ill-discipline and the inability to get out of their our 50 hurt the Hawks as the Swans took full advantage. Although the intensity dropped off in the final quarter, the Swans were still able to continue the rout as Jason Malone, Meade and captain-coach Luke McLean all picked up goals. "I thought we played some good footy and the new fellas like Jarrod Wilson, Zach Lewis ... and Brock all did well," McLean said. "We had eight guys in the side that hadn't played together before so considering that it was a good effort. "A few people had the Eastern Hawks in the top three or four and with those eight new blokes we can only get better each game. "Reserve grade had a good win as well, so I think the club is going in the right direction." A despondent Perkins described his side's season opener as "unfortunate". "I suppose it's good to get that one out of the road and lucky it's the last time we have to come over here this year," Perkins said. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday April 16, 2007).
Round 2 - Sunday April 22, 2007 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm
Ganmain-GGM ... 5.7 .. 7.9 .. 17.13 .. 20.15 (135)
Griffith ................. 1.2 .. 4.6 .. 5.8 .. 8.8 (56)
Goals: GGGM: A Carroll 7, M Geppert 4, C Macri 2, P Hamblin, N McPherson, D Rava, D Rankin, M Steele, L Habel, K Hamblin
Griffith: C Conlan 2, J Wilson 2, D Crack, L McLean, B Harrison, J Toscan
Best: GGGM: C Macri, S Hamblin, N McPherson, C McPherson, E Sullivan, M Geppert
Griffith: B Ford, J Mickan, J Ward, Z Lewis, J Toscan, L McLean
Ganmain-GGM: J Evans, A Symons, M Kelly; L Habel, C McPherson, P Lucas; P Hamblin, M Rava, L Steward; M Geppart, C Macri (c-c), M Steele; N McPherson, A Carroll, D Rankin; S Hamblin, L Walsh, E Sullivan; D Rava, J Eisenhauer, D Karlberg
Griffith: J Toscan, R Heenan, D Jamieson; J Ward, M Kenny, S Spiers; B Ford, M Duncan, J Brown; C Forwood*, J Mickan, J Wilson; Z Lewis, Craig Conlan, G Foley; Brock Harrison, L McLean (c-c), M McDonald; P Hunt, D Crack, M Crack
Umpires: D Potts, P Smith, G Walsh (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 18.14 (122) d Ganmain-GGM 9.4 (58)
Goals: Brent Harrison 12, P Rowston 2, B Hicken, J Harris, R Bridgen, J Gastin
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 9.12 (66) d Griffith 9.8 (62)
Goals: M Patterson 3, J Fallon, K Ratcliff, J Tyrell, D Keenan, S Curran, J Iemma
Match report: Defending premiers Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong bounced back from its shock defeat to Narrandera last week by handing out a 79-point thrashing of Griffith at home yesterday. With coach Christin Macri back on the park for his first run in 2007 and in time for the unveiling of the club's 2006 premiership flag prior to the first bounce, the Lions went on to produce some outstanding pressure football at every contest that left their nervous opponents with a severe case of the fumbles. After losing by 90 points last week, Macri demanded his players reverse the result in an effort to win back some vital percentage, and by full-time he was not disappointed - particularly at his team's incredible 10-goal third quarter. Veteran full-forward Anthony Carroll turned a horror first half into a respectable seven-goal performance by the final siren, while ruckman Scott Hamblin, the high-flying Nathan McPherson, Eddie Sullivan and Luke Walsh found plent of the ball in a runaway victory. Swans' towering recruit Brock Harrison was the pick of his team's players up until three-quarter time, when he played no further part in the game after injuring his knee. The big man was doing what every good ruckman should do by winning the centre bounce and taking contested marks in defence, denying Carroll or Marc Geppert several chances at goal. Unfortunately, his ever-improving work went to waste on many occasions by some costly turnovers in attack by the hesitant Swans. Young Swans forward James Toscan never stopped presenting all game, while Jeff Mickan, Zach Lewis and coach Luke McLean did their best to keep the Swans in the contest, but in the end the Lions just had superior numbers at every contest and hit their targets more consistently. "Obviously it would have been nice to have kicked a few more goals given the opportunities we had, but it is tough to maintain a high level of intensity so early in the season," Macri said. "I think today's result along with last week's suggest it is going to be an even competition this season, and every club needs to be on song for each game," he said. (The Area News - Monday April 23, 2007).
Round 3 - Saturday April 28, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 5.00pm
Griffith .......... 6.5 .. 9.7 .. 12.12 .. 13.12 (90)
Coolamon .... 2.4 .. 5.8 .. 11.11 .. 15.15 (105)
Goals: Griffith: Z Lewis 3, M Duncan 3, G Foley 2, J Wilson, R Bull, C Conlan, D Crack, J Toscan
Coolamon: B McKelvie 3, E Edis 3, S Drum 2, B Edyvean 2, C Neyland, R Bartholomew, B Garrett, M Saunders, L Maloney
Best: Griffith: M Crack, J Malone, P Hunt, Z Lewis, D Crack
Coolamon: S Keenan, S Drum, B Edyvean, R Bartholomew, E Edis, N Edyvean
Griffith: B Ford, R Heenan, D Jamieson; M Crack, J Malone, J Wilson; J Brown, M Duncan, M Kenny; C Conlan, J Mickan, D Meade; Z Lewis, J Toscan, R Bull*; Brock Harrison, L McLean (c-c), M McDonald; G Foley, P Hunt, D Crack
Coolamon: S Bartholomew, T Byrnes, R Lilly; S Martin, N Edyvean, M Robinson; P Maloney, S Drum, M Saunders; B Munro, B Edyvean, R Maslin; R Bartholomew, B McKelvie, J McPherson; S Keenan (c-c), C Neyland, E Edis; L Drum, B Garrett, J Moncrieff
Reserves: Griffith 13.4 (82) d Coolamon 10.9 (69)
Goals: Brent Harrison 5, G Sibbick 2, B Hicken 2, C Lugton, C Forwood, P Rowston, J Gastin
Under 18: Griffith 23.21 (159) d Coolamon 6.5 (41)
Goals: M Tyndall 8, J Iemma 4, L Piccolo 2, S Curran 2, D Kennan 2, J Tyrell 2, J Geddes, T Bottcher, J Fallon
Match report: The Griffith Swans have slumped to their second-straight loss, going down to Coolamon by 15 points at the Exies Oval on Saturday night. The Swans were mowed down in the second half after opening up a commanding 23-point lead at half-time. New recruit Zach Lewis and Mick Duncan both kicked three goals for the home side, while Coolamon's powerhouse full-forward Brendan McKelvie booted three for the visitors. McKelvie was well marked by Peter Hunt and wasn't able to repeat his recent exploits in front of goal which saw him land 17 goals for the Hoppers in the first two rounds. Griffith captain-coach Luke McLean said the Swans had their chances to put the game beyond doubt after the main break. "They kicked six goals in the third term against the wind and we were chasing our tails a bit in the final quarter," McLean said. "I thought at half-time we had four or five set shots in the third quarter and we played a pretty good brand of footy." The Swans were thrown into chaos in the second half when they lost full-back Roger Heenan (hamstring) and ruckman Brock Harrison (corked leg) to injuries, but McLean didn't offer that as an excuse to their capitulation. "Over the next couple of week's we've got to win some of those games where some haven't given us a chance," he said. "We've got to try and finish off our games and I think we could get a fair bit of confidence from getting a close win. "I think there's just a bit of self-doubt when those games are tight. The Swans reserve grade and under 18's continued their hot form, beating the Hoppers by 13 points and 118 points respectively. Brent Harrison kicked five goals and Andrew Cappello was best on ground. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday April 30, 2007).
Round 4 - Sunday May 6, 2007 at Maher Oval 2.10pm
Turvey Park ... 2.2 .. 6.7 .. 7.10 .. 15.12 (102)
Griffith ............ 6.2 .. 13.2 .. 20.3 .. 23.5 (143)
Goals: Turvey Park: N Flanigan 6, M Cattell 2, D Campbell 2, G Doig 2, T Richards, A Regan, S Pople
Griffith: D Meade 5, M Duncan 4, L McLean 4, C Conlan 2, J Brown 2, D Crack 2, M McDonald, C Lugton, J Toscan, J Mickan
Best: Turvey Park: N Flanigan, M Cattell, K Cross, B Campbell, D Campbell, A Donaldson
Griffith: J Brown, M McDonald, R Bull, P Hunt, J Hampel, M Duncan
Turvey Park: A Donaldson, K Cross, L Toose, D McLean, P Donaldson, Blair Campbell, D Campbell, B Walker, R Daniher, C Reechman, L Webb, C Barker, J Stinson, N Flanagan, M Cattell, S Pople, A Regan, B Cattell, T Richards, G Doig, Tolsa Harrison
Griffith: D Jamieson, P Hunt, J Hampel; M Kenny, J Malone, M Crack; B Ford, M Duncan, J Brown; D Crack, J Mickan, C Lugton; C Conlan, J Toscan, D Meade; R Bull, M McDonald, L McLean; G Foley, J Gastin, J Iemma*
Reserves: Griffith 13.19 (97) d Turvey Park 7.6 (48)
Goals: B Hicken 4, K Duncan 3, M Harris 3, W Tyndall, R Bridgen, M Clark
Under 18: Griffith 21.14 (140) d Turvey Park 4.6 (30)
Goals: M Patterson 9, S Curran 5, J Tyrell 2, L Piccolo, J Fallon, M Tyndall, B Jaffrey, J Geddes
Match report: Griffith scored a rare win in Wagga and continued Turvey Park's miserable start to the season with a 40-point drubbing of the Bulldogs at Maher Oval. In an uninspiring affair, Turvey Park booted the final eight goals of the game to add some respectability to the scoreline as Griffith won 23.5 (143) to 15.12 (102). With a less than impressive record travelling to Wagga, Griffith came out firing and through some accurate shooting, got out to a 37-point lead at half-time. The Swans went on to set up their win with a seven goal-to-one third term, where small forward Daniel Meade came into his own. Griffith coach Luke McLean continued the onslaught to start the final quarter, booting the first three goals of the quarter before Turvey Park ended the game with eight consecutive majors to soften the blow. McLean was particularly pleased with the Swans' third quarter and happy to finally leave Wagga a winner. "It's good to get a win here in Wagga," McLean said. "I think our third term was particularly good. I asked the guys at half-time to come out hard and they gave everything and really set up the win there. Turvey did come back late but I thought we already had a big enough lead after we kicked a few goals to start the last quarter. "We're trying to get quick movement of the ball going and today I was pretty happy with how we did that." It was a big win for the Swans, as they entered the game without ruckman Brock Harrison and fellow key players Myles Bunn, Zach Lewis, Jarrod Wilson, Roger Heenan and Simon Spiers. But with hard-running midfielders Matt McDonald and Luke McLean making all the play through the middle, Griffith always had the game under control. The Bulldogs backline struggled all day to contain small forwards Daniel Meade, Mick Duncan and Craig Conlan while Jeff Mickan worked hard at centre-half-forward. There were few highlights in the first three quarters for the Bulldogs but Michael Cattell proved to be a valuable target up forward while Travis Richards worked hard in the ruck. (The Area News - Monday May 7, 2007).
SWANS TICKLED PINK TO HELP OUT AGAIN WILL PLAY FOR CHARITY
ON SUNDAY, the Griffith Swans will prove real men wear pink. The Swans will take part in one of the city's most visible and unique efforts as they aim to raise money for the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group. The club's first grade side will wear specially made pink jerseys for their match against Wagga Tigers at the Exies Oval, while there will be raffles, auction and a celebrity kicking competition to assist in raising funds on the day. Tomorrow, a bevy of Swans will hit the pavement on Banna Avenue armed with buckets and will be hunting down donations. Member of the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group, Jan Newman, hoped the community got behind the unique idea. "It started three years ago and it's getting better each year," Newman said. "We're grateful for anything they can raise. Local identity Brad George pioneered the concept in Griffith after his mother was struck down by the disease while he was living in Albury. "She had an operation three years ago and she's still kicking goals," George said. "The Breast Cancer Support Group supported her, looked after her and even gave me phone numbers if I needed any help." The day will kick off at 10am with the start of the under 18's game and the celebrity kicking competition will be on at half-time of the Swans and Tigers match, which starts at 2.15pm. (The Area News - Friday May 11, 2007).
Round 5 - Sunday May 13, 2007 (Pink Day) at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............... 1.1 .. 4.4 .. 4.8 .. 10.9 (69)
Wagga Tigers ... 5.6 .. 19.8 .. 24.11 .. 31.12 (198)
Goals: Griffith: D Meade 3, D Crack 2, M Duncan 2, B Ford, M McDonald, J Gastin
Wagga: M Walder 8, M Sheppard 7, R Plant 5, L Knight 3, D Quee 3, M Colvin 2, D Davey, S Pearce, L Gaffney
Best: Griffith: B Ford, M Duncan, M Kenny, P Hunt, J Hampel
Wagga: M Walder, L Knight, R Plant, J Millikan, M Sheppard, L Gaffney
Griffith: D Pasin, P Hunt, J Hampel; J Malone, M Kenny, M Crack; B Ford, L McLean, D Crack; C Conlan, J Mickan, C Lugton; Z Lewis, J Toscan, D Meade; Brock Harrison, M McDonald, M Duncan; R Bull, J Gastin, J Iemma
Wagga Tigers: J Millikan, P Noonan, D Quee, L Gaffney, N McDonald, M Sheppard, R Miller, M Coady, M Noonan, S Cook, C Drum, S Priest, D Cook, M Colvin, M Walder (coach), R Plant, D Pullen, D Davey, L Knight, J Powell, S Pearce
Umpires: S Crowley, R Wilson (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 15.15 (105) d Wagga Tigers 10.7 (67)
Goals: Brent Harrison 8, K Duncan 2, B Hicken 2, P Rowston, D Jamieson, A Cappello
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 23.13 (151) d Griffith 4.7 (31)
Goals: L Piccolo 2, J Tyrell, S Curran
Match report: A startling 14-goal second quarter set up a thumping 129-point win for the Wagga Tigers over the Griffith Swans at the Exies Oval. The Swans had no answers to the ruthless Tigers midfield as forwards Marc Sheppard and coach Matt Walder went on a goal-scoring spree. Sheppard booted seven goals, while the evergreen Walder kicked eight majors. The Swans' lack of a genuine full-forward was exposed by the Tigers, as ruckman Ryan Bull and Brock Harrison both had unsuccessful stints up forward. "The first half wasn't too flash and they showed us how to play footy but we got stuck into it in the second half and that wasn't too bad," Swans captain-coach Luke McLean said. "Their midfield was good and their half backs ran hard and our half forwards were slow to react. "Brock was pretty quite and got his hands on a few but couldn't hold it but towards the end Daniel Meade was solid but I think that going to be our Achilles heel because we don't have someone that's six foot four for the contests." The Tigers started with the expected tenacity after last week's shock loss to Narrandera and skipped out to 36-7 at the first break. The floodgates then opened in the second term as Logan Knight, Ryan Plant, Walder and Sheppard combined to wreck havoc on the Swans' defence. Those four booted 13 of their side's 14 goals in the term, with the speedy Scott Pearce kicking his first goal of the game. As devastating as the Tigers' attack was, their defence was equally impressive. The Swans failed to kick a major in the third term as the Tigers piled on another five. Daniel Meade kicked two goals for the Swans to put some respectability in the scoreline for the home side. The loss was not all doom and gloom for McLean, who said the Swans could learn something from the ruthlessness of the Tigers. "We have to take a leaf out of their book because they are the benchmark of the competition," he said. "We've got a few young kids here and we're only three and two for the season which doesn't rule us out of finals contention. "We've just got to take a leaf from the Tigers, get back on the training paddock and work on a few things." Meanwhile, the Swans' reserve grade side notched up its fifth consecutive win of the season, smashing the Tigers 105-67. The Swans' Kris Duncan said the win was even more impressive considering 13 regular starts were forced to withdraw through injury or promotion to firsts. "Phil Rowston, Dean Jamieson and Myles Bunn were all good ... Andrew Cappello has been best on the ground the past three weeks and Brent Harrison kicked eight goals," Duncan said. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday May 14, 2007).
BOUNDARY CHANGES CREATE RFL - TURNING BACK TIME with Trevor Harrison
IN 1982 followers of Australian Rules football witnessed some drastic changes to the structure of football in the Riverina when the VCFL Boundaries Commission reorganised the then South Western District, Farrer and Central Riverina Leagues. The new reconstructed league, the Riverina Football League, comprised eight former SWDFL clubs Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Ardlethan, Ariah Park-Mirrool, Coolamon, Turvey Park and amalgamated Ganmain and Grong Grong-Matong clubs, plus the addition of Wagga Tigers, North Wagga, East Wagga-Kooringal (Farrer) and Barellan (Central Riverina). Unfortunately for die-hard Griffith Swans supporters, the changes could not have come at a worse time. Off-season departures of many prominent footballers including Bruce Thomson (Tocumwal) and Ian Geddes (Barellan), and financial woes had the club close to crisis point. Things were not to improve when Griffith started off the season with six consecutive losses, including a 62-point drubbing by RFL minnow, Barellan. Clearly, however desperate Griffith's situation might be, there was still one reason for not abandoning all hope for the season - a chance meeting with good old rivals, Leeton. The Redlegs were to fire the first shot in the local derby at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval on Sunday, May 16, when they rejected a Griffith move to play ace forward Darrell Collins on a one-match permit. With Collins denied the chance to play, Griffith then produced a masterstroke in placing "Battle of the Bands" star performers, Paul Baldi and Stephen Crack on the forward line. Their boldness was rewarded with Baldi booting five goals, while Crack, although badly hampered with two broken fingers, secured four goals. When the final siren sounded, about 500 ecstatic red and white supporters gave their players a standing ovation after watching an epic Griffith win over Leeton 15.10 (100) to 12.8 (80). For Swans stalwart, Ian "Sheeds" Wade, it was his first win since June 1980 while playing coach of Coleambally "Magpies" (1980-81). (The Area News - Friday May 18, 2007).
Round 6 - Saturday May 19, 2007 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm
Mangoplah-CUE .... 2.4 .. 8.5 .. 11.7 .. 14.11 (95)
Griffith .................... 3.2 .. 8.4 .. 10.6 .. 13.10 (88)
Goals: MCUE: J Foster 4, G Reid 2, C Websdale 2, B Turner, M Finemore, M Heydon, S Balding, G Spriggs, A Howard
Griffith: J Toscan 3, L McLean 2, D Meade 2, M McDonald 2, Brock Harrison, Z Lewis, D Crack, C Lugton
Best: MCUE: S Balding, G Spriggs, D De Britt, M Balding, N Davis, K Thompson
Griffith: Z Lewis, J Mickan, L McLean, J Hampel, M McDonald
Mangoplah-CUE: B Howard, G Spriggs, D Howard, D De Britt, X Higgins, N Lawson, M Balding, M Finemore, K Thompson, S Creasy, J Foster, A Howard, C Websdale, S Balding, N Davis, Trent Cohalan, B Turner, M Heydon, M Thomas, P Howlett, G Reid
Griffith: D Pasin, P Hunt, J Hampel; J Malone, M Kenny, M Crack; B Ford, L McLean, J Brown; C Conlan, J Mickan, C Lugton; Brock Harrison, J Toscan, D Meade; R Bull, M McDonald, Z Lewis; D Crack, J Gastin, J Iemma
Reserves: Griffith 16.15.117 d Mangoplah-CUE 7.8 (50)
Goals: M Duncan 7, Brent Harrison 6, R Bridgen 2, R Heenan, K Duncan
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 12.17 (89) d Griffith 4.9 (33)
Goals: D Keenan 2, M Tyndall, G Snaidero
Match report: Griffith's decision to drop NSW representative Mick Duncan has come back to cost the Swans the ultimate price after Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes ground out a gutsy seven-point win at Mangoplah Sportsground on Saturday. Duncan was axed to reserve grade for disciplinary reasons during the week and his absence was sorely missed as the Goannas got over the line 14.11 (95) to 13.10 (88). Duncan sent a strong message to the Swans selectors prior to the main game, booting seven goals in reserve grade and is expected to be rushed straight back into the Griffith team, which has lost four games from six this year. It was a strong win for the Goannas, who took the four points without co-captain Chris Higgins and key midfielders Brad Roberson and Jack Killalea. The lead see-sawed for the first three quarters before the Goannas booted the opening two goals of the final term to seal victory. MCUE skipper Dean Howard was proud of the character the Goannas showed in grinding out the victory. "We did it the hard way," Howard said. "It was an arm-wrestle all day and no-one was really able to kick a couple of goals in a row to get away in front. "To have three of our top 10 players out, it was good to get a win without having to rely on those guys. "We spoke about the need to have more goal-kickers during the week and I think we had nine or 10 on the day. Griffith probably had the better of it in the middle and our backline held there own but it was our forwards line that was the difference. "It was a really big game for both of us and that keeps us in touch with the top five now." (The Area News - Monday May 21, 2007).
DUNCAN MAY GET A SECOND CHANCE - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH Swans coach Luke McLean said axed star Mick Duncan could be back this Sunday against Narrandera, providing he curbs his behaviour. Duncan was dropped for Saturday's Riverina Football League match against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes after skipping training on Wednesday. McLean yesterday stood by his decision to relegate Duncan to reserve grade on the eve of the game, which Griffith lost by nine points, and said that he had the full support of the committee. "If he comes to training and does the right things he'll be back," McLean said. The coach also emphasised his desire to develop a successful culture within the club, and said he had no alternative to take the drastic action against the NSW Country representative. "I think you can let a couple of things go but we want a successful club, not just in the first grade," he said. "You look at clubs like Ganmain and someone might flake here and there, but it's about building and that's what I'm trying to do and the committee supports me." Duncan said he attended a wake on Wednesday night and gave McLean three hours notice that he wouldn't be attending training that night. He said he felt the action as "a bit harsh" and was unsure about his immediate future in first grade. "Apparently the leadership group had a vote and they voted six to two in favour of me playing, so I don't know if I want to play when half of the team doesn't want me there," Duncan said. In spite of his relegation, Duncan booted seven goals for the Swans' reserve grade side in its big win against MCUE. In a further blow for the Swans, dominant ruckman Brock Harrison has played his last game for the club. The towering Harrison will move back to the Barossa Valley for work commitments in three weeks but will miss Saturday's match against Narrandera because of work. McLean said the future of another one of the club's most dominant players, Jarrod Wilson, was unsure. He said Wilson would be out of the side "indefinitely" because of family and work commitments. (The Area News - Friday May 23, 2007).
Round 7 - Sunday May 27, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ........... 1.3 .. 4.6 .. 9.8 .. 12.10 (82)
Narrandera ... 8.7 .. 11.11 .. 17.13 .. 25.15 (165)
Goals: Griffith: L McLean 6, M McDonald 3, D Meade, M Bunn, M Duncan
Narrandera: D Hopwood 9, P Heath 5, T Sullivan 4, J Vearing 3, D Campbell, D Burden, L Richmond, D Kenna
Best: Griffith: M Bunn, Z Lewis, J Mickan, M McDonald, J Hampel, L McLean
Narrandera: P Heath, N Hetherington, D Hopwood, S Irons, T Sullivan, J Vearing
Griffith: D Pasin, S Spiers, J Hampel; J Malone, M Kenny, M Crack; B Ford, M Duncan, J Brown; C Conlan, J Mickan, Myles Bunn; L McLean, J Toscan, D Meade; P Hunt, M McDonald, Z Lewis; D Crack, R Bull, J Iemma
Narrandera: P Bloomfield, H Hutchins, S Irons; S Hutchins, A Thomson, C Smith; T Sullivan, N Hetherington, D Kenna; D Hugo, D Burden, C Walsh; T Mathieson, D Hopwood, L Richmond; P Heath, D Campbell, J Grintell (c-c); J Vearing, C Downes, S Martin
Umpires: G Walsh, S Ross (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 19.12 (126) d Narrandera 10.10 (70)
Goals: Brent Harrison 6, J Gastin 4, J Harris 2, M Harris 2, C Forwood 2, C Pugh, C Lugton, W Tyndall
Under 18: Griffith 11.12 (78) d Narrandera 10.14 (74)
Goals: J Tyrell 3, D Keenan 2, M Patterson 2, J Fallon, M Plieski, S Curran, L Piccolo
Match report: The Griffith Swans woes continued when they were thumped by 83 points at Exies Oval. The Swans were outgunned from the opening bounce and have slipped to their fifth defeat of the season. Narrandera's Dean Hopwood was a pillar of strength for the Eagles' forward line on his way to nine goals for the game, while teammate Peter Heath booted five. The loss was also compounded for the Swans when star recruit Zach Lewis was carried from the field with a rolled ankle towards the end of the final quarter. Griffith captain-coach Luke McLean said his side's inability to complete the simple tasks was hurting them. "I think we're just missing some skills, we're falling off tackles and missing our targets when we have the footy," McLean said. "It's hard as well because we have quite a few young guys in the team that don't quite have the size to match it with the bigger guys." The undefeated Eagles started with a flourish in the first term, kicking eight goals to one to open up a commanding 55-0 lead. Myles Bunn and Simon Spiers showed glimpses of form in the backline for the Swans in the second quarter as the game tightened up. But just as the Swans began to build some pressure, they let it slip. Two quick goals to Tim Sullivan straight after half-time put the Eagles' lead out to 52 points and then Hopwood again got into the act with his fifth goal for the game. Down by 53 points at the final break, the Swans made a brief charge for an unlikely victory when Matt McDonald and reinstated Mick Duncan booted two quickfire goals. But the Eagles took the wind out of the Swans' sails when John Vearing and Sullivan stole the momentum back with majors of their own. "I thought Myles Bunn, Zach Lewis and Joel Brown were all pretty good for us today," McLean said. The Swans now have two weeks off to try and reinvigorate their flagging season. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday May 28, 2007).
Round 8 - Sunday June 3, 2007
ALL VERY EXCITING WHILE IT LASTED - TURNING BACK TIME by Trevor Harrison
KEENLY contested matches and a brawl were the order of the day for followers of Australian Rules football played in the SWDFL competition on Sunday June 9, 1957.
Griffith travelled to Mirrool for their fixture with Ariah Park-Mirrool but due to the late arrival of the VFL umpire the game finished in near-darkness. Despite inspired play of coach Tom Allen, the Red and Whites fell short by 16 points.
Mick Grambeau's Ganmain remained top team by beating Narrandera 10.17 to 7.9. Leeton recorded their first win of the season in defeating Ardlethan 11.16 to 9.11, while Grong Grong-Matong moved into second place with a good win against Turvey Park at Bolton Park, 17.15 to 15.15.
The Coolamon verses Whitton game at Kindra Park, Coolamon was a hard and fast one but not as tough as made out. Even though, a daily newspaper report stated an eyewitness at the game said a Whitton player ran on to the ground as the siren sounded and kicked a Coolamon player.
Only trouble sighted was an incident in the third quarter when Coolamon's rover Jacko Reid and Whitton's highly excitable ruckman Rusty Kelly had a bit of a tiff in the middle of the ground. Both players ended up on the wing throwing punches at each other.
After that Reid backed up onto the concrete bicycle track which surrounds the ground and came level with the much larger man, Kelly, and gave him a fair pounding. The umpire stopped the fight, and the game carried on.
The game came to a conclusion with Jim Conway's Coolamon men 26 points ahead - 12.23 (95) to 10.9 (69).
At this point Rusty Kelly took off in pursuit of Jacko Reid, who ran very fast towards the dressing shed. "Get him Boxy," Kelly shouted. Big Bill Box duly obliged and tripped the Coolamon rover over, enabling Kelly to nearly catch him.
The Coolamon crowd then came off the boundary line, many in an angry mood and from there the ruckus started. Players, trainers and spectators of both clubs then proceeded to pound each other in the middle of the ground. The Sergeant of Police came onto the field and he took a pounding as well. After about 15 minutes the umpire pulled up the fight.
Whitton bus driver, Mr. Boxer Lloyd then drove his bus up to the gate and the footballers left the ground, not showering or changing and got straight onto the bus, and onward back to Whitton.
The VFL umpire said later that it was all very exciting while it lasted. (The Area News - Friday June 8, 2007)
Rep. Match - Saturday June 9, 2007 at Maher Oval
Riverina FL Under 23's ..... 3.4 .. 4.6 .. 9.9 .. 13.11 (89)
Farrer FL Under 24's ........ 0.4 .. 3.7 .. 3.7 .. 7.10 (52)
Goals: Riverina: E Edis 3, M Sheppard 3, M Reberger 2, T Sullivan 2, D Howard, J Parr, D Hugo
Farrer: J Hagar 3, M Glasgow 2, J Driscoll, T Willis
Best: Riverina: C Neyland, L Walsh, T Sullivan, B Munro, S Balding, N Hetherington
Farrer: B Langtry, J Driscoll, N Fuller, T Willis, C Taylor, J Hagar
Riverina FL: Bryan Munro, Brett Howard, Josh Gaynor; Nathan Edyvean, Doug McLean, Luke Walsh; Mick Delaney, Nic Hetherington, Tim Sullivan; Mitch Reberger, Luke Webb, Dale Hugo; Marc Sheppard, Dean Howard, Edward Edis; Sam Balding, Connor Neyland, Ryan Plant; Marc Kelly, James Toscan, Jamie Parr, Matt Beckmans
Farrer FL: Matt Mahon, Clint Taylor, Bryson Lashbrook; Andrew Roberts, Mitchell Glasgow, Kallan Sykes; Bryan Bell, Brad Langtry, Matt Lewington; Josh Hagar, Josh McKenzie, Justin Driscoll; Nathan Fuller, Rod Davis, Mark Crawford; Tim Willis, Chris Bell; Sam Chatfield, David Lawson, Ben Langtry, Wes Pollard-Carver. Andrew Bell
Coreen FL 16.18 (114) d Northern Riverina FL 11.10 (76)
Goals: Coreen: Ray Robins 5, Mark House 3, Jarrod Hanrahan 2, Josh Bryce 2, T Dalitz, Andrew McGown, B Eales, Shane Pound
Nth Riverina: K Archibald 2, Steve Henley 2, J Nolan, Brendan Murphy, M Archibald, Glenn Murphy, Kaine Malone, G Worner, Mick Wilson
Best: Coreen: Mark House, Shane Pound, Josh Bryce, Andrew McGown, D Kirchen, Jarrod Hanrahan
Nth Riverina: Greg Tyack, Kaine Malone, Paul Gauci, Brendan Murphy, M Bryant, G Worner
Under 17: Northern Riverina FL 13.15 (93) d Coreen FL 11.8 (74)
Round 9 - Sunday June 17, 2007 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton-Whitton ... 5.1 .. 9.3 .. 11.5 .. 16.9 (105)
Griffith .................. 5.4 .. 10.9 .. 20.14 .. 28.20 (188)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: B Dryburgh 6, B Boots 4, N Doolin, D Kidman, B Dunn, N Patten, A Gordon, D Elwin
Griffith: P Rowston 7, D Meade 7, M McDonald 3, M Duncan 3, L McLean 3, C Conlan, J Brown, M Crack, D Crack, J Toscan
Best: Leeton-Whitton: A Gordon, N Doolin, N Patten, B Dryburgh, J Broadbent, B Boots
Griffith: J Mickan, M McDonald, J Brown, M Duncan, M Crack, D Meade
Leeton-Whitton: D Elwin, B Waters, T Irvin; B Staines, G Looby, D Harrison; A Gordon, D Sullivan, B Dunn; N Patten, B Dryburgh, G Lee; N Doolin, D Kidman, Brad Boots; N Hunter, J Broadbent, M Flagg; D Symes, B Gilmour, T Legge
Griffith: J Hampel, S Spiers, M Kenny; R Heenen, J Toscan, M Bunn; B Ford, M Duncan, J Brown; C Conlan, J Mickan, D Crack; D Meade, P Rowston, M Crack; A Cappello*, L McLean, M McDonald; R Bull, C Lugton, J Iemma
Umpires: G Walsh, B Webb (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 23.16 (154) d Leeton-Whitton 9.7 (61)
Goals: Brent Harrison 6, K Duncan 4, C Forwood 3, J Gastin 2, J Harris 2, G Foley 2, L Cavallo, D Scott, W Tyndall, G Dreyer
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 12.22 (94) d Griffith 5.8 (38)
Goals: C McGann 2, J Iemma, D Keenan, S Curran
Match report: Griffith has snapped its three-game Riverina Football League losing streak after Sunday's 85-point hiding of Leeton-Whitton at Leeton Showground. The Swans turned up the heat in the second half to run away convincing winners in the high-scoring game, but the Crows were in the contest until half-time. Griffith had kicked five goals to Leeton-Whitton's two halfway through the first quarter. David Kidman opened the account for the Crows, while Bradley Boots was also accurate in front of the sticks. Nick Doolin kicked a spectacular goal to see the home side trail by three behinds at the break, Griffith goaled early in the second and had been getting the most out of the umpiring, but Ben Dryburgh kicked the first of his six-goal haul and keep the Crows nipping at Griffith's heels. The hard work paid off and Leeton-Whitton was in front for the first tie in the game and one of the few times this year, before Griffith replied and locked up the score. Nick Patten scored from a free kick and while the Crows had lost ground they were only 12 points behind. Leeton-Whitton had played some of its better football of the season in the first half, but the third term quickly changed back into every other nightmarish quarter of the season as Griffith booted 10 goals to essentially claim the win. Dryburgh did well to put the Crows on the board, but they were behind 20.14 to 11.5 coming into the final term. The fourth saw the home side play better again, kicking five goals thanks to the likes of a speedy Aaron Gordon and Dryburgh and holding Griffith down for most of the term, the Swans lifted at the end for a bigger win. (The Area News - Monday June 18, 2007).
AN EVENTUAL SUNDAY - TURNING BACK TIME with Trevor Harrison
THE South Western District Football League's competition matches played on Sunday, June 18, 1967 provided many interesting games, However, the Turvey Park fixture was very one-sided. Ardlethan were outclassed by Turvey Park with the final scores, 36.26 (242) to 8.5 (53). Bulldogs rover Robbie Nolan kicked 16 goals, well short of the all-time SWDFL record held by Jack Green, a former Coolamon full-forward, with 28 goals in 1940 against Matong. The Ariah Park-Mirrool / Coolamon match was a close contest, and with sowing underway, it saw many changes to both teams.The Park' eventually won, 19.15 to 17.8. Top-of-the-table side Leeton continued its winning way, beating second-place Narrandera 11.12 to 7.8, while Ganmain easily defeated Whitton 19.18 to 5.7. The match at Matong Sportsground, where Grong Grong-Matong met Griffith, was a controversial affair with Magpies' coach Fred Mundy calling on his own team to walk-off the field in protest to an umpire's decision. Several of the players supported the walk-off, but common sense prevailed. Despite an approach by Merv Sellars to appeal with Mundy to stay on the field, he continued steadfastly on his way to the showers. Mundy, who had figured prominently in several of the earlier incidents of the game, was reported by VFL umpire John Gambetta for striking Griffith coach Kevin Kirkpatrick. The walk-off came five minutes from the end of the third quarter when Griffith was leading 108 to 41. From 10 goals down at three-quarter time, the Magpies, with Sellars leading the way, launched a tremendous comeback - piling on eight unanswered goals. The home side looked unlikely winners until Bobby Spears twice came through in tank-like style to hold them at bay and save the Swans from a humiliating defeat. Final scores were Griffith 16.15 (111) to Grong Grong-Matong 15.11 (101). After the game "Fearless Fred" told Magpies' club officials that he was quitting his position as playing coach and would not play again in the SWDFL. Best players for GG-M were Paddy Walsh, Greg Sheather, Merv Sellars, Barry Price, Keith Ceely and Trevor Le Poidevin, while best for Griffith were Sid Robins, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Ray Davies, Bob Spears, Wayne Bromley and John Scott. (The Area News - Friday June 22, 2007).
Round 10 - Saturday June 23, 2007 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm
Eastern Hawks ... 5.2 .. 9.4 .. 13.6 .. 21.10 (136)
Griffith ................. 5.2 .. 9.6 .. 13.8 .. 17.9 (111)
Goals: Eastern Hawks: B Perkins 4, B Roberts 4, L Adams 3, S Thompson 2, N Scott 2, J Grieve, B O'Brien, C DePiazza, D Bromham, G Cole, B Limbrick
Griffith: D Meade 4, C Conlan 3, J Mickan 2, S Curran 2, M McDonald, D Crack, P Rowston, L McLean, J Toscan, M Duncan
Best: Eastern Hawks: N Scott, J Grieve, B Perkins, D Bromham, E Whyman, A Craig
Griffith: M McDonald, J Mickan, C Conlan, M Duncan, L McLean, M Bunn
Eastern Hawks: G Cole, A White, B Perkins, E Whyman, C DePiazza, M Reberger, S Thompson, A Craig, Barry O'Brien (c-c), L Pollett, L Adams, D Bromham, J Peace, S Moore, D Cameron, B Limbrick, B Roberts, C Pedler, N Scott, J Grieve, R Campbell
Griffith: Myles Bunn, R Heenan, S Spiers; J Malone, M Kenny, J Hampel; B Ford, L McLean, J Brown; M Crack, J Toscan, D Crack; D Meade, P Rowston, C Conlan; J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan; P Hunt, A Cappello, S Curran*
Reserves: Griffith 20.11 (131) d Eastern Hawks 11.9 (79)
Goals: C Forwood 7, J Gastin 3, B Woolner 2, W Tyndall 2, J Harris 2, K Duncan 2, G Dreyer, C Lugton
Match report: Griffith Swans season now dangles by a thread after Eastern Hawks piled on eight final-term goals to runaway 25-point victors at Gumly Oval on Saturday. In a game with more swings than a pendulum, the Hawks managed to bounce back from both half-time and three-quarter time deficits to record a morale-boosting win that their coach Barry O'Brien labelled as possible the turning of his club's season. "If we didn't win today our season was pretty much over - I couldn't be happier right now," a jubilant O'Brien said after the win. "Just the team spirit we showed today was something that I haven't seen from this club - everyone was helping one another and really celebrating every goal that was kicked - it made me think 'this is why I play football'," he said. Swans' coach Luke McLean warned his players at the first change that Hawks star Ben Perkins was the man to watch and he was not lying. After dominating the backline for much of the first half, the versatile Perkins went forward and booted four match-winning goals, including trademark high-flying marks and goal from 50 metres to all but bury the Swans' hopes in the final quarter. "I was going to start him down back last week but everything went to plan today and he stepped up for us today again." Three final term goals from Craig Conlan and a near-best on ground performance from Matt McDonald looked like getting the Swans home. However, some sloppy fumbles and wayward kicking in front of goals from teammates, including last week's seven-goal hero Daniel Meade, ensured the Hawks got the points in front of their crowd and it meant plenty judging by the grand final-like celebrations that followed the final siren. "This was a grand final for us today and we delivered," O'Brien said. "We still have plenty to work on as a team, but our next immediate goal is to win two games on a trot against Leeton-Whitton next week and possible sneak into fifth spot." he said. (The Area News - Monday June 25, 2007).
Round 11 - Saturday June 30, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................. 4.2 .. 7.6 .. 11.12 .. 13.7 (95)
Ganmain-GGM .... 3.3 .. 10.5 .. 14.7 .. 20.10 (130)
Goals: Griffith: D Meade 5, M Duncan 2, J Gastin, M Crack, S Curran, J Toscan, L McLean, J Mickan
GGGM: A Carroll 7, M Geppert 2, L Habel 2, P Hamblin 2, S Hamblin, L Walsh, C Macri, B Trevaskis, M Steele, E Sullivan, K Hamblin
Best: Griffith: M Bunn, L McLean, J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan, S Curran
GGGM: C McPherson, A Carroll, L Habel, L Steward, L Walsh, N McPherson
Griffith: J Hampel, M Harris, M Kenny; S Spiers, J Mickan, J Hampel; B Ford, L McLean, J Brown; M Crack, J Toscan, J Gastin; D Meade, S Curran, C Conlan; P Hunt, M McDonald, M Duncan; D Crack, A Cappello, J Smith*
Ganmain-GGM: P Lucas, P Walsh, A Symons; J Evans, C McPherson, L Habel; L Steward, L Walsh, P Hamblin; E Sullivan, C Macri (c-c), M Geppert; M Steele, A Carroll, B Trevaskis; S Hamblin, B Lenon, N McPherson; J Cooper, K Hamblin, D Panaho
Umpires: P Smith, G Hodgins (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 11.9 (75) d Ganmain-GGM 10.8 (68)
Goals: J Harris 4, D Scott 3, K Duncan 2, C Forwood, D Pasin
Under 18: Griffith 15.15 (105) d Ganmain-GGM 7.6 (48)
Goals: L Piccolo 4, M Tyndall 3, D Keenan 3, S Gilbert 2, C Harrison, J Fallon, W Makerinen
Match report: Griffith Swans' imposing home ground reputation was eroded some more on Saturday after a 35-point loss to reigning Riverina Football League premiers Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Exies Oval. The loss was the Swans' seventh in 11 games this year and fourth at home as they now sit in lowly seventh. The Swans inability to string four quarters together came back to bite them in the second quarter after a strong opening term. Led by a strong exhibition by Daniel Meade up forward, the Swans booted four first-quarter goals to the Lions' three and held a 26-21 lead. But the Lions clawed their way back, kicking seven goals to three in the second quarter, and maintain an advantage throughout the rest of the game. Griffith captain-coach Luke McLean was upbeat about the Swans' performance, but said the side would now face the daunting prospects of having to rely on other results to make an impression on the ladder. "I think it was really one of our better performances, we are one of those only sides to really push Ganmain so I think the boys played well," McLean said. "We have had to have a look at the draw and see what has to happen for us and it's a situation you never want to be in. "We have to beat all the sides below us and hope a few upsets with sides above us if we are to get into the top five. "The feeling around the club is pretty good, we aren't in the best position but we think we can do it." Anthony Carroll was a dominant force for the Lions, capping off a strong game with seven goals. Meade ended up with five goals for the Swans. Meanwhile, the Swans reserve grade side continued its scintillating season, beating the Lions 75-68. Jeff Harris kicked four goals and Damien Scott three in the win, which was kick-started by a seven goal to four opening half. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday July 2, 2007).
Round 12 - Sunday July 8, 2007 at Kindra Park 2.10pm
Coolamon ..... 5.2 .. 11.7 .. 11.13 .. 15.19 (109)
Griffith ......... 2.1 .. 4.4 .. 6.8 .. 7.11 (53)
Goals: Coolamon: J Parr 4, S Keenan 3, L Maloney 3, E Edis 2, H Dyce 2, T Garrett
Griffith: S Curran, D Crack, M Duncan, D Meade, J Fallon, J Brown, M Harris
Best: Coolamon: L Maloney, C Neyland, M Robinson, B Munro, N Edyvean, J Parr
Coolamon: S Bartholomew, R Lilly, B Garrett; M Robinson, N Edyvean, T Byrnes; C Neyland, A McKenzie; L Maloney, J Parr, E Edis; H Dyce, S Keenan (c-c), K Roberts; B Edyvean, B Munro, L Drum; T Garrett, D Billingham, B Cooke
Griffith: J Hampel, P Hunt, C Lugton; R Heenan, J Smith, Myles Bunn; J Brown, L McLean, M Kenny; D Crack, J Toscan, C Conlan; M Crack, S Curran, D Meade; J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Gastin, M Harris, J Fallon*
Umpires: G Walsh, S Ross (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 16.11 (107) d Coolamon 6.7 (43)
Goals: R Duncan 4, J Harris 2, L Cavallo 2, M Hogan, W Tyndall, D McGreal, G Sibbick, D Jamieson
Under 18: Griffith 22.27 (159) d Coolamon 2.1 (13)
Goals: D Keenan 5, J Iemma 4, M Tyndall 3, C Harrison 2, M Patterson 2, B Snaidero 2, H Shaw, C McGann, L Piccolo, S Gilbert
Match report: Griffith' Riverina Football League finals hopes all but evaporated with a 56-point thumping to Coolamon at Kindra Park. With star full-forward Brendan McKelvie a late withdrawal from the Coolamon team, the Hoppers proved they were no one-man show as they cruised to a comfortable victory, 15.10 (109) to 7.11 (53). With six games now remaining, Griffith sits two games outside the top five in seventh position, while the Hoppers are locked in fourth spot. On a mud-covered Kindra Park surface, the Hoppers adapted to the conditions much better than the Swans with their attack on the ball and delivery into the forward line far superior to Griffith's. With the two teams trying to play completely different styles of football, Coolamon captain-coach Sam Keenan did not hide the fact his team was happy to win the dogfight. "They wanted to try and chip the ball around but we were more than happy to make it a dogfight and win it like that," Keenan said. "The conditions suited us much better and we were just harder at the ball, simple as that. "We played a good brand of footy and I was happy to come away with a really good win." The win was the biggest for the Hoppers this season and the fact they were able to do it without McKelvie pleased Keenan. "Luke McLean (Griffith coach) came out during the week and said all they had to do was stop Brendan McKelvie to win, so it was good to show we can still produce goals without him being there," Keenan said. "We're really starting to work hard now and I think we're gone from being a team full of young blokes at the start of the season so a team that is starting to get better with each game." Luke Maloney and Connor Neyland were brilliant through the midfield for the Hoppers while Nathan Edyvean, Brett Garrett and Bryan Munro all put in supper efforts. No Griffith player was able to put together four quarters of a consistent football but the usual suspects in Matt McDonald, Mick Duncan and Craig Conlan were very good in patches. (The Area News - Monday July 9, 2007).
Round 13 - Sunday July 15, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............ 6.3 .. 11.7 .. 15.7 .. 18.14 (122)
Turvey Park ... 2.2 .. 5.3 .. 8.11 .. 11.16 (82)
Goals: Griffith: M McDonald 4, M Crack 3, D Meade 3, S Curran 2, C Conlan 2, M Duncan 2, J Mickan, R Heenan
Turvey Park: M Beckmans 4, L Webb 3, L Toose 2, T Harrison, S Pople
Best: Griffith: M Duncan, J Mickan, C Conlan, M Crack, J Brown, R Heenan
Turvey Park: D McLean, M Beckmans, C Barker, J Hoey, B Walker, L Webb
Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, J Smith; J Hampel, J Brown, J Toscan; M Kenny, L McLean, B Ford; R Heenan, M Crack, C Conlan; C Lugton, S Curran, D Meade; J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Gastin, D Crack, J Fallon
Turvey Park: B Walker, C Barker, N Byrnes; P Donaldson, D McLean, A Donaldson; L Toose, D Campbell, A Reagan; M Beckmans, J Elliott, L Webb; D Feary, J Hoey, S Pople; J Cheatley, Blair Campbell, K Cross; C Reeckman, Tulsa Harrison, H Blake
Umpires: R Wilson, S Ross (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 29.24 (198) d Turvey Park 3.7 (25)
Goals: P Rowston 7, M Hogan 6, K Duncan 4, R Duncan 3, M Clark 2, W Tyndall, G Dreyer, B Woolner
Under 18: Griffith 16.19 (115) d Turvey Park 2.4 (16)
Goals: M Tyndall 3, C Harrison 2, M Patterson 2, L Piccolo 2, D Keenan 2, J Geddes 2, J Iemma, J Tyrell, B Jaffrey
Match report: THE roar from the Griffith Swans dressing shed hadn't been heard since round nine, but the Swans belted out their team song after they defeated Turvey Park at Exies Oval. The Swans produced a clean game that saw them dominate possession and control play to take the points in the RFL competition. But the news wasn't as good as Swans coach Luke McLean admitted after the win. "The boys played really well and we are really happy to have a win," McLean said. "But the finals are pretty much out of our sights despite it. "I suppose it's a bit of a consolation, but that doesn't mean we aren't going to keep pushing." McLean said the win was important to get them back on track and hopefully finish the season on as a strong note as possible. "We really want to keep playing as best we can and work on the things we still aren't getting right," McLean said. "If we keep working on it and finish the season on a good note its better for the club. "We still have other grades doing really well so we have to keep performing and working to get things right, regardless of the finals. The Swans had a great first half and booted six goals to two to get themselves into the swing of the game. In the second term the Swans booted a further five goals and Turvey Park grabbed three. But despite the ball barely entering the Turvey Park half in the first term the scoreboard wasn't a reflection because the Swans backline was drawn forward on too many occasions. "We do tend to go forward a lot and then it creates a pretty easy passage for them to get the ball back down their end once they take possession," McLean said. The second half was a closer affair as the sides went practically goal for goal as the Swans worked hard to stop a second-half comeback after their hard work in the first. Matt Crack was a standout for the Swans, directing play and clearing space for his side. Myles Bunn and Jeff Mickan, who was playing his 150th game for the club, also had a solid game. (By Amelia Elliston -The Area News, Monday July 16, 2007).
SWANS UP FOR TOUGH CHALLENGE
THE Griffith Swans returned to winning form last weekend against Turvey Park, but will be put to the test against competition leaders Wagga Tigers on Saturday. The Swans posted an impressive first half against Turvey Park and were able to hold off the visitors' attempts at a comeback in the second half. It was the Swans first win since round nine and the spirit in the side was clearly lifted, despite their finals hopes already being dashed. Swans club president George Duncan said the side would travel to Wagga this week with a positive attitude. "They'll have in their mind there always a chance of winning," Duncan said. "We will probably try a few young blokes out and give them a taste of it, but no one will be chucking the towel in. "They will be in the right frame of mind and play the best game they can. "If you are going to get beaten, though, you hope you won't get a flogging, so you'll always play your best footy."
LAST weekend Swans player Jeff Mickan notched up his 150th game for the club. Mickan is one of the club's important Barellan connections. Mickan commenced his junior football at 12 years of age with Barellan. He started with the Swans in 2000 and is one of the team's most consistent players. He has not missed a game through injury since he joined the club. Mickan has only missed one game in his whole time at Griffith - the first game of 2004 season - because he was not back from an overseas trip. He has a remarkable record and has not been equalled by any player so far. In his first year at the club, Mickan won the prestigious coach's award from Jon O'Dwyer. In 2002, 2004 and 2005 he was awarded the Ferg King Memorial Trophy for the best utility player. Over the years Mickan has been used in several positions and has acquitted himself superbly, in many cases turning the game. He is a very strong mark and is fast becoming known as "sticky fingers" because there are very few times when he flies for a mark that he doesn't hold it. He travels from Barellan three times a week for training and is very dedicated and popular member of the team. (The Area News - Friday July 20, 2007).
Round 14 - Saturday July 21, 2007 at Robertson Oval 2.10pm
Wagga Tigers .... 7.1 .. 14.2 .. 19.7 .. 26.8 (164)
Griffith ............... 1.4 .. 7.10 .. 10.11 .. 11.12 (78)
Goals: Wagga: M Walder 6, M Sheppard 4, R Plant 3, A Priest 3, N McDonald 2, J Milliken 2, M Colvin, J Powell, D Quee, S Priest, T Power, L Gaffney
Griffith: D Meade 3, J Toscan 2, L McLean,R Heenan, J Mickan, C Conlan, M McDonald, M Crack
Best: Wagga: N McDonald, S Priest, R Miller, M Noonan, M Delaney, R Plant
Griffith: J Micken, M McDonald, M Duncan, B Ford, J Brown, J Gastin
Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, R Heenan; J Brown, J Toscan, B Giason; M Kenny, L McLean, B Ford; J Gastin, M Crack, C Conlan; C Lugton, S Curran, D Meade; J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Hampel, D Crack, J Smith
Wagga Tigers: J Milliken, P Noonan, J Gaynor, L Gafney, T Power, N McDonald, M Sheppard, R Miller, A Priest, M Noonan, C Drum, S Priest, D Cook, M Colvin, M Walder (c), R Plant, D Quee, W Meyers, D Davey, M Delaney, J Powell
Umpires: R Wilson, B Webb (RUA)
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 11.13 (79) d Griffith 7.11 (53)
Goals: M Harris, C Forwood, P Rowston, L Cavallo, G Dreyer, D Jamieson
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 20.9 (129) d Griffith 9.10 (64)
Goals: L Piccolo 2, J Fallon 2, M Patterson, D Keenan, J Toscan, D Bruce, C Harrison
Round 15 - Sunday August 5, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................... 6.1 ..9.4 .. 14.7 .. 24.10 (154)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 1.5 .. 3.8 .. 6.11 .. 7.13 (55)
Goals: Griffith: D Meade 5, J Toscan 4, D Crack 4, L McLean 3, C Conlan 3, M McDonald 2, J Gastin, J Malone, S Curran
MCUE: M Heyden 3, J Foster 2, C Websdale, T Cohalan
Best: Griffith: M McDonald, J Mickan, M Duncan, C Conlan, B Ford
MCUE: G Spriggs, S Balding, M Heydon, A Howard, B Turner, K Thompson
Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, R Heenan; B Giason, J Brown, J Toscan; B Ford, L McLean, J Gastin; C Conlan, M Crack, D Crack; J Malone, S Curran, D Meade; J Mickan, M McDonald, M Duncan; J Hampel, M Kenny, A Cappello
Mangoplah-CUE: S Creasy, B Turner; G Spriggs; Trent Cohalan, M Balding, K Thompson; D De Britt, C Higgins, B Roberson; J Foster, A Wild, M Finemore; M Heydon, D Howard, A Howard; S Balding, J Killalea, G Reid; M Warden, C Websdale, B Howard
Umpires: P Hughes, D Potts, R Wilson (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 10.14 (74) d Mangoplah-CUE 6.8 (44)
Goals: C Forwood 2, K Duncan 2, M Hogan 2, D McGreal, D Jamieson, M Harris, R Duncan
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 14.5 (89) d Griffith 9.12 (66)
Goals: D Keenan 2, J Geddes 2, J Iemma 2, M Tyndall, M Vitucci, R Bull
Match report: While there's life there's always hope for the Griffith Swans as they kept their faint final hopes alive with a resounding 99-point win over Mangoplah-Cookardina United-Eastlakes at Exies Oval. The Swans' afternoon was capped off with a stirring 10-goal final quarter, as the usual suspects Matt McDonald, Mick Duncan and Ben Ford dominated the midfield Daniel Meade was a strong target up forward, booting five goals in another classy performance. The Swans are now within striking distance of a top-five finish to the season and sit just one win behind Eastern Hawks and the Goannas, who occupy fifth and sixth respectively. Griffith task of stealing an unlikely finals berth was made considerably easier after the Hawks went down to Turvey Park on Saturday, but the Swans captain-coach Luke McLean remained coy about the side's chances. "We're playing some good footy and I thought we tackled really well today," McLean said. "We've just got to win all our games and then the rest will take care of itself. We've got Narrandera next week and it's good to be playing this style of footy, but it should be a good test. The Swans dictated proceedings in the opening quarter when Meade, McDonald and Conlan goaled in quick succession. Dean Crack who also earned McLean's praise for his work on the forward line, adding the first of his four majors as the Swans skipped out to a 31-3 lead. MCUE's atrocious accuracy in front of goals cost it any chance of reeling in the home side, as Jordan Foster was the only Goanna who converted a set shot. The Swans' intensity dropped after quarter time but they managed to keep the Goannas at bay, with Duncan and McDonald running freely. Crucial goals to Jason Malone and James Toscan further frustrated MCUE, as the visitors could not convert their territorial dominance. Again, the Swans stormed out of the blocks in the third term with goals to McLean, McDonald and Meade as they built up their insurmountable lead. By the start of the final quarter the Swans were up by 45 points and any thoughts of a gallant MCUE fight back were suffocated mercilessly. It was like a training run for the Swans in the final term, with Meade, McLean, Crack and McDonald adding to their burgeoning tallies. Myles Bunn and Jeff Mickan worked well together in defence for the Swans in the final quarter, limiting the Goannas to just eight points. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday August 6, 2007).
Round 16 - Sunday August 12, 2007 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm
Narrandera ... 6.0 .. 10.1 .. 14.7 .. 19.11 (125)
Griffith ........... 3.1 .. 10.7 .. 12.9 .. 13.16 (94)
Goals: Narrandera: D Hopwood 6, T Durnan 3, T Sullivan 3, D Hugo 2, J Grintell 2, L Richmond, J Dawson, S Hutchins
Griffith: M Duncan 4, C Conlan 3, D Meade 2, J Toscan, S Curran, D Crack, M McDonald
Best: Narrandera: S Hutchins, D Hopwood, J Grintell, D Hugo, C Smith, N Hetherington
Griffith: M Bunn, M Duncan, M McDonald, M Crack, C Conlan, R Heenan
Narrandera: M Williams, H Hutchins, S Martin; C Smith, S Hutchins, P Heath; T Sullivan, D Campbell, C Downes; J Dawson, D Hopwood, D Burden; D Hugo, T Durnan, D Kenna; B Grant, N Hetherington, J Grintell (c-c); M Ivanoff, L Richmond, S Irons
Griffith: M Bunn, J Brown, R Heenan; J Hampel, S Spiers, B Giason; M Kenny, M Crack, B Ford; D Crack, J Toscan, C Conlan; M Duncan, S Curran, D Meade; J Mickan, L McLean, M McDonald; P Hunt, J Malone, Z Lewis
Umpires: P Donoghue, P Smith (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 24.9 (153) d Narrandera 9.10 (64)
Goals: R Duncan 9, C Forwood 5, J Harris 3, D Scott 2, A Cappello, M Harris, G Dreyer, J Gastin, D Pasin
Under 18: Griffith 13.14 (92) d Narrandera 4.3 (27)
Goals: J Iemma 3, J Fallon 2, D Keenan 2, B Jaffrey, K Ratcliff, J Geddes, C Harrison, L Piccolo, M Patterson
Match report: Griffith Swans came close to upsetting Riverina Football League high flyers Narrandera at Narrandera Sportsground but were eventually downed by 31 points. The loss ends any hopes the Swans had of making the finals. The visitors started the day full of running and led 67-61 at half-time, thanks to a superb seven-goal second quarter. But the Eagles were able to wear down the Swans and came charging home, outscoring Griffith five goals to one in the final term. "I think our skills in the second half let us down,"Griffith captain-coach said. "We turned the over the ball at crucial times and they were able to capatalise and got a few easy goals. "The whole day I thought we tried hard and pressured them ... but it was a good effort. McLean singled out Matt Crack, Craig Conlan and Roger Heenan for their performances. In a better result for the club, Rod Duncan led the Swans' reserve grade side to a healthy 89-point win over the Eagles. Duncan booted nine majors and Chris Forwood five as the Swans ran out 153-64 victors. It was also a happy day for the Swans under 18's side when it thrashed Narrandera 92-27. Jace Iemma kicked three goals and James Fallon and Daniel Keenan kicked two. The Swans netball sides made a clean sweep against Narrandera, winning all four grades. The A grade side continued its march to the finals after yesterday's 43-25 win. "(The Area News - Monday August 13, 2007).
Round 17 - Sunday August 19, 2007
SWANS NOT WILLING TO FALL PREY TO CROWS
GRIFFITH Swans captain-coach Luke McLean expects Leeton-Whitton's perilous season to end in fireworks or a whimper, as the Crows search for their first win of the season against their cross-town rival at Exies Oval on Sunday. With the Swans' finals aspirations evaporated, the Griffith side will look to avoid the indignity of becoming the Crows' first scalp. But the dangerous blend of youth and experience, McLean was not sure what to expect on Sunday. "I think they'll probably be pretty keen and I think they'll come out all-guns blazing or nothing at all and they'll just want the season to be all over," McLean said. "They have some good young kids and some guys are still left over from when they made the grand final last year, so they'll definitely be a threat." Despite mounting a brief challenge for the last remaining finals position three weeks ago, with a big win against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, the Swans bowed out of the Riverina Football League premiership contention with a loss against Narrandera the week after. After struggling to field a consistent side in the first half of the year, McLean was impressed with the form the side showed over the end of the year. "In the second half of the year, we played some pretty good footy and at the start we struggled to get guys on the paddock and we were caught on the back foot a bit," he said. "A couple of close losses hurt us, but we have been more consistent and besides getting beaten by 70 points by the Tigers, we haven't got flogged. "In the first half, we were beaten well by Wagga, Ganmain and Narrandera." The Swans will be without key players Ben Ford (shoulder) and Myles Bunn (fractured cheek bone) for the Crows game. (The Area News - Friday August 24, 2007).
Round 18 - Sunday August 26, 2007 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................... 4.6 .. 12.8 .. 18.12 .. 24.16 (160)
Leeton-Whitton .... 3.2 .. 5.7 .. 10.12 .. 12.14 (86)
Goals: Griffith: D Meade 8, M Duncan 3, C Conlan 3, D Crack 2, M Crack 2, C Lugton, L McLean, J Toscan, G Foley, B Giason, M McDonald
Leeton-Whitton: A Boots 4, B Dryburgh 2, B Dunn 2, M Lang 2, D Harrison, J Tripodi
Best: Griffith: C Conlan, S Spiers, J Hampel, D Crack, J Brown, M Duncan
Leeton-Whitton: J Broadbent, B Dryburgh, G Looby, A Boots, D Elwin, N Patten
Griffith: J Hampel, S Spiers, R Heenan; J Smith, J Brown, B Giason; M Kenny, M McDonald, C Conlan; M Crack, J Malone, J Toscan; C Lugton, D Meade, D Crack; J Mickan, L McLean, M Duncan; A Cappello, J Fallon, G Foley
Leeton-Whitton: J Greatz, D Elwin, D Kidman; N Doolin, D Symes, D Harrison, N Patten, B Gilmour, B Elwin; J Davidson, T Irwin, G Lee; M Lang, B Dryburgh, A Boots; G Looby, J Broadbent, M Flagg; T Legge, J Tropodi, B Dunn
Umpires: D Potts, P Smith, B Robinson (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 33.22 (220) d Leeton-Whitton 2.2 (14)
Goals: K Duncan 10, R Duncan 7, J Gastin 4, M Harris 3, C Forwood 2, B Woolner 2, G Sibbick 2, J Harris 2, M Hogan
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 15.20 (110) d Griffith 4.11 (35)
Goals: J Fallon 2, J Geddes 2
Match report: Despite missing out on a Riverina Football League finals berth, the Griffith Swans ended their season on a high with an emphatic 74-point dismantling of Leeton-Whitton at Exies Oval. Griffith's on-ballers ran rampant, with Craig Conlan, Mick Duncan and Matt McDonald dominating their opponents as the Crows struggled to keep up with the frenetic pace. Daniel Meade booted eight goals for the home side, while Duncan chipped in with three goals, including two in the third term. Griffith coach Luke McLean said there was reason to be optimistic after an inconsistent season. "I thought a lot of the young guys, like James Fallon, 'Tosco' (James Toscan) and Andrew Cappello are all playing good footy," McLean said. "It was a good team performance and we just went out there and tried to have a bit of fun and enjoy our footy. We probably weren't competitive with the top four of five sides but over the last month and a half or so I've been happy with how we've all played." Both sides traded goals early in the first quarter before the Swans opened up a comfortable 30-20 lead at the first break. The side then exploded out of the blocks in the second term, with Meade booting four of his majors in the term. Wayward kicking, often from comfortable angles, hurt the Crows as they finished 2007 with a firm grasp o the wooden spoon after going through without a win. Ahead by 43 points at the main break, the Swans then fell asleep and allowed the Crows to get within five goals early on in the third term. However, Duncan put a stop to all that with two quick fire goals. Brothers Matt and Dean Crack capped off a solid day up forward with two goals each. With the club's first grade side out of finals contention, the Swans reserve grade team yesterday clinched the minor premiership with a stunning 205-point hiding of the Crows. Kris and Rod Duncan proved a formidable force, booting 17 goals between them, with the former kicking 10. (By Will Gilroy - The Area News, Monday August 27, 2007).
* Deducted two points (forfeits)
2007 RFL NETBALL Ladders
A grade: Turvey Park 66, Wagga Tigers 62, Griffith 60, Leeton-Whitton 48, Coolamon 36; Narrandera 32, Mangoplah-CUE 28, Ganmain-GGM 16, Eastern Hawks 8.
B grade: Leeton-Whitton 72, Turvey Park 60, Griffith 52, Wagga Tigers 48, Coolamon 44; Narrandera 36, Mangoplah-CUE 24, Ganmain-GGM 16, Eastern Hawks 8.
C grade: Turvey Park 68, Wagga Tigers 68, Leeton-Whitton 48, Griffith 48, Coolamon 44; Mangoplah-CUE 36, Narrandera 24, Ganmain-GGM 16.
Juniors U15's: Griffith 68, Narrandera 60, Leeton-Whitton 60, Coolamon 48, Ganmain-GGM 40.
MICK DUNCAN WINS THIRD VIC HATHAWAY MEDAL
FOR the third-consecutive year, on-baller Michael Duncan took out the Vic Hathaway medal for the Griffith Swans' best and fairest for 2007. Duncan polled 37 votes, two ahead of second-placed Matt McDonald and six clear of Jeff Mickan in third. Duncan this week admitted he had thought about travelling next year and not lining up for the Swans, but the award could change his mind. "I thought I had made up my mind not to play next year, but but now I have a chance of four in a row, things might change," Duncan said. "It hasn't really sunk in in yet and I was talking to a few of the older guys (on Sunday) and they let me know how big of an achievement it is." Duncan also feared a brief stint in reserve grade after disciplinary issues had damaged his chances of winning the award. In May, Duncan was dropped for missing training, but made a solid return to be one of the side's best in the second round. "I thought a week in the reserves had cost me .. and it was a bit of an up and down year, but it was good that everyone got over it in a couple of weeks."
Andrew Cappello was judged reserve grade's best, finishing four votes clear of Dean Jamieson and nine in front of Chris Forwood and Damien Scott. The side capped off a remarkable regular season on Sunday with a 205-point thrashing of Leeton-Whitton, sealing the reserve grade minor premiership. In a tightly contested race for the under 18's prize, a strong showing for James Fallon against the Crows on Sunday was enough for him to take the award from Luke Piccolo. Fallon polled 33 votes, just one ahead of Piccolo. Jack Geddes finished third on 18. With all four of the club's netball sides set to contest the finals, voting was close as ever. Robyn Overs and Karen Conlan tied for first in the A grade race, while Alison Ward was best and fairest for B grade. Kim Savage won the award for C grade and Ashley Tyndall was the best for the junior side. (The Area News - Wednesday August 29, 2007).
2007 Best and Fairest Vote Count
First Grade: 37 M Duncan, 35 M McDonald, 31 J Mickan, 20 C Conlan, 16 M Bunn, 15 Z Lewis, 12 B Ford, 9 M Crack, P Hunt, 7 R Heenan, 6 L McLean, 5 J Brown, J Gastin, J Malone, J Wilson, 4 R Bull, S Spiers, 3 J Toscan, J Ward, 2 D Crack, J Hampel, D Jamieson, M Kenny, 1 D Meade.
Reserves: 27 A Cappello, 23 D Jamieson, 18 D Scott, C Forwood, 16 P Rowston, 13 C Lugton.
Under 18: 33 J Fallon, 32 L Piccolo, 18 J Geddes, 15 C Harrison, 14 D Bruce, 13 R Bull, C McGann, M Tyndall.
Qualifying Final - Saturday September 1, 2007 at Mangoplah Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM ... 1.4 .. 5.7 .. 7.8 .. 12.9 (81)
Wagga Tigers .... 3.3 .. 7.6 .. 11.10 .. 18.12 (120)
Goals: GGGM: S Hamblin 3, A Carroll 2, L Habel 2, M Geppert 2, S Lenon, D Rankin, C Macri
Wagga: M Sheppard 5, R Plant 3, J Powell 2, M Walder 2, A Priest, D Quee, L Gaffney, L Knight, J Millikan, W Myers
Best: GGGM: D Rankin, C McPherson, L Habel, N McPherson, C Macri, L Walsh
Wagga: D Cook, M Colvin, A Priest, D Davey, M Noonan, T Power
Ganmain-GGM: Chad Hamblin, Adam Symons, Marc Kelly; Brett Lenon, Christen McPherson, Luke Habel; Lachlan Steward, Daniel Rankin, B Trevaskis; Marc Geppert, Christin Macri (c-c), Eddie Sullivan; Shane Lenon, Anthony Carroll, Kirk Hamblin; Scott Hamblin, Luke Walsh, Nathan McPherson; David Panaho, Brad Kiley, Justin Evans, Paul Lucas
Wagga Tigers: Darren Cook, Matt Noonan, Josh Gaynor; Ryan Miller, Mitch Colvin, Mick Delanty; Daniel Davey, Steven Priest, Alex Van Ruiswyk; Logan Knight, Andrew Priest, James Milliken; Luke Gaffney, Marc Sheppard, Ryan Plant; Chris Drum, Matt Walder (c-c), Tom Power; Daniel Quee, Jacob Powell, M Bellairs, Wayne Myers
Umpires: -------- Gate: $6,616
Reserves: Coolamon 19.8 (122) d Wagga Tigers 12.9 (81)
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 17.12 (114) d Wagga Tigers 14.9 (93)
Elimination Final - Sunday September 2, 2007 at Gumly Oval
Coolamon .............. 1.1 .. 4.4 .. 7.5 .. 13.6 (84)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 3.3 .. 10.8 .. 12.10 .. 16.12 (108)
Goals: Coolamon: B McKelvie 4, M Saunders 2, A McKenzie 2, J Parr, E Edis, B Edyvean, S Keenan, C Neyland
MCUE: J Foster 6, D Howard 6, M Balding 2, M Heydon 2
Best: Coolamon: C Neyland, L Maloney, S Keenan, T Byrne, M Robinson, B McKelvie
MCUE: C Higgins, M Balding, G Spriggs, N Lawson, D Howard, J Foster
Coolamon: Tim Byrne, Ryan Lilly, Ryan Maslin; Stephen Bartholomew, Matt Saunders, Edward Edis; Luke Maloney, Connor Neyland, Alex Manley; Mitch Robinson, Brendan McKelvie, Brett Garrett; Jacob McPherson, Sam Keenan (c-c), Adam McKenzie; Ben Edyvean, Bryan Munro, Simon Drum; Jamie Parr, Josh Moncrieff, Tim Garrett, Keiran Roberts
Mangoplah-CUE: Trent Cohalan, Brad Turner, Dylan DeBritt; Stace Creasy, Brett Howard, Kurt Thompson; Graeme Reid, Dean Howard, Adam Skow; Jack Killalea, Geoff Spriggs, Adam Howard; Neil Lawson, Mitch Heydon, Jordan Foster; Sam Balding, Mitch Balding, Chris Higgins; Brad Roberson, Jeff Millar, Grant Bruce, Shaun Bennett
Umpires: S Crowley, P Donohue, G Walsh (RUA). Gate: $7410
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 16.21 (117) d Ganmain-GGM 8.4 (52)
Under 18: Griffith 11.10 (76) d Narrandera 10.8 (68)
Goals: Griffith: J Tyrell 3, J Iemma 2, S Curran 2, L Piccolo, D Keenan, T Henderson
Best: Griffith: M Tyndall, M Patterson, J Fallon, C McGann, L Piccolo, R Bull
Griffith: Will Makerinen, Matthew Patterson, Nick Tapprell; Steve Hardy, Chris McGann, Dylan Bruce; Jace Iemma, Michael Tyndall, Toby Henderson; Ben Jaffrey, Jack Geddes (c), Daniel Keenan; Cameron Harrison, Jack Tyrell, Shaun Curran; Ryan Bull, James Fallon, Luke Piccolo; Hayden Shaw, Kyle Ratcliff, Jock McRae.
Second Semi Final - Saurday September 8, 2007 at Narrandera Sportsground
Narrandera ........ 3.3 .. 7.4 .. 15.8 .. 20.12 (132)
Wagga Tigers .... 3.1 .. 8.4 .. 10.8 .. 15.9 (99)
Goals: Narrandera: J Grintell 6, P Heath 4, D Hopwood 3, T Sullivan 3, T Durnan 2, T Mathieson, D Campbell
Wagga: M Walder 3, A Priest 2, C Drum 2, M Colvin 2, L Knight 2, S Priest, R Plant, D Quee, A Van Ruiswyk
Best: Narrandera: J Grintell, S Hutchins, P Heath, C Smith, N Hetherington, T Sullivan
Wagga: J Gaynor, S Priest, M Colvin, T Power, C Drum, A Myers
Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Ashley Thomson, Liam Richmond; Chris Walsh, Peter Heath, Stuart Hutchins; Tim Sullivan, Nic Hetherington, Chris Smith; Jonathon Dawson, Damon Burdan, Dale Hugo; Tim Durnan, Dean Hopwood, Tim Mathieson; Len Lyons, Danny Campbell, Jamie Grintell (c-c); Hayden Hutchins, Jeremy Orme, Sam Martin, Drew Kenna
Wagga Tigers: Andrew Kamman, Matt Noonan, Josh Gaynor; Ryan Miller, Mitch Colvin, Daniel Davey; Jacob Powell, Steven Priest, Andrew Gunnser; Logan Knight, Andrew Priest, Daniel Quee; Luke Gaffney, Marc Sheppard, Ryan Plant; Chris Drum, Matt Walder (c-c), Tom Power; James Milliken, Alex Van Ruiswyk, Trent Garner, Wayne Myers
Umpires: D Potts, S Crowley (AUA). Gate: $10,927
Reserves: Coolamon 13.8 (86) d Griffith 12.11 (83)
Goals: Griffith: P Rowston 6, R Duncan 2, K Duncan 2, G Foley, C Forwood
Best: Griffith: A Cappello, D Gastin, D Jamieson, G Foley, P Rowston, J Smith
Griffith: Daniel McGreal, Craig Lugton, David Dunn; Robert Bridgon, Damien Scott, James Smith; Jono Gastin, Dean Jamieson, David Pasin; Graham Foley, Mick Harris, Chris Forwood; Kris Duncan, Phil Rowston, Rod Duncan; Andrew Cappello, Wayne Tyndall, Greg Dreyer; Norm Campbell, Jeff Harris, Greg Sibbick, Dean Catanzariti
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 12.18 (90) d Mangoplah-CUE 9.7 (61)
First Semi Final - Sunday September 9, 2007 at Maher Oval
Ganmain-GGM ...... 4.4 .. 6.5 .. 9.7 .. 11.9 (75)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 4.2 .. 6.7 .. 12.10 .. 15.17 (107)
Goals: GGGM: M Geppert 4, A Carroll 3, S Hamblin 2, D Hitchins, E Sullivan
MCUE: A Wild 5, J Foster 3, D Howard 3, G Reid 2, M Heydon, M Balding
Best: GGGM: D Rankin, C McPherson, L Habel, S Lenon, E Sullivan
MCUE: K Thompson, G Reid, C Higgins, B Turner, M Balding, J Foster
Ganmain-GGM: Marc Kelly, Adam Symons, Justin Evans; Brett Lenon, Christen McPherson, Chad Hamblin; Lachlan Steward, Daniel Rankin, Luke Walsh; Marc Geppert, Christin Macri (c-c), Shane Lenon; Eddie Sullivan, Anthony Carroll, Kirk Hamblin; Scott Hamblin, Nathan McPherson, Luke Habel; Daniel Hitchens, David Panaho, Ben Trevaskis, Brad Kiley, Paul Lucas, Paul Hamblin
Mangoplah-CUE: Trent Cohalan, Brad Turner, Dylan DeBritt; Stace Creasy, Brett Howard, Kurt Thompson; Graeme Reid, Dean Howard, Adam Skow; Jack Killalea, Geoff Spriggs, Adam Howard; Neil Lawson, Mitch Heydon, Jordan Foster; Sam Balding, Mitch Balding, Chris Higgins; Andrew Wild, Brad Roberson, Jeff Millar, Grant Bruce, Patrick Howlett, Nat Davis
Umpires: ------- Gate: $10,059
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 17.20 (122) d Wagga Tigers 9.6 (60)
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 18.10 (118) d Griffith 8.13 (61)
Goals: Griffith: J Iemma 3, J Fallon 2, M Patterson, C Harrison, B Snaidero
Best: Griffith: G Snaidero, L Piccolo, C McGann, J Iemma, D Bruce, M Tyndall
Griffith: Will Makerinen, Glen Snaidero, Jock McRae; Steve Hardy, Chris McGann, Jack Geddes, Dylan Bruce; Luke Piccolo, Sam Gilbert, Daniel Keenan; Matthew Patterson, Michael Tyndall, Jace Iemma; Jack Tyrrell, Shaun Curran; Ryan Bull, James Fallon, Cameron Harrison; Michael Vitucci, Hayden Shaw, Nick Tapprell, Kyle Ratcliff, Brett Snaidero
SWANS NETBALLERS SWOOP ON RFNL AWARDS
GRIFFITH Swans netballers were rewarded for another productive season by sweeping the awards at Tuesday's night Jim Quinn medal night in Narrandera for the Riverina Football and Netball League. For the fourth year in a row a Swans took out the B grade medal for best and fairest, with Alison Ward claiming the prize. "It was a total shock," Ward said. "It was really special for Griffith has won the award four years in a row. " Although only playing three game during the year, Hannah Binks still did enough to be named joint junior best and fairest with Coolamon's Molly Campbell. Emma Heenan and Renae Rawle also polled well in B grade. Wagga Tigers' Peta Wykes was A grade's best and fairest, while Turvey Park's Katherine Pretious won the C grade gong. Swans midfielder Matt McDonald came close to repeating his Jim Quinn Medal-winning exploits of 2005, but fell six votes short of Coolamon's Luke Maloney. McDonald, 24, only polled five votes in the first 12 rounds but flew home, pulling in 11 votes from the umpires over the last six. "I knew the first half of my year wasn't that good," McDonald said. "From the team's perspective the year was pretty disappointing and we probably lacked about two players or three key positional players. "It took a while for me to get into the season ... but then again you don't play to get these awards." Narrandera' s Peter Heath finished runner-up on 17 votes, five adrift of Maloney. (The Area News - Friday September 14, 2007).
Preliminary Final - Sunday September 16, 2007 at Narrandera Sportsground
Wagga Tigers ....... 2.0 .. 7.8 .. 10.11 .. 16.16 (112)
Mangoplah-CUE ... 5.3 .. 5.5 .. 7.8 .. 9.9 (63)
Goals: Wagga: M Walder 5, S Priest 2, T Garner 2, L Knight, T Power, L Gaffney, M Colvin,R Plant, C Pavitt, D Quee
MCUE: J Foster 2, A Wild 2, D Howard, B Howard, K Thompson, A Skow, M Balding
Best: Wagga: T Power, M Walder, S Priest, R Plant, D Davey, N Kamman
MCUE: C Higgins, G Reid, K Thompson, N Lawson, B Turner
Wagga Tigers: Ryan Miller, Matt Noonan, Josh Gaynor; Andrew Kamman, Darren Cook, Mick Delaney; Daniel Davey, Steven Priest, Mitch Colvin; Marc Sheppard, Andrew Priest, Luke Gaffney; Cory Pavitt, Daniel Quee, Ryan Plant; Chris Drum, Matt Walder (c-c), Tom Power; James Milliken, Trent Garner, Logan Knight, Alex Van Ruiswyk
Mangoplah-CUE: Trent Cohalan, Brad Turner, Dylan DeBritt; Stace Creasy, Geoff Spriggs; Kurt Thompson; Graeme Reid, Brett Howard, Brad Roberson; Mitch Heydon, Dean Howard, Jack Killalea; Andrew Wild, Jordan Foster, Neil Lawson; Sam Balding, Mitch Balding, Chris Higgins; Ryan Walsh, Adam Skow, Grant Bruce, Shaun Bennett
Umpires: ------ Gate: $10,218
Reserves: Griffith 13.6 (84) d Mangoplah-CUE 10.5 (65)
Goals: Griffith: P Rowston 5, K Duncan 2, M Hogan, A Cappello, M Harris, J Harris, J Gastin, B Woolner
Best: Griffith: A Cappello, R Duncan, R Bridgen, G Foley, D Catanzaritti, J Gastin
Griffith: Dan McGreal, Craig Lugton, Dean Catanzariti; James Smith, Damien Scott, Robert Bridgen; Wayne Tyndall, Jonathon Gastin, David Pasin; Graham Foley, Mick Harris, Chris Forwood; Matt Hogan, Phillip Rowston, Kris Duncan; Andrew Cappello, Rod Duncan, Dean Jamieson; Larry Cavallo, Nathan Kite, Brad Woolner, Jeff Harris
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 13.14 (92) d Mangoplah-CUE 13.13 (91)
SWANS JOURNEY TO FINALS WILL PAY OFF - By Will Gilroy
GRIFFITH Swans reserve grade coach Roger Heenan believed his squad would be more finals hardened ahead of Sunday's Riverina Football League reserve grade decider against Coolamon at Narrandera Sportsground. The minor premiers overcame a plucky Mangoplah-Cookardinia United -Eastlakes on Sunday to move into the grand final, turning the tables on a disappointing showing the week before against the Hoppers in the qualifying final. But Heenan said the Swans had matured since that loss, and the squad's younger players had learned some valuable lessons about finals football. "They more aware, and I wouldn't say they were raw but their first final was a bit of an eye opener," Heenan said. "There were a lot of nerves but I think the older blokes will help to settle them down." Twice during the regular season the Swans outplayed Coolamon, but it was a "very different" Hoppers outfit that made the Swans pay two weeks ago. Heenan expected a full-strength Coolamon to again take the field but a question mark remains around two key men for the Swans. Damien Scott (groin) and David Dunn (hamstring) will both be given until Sunday to prove their fitness, but Heenan said the Swans had the numbers to cover the injuries. And those coming into the side will have little trouble understanding the simple game plan. "We actually don't have a game plan," he said. "We try and keep it simple and get numbers to the ball. "We've got adequate replacements and we have 26 blokes to pick from who will do the job. "Throughout the year we were probably missing six blokes every week, but we always had plenty of numbers."
SCENE SET FOR NETBALL WHITEWASH
AN UNDEFEATED season should have Griffith Swans junior netball coach Louise Hornery brimming with confidence before Sunday's grand final against Narrandera at the Narrandera Sportsground. Add to that the two regular season hidings the Swans handed to the Eagles and you have all the ingredients for a one-sided affair. But Hornery, with the memories of last year's narrow one-goal final win against Narrandera lingering, was taking a more tentative approach to Sunday's game. "This year we have beaten them fairly convincingly, and one of those times we had only had six players. But grand finals are completely different and we're not going to go in under prepared," Hornery said. "I think (being undefeated) will probably make them more hungry and that's why we're not taking this for granted." The majority of the Swans have played in the same side for up to three years, so their combination are honed. But it is the side's ability to adjust to its opposition and to different position that could prove the difference against the Eagles. "The best part of our game is that we are strong in every part of the court," she said. "A girl like Annaleise Jones, who plays in attack, can just as easily play in defence or in the centre of the court. "The centre court has been together for three years, which makes a big difference. "They go out and give their all and enjoy it. "They play for each other and are a very respectful team." The Area News - Friday September 21, 2007).
Grand Final - Sunday September 23, 2007 at Narrandera Sportsground
Narrandera ......... 1.2 .. 3.6 .. 4.8 .. 6.13 (49)
Wagga Tigers ..... 1.6 .. 4.10 .. 11.15 .. 16.17 (113)
Goals: Narrandera: T Mathieson 2, P Heath, T Sullivan, L Richmond, T Durnan
Wagga: M Walder 4, A Priest 3, R Plant 2, D Quee 2, W Myers, J Millikan, M Colvin, T Power, L Knight
Best: Narrandera: D Burden, C Smith, P Heath, A Thomson, P Bloomfield, D Hugo
Wagga: M Walder, S Priest, M Noonan, R Plant, T Power, J Spivey
Narrandera: Peter Bloomfield, Ashley Thomson, Chris Walsh; Chris Smith, Damon Burden, Stuart Hutchins; Jeremy Orme, Nic Hetherington, Dale Hugo; Tim Sullivan, Peter Heath, Tim Mathieson; Tim Durnan, Dean Hopwood, Liam Richmond; Len Lyons, Danny Campbell, Jamie Grintell (c-c); Hayden Hutchins, Sam Martin, Drew Kenna, Jonathon Dawson
Wagga Tigers: Josh Gaynor, Matt Noonan, Ryan Miller; Darren Cook, Daniel Davey, Mick Delaney; Jason Spivey, Steven Priest, Alex Van Ruiswyk; Logan Knight, Marc Sheppard, Mitch Colvin; Daniel Quee, Andrew Priest, Matt Walder (c-c); Chris Drum, Tom Power, Ryan Plant; James Millikan, Andrew Kamman, Trent Garner, Wayne Myers
Umpires: B McDonald, G Hodgins, G Walsh. Gate: $26,847 @ $10
Reserves: Coolamon 10.12 (72) d Griffith 9.9 (63)
Goals: Griffith: P Rowston 3, J Gastin 2, J Harris, R Duncan, K Duncan, D Jamieson
Best: Griffith: D Jamieson, A Cappello, R Duncan, C Lugton, G Foley, D Catanzariti
Griffith: Daniel McGreal, Craig Lugton, Dean Catanzariti; Nathan Kite, James Smith, Robert Bridgen; Wayne Tyndall, Jonathon Gastin, David Pasin; Larry Cavallo, Michael Harris, Chris Forwood; Jeff Harris, Phillip Rowston, Graham Foley; Andrew Cappello, Rodney Duncan, Dean Jamieson; Kris Duncan, Brad Woolner, Greg Dreyer, Matthew Hogan
Umpires: B Robinson, E Sully, P Smith (RUA)
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 17.13 (115) d Wagga Tigers 16.13 (109)
Umpires: L Olsen, J Hilton, S Ross (RUA)
Netball - A grade: Turvey Park v Wagga Tigers; B grade: Turvey Park v Leeton-Whitton; C grade: Wagga Tigers v Turvey Park; Juniors U15's: Griffith 33 d Narrandera 24
Match report: Wagga Tigers completed the perfect return to the Riverina Football League with a 64-point thumping of Narrandera to claim the premiership. In front of a big crowd at Narrandera Sportsground, Tigers put a dismal opening half behind them to take pot yet another RFL premiership 16.17 (113) to 6.13 (49). It was a grand final victory the Tigers faithful will long remember, helping ease some of the pain experienced during the club's five years of hardship in AFL Canberra. In a huge effort from the newly crowned premiers, Tigers put behind them a season of dramas, including a grand final preparation that was almost ruined by injuries. Darren Cook and Marc Sheppard played while Jason Spivey made a miraculous return from arm surgery and all three played crucial roles in the victory. While the premiership will be one to savour, the game itself failed to live up to expectations. In an ugly opening term, each team only managed one goal apiece, with Tigers six behinds helping them to a narrow four-point lead at the first change. Unfortunately for the spectators, the standard of football did not improve in the second stanza as Tigers slowly grind away to a 10-point lead. With the premiership still well and truly up for grabs at the start of the second half, it was the men from Tigerland who seized the moment. Tigers started dominating the centre clearances and stoppages and kicked seven goals to one in the third quarter to break the game open and set up a match-winning lead. Having played very ordinary football throughout the first three quarters, Narrandera had one last opportunity to lift and break its 21-year premiership drought. But the Eagles had already clearly conceded defeat as at times, their focus shifted off football and onto the man, highlighted by a Liam Richmond outburst that ended in a report and red card. "Tigers sealed the win with five last quarter goals compared to Narrandera's two. They rolled the dice on several injured stars and this time, it worked. Spivey was the best man on the ground up until half-time while Darren Cook was not far behind him until coming undone with a career-ending shoulder injury late in the second term. Matt Walder was named best on ground, but it was hard to find a better player over the four quarters than Steven Priest. Tigers' midfield of Walder, Priest and Tom Power dominated, especially in the second half. Matt Noonan, Josh Gaynor and Ryan Miller did a sensational job in defence while Mick Delaney tagged Narrandera coach Jamie Grintell out of the game. Andrew Priest was a standout up forward for the premiers while James Millikan and Ryan Plant rounded out Tigers' best. Having everything fall their way in the lead up to yesterday's decider, Narrandera's chances of breaking its 21-year premiership drought have never been so far away. (The Area News - Monday September 24, 2007)
SWANS JUNIOR NETBALLERS MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW
THE Griffith Swans junior netball side claimed its third-straight crown with a come-from-behind nine-goal win over Narrandera at Narrandera Sportsground. Finishing the year undefeated, the Swans were shocked early by the physical Narrandera side and were down by five goals at the end of the first quarter. However, the side was able to regroup and stormed to the front, led by a stellar performance by goal shooter Hannah Binks. Binks scored seven of her side's 10 goals in the second quarter, as the Swans forged away and established a match-winning lead at half-time. Coach Louise Hornery said the tactical move to switch defender Annaliese Jones from defence to attack also played a big part in the win. "They came out to rattle us and once the girls settled down, they were able to play their own game," Hornery said. "It was just a matter of us being able to adjust and after the first quarter, the girls worked through it and showed great character." The Swans, who finished the home and away season as minor premiers, piled on 10 goals to two in a dominant second quarter, and by the end of the third term, their lead had ballooned to six. "We've won three in a row and that's very good, because if the juniors are doing so well, it paves the way for the seniors players," she said. (The Area News - Monday September 24, 2007).
SWANS COACH LEAVES THE NEST - By Scott Hazlewood
GRIFFITH Swans captain-coach Luke McLean announced at the clubs presentation night that he would not be staying on for a third year in his contract, citing family reasons for his sudden departure. The decision came as a shock to the many involved with the club, with only a couple of committee members finding out last week of McLean's decision to step down. McLean, a well-respected and admired part of the club, said the decision was based around the birth of his first child with his fiancee and son to move to Launceston in around a month's time. "It was really a hard decision to make, I really enjoyed my time at the club," McLean said. "But I guess your priorities change when you have your first bub, so basically we are moving to be closer to family." In McLean's first year he took the Swans to the doorstep of the grand final, only to lose to Leeton-Whitton. That success was the catalyst for a two-year extension of his contract. However, as the club found out last weekend that tenure will be cut short, handing the club the previously unforeseen off-season job of finding a coach. Despite the relatively short stay, McLean believed he was leaving the club in good shape, highlighting the strength of the junior ranks as one of the big positives. Swans president George Duncan said the committee was looking forward to what McLean could do with the club next year, but respected his wishes to make the move. "It came as a shock, I got the phone call last Thursday night; we had no indication it was going to happen," Duncan said. It was a tough season for the Swans first grade side with an exodus of players and a lack of new players coming to the club, which meant the side failed to make the top five. The Swans board held a meeting Monday night to map out a direction the club would take for next year, starting with a new coach. The president said the club would be casting a wide net in the search for a new coach, with applicants being looked at locally and possibly interstate. Duncan hinted at the possibility of new blood at the club with the usual off-season scouting currently in progress. (The Area News - Wednesday October 10, 2007).
CHALLENGE FOR NEW SPORTS EDITOR
COVERING a more diverse range of sports and celebrating the achievements of our junior champions are two of the key challenges nominated by The Area News's new sports editor. Scott Hazlewood this week replaced outgoing sports editor Will Gilroy, who has moved back home to Sydney. Hazlewood comes to Griffith with a solid pedigree, having been an avid fan, commentator and participant in a wide variety of sports. Most recently a senior news journalist at the Cootamundra Herald, he has previously been a sports journalist at the Cooma-Monaro Express and the Jindabyne Summit Sun. Hazlewood has played representative rugby union and performed at a high level in soccer, basketball, cricket and athletics. But it's the challenge of reporting on grass roots sport which really inspires the 23-year-old. "I love every little aspect of regional sports; from the personalities to dissecting the games," Hazlewood said. "Sport in a regional city like Griffith links people together and is such a crucial part of the fabric of the community. "The biggest challenge here will be making sure I cover everything I can - from bocce to body building. "For me, a sports section is not just about the big footy codes and cricket, it's about the passion of the participants and the variety of sports. "My mantra is going to be, if the sport is played in Griffith I want to cover it." (The Area News - Friday October 12, 2007).
2007 RIVERINA FOOTBALL LEAGUE AWARDS
Seniors: Best & Fairest - Jim Quinn Medal
22 - Luke Maloney (Coolamon); 17 - Peter Heath (Narrandera); 16 - Matthew McDonald (Griffith); 13 - Dean Howard (Mangoplah-CUE), Jamie Grintell (Narrandera), Matthew Walder (Wagga Tigers); 12 - Nathan McDonald (Wagga Tigers); 11 - Stuart Hutchins (Narrandera); 10 - Mitchell Steele (Ganmain-GGM); 9 - Christen McPherson, Christin Macri (Ganmain-GGM), Luke McLean (Griffith), Steven Priest (Wagga Tigers); 8 - Sam Keenan (Coolamon), Nathan McPherson (Ganmain-GGM), Luke Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Danny Campbell (Narrandera); 7 - Michael Duncan, Jeff Mickan (Griffith), Jamie Broadbent (Leeton-Whitton); 6 - Brendon McKelvie (Coolamon), Ashley Condon, Phillip Evans, Mitchell Reberger (Eastern Hawks), Blair Campbell, Dane Campbell, Luke Webb (Turvey Park); 5 - Andrew White (Eastern Hawks), David Rava (Ganmain-GGM), Sam Balding, Geoff Spriggs (Mangoplah-CUE), Nick Hetherington, Tim Sullivan (Narrandera), James Millikan, Ryan Plant, Andrew Priest (Wagga Tigers); 4 - Simon Drum, Ben Edyvean (Coolamon), Danny Bromham, Dale Cameron (Eastern Hawks), Luke Habel, David Panaho (Ganmain-GGM), Steve Iannelli (Leeton-Whitton), Jordan Foster (Mangoplah-CUE); 3 - Alex Manley, Connor Neyland (Coolamon), Daniel Rankin (Ganmain-GGM), Chris Higgins, Matthew Thomas, Kurt Thompson (Mangoplah-CUE), Dean Hopwood, Ashley Thomson (Narrandera), Luke Toose (Turvey Park), Chris Drum, Ryan Miller, Jason Spivey (Wagga Tigers); 2 - Jamie Parr (Coolamon), Glenn Cole, Brenton Roberts, Wayne Rolla (Eastern Hawks), Scott Hamblin, Shane Lenon, Marc Kelly, Lachlan Steward (Ganmain-GGM), Craig Conlan, Matthew Kenny, James Toscan (Griffith), Tim Mathieson, Alan Morris (Narrandera), Mitchell Colvin, Alex Van Ruiswyk (Wagga Tigers); 1 - Tim Byrnes, Edward Edis, Nathan Edyvean, Kerrod Roberts (Coolamon), Craig Depiazza, Ben Perkins (Eastern Hawks), Anthony Boots, Bradley Boots (Leeton-Whitton), Neil Lawson, Bradley Roberson, Bradley Turner (Mangoplah-CUE), Dale Hugo, Liam Richmond (Narrandera), John Hoey (Turvey Park), Stewart Cook (Wagga Tigers).
Reserves - Frank Gaynor Medal
14 - Nathan Angel (Wagga Tigers); 13 - Phillip Rowston (Griffith); 12 - Drew Wood (Ganmain-GGM), Mathew Meladonis (Leeton-Whitton); 10 - Scott Martin (Coolamon), Brett Limbrick (Eastern Hawks), Brad Kiley (Ganmain-GGM). Other Griffith players to receive votes were: 9 - Andrew Cappello; 8 - Dean Jamieson; 6 - Jeff Harris, Damien Scott; 5 - Rodney Duncan; 4 - Kris Duncan, Brenton Harrison; 3 - Michael Duncan, Jonathon Gastin, Michael Harris; 2 - Robert Bridgen; 1 - Chris Forwood, Matthew Hogan, Daniel McGreal, Daviod Pasin, Wayne Tyndall.
Under 18 - Lou Brown Medal
19 - Simon Hillier (Wagga Tigers); 17 - Zachary Robinson (Coolamon); 16 - Len Lyons (Narrandera); 14 - Paul Iannelli (Leeton-Whitton), Luke Gestier (Wagga Tigers); 12 - Wayne Bryon (Ganmain-GGM), Michael Tyndall (Griffith); 11 - Harry Blake (Turvey Park); 10 - Jack Davis (Wagga Tigers). Other Griffith players to receive votes were: 6 - Cameron Harrison; 4 - Shaun Curran, James Fallon, Jace Iemma, Daniel Keenan; 3 - Ryan Bull; 2 - Matthew Patterson, Glen Snaidero.
Seniors: Top Goalkickers (h/a) - Stewart Fraser Trophy
78 - Anthony Carroll (Ganmain-GGM), 63 - Brendon McKelvie (Mangoplah-CUE), 57 - Ben Perkins (Eastern Hawks), Christin Macri (Ganmain-GGM), 53 - Daniel Meade (Griffith), 50 - Dean Hopwood (Narrandera), Matthew Walder (Wagga Tigers), 48 - Marc Geppert (Ganmain-GGM), 47 - James Elliott (Turvey Park), Marc Sheppard (Wagga Tigers), 44 - Jordan Foster (Mangoplah-CUE), 42 - Liam Richmond (Narrandera), Ryan Plant (Wagga Tigers).
Reserves - Griggs Trophy
57 - Daniel Crocker (Coolamon); 51 - Brenton Harrison (Griffith); 47 - Peter Treloar (Mangoplah-CUE); 36 - David Cox (Ganmain-GGM); 35 - Daniel Hitchens (Ganmain-GGM); 34 - Paul McKelvie (Coolamon); 33 - Aaron Smith (Wagga Tigers); 32 - Kris Duncan (Griffith); 27 - Michael McPherson (Eastern Hawks); 25 - Brent Fennessy (Ganmain-GGM); 24 - Chreis Forwood (Griffith).
Under 18 - Dalco Trophy
63 - Matthew Etchells (Wagga Tigers); 49 - Luke Gestier (Wagga Tigers: 35 - Jake Phillips (Mangoplah-CUE), Cameron Johnson (Wagga Tigers: 34 - Brendan Burley (Leeton-Whitton); 32 - Andrew Moncrieff (Leeton-Whitton); 27 - Curtis Richens (Mangoplah-CUE); 26 - Sam Noble (Ganmain-GGM); 25 - Kurt Stubenrauch (Turvey Park); 23 - Daniel Keenan (Griffith),. 21 - Matthew Patterson (Griffith).
Club Championships: Wagga Tigers
Netball: Best & Fairest
A grade: Peta Wykes (Wagga Tigers); B grade: Alison Ward (Griffith);
C grade: Katherine Pretious (Turvey Park); Juniors: Molly Campbell (Coolamon).
2007 APPEARANCES / GOALS - RESERVES & UNDER 18's GRADES
Reserves: Rhys Best 7 / 0, Robert Bridgen 16 / 4, Myles Bunn 1 / 0, Ryan Bull 1 / 0, Norm Campbell 11 / 0, Andrew Cappello 13 / 3, Dean Catanzariti 12 / 0, Luke Catanzariti 4 / 0, Mathew Crack 1 / 3, Larry Cavallo 11 / 4, Mitch Clark 3 / 3, Greg Dreyer 12 / 5, Kris Duncan 14 / 35, Michael Duncan 1 / 7, Rodney Duncan 8 / 27, David Dunn 7 / 0, Graham Foley 8 / 3, Chris Forwood 15 / 25, Jonathon Gastin 11 / 17, Trent Harrington 13 / 0, Jeffrey Harris 15 / 22, Michael Harris 16 / 12, Brenton Harrison 7 / 51, Roger Heenan 1 / 0, Brendan Hicken 5 / 7, Matthew Hogan 8 / 11, Dean Jamieson 14 / 5, Nathan Kite 17 / 0, Craig Lugton 10 / 6, Jason Malone 2 / 0, Chris McGann 1 / 0, Daniel McGreal 16 / 2, David Pasin 12 / 2, Simon Portolesi 5 / 1, Alex Potroz 4 / 0, Chris Pugh 5 / 1, Phillip Rowston 11 / 28, Damien Scott 12 / 6, Greg Sibbick 13 / 5, James Smith 12 / 0, Allan Tonacia 4 / 0, Wayne Tyndall 13 / 7, Brad Woolner 13 / 6. Coach: Roger Heenan.
Under 18: Chase Anderson 2 / 0, Tom Bottcher 4 / 1, Dylan Bruce 16 / 1, Fred Bruton 1 / 0, Ryan Bull 10 / 1, Marshall Condon 1 / 0, Shaun Curran 9 / 13, James Fallon 14 / 13, Bryce Gastin 1/ 0, Jack Geddes 9 / 9, Sam Gilbert 6 / 3, Steve Hardy 9 / 0, Cameron Harrison 16 / 8, Toby Henderson 7 / 1, Ben Jaffrey 7 / 3, Jace Iemma 15 / 21, Daniel Keenan 16 / 24, Will Makerinen 14 / 1, Chris McGann 16 / 3, Jock McRae 11 / 0, Liam O'Meara 2 / 0, Matthew Patterson 16 / 21, Luke Piccolo 16 / 17, Michael Pliesk 1 / 1, Kyle Ratcliff 16 / 2, Hayden Shaw 10 / 1, Brett Snaidero 5 / 3, Glen Snaidero 5 / 1, Cory Swann 6 / 0, Nick Tapprell 16 / 0, James Toscan 3 / 1, Michael Tyndall 15 / 20, Jack Tyrell 16 / 13, Michael Vitucci 7 / 1, Justin Wade 1 / 0. Coach: Gerard Toscan.
2007 SENIOR DEBUTS & FINAL SENIOR GAMES / GOALS
Debuts: April 15 - Brock Harrison, Zach Lewis, Jarred Wilson; April 22 - Chris Forwood, April 28 - Ryan Bull; May 6 - Jace Iemma; June 17 - Andrew Cappello; June 23 - Shaun Curran; June 30 - James Smith; July 8 - James Fallon.
Final Games / Goals: Joel Brown (34 / 14), Graham Foley (56 / 16), Chris Forwood (1 / 0), Jason Hampel (68 /12), Brock Harrison (5 / 2), Roger Heenan (32 / 3), Peter Hunt (13 / 0), Jace Iemma (5 / 0), Dean Jamieson (102 / 16), Zach Lewis (7 / 9), Jason Malone (67 / 33), Daniel Meade (35 / 75), Matthew McDonald (84 / 125), Luke McLean (34 / 47), Phillip Rowston (149 / 111), Josh Ward (34 / 8), Jarred Wilson (3 / 7).
2007 GRIFFITH AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS
Saturday, 6th October, 2007 at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club
Major Sponsor: Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club
Best & Fairest: Michael Duncan
Runner-up: Matthew McDonald
Most Consistent: Jeffrey Mickan
Most Improved: Jonathon Gastin
Best Utility (Fergie King Memorial): Mathew Crack
Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Daniel Meade
Coach’s Award: Simon Spiers
Best & Fairest: Andrew Cappello
Runner-up: Dean Jamieson
Most Consistent: James Smith
Most Improved: Robert Bridgen
Best Utility: Damien Scott
Best in Finals: Graham Foley
Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Brenton Harrison
Coach’s Award: Mitch Clark
Best & Fairest: James Fallon
Runner-up: Luke Piccolo
Most Consistent: Luke Piccolo
Most Improved: Michael Tyndall
Best Utility: Chris McGann
Best in Finals: Michael Tyndall
Coach's Award: Tom Bottcher
Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Daniel Keenan
Most Promising Player (Ronnie Williams Memorial): Shaun Curran
Encouragement Award (Fred Owen Memorial Shield): Will Makerainen
Best & Fairest: Karen Conlan and Robyn Overs
Players’ Player: Robyn Overs
Coach’s Award: Clare Irvin
Best & Fairest: Alison Ward
Players’ Player: Belinda Battistel
Coach’s Award: Belinda Battistel
Best & Fairest: Kim Savage
Players’ Player: Kristy Barrington
Coach’s Award: Ashley Tyndall
Best & Fairest: Ashley Tyndall
Players’ Player: Hannah Binks
Coach’s Award: Ashley Tyndall
Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Joan Hicks Memorial): Myles Bunn
Club Person of the Year (Bill Simmons Memorial): Gerard Toscan
Leanne Scott Commitment to Netball Shield: Janet Harrington
Life Membership: Brenda Spears.