2008 RFL SEASON RESULTS
Click on image to enlarge
IN: Jason Bertacco (Hanwood Soccer Club), Brett Davis (Hay Lions), Michael Johns, Brett Owen (Avonvale Heights), Jeremy Way (Barellan).
OUT: Joel Brown (Mt Lofty, SA), Dean Crack, Matthew Crack, James Fallon, Chris Forwood, Jason Hampel, Roger Heenan (Portland), Dean Jamieson (Barellan), Jason Malone (Barellan), Matthew McDonald (North Albury), Luke McLean (South Launceston).
BACK TO BASCICS FOR SWANS - By Scott Hazelwood
NEW Griffith Swans coach for 2008 Gerard Toscan said he will implementing a back-to-basics game plan in the upcoming year, with the aim of matching up playing talent with their ladder position. Toscan said he at times frustrated with the club's performance last season, and wants to take the club back to the top of the Riverina Football League. "We have plenty of work to do from last year, I think we were underachievers (this year) and we should have finished higher up in the competition," Toscan said. "There will need to be some hard work done by individuals on certain things, and things we will need to work on as a team. "At times (last season) we played really good footy, and other times, I was personally a bit frustrated." Toscan said he did not want to dwell on the past, and aims to get the Swans' title chances back on track by playing a more direct attacking style of football. "We are going harder at the ball. "There are a couple of hard ball players we have in the club, probably best in the competition, but the 21 who we pick on the day need to share the workload - everyone has to do their bit," he said. "Some of the forwards will be holding the ball in more and there are going to be a few new drills and we are going to be doing a lot of game situations training. "And we aren't going to tell them what we want them to do, we are going to show them, and I can guarantee there will be some bruises at training. "I'm not really scientific when it comes to coaching footy. I know what I can and can't do, and as long as we can do the basics well (during the game) then I reckon we will go all right." Toscan said he was confident of keeping most of the playing roster from the 2007 season, but said former captain-coach Luke McLean and back pocket Roger Heenan's absence will leave a large hole to fill. Helping fill that gap in the roster are potentially three new recruits, with talks to be concluded in the next fortnight. The rest of the Swans coaching staff for the 2008 season has been confirmed with Toscan having the services of Phil Rowston and Greg Dreyer as his assistants. Official Swans pre-season training will begin on January 14. (The Area News - Friday December 7, 2007).
MICK DUNCAN CONSIDERING RUGBY LEAGUE SWITCH - By Scott Hazlewood
MICK Duncan has revealed he is seriously considering a sensational swap from the Griffith Swans to the Yenda Blueheelers to try his hand at a different code of football. Duncan has already attended a Blueheelers training session and said he wanted to test himself, having claimed three best and fairest honours at the Swans. "I still haven't made up my mind but I reckon it would be a really good challenge," Duncan said. "I reckon I would be cheating myself if I didn't have a go (at rugby league), I don't want to look back in five or six years and wonder why I didn't have a go." Duncan said playing touch football will help him grasp on the basic ball skills in league, but admitted he had a steep learning curve ahead of him regarding how to read the play. "That will probably the biggest thing I have to learn. In Aussie Rules I know the game plans that they used, but for league I don't have much of an idea," he said. "I know a few of the guys out there and I was talking to them about it, so I have started to learn a fair bit." Yenda president Adam Goldman said the club would use Duncan in the West Wyalong knockout and the Griffith Black and Whites Sevens tournament, to see what he may be able to bring to the club. "We'll give him a run and see what he thinks (of league), but at the end of the day he has to like it," Goldman said. Duncan said he hoped to continue to try and play AFL in some form this winter, but when asked if it would be for the Swans, Duncan admitted that a move away from the club would be "more than likely." "I have played with the Swans for most of my life. I've won three best and fairest medals, and I played for NSW in Aussie Rules, so I have done about as much as I can do in the sport from here. "I didn't really enjoy Aussie Rules last year, and if that was to happen again this year, I might walk away from the game forever." Duncan confirmed that he has offered his support to the Yenda Oztag side, which would be a considerable boost to the team that finished third last year. (The Area News - Friday January 18, 2008).
SWANS FLY THE NEST - By Scott Hazlewood
GRIFFITH Swans president George Duncan admitted the club will struggle to fill the void left by up to four stars that left in the off season. Former captain-coach Luke McLean, Matt McDonald and Joel Brown have all left the club for varying reasons, while star onballer Mick Duncan is seriously considering a change to rugby league. First grade coach Gerard Toscan said if Duncan was considering going to league, he would be a loss to the code. "He (Mick) is an Aussie Rules footballer and I think he would have more regrets by say, not going down and playing in the Ovens and Murray League than playing rugby league." When combined, the players loss will put back the teams planned progression in pre-season training, with time needed to be allocated to identify suitable replacements for the missing stars. The Swans president said the club knew of some players were looking to move away for reasons other than football. "Well Luke, his situation was out of our hands, and we knew Matt McDonald was looking for a game in the Albury league and if Michael does leave as well, that will leave a big hole in our side,' Duncan said. "The Swans have also lost the services of Joel Brown for the 2008 season, with the tall half forward moving to Adelaide for work-related reasons. The Swans depth in the on baller position will be tested by the men's departures, with all playing a vital role, which Duncan described as the "engine room" of the local side. Compounding the problems posed by an exodus of players, is the fact the Swans have not been able to attract any new blood to the club, a fact that has frustrated Duncan over the past few months. "We haven't been able to recruit anyone. Our recruitment officers have been out there talking to people but I think they (possible recruits) are playing one club against another," Duncan said. Duncan also believes richer clubs held too much sway when it came to luring top talent to country areas. "We've just got to concentrate on the local guys that are part of the team," Duncan said. "If there are some younger guys that want to step up then they can, but our main concern is getting a side on the paddock and worrying how competitive they will be, when the first grade comes around." Toscan urged these younger players to come to training, saying much of the training sessions so far focuses on development of skills. "I can't have my chained yanked, some of these guys just have to get there (training)," he said. "There are some guys that play 18's last year that are prepared to chew glass and eat bricks to make first grade ad they will be given the opportunities in the one's." Swans pre-season training is on at Collina on Monday and Friday and Jubilee Oval on Wednesday starting at 6pm. (The Area News - Wednesday January 23, 2008).
NEW SWAN FEELS NEED FOR SPEED - By Scott Hazlewood
WHEN you think footballers changing codes in recent years the assumption has been between rugby league and rugby union, however talented speedster Brett Davis is trading in his Waratah stripes for the feathers of the Griffith Swans for season 2008. Davis, who played a handful of AFL games for Hay last year, said he wanted to have a full time crack at the code after receiving positive feedback on his performances for the Lions. "I've only played a couple of junior games for Kempsey and when I started playing for Hay, I started to like the game," Davis said. "After a few people came up to me and said I should have been playing AFL before and I figured they wouldn't say it for no reason." Davis, a Tiger for the past two years, admits he has much to learn in AFL, but Swans coach Gerard Toscan has given the explosive Davis free reign to use his natural ability as he sees fit, within the play structure designed for the club this year. "It's been good so far (training), and its been really hands on at the moment learning the little things like positioning my body to be tackled, tackling other players, hand balling, kicking," Davis said. "I'll be looking forward to playing the better sides, I don't know any of the other players and who they are, so I will be just trying to learn what I can as I am playing, but mainly worrying about my own game." The 22-year-old will get his wish in the first round with the Swans drawn to play last year's grand finalist Narrandera, who will have a point to prove after failing at the last hurdle. Toscan has high hopes for Davis, but said he is willing to nurture his obvious talent in order to get the best out of his new recruit. "If he can stick at it, he will be something special" Toscan said. "He will be the most exciting player since Joey Daby, he may not be quite as good as him, but he will be as exciting. "It's his vision, his speed and quickness and his step and he isn't afraid to shirk the tough stuff with his league background - but we have to look after him. A fullback in rugby league, Toscan said he hasn't decided on where Davis will be best suited, but with his acceleration, a place on the wing would be the most likely place to tap into his need for speed.
Along with Davis, the Swans have lured several former players back to the club, with 2004 grand finalist Brett Owen set to resume his role in midfield. Griffith have snagged former Barellan player Jeremy Way and forward Shaun Curran who has been "training the house down," according to Toscan. Toscan also has high hopes for James Fallon, however he will be without his services until at least week two of the competition, with Fallon laid low with a groin strain. The Swans younger players were given the chance to stretch their wing last weekend and prove to the selectors why they deserve a full time first grade spot this season with three trial games in Temora. "Despite losing two of their games, Toscan said, as with many preseason games the way in which the side played is almost as important as the result. "It was a pretty good hit out, we had a pretty young side only being about 19, because we had a few senior guys unavailable," he said. (The Area News - April 2, 2008).
BERTACCO IS READY TO FLY ABOVE PACK - By Scott Hazlewood
YOU could forgive Jason Bertacco for wanting to "soccer" every goal along the ground when the Riverina Football League starts this weekend, with the former Hanwood football player trying his hand at Australian Rules for season 2008. Bertacco is the latest in a number of football players switching codes to pull on the red and white for the Griffith Swans this year, with Bertacco saying he has enjoyed the steep learning curve so far. Bertacco has played soccer since he was six years old with the Hanwood club in both the North Eastern Soccer League and the he was 14. Having confessed to playing one game of AFL six years ago, Bertacco said a couple of close friends convinced him to try his hand at the other game. "I played cricket with the Catanzariti boys and James Fallon, and they said I should come down and have a run," Bertacco said. "It's my first year and I am still learning, but all of the guys have been really good at training, stopping and giving me pointers when I need them." From the outside, Bertacco's other loves of cricket and soccer appear to not have anything in common with his new winter pursuit, but the new Swan said he has been able to apply some of the skills to AFL. "It's a lot of moving into space, and trying to put a teammate into the right area so it's similar to soccer, but it's different because you move differently and you can block people," he said. "Catching overhead probably comes from being used to catching the ball in cricket in the same way, but I am just trying to get my hands up there and hope for the best." As for his side's chances this weekend against last year's finalists, Bertacco said the club had been putting in the hard yards at training, but did not know what to expect from his first foray in the RFL. "I have been really working hard over the past five or six weeks to learn what I can, and so has the rest of the club," he said. "Everyone has said that Narrandera is one of the strong teams in the competition and it should be a good test for the club to see where we are, and what I have to learn and improve on." (The Area News - Friday April 11, 2008).
Round 1 - Saturday April 12, 2008 at Narrandera Sportsground 5.00pm
Narrandera .... 3.4 .. 4.8 .. 12.11 .. 18.13 (121)
Griffith ............ 2.1 .. 7.4 .. 10.5 .. 12.9 (81)
Goals: Narrandera: P Heath 5, B Rose 3, J Grintell 3, T Durnan 2, C Smith, S Irons, T Matheson, P Green, L Sullivan
Griffith: B Davis 5, S Curran 2, J Mickan 2, B Owen, Myles Bunn, K Duncan
Best: Narrandera: D Hugo, P Heath, B Rose, J Dawson, J Doyle, D Burden
Griffith: C Conlan, B Owen, J Bertacco, J Smith, B Davis, K Duncan
Narrandera: M Bolton, I Donaldson, C Downes; S Hutchins, J Dawson, J Grintell (c-c); B Rose, N Hetherington, J Doyle; D Burdon, T Durnan, S Irons; T Matheson, P Heath, L Sullivan; L Lyons, P Green, D Hugo; D Hopwood, C Smith, M Williams
Griffith: J Smith, D McGreal, D Catanzariti; J Bertacco*, J Way, S Spiers; M Kenny, M Johns, R Bridgen*; B Owen, J Mickan, Craig Conlan; K Duncan, S Curran, B Davis*; R Bull, Myles Bunn, B Ford; J Geddes*, C Harrison*, G Snaidero*
Reserves: Narrandera 22.13 (145) d Griffith 4.5 (29)
Goals: R Johns 2, D Keenan, M Butcher
Under 18: Narrandera 10.14 (74) d Griffith 9.9 (63)
Goals: K Ratcliff 3, J Tyrell 3, S Wood, M Harrison, C Moore
Match report: Despite the Griffith Swans losing to Narrandera by 60 points, coach Gerard Toscan said he could not fault the effort displayed by his young side. While the result alone is not the way the Swans wanted to start the Riverina Football League season, Toscan said the ingredients for a successful year were on display. The Swans actually led at the long break by 14 points, something Toscan and the rest of the side probably didn't expect early in the season against last year's grand finalists. "I think we probably shocked them a bit because we led. I think we shocked ourselves a bit as well," Toscan said. "We were a lot harder to the ball and the leaders, the senior guys, really set the tone in the middle and the young guys went at the ball like their lives depended on it. "Narrandera chipped the ball around a lot, played a more possession style of football, and that suited us because it gave our guys a chance to get back. "But I think we let a good opportunity slip." The turnaround after halftime was the undoing of the Swans, with Narrandera moving Peter Heath out of the ruck to centre half-forward, creating a massive target for the Eagles to aim at. So much was his dominance, Heath bagged five majors for the half and helped seal a big turn around. Toscan said the positional changes to cover Heath's dominance was made fractionally too late, and by then the big man found his way to goal too many times, with a six goal last quarter ending the chances of a Swans' upset. Toscan said the younger and new players at the club will find their feet, and heaped praise on the ruck pairing of Ryan Bull and Jack Geddes and speed merchant Brett Davis. "Brett Davis - far out he was the most exciting to watch," he said. "Some of the marks he took had people wondering how he was doing it. I mean, how do you take a mark running at full tilt with somebody on your hammer at full stretch with one hand? "And I think Ryan and Jack had almost nine straight centre clearances." (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday April 14, 2008).
Round 2 - Sunday April 20, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ......... 2.2 .. 7.2 .. 11.5 .. 13.8 (86)
Coolamon .... 5.3 .. 8.6 .. 12.10 .. 15.15 (105)
Goals: Griffith: B Davis 3, B Owen 2, M Duncan 2, M Tyndall, C Conlan, B Ford, G Snaidero, J Geddes, K Duncan
Coolamon: B McKelvie 6, S Keenan 2, L Maloney 2, T Garrett 2, W Archibald, M Stephenson, J McPherson
Best: Griffith: M Bunn, J Bertacco, B Ford, J Smith, B Owen, C Conlan
Coolamon: S Keenan, L Maloney, C Neyland, M Stephenson, R Maslin, M Robinson
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Smith, J Bertacco; M Duncan, S Spiers, D McGreal; R Bridgen, B Ford, M Johns; J Gastin, J Mickan, C Conlan; K Duncan, S Curran, B Davis; R Bull, M Bunn, B Owen; J Geddes, M Tyndall*, G Snaidero
Coolamon: M Robinson, T Byrne, J McPherson; B Koop, Mark Bradley, G Worner; B Munro, W Archibald, R Maslin; J Nolan, S Keenan (c-c), T Garrett; L Maloney, B McKevie, E Edis; B Edyvean, C Neyland, B Garrett; S Bartholomew, K Roberts, Mitch Stevenson
Umpires: G Hodgins, P Smith (RUA)
Reserves: Coolamon 19.13 (128) d Griffith 1.8 (14)
Goals: A Potroz
Under 18: Griffith 15.16 (106) d Coolamon 2.4 (16)
Goals: T Bottcher 3, S Wood 2, H Shaw 2, M Vitucci 2, B Jaffrey, S Gilbert, G Snaidero, J Wade, J Tyrell, B Hutchinson
Match report: The Griffith Swans will view their second match of the Riverina Football League as one of lost opportunities, after squandering a number of chances, losing to Coolamon by 19 points at Exies Oval. At several critical points in the game the Swans looked to have wrestled the momentum off the Grasshoppers, but the sheer size of Sam Keenan and Brendon McKelvie in the forward line stopped the young Swans in their tracks. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said his side lost the game in the air, with Coolamon's big men often seemingly uncontested marks despite being swarmed with red and white jerseys. "We did have a chance late when Jason Bertacco took it off the half back and cut them to shreds, but their size, we couldn't match it," Toscan said. Sam Keenan was a colossus around the ground. We had one or two of our younger guys on him but we didn't have the weight and he kept taking away their space." Also against the Swans was a flat opening quarter, which saw them give up five goals in a blink of eye to leave the home side in a big hole at the first break. However, Griffith managed to drag back two goals before quarter time and used the momentum to keep the fight back burning in the second stanza, with majors going to Craig Conlan and Matt Kenny. And when Brett Davis grabbed a sensational one-handed mark to score from the top of the goal square, the Swans were back to only three points behind. But Griffith's good second quarter work was undone when again the 'Hoppers looked like running away with the game with three quick majors again putting a gap on the ever persistent Swans. The tenacity paid off when Brett Owen kicked from 30 metres out to again pick the Swans off the deck and give them a stiff of their first victory of the season. At the final break Toscan urged his players to keep up the running game they had used to great effect so far. ''We had all of the momentum, we just had to keep it going and going into the last quarter we were down by less than two kicks,' he said. "We had a couple of chances that went begging, but we had to play on quick, that's the way I have told them to play, we had to role the dice because the longer we hold up the ball the more we are out of the game." Despite not having enough decent chances on goal in the last quarter, Toscan paid tribute to his back line, saying their performance were a marked improvement over the first round effort against Narrandera."The pleasing thing is I don't think we coughed up any goal chances. Last week we gave away about five goals, while this week I can't think of anything really glaring that led them to scoring," he said. "We worked really hard on that (scrambling at the back) during the week." (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday April 21, 2008).
Round 3 - Saturday April 26, 2008 at Robertson Oval 2.10pm
Wagga Tigers .... 2.2 .. 7.5 .. 12.8 .. 17.11 (113)
Griffith ............... 0.2 .. 2.4 .. 4.5 .. 8.7 (55)
Goals: Wagga: M Colvin 4, M Etchells 2, S Hillier 2, C Jackson 2, S Terlich 2, A Van Ruiswyk 2, W Bartlett, L Denton, J Orbeiston
Griffith: B Ford 2, M Duncan, G Snaidero, L Piccolo, M Johns, C Conlan, B Davis
Best: Wagga: S Terlich, J Powell, S Hillier, P Noonan, C Jackson, L Denton
Griffith: C Conlan, J Mickan, J Smith, D Catanzariti, M Duncan, M Bunn
Wagga Tigers: R Miller, M Noonan, P Noonan; J Gaynor, T Garner, J Osbeiston; P Delaney, S Priest, J Oehn; W Bartlett, C Jackson, M Etchells; L Denton, M Colvin, A Van Ruiswyk; S Terlich, J Powell, S Hillier; J Wakefield, S Gaynor, B Crawford
Griffith: D Catanzariti, S Spiers, D McGreal; M Bunn, J Smith, J Bertacco; M Kenny, B Ford, M Johns; J Gastin, J Mickan, M Tyndall; K Duncan, S Curran, B Davis; J Geddes, C Conlan, M Duncan; R Bull, L Piccolo*, G Snaidero
Umpires: D Potts, G Walsh, S Bechaz (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 11.13 (79) d Wagga Tigers 5.5 (35)
Goals: N Campbell 4, C McGann 2, D Pasin, R Bridgen, B Jaffrey, M Keenan, B Woolner
Under 18: Griffith 18.10 (118) d Wagga Tigers 7.12 (54)
Goals: W McLean 3, H Heath 3, G Snaidero 3, O Delves 2, B Jaffrey 2, S Wood, J Taylor, T Bottcher, J Tyrell, J Wade
Match report: The Griffith Swans returned home battered and bruised after a humiliating 58-point defeat to reigning premiers Wagga Tigers. The under-prepared Swans went down to the undefeated Wagga side 17.11 (113) to 8.7 (55). After a tight opening term, Tigers gradually put the foot on the accelerator, kicking five goals in each of the remaining quarters to record a comfortable victory. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said the early pressure applied by Griffith didn't translate into points. "We started not too bad, but we couldn't put a lot of scoreboard pressure on them early," Toscan said. "We had the bulk of the play in the first quarter, but they ran a lot harder than we did." Craig Conlan was the standout player for the Swans, putting in his usual solid performance. Toscan named Mick Duncan and centre half-back James Taylor as impressive performers in the match. But they just couldn't get ahead of the Tigers, who gained over whelming momentum in the last three quarters of the game. Unfamiliar with the surface of Wagga's Robertson Oval, the Swans struggled to keep hold of the ball. "One thing that was really glaring was we fumbled the ball a hell of a lot," Toscan said. But the big loss won't result in more intensive training, according to Toscan. "We're been pushing them pretty hard, and a few guys were probably a bit heavy in the legs by the end of the game," he said.
Wagga Tigers coach Troy Maiden admitted he was slightly worried entering the game with such a young team, but said he could not have been prouder with their efforts. "It was exciting for me to stand here and watch these young blokes play," Maiden said. "I'll admit, I thought it might have been a danger game because we were so inexperienced but they really stood up and got the job done. "I kept telling them to put their head over the footy and to their credit they continue to and there are some really good signs." While applauding the efforts of his younger guys, Maiden asked for big efforts off his senior players and they delivered. "Chris Jackson was very good today, I asked him to step up and he along with Steven Priest and Shannon Terlich did that," Maiden said. (The Area News - Monday April 28, 2008).
Round 4 - Sunday May 4, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ............ 3.2 .. 6.4 .. 8.5 .. 9.7 (61)
Turvey Park ... 6.4 .. 8.8 .. 11.15 .. 15.19 (109)
Goals: Griffith: C Conlan 5, B Davis, K Duncan, M Tyndall, J Gastin
Turvey Park: J Elliott 5, D Campbell 3, C Cerato 2, D Thorpe, B Campbell, M Hooker, D Johnson, N Byrne
Best: Griffith: J Mickan, M Duncan, C Conlan, K Duncan, S Curran, M Kenny
Turvey Park: N Byrne, A Donaldson, M Hooker, D McLean, B Campbell, J Elliott
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Smith, D McGreal; M Bunn, S Curran, M Duncan; B Ford, M Johns; J Gastin, B Davis, J Mickan, J Way; K Duncan, J Geddes, C Conlan, K Duncan; R Bull, J Bertacco, B Owen; M Tyndall, L Piccolo, M Kenny
Turvey Park: B Walker, W Martin, C Reechman; C Barker, D McLean, T Jackson; D Johnson, Blair Campbell, N Flanigan; D Thorpe, C Cerato, D Campbell; D Clarke, J Elliott, R Daniher; N Byrne, M Hooker, A Donaldson, Michael Ness; D Feary, D Toose, S Armstrong
Reserves: Griffith 9.12 (66) d Turvey Park 9.3 (57)
Goals: D Keenan 3, R Johns 2, M Butcher 2, C Harrison, R Bridgen
Under 18: Turvey Park 16.13 (109) d Griffith 5.4 (34)
Goals: C Moore 2, H Heath, T Bottcher, Jayma Green
Match report: Griffith Swans coach Gerard Toscan is optimistic his side remaining winless so far in the 2008 Riverina Football League season, with a heavy loss at the hands of the Turvey Park Bulldogs at Exies Oval. The Wagga side remains undefeated after showing its class across the ground to blow out the final margin to 48 points. Not for the first time this season, the Swans were again no match for their opposition in the air, with Turvey Park possessing strong hands from most players. Also undoing the Swans' chances of getting the game off on the right note, was a horror opening five-minutes when the ball barely crossed the Griffith centre half-back line, which led to the Bulldogs racking up 21 points. Despite the large margin at the end of the game, Toscan said his side matched the heavily fancied Bulldogs for much of the second and third quarters , with some bad decisions coming back to hurt them. "We had a fair few cheap turnovers on our half-back line and we just made some bad decisions," Toscan said. "But look to their credit they played well and across the park there was a clear difference in the hands." The ruck area continues to be a concern for the Swans, and while the young ruck combination started the year off with a bang, Toscan admitted that with some more experienced tall timber soon to be available to play, they may be pushed back to second grade to find their form again. "Nathan Byrne gave them a heap of use of the ball out of the ruck and that really put the acid test on our mid-field," Toscan said. Griffith's Craig Conlan was a solid target up front kicking five majors for the game and Kris Duncan also proved to be a handful for the Bulldogs' defence. New Swan, Jason Bertacco had the unenviable task of marking Mat Hooker with Toscan, rating his job as better than average, saying for most of the game the two were pretty evenly matched. After trailing by three goals at the first break, the Swans entered the second term with a renewed enthusiasm and pulled within 14 points with a number of good passes enabling the ball to stay in red-and-white hands. But the Bulldogs bared their teeth to have significantly more goal-scoring chances, and if their radar was in working order the 28-point margin could have been much more. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday May 5, 2008).
Round 5 - Sunday May 11, 2008 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm
Mangoplah-CUE ... 7.3 .. 8.6 .. 11.10 .. 13.11 (89)
Griffith .................... 3.1 .. 6.6 .. 7.14 .. 11.20 (86)
Goals: MCUE: G Reid 4, M Molkentin 3, G Spriggs 2, B Turner 2, B Roberson, J Kahlefeldt
Griffith: K Duncan 3, C Conlan 3, M Duncan 2, S Curran, B Davis, J Way
Best: MCUE: J Millar, M Molkentin, C Higgins, S Creasy, J Kahlefeldt, J Warden
Griffith: M Duncan, J Gastin, C Conlan, K Duncan, J Geddes, M Kenny
Mangoplah-CUE: Trent Cohalan, D DeBritt, J Millar; S Creasy, B Howard, A Howard; G Reid, Brad Roberson, M Thomas; G Spriggs, D Howard, J Warden; G Bruce, B Turner, M Molkentin; S Balding, C Higgins, J Killalea; J Kahlefeldt, C Richens, A Stow
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Smith, M Bunn; J Bertacco, S Curran, S Spiers; J Gastin, J Mickan, L Piccolo; K Duncan, J Way, B Ford; B Davis, C Conlan, M Tyndall; J Geddes, M Duncan, B Owen; M Kenny, A Cappello, M Johns
Umpires: M Rowe, D Potts, L Olsen (RUA)
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 26.13 (169) d Griffith 4.5 (29)
Goals: D Keenan 2, M Butcher, R Johns
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 16.20 (116) d Griffith 5.2 (32)
Goals: S Wood, W McLean, O Delves, B Minehan, H Shaw
Match report: The Griffith Swans came agonisingly close to their first win of the Riverina Football League season, going down to Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes by only three points. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said his players were gutted by the loss, but would try to focus on the highlights that got them to the threshold of their maiden 2008 win. "We could have iced it in the third quarter, but we kicked 1.9," Toscan said. "When we came off the ground we said we needed to press and we did - we had 18 inside 50s in the last quarter, compared to seven for them. With 20 behinds, the Swans wasted too many chances, but Toscan had nothing but praise for some of his standout players. "Mick Duncan was our best best on the day and Jono Gastin was on fire across half-back, and Jack Geddes and Dean Catanzariti and Craig Conlan at full-forward all had solid games. Conlan and Kris Duncan found their way to goal on more than one occasion. (The Area News - Monday May 12, 2008).
Round 6 - Saturday May 17, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................ 6.2 .. 11.4 .. 14.8 .. 20.14 (134)
Eastern Hawks ... 2.2 .. 2.4 .. 5.6 .. 5.7 (37)
Goals: Griffith: J Way 5, C Conlan 3, K Duncan 3, J Bertacco 3, S Curran 2, M Duncan, M Bunn, B Giason, M Kenny
Eastern Hawks: S Ryan 2, E Whyman, R Grieve, C DePiazza, D Cuthbert
Best: Griffith: J Bertacco, L Piccolo, M Duncan, S Spiers, J Way, C Conlan, K Duncan
Eastern Hawks: C Pedler, L Pollett, E Whyman, J Peace, R Campbell, J Newson
Griffith: G Snaidero, S Spiers, J Smith; M Kenny, B Giason, J Gastin; L Piccolo, M Bunn, J Bertacco; S Curran, J Mickan, A Cappello; J Way, C Conlan, K Duncan; J Geddes, M Duncan, B Owen; B Ford, M Johns, D Keenan*
Eastern Hawks: K Argus, J Peace, C Parr; C Pedler, L Pollett, S Thompson; N Scott, D Bromham, B Campbell; S Jackson-Ryan, B Roberts, R Campbell; J Newson, S Ryan, R Grieve; A Craig, E Whyman, C DePiazza; N Gannon, D Cheney, D Cuthbert
Umpires: T Beard, P Smith (RUA)
Reserves: Eastern Hawks 11.5 (71) d Griffith 9.6 (60)
Goals: R Johns 2, C Harrison 2, M Hogan, D McGreal, N Kite, B Woolner, R Bridgen
Under 18: Griffith 11.10 (76) d Eastern Hawks 4.7 (31)
Goals: G Snaidero 4, J Wade 2, B Hutchinson 2, H Heath, S Wood, B Jaffrey
Match report: While the recent rain brought good news to the farmers of the Riverina, another drought was also broken over the weekend. The season-long losing streak from the Griffith Swans has been broken, with a thundering 98-point victory against Wagga's Eastern Hawks at Exies Oval on Saturday. The win has motivated the home team and validated their playing strategy, after going five games without a victory. Swans coach Gerard Toscan was elated with the result, and said the team was able to focus for the entire game. "Everything we put in place at the start of the season all came together on Saturday," he said. "I feel really proud of the guys who stuck to the task from the first bounce and stayed focused right through to the end of the game. Toscan said the team has been brought down in previous games by lapses in concentration. "When you go back, we were right in everyone of those games," he said. "We would have a lapse for a quarter, like against Coolamon they jumped us from the start and we were playing catch-up. "A 25-minute lapse in the third quarter cost us the game against Narrandera." But Saturday's scoreboard revealed just how switched on the players were for the entire game. "We knew at the start of the season if we didn't perform, if we lapsed for too long, we would be blown off the park," Toscan said. "We also knew if we put it together, we would have some scoring potential." But while the team altogether gave a great performance, Toscan singled out some players for their great work. "Luke Piccolo is a young guy who had a ripper game. He's a real goer," he said. "Jason Bertacco had a fantastic running game." He also mentioned Mick Duncan and Craig Conlan as standout players. Toscan believes Saturday's victory will motivate the players in the game against North Wagga next week. "You can't hand out confidence in a bottle," Toscan said. "It's hard to get confident after losing all these games, but this will really encourage them. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday May 19, 2008).
SWANS TO STAMP THEIR AUTHORITY ON SAINTS THIS SUNDAY - By Nick Pearson
THE Griffith Swans will be looking to prove that last week's 98-point rout of Eastern Hawks was more than just a fluke when they play North Wagga on Sunday. But with North Wagga eager to prove themselves, and bearing the home-town advantage, the task for the Swans will be tougher that it seems. Despite last Saturday's annihilation of the Eastern Hawks, Swans coach Gerard Toscan is taking nothing for granted as they fight for a stronger position in the RFL. "Traditionally we don't play well in Wagga, which is a problem," he said. "It's always been tough for a Griffith side to win over there." With the North Wagga side under consistent pressure to perform after a six game losing streak, the home team will be desperate for a win. "They're going to fancy their chances, so they'll be having a real crack at us," Toscan said."We just have to treat them like any other side." The Swans will welcoming Brett Davis and Dean Catanzariti back into the fold for the game, who missed the victory against the Hawks. Toscan said the team faces the difficult situation of not knowing any of North Wagga's tactics. "We don't know what their strengths are at all," he said. "We're going to be learning from the first bounce." (The Area News - Friday May 23, 2008).
Round 7 - Saturday May 24, 2008 at McPherson Oval 2.10pm
North Wagga ... 1.0 .. 1.1 .. 2.3 .. 4.5 (29)
Griffith ............. 4.6 .. 11.10 .. 18.13 .. 27.19 (181)
Goals: North Wagga: K Cross, S O'Connor, J Argus, D Quee
Griffith: M Duncan 6, K Duncan 5, C Conlan 4, J Bertacco 2, S Curran 2, J Geddes 2, B Owen 2, B Davis, M Bunn, S Spiers, L Piccolo
Best: North Wagga: M Howarth, M Goodwin, T Green, C Mellon, T Brown, K Cross
Griffith: M Duncan, C Conlan, B Owen, M Kenny, B Ford, L Piccolo
North Wagga: T Brown, S Tipping, S Moore; Z Eldridge, M Goodwin, T Green; J Nieuwenhuizen, K Cross, C Mellon; B Hogan, S O'Connor, M Howarth; M Riordan, D Quee, G Woolstencroft; M Fury, P Young, G Noye; T Burns, J Argus, J Morris
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Smith, A Cappello; J Gastin, S Spiers, B Giason; J Bertacco, M Johns, L Piccolo; B Davis, J Mickan, S Curran; J Way, C Conlan, K Duncan; J Geddes, M Duncan, B Owen; M Bunn, B Ford, M Kenny
Umpires: R Dedini, M Rowe (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 13.14 (92) d North Wagga 9.4 (58)
Goals: D Pasin 3, L Catanzariti 3, C Lugton 2, C McGann 2, D Keenan, G Sibbick, N Kite
Under 18: North Wagga 11.7 (73) d Griffith 6.10 (46)
Goals: H Heath 3, B Tyrell, S Wood, B Hutchinson
Match report: The Griffith Swans made it back-to-back wins in the Riverina Football League smashing North Wagga by 152 points at McPherson Oval last weekend and in the process keeping their faint final hopes alive. So far this season, the Swans have at times struggled to play a complete game of football, with various areas of play often failing the Swans when they needed them. But there were little signs of the mistake-riddled games of the past, with the Swans booting an amazing 26 goals for the game, with Mick Duncan bagging himself six goals in a dominate display. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said he expected the Saints to come at his team hard in the first quarter, but congratulated his side on weathering the early storm to streak away with the game. "They started pretty hard, and when your struggling you only really have got one chance to get into the game," Toscan said. "But once the guys (Griffith) settle down, they started knuckling down and played the same type of game that we have been all year. That style of play of hard running and good clearances out of the middle clicked for the red and white men last weekend, and when combined with minimum mistakes from the backline, the Swans ran riot over the hapless Saints outfit. Toscan praised Jack Geddes and Shaun Curran for their impact at the centre bounce. The Swans went into the first break with a slender 17-point lead, but as the Swans stretched their wings, so did the lead as they piled on eight goals in the second quarter. The thrashing was capped off with six goals and nine goals in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Having a big hand on the big finish by the away side was Kris Duncan, who recovered from a scrappy start to bag himself five majors. "Kris started the game a little slow, he was always under the ball and making a few mistakes. We took him off and had a word with him and when he went back on, he couldn't be in the wrong spot," Toscan said. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Wednesday May 28, 2008).
Round 8 - Sunday June 1, 2008 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm
Leeton-Whitton ... 3.4 .. 6.4 .. 9.7 .. 9.7 (61)
Griffith ................. 1.5 .. 6.6 .. 9.9 .. 13.14 (92)
Goals: Leeton-Whitton: J Hall 3, M Smith 2, G Lee, B Gilmore, B Dunn, B Boots
Griffith: C Conlan 4, B Davis 2, J Mickan 2, B Owen 2, J Bertacco, J Geddes, J Gastin
Best: Leeton-Whitton: C Townsend, P Iannelli, K Stockton, B Boots, M Smith, A Celi
Griffith: B Owen, L Piccolo, B Ford, S Curran, M Duncan, S Spiers
Leeton-Whitton: R Dunn, C Townsend, M Flagg; N Doolin, P Iannelli, D Elwin; D Harrison, E Sullivan, B Dunn; J Hall, B Boots, K Stockton; J Davidson, M Smith (c-c), B Guest; L Fysh, D Sullivan, B Gilmour; G Looby, G Lee, A Celi
Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, J Smith; J Gastin, B Giason, D Catanzariti; L Piccolo, M Johns, J Bertacco; B Davis, J Mickan, S Curran; B Ford, C Conlan, K Duncan; J Geddes, M Duncan, B Owen; M Kenny, J Way, A Cappello
Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 13.13 (91) d Griffith 6.7 (43)
Goals: R Johns 2, N Kite 2, D Pasin, M Keenan
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 19.19 (133) d Griffith 4.2 (26)
Goals: H Heath 2, W McLean, J Tyrell
Match report: The Griffith Swans have continued its string of strong wins this week with a comfortable victory against Leeton-Whitton on Sunday. After a dominant yet unproductive first quarter, the Swans outpaced the home side to build up a massive buffer in the final quarter. The Swans, who were stuck with a five game losing streak at the start of the season, have hit their strides and coach Gerard Toscan said his strategy is falling in place. Toscan believed his young side could out-run the opposition to take control of the game in the final quarters, something that proved itself very effective yesterday. "There was a sign at half-time when nearly half of Leeton-Whitton's side had their jumpers off, so I could tell they were pretty much spent," he said. "In the end, they ran out of legs and we ran over them." Played at Irrigation Specialists Oval (Showground) in Leeton, the Swans had an uneasy start, dominating play in the first quarter, but filing to get ahead of the home side. "It was really frustrating because we missed goals and also missed targets," Toscan said. "We were kicking into a slight breeze but we should have done better." The Swans got ahead in the second quarter and maintained a slim margin for the third. But in the final quarter where the Swans had a devastating impact, scoring an unanswered 29-points to return home victorious. Toscan named a number of players as stand-out performers in the game. "Brett Owen had a ripper game," he said. "He worked really hard all day and just set the standard." "Benny Ford in the middle did very well." Toscan mentioned Jack Geddes, Jeff Mickan, Brett Davis and Craig Conlan as strong performers. A bye next week will give the Swans some much-deserved rest in anticipation of a challenging match-up against Ganmain-GGM. "Ganmain are a really top side, so we need to beat them to keep the momentum going," Toscan said. "I'm quietly positive about it though." (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday June 2, 2008).
REP - NSW Regional Championships - June 7-8, 2008 at Maher Oval, Wagga
Riverina FL 9.14 (68) d Farrer FL 9.3 (57)
Goals - Riverina: L Maloney 2, C Cerato, L Walsh, M Duncan, E Whyman, P Heath, A Donaldson, S Keenan
Farrer: M Geppert 3, D Pieper, D Papworth, K Kelman, B Aiken, J Meiselbach, J Hagar
Best - Riverina: T Power, J Kahlafeldt, C McPherson, L _Moloney, A Donaldson, P Heath
Farrer: D Pieper, B Aiken, A Dikkenberg, J Meiselbach, D Papworth, W Haines
Match reports: Riverina Football League withstood a spirited Farrer League fight-back to claim the NSW Regional Championships at Maher Oval last weekend. In a pulsating finish - in which the Farrer League reduced the margin to just one point late in a tense final term - RFL steadied under pressure and ran out deserved winners, 9.14 (68) to 9.3 (57). RFL led by four straight kicks early in the third term when opposing centre half-forward Peter Heath marked strongly from 45m out. The contest looked beyond the reach of David Pieper's team as RFL played the game on its own terms. RFL's silky midfield was providing silver service to the likes of Josh Hall, Chris Cerato, Luke Maloney, Heath and Sam Keenan. However, Farrer League lifted its work-rate and turned things around with four of the next five goals. By three-quarter time the advantage had been cut to seven points on the back of a definite swing in momentum and an upset was on the cards. Farrer League full-forward Marc Geppert strengthened those claims with a booming 60m goal which saw thee margin subside even further. RFL looked decidedly shaky as it clung to a two-point lead. In the final 10 minutes both teams squeezed every once out of the game. The final quickly became a war of attrition. RFL coach Jamie Grintell said his side nearly let slip the golden opportunity, but said their determination to bring the trophy back to the RFL proved to be the difference between the two sides. "We missed a lot of easy shots on goal but that was due to the pressure they were putting on," Grintell said. "But I said to them as long as we stick to it and keep going the way we have been all weekend, we'll be right." Grintell said a genuine desire to win propelled RFL over the line. "We had our lapses in concentration, as did both sides, but we never gave up," Grintell said. "That's why these guys are here. "They're the best in the competition and don't give up no matter what." (The Area News - Wednesday June 11, 2008).
CURSE OF THE PINK JERSEY - By Scott Hazlewood
THE Griffith Swans will be out to break one of the strangest sporting hoodoos in recent memory this weekend, when they take on Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Exies Oval on Sunday. One game a year for the past four seasons, the Swans have swapped their traditional red and white jerseys for pink, in as bid to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. However, in that time the Swans have never one a game in the alternative uniform, something first grade coach Gerard Toscan believes his side can do this weekend. To combat the unusual trend, Toscan is insisting his side train in the jersey this week, in order to take away the stigma that has followed the alternative strip. The Swans are a vastly improved side to that that turned out earlier in the year, with mistakes often costing them dearly. But with better combinations and Toscan's master plan starting to kick into gear, the home side this weekend is a decent chance of rolling the heavily fancied Lions side. "Again we have to keep winning, which isn't a bad position to find ourselves in, with just a bit of pressure on us," Toscan said. "We have to keep on improving, I was pretty happy with the way we played against Leeton, but we have a lot of improvement left in us." Toscan predicts Ganmain-GGM will try and out-muscle the young Swans early on in the game to try and throw them off, however, the Swans leader has confidence his young chargers will be able to withstand the early onslaught. "Ganmain will really try and hit us hard and blow us off the park before the end of the first quarter," he said. "They'll be very physical, but I think the guys will stand up to it fine, but from one point of view our game plan will be the same - run and gun. " Toscan said the timing of last weeks bye was perfect for his side saying the fast paced style of play he has implemented this year has taken its toll on some of the players. "The break was pretty timely for us because as we are not an overly big side, some of the guys were starting to feel it from all of the running they have been doing, not so much muscle soreness in the body. "But we will be putting the hammer down at training this week." Riverina Football League representatives Brett Owen and Mick Duncan came through last weekends Regional Championships unscathed, and after a light week at training, are expected to take their places in the side on Sunday. Craig Conlan will have to pass a fitness test on his hamstring strain tonight at training after suffering the injury against Leeton-Whitton, but Toscan said he expected the forward to line up against GGGM. (The Area News - Friday June 13, 2008).
Round 9 - Sunday June 15, 2008 (Pink day) at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................. 3.5 .. 7.6 .. 11.8 .. 15.13 (103)
Ganmain-GGM ... 0.1 .. 3.3 .. 7.4 .. 9.7 (61)
Griffith: Goals: C Conlan 4, J Gastin 2, M Duncan 2, L Piccolo 2, J Geddes, J Toscan, Myles Bunn, S Curran, B Ford
GGGM: A Carroll 3, D Hitchens 2, L Habel, K Hamblin, L Walsh, R Clark
Best: Griffith: M Duncan, B Owen, S Curran, M Kenny, M Johns, J Bertacco
GGGM: J Campbell, D Panaho, D Hitchens, D Rankin, M Steele, A Carroll
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Way, J Smith; J Bertacco, B Giason, M Kenny; L Piccolo, M Johns, M Bunn; J Mickan, J Toscan, J Gastin; K Duncan, Craig Conlan, J Geddes; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; B Ford, S Spiers, B Davis
Ganmain-GGM: P Lucas, P Walsh, B Hare; L Steward, M Kelly, D Panaho; L Habel, D Rankin, D Hitchens; P Hamblin, C McPherson, J Kaye; D Walsh, A Carroll, K Hamblin; J Campbell, L Walsh, M Steele; S Hamblin, W Bryon, R Clark
Umpires: P Smith, M O'Brien (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 12.2 (74) d Ganmain-GGM 10.7 (67)
Goals: D Meade 5, C Harrison 3, C McGann 2, N Kite, D Keenan
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 10.13 (73) d Griffith 6.18 (54)
Goals: O Delves 2, C Niven, T Bottcher, S Wood, J Tyrell
Match report: The Griffith Swans have made it four wins in a row to thoroughly outplay Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong Lions at Exies Oval, winning by 42 points. The home side dominated from siren to siren in the air and on the ground, to extend its winning streak and also break their hoodoo of losing in the alternative pink uniform. However, most importantly the win against one of the better sides in the Riverina Football League competition means the Swans are not the easy beats they were made out to be at the start of the season, proving they can match it with the competition heavyweights. Swans coach Gerard Toscan was extremely happy with the sides performance, saying across the park everybody did what they needed to pull out probably their best win of the season. "We did start really well and out backline was really solid, and our midfield probably won the day for us," Toscan said. "If we didn't win today, then we could count out thoughts of playing finals football, because you have to beat top sides at home. The Swans leader said if he was to find a fault with anything, the options inside 50 will have to be improved if we are to keep winning against the competition front-runners. "I think we need to make more of the opportunities, we made a couple of bad decisions but we're still building, we're coming." Coming off an outstanding representative season, Swans midfielder Mick Duncan again showed his skill against the Lions, popping up across the ground to always give service to team mates. Craig Conlan typified the kind of guts the home side showed all game, after playing with a stomach virus. The Swans went into the first quarter break up by 10 and that would be as close as the Lions would get, as the home side proceeded to extend it lead through hard work over the ball and clever options to men in space. Jason Bertacco also provided several surging runs that are quickly becoming a trademark, with some lasting more then five bounces. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday June 16, 2008)
Round 10 - Sunday June 22, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ........... 6.5 .. 6.6 .. 7.12 .. 7.13 (55)
Narrandera ... 1.0 .. 6.2 .. 8.5 .. 10.6 (66)
Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 2, K Duncan 2, J Bertacco, B Davis, J Gastin
Narrandera: L Richmond 3, B Rose 2, N Hetherington 2, T Sullivan, J Grintell
Best: Griffith: J Bertacco, D Catanzariti, J Smith, M Johns, B Owen, L Piccolo
Narrandera: N Hetherington, P Bloomfield, B Rose, J Grintell, J Doyle, C Walsh
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Smith, M Bunn; J Bertacco, J Way, J Gastin; M Kenny, M Johns, L Piccolo; J Geddes, J Mickan, M Tyndall; K Duncan, C Conlan, B Davis; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; B Ford, S Spiers, C McGann*
Narrandera: P Bloomfield, C Smith, S Hutchins; B Rose, J Dawson, C Walsh; J Ingram, J Doyle, P Heath; S Gehringer, D Burden, N Hetherington; S Martin, T Sullivan, L Richmond; A Bourke, S Irons, J Grintell (c-c); C Downes, M Bolton, H Hutchins
Umpires: D Potts, S Crowley (RUA)
Reserves: Narrandera 11.11 (77) d Griffith 5.6 (36)
Goals: R Bridgen, M Clark, R Bull, D Pasin, M Butcher
Under 18: Narrandera 11.12 (78) d Griffith 5.9 (39)
Goals: J Tyrell, D Bruce, B Jaffrey, K Ratcliffe, W McLean
Match report: A late rally from Narrandera Eagles has snatched victory from the Griffith Swans in a nail-bitingly tense game at Exies Oval, the final score, 10.6 (66) to 7.13 (55). The Swans led consistently from the opening whistle to the final stanza, after a blitz of goals in the first quarter. But Griffith couldn't stop the margin dwindling in the second half. An opening salvo in the first quarter of the game saw the home team take a dominant lead of 34 to 6, with strong performances from Mick Duncan, Jonathan Gastin and Brett Davis. But within the first minutes of the second quarter the possession went to the Eagles, with more kicks for the sticks on target. The away side were quickly back in the game, with the scoreboard at half-time whistle an uncomfortable 42-38 to the Swans. The level of accuracy in the Swans side dipped severely towards the end of the game, with the home side failing to stop haemorrhaging points to Narrandera. Swans coach Gerard Toscan was unhappy with his team's performance. "We just couldn't kick straight enough," he said. "I thought the boys in the last quarter did pretty well, but couldn't convert their efforts into points." A free kick from Narrandera's Brent Rose put the Swans' lead at an unsettling close seven points. Within minutes, the Swans' lead had dwindled to just one point leading into the fourth quarter. But accusations of inconsistency from the umpires had many on the Swans side up in arms. Toscan said the loss of a number of players early in the game had a bad impact on the team. "We lost Jeremy Way early, which was a bit telling for the rest of the game," he said. Jonathan Gastin who was going really well had to come off, and I think we lost a bit when both those guys left. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday June 23, 2008).
STAR ON-BALLER TO PLAY FOOTY FOR NSW COUNTRY - By Scott Hazlewood
THIS was the year Michael Duncan wasn't going to play Australian football. It was the year in which he was going to give it away for a chance at a new code at the Yenda Blueheelers, but ironically it was an injury in a basketball game that helped change his mind and set the gears in motion for a stellar year for the on-baller. Duncan has been awarded for his outstanding form by being named as one of only two representatives from the Riverina Football League in the NSW Country side ahead of the Australian Country Championship in Shepparton next month. However, it was nearly not to be as the all-round sportsman sought new challenges after growing tired of AFL, by playing for Griffith Demons basketball side and Yenda. But a rib injury for the Demons forced his hand not to venture into fully contact world of rugby league, with his focus then turning to help the Swans get back to the top of the RFL. It is the second time Duncan has worn the sky blue of his state, however, by his own admission the call up was totally out of the blue. "I sort of didn't expect it at all really." Duncan said. "I hurt my ribs in the first game for the Demons on the Saturday just before the Group 20 knockout and played on the Sunday. "You can't get away with being hit in league while you can get away with being hit most of the time in AFL." After last season the multiple club best and fairest winner said he had lost the spark to play the game that he loved, but said the arrival of a few old mates to the Swans and developing a more relaxed attitude to his game, has enabled him to reinvent himself. "I just wanted to have some fun this year, I wasn't even going to play for the RFL, but we trained at Narrandera three times and there was a good bunch of blokes so I said why not," he said. Another reason for falling in love with the game all over again has been the appointment of Gerard Toscan as Griffith's head coach this year, with Duncan enjoying the opportunity to take an on-field leadership role. (The Area News - Wednesday, June 25, 2008).
OWEN TOYOTA NEW SWANS SPONSOR
WHILE the Griffith Swans on-field prospects looking up, the club has been able to secure its financial future with the signing of Owen Toyota as a new co-major sponsor. The three-and-a-half deal officially began last round against Narrandera, with the Swans jerseys sporting the sponsor. Swans president George Duncan said the club is excited about the future relationship between the club and Owen Toyota, saying the deal should be of mutual benefit to both parties. "It's great to bring on board a locally owned and managed company like Owen Toyota," Duncan said. As part of the deal a large Toyota logo will be painted on the Exies Oval for Swans home games. "The logo painted on the oval is something new to our club, we had many positive comments from spectators and visitors at last years Pink Day when we had Blue Ribbon painted onto the Exies oval so this is a continuation of this idea," Duncan said. Principal Dean Owen said the reason for getting behind the club is based around personal reasons as well as business. "It's a way of showing our return support for a club that did so much for both Mark and myself in our football days," Owen said. "We believe that this is a strategic sponsorship arrangement what will give us scope for a wide range of advertising opportunities. "The Swans colours are the Toyota colours, it's a perfect partnership between two respected winning local teams." (The Area News - Friday June 27, 2008).
Round 11 - Sunday June 29, 2008 at Kindra Park 2.10pm
Coolamon ..... 4.3 .. 8.5 .. 11.6 .. 18.9 (117)
Griffith .......... 2.3 .. 4.6 .. 6.9 .. 6.12 (48)
Goals: Coolamon: B McKelvie 6, S Keenan 3, J Parr 3, M Stephenson, W Archibald, N Edyvean, G Worner, E Edis, Z Robinson
Griffith: B Davis 3, C Conlan, J Way, B Ford
Best: Coolamon: B McKelvie, B Edyvean, N Edyvean, T Garrett, C Neyland, L Maloney
Griffith: B Owen, M Duncan, D Catanzariti, J Way, S Spiers, M Johns
Coolamon: M Suidgeest, N Edyvean, T Garrett; B Garrett, C Neyland, M Robinson; R Maslin, E Edis, G Worner; L Maloney, B McPherson, J Kew; T Byrnes, S Keenan (c-c), W Archibald; B Edyvean, B Munro, Mitch Stephenson, J Parr, Z Robinson, J McPherson
Griffith: D Catanzariti, J Way, S Spiers; M Bunn, B Giason, J Gastin; J Bertacco, M Johns, L Piccolo; B Davis, J Mickan, J Toscan; J Geddes, C Conlan, K Duncan; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; M Kenny, J Smith, B Ford
Umpires: T Beard, S Crowley, P O'Donoghue (RUA)
Reserves: Coolamon 23.11 (149) d Griffith 5.5 (35)
Goals: L Catanzariti, M Tyndall, G Snaidero, C Lugton, A Cappello
Under 18: Griffith 18.20 (128) d Coolamon 4.2 (26)
Goals: J Wade 4, G Snaidero 3, S Gilbert 2, H Heath 2, W McLean, S Wood, D Bruce, J Corbett, J Tyrell, K Radcliffe, B Snaidero
Match report: Swans coach Gerard Toscan said Sunday's 69-point away loss against Coolamon was Griffith's worst effort of the year. The devastating defeat leaves thee Swans hanging on to their finals hopes by their fingernails, just as the team were beginning to get ahead in the competition. Toscan said his team were beaten at their own game. "They had a better running game than us, which is really our strength," he said. "That's what really, really hurts." Coolamon led for the entire game, the margin widening with each quarter. "Coolamon really didn't put us away until the last quarter when they slammed the door shut," Toscan said. "We fumbled all day, and couldn't string any decent passages of play together." "We just weren't the same side that beat Ganmain or had Narrandera by the throat last week." Brett Davis scored half the Swans' goals, with a personal tally of three, with Craig Conlan, Ben Ford and Jeremy Way also getting six-pointers. But they simply couldn't compete with the home side, with Brendon McKelvie managing six goals and Sam Keenan and Jamie Parr three apiece. The massive margin was a world away from a narrow loss to Coolamon earlier in the season. Facing up against top-team the Wagga Tigers next week, Toscan said his team will be working hard on the basics at training. "We'll be doing basic hand and foot skills, just to really emphasise where we failed." "We're not entirely out of the finals race, but it now comes down to one more loss and it's over, so we're really back against the wall." Toscan will be hoping the home ground advantage will work in the Swans favour next week. (By Nick Pearson -The Area News - Monday June 30, 2008).
SWANS IN FIGHT TO STAY ALIVE - By Scott Hazlewood
GRIFFITH Swans coach Gerard Toscan said if his side loses this weekend to the Wagga Tigers, then they can kiss their Riverina Football League finals aspirations goodbye. The stark warning comes after the Swans have lost their last two games at the hand of Narrandera and Coolamon, after surprising many pundits in the league by winning four in a row. The winning streak had some of the competition leaders looking over their shoulders, but for Toscan a loss to the Swans long-time rivals this weekend would see their season as good as over. "This weekend is our last chance, we really need to win this weekend, because other sides above us on the table are knocking off other clubs left, right and centre," Toscan said. Toscan has made no secret of the fact he wants his side to play a free flowing, fast style of play this year, but by his own admission Coolamon last weekend outplayed the Swans at their own game. However, apart from a few slight player positional changes, the Griffith coach said his instructions would be the same in order to pull off an upset win over the current RFL leaders. "They play a very uncompromising style of football, and we hate the Tigers with a passion," Toscan said. "They (Tigers) always go hard at it, head over the ball and every time they get a turnover they switch the ball to the opposite side of the field and go forward in the open space," Toscan said. "Earlier this year against them (Tigers) and last weekend we fumbled the ball a lot, but we simply need to have clean possession. "But they do is, they are good for the RFL by making it a major competition. We're restructuring our play a bit, the message will be the same, but we are trying a few new guys in a few different positions." Despite losing a number of players from its flag winning side from last season, Toscan said the Tigers results this year show they have lost nothing with players that have been brought into the den for season 2008. With a history of several heavy defeats at the hands of the Tigers in recent years, Toscan said he has made a promise to many of the long time supporters of the club, that no matter what, this weekends Swans side will play an attractive brand of football. "We're really mindful of all the old supporters that have been coming to many of the home games recently," he said. "Win, lose or draw, we have promised them that we will get back to an attractive brand of footy, that's the best chance to win. "If things aren't going our way early on, we just need to knuckle down and stay focused." (The Area News - Friday July 4, 2008)
Round 12 - Saturday July 5, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................ 1.2 .. 1.5 .. 3.7 .. 7.9 (51)
Wagga Tigers .... 2.0 .. 4.4 .. 8.8 .. 10.11 (71)
Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 2, M Tyndall, L Piccolo, J Way, B Davis, J Geddes
Wagga: C Jackson 4, A Priest, S Terlich, J Gaynor, T Garner, P Noonan, S Hillier
Best: Griffith: B Owen, M Duncan, S Spiers, G Snaidero, M Kenny, M Bunn
Wagga: J Osbieston, T Garner, P Noonan, S Priest, T Power, R Miller
Griffith: G Snaidero, J Smith, S Spiers; J Bertacco, B Giason, M Bunn; M Kenny, M Johns, L Piccolo; B Davis, J Mickan, J Gastin; J Toscan, J Way, B Ford; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; J Geddes, K Duncan, M Tyndall
Wagga Tigers: R Miller, M Noonan, J Osbeiston; T Garner, D Davey, P Noonan; A van Ruiswyk, T Power, M Colvin; M Etchells, C Jackson, J Gaynor; A Priest, S Terlich, T Oleranshaw; C Drum, S Priest, J Powell; P Delaney, D Willis, S Hillier
Umpires: G Walsh, M O'Brien, B Robinson (RUA)
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 10.13 (73) d Griffith 3.1 (19)
Goals: D Keenan, C Lugton, J Bennett
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 12.6 (72) d Griffith 6.17 (53)
Goals: G Snaidero 2, J Wade, R McLean, S Gilbert, A Overs
Match report: The Griffith Swans' hopes for the Riverina Football League finals have been all but crushed, with a loss to the top-of-the-table Wagga Tigers at the Exies Oval on Sunday, practically taking them out of contention. Despite their noble efforts, the Swans were outclassed by last year's premiers, but a resurgence in the final quarter showed they weren't going down without a fight. It was clear from the start of the game the Swans weren't going to give up the game easily, keeping the Tigers at a low 12 to the Swans eight. The Tigers were more accurate with their kicks for most of the game. What kept the Swans from losing in a blowout was the simple fact they wanted the win more. With Swans player Jeff Mickan taken off the field with a knee injury and Jason Bertacco with a hamstring injury, the Tigers began to pull away from the home team, with a barrage of goals taking the score to 28 to 11 at half-time. It soon become apparent the Tigers were dominating play, with a frantic five minutes in the third quarter where the ball never left the Swans back half. The damage done was nine points. Swans coach Gerald Toscan said he was very disappointed with the loss. "It goes without saying, but we couldn't really get much happening in the first half," he said. "We had some chances in the first quarter, but we dropped marks we could have taken." As bad as the second quarter was for the Swans, the third quarter was worse, with the Tigers making goal after goal, taking the score to an imposing 56 to 25 at three-quarter time. Five goals on the trot in the fourth quarter put the Swans back into contention, and for a brief few moments, it looked like it was possible they would overtake the Tigers. Another quarter like it and the Swans would have won. "We were going into this game without a couple of players, yet we performed better than last week against Coolamon," Toscan said. "In the corresponding game last year, we were 100 points down at half-time." Toscan mentioned Shaun Curran, Mick Duncan and Simon Spiers as some of the standout players in the game. (By Nick Pearson -The Area News, Monday July 7, 2008).
Round 13 - Sunday July 13, 2008 at Maher Oval 2.10pm
Turvey Park ... 3.6 .. 4.8 .. 9.12 .. 12.16 (88)
Griffith ............ 3.1 .. 6.3 .. 8.5 .. 10.5 (65)
Goals: Turvey Park: J Elliott 4, D Campbell 3, M Hooker, D Feary, D Clarke, W Martin, B Campbell
Griffith: M Duncan 3, J Way 2, J Toscan 2, S Curran 2, C Conlan
Best: Turvey Park: N Byrne, M Hooker, D Johnson, J Elliott, D Campbell, S Pople
Griffith: M Johns, C Conlan, S Spiers, S Curran, M Bunn, B Owen
Turvey Park: Blair Campbell, J Fletcher, W Martin; D Johnson, D McLean, C Barker; R Daniher, A Donaldson, N Flanagan; N Byrne, M Byrne, D Feary; B Cooper, J Elliott, M Hooker; S Pople, R Blundell, D Campbell; T Jackson, D Clarke, C Beckmans
Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, J Smith; G Snaidero, M Kenny, B Giason; L Piccolo, M Johns, J Gastin; J Toscan, J Way, B Ford; A Cappello, C Conlan K Duncan; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; M Tyndall, J Tyrell*, C Harrison
Umpires: T Butler, P O'Donoghue, R Dedini (RUA)
Reserves: Turvey Park 16.11 (107) d Griffith 9.8 (62)
Goals: N Campbell 2, C Lugton 2, M Butcher 2, B Jaffrey, D Keenan, M Clark
Under 18: Turvey Park 20.10 (130) d Griffith 12.5 (77)
Goals: J Tyrell 3, R McLean 2, B Gastin 2, B Snaidero 2, T Allen, J Wade, S Gilbert
Match report: The Griffith Swans, RFL final hopes have been dashed but the team went out swinging, with a strong performance against Turvey Park on Sunday losing by 23-points at Maher Oval. In a game that never reached any great heights, the Bulldogs came from seven points down at half-time to run over the top of the Swans, 12.16 (88) to 10.5 (65). But while Turvey Park were taken aback, they regained the upper hand in the third quarter, with five goals to Griffith's two. Griffith coach Gerard Toscan said the loss takes the team out of contention for the finals. "We pretty much had their measure for the last part of the first quarter and the second quarter," he said. "We dropped off our concentration in the third quarter and they got a break." Toscan said the Swans had trouble this season keeping head on the scoreboard. "We had the lead at half-time against Turvey Park and we were looking pretty good," he said. "Just too many times this season we've been in front at half-time and have not been able to nail these guys." Entering the game without six players, Turvey Park coach Anthony Dowdle was pleased just to get past the "danger game" with a win. "I don't care if it was a ugly win, I'm just happy to get the four points," Dowdle said. "We played alright in patches but the best part about it was the win. "We managed to win without six really good players and that fact that we're still winning with the players out is a great effort." With the Swans now unable to make the finals, Toscan said the rest of the season would be about experimenting and having fun. "We're going to look at a number of younger players," he said. "We'll bring up James Taylor from the Under 18s, and maybe one or two others. "We'll probably take a few more risks in the game ahead." (The Area News - Monday July 14, 2008).
Round 14 - Sunday July 20, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ...................... 2.1 .. 2.4 .. 3.5 .. 4.7 (31)
Mangoplah-CUE ..... 7.2 .. 9.5 .. 12.6 .. 15.7 (97)
Goals: Griffith: G Snaidero 2, B Davis, D Pasin
MCUE: G Reid 4, D de Britt 3, J Foster 3, D Howard 2, S Creasy, G Spriggs, C Higgins
Best: Griffith: S Curran, S Spiers, B Owen, C Conlan, J Smith
MCUE: B Turner, B Pattison, G Spriggs, G Reid, C Higgins
Griffith: M Tyndall, S Spiers, S Gilbert*; J Bertacco, M Kenny, J Gastin; L Piccolo, M Johns, J Smith; B Ford, G Snaidero, B Davis; A Cappello, C Conlan, J Geddes; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; K Duncan, D Pasin, C Lugton
Mangoplah-CUE: B Howard, J Warden, Trent Cohalan; J Phillips, S Creasy, C Higgins, J Millar, Brad Roberson, B Turner; D Howard, J Foster, G Spriggs; G Reid, D de Britt, C Richens; M Molkentin, J Kahlefeldt, B Pattison; S Balding, J Killalea, S Bennett
Umpires: D Potts, R Dedini (RUA)
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 14.13 (97) d Griffith 4.3 (27)
Goals: R Bridgen, N Campbell, D McGreal, M Butcher
Under 18: Mangoplah-CUE 10.7 (67) d Griffith 6.11 (47)
Match report: Griffith Swans' coach Gerard Toscan said the side's 64-point loss against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes at Exies Oval was their worst game of the year. The Swans were playing catch up football for most of the game, and simply couldn't create enough scoring chances to peg back the massive first quarter deficit. Griffith lost the services of several players during the week due to injury, and also in-form onballer Mick Duncan, who left the field in the first 10 minutes of the game. Duncan injured his ribs during a State League basketball game earlier in this year, and after he received a hit to the same area yesterday, the home side lost one of its biggest strike weapons. However, Duncan's fitness for the Australian Country Championships this week in Shepparton also comes under the spotlight, with the former best and fairest winner in a race against time to be declared fit. Toscan said it would be very disappointing if Duncan wasn't able to take his place in the rep team, bur reiterated that players absent from the field didn't excuse Griffith's performance. They (MCUE) handled the ball a lot better than us, and we always seemed to be second to the footy in that first quarter," Toscan said. However, the Swans leader was able to find some positives out of the game, saying the new centre half-forward Glen Snaidero performed exceptionally well given the circumstances. "I think he had a really good first quarter and one of the other highlight I thought was Shaun Curran, he dominated the ruck all day," Toscan said. "But we can't make any excuses about not having guys, yes we have a few blokes out, but we had 18 players on the field just the same as they did." The real killer for Griffith was an opening seven goal term by MCUE, which effectively took the game away from the Swans before they had a chance to get into it. From there playing catch-up football in the slippery conditions was always going to be tough ask, with some of the defensive errors from earlier in the season coming back, only to compound the problem. While for MCUE, Dean Howard was strong in the air in the first half which allowed the Goannas to open up a 45-point lead at the long break. Chris Higgins goaled early in the third to stretch the lead for MCUE, but Brett Davis managed to peg one back, after some good lead up work from Kris Duncan and Jason Bertacco. But it was never going to be enough after the first quarter whitewash. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday July 21, 2008).
MILESTONE FOR CRAIG CONLAN - By Scott Hazlewood
MILESTONE games are important ones for footballers, but a win over the Eastern Hawks this weekend will mean more for Craig Conlan than the triple figures game record. Conlan said he didn't even know this weekend's game marked his 100th, until he was told by a team mate last Wednesday at training. However, despite his relaxed attitude towards the milestone, Conlan said he would love nothing more than to beat Hawks at their fortress of a home ground. "The main thing for me this weekend is a win, I'll take it however it comes," Conlan said. Speaking to The Area News while receiving a snowboarding lesson, Conlan joked that it may not be the best place to try and remain injury free ahead of his big game. But the roaming forward said he was confident of getting through his trip to the snow injury free, in a bid to finish off the season strongly. "I haven't really been playing as consistently as I would like in the last few games, but hopefully that will change soon," he said. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said milestone games, no matter what the number is, are all important for players as a badge of honour worn to represent their commitment to the club. "All milestone games are important to the player and the club as a whole, it's a testament to their longevity," Toscan said. "With a guy like Craig ... (who) is an important forward for us, it's good to have him because he has been a very consistent player." (The Area News - Friday August 1, 2008).
Round 15 - Sunday August 3, 2008 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm
Eastern Hawks ... 2.4 .. 6.5 .. 9.8 .. 11.9 (75)
Griffith ................. 4.2 .. 9.3 .. 14.6 .. 17.7 (109)
Goals: Eastern Hawks: C DePiazza 2, R Campbell 2, S Ryan 2, P Williams, B Roberts, D Cameron, J Amos, N Scott
Griffith: C Conlan 8, M Johns 2, A Cappello 2, M Duncan 2, B Owen, M Bunn, C Lugton
Best: Eastern Hawks: D Bromham, N Scott, C Pedler, E Whyman, C Parr, S Jackson-Ryan
Griffith: M Johns, C Conlan, B Owen, M Duncan, S Curran, C Lugton, J Smith
Eastern Hawks: J Peace, S Smith, K Argus; C Pedler, C Parr, B Leschke; C Campbell, D Bromham, S Jackson-Ryan; B Roberts, D Cameron, N Scott; C Depizza, S Ryan, N Liersch; A Craig, E Whyman, J Robinson; P Williams, P Gribble, J Amos
Griffith: M Tyndall, J Smith, C McGann; J Bertacco, S Spiers, M Bunn; L Piccolo, M Johns, J Gastin; B Ford, C Lugton, A Cappello; K Duncan C Conlan, J Geddes; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; C Harrison, D Pasin, R Best*
Umpires: M O'Brien, R Dedini (RUA)
Reserves: Eastern Hawks 16.11 (107) d Griffith 4.6 (30)
Goals: M Butcher, B Gastin, B Hutchinson, K Ratcliff
Under 18: Griffith 13.14 (92) d Eastern Hawks 5.5 (35)
Goals: B Hutchinson 2, K Ratcliff 2, J Wade 2, J Tyrell 2, B Gastin 2, B Tyrell, C Moore, M Vittuci
Match report: The Griffith Swans are setting out to finish the season on a high, with a strong away game performance against Eastern Hawks, winning 109 to 75. Sunday's win is ever the more sweet for the Swans, who have continuously struggled this year to get victories in Wagga. Happiest of all would be Swans' stalwart Craig Conlan, who celebrated the 100th game of his career by kicking eight goals. The Swans lead against the Hawks was impenetrable for the entire game, the margin ever widening. Griffith led by 10 in the first quarter, then 16 at half-time, before the end result blowing out to 34. Although the Swans are now out of the finals contention, coach Gerard Toscan said it was important for the Swans to finish the season with some solid wins. "We want to finish on a high so we can really jump into next year with a fair whack of enthusiasm," he said. "We have to look forward to next year." The Swans gained their advantage by dominating in the centres, with Toscan mentioning some of the standout performers. "We really won the game in the middle," he said. "Shaun Curran dominated the ruck in the centre, and Brett Owen won a lot of clearances." He also mentioned Craig Lugton, Michael Johns and Michael Duncan. "Craig Lugton came up from the reserves and did everything we asked of him," Toscan said. "Given the task, he came in and did a really good job for us." Toscan said he didn't want to end the year badly, and there's still plenty of enthusiasm from the team. "We've got to play this year out, we want to impact the top five, and we want to win some games," he said. "We really need to end on an up for the last four weeks of the year. (By Nick Pearson -The Area News, Monday August 4, 2008).
Round 16 - Sunday August 10, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .............. 6.2 .. 10.6 .. 14.9 .. 19.14 (128)
North Wagga ... 2.0 .. 3.2 .. 4.2 .. 4.4 (28)
Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 4, C Conlan 3, K Duncan 3, B Davis 3, B Owen 2, C Lugton, S Curran, A Cappello, J Gastin
North Wagga: J Argus, M Ward, J Joy, D Quee
Best: Griffith: B Owen, C Lugton, M Duncan, K Duncan, B Ford, C Conlan
North Wagga: J Joy, G Noye, M Goodwin, Z Eldridge, M Fury, D Quee
Griffith: M Tyndall, J Smith, S Spiers; J Bertacco, B Giason, J Gastin; L Piccolo, B Ford, A Overs*; J Toscan, C Lugton, B Davis; A Cappello C Conlan, K Duncan; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; C McGann, J Geddes, M Kenny
North Wagga: A Tilyard, B Traeger, M Veitch; T Green, M Fury, T Brown; Z Eldridge, A Phillips, H Robertson; M Ward, G Mackie, M Howarth; M Harmer, B Crouch, J Joy; M Goodwin, D Quee, Glen Noye (c-c); J Duncan, T Turner, J Argus
Umpires: R Dedini, G Walsh (RUA)
Reserves: Griffith 8.12 (60) d North Wagga 8.5 (53)
Goals: D Meade 3, D Keenan 2, G Foley, M Butcher, R Bridgen
Under 18: North Wagga 12.8 (80) d Griffith 7.7 (49)
Goals: B Hutchinson 2, H Heath, S Wood, C Moore, B Gastin, D Bruce
Match report: The Griffith Swans are determined to finish the year on a high, and have shown evidence of it by walloping North Wagga on Sunday, 128 to 28. The Swans were hardly troubled by the North Wagga side, with the home side nailing 19 goals to the visitors four. Now out of finals contention, yesterday's strong performance bodes well for the Swans for next year, especially considering how a number of younger players came up from the juniors to play in the game. With freezing cold winds blasting across Exies Oval for the entire game, Swans coach Gerard Toscan said to was pleasing to see such a high score kicked for Griffith. "We weren't under a lot of pressure, but difficult conditions made things hard," he said. "I'm very happy with the team today." Toscan mentioned Shaun Curran, Brett Owen, Craig Conlan, Craig Lugton and Kris Duncan as standout performances. He also mentioned impressive performances from some of the young players coming into the side from the under 18s. "We're just really trying to finish the year off strong to go into the off-season and bouncing into pre-season," he said. With rivals Leeton-Whitton needing a win against the Swans next week to get into the final five, Toscan said the side is gearing up for a tough game. "Leeton have got a couple of very good forwards, they're very quick but last time we played, they ran out of puff at half-time," he said. "There's a bit of history between the teams, so we'll be looking for another win." (By Nick Pearson -The Area News, Monday August 11, 2008).
Round 17 - Saturday August 16, 2008 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith .................. 3.5 .. 4.9 .. 5.10 .. 9.14 (68)
Leeton-Whitton ... 5.0 .. 8.3 .. 15.7 .. 17.11 (113)
Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 4, C Lugton 2, J Toscan, B Owen, C Conlan
Leeton-Whitton: M Smith 7, G Hodge 3, B Woods 2, L Fraser, J Hall, N Doolin, B Gilmour, J Davidson
Best: Griffith: B Owen, M Johns, C Conlan, J Smith, S Curran, S Spiers
Leeton-Whitton: M Smith, J Hodge, B Woods, S Iannelli, C Townsend, E Sullivan
Griffith: G Snaidero, S Spiers, M Kenny; B Giason, J Smith; J Gastin, M Johns, A Overs; J Geddes, J Toscan, B Ford; Craig Lugton, C Conlan, K Duncan; S Curran, M Duncan, B Owen; L Piccolo, S Gilbert, M Bunn
Leeton-Whitton: S Iannelli, C Townsend, B Boots; M Flagg, D Elwin, J Davidson; D Sullivan, E Sullivan, A Gordon; B Guest, J Hodge, G Lee; J Hall, L Fraser, M Smith (c-c); T Norton, B Woods, R Dunn; J Gale, N Doolin, B Gilmour
Umpires: T Beard, P Smith (RUA).
Reports: Michael Duncan (Griffith) for disputing Leeton-Whitton's goal umpire decisions - two game suspension.
Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 18.8 (116) d Griffith 7.1 (43)
Goals: D Keenan 5, H Shaw, M Butcher
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 20.17 (137) d Griffith 1.9 (15)
Goals: S Gilbert
Match report: The Griffith Swans season is coming to a disappointing close, with a significant 25-point loss to rivals Leeton-Whitton at Exies Oval on Saturday. Griffith was out played by Leeton-Whitton, who was playing for a spot in the finals. With the Swans well out of finals contention with only one game to go, the side was unmotivated to take on the Crows, despite a strong opening quarter. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said his team didn't take advantage of dominant possession at the start of the game. "We didn't use it smart at all, and in the second half, they really took the ascendancy and we couldn't get it back," he said. "We kicked poorly, but at the end of the day, to Leeton's credit they deserved the win." Toscan mentioned Craig Conlan, Shaun Curran, Brett Owen and Michael Johns as standout players. But Toscan said he was disappointed with a number of decisions made by Leeton's goal umpire in the game. "I think in all honesty, there were about four controversial decisions given by that goal umpire," he said. "I know they were desperate to make the finals, but that's really not on." With a difficult game next week again Ganmain-GGM, Toscan said the Swans had a lot to work on. "We'll probably do some hard work on hitting handball targets under pressure, which was something that let us down earlier in the year against Wagga Tigers and it really came unstuck against Leeton," he said. "We'll also need to work on lack of discipline, especially among the younger players." Toscan said the Swans will be employing the same tactics they used to beat Ganmain-GGM in June. "We're just going to play like we beat them last time, more discipline, taking more risks and playing to the whistle," he said. (By Nick Pearson -The Area News, Monday August 18, 2008).
Round 18 - Sunday August 24, 2008 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm
Ganmain-GGM ... 6.0 .. 12.6 .. 18.12 .. 26.17 (173)
Griffith ................. 0.2 .. 1.5 .. 1.7 .. 2.8 (20)
Goals: GGGM: T Carroll 10, A Carroll 5 , R Clark 3, C Steele 2, P Walsh 2, J Kaye, L Habel, K Hamblin, P Lucas
Griffith: S Curran, B Owen
Best: GGGM: T Carroll, M Kelly, C Steele, D Rankin, L Habel, A Carroll
Griffith: B Owen, S Spiers, J Smith, C Conlan, S Curran, M Johns
Ganmain-GGM: Justin Evans/P Hamblin, M Kelly, M Fennessey; P Lucas, C McPherson, L Habel; C Steele, D Rankin (capt), D Hitchins; J Kaye, J Campbell, M Steele; T Carroll, A Carroll, R Clark; S Hamblin, L Steward, M Rava; K Hamblin, P Walsh, D Karlberg
Griffith: R Bridgen, J Mickan, S Spiers; J Gastin, J Smith, J Bertacco; L Piccolo, M Johns, M Kenny; D Keenan, J Toscan, A Cappello; J Geddes, C Conlan, K Duncan; S Curran, B Ford, B Owen; C Harrison, M Tyndall, J Tyrell
Umpires: R Dedini, T Butler (RUA)
Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 20.20 (130) d Griffith 3.2 (20)
Goals: B Jaffrey, C McGann, T Henderson
Under 18: Ganmain-GGM 16.16 (112) d Griffith 5.7 (37)
Goals: J Tyrell 2, C Moore, S Wood, R McLean
Match report: Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong secured the Riverina Football League minor premiership with a 153-point annihilation of Griffith at Ganmain Sportsground. The game proved to be little more than a training run for the rampant Lions as Griffith's season ended at rock bottom, losing the contest 26.17 (173) to 2.8 (20). With a couple of key players on the sideline and an inexperienced line-up on the field, Griffith failed to make any impression on the scoreboard, managing just one goal in the dying minutes of each half. Griffith coach Gerard Toscan said GGGM was on a roll after kicking six straight goals in the first term, putting the Swans into nosedive they could not pull out of. "Our skills really dropped off, we dropped a lot of marks. We missed a lot of hand ball targets and we missed our set shots when we did not have them," Toscan said. "The bright lights were Shaun Curran dominating in the ruck, but we couldn't make anything of it, but Brett Owen, Craig Conlan and Michael Johns were good for us as well." Griffith was also missing the services of gun on-baller Mick Duncan, who was suspended, but was also under a fitness cloud, after carrying a groin injury for the past five weeks. "Mick is actually going up to the Northern Territory to play footy, but hopefully he will get the proper treatment before he heads off so he can come back next season at 100 per cent," Toscan said. Travis Carroll enjoyed a day out up forward for GGGM, booting 10 goals, while Anthony Carroll's five second-quarter majors were enough to seal the league's goal kicking title for a second consecutive year. The win puts GGGM in the box seat to make its fourth grand final in five years, while the Lions will also now enjoy the opening of finals off. GGGM co-coach Daniel Rankin said he could not have asked for any more of the players. "It was fantastic, Griffith was the only team we haven't beaten this season, so we made our goal at the start of the game to do that and finish on top," Rankin said. "It was a really good four-quarter effort." "The top spot means we're a better chance to make it through to the grand final and that's what we've got to aim for now." While the two Carroll's were good up forward for the Lions, it was hard to pick out the best players for GGGM given the evenness of the performance. Marc Kelly was solid at full-back, Christen McPherson was also good in defence, while Luke Habel, Jack Kaye and Mitch Steele were all terrific. (The Area News - August 25, 2008).
CRAIG CONLAN VICTORIES BY ONE VOTE FOR SWANS BEST AND FAIREST
GRIFFITH Swans veteran Craig Conlan has picked up the Vic Hathaway medal for 2008, with voting for the prestigious title coming down to the very last game of the season. Conlan was on top of the pile with 35 votes, just one clear of on-baller Mick Duncan and two ahead of Brett Owen, who finished the year with 33 votes. Being the round 18 game against Ganmain-GGM, Duncan was ahead by two votes with the end result up in the air. However, with Duncan out suspended, it left the gate open for either Owen or Conlan, with the latter taking his chance to seal what has been a solid season in the first grade strip. In reserve grade, it was an outstanding first half of the season which led to Chris McGann being named best in the grade with a total of 28 votes. McGann was hampered by injury during the second half of the year, failing to poll in the final six games. Despite that, he had built up enough of a lead over his teammates to hold off fast-finishing Graham Foley on 25 votes and Daniel Keenan on 22. Foley could have gone close to taking outright honours despite missing most of the first half of the season following his marriage, while Keenan would have also felt like he had a chance at the top gong despite missing games through the middle of the season. The under 18s best and fairest was awarded to Dylan Bruce, who was the clear winner on 35 votes, nine ahead of the next best. Hayden Shaw capped off a successful year, snagging second, while Jack Tyrell rounded out the places with 24 votes. Oliver Delves, who left the club mid-season was tied for third. The achievement of the Griffith Swans netball sides were also celebrated with the best and fairest in the club being awarded for their efforts in this season. Di White was awarded the best and fairest award in A grade, with Alison Ward celebrated for her efforts for the year in B grade. Kim Savage was nominated as the best played in C grade for the year, while Peta Larkin flew the flag in the junior division. (The Area News - Monday, September 1, 2008).
* Deducted 4 points (forfeits)
2008 RFL NETBALL Ladders
A grade: Wagga Tigers 68, Turvey Park 64, Leeton-Whitton 56, Griffith 52, Narrandera 36; Coolamon 32, Ganmain-GGM 24, Mangoplah-CUE 16, North Wagga 8, Eastern Hawks 0.
B grade: Turvey Park 62, Leeton-Whitton 56, Wagga Tigers 54, Narrandera 52, Grifffith 52; Coolamon 36, Mangoplah-CUE 24, Ganmain-GGM 16, North Wagga 8, Eastern Hawks 0.
C grade: Wagga Tigers 68, Turvey Park 60, Leeton-Whitton 56, Griffith 52, Narrandera 36; Coolamon 32, Mangoplah-CUE 27, Eastern Hawks 20, Ganmain-GGM 8, North Wagga 0.
Juniors U15's: Narrandera 40, Griffith 40, Leeton-Whitton Blue 36, Leeton-Whitton Red 16, Coolamon 16; North Wagga 11, Ganmain-GGM 8.
Qualifying Final - Saturday August 30, 2008 at McPherson Oval
Wagga Tigers ... 2.4 .. 3.7 .. 7.8 .. 10.9 (69)
Coolamon ......... 1.3 .. 3.5 .. 6.7 .. 7.1 (53)
Goals: Wagga: L Gestier 6, A Priest 3, T Power
Coolamon: S Keenan 4, S Martin, A Manley, W Archibald
Best: Wagga: C Jackson, J Powell, L Gestier, S Priest, J Gaynor, D Davey
Coolamon: C Neyland, S Keenan, L Maloney, B Garrett, B McKelvie, J Kew
Wagga Tigers: Matt Noonan, Trent Garner, Pat Noonan; Daniel Davey, Chris Jackson, Josh Gaynor; Pat Delaney, Steven Priest, Ryan Miller; Alex Van Ruiswyk, Mitch Colvin, Shannon Terlich; Luke Gestier, Andrew Priest, Tom Power; Chris Drum,Tim Olarenshaw, Jacob Powell; Simon Hillier, Jackson Oehm, Andrew Gunnser, Lucas Denton
Coolamon: Bryan Munro, Connor Neyland, Nathan Edyvean; Mitch Robinson, Tim Garrett, Jacob McPherson; Jackson Kew, Brett Garrett, Mitch Stevenson; Scott Martin, Brendan McKelvie, Michael Suidgeest; Jamie Parr, Sam Keenan (c-c), Ryan Maslin; Ben Edyvean, Luke Maloney, Wade Archibald; Alex Manley, Bryce Koop, Zac Robinson
Umpires: Scott Crowley, Brian Robinson, Gene Hodgins. Gate: $6896
Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 18.6 (114) d Coolamon 12.11 (83)
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 9.8 (62) d Wagga Tigers 8.11 (59)
Elimination Final - Sunday August 31, 2008 at Kindra Park
Turvey Park ........ 4.2 .. 7.5 .. 7.10 .. 7.17 (54)
Leeton-Whitton ... 5.1 .. 8.3 .. 10.3 .. 11.6 (72)
Goals: Turvey Park: C Cerato 3, C Beckmans 2, D Campbell, J Elliott
Leet-Whit: J Hall 3, M Smith 2, B Woods 2, B Guest, S Iannelli, J Hodge, J Gale
Best: Turvey Park: C Cerato, A Donaldson, D Campbell, B Campbell, W Martin, J Fletcher
Leet-Whit: R Dunn, B Guest, B Gilmour, E Sullivan, E Boots, T Norton
Turvey Park: Brad Walker, Jeff Fletcher, Will Martin; Todd Jackson, Dusty Brown, John Hoey; Dane Campbell, Andrew Donaldson, David Thorpe; Chris Cerato, Nathan Byrne, Daniel Toose; Matt Paul, James Elliott, Scott Pople; Chris Reechman, Blair Campbell, Ryan Blundell; Keenan Hanigan, Rick Daniher, Doug Feary, Chris Beckmans, Dylan Clarke, Nathan Flanigan
Leeton-Whitton: David Elwin, Craig Townsend, Matt Flagg; Brad Boots, Justin Davidson, Steven Iannelli; Aaron Gordon, Ben Woods, Nick Doolin; Kabe Stockton, Jade Hodge, Liam Fraser; Eddie Sullivan, Josh Hall, Matt Smith (c-c); Todd Norton, Daniel Sullivan, Brett Guest; Justin Gale, Ryan Dunn, Giles Lee, Bruce Gilmour
Umpires: Pat O'Donoughue, Rob Wilson, Duncan Potts. Gate: $7709
Reserves: Narrandera 5.12 (42) d Ganmain-GGM 6.4 (40)
Under 18: North Wagga 9.11 (65) d Turvey Park 5.9 (39)
First Semi Final - Saturday September 6, 2008 at Narrandera Sportsground
Coolamon ............. 3.4 .. 4.7 .. 5.10 .. 11.14 (80)
Leeton-Whitton ... 9.0 .. 15.3 .. 19.8 .. 28.11 (179)
Goals: Coolamon: B McKelvie 2, S Keenan 2, B Garrett 2, T Garrett 2, J Kew, E Edis, J Parr
Leet-Whit: J Hodge 6, J Hall 5, M Smith 5, B Woods 3, B Guest 2, L Frazer 2, N Doolin 2, J Gale, T Norton, B Gilmour
Best: Coolamon: M Robinson, T Garrett, C Neyland, B Garrett, L Maloney, B McKelvie
Leet-Whit: J Hodge, J Hall, B Woods, R Dunn, M Smith, D Elwin, C Townsend
Coolamon: Bryan Munro, Brett Garrett, Nathan Edyvean; Mitch Robinson, Tim Garrett, Jacob McPherson; Jackson Kew, Connor Neyland, Mitch Stevenson; Edward Edis, Ben Edyvean, Michael Suidgeest; Jamie Parr, Brendan McKelvie, Ryan Maslin; Sam Keenan (c-c), Luke Maloney, Wade Archibald; Grant Worner, Alex Manley, Bryce Koop, Stephen Bartholomew
Leeton-Whitton: Craig Townsend, Brad Boots, Matt Flagg; David Elwin, Justin Davidson, Steven Iannelli; Justin Gale, Ryan Dunn, Daniel Sullivan; Kabe Stockton, Jade Hodge, Eddie Sullivan; Liam Fraser, Josh Hall, Matt Smith (c-c); Todd Norton, Ben Woods, Brett Guest; Giles Lee, Bruce Gilmour, Aaron Gordon, Nick Doolin
Umpires: Rob Wilson, Scott Crowley. Gate: $8537
Reserves: Narrandera 13.7 (85) d Coolamon 9.9 (63)
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 15.16 (106) d North Wagga 13.14 (92)
Second Semi Final - Sunday September 7, 2008 at Ganmain Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM ... 2.3 .. 9.3 .. 10.9 .. 17.10 (112)
Wagga Tigers .... 3.1 .. 3.3 .. 9.10 .. 11.15 (81)
Goals: GGGM: J Lawton 5, M Steele 3, A Carroll 3, D Rankin, J Kaye, R Clark, T Carroll, J Campbell, D Hitchens
Wagga: D Davey 2, A Priest, L Gestier, J Powell, S Terlich, A Van Ruiswyk, S Priest, J Gaynor, P Delaney, C Jackson
Best: GGGM: M Kelly, M Steele, L Habel, J Kaye, D Rankin, C McPherson
Wagga: D Davey, R Miller, J Gaynor, S Priest, T Garner, S Terlich
Ganmain-GGM: Marc Kelly, Paul Hamblin, David Panaho; Paul Lucas, Christen McPherson, Lachlan Steward; Curtis Steele, David Rankin, Daniel Hitchens; John Kaye, John Campbell, Mitchell Steele; Travis Carroll, Anthony Carroll, Kirk Hamblin; Scott Hamblin, Matt Rava, Luke Habel; Rhys Clark, James Lawton, David Karlberg, Pat Walsh
Wagga Tigers: Trent Garner, Matt Noonan, Pat Noonan; Andrew Gunnser, Daniel Davey, Josh Gaynor; Pat Delaney, Steven Priest, Ryan Miller; Andrew Priest, Chris Jackson, Simon Hillier; Mitch Colvin, Shannon Terlich; Chris Drum, Tim Olarenshaw, Jacob Powell; Jackson Oehm, Jacob Osbieston, Alex Van Ruiswyk, Lucas Denton
Umpires: ----- Gate: $9187
Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 10.17 (77) d Leeton-Whitton 7.3 (45)
Under 18: Leeton-Whitton 9.11 (65) d Mangoplah-CUE 9.10 (64)
Preliminary Final - Sunday September 14, 2008 at Narrandera Sportsground
Wagga Tigers ...... 2.2 .. 2.2 .. 2.11 .. 4.13 (37)
Leeton-Whitton ... 2.2 .. 7.7 .. 8.9 .. 14.12 (96)
Goals: Wagga: L Gestier, P Delaney, A Van Ruiswyk, C Drum
Leet-Whit: D Clayton 4, M Smith 3, J Hall 2, N Doolin, G Lee, B Gilmour, J Hodge, B Woods
Best: Wagga: T Garner, J Powell, S Priest, P Noonan, S Hillier, A Gunnser
Leet-Whit: M Sharman, D Elwin, D Clayton, G Lee, E Sullivan, S Iannelli, A Gordon
Wagga Tigers: Trent Garner, Chris Jackson, Jacob Osbeiston; Daniel Davey, Matt Noonan, Pat Noonan; Andrew Gunnser, Steven Priest, Simon Hillier; Mitch Colvin, Shannon Terlich, Josh Gaynor; Luke Gestier, Andrew Priest, Jackson Oehm; Chris Drum, Tom Power, Jacob Powell; Pat Delaney, Tim Olarenshaw, Alex Van Ruiswyk, Lucas Denton
Leeton-Whitton: Matt Flagg, Craig Townsend, Matt Sharman; David Elwin, Justin Davidson, Aaron Gordon; Ben Woods, Ryan Dunn, Daniel Sullivan; Kabe Stockton, Jade Hodge, Steven Iannelli; Liam Fraser, Josh Hall, Matt Smith (c-c); Todd Norton, Eddie Sullivan, Daryl Clayton; Nick Doolin, Giles Lee, Bruce Gilmour, Justin Gale
Umpires: Tim Beard, Gene Hodgins, Brian Robinson. Gate: $11,247
Reserves: Narrandera 18.12 (120) d Leeton-Whitton 6.10 (46)
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 17.11 (113) d Mangoplah-CUE 11.13 (79)
Grand Final - Sunday September 21, 2008 at Narrandera Sportsground
Ganmain-GGM ..... 4.2 .. 8.2 .. 10.7 .. 15.12 (102)
Leeton-Whitton ... 2.3 .. 3.6 .. 6.9 .. 11.13 (79)
Goals: GGGM: T Carroll 6, J Lawton 2, D Rankin 2, A Carroll, K Hamblin, S Hamblin, D Hitchens, M Rava
Leeton-Whitton: J Hall 4, M Smith 2, L Frazer, S Iannelli, B Woods, E Sullivan, T Norton
Best: GGGM: S Hamblin (Ron Hutchins Medal), T Carroll, M Kelly, D Rankin, L Habel, C MccPherson
Leeton-Whitton: S Iannelli, J Hall, C Townsend, M Smith, E Sullivan, D Sullivan
Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong: Lachlan Steward, Paul Hamblin, David Panaho; Paul Lucas, Christen McPherson (co-coach), Marc Kelly; Daniel Hitchins, David Rankin (co-coach), Luke Walsh; John Kaye, John Campbell, Mitchell Steele; Travis Carroll, Anthony Carroll, Rhys Clark; Scott Hamblin, Matt Rava, Luke Habel; Kirk Hamblin, David Karlberg, James Lawton, Curtis Steele
Leeton-Whitton: Matt Flagg, Craig Townsend, Aaron Gordon; David Elwin, Steve Iannelli, Brad Boots; Nick Doolin, Ryan Dunn, Daniel Sullivan; Kabe Stockton, Josh Hall, Liam Frazer; Jade Hodge, Matt Smith (c-c), Brett Guest; Todd Norton, Ben Woods, Eddie Sullivan; Justin Davidson, Bruce Gilmour, Giles Lee, Justin Gale
Umpires: Tim Beard, Scott Crowley, Gene Hodgins. Gate: $28,000
Reserves: Mangolpah-CUE 19.9 (123) d Narrandera 12.6 (78)
Umpires: R Wilson, B Robinson, R Dedini (RUA)
Under 18: Wagga Tigers 8.15 (63) d Leeton-Whitton 8.8 (56)
Umpires: H Vickers, D Morey, P Smith
Netball - A grade: Turvey Park 56 d Wagga Tigers 40: B grade: Leeton-Whitton 22 d Turvey Park 21; C grade: Wagga Tigers 23 d Leeton-Whitton 18; Juniors: Narrandera 38 d Leeton-Whitton Blue 17.
2008 RIVERINA FOOTBALL LEAGUE AWARDS
Seniors: Best & Fairest - Jim Quinn Medal
23 - Blair Campbell (Turvey Park); 22 - Michael Duncan* (Griffith); 19 - Luke Maloney (Coolamon); 18 - Andrew Craig (Eastern Hawks); 16 - Andrew Donaldson (Turvey Park); 15 - Jarrod Kahlefeldt (Mangoplah-CUE); 14 - David Rankin (Ganmain-GGM), Peter Heath (Narrandera); 12 - Mitchell Steele (Ganmain-GGM); 10 - Edward Edis (Coolamon), Luke Habel (Ganmain-GGM), Geoff Spriggs (Mangoplah-CUE); 9 - Luke Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Christen McPherson (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Smith* (Leeton-Whitton), Jamie Grintell (Narrandera), Damon Burden (Narrandera), Matthew Hooker (Turvey Park), Dane Campbell (Turvey Park), Steven Priest (Wagga Tigers); Ben Woods (Leeton-Whitton); 8 - Dale Hugo (Narrandera), Jacob Powell (Wagga Tigers); 7 - Sam Keenan, Brendan McKelvie (Coolamon); 6 - Ben Edyvean (Coolamon), Danny Bromham, Brenton Roberts (Eastern Hawks), Marc Kelly (Ganmain-GGM), Jordan Foster (Mangoplah-CUE), Adam Bourke, Nick Hetherington (Narrandera), Ryan Miller, Tom Power, Shannon Terlich (Wagga Tigers); 5 - Craig Conlan (Griffith), Steve Iannelli, Ed Sullivan (Leeton-Whitton), Chris Higgins (Mangoplah-CUE), Michael Goodwin (North Wagga); 4 - Matthew Rava (Ganmain-GGM), Josh Hall (Leeton-Whitton), Dean Howard, Graeme Reid (Mangoplah-CUE), Tim Sullivan (Narrandera), Matthew Noonan (Wagga Tigers); 3 - Nathan Edyvean (Coolamon), Levi Pollett, Eddie Whyman (Eastern Hawks), Scott Hamblin, Jack Kaye (Ganmain-GGM), Jason Bertacco, Myles Bunn, Kris Duncan, Jonathon Gastin, Brett Owen (Griffith), Aaron Gordon, Paul Iannelli, Todd Norton (Leeton-Whitton), Stace Creasy (Mangoplah-CUE), Stephens Irons (Narrandera), Chris Cerato, Daniel Toose (Turvey Park), Josh Gaynor, Simon Hillier, Chris Jackson, Pat Noonan, Jackson Oehm, Tim Olarenshaw (Wagga Tigers); 2 - Wade Archibald, Jackson Kew, Alex Manley, Jamie Parr (Coolamon), Dale Cameron* (Eastern Hawks), Lachlan Steward (Ganmain-GGM), Brett Davis (Griffith), Matthew Flagg, Lindsay Fysh, Jade Hodge (Leeton-Whitton), Dylan DeBritt (Mangoplah-CUE), Chris Smith (Narrandera), Brenton Liepper, Glenn Noye (North Wagga), James Elliott (Turvey Park), Trent Garner (Wagga Tigers); 1 - Craig DePiazza, Nathan Scott (Eastern Hawks), Anthony Carroll, Travis Carroll, Damian Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Kenny (Griffith), David Elwin, Kabe Stockton (Leeton-Whitton), Sam Balding, Neil Lawson, Jai Warden (Mangoplah-CUE), Nathan Byrne, David Johnson (Turvey Park), Mitchell Colvin, Luke Gaffney, Jacob Osbeiston, Andrew Priest, Alex Van Ruizwyk (Wagga Tigers). * Ineligible.
Reserves - Frank Gaynor Medal
19 - Travis Irvin (Leeton-Whitton); 14 - David Logan (Ganmain-GGM), Xavier Higgins (Mangoplah-CUE); 13 - John Nolan (Coolamon); 12 - Matthew Sharman (Leeton-Whitton); 11 - John Cameron (Mangoplah-CUE); 10 - Michael Williams (Narrandera). Griffith players to receive votes were: 5 - Chris McGann, Michael Tyndall, Brad Woolner; 4 - David Pasin; 3 - Norm Campbell, Graham Foley; 2 - Ryan Bull, Luke Piccolo; 1 - Rhys Best, Andrew Cappello, Cameron Harrison, Michael Vardanega.
Under 18 - Lou Brown Medal
33 - Andre Wilson (Turvey Park); 31 - Nat Davis (Mangoplah-CUE); 18 - Sam Ryan (Wagga Tigers); 14 - Adam Norton (Leeton-Whitton), Scott Burge (Mangoplah-CUE), Riley McPherson (Turvey Park); 13 - Zachary Robinson (Coolamon); 11 - Phillip Williams (Eastern Hawks), Justin Gordon (Leeton-Whitton); 10 - Nathan Hunter (Leeton-Whitton), Jarrod Cooper (North Wagga). Griffith players to receive votes were: 9 - Oliver Delves; 6 - Justin Wade; 4 - Sam Gilbert, Hayden Shaw, Sam Wood; 3 - Dylan Bruce; 2 - James Taylor; 1 - Hayden Heath, Brad Minchin, Jack Tyrell.
Seniors: Top Goalkickers (h/a) - Stewart Fraser Trophy
74 - Anthony Carroll (Ganmain-GGM), 70 - James Elliott (Turvey Park), 52 - Graeme Reid (Mangoplah-CUE), 49 - Brendon McKelvie (Mangoplah-CUE), 43 - Josh Hall (Leeton-Whitton), 41 Sam Keenan (Coolamon), 39 - Craig Conlan (Griffith), 38 - Jade Hodge (Leeton-Whitton), 37 - Peter Heath (Narrandera), 36 - Mitchell Colvin (Wagga Tigers), 35 - Jamie Parr (Coolamon), 33 - Matthew Smith (Leeton-Whitton), 32 - Michael Duncan (Griffith), 31 - Chris Jackson (Wagga Tigers).
Reserves - Griggs Trophy
59 - Craig Websdale (Mangoplah-CUE); 57 - Joel Grieve (Eastern Hawks: 40 - Daryl Clayton (Leeton-Whitton); 39 - Daniel Crocker (Coolamon); 38 - Michael Cattell (Turvey Park); 34 - Michael Fraser (Leeton-Whitton), Peter Treloar (Mangoplah-CUE), Stephen Smith (Turvey Park; 30 - Willie McHale (Narrandera); 25 - Michael Byrne (Mangoplah-CUE); 24 - Sam Noble (Ganmain-CUE).
Under 18 - Dalco Trophy
39 - Jake Phillips (Mangoplah-CUE); 38 - Jackson Argus (North Wagga); 35 - Andre Wilson (Turvey Park); 28 - Ben Chambers (Mangoplah-CUE); 27 - Matthew Cerato (Turvey Park); 26 - Mitchell Byrne (Turvey Park); 23 - Michael Connelly (Wagga Tigers); 22 - Sam Milne (Ganmain-GGM), James Hodge (Wagga Tigers).
Club Championship: Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes
Netball: Best & Fairest
A grade: Shannon Byrne (Wagga Tigers); B grade: Meredith Furner (Coolamon);
C grade: Katherine Pretious (Turvey Park); Juniors: Katelyn Yeo (Leeton-Whitton).
2008 GOALS - RESERVES & UNDER 18's GRADES
Reserves: Jamie Bennett 1, Tom Bottcher 0, Robert Bridgen 6, Dylan Bruce 0, Ryan Bull 1, Matthew Butcher 11, Norm Campbell 7, Andrew Cappello 1, Luke Catanzariti 4, Mitch Clark 1, Leon Dalby 0, Mick Darby 0, Oliver Delves 0, Greg Dreyer 0, Graham Foley 1, Bryce Gastin 1, Sam Gilbert 0, Cameron Harrison 6, Toby Henderson 1, Brendan Hicken 0, Matthew Hogan 1, Brock Hutchinson 1, Ben Jaffrey 3, Royce Johns 9, Daniel Keenan 17, Matthew Keenan 2, Nathan Kite 5, Craig Lugton 6, Mitch McDonell 0, Chris McGann 7, Daniel McGreal 2, Daniel Meade 8, Garry Minchin 0, David Pasin 5, Michael Plisek 0, Simon Portolesi 0, Alex Potroz 1, Kyle Ratcliff 1, Damien Scott 0, Hayden Shaw 1, Greg Sibbick 1, Glen Snaidero 1, Michael Tyndall 1, Jack Tyrell 0, Michael Vardanega 0, Sam Wood 0, Brad Woolner 2. Coach: Norm Campbell.
Under 18: T Allen 1, Tom Bottcher 6, Dylan Bruce 3, Fred Bruton 0, Jason Corbett 1, Oliver Delves 5, Bryce Gastin 5, Sam Gilbert 6, Jayme Green 1, Mitch Harrison 1, Hayden Heath 13, Brock Hutchinson 8, Ben Jaffrey 5, Bill McLean 11, Brad Minehan 1, Casey Moore 6, Chris Niven 1, Alex Overs 1, Michael Plisek 0, Kyle Ratcliff 7, Hayden Shaw 1, Brett Snaidero 2, Glen Snaidero 13, James Taylor 2, Jack Tyrell 16, Bill Tyrell 2, Michael Vitucci 3, Justin Wade 12, Sam Wood 11. Coach: Gerard Toscan.
2008 GRIFFITH AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS
Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club
Major Sponsor: Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club
Best & Fairest: Craig Conlan
Runner-up: Michael Duncan
Most Consistent: Brett Owen
Most Improved: James Smith
Best Utility (Fergie King Memorial): Jason Bertacco
Most Goals Kicked: Craig Conlan
Coach’s Award: Simon Spiers
Best & Fairest: Chris McGann
Runner-up: Graham Foley
Most Consistent: Rhys Best
Most Improved: Luke Catanzariti
Best Utility: Mitch McDonell
Most Goals Kicked: Daniel Keenan
Coach’s Award: Cameron Harrison
Best & Fairest: Dylan Bruce
Runner-up: Hayden Shaw
Most Consistent: Sam Wood
Most Improved: Brock Hutchinson
Best Utility: Oliver Delves
Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Hayden Heath, Glen Snaidero & Jack Tyrell
Most Promising Player (Ronnie Williams Memorial): Glen Snaidero
Encouragement Award (Fred Owen Memorial Shield): Bill Tyrell
Coach’s Award: Jack Tyrell
Best & Fairest: Diane White
Players’ Player: Karen Conlan
Coach’s Award: Lani Houston
Best & Fairest: Alison Ward
Players’ Player: Louise Martin
Coach’s Award: Louise Martin
Best & Fairest: Kim Savage
Players’ Player: Katrina West
Coach’s Award: Hannah Toscan
Best & Fairest: Peta Larkin
Players’ Player: Ellen John
Coach’s Award: Michelle Polkinghorne
Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Joan Hicks Memorial): Richelle Turner
Club Person of the Year (Bill Simmons Memorial): Norm Campbell
AFL Volunteer Recognition - 10 years service: George & Donna Duncan, Damien & Leanne Scott
150 senior games milestone: Myles Bunn & Michael Duncan
100 senior games milestone: Craig Conlan & Simon Spiers
Life Membership: Karen Conlan (200 netball games) & Ernie Wade.
2008 SENIOR DEBUTS & FINAL SENIOR GAMES / GOALS
Debuts: April 12 - Jason Bertacco, Robert Bridgen, Brett Davis, Jack Geddes, Cameron Harrison, Glen Snaidero; April 20 - Michael Tyndall; April 26 - Luke Piccolo; May 17 - Daniel Keenan; June 22 - Chris McGann; July 13 - Jack Tyrell; July 20 - Sam Gilbert; August 3 - Rhys Best; August 10 - Alex Overs.
Final Games / Goals: Robert Bridgen (3 / 0), Ryan Bull (10 / 0), Craig Conlan 103 / 207), Brett Davis (13 / 23), Jack Geddes (17 / 8), Sam Gilbert (2 / 0), Daniel Keenan (2 / 0), Chris McGann (3 / 0), Daniel McGreal (5 / 0), Jeremy Way (29 / 17).
Swans recognise their top players at presentation night
The Griffith Swans held their annual presentation night, with several prestigious awards handed out during a night celebrating good efforts on the football field and the netball courts.
Top of the list of awards was a life membership awarded to Karen Conlan.
Conlan is the only female to have played more than 200 games for the club. Ernie Wade also received a life membership and was joined on the stage by other special awarded recipients, including Norm Campbell, Rishelle Turner and Di White.
Club president George Duncan thanked all the club's sponsors for the past season, saying without them they wouldn't not to able to run the club as well as what they have in the past 12 months.
After a year of rebuilding senior player stocks from local juniors, the club has already recruited a couple of key position players to add onto the young list including defender Matt Noonan from Wagga Tigers as a joint assistant coach and Aaron Cocks a full forward / mid fielder from the Golden Rivers League who is looking forward to next season.
The Area News - Wednesday, October 29, 2008