2009 RFNL SEASON RESULTS

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PLAYER TRANSFERS

IN: Gary Argus (Hillston), Aaron Cocks (Macorna), Dean Crack, Mathew Crack, James Fallon, Sam Huxtable (Hay Lions), James Nancarrow (Hillston Swans), Matthew Noonan (Wagga Tigers), Glenn Taylor (Hay Lions), Chris Toohey (Rivcoll).

OUT: Robert Bridgen, Ryan Bull (Coleambally), Craig Conlan, Brett Davis (Hay Lions), Jack Geddes (Southport), Zac Lewis (Murrumbeena), Daniel Meade, Glenn Snaidero (Rivcoll), James Toscan (Avonvale Heights), Jeremy Way (Thurgoona).

 SWANS GET LIFELINE OF FRESH TALENT FOR 2009 - By Nick Pearson 

Aussie Rules fans can look forward to a thrilling 2009 season, with the Griffith Swans bringing some exciting new talent into their side. The Swans have attracted fresh blood from clubs from the Golden Rivers League, the Northern Riverina Football League and from other teams in the RFL, signings that could make the difference in 2009. Joining the are Jimmy Nancarrow, Aaron Cocks  and Chris Toohey, all players with their own special talents. The Swans failed to make the finals in 2008, with strong performances in some games cancelled out by weak performance in others. But the Swans had greater potential than their on-paper position indicated, having beaten the two grand finals teams, Ganmain-GGM and Leeton-Whitton, in earlier stages of the competition. But an absolute thrashing at the hands of Ganmain-GGM in August  - 173 to 20 - means the Swans' performances is sporadic and vulnerable when star players are missing.

Swans coach Gerard Toscan said he is excited with the influx of new talent into the team. "We're pretty confident, and if we keep everyone and added those four and look to add another couple, we'll have a great team," he said. "I think we're keen to have another crack." Jimmy Nancarrow played an important role in bringing NRFL team Hillston to the grand final in the 2008 competition, and it is hoped he make as much of an impact on the wing for the Swans. Aaron Cocks has come up from from the Golden Rivers league, and the full-forward will add some size to the Swans' lineup. Meanwhile, former Rivcoll player Chris Toohey will be joining the team next year, even though he has been training with the Swans for months now. While coming in from a strong Wagga Tigers team, Matt Noonan is taking on the role of co-assistant coach, as well as adding some strength to the full-back position. "I'm just looking for a challenge to introduce myself to a new group of guys," Noonan said. "I'll be looking to play at the level I'm used to at the Tigers, but also try and instill it in some of my teammates as well."

Also promoted to the role of co-assistant coach is Mick Duncan, who proved to be one of the standout players in last year's competition. (The Area News - Wednesday October 15, 2008). 

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 DEMONS' BID TO JOIN LEAGUE IS REJECTED RFL VOTES 'NO' - By Scott Hazlewood 

The Riverina Football League has put up the "no vacancy" sign for it's competition next season, after it rejected Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka bid to join the premier league in the region. CAK's shock release from the Farrer League prompted a special RFL meeting in Narrandera on Wednesday night, were all 10 current clubs voted on whether to allow the renegade club to join them. In a virtually unanimous count, seven clubs voted no and three abstained from voting with the decision putting a severe dent in Demon's chances of making an 11-team RFL.

Griffith Swans president Robert Harrington said the decision was not taken lightly, adding all of the clubs looked beyond their backyards before casting their vote. "There were a few issues raised, one of them was why didn't they (CAK) try and get into the competition a few years ago when the Wagga Tigers came back?" Harrington said. "We were looking for another club then, but North Wagga came along and beat them to it." Harrington and other RFL representatives also expressed their grave concerns for the future of the Farrer League if CAK and The Rock-Yerong Creek were lost forever. "We had to think about the four other clubs left behind." he said. "We didn't want to run another competition into the ground simply by running our own." 
CAK's primary reason for wanting to join the RFL centred on the further development of it's juniors, with Harrington saying CAK officials believed they would leave the club to seek out more regular match play if they didn't align themselves with a stronger competition. CAK officials are said to be considering their options after their initial proposal was dismissed, but they are likely to appeal the verdict to the Southern Regional Board. But Harrington said he wanted to see the matter settled as quickly as possible, given the start of the season was less than five months away. "Ourselves and a lot of other clubs were nearly settled for next year and the draw was nearly organised," he said. "But I have a feeling this will drag on for a while yet." (The Area News - Friday November 28, 2008). 

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 BRAD AIMS FOR MORE GOAL POSTS - By Scott Hazlewood 

Local Australian Rules supporter Brad George has started a campaign to get more goal posts installed in the Griffith region. George said while the Exies Oval facilities were top class, they were often locked away from children and others who wanted to have a social kick or practice their skills in front of goal. "It's just a good move because once they lock the Exies Oval up there won't be any AFL goal posts for kids or outlying teams to use." George said. "Even Auskick which is run through the Griffith Swans will probably have access to Exies Oval, but if the kids want to go for a kick after school there is nothing for them." 
George, who is an ardent Collingwood fan, said even sides from out of town could be left out in the cold if access to Exies Oval was restricted. "Clubs do come into town, like Coleambally and Hillston, they can do the skill work, but when they want to have shots on goal there is nothing for them," he said. George is starting a petition, which will appear in several local stores and soon be accompanied by a letter of approval from Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell. George is also taking his fight to the internet through social networking website Facebook. "That's a good way to gauge if there is any interest and in the first two or three days 50 signed on, just to say they are behind the idea, and there are all kinds of people on there - men, women and even people that don't have much to do with Aussie Rules," he said. (The Area News - January 30, 2009). 

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 RFL SEASON KICKS OFF ON HIGH NOTE 

The build-up for the opening round of the Riverina Football League season has hit full swing with the introduction of an exciting season launch. RFL's biggest names were all in attendance at Narrandera Ex-Servicemen's Club on Sunday as the 2009 season was officially launched. As part of a new initiative by the RFL, the competition came together to celebrate the start of the season, now less than a week away. Southern NSW AFL regional manager Paul Habel opened proceedings before president Graham Buchanan addressed clubs.

A ceremonial cutting of a cake was held to declare the season open before all club coaches and assistants gathered for a group photo with the premiership cup. RFL president Graham Buchanan praised the season launch concept and backed it to become a bigger and better annual event. "It's gone very, very well," Buchanan said. "I think it's a great idea and it's definitely something we'll continue to improve on."

A concept raised and put together by administration secretary Shane Buchanan, the launch was the perfect introduction to the opening week of the season. In addition to the new-look RFL competition, the season opens with a "super Saturday", with all five games held on the one day for the only time this year. Shane Buchanan said the launch was all part of raising the profile of the RFL. "It's a more professional approach," Buchanan said. "It's about raising the profile of the league and it's been well supported in it's first year."
More than 50 players, officials and guests attended yesterday's event. Netball also featured highly in the launch, another indication of the league's plan to dig deeper into the sport. New netball president Stephen Cook was unable to attend, but had a speech read on his behalf, while most clubs also had netball representatives attend. Riverina Umpires Association chief Peter Hughes addressed the launch, while new sports trainers association boss Zane Fraser also spoke to the crowd.

One of the highlights of the day was the life membership awarded to tribunal chairman Kevin Barber. Barber was recognised for 27 years of service to the league and reflected his times involved. (The Daily Advertiser - Monday March 30, 2009).

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 SWANS SET TO BATTLE FOR A SOLID FIRST ROUND VICTORY - By Nick Pearson 

The Griffith Swans are quietly confident ahead of the first game of the 2009 RFL season against North Wagga on Saturday, after they soundly defeated the Northern Jets in a pre-season practice match at Ariah Park last Friday evening, 12.10 (82) to 5.5 (35). The Swans suffered from a wobbly start in the practice match, but easily began to dominate proceedings once they hit their stride. Coach Gerard Toscan said it was a good sign the team were in a good position to start off the season. "We had a pretty slow start, but once the guys started hitting the targets we got control of the game from after quarter time," he said. "A couple of young guys who I hadn't really considered for selection really came forward, which impressed me." Toscan said dealing with the pressure of the game was something the team will need to get used to.

"We've just about covered everything at training, but the decision making skills is really highlighted in match practices because the pressure makes a big difference to players." "Sometimes it's a skill error, but the decision making of some players needs work, because in high pressure situations, you can get tunnel vision, or be in too much of a rush." But Toscan hopes the shaky start to the Northern Jets game is something that won't happen when the season begins outright. "We win the footy, but it's kicking to space and kicking to position which needs work," he said. The Swans will be looking for a solid victory this weekend when they take on North Wagga, to put them in a good position for the start of the season. "Were quietly confident, because at this stage compared to last year, we're a better team," Toscan said.

"We're not taking the game lightly, because we know North Wagga are quite keen." Adding to the challenge that the game will be played in Wagga, and Toscan is hopeful last years away game stigma won't have a negative effect on the team. "We know North Wagga struggled last year, but we've heard they're improved and they really want to put up a good showing," he said. "We know they need to win to get some credibility, and we need to win to start out on top of the ladder."  (The Area News - Wednesday April 1, 2009).

Round 1 - Saturday April 4, 2009 at Maher Oval 2.10pm

North Wagga... 0.0 .. 1.2 .. 1.3 .. 5.6 (36)

Griffith............. 4.6 .. 5.8 .. 9.13 .. 10.15 (75)

Goals: North Wagga: M Foster 3, G Noye, Mark Ward

Griffith: A Cocks 4, M Johns 2, S Curran, M Harris, B Owen, J Nancarrow

Best: North Wagga: M Foster, Mark Ward, S Barnes, M Fury, N Aberline, Mitch Ward, J Joy

Griffith: R Simpkin, M Johns, B Owen, S Curran, J Smith, A Cappello, A Cocks

Griffith: R Johns*, J Smith, A Cappello; M Bunn, M Noonan*, R Duncan; J Gastin, M Johns, M Kenny; D Pasin, C Lugton, J Nancarrow*; R Simpkin, M Harris, A Cocks*; S Curran, J Mickan, B Owen; B Ford, J Tyrell, B Alban

Umpires: R Neighbour, A Lyons, G Walsh (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 11.8 (74) d North Wagga 7.7 (49)

Goals: J Harris 3, A Huskins, G Taylor, M Butcher, C Harrison, P Crawford, C Moore, H Shaw, L Catanzariti

Under 17: North Wagga d Griffith on forfeit

Match report: The Griffith Swans have shrugged off tough talk from North Wagga Saints to record a massive victory as a great kick-off to the 2009 RFL season. For weeks North Wagga had been talking up their chances of taking out the Swans in the first game of the year, but their dismal first three-quarters of the game allowed Griffith to walk all over them. Despite being on home turf for North Wagga, the Swans kept the Saints scoreless for the first quarter, while notching up an impressive 30 points for themselves. And while the Saints managed to get on the scoreboard in the second quarter, they couldn't catch up to Griffith, who led 38 to 8 at half-time. The Swans had their best quarter after half-time, widening the gap to 9.15 (69) to 1.3 (9), while only conceding a single point, but the Saints finally hit their stride in the final quarter, with four goals, still woefully short of the Swans' final tally.
It was a solid, but not overwhelming start to the season, according to Swans coach Gerard Toscan. "We played pretty good footy, but a couple of disposal errors and missed goals cost us a good few points," he said. "We did miss a lot of targets but that's mostly opening game nerves." While most aspects of the Swans game were in form, Toscan said there were some aspects that were lacking. "But the last kick inside the 50 or the last shot at goals let us down. It was like they were kicking Coke cans at times. "It's a mental thing rather than a skill thing, which means it will be easy to fix up." 
The Swans struggled last year when playing away games, but Toscan said Saturday's victory at Maher Oval in Wagga was a positive sign. "We won, and we won in Wagga, which we always struggle to do," he said. "We had some really good runs, rebound footy, inside runners picking up handballs and things like that.
There was plenty of positives signs for Griffith, with Aaron Cocks the shining light up forward, booting four goals. Cocks could have bagged a big haul of goals if it was not for inaccurate kicking, but indicated he would be a headache for opposition teams throughout the year. Brett Owen worked hard through the midfield all day, as did Michael Johns, while Matt Noonan proved he would be a valuable acquisition for Griffith across half-back. For North Wagga, recruit Mick Foster was excellent at centre half-forward, while Mark Ward and Steve Barnes worked tirelessly through the midfield. The game was played in front of one of the smallest RFL crowds in recent years, while in further disappointing news Griffith forfeited the under 17s.   

With a bye next week for Easter, Toscan is confident the Swans can be prepared for the home game the week after against defending premiers Ganmain-GGM. "They are fair dinkum, so if you want to beat them, you have to play well," he said. "We knocked them off last year in the corresponding home game, so we know we can beat them if we are on our game. "We won by out-tackling them, and we are going to work hard on our tackling in the next few weeks, and concentrate on our kicking skills. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday April 6, 2009).

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Round 2 - Sunday April 19, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ................. 2.4 .. 6.8 .. 7.9 .. 9.14 (68)

Ganmain-GGM ... 4.8 .. 8.12 .. 16.14 .. 23.16 (154)

Goals: Griffith: A Cocks 2, D Crack 2, J Nancarrow 2, R Simpkin 2, J Mickan

GGGM: C Macri 9, C Steele 3, M Steele 2, J Kaye 2, M Rava 2, C McPherson 2, K Hamblin 2, L Walsh

Best: Griffith: M Harris, M Duncan, B Owen, J Smith, J Nancarrow, B Ford

GGGM: C Taylor, C Macri, M Rava, L Walsh, D Panaho, K Hamblin

Griffith: M Bunn, S Spiers, J Smith; R Simpkin, M Noonan, J Tyrell; K Duncan, M Duncan, J Gastin; J Nancarrow, J Mickan, D Crack; C Lugton, A Cocks, R Duncan; S Curran, B Ford, B Owen (capt); M Harris, J Fallon, M Tyndall

Ganmain-GGM: D Panaho, P Hamblin, P Lucas; J Kaye, C Taylor, M Kelly; W Kiley, D Rankin (co-coach), C Steele; M Steele, C McPherson (co-coach), K Hamblin; M Carroll, C Macri, D Walsh; J Olsson, M Rava, L Walsh; L Steward, J Lander, A Roberts

Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 15.14 (104) d Griffith 3.4 (22)

Goals: G Dreyer, B Jaffrey, L Piccolo

Under 17: Ganmain-GGM 15.8 (98) d Griffith 13.9 (87)

Goals: C Moore 6, K Hillier 2, B Snaidero 2, J Parr, D Bartter, K Charles

Match report: The Griffith Swans faded badly in the second half at Exies Oval yesterday to go down to reigning Riverina Football League champions Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong by 85-points. The home side had enough possessions to trouble the Lions for much of the first half, going to the sheds only down by 16 points at half-time. But the lack of viable rotation options and a freak injury to ruckman Shaun Curran, choked the life out of Griffith allowing the Lions to pour on the points late. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said there was no excuses for the way the home side let the game slip away so dramatically. "Without making too many excuses, we really missed some guys out there today and we were probably a little bit underdone going into this game," Toscan said. "It didn't help when we lost Shaun Curran at quarter time either, he was stretching a quad on the sidelines when he did some nerve damage to his knee. "I saw the trainer working on it and I thought he must have done it out on the field, but he couldn't straighten his leg after what happened."
The Swans were also counting on Aaron Cocks finding form again yesterday, but his kicking yips continued, with a number of easy shots spraying wide of the mark. "I don't know what it is, he (Cocks) has a really nice technique, whether he's trying to kick it too hard," Toscan said. "But there was some positives, until we ran out of playing numbers and when we had enough possession, what we did with it was good. "But if we were down a bit on fitness, then we can take steps to rectify that over the next month or so." Brett Owen worked hard all day for the home side, while stand-in ruckman Michael Harris shouldered the extra work-load well with Curran off the field. New recruit Jimmy Nancarrow continued to be solid for the red and white, while Dean Crack also impressed in the first half before he too faded. (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Monday April 20, 2009).

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 INJURY CUTS OUT RUCKMAN CURRAN - By Scott Hazlewood 

The Griffith Swans have suffered a set-back ahead of their game against the Eastern Hawks, with the news key ruckman Shaun Curran has been ruled out of action for a month with a knee cartilage injury. Curran suffered the injury in freakish circumstances last weekend, when he called for assistance from a trainer after stretching a quadriceps muscle on the sideline. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said Curran's loss was a "massive blow" for the side, but added he was better equipped for his loss than last weekend. I was talking to his dad (Frank) earlier and he said he was operated on today (Wednesday), but he should up and around and walking in a day or two and back in about four weeks, " Toscan said.  "It doesn't matter that it went last week, the doctors apparently said it was going to happen, so it's better to happen in the second week of the comp rather than two weeks from the finals. Griffith's chances of beating the Hawks have improved this week, with a number of players back from injury and others stepping up to fill vital positions. "We'll have the Johns brothers back this week - we really missed them last week," Toscan said. "I think we'll go with Michael Harris as ruckman, I thought he went really well last weekend.

He doesn't give us the run that Shaun does or the speed around the ground, but he works pretty hard. "We've got Matt Kenny coming back (achilles) and he might take over at centre half-back. "Look, we were restricted at what we could do last weekend, but had we gone down by the half-time margin (16 points) that would have been a moral victory for our side. "We just had to hang on because of the lack of personnel, and some fitness issues with a couple of key players, but that was all I pointed out on Sunday evening and I just hope the guys respond in the right way." (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Friday April 24, 2009).

Round 3 - Sunday April 26, 2009 at Gumly Oval 2.10pm

Eastern Hawks ... 1.3 .. 2.7 .. 3.9 .. 8.10 (58)

Griffith .................. 2.0 .. 4.2 .. 6.6 .. 12.7 (79)

Goals: Eastern Hawks: C Pedler 2, R O'Loughlin, B Mannion, N Scott, M Adams, R Campbell, T Harradine

Griffith: A Cocks 5, R Simpkin 2, J Gastin 2, M Duncan, D Crack, B Owen

Best: Eastern Hawks: M Adams, B Roberts, J Scott, B Mannion, C Pedler, C De Piazza

Griffith: B Owen, S Spiers, M Duncan, M Harris, A Cappello, A Cocks

Griffith: R Johns, S Spiers, A Cappello; M Bunn, M Kenny, D Pasin; J Gastin, M Johns, B Ford; D Crack, M Noonan, J Nancarrow; M Duncan, A Cocks, R Simpkin; M Harris, J Mickan, B Owen; K Duncan, J Fallon, L Piccolo

Umpires: -----

Reserves: Eastern Hawks 9.1 (55) d Griffith 4.8 (32)

Goals: C Moore, H Shaw, C Harrison

Under 17: Eastern Hawks 11.9 (75) d Griffith 2.2 (14)

Goals: C Moore, J Parr

Match report: Eastern Hawks' season went from bad to worse yesterday after failing to Griffith by 21 points at Gumly Oval. With injured stars Ben Perkins, Eddie Whyman and Steven Crowhurst all watching on, the Hawks had their chances but succumbed to their third straight loss, 12.7 (79) to 8/10 (58). While the Hawks were undermanned, Griffith had several key players out too but in the end had too much polish for the struggling Hawks. Mick Duncan and Brett Owen controlled midfield for Griffith while full-forward Aaron Cocks was the destructive on his way to a five-goal haul. The Hawks showed plenty of grit and closed within three points of an unlikely win midway through the final term. But Griffith responded with four of the next five goals to seal the four points to keep the Swans in the top five early on in the season.

Griffith coach Gerard Toscan was happy to see his team respond to the Hawks' challenge deep in the last quarter. "I was really impressed with the way we found another gear when we needed to with 10 minutes to go," Toscan said. "To the guys credit they fought back and Mick Duncan really turned it on in the last 10 minutes.  "When we had to dig deep, Mick dug deepest and really got us over the line in the last quarter."

Having scored two wins in Wagga from two attempts this season, Griffith is slowly on the way to improving its reputation as bad travellers. Toscan recognises yesterday's win was a start but hopes bigger scalps are to come. "We know about our record over here and we talk about it," Toscan said. "I'm happy we've got these two but they're only the two wins we got last year. "What we'd really like is to beat Turvey Park or Tigers over here. "We need these ones, but we really want the other ones."  On a disappointing day for the Hawks, new recruits Brad Mannion and Trevor Harradine performed well along with Mark Adams who battled hard all day. (By Matt Malone - The Area News, Monday April 27, 2009).

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 CROWS' GIANT TARGETED - By Scott Hazlewood 

Stopping Leeton-Whitton ruckman Paul Scoullar will be top of the list of things to do for Griffith Swans coach Gerard Toscan in his side's blockbuster clash at Exies No. 1 on Sunday. The 203cm giant will form a potent combination with Jarrod Gornall, and shutting them down will be the prime concern for the Swans if they are to record their third win this season. Adding spice to the clash this weekend is who will match up against the prize Leeton-Whitton recruits, who have consistently been among the Crows' best this season. Griffith chased the duo heavily in the off-season but lost out to their neighbours, with Toscan well aware of what the pair can do if they decide on Sunday is the time to fire.

The Swans leader admitted his side has not gained respect from the powerhouses of the RFL after its capitulation against Ganmain-GGM in round two. But said a dominant win over the Crows would send a message to the rest of the competition that the Swans mean business this season. The game is important for both sides for different reasons, with the Crows looking to gain some momentum this season after being win less in the first three rounds. While Griffith will be desperate to prove it is a serious finals contender this year, and a third win in the first month of the competition will go a long way towards that.

In further good news for the Swans, star full-forward Aaron Cocks found his range in front of goals last weekend with five against Eastern Hawks, and the Griffith coach believes he would only get better from now on.  "He was marking the ball really cleanly, the best he's held it all through pre-season and the season proper, and he's in sync," Toscan said." And Mick Duncan was pretty good against Ganmain-GGM, but he's ready to take a game by the scruff of the neck and Matt Noonan; you can really see the confidence building with him as well.

The Crows are a shadow of the side that made the grand final last year, with a mass exodus of players leaving the club in the off-season. But coach Matt Smith has bigger worries this weekend, including a spluttering forward line.  "We've a little bit behind where we would expect ourselves and our team to be, but it's something that we have been working pretty hard on over the last few weeks," Smith said. "Josh Hall and Jade Hodge were the two better forwards in the competition last year, and when you have your tallest forward at only a bit over six foot, you get a guy a couple of inches taller and he's always going to out-mark him." (The Area News - Friday May 1, 2009).'

Round 4 - Sunday May 3, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .............. .... 5.4 .. 7.6 .. 8.9 .. 11.11 (77)

Leeton-Whitton ... 2.1 .. 5.6 .. 10.10 .. 14.8 (92)

Goals: Griffith: D Crack 4, A Cocks 2, M Duncan 2, J Nancarrow, J Fallon, K Duncan

Leeton-Whitton: P Scoullar 3, L Frazer 3, M Smith 2, D Frazer 2, D Harrison, G Napoli, J Gornall, B Gilmour

Best: Griffith: M Duncan, M Johns, M Harris, D Crack, J Mickan, J Nancarrow

Leeton-Whitton: P Scoullar, B Boots, C Townsend, L Frazer, B Dryburgh, J Townsend

Griffith: R Johns, A Cappello, S Spiers; M Bunn, B Giason, J Smith; M Kenny, M Johns, J Bertacco; B Ford, M Noonan, J Nancarrow; M Duncan, A Cocks, D Crack; M Harris, J Mickan, B Owen; J Fallon, K Duncan, R Simpkin

Leeton-Whitton: D Elwin, C Townsend, D Harrison; N Doolin, B Dryburgh, B Gilmour; G Lee, J Gornall, L Frazer; B Boots, D Frazer, B Greatz, M Smith (c-c), J Townsend; P Scoullar, N Patten, K Stockton; D Sullivan, N Hunter, P Payne

Umpires: B Robinson, R Dedini, G Hodgins (RUA)

Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 14.10 (94) d Griffith 9.6 (60)

Goals: S Huxtable 4, M Tyndall 2, J Tyrell, A Huskins, J Harris

Under 17: Leeton-Whitton 20.10 (130) d Griffith 2.9 (21)

Goals: D Bartter, A Tarr

Match report: The Leeton-Whitton Crows have pounced on a scratchy Griffith Swans side to record their first win of the Riverina Football League season, and claim the bragging rights in the latest grudge match between the two teams. The Swans simply did not convert enough of its trips inside the forward 50m into goals, with a dogged Leeton-Whitton side making the most of its opportunities late in the final quarter. Griffith coach Gerard Toscan said his team handed back possession too often and were simply beaten to the ball at crucial points of the game. "We did have a lot of chances, we didn't use Aaron Cocks very well I thought, we helicoptered the ball to him too many times or kicked it over his head," Toscan said. Jimmy Nancarrow started his impressive game with a goal in the first term, but failed to find the mark for the rest of the game, despite having another six shots at goal. Dean Crack and Kris Duncan were busy in the first term to help the home side to a 23-point quarter time lead. Two behinds for hitting the post stopped a Crows onslaught in the second, as they wrestled back control of the game with superior clearances giving the visitors clean ball from contests.

Crows' ruckman Paul Scoullar proved what a quality he will be this season to be a big target up forward for Leeton-Whitton, on his way to kicking three majors for the game. However, Swans ruckman Michael Harris more than held his own in the middle despite giving away a big height advantage. Another two Dean Crack goals kept the Swans in the lead at the long break by 12 points, but two quick goals to Scoullar gave the Crows momentum. Leeton-Whitton's Liam Frazer gave his side the lead for the first time in the third quarter, with tensions beginning to run high. A 50-metre free gifted a goal to Jarrod Gornall after a brief scuffle, with Crows' coach Matt Smith sent from the field after going on with the fight. Two quick goals by Mick Duncan gave the home fans hope of a come-from-behind victory, but majors from Dean Frazer and Smith snatched back the lead for the final time.  (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Monday May 4, 2009). 

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Round 5 - Sunday May 10, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm
Griffith ................ . 3.1 .. 4.2 .. 4.4 .. 4.7 (31) 
Wagga Tigers ..... 3.2 .. 11.5 .. 18.10 .. 22.14 (146)

Goals: Griffith: R Simpkin 3, J Nancarrow 
Wagga: S Terlich 7, M Shepherd 6, N McDonald 3, J Powell 2, A Priest 2, P Delaney, W Bartlett 
Best: Griffith: M Duncan, B Owen, B Ford, R Simpkin, B Alban S Spiers 
Wagga: A Priest, J Osbeiston, S Terlich, L Denton, A Van Ruiswyk, C Jackson 
Griffith: R Johns, B Alban, S Spiers; J Gastin, M Kenny, J Fallon, J Bertacco, M Duncan, B Ford; J Nancarrow, M Noonan, D Crack; R Simpkin, A Cocks, K Duncan; M Harris, J Mickan, B Owen; L Piccolo, S Huxtable*, M Tyndall
Wagga Tigers: R Miller, M Colvin, J Osbeiston; J Gaynor, C Jackson, L Shepherd; P Noonan, D Papworth,T Garner; J Powell, A Priest, A Van Ruiswyk; S Terlich, M Shepherd, P Delaney, L Denton, J Hodges, N McDonald; S Ryan, W Bartlett, S Gow
Umpires: -----
Reserves: Wagga Tigers 7.7 (49) d Griffith 5.8 (38)

Goals: G Argus 5
Under 17: Wagga Tigers 19.13 (127) d Griffith 6.2 (38)

 Goals: C Moore 2, A Tarr, C Burge, S Brennan, D Bartter

Match report: The Griffith Swans have been totally outclassed to be decimated by the Wagga Tigers by a 109-point margin yesterday, 140 to 31. After a highly competitive first quarter saw both teams going neck to neck. The opening minutes of the second quarter saw the peak of the Swans performance, trailing by one point, 26-25. But the side completely fell away after a succession of goals from the Tigers, preventing the Swans from scoring a goal for the remainder of the game. For coach Gerard Toscan, being devastated was an understatement, after the team had hopes of beating the Tigers to move up the into the top five on the ladder. "I think despondency started seeping through into too many players after Wagga got a few goals, and we just capitulated too easily," he said. "We could not judge the footy in the air, and we only took about three contested marks."
The team was also taken down by the loss of star players Matt Noonan and Mick Duncan to injury midway through the game, and with many other players sore after plenty of tough tackles from Wagga. "Matt Noonan didn't come out again after half-time with an Achilles heel problem which will keep him out for a couple of weeks," Toscan said. "And Mick Duncan has gone to hospital with a shoulder injury, so he probably won't be playing next week." The failure of the side to prevent Tigers' goals or maintain possession has forced Toscan to review all aspects of the game. "Right now you start to question some of the guys' desire for the footy, because it has to be four quarters at a time, week in week out," he said. "Today's performance was not good enough for this competition." The Swans go up against MCUE next week, a game Toscan is dreading after MCUE thrashed the Tigers the week before. "After a humiliation like this, you would hope pride kicks in," he said.  (By Nick Pearson   - The Area News, Monday May 11, 2009).

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 SIMPKIN'S MILESTONE  - By Scott Hazlewood 

The saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and Rodney Simpkin has been waiting - and waiting. This Sunday, Simpkin plays his 50th game for the Griffith Swans but what makes his feat even more amazing is the fact it has been eight years since his first game in the senior side. Swans first grade coach Gerard Toscan said Simpkin is one of the true characters of the club. "He's a travelling wilbury that's for sure," Toscan said. "He turned up to a  pre-season meeting last year when I was appointed coach and said 'I'll be there, unless I'm snowboarding in Japan, I've got to go and do some work in London, then I'll be in Japan but I'll be back in April'. "Some people said he was coming back, I said I'll believe it when I see it. "He's a bit of a character, he's not overly endowed in skill, but he can take a lead at a footy and when he's back in Australia he's right in amongst it." Despite having a weekend to forget after its thrashing at the hands of Wagga Tigers, Toscan said the newest member of the 50-game club was one of the better players on the ground. "He was good for us last week and with his unorthodox kicking style he did really well to kick 4.1," he said. (The Area News - Friday May 15, 2009).

Round 6 - Sunday May 17, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .................... 0.0 .. 2.1 .. 2.2 .. 7.3 (45)

Mangoplah-CUE ... 4.6 .. 11.7 .. 15.13 .. 20.14 (134)

Goals: Griffith: D Crack 2, K Duncan, S Curran, R Simpkin, J Gastin, B Owen

MCUE: D deBritt 5, J Killalea 4, T Balding 3, G Spriggs 2, G Bruce 2, S Creasy, C Higgins, B Turner, B Coombe

Best: Griffith: M Bunn, R Simpkin, J Gastin, S Curran, J Nancarrow, M Tyndall

MCUE: J Millar, J Warden, D deBritt, B Turner, J Collins, J Killalea

Griffith: R Johns, N Campbell, A Cappello; M Tyndall, J Smith, M Bunn; S Huxtable, J Gastin, J Bertacco; J Nancarrow, J Mickan, D Crack; R Simpkin, M Harris, K Duncan; S Curran, B Ford, B Owen; C Lugton, C Moore*, H Shaw*

Mangoplah-CUE: T Cohalan, B Turner, J Warden; S Creasy, J Millar, H Collins; M Thomas, T Balding, J Collins; M Roberson, D de Britt, B Coombe; C Higgins, G Spriggs, G Bruce; S Balding, M Balding, J Killalea; N Davis, M Warden, X Higgins

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 15.12 (102) d Griffith 4.3 (27)

Goals: J Wade, J Harris, G Argus, W Tyndall

Under 17: Mangoplah-CUE 28.17 (185) d Griffith 1.0 (6)

Goals: K Hillier

Match report: The Griffith Swans' Riverina Football League season is in free fall after copping its third massive loss in as many weeks, this time going down by 89 points to Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes yesterday. The home side never seriously challenged the Goannas, who were far stronger than Griffith in all aspects of the game. The Swans showed some fight in the second half, but their attacking raids beyond centre half-forward rarely resulted in goals, leaving the red and whites on the end of another thumping. Injured co-coach Matthew Noonan said his side simply did not create enough goal-scoring chances to keep up with the rampant Mangoplah side. The losses of Noonan and injured on-baller Mick Duncan for the game cannot be underestimated, however, it's doubtful even they could have turned around yesterday's one-sided contest. "We were missing a few players, but you don't use that as an excuse, every weekend you have your best 21 out there on the field and they should be able to put their best foot forward on the day," Noonan said. 
The Swans failed to get on the scoreboard at all in the first quarter and only scored their first goal through Kris Duncan in the second, by which time the Goannas had piled on 42 points. Mangoplah centre half-forward Dylan De Britt was on target early to help his side jump out to an early lead. The signs were ominous for Griffith in the second quarter, with three goals in as many minutes helping the visitors' massive 59-point lead as the long break neared. Jack Collins provided good run for the Goannas out of the middle in the third, however, Swans fast men Dean Crack and Myles Bunn tried to lift their sagging team. Griffith's misfiring efforts in front of goals were in stark contrast to their opponents, with fortuitous snaps from Grant Bruce and Trent Balding extended their lead. Griffith rallied in the last to kick six majors, but it was far too late as the side slumped to another heavy defeat. (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Monday May 18, 2009).

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Round 7 - Sunday May 24, 2009 at Maher Oval 2.10pm

Turvey Park ... 3.3 .. 5.4 .. 8.7 .. 11.10 (76)

Griffith ........... 3.2 .. 6.3 .. 7.5 .. 8.8 (56)

Goals: Turvey Park: J Elliott 2, K Hanigan 2, S Pople 2, D Campbell 2, R McPherson, B Rose, L Pollett

Griffith: J Bertacco 3, D Crack 2, R Simpkin, K Duncan, A Cocks

Best: Turvey Park: B Burkinshaw, D Campbell, L Pollett, B Campbell, W Martin, C Munson

Griffith: J Mickan, J Bertacco, M Bunn, M Harris, J Nancarrow, M Noonan

Turvey Park: D Feary, C Barker, W Martin; L Pollett, D McLean, B Burkinshaw; H Cunningham, C Munson, D Toose; R McPherson, J Elliott, K Hannigan; B Campbell, J Hoey, C Beckmans; A Craig, D Campbell, B Rose; S Pople, J Brooks, R Blundell

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, A Cappello; S Spiers, A Cocks, M Bunn; S Huxtable, J Gastin, J Bertacco; J Nancarrow, M Noonan, D Crack; M Tyndall, R Simpkin, K Duncan; M Harris, G Mickan, J Fallon; C Lugton, G Taylor*, H Shaw

Umpires: S Crowley, D Potts, G Walsh (RUA)

Reserves: Turvey Park 15.5 (95) d Griffith 9.4 (58)

Goals: G Argus 2, T Pilon 2, D Ashcroft, B Woolner, J Tyrell, C Toohey, C Harrison

Under 17: Turvey Park 20.27 (147) d Grifith 3.1 (19)

Goals: C Moore, B Pilon, C Patterson

Match report: The Griffith Swans Riverina Football League season will hinge on the result of its next game, after being run down in the final quarter by the Turvey Park Bulldogs yesterday at Maher Oval. With the game up for grabs leading into the last term, the Swans only had to find two goals to poke their noses in front and record what would have been a massive upset. But the lack of fresh legs in crucial positions came back to haunt the visitors, as the Bulldogs ran out 20-point winners and confirm their status as one of the teams to beat this season. "In part we did run out of legs pretty bad, not because of a lack of fitness but because we couldn't rotate through the midfield, Swans coach Gerard Toscan said. "Brett Owen and Shaun Curran pulled out between Friday and this morning which was pretty tough, with either Brett or Shaun the points were ours." Jeff Mickan at ruck rover ran hard all game for Griffith to help them build a slender lead at the long break. While Myles Bunn continued his rich vein of form and performed strongly along-side Jono Gastin. And James Smith at full-back put his body on the line several times to take contested marks or kill Bulldogs' attacking raids.

Toscan said he was proud of the determination shown by his side, saying it was a close moral victory given in the past record of the Swans at Maher Oval. However, the Swans leader refused to say his side was out of the final race, saying the clubs next game away against Narrandera  was the point of no return. "If we turn 4-5, then it's exactly how we turned last year, the Narrandera away game is crucial now, it's our focus right now, but the season is not done and dusted," he said. If the Swans are able to beat Narrandera next start, they will regain the services of injured trio Michael Johns, Michael Duncan and Shaun Curran, which will be a massive boost to the team's unlikely finals run. (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Monday May 25, 2009).

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Round 8 - Saturday May 30, 2009 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.10pm

Narrandera ... 6.1 .. 7.2 .. 9.5 .. 11.7 (73)

Griffith .......... 2.2 .. 6.5 .. 8.9 .. 9.12 (66)

Goals: Narrandera: B Powell 3, J Grintell 3, D Hugo, L Richmond, S Hutchins, Z Litchfield, M Ivanoff

Griffith: A Cocks 5, R Simpkin 2, D Crack, S Curran

Best: Narrandera: P Bloomfield, D Hopwood, L Patterson, N Hetherington, J Dawson, J Grintell

Griffith: S Curran, S Spiers, M Bunn, J Mickan, J Smith, A Cappello

Narrandera: P Bloomfield, B Davis, L Patterson; L Richmond, J Doyle, A Ellis; J Morris, N Hetherington, Z Beaumont; Z Litchfield, Brett Powell, T Matheson; C Walsh, D Hopwood, J Grintell (c-c); J Dawson, S Hutchins, D Hugo; H Hutchins, M Ivanoff, P Mulquiny

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, S Spiers; A Cappello, M Noonan, J Fallon; B Ford, J Gastin, J Bertacco; J Nancarrow, R Simpkin, D Crack; S Curran, A Cocks, K Duncan; M Harris, J Mickan, M Bunn; M Tyndall, M Kenny, C Harrison

Reports: K Duncan for allegedly kneeing J Doyle of Narrandera - dismissed.

Reserves: Narrandera 17.15 (117) d Griffith 4.9 (33)

Goals: C Lugton, N Campbell, J Tyrell, B Alban

Under 17: Narrandera 29.12 (187) d Griffith 2.3 (15)

Goals: A Parr, A Tarr

Match report: Griffith officials will have to get their calculators out with the side only a mathematical chance of making the Riverina Football League finals, after losing by only seven points to Narrandera. The game was the last chance the Swans had of making the post-season matches on the back of their own results. But now they will have to rely on kind results and wins in every game for the rest of the season to be any hope of scraping into the finals after the gut-wrenching loss. Swans coach Gerard Toscan said he road every glitch as the Swans simply turned over the ball in crucial situation too often. "There were a lot of stupid and frustrating turnovers but they battled out really hard, we were good enough to win, but just couldn't," Toscan said. "A few things went against us but that's always going to happen, but Aaron Cocks kicked five goals and he took a mark for number six, but it was punched out of his hands and not paid. "It was just one of those things; Narrandera did some bad turnovers as well, but in the end slightly less mistakes their way."
Griffith missed the services of Brett Owen badly, but strong games from ruckman Shaun Curran, Myles Bunn and Jimmy Nancarrow gave the visitors a sniff at a crucial come-from-behind win. In-fact, Curran only arrived at the ground 20 minutes before the first bounce, but Toscan has faith in the big man that he would be able to put his interrupted preparation behind him. "I said to him (Curran) don't worry about this, I have done the same thing (arriving late) and you have these ripper games when you don't have time to think, you just go out there and play, and he had an absolute ripper," he said. Cocks continued to be a target up forward for the Swans as they started the long climb off the canvas, and at one stage levelled the scores in the later term with victory in sight. But one last straight kick by the Eagles was enough to keep their own finals hopes alive, forcing Toscan to again face the reality Griffith only has an outside shot at playing finals football. "We've got the bye this coming week, but until we can't make it, when we get to the point the club will get together with the committee and look at the future direction of the club." Toscan said. (By Scott Hazlewood  - The Area News, Monday June 1, 2009). 

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Rep Match - Saturday June 6, 2009 at Newcastle

Black Diamond FL ... 2.1 .. 7.4 .. 8.5 .. 12.7 (79)

Riverina FL .............. 1.5 .. 4.10 .. 12.14 .. 14.18 (102)

Goals: Black Diamond: Ryan 5, Manly 2, Nesbitt 2, Amidy, Sheldon, White

Riverina: M Foster 3, J Hodge 3, B Perkins 3, C Munson 2, M Steele, K Hanigan, R Chamberlain

Best: Black Diamond: Sheldon, Stewart, Rawnsley, Ryan, Polglase

Riverina: A McKenzie, C McPherson, M Rava, M Foster, D Rankin

Riverina Squad: Keenan Hanigan, Trevor Harradine, Jamie Grintell, Damien Papworth, Adam McKenzie, Matt Rava, Daniel Rankin (co-coach), Ryan Chamberlain, Wade Archibald, Connor Neyland, Luke Walsh, Michael Foster, Ben Dryburgh, Corey Munson, Mitchell Steele, Jade Hodge, Dylan de Britt, Geoff Spriggs, Christen McPherson (co-coach), Andrew Craig, Matthew Noonan, Ben Perkins, Glen Noye

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Round 9 - Sunday June 14, 2009 (Pink Day) at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .......... 0.2 .. 4.3 .. 4.5 .. 6.7 (43)

Coolamon ..... 6.2 .. 7.3 .. 10.8 .. 14.10 (94)

Goals: Griffith: A Cocks 3, S Curran 2, D Crack

Coolamon: Z Robinson 4, J Brown 4, S Keenan 3, L Maloney, B Garrett, A Willis

Best: Griffith: S Curran, J Smith, J Bertacco, M Duncan, A Cappello, D Crack

Coolamon: W Archibald, J Maddox, S Chatfield, Z Robinson, T Garrett, L Maloney

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, S Spiers; A Cappello, M Noonan, J Fallon; M Kenny, J Gastin, B Ford; J Nancarrow, J Mickan, J Bertacco; M Tyndall, A Cocks, S Huxtable; M Harris,S Curran, D Crack; M Duncan, M Johns, B Owen

Coolamon: M Robinson, S Chatfield, B Munro; C Neyland, N Edyvean, B Nolte; A McKenzie, R Chamberlain, J Kew; L Maloney, S Keenan (c-c), B Garrett; B Koop, J Brown, Z Robinson; B Edyvean, J Maddox, W Archibald; A Willis, T Garrett, J McPherson

Umpires: -----

Reserves: Coolamon 18.15 (123) d Griffith 2.5 (17)

Goals: J Tyrell, B Woolner

Under 17: Coolamon 10.17 (77) d Griffith 6.6 (42)

Goals: K Hillier 2, L Vico, C Moore, C Patterson, T Blissett

Match report: A six-goal opening term by the Coolamon Grasshoppers has paved the way for them to record a dominant 51-point win at Exies Oval, which has ended the Griffith Swans' faint hopes of reaching the Riverina Football League finals this season. The home side simply could not find regular avenues to goal, while the Hoppers were particularly fruitful with either measured set shots or fortuitous snaps, to ensure they were never seriously troubled for the lead. Swans coach Gerard Toscan lamented his side's lack of shots on goal despite controlling the flow of the game for much of the second and third quarters. "We struggled to kick goals we were forced to send our ruckman forward and kick a couple of goals. Cocksy (Aaron Cocks) started off alright, but we think he might have broken his thumb in the second quarter," Toscan said. "They (Coolamon) were really efficient in the first quarter, but we did hand them a few of them to them on a silver platter." Stopping Hoppers' big man Sam Keenan was going to be a primary goal for the Swans, but Toscan said he had to think on the run when his primary plan didn't come to fruition. "Unfortunately, Michael Harris on Sam Keenan didn't work like I though it would. Sam just read the ball in flight a lot better than Michael did, so I had to go back to Matt Noonan who I thought did pretty well on him.

Toscan also had a swipe at the standard of umpiring during the game, saying both sides were affected with, at times, average calls. "Sam Keenan and Coolamon deserve the win, and I know we're short of umpires, but the umpires made so many mistakes they don't know the rules," he said. Guys are getting tackled below the knees and they're not given a free kick or they're caught with the ball and they ball it up. If you don't want to be criticised, and you know yo have made a mistake, change it (the decision)."

After the Swans lacklustre first quarter, Toscan gave his side a torrid dressing down at the break and they responded with an early Cocks goal giving his side some hope of a comeback, but Coolamon kept finding easy targets in the centre third of the field. A scintillating run from Jason Bertacco of his own back flank, to set up a Dean Crack goal, however the Swans still trailed by three goals at the long break. Despite holding their own in the third term, the Hoppers through Jason Brown and Zac Robinson with four goals each, sealed the win and doomed the Swans to next season. (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday June 15, 2009).

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Round 10 - Sunday June 21, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith .............. 5.5 .. 13.5 .. 21.7 .. 26.11 (167)

North Wagga ... 0.2 .. 5.3 .. 9.5 .. 11.5 (71)

Goals: Griffith: A Cocks 11, M Duncan 7, J Gastin 4, B Owen 2, M Harris, C Harrison

North Wagga: J Lucas 2, J Argus 2, S Colville 2, C Flack, G Meulendykes, G Noye, M Ward, M Foster

Best: Griffith: M Duncan, A Cocks, M Noonan, B Owen, M Johns, C Harrison

North Wagga: M Fury, S Barnes, J Lucas, G Meulendykes, S Colville, C Ward

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, S Spiers; J Fallon, M Noonan, B Ford; J Gastin, M Johns, J Bertacco; C Harrison, J Mickan, D Crack; M Tyndall, A Cocks, M Duncan; M Harris, S Curran, B Owen; M Kenny, A Cappello, C Toohey*

Umpires: S Crowley, B Robinson, R Dedini (RUA)

Reserves: North Wagga 14.10 (94) d Griffith 6.5 (41)

Goals: D Ashcroft 2, C Lugton, P Crawford, S Huxtable, J Tyrell

Under 17: North Wagga 16.17 (113) d Griffith 11.7 (73)

Goals: L Vico 7, C Niven, D Bartter, J Parr, P Rose

Match report: Like going from a drought to a flood, the Griffith Swans have come out of its losing streak with a vengeance, after downing the North Wagga Saints by a massive 167 points to 71. The Swans had struggled for weeks with loss after loss, but you wouldn't know it from yesterday's game at the Exies Oval; the Saints unable to complete with the Swans near flawless form. Griffith led from the very start of the game, dominating possession, taking marks and kicking with accuracy, with an especially impressive performance from Aaron Cocks, whose 11-goal effort proved devastating for the Saints hopes. By the end of the first quarter the game was seeming like a rout, with the Swans leading by a massive 35-2 margin. From there, the margin widened to 47-2 before the Saints began to get a foothold in the game. But while managing goals proving feisty in the ruck, the Saints simply couldn't compete with Griffith, who left the field at half-time with a 50-point buffer, 83-33.

The Swans briefly enjoyed a 100-point lead over the Saints, 165-65, but North Wagga fought back for dignity's sake to close out the game 167-71. 

A delighted Swans coach Gerard Toscan said the big win had been a long time coming for the team. "They did play good footy, there's no doubt about that," he said. "There were fewer mistakes today, and this is North Wagga's biggest loss of the year." After weeks of losses, Toscan said it was great to see the Swans play together so well as a team. "I know North Wagga are on the bottom of the ladder, but I think we took away a lot with this win," he said. "The close losses over Turvey Park and Narrandera were heart-breakers, but to break that streak, which was our longest losing streak in a long, long time, is just so good. Toscan mentioned Cocks, Mick Duncan, Shaun Curran, Cameron Harrison and Michael Harris as standout players in an all-round team success. But while a win over the bottom-ranked North Wagga side is good enough, a bigger challenge next week is an away game against Ganmain-GGM. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday June 22, 2009).

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 FLYING THE COOP - By Scott Hazlewood

The Griffith Swans will be a part of a new "AFL Riverina Country division" after the region's administrators handed down their blueprint for the future of the code on Friday. After months of speculations, the Riverina and Farrer Football Leagues will no longer exist past this year, with the two competitions being combined under the newly renamed regional competition. Clubs will be divided into geographically based leagues, with Griffith finding itself in the Country competition alongside Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Leeton-Whitton, Narrandera, Marrar, Northern Jets and Temora. The eight-team City division will feature Wagga Tigers, Turvey Park, Eastern Hawks, North Wagga, Mangoplah-CUE, Collingullie-AK, Coolamon and Rivcoll. The divisions will then merge mid-season, with the top four sides from each competition then contesting the Riverina Cup, while the remainder will fight it out for the Farrer Cup. (The Area News - Monday June 22, 2009).

 SWANS SAY BRING ON NEW FORMAT - By Scott Hazlewood 

Griffith Swans president Robert Harrington has given the new blueprint for the code in the Riverina his thumbs up, after the radical plan was unveiled by AFL (NSW/ACT) officials last week. The new competition is designed to solve issues of the ailing Farrer League, with the proposed AFL Riverina competition seeing the Griffith Swans moved into a Country division against three other Riverina Football League side's and three Farrer League clubs. Harrington said the club will meet this week to pick over the details of the blueprint, but said on initial inspection the plan suits the future of the Swans. "I have only looked at it on Friday. I thought it wasn't too bad, it could have been a lot worse, but on first look it's not too bad," Harrington said. "Most of the people I spoke to at footy (Sunday) said 'yeah it's radical, yeah it might take a while to get used to and two years down the track we'll get to see if it works', but until then I think we just have to go with it." 
Griffith had fears the club would be locked out of a largely Wagga-centric competition, with junior numbers eventually affected because of the lack of competition. However, Harrington said under the new structure, if the club's first grade side is able to maintain its standards in the new Country division, the second half of the season is likely to be very similar to the competition they are part of now. "We can see if we play to our form then we should be playing against the Wagga sides in the later half of the year anyway, which gives you the maximum four trips to Wagga," he said. The other major concern for the Swans during the questionnaire period, was that it might be forced to play more Saturday football, but last week's plan outlined the power to play on either day of the weekend has remained entirely with the host club. Clubs will have until the end of next week to forward their written submission on the plan, which will be the centre of discussion at a RFL league meeting next week. (The Area News -  Wednesday June 24, 2009).

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 SWANS' COACH STEPS DOWN - By Scott Hazlewood 

Griffith Swans coach Gerard Toscan has made the shock decision to step down from the position mid-season in a bid to kick-start his side's flagging season. Speaking to The Area News on Monday, Toscan's decision came only one day after breaking a six-game losing streak by handing North Wagga its biggest loss of the season, a 95 point thrashing at Exies Oval. Injuries to key midfielders and losses against Turvey Park and Narrandera have grounded the Swans this season, but Toscan hoped by handing the reigns over to senior players Matt Noonan and Mick Duncan, the side would be able to find the spark it has been missing all year. Toscan will still be involved with the club for the next month in an assistant role, with Noonan and Duncan to split the next month's coaching duties evenly in the lead-up to the general bye on July 25.  After that, the club will look at its future and decide whether the new coaching arrangement will stay in place for the remaining month of the season. Saying it was hard to step down, Toscan said he was not pressured into doing so by the club and hoped the team would rally around Noonan and Duncan in a bid to salvage something from its season. "We have got the toughest test of the year at Ganmain this weekend and it is throwing Matt into the wolves, but his form has been gradually building over the last month and this (coaching) might give him another boost for him to go to another level," Toscan said.  "There is a change, but I was clear on blokes having a crack and the club trying to improve and build towards the future, it does put pressure on those guys (Duncan, Noonan), but they (Ganmain) need to understand that we're not going to go away." Noonan has already taken a hands-on role with the club this season, often running training drills and working with the club's young players, with the change not a drastic leap for the experienced defender.

Toscan also revealed this week Griffith has begun the search for a big-name to possibly replace him full-time next season, saying the club deserved to find a level of success. "There is no point in the club having a big bank account and miss out on the finals," he said. "Supporters are there and they continue to work hard and contribute financially towards the club and they do that for one reason, to see on-field success from their first grade side." Despite not being able to take the side to the finals since taking over the job from Luke McLean in 2008, Toscan said he had enjoyed seeing the club' younger players bloom into first graders. "Over the last 18 months we tried to build up the player stocks within our own group, because a few years ago there was a fair exodus of players from the club, and that presented an opportunity for a few young guys to stick their hands up," he said. (The Area News -  Wednesday June 24, 2009).

Round 11 - Sunday June 28, 2009 at Ganmain Sportsground 2.10pm

Ganmain-GGM ... 5.3 .. 13.6 .. 14.11 .. 16.13 (109)

Griffith ................. 2.2 .. 4.3 .. 4.5 .. 8.6 (54)

Goals: GGGM: C Macri 6, S Hamblin 5, C McPherson 2, S Kefford, M Carroll, M Rava

Griffith: M Duncan 2, A Cocks 2, J Gastin 2, S Curran, B Owen

Best: GGGM: M Rava, K Hamblin, C Macri, W Kiley, C Steele, M Carroll

Griffith: M Noonan, J Smith, M Duncan, M Bunn, M Kenny, S Curran

Ganmain-GGM: A Roberts, D Walsh, P Walsh; L Walsh, C Taylor, C Steele; K Hamblin, M Carroll, S Kefford; W Kiley, C McPherson (co-coach), M Rava; S Hamblin, C Macri, J Kaye; Marc Kelly, L Steward, D Rankin (co-coach) ; S Noble, D Karlberg, J Evans

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, S Spiers; J Fallon, M Noonan, J Bertacco; M Kenny, M Johns, B Ford; C Harrison, J Mickan, J Gastin; M Bunn, A Cocks, M Duncan; M Harris, S Curran, B Owen; M Crack, M Tyndall, C Toohey

Umpires: M Rowe, D Potts, R Dedini (RUA)

Reserves: Ganmain-GGM 8.10 (58) d Griffith 7.5 (47)

Goals: N Campbell 2, A Huskins 2, K Duncan, J Iemma, P Crawford

Under 17: Ganmain-GGM 21.11 (137) d Griffith 1.4 (10)

Goals: L Vico

Match report: An absolutely massive second quarter from the Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong Lions saw the Griffith Swans struggle with another loss on enemy ground yesterday, despite a respectable recovery in the latter part of the game, ending up 109-54. As heavy favourites Ganmain-GGM started off on the front foot with a 33-14 lead at the first quarter, a difficult deficit for the Swans to overcome, though they are still perfectly capable of it. But rather than come together in the second quarter, the Swans fell apart, with Ganmain-GGM rocketing ahead and adding eight goals to lead 84-27. The Swans recovered after half-time to stop haemorrhaging points but the gauntlet that had been thrown down proved too much for the team, trailing 95-29 at the third quarter and 109-54 at the end of the match. 

Despite the heavy loss there are some signs of optimism for the Swans, according to coach Matt Noonan. "For the second half we stuck right with them and in patches outplayed them, but the first half really hurt us," he said.  "We put ourselves in a bad position and couldn't get back from that. We were asleep for most of the second and we couldn't get back into the game." Noonan mentioned Shaun Curran's performance in the ruck, Mick Duncan in the middle, Matt Kenny at the back and James Smith kicking goals as some of the standout Swans players in the game. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday June 29, 2009).

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Round 12 - Sunday July 5, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ................. 1.1 .. 7.4 .. 10.8 .. 16.15 (111)

Eastern Hawks ... 2.5 .. 7.5 .. 10.7 .. 12.7 (79)

Goals: Griffith: B Owen 3, K Duncan 3, J Bertacco 2, J Mickan, A Cocks, M Harris, S Curran, D Crack, M Bunn, M Crack, M Tyndall

Eastern Hawks: B Roberts 4, B Perkins 2, M Parr 2, N Scott, M Adams, M Cairns, R Campbell

Best: Griffith: B Owen, M Johns, J Bertacco, J Mickan, S Curran, B Ford

Eastern Hawks: S Crowhurst, K Argus, M Adams, M Cairns, B Roberts, J Newson

Griffith: M Bunn, J Smith, S Spiers; M Kenny, M Noonan, M Crack; D Crack, M Johns, J Bertacco; C Harrison, A Cocks, B Ford; R Johns, S Curran, K Duncan; M Harris, J Mickan, B Owen; M Tyndall, C Toohey, J Tyrell

Eastern Hawks: C Pedler, C Parr, A Raufers; N Reid, S Crowhurst, M Cairns; J Scott, M Adams, K Argus; C DePizza, B Roberts, N Scott; M Parr, B Perkins (c-c), R Campbell; J Newson, R Grieve, B Mannion; J Coughlan, B Limbrick, D Spencer

Umpires: P Smith, M Rowe, R Johnston (RUA)

Reserves: Griffith 17.15 (117) d Eastern Hawks 5.8 (38)

Goals: J Harris 6, J Nancarrow 3, J Toscan 2, A Huskins 2, J Wade 2, D Ashcroft, A Cappello

Under 17: Griffith 14.15 (99) d Eastern Hawks 2.6 (18)

Goals: C Moore 5, B Ciscato 4, C Niven 2, J Parr, A Gras, P Whittard

Match report: A stunning six-goal final term proved the difference for the Griffith Swans, as they clipped the wings of the Eastern Hawks by 32 points to claim only its fourth win of the Riverina Football League season. Despite already enjoying a win over the Hawks this year, Griffith had to battle for every possession early, as the sides struggled to be separated for much of three quarters of the game. But thanks to a superior midfield and small forwards, the Swans were able to put a gap on the Hawks, with coach Matt Noonan putting the win down to the team's aggression at the ball when the balance of power was on the line. "Especially in the last half, every single player stepped up and there was more first to the footy and there was more hard at the footy, the midfield kicked in in the last half as well," Noonan said.  "Brett Owen was getting the ball out of the middle and getting it out wide to Jason Bertacco and he's got the pace and the penetrating kick to do damage. "But the last term was probably the difference between the two sides in the end, but I thought it was going to be a battle all day because they had a few players back from the time we last played them, but so did we as well."

Noonan had to reshuffle his side when star midfielder Mick Duncan picked up an ankle injury playing for the Griffith Demons basketball side the night before. But, despite the interruption, the Swans were able to stick with the Hawks who were well served by Brenton Roberts (four goals) and Ben Perkins (two goals). (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday July 6, 2009).

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Round 13 - Saturday July 11, 2009 at Leeton Showground 2.10pm

Leeton-Whitton .... 1.3 .. 7.5 .. 10.7 .. 13.11 (89)

Griffith .................. 1.2 .. 2.2 .. 3.4 .. 6.5 (41)

Goals: Leeton-Whitton: M Smith 3, M Robertson 2, D Elwin 2, A Gordon 2, N Doolin, J Gornall, G Lee, J Hodge

Griffith: B Owen 2, J Harris, J Nancarrow, A Cocks, J Gastin

Best: Leeton-Whitton: B Boots, D Fraser, D Sullivan, A Gordon, P Scoullar, J Broadbent

Griffith: S Curran, J Mickan, J Bertacco, J Smith, B Owen, J Fallon

Leeton-Whitton: J Wessing, D Fraser, M Flagg; J Broadbent, B Dryburg, C Townsend; A Gordon, B Dunn, G Lee; D Harrison, J Hodge, B Boots; M Smith (c-c), M Robertson, B Crittendon; P Scoullar, J Gornall, B Gilmour; N Doolin, D Sullivan, D Elwin

Griffith: M Bunn, M Kenny, J Smith; S Spiers, M Noonan, J Bertacco; B Ford, B Owen (capt), R Johns; J Nancarrow, A Cocks, D Crack; M Harris, J Harris, K Duncan; S Curran, J Mickan, J Fallon; J Gastin, C Toohey, C Harrison

Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 14.20 (116) d Griffith 3.2 (20)

Goals: P Crawford 2, R Simpkin

Under 17: Leeton-Whitton 16.12 (108) d Griffith 8.8 (56)

Goals: S Brennan 3, J Parr, A Overs, D Bartter, C Burge, T Blissett

Match report: The Griffith Swans season has gone from bad to worse after a dismal performance against the Leeton-Whitton Crows in Leeton on Saturday, when the home team more than doubled Griffith's score. While the tied score at quarter time suggested it would be a competitive game, it didn't take long for Crows too outrun and outscore the Swans in a dominant second quarter, the half-time score 47-14. The margin only widened further in the third quarter, with Leeton-Whitton scoring three goals to Griffith's one, and while the Swans' performance improved in the final quarter of the game, it proved to be nowhere near enough. Swans coach Matt Noonan said a failure to take opportunities proved costly to his team. "It wasn't the result we wanted, but it panned out that way in the end, but not through lack of trying on our part," he said. Noonan said the side needed to take more advantage of having the wind at their backs in the first quarter "We didn't take our opportunities when we had the wind advantage, but Leeton did," he said. Noonan mentioned Shaun Curran, Jeff Mickan, Brett Owen and James Fallon as standout players in the game. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday July 13, 2009).

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Round 14 - Saturday July 18, 2009 at Robertson Oval 2.10pm

Wagga Tigers ..... 4.2 .. 4.5 .. 10.6 .. 15.9 (99)

Griffith ................ 2.2 .. 6.5 .. 7.8 .. 8.9 (57)

Goals: Wagga: M Sheppard 5, D Papworth 3, T Garner 2, A Van Ruiswyk 2, D Davey, T Bentley, N McDonald

Griffith: J Mickan 2, K Duncan 2, S Curran, M Harris, J Fallon, J Bertacco

Best: Wagga: S Gaynor, P Noonan, D Davey, J Gaynor, A Van Ruiswyk, T Garner

Griffith: J Mickan, M Noonan, B Owen, S Curran, M Harris, M Kenny

Wagga Tigers: W Bartlett, P Noonan, A Gaynor; R Miller, T Garner, J Gaynor; D Davey, D Papworth, J Powell; A Van Ruiswyk, M Colvin, S Ryan; A Terlich, M Shepherd, P Delaney; L Denton, J Osbeiston, N McDonald; S Gow, J Hodges, T Bentley

Griffith: M Kenny, J Smith, S Spiers; M Crack, M Noonan, R Johns; B Ford, B Owen, J Bertacco; J Nancarrow, J Gastin, D Crack, D Crack; J Harris, S Curran, K Duncan; M Harris, J Mickan, J Fallon; C Toohey, C Harrison, B Woolner*

Reports: Griffith cite Marc Shepherd (Wagga) for striking James Smith (dismissed - lack of evidence).

Reserves: Wagga Tigers 11.9 (75) d Griffith 7.7 (49)

Goals: C Moore 3, C Niven 2, J Tyrell 2

Under 17: Wagga Tigers d Griffith on forfeit

Match report: The Griffith Swans have been left demoralised after a hard-earned half-time lead against the Wagga Tigers fell away severely in the second half to see the Tigers nearly double the Swans scoreline. It was a painful loss for the Swans, who put so much into the game only to see victory slip from their fingers in the third term, and then drop away completely at the end of the game. The Swans, who have been playing for pride in the last few weeks after losing their finals hopes, saw a two-goal lead at half-time disappear soon afterwards, in what coach Matt Noonan described as being devastating. "Were always disappointed with a loss, but the biggest thing was this loss hurt so much because we put so much into it," he said. "The effort and the endeavour was there all day long." Noonan named midfielders Jeff Mickan and Brett Owen as standout players, as well as back Matt Kenny, but he said the whole team put in a massive effort. "We were in front at half-time against the top side on the ladder, and we were playing a lot better footy," he said.   "Our intensity and our attack on the football was really good but we didn't react quick enough in the second half when they came at us with a bit of heat."  Despite coming away with a heavy loss, Noonan said the fact the team were leading at half-time was a positive sign. "We've got to look at it as a confidence booster, we need to take that effort and put it into our last four games of the year," he said. The Swans will have a chance to recover with the general bye next week. (By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday July 20, 2009).

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Round 15 - Saturday August 1, 2009 at Mangoplah Sportsground 2.10pm

Mangoplah-CUE ... 2.4 .. 5.12 .. 12.14 .. 17.15 (117)

Griffith ................... 2.2 .. 4.2 .. 9.4 .. 12.8 (80)

Goals: MCUE: Mick Byrne 4, D de Britt 4, T Balding 2, C Zelinski 2, J Killalea 2, C Bailey, B Roberson, D Cooper

Griffith: K Duncan 3, J Bertacco 3, B Owen 2, J Harris 2, J Gastin, M Tyndall

Best: MCUE: D de Britt, B Roberson, S Balding, M Byrne, D Cooper, C Higgins

Griffith: J Smith, B Owen, S Curran, M Kenny, B Ford, M Harris

Mangoplah-CUE: Matt Byrne, J Millar, A Vanzanteen; J Foster, G Spriggs, B Coombe; J Warden, S Creasy, H Collins; B Roberson, D de Britt, Mick Byrne; C Higgins, C Bailey, T Balding; S Balding, D Cooper, J Killalea; C Zielinski, Trent Cohalan, X Higgins

Griffith: R Johns, J Smith, S Spiers; M Crack, M Noonan, M Kenny; K Duncan, B Owen, D Crack; J Nancarrow, S Curran, B Ford; J Harris, J Bertacco, J Gastin; M Harris, J Mickan, J Fallon; C Toohey, C Harrison, M Tyndall

Umpire: B Robinson, ?, ?

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 21.20 (152) d Griffith 2.1 (13)

Goals: C Niven, N Campbell

Under 17: Mangoplah-CUE d Griffith on forfeit

Match report: The Griffith Swans' chances of staying in the Riverina Football League next season took another hit on Saturday, when they were defeated by Mangoplah-Cookardinia-United-Eastlakes, 17.15 (117) to 12.8 (80) in an inconsistent performance. Griffith's future in the premier competition hangs in the balance after it was announced last week that the bottom three clubs this season will drop down to form an eight team Farrer League. As it to typify the side's fortunes this season, the Swans were able to string together some excellent phrases of play against the Goannas when they pushed the pace. But all too often they let their opponents off the hook, a fact lamented by coach Matt Noonan who conceded his side still have plenty to play for with the bottom three beckoning the club. "The first half we were fumbly, we just couldn't get our hands on the ball cleanly, so that was probably the major difference between the two sides early," Noonan said.  "But to the boys credit, they never lay down at any time, even in the third and fourth quarters were able to string together three and four goals, but it's just a consistency thing, we'd play that 15 good minutes and then we'd undo it by 15 poor minutes." Noonan said he would try and get the side up again for the remaining weeks of the season, saying his side needs to believe they can match it with the best in the competition.

Brett Owen was the standout again for the Swans, proving to be a ball of energy out of the middle where he worked well with Shaun Curran. Michael Harris proved a good target when he moved forward while in the backline, Matt Kenny ran himself into the ground in a bid to try and stop the flow of goals coming from the home side.  (By Scott Hazlewood - The Area News, Monday August 3, 2009).

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 D-DAY FOR SWANS - By Scott Hazlewood 

August 15th (round 17 clash with Narrandera) looms as the most important date for the Griffith Swans for the past 20 years, as the club attempts to stay out of the relegation zone destined for the Farrer League next year. The Swans have been put in the unwanted position after AFL NSW/ACT handed down it's amended competition structure in the Riverina last week, with a promotion-relegation system to be in place from 2010 onward between the Riverina and Farrer Leagues. The bottom three teams of this year's RFL competition will move back to form an eight-team competition, but local officials fear the move could put the future of the club in jeopardy. Senior player Mick Duncan said while the outcome is still in the hands of the first grade side, a move out of the premier competition would be a major stumbling block in Griffith's bid to get new blood into the club. "We're trying to attract players from out of town to the club, and from my point of view if I was going to leave this competition I would want to go to a stronger one, so it's going to be a lot harder to attract players to Griffith if we fall back into the Farrer League, that's for sure," Duncan said.
The process of amending both competitions has caused months of conjecture, however the newly accepted promotion-relegation system still has plenty of detractors. Right from the start, the Swans have objected to playing more games on Saturday football no matter which league they play in, but if the club is forced into the Farrer League, Duncan believes playing numbers across the board could be affected. "If we drop back to the Farrer League, at the moment we train three nights a week - you'd probably go back to two nights and at the moment we play a fair bit of Sunday footy, if we drop down we're going to play a lot of Saturday footy," he said. "If we have to go to Wagga on a Saturday like we did last weekend, we only get 10 or 12 reserves grade players due to work and other commitment, and with the under 17s, a lot of them still go to school so they have part-time jobs. "It also affects the netball side of it as well for exactly the same reason because of work, and a lot of the netballers in the Swans play local comp netball on the Saturday, so they are probably more inclined to say 'if I have to go to, say, Temora on a Saturday and play for the Swans, I can just stay and play in Griffith. (The Area News - Wednesday August 5, 2009).

Round 16 - Sunday August 9, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ............ 2.0 .. 6.1 .. 6.3 .. 6.5 (41)

Turvey Park ... 6.2 .. 9.5 .. 12.7 .. 17.10 (112)

Goals: Griffith: B Owen 2, J Harris, J Nancarrow, K Duncan, C Harrison

Turvey Park: J Elliott 8, C Cerato 2, J Hoey 2, A Roddy 2, A Craig, D Campbell, D Toose

Best: Griffith: M Crack, B Owen, M Noonan, B Ford, B Woolner, M Bunn

Turvey Park: C Beckmans, M Wheatley, L Pollett, D Toose, J Elliott, A Craig

Griffith: B Woolner, J Smith, S Spiers; M Bunn, M Noonan, M Kenny; B Ford, M Crack, C Niven*; J Nancarrow, J Mickan, M Tyndall; D Crack, J Harris, K Duncan; M Harris, B Owen, J Fallon; C Toohey, C Harrison, C Lugton

Turvey Park: B Burkinshaw, J Fletcher, C Barker; M Wheatley, D McLean, D Feary; D Toose, L Pollett, Matt Ness; S Pople, J Hoey, C Beckmans; D Johnson, J Elliott, K Hanigan; A Craig, A Donaldson, D Campbell; R Blundell, Blair Campbell, A Roddy

Umpires: R Johnston, M Rowe, L Henderson (RUA)

Reserves: Turvey Park 12.13 (85) d Griffith 7.7 (49)

Goals: G Argus 5, D Pasin, P Crawford

Under 17: Turvey Park 28.13 (181) d Griffith 6.6 (42)

Goals: J Parr 3, C Moore, B McRae, D Bartter

Match report: Eight goals from commanding Turvey Park forward James Elliott and the lack of interchange players in the final quarter has seen the Griffith Swans find out why the Wagga-based side is in the top four; with the home side handed a 71-point hiding at Exies Oval yesterday. A physical Bulldogs side looked to impose itself on the smaller Swans for much of the game, but the home side made a late surge late in the second quarter to give themselves hope of an upset win, trailing at the long break by only three majors. But a calf strain to key midfielder Brett Owen and a dislocated knee to Michael Tyndall further hampered Griffith's chances of knocking off the competition heavyweights in the Riverina Football League. Swans coach Matt Noonan paid tribute to his side's tenacity, but lamented their ability to stay with the Bulldogs when they decided to push the tempo. "Their intensity was at a good level right from the word go so they tested us, so they forced us to stand up and at some points we did and some points we didn't," Noonan said. "They were pretty physical most of the day, at the moment with a few guys out we're a pretty small team we're not the biggest team going around and we need to get out in the open and use that as our advantage but we just didn't do that today." 
Noonan conceded James Elliott had a fair hand in his side's victory, but said all of the players that were given tough assignments yesterday did not take one backward step. "Yeah he (Elliott) took some good grabs but James Smith was on him all day and he still battled, and he (Elliott) just had a day out and took a few clutch marks but Smithy was right behind him all game," he said. "The endeavour all day long was there, I don't doubt that at all. I had to put a few blokes in that are used to playing reserves and playing 17s in the mix and it's a lot faster football." (By Scott Hazlewood - Monday August 10, 2009).

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 CHANCE FOR SWANS TO AVOID DEMOTION - By Scott Hazlewood 

Griffith have been thrown a lifeline for season 2010, with the AFL agreeing to an amended promotion-relegation competition structure this week for the Riverina and Farrer Football Leagues with the Swans given another year to prove they belong in the top competition. A week ago the AFL announced the promotion-relegation competition would be implemented at the end of 2009, with the bottom three teams in the RFL to drop down and as part of a-eight team Farrer competition. The move placed incredible pressure on the Narrandera Eagles and Griffith ahead of this weekend's game, with the loser all but certain of dropping to the less prestigious league. However, the new competition structure will see two eight team competitions, with the Eastern Hawks and North Wagga Saints to be demoted from the Riverina Football League after this season, with promotion and relegation to begin in 2011 based on next season's results. 
Despite the lengthy debate seemingly coming to an end, AFL NSW-ACT business development manager Garry Buchanan expected Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka to formally request a transfer to the RFL in the near future. "They have indicated that if they did not get elevated into the RFL in 2010 then they will be appealing to do so," Buchanan said. "It would be our recommendation they stay where they are until next year and do have the following year if they are the premiers in the Farrer Football League to promote themselves to the RFL, but there is a process in place that is fair and transparent.
Griffith coach Matt Noonan admitted the pressure had been released somewhat om his side after the agreement, but said no matter what decision was made, the club was looking to finish 2009 strongly. "That's the scenario that is in front of us now, but we are always going out to win no matter what happened regarding next year," Noonan said. "We all knew it (demotion) could happen, everyone reads the newspaper and listens to the radio and we talk about it a bit, but it all comes down to a pride thing - whether we want Griffith to stand up and be in the top league in the area. (The Area News - Wednesday August 12, 2009). 

Round 17 - Saturday August 15, 2009 at Griffith Exies Oval 2.10pm

Griffith ........... 1.2 .. 6.3 .. 9.5 .. 13.9 (87)

Narrandera ... 4.2 .. 8.4 .. 11.8 .. 12.14 (86)

Goals: Griffith: M Duncan 3, K Duncan 2, J Harris 2, B Owen 2, M Crack, J Mickan, S Curran, J Nancarrow

Narrandera: I Donaldson 4, T Orme 3, J Grintell 2, J Trainer, J Mimmo, D Hugo

Best: Griffith: J Bertacco, M Bunn, S Curran, M Duncan, J Smith, B Owen

Narrandera: A Ellis, D Hopwood, I Donaldson, T Orme, J Grintell, P Mulquiny

Griffith: M Bunn, J Smith, S Spiers; J Fallon, M Noonan, M Kenny; J Nancarrow, M Crack, J Bertacco; J Gastin, S Curran, D Crack; J Harris, M Duncan, B Owen; M Harris, J Mickan, B Ford; K Duncan, B Woolner, C Moore

Narrandera: M Bolton, C Smith, A Ellis; P Bloomfield, J Doyle, P Mulquinny; S Gehringer, N Hetherington, T Orme; J Grintell (c-c), C Walsh, L Paterson; J Trainer, I Donaldson, Z Litchfield; Brett Powell, L Paterson, D Hugo; J Mimmo, J Dawson, M Flack

Umpires: G Hodgins, P Smith, B Neighbour (RUA)

Reserves: Narrandera 9.11 (65) d Griffith 8.8 (56)

Goals: G Argus 4, A Cappello, G Dreyer, L Catanzariti, J Wade

Under 17: Narrandera 20.20 (140) d Griffith 7.5 (47)

Goals: C Moore 2, T Valeri 2, H Porter, A Tarr, D Bartter

Match report: With the seconds running down and the Griffith Swans desperately making one final push up field, midfield dynamo Brett Owen quickly became a hero for the local side kicking a goal after the siren to seal a dramatic one-point win at Exies Oval on Saturday. Despite neither side holding the short-term future of their clubs in its hands, both the Swans and the Eagles were desperate to prove they deserve to be in the Riverina Football League. But when Owen marked 30 metres out and threaded the needle, the goal sparked wild celebrations among the home crowd as Griffith scored a moral victory. Swans coach Matt Noonan said his players kept faith they could overrun the Eagles in the last quarter, despite not being as efficient as they would have liked until the final term. "For the whole day it was a game of opportunities, and in the last quarter they could have had three more goals but they missed them and it was the same with us, Mick Duncan missed one 30 metres out straight in front," Noonan said.  The Eagles will be left ruing their missed opportunities in the final term, with the visitors kicking 1.6, compared to the late run (by the Swans) that was started by ruckman Shaun Curran's goal. Jimmy Nancarrow kept up the momentum going for the home side, converting on the run to set up Owen's final second heroics. The home side's returning stars shone on Saturday, with Duncan kicking three goals and proving to be a handful for the Eagles around the ground, while Curran dominated the ruck. "He (Curran) played well, I think his hamstring is still a bit sore but he battled through the game, and he gave us the first use of the ball and he and Axe (Michael Harris) won a lot of the ruck and at one stage they were feeding off us, but we just had to get a bit harder and get the ball in the hand first," Noonan said. Ian Donaldson and Toby Orme provided the bulk of Narrandera's goals with four and three goals respectively, but the club's inaccuracy cost them to seem them finish in sixth place for the season. (By Scott Hazlewood - Monday August 17, 2009). 

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Round 18 - Saturday August 22, 2009 at Kindra Park 2.10pm

Coolamon ..... 3.2 .. 10.7 .. 16.9 .. 17.13 (115)

Griffith ......... 2.1 .. 2.4 .. 4.5 .. 5.8 (38)

Goals: Coolamon: J Brown 5, A McKenzie 3, M McCauley 2, B Koop, B Edyvean, S Keenan, T Garrett, W Archibald, L Maloney

Griffith: B Owen 2, J Fallon, P Crawford

Best: Coolamon: A McKenzie, T Garrett, L Maloney, M Robinson, R Chamberlain, J Maddox

Griffith: M Noonan, B Owen, J Fallon, P Crawford, J Mickan, M Duncan

Griffith: B Woolner, M Kenny, C Toohey; M Duncan, M Noonan, M Bunn; P Crawford, B Ford, J Gastin; C Moore, J Fallon, J Nancarrow; S Curran, J Harris, C Harrison; M Harris, J Mickan, B Owen; J Wade*, A Cappello, D Best

Umpires: L Olsen, R Wilson, N Butland (RUA)

Reserves: Coolamon 24.17 (156) d Griffith 5.7 (37)

Goals: M Butcher, D Catanzariti, A Cappello, T Matheson, J Gastin

Under 17: Coolamon d Griffith on forfeit

Match report: A never-say-die attitude wasn't enough to save the Griffith Swans first grade team from a crushing 74-point defeat at the hands of the Coolamon Rovers on Saturday. The Swans went into the match, the last of the Riverina Football League home and away season, with a view to upsetting the second-placed Rovers. The local Griffith team campaign looked promising in the first quarter, with the Swans kicking two goals to the Rovers three. "We were right in there in the first quarter, but after that we blew up a little bit," said Swans captain-coach Matt Noonan. In the second quarter, it became apparent the Swans' objective was now not to win, but to rather to limit the damage. Coolamon displayed the tactics that earned it second place on the RFL ladder, booting the myriad of goals and depriving the Swans of any chance to get the ball. "We tried to make sure the Rovers didn't run all over us and I think we did do that, even though the scores don't reflect it," Noonan said. (The loss) was a bit hard to take, but the boys put in a valid effort and I can't fault that." Brett Owen, James Fallon and Peter Crawford all kicked goals for the Swans, while Noonan, Owen, Fallon, Crawford, Jeff Mickan and Casey Moore were named among the Swans best players. The team will now turn its attention to next season. "We'll have to work on getting fitter and on possession, but hopefully the committee will look to recruiting some good forwards, because the other top three or four teams have the big blokes and we've had trouble with our forward line all season," he said. "We've got the team, we just have to fix a few things and then there's no reason we can't be in the final next year." (By Lucy Martin - The Area News, Monday August 24, 2009).

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2009 RFNL NETBALL Ladders

A grade: Wagga Tigers 70, Turvey Park 60, Leeton-Whitton 56, Griffith 46, Ganmain-GGM 40; Mangoplah-CUE 32, Coolamon 32, Narrandera 12; Eastern Hawks 4, North Wagga 4.

B grade: Turvey Park 72, Wagga Tigers 64, Leeton-Whitton 48, Coolamon 48, Grifffith 48; Mangoplah-CUE 28, Ganmain-GGM 22, Narrandera 16, Eastern Hawks 10, North Wagga 4.

C grade: Leeton-Whitton 72, Turvey Park 64, Coolamon 48, Wagga Tigers 44, Eastern Hawks 40; Mangoplah-CUE 32, Narrandera 22; Ganmain-GGM 18, Griffith 12, North Wagga 4.

Juniors U15's: Narrandera 44, Leeton-Whitton Blue 40, Griffith 32, Leeton-Whitton Red 16, Ganmain-GGM 14; Coolamon 12; North Wagga 4.

 LAST MINUTE RESULT IN SWANS' BEST & FAIREST 2009 SEASON VOTE COUNT 

The Griffith Swans pulled down the curtain on what has been one of its less memorable seasons when it held its best & fairest count at the Exies Sports Club on Sunday afternoon. First grade went down to the wire with the final result not being known until the votes from the last game were tallied. In the end Brett Owen won the Vic Hathaway Medal with 36 votes from Shaun Curran on 30 and Michael Duncan on 29. The Reserves was also a very close one with Daniel Best finally taking the prize after polling BOG votes for his last three games and finishing with 37 votes from Brad Woolner on 31 and Glenn Taylor on 18. The under 17s struggled all year for numbers and unfortunately had to forfeit four of their away games which were played on a Saturday. It was a runaway victory for Casey Moore who polled 47 votes with his nearest competitor being Ben McRae on 31 and first-time player, Craig Burge on 21. The club is now looking towards 2010 and is looking to recruit key players to boost the seniors and hope to entice former footballers back to the fold. They hope to have a strong under 17s side in 2010 with a the under 15s having had large numbers this year and taking out their premiership. (The Area News - Friday August 28, 2009).

Qualifying Final - Saturday August 29, 2009 at Leeton Showground

Ganmain-GGM .... 2.1 .. 4.6 .. 11.10 .. 13.10 (88)

Wagga Tigers ..... 0.2 .. 0.3 .. 1.6 .. 5.9 (39)

Goals: GGGM: D Hitchens 2, M Carroll 2, D Rankin 2, T Carroll 2, M Steele, M Rava, J Olsson

Wagga Tigers: A Van Ruiswyk 3, N Irvin 2

Best: GGGM: D Rankin, J Olsson, M Carroll, M Steele, C Taylor, M Rava

Wagga Tigers: A Van Ruiswyk, M Colvin, S Gaynor, D Papworth, N Irvin, J Hodges

Umpires: -------  Gate: $6,410

Reserves: Coolamon 10.12 (72) d Mangoplah-CUE 6.9 (45)

Under 17: Turvey Park 13.10 (88) d Leeton-Whitton 9.10 (64)

Netball - Juniors U15: Leeton-Whitton Blue d Griffith.

Elimination Final - Sunday August 30, 2009 at Ganmain Sportsground

Turvey Park ........ 1.1 .. 5.4 .. 9.7 .. 13.7 (85)

Leeton-Whitton ... 3.0 .. 4.3 .. 5.7 .. 9.7 (61)

Goals: Turvey Park: C Munson 4, D Brown 3, J Hoey, A Donaldson, J Elliott, D Toose, C Cerato, D Johnson

Leet-Whit: M Smith 3, A Chilko 2, B Greatz, B Boots, N Doolin, J Hodge

Best: Turvey Park: A Craig, D Toose, C Cerato, C Barker, D McLean, C Munson

Leet-Whit: C Townsend, D Fraser, J Gornall, A Gordon, J Broadbent, A Chilko

Umpires: ------  Gate: $7,200

Reserves: Leeton-Whitton 10.8 (68) d Wagga Tigers 4.5 (29)

Under 17: Mangoplah-CUE 13.7 (85) d Narrandera 11.6 (72)

Netball - A grade: Griffith 52 d Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong 41; B grade: Griffith 42 d Coolamon 32.

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 CHANGES TO THE REGIME - By Matt Malone 

Former Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong footballer Jason McPherson will replace Paul Habel as Southern NSW AFL regional manager next year. The AFL announced changes to its administration this week with Habel to step into a new football service role. After nine years working with AFL in Sydney, McPherson has decided on a return home to the Riverina, where he will become the new regional manager. Habel will become football services manager, while Luke Olsen will now be full-time in umpire development. The changes go through a transition period from November before officially taking effect from January 2010. AFL NSW-ACT business development manager Garry Buchanan said it was a result for the region. "For the region it means another senior position into the office which is terrific, really," Buchanan said. "This is the highest level of resources we're even had and I don't think any other sport in the region matches it. "It means we have six full-time positions plus casual positions while James Ceely and I work across the region as well." McPherson replaces Habel, who spent five years as regional manager after moving from Griffith. McPherson has spent the past nine years in Sydney, most recently as regional manager in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Buchanan said the changes had been on the cards for some time. "Jason has been keen on a move back for a while and we're keen to increase resources," Buchanan said. Habel's role will predominantly be dealing with leagues and clubs, along with reviews and strategic planning. Olsen's move to full-time umpire development is a great result for the sport, with more time and resources being poured into putting umpire programs in schools and recruiting whistle-blowers to the game. (The Daily Advertiser - Friday September 4, 2009).
Restructure appeals are dismissed: Two eight-team competition will go ahead in 2010 after an independent tribunal dismissed three appeals against AFL NSW-ACT's proposed restructure. Eastern Hawks, North Wagga and Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka all had their appeals heard on last Tuesday night but were dismissed at the hearing held at AFL House. The tribunal was headed by Peter Friedlieb and ruled in favour of the AFL, meaning all three clubs will form part of the Farrer League next season. 

First Semi Final - Saturday September 5, 2009 at Narrandera Sportsground

Wagga Tigers ... 2.4 .. 10.9 .. 11.11 .. 15.14 (104)

Turvey Park ..... 4.3 .. 8.3 .. 11.5 .. 11.7 (73)

Goals: Wagga Tigers: N Irvin 4, A Van Ruiswyk 4, M Colvin 3, J Powell 2, S Terlich, J Osbeiston

Turvey Park: J Eliott 6, D Johnson 2, C Munson 2, K Hanigan

Best: Wagga Tigers: D Papworth, J Osbeiston, A Van Ruiswyk, N Irvin, S Terlich, D Davey

Turvey Park: J Elliott, D Johnson, D Campbell, A Craig, B Campbell, M Wheatley

Umpires: -----  Gate: $6,993

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 13.8 (86) d Leeton-Whitton 9.10 (64)

Under 17: Leeton-Whitton 10.14 (74) d Mangoplah-CUE 6.5 (41)

Netball - A grade Turvey Park 56 d Griffith 42; B grade: Griffith 34 d Wagga Tigers 33;

Juniors U15: Griffith d Leeton-Whitton Red.

Second Semi Final - Sunday September 6, 2009 at Kindra Park

Coolamon ........... 1.11 .. 3.17 .. 6.20 .. 7.21 (63)

Ganmain-GGM ... 2.0 .. 4.2 .. 6.4 .. 11.8 (74)

Goals: Coolamon: J Brown 4, L Maloney, B Koop, B Garrett

GGGM: T Carroll 5, C Macri 4, J Campbell, W Kiley

Best: Coolamon: J Maddox, R Chamberlain, B Nolte, M Robinson, B Munro, S Chatfield

GGGM: C McPherson, M Carroll, D Rankin, M Kelly, C Macri, C Taylor

Umpires: ----    Gate: $12,630

Reserves: Coolamon 16.8 (104) d Ganmain-GGGM 15.4 (94)

Under 17: Turvey Park 18.11 (119) d Wagga Tigers 10.9 (69)

Preliminary Final - Sunday September 13, 2009 at Narrandera Sportsground

Coolamon .......... 4.2 .. 5.4 .. 7.9 .. 11.11 (77)

Wagga Tigers ... 1.4 .. 5.5 .. 7.6 .. 10.7 (67)

Goals: Coolamon: L Maloney 2, M Hard 2, J Brown 2, R Chamberlain, S Keenan, G Worner, Z Robinson, B Garrett

Wagga Tigers: N Irvin 4, A Priest 3, A Van Ruiswyk, M Colvin, S Terlich

Best: Coolamon: R Chamberlain, B Garrett, M Robinson, B Munro, M Hard, J Maddox

Wagga Tigers: C Jackson, D Davey, D Papworth, N Irvin, T Garner, A Dikkenberg

Umpires: B Robinson, R Dedini, P Smith (RUA).   Gate: $12,226

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 11.13 (79) d Ganmain-GGM 7.14 (56)

Under 17: Wagga Tigers 16.17 (113) d Leeton-Whitton 16.6 (102)

Netball - B grade Turvey Park 36 d Griffith 32; Juniors: Narrandera d Griffith
Netball report: The Griffith Swans B grade netball side battled bravely to cause an upset win but the plucky team just fell short of securing the club's only grand final appearance, losinf by just four goals. Final nerves took some time to settle before either side could start to put points on the board, but Rachel Tyndall and Carolyn Burgess soon settled to bag eight goals to Turvey's by 10 by quarter time. Turvey's shooters found confidence and accuracy early and continued through to the second quarter, with the shooting stats at 81 per cent.

The Swans' defence of Maddie Tyson and Peta Larkin set up chances for new shooting combination of Lynette Dennis and Burgess. Together Dennis and Burgess added 10 more goals for the quarter, but Turvey managed to outscore them by one goal, taking the lead to 21-18 at the half-time break. The premiership quarter saw the pressure mount, with Turvey eventually taking control and stretching the lead out to 30-24 as they worked well to earn more scoring opportunities. A refocused Griffith Swans took the court in the final quarter, realising they potentially faced their last quarter of netball for the season if they couldn't make up the six-point deficit. Alison Ward played tight defence to deny and pressure Turvey's shooter, damaging her accuracy. Larkin pressured passes took several intercepts. Together they kept Turvey to just six goals with Bianca Vardanega contributing heavily in wing defence with several deflections, which allowed Carolyn Burgess to lead the way in attack. However, Griffith could only add eight goals leaving them short of a place in the decider next week, where Turvey Park face Leeton-Whitton.

The club's juniors were hamstrung against the minor premiers after losing their regular goal attack and wing attack, and Narrandera used its height in defence to its advantage. Wing attack Eliza Tyndall combined well with centre Georgia Fuller to get the ball to goal shooter Jess Dillon, who was consistent all game. Trailing by only two goals at half-time, thanks to Amy Perez and Jacinta Scott, some positional changes in the last two quarters did not work in favour of the Swans, with the more experienced and taller Narrandera side hitting their straps to win by 14 goals. (The Area News - Wednesday Sept. 16, 2009).

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Grand Final - Sunday September 20, 2009 at Narrandera Sportsground 2.30pm

Ganmain-GGM ... 6.3 .. 10.6 .. 13.13 .. 16.13 (109)

Coolamon ........... 0.2 .. 2.4 .. 5.8 .. 8.11 (59)

Goals: GGGM: C Macri 5, T Carroll 4, M Steele 2, J Campbell, D Rankin, M Rava, D Hitchens, S Milne

Coolamon: J Brown 3, B Koop 2, S Keenan, W Archibald, M Hard

Best: GGGM: M Rava (Ron Hutchins Medal), C McPherson, M Carroll, C Macri, C Taylor, D Rankin

Coolamon: J Maddox, S Chatfield, R Chamberlain, T Garrett, C Neyland, G Worner

Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong: Paul Hamblin, Clint Taylor, Chris Kelly; Curtis Steele, Christen McPherson (co-coach), Andrew Roberts; Sam Milne, Mitch Carroll, Lachlan Steward; Wes Kiley, John Campbell, Mitchell Steele; Matt Rava, Christin Macri, Travis Carroll; Jacob Olsson, Daniel Rankin (co-coach), Luke Walsh; Daniel Hitchens, Brett Lenon, Kirk Hamblin, David Karlberg

Coolamon: Connor Neyland, Sam Chatfield, Bryan Munro; Mitch Robinson, Brett Nolte, Tim Garrett; Wade Archibald, Ryan Chamberlain, Adam McKenzie; Luke Maloney, Ben Edyvean, Brett Garrett; Grant Worner, Jason Brown, Matt Hard; Sam Keenan (c-c), Nathan Edyvean, Jamie Maddox; John Nolan, Zac Robinson, Jacob McPherson, Bryce Koop

Umpires: S Crowley, G Hodgins, D Potts (RUA).   Gate: $26,643

Reserves: Mangoplah-CUE 12.9 (81) d Coolamon 11.14 (80)

Umpires: H Vickers, B Robinson, P Smith (RUA)

Under 17: Wagga Tigers 16.12 (108) d Turvey Park 14.8 (92)

Umpires: A Bowden, L Olsen, R Johnston (RUA)

Netball - A grade: Leeton-Whitton 42 d Wagga Tigers 32; B grade: Turvey Park v Leeton-Whitton; C grade: Turvey Park v Leeton-Whitton; Juniors: Narrandera v Leeton-Whitton Blue.

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 2009 RIVERINA FOOTBALL NETBALL LEAGUE AWARDS 

Seniors: Best & Fairest - Jim Quinn Medal

34 - Paul Scoullar (Leeton-Whitton); 20 - Nathan McDonald (Wagga Tigers); 18 - Jamie Maddox (Coolamon); 17 - Ryan Chamberlain (Coolamon), Sam Balding (Mangoplah-CUE); 16 - Jarrod Gornell (Leeton-Whitton), Dale Hugo (Narrandera); 15 - Matthew Rava (Ganmain-GGM), Dane Campbell (Turvey Park); 14 - Andrew Craig, Corey Munson (Turvey Park), Joshua Gaynor (Wagga Tigers); 13 - Trent Balding (Mangoplah-CUE); 12 - Wade Archibald (Coolamon), Mitch Carroll (Ganmain-GGM); 11 - Luke Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Jeff Mickan, Brett Owen (Griffith); 10 - Damien Papworth (Wagga Tigers); 9 - Trevor Harradine (Eastern Hawks), Daniel Rankin (Ganmain-GGM), Stephen Barnes (North Wagga), Daniel Toose (Turvey Park). Full voting list unavailable. 

                                                                                           Reserves - Frank Gaynor Medal
17 - Riley McPherson (Turvey Park); 11 - Brad Woolner (Griffith), Matthew Byrne (Mangoplah-CUE); 10 - Michael Ness (Turvey Park); 9 - Bryce Koop, Michael Suidgeest, Grant Worner  (Coolamon),  Mitchell Fennessy (Ganmain-GGM), David Harrison (Leeton-Whitton); 8 - Damian Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Xavier Higgins (Mangoplah-CUE); 7 - Dean Spencer (Eastern Hawks), David Karlberg, Mathew Kelly (Ganmain-GGM), Daniel Best (Griffith), Jamie Broadbent (Leeton-Whitton), Neil Lawson, Matthew Molkentin, Kane Peeters (Mangoplah-CUE), Michael Barnes (North Wagga), Sam Ryan (Waga Tigers).
                                                                                           Under 17 - Lou Brown Medal
32 - Mark Flack (Narrandera); 21 - Reece Maquire (Leeton-Whitton); 18 - Taylor Bentley (Wagga Tigers); 17 - Thomas Anderson (Mangoplah-CUE); 16 - Zachery Gibbons (Coolamon), Jesse Lander (Ganmain-GGM); 15 - Jack Brooks (Turvey Park); 14 - Ben Foster (Mangoplah-CUE), Jesse Margosis (North Wagga), Pat Cattell (Turvey Park); 13 - Marshal Macauley (Coolamon); 12 - Lahn Shepherd (Wagga Tigers); 11 - Edward Fellows (Wagga Tigers); 10 - Sam Robinson (Coolamon), Matthew Cairns (Eastern Hawks), Josh Larwood (Wagga Tigers); 9 - Brocke Argus, Zac Robinson (Eastern Hawks), Sam Kefford (Ganmain-GGM), Matthew Irvin (Leeton-Whitton).

                                                                      Seniors: Top Goalkickers (h/a) - Stewart Fraser Trophy
71 - Jason Brown (Coolamon) & Christin Macri (Ganmain-GGM); 51 - Marc Sheppard (Wagga Tigers); 47 - James Elliott (Turvey Park); 39 - Ben Perkins (Eastern Hawks); 39 - Dylan De Britt (Mangoplah-CUE); 38 - Paul Scoullar (Leeton-Whitton), Jordan Foster (Mangoplah-CUE); 37 - Aaron Cocks (Griffith); 34 -  Matthew Smith (Leeton-Whitton); 33 - Jade Hodge (Leeton-Whitton); 32 - Kennan Hanigan (Turvey Park).  
                                                                                           Reserves - Griggs Trophy
64 - Dustin Brown (Turvey Park); 44 - Daniel Crocker (Coolamon); 33 - Greg Higgins (Ganmain-GGM); 27 - Daryl Clayton (Leeton-Whitton), Brent Heydon (Mangoplah-CUE); 26 - Sam Noble (Ganmain-GGM), Josh Gillies (Mangoplah-CUE); 25 - Jason Vant (Leeton-Whitton), Peter Treloar (Mangoplah-CUE); 24 - Michael Connolly (Wagga Tigers); 22 - Daniel Hitchens (Ganmain-GGM); 21 - Michael Castle (Ganmain-GGM).
                                                                                           Under 17 - Dalco Trophy
52 - Jack Brooks (Turvey Park); 44 - Evan Smith (North Wagga); 40 - Mark Flack (Narrandera); 39 - Jacob Anderson (Narrandera); 36 - Grant Commins (Leeton-Whitton); 33 - Cale Whitman (Narrandera); 32 - Reece Maguire (Leeton-Whitton), 30 - Zac Hopper (Leeton-Whitton); 29 - Ben Walsh (Ganmain-GGM), Taylor Bentley (Wagga Tigers); 28 - Marshal Macauley (Coolamon), Sean Butler (Turvey Park). 


RFNL Volunteer of the Year: Carl Blackman (Leeton-Whitton)
Club Championships: Coolamon Rovers 


Netball: Best & Fairest
A grade: Rhiannon Dolahenty (Turvey Park);   B grade: Georgie Campbell (Turvey Park) & Alison Ward (Griffith);
C grade: Katherine Pretious (Turvey Park);   Juniors: Sophie Welsh (Leeton-Whitton Red).

2009 GOALS - RESERVES & UNDER 17's GRADES

Reserves: Blair Alban 1, Gary Argus 17, Duane Ashcroft 4, Daniel Best 0, Rhys Best 0, Matthew Butcher 2, Norm Campbell 4, Andrew Cappello 3, Dean Catanzariti 1, Luke Catanzariti 2, Chris Conlan 0, Peter Crawford 6, Greg Dreyer 2, Kris Duncan 1, Mark Duncan 0, Graham Foley 0, Jonathon Gastin 1, Jack Geddes 0, Sam Gilbert 0, Jeffrey Harris 11, Cameron Harrison 3, Adam Huskins 6, Sam Huxtable 5, Jace Iemma 1, Ben Jaffrey 1, Ray Lamont 0, Craig Lugton 2, Tim Matheson 1, Daniel McGreal 0, Casey Moore 5, Lachlan Moulds 0, James Nancarrow 3, Chris Niven 3, Dean Owen 0, David Pasin 1, Luke Piccolo 1, Trevor Pilon 2, Jesse Ryan 0, Joshua Ryan 0, Hayden Shaw 2, Rodney Simpkin 1, Rhyse Smith 0, Glenn Taylor 1, Chris Toohey 1, James Toscan 2, Michael Tyndall 2, Wayne Tyndall 1, Jack Tyrell 7, Justin Wade 4, Brad Woolner 2. Coach: Norm Campbell.

 

Under 17: Dillon Bartter 7, Toby Blissett 2, Shannon Brennan 4, Fred Bruton 0, Craig Burge 2, Jack Carroll 0, Kyle Charles 1, Beau Ciscato 4, Andries Demeyer 0, Blake Dwight 0, John Evans 0, Ben Frank 0, Anthony Gras 1, Jayme Green 0, Kurt Hillier 5, Cory Hutchinson 0, Ben McRae 1, Casey Moore 19, Chris Niven 3, Alex Overs 1, Josh Parr 9, Chris Patterson 2, Chris Pilon 1, Harley Porter 1, Patrick Rose 1, Brett Snaidero 2, Daniel Snow 0, Alex Tarr 4, Joshua Tyndall, Thomas Valeri 2, Leon Vico 9, Pat Whittard 1. Coach: Greg Dreyer.

2009 SENIOR DEBUTS & FINAL SENIOR GAMES / GOALS

Debuts: April 4 - Aaron Cocks, Royce Johns, James Nancarrow, Matthew Noonan; May 10 - Sam Huxtable; May 17 - Casey Moore, Hayden Shaw; May 24 - Glenn Taylor; June 21 - Chris Toohey; July 18 - Brad Woolner; August 9 - Chris Niven; August 18 - Peter Crawford, Justin Wade.

Final Games / Goals: Blair Alban (6 / 0), Jason Bertacco (30 / 6), Myles Bunn (166 / 24), Norman Campbell (4 / 1), Aaron Cocks (12 / 37), Rodney Duncan (122 / 89), Jeffrey Harris (20 / 9), Sam Huxtable (4 / 0), James Nancarrow (15 / 8), David Pasin (18 / 1), Hayden Shaw (2 / 0), Rodney Simpkin (55 / 37), Simon Spiers (121 / 10), Glenn Taylor (1 / 0), Chris Toohey (8 / 0), Justin Wade (1 / 0).

2009 GRIFFITH AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS

Saturday October 10, 2009 at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

Major Sponsor: Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club

Football

Senior grade

Best & Fairest: Brett Owen

Runner-up: Shaun Curran

Most Consistent: Shaun Curran

Most Improved: Michael Harris

Best Utility (Fergie King Memorial): Mathew Crack

Most Goals Kicked: Aaron Cocks

Coach’s Award: Jeffrey Mickan

Reserve grade

Best & Fairest: Daniel Best

Runner-up: Brad Woolner

Most Consistent: Glenn Taylor

Most Improved: Peter Crawford

Best Utility: Jack Tyrell

Most Goals Kicked: Gary Argus

Coach’s Award: Ray 'Wally' Lamont

Under 17's

Best & Fairest: Casey Moore

Runner-up: Ben McRae

Most Consistent: Craig Burge

Most Improved: Shannon Brennan

Best Utility: Chris Niven

Most Goals Kicked (Brian Files Memorial): Casey Moore

Most Promising Player (Ronnie Williams Memorial): Casey Moore

Encouragement Award (Fred Owen Memorial Shield): Josh Parr

Coach’s Award: Alex Tarr

NETBALL

A grade

Best & Fairest: Robin Overs

Players’ Player: Lani Houston

Coach’s Award: Lani Houston

B grade

Best & Fairest: Alison Ward

Players’ Player: Peta Larkin

Coach’s Award: Bianca Vardanega

C grade

Best & Fairest: Hannah Toscan

Players’ Player: Carissa Campbell

Coach’s Award: Melinda Gadsby

Juniors

Best & Fairest: Jacinta Scott

Players’ Player: Jess Dillon

Coach’s Award: Eliza Tyndall

SPECIALS AWARDS

Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Netball - Bob and Brenda Spears): Carissa Campbell

Most Conscientious Player/Clubperson (Football - Joan Hicks Memorial): Jeffrey Harris

Club Person of the Year (Bill Simmons Memorial): Mark Tyndall

AFL Volunteer of the Year - 50 years service: Bob Spears

AFL Volunteer Recognition - 25 years service: Ffiona Beverley & Ian Wade

AFL Volunteer Recognition - 10 years service: Greg Collins, Darryn Savage, Simon Spiers, Ernie & Sue Wade.

Presentation Night - Spirit of Swans is still Strong

The Griffith Swans Aussie Rules and Netball Clubs put a year of fluctuating fortunes behind them to honour some of their top performers at a gala presentation night this month.

Football club president Rob Harrington described 2009 as a tough year, with a lack of numbers and commitment by some players letting the club down.

"It is hard to keep numbers up and I put a lot of that down to the lifestyle now," Harrington said.

"You talk to the older guys and they say when they used to play, that's pretty much what they did on a weekend.

"Now with everything people have on and all the competing sports it's very hard for a person to commit for six months. "But the spirit of the Swannies, he said, was still as strong as ever.

The under 15's winning the premiership was a real highlight for the year and we have some great prospects coming through," Harrington said.

The 2010 recruitment process is in full swing, with the club looking for a top coach and players.

The Swans netball girls had a more positive season, seeing three of their four sides making the finals.  (The Area News - Wednesday, October 21, 2009).

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