SWANS CLUB NOTES: The Aussie Ruler April 9, 1961 - No 1.
By Neil Griggs: As these are the first notes of the year may the Griffith Club extend to other SWDFL Clubs best wishes for a happy and successful season.
Best of luck also to Bert Schmidt with the publication of the Aussie Ruler. We know some of the problems associated with such a programme and the full co-operation of all clubs is needed to make it a success.
New coaches Len Sexton and Jim Eley have created a very good impression in early games and at training and the Club seems to have "cracked two Jackpots" this year.
Griffith fans are wondering if the Griffith v Grong Grong-Matong game is a key to the draw as in the past several seasons it has headed the list.
Incidentally, Griffith people are not too happy about the draw at all, with four clashes between Rugby and Rules and seven Sunday with neither team at home.
With the only absentees Don Bitcon and Don Keyter replaced by Len Sexton and Jim Eley, the Griffith team should be up to last years standard but with quite a few keen young players pressing their claims, none of the firsts can afford to relax, which is as it should be.
Match Report: Griffith win opening round match on Grong Grong dustbowl
BY JACK LUHRS
Grong Grong's freshly harrowed playing surface was reduced to a blinding dust bowl on Sunday when Griffith met the local team in one the opening round matches in the South-West League Australian Rules competition. In a tough, fiery exhibition, Griffith won by seven points. The final scores were: Griffith 13-15 (93) defeated Grong Grong-Matong 13-8 (86).
The Griffith star of the match was new coach Len Sexton, who topped off a great game with three neat goals.
Sexton played cat and mouse on the half forward line to repeatedly outwit his opponents. His dash, ball control and deadly passing up-field set Griffith on the road to success in a game that called for courage and fitness.
Grong Grong-Matong traditionally are tough customers on their own sloping ground and Griffith's win was full of merit.
Nonetheless victory did not come easily and match supremacy was not easily relinquished by their opponents.
Sexton received great support from his team, particularly Bob Spears in the centre opposed to Magpie skipper Peter Box.
Spears cut even on the day to nullify the normal match-winning potential of Box.
Bill Biron was the best of the Griffith rucks, changing at full forward with Jim Eley.
On the half back line, Don Best stood out as the barrier to many Magpie forward moves.
Mick Newman on the wing and Vic Hathaway roving also contributed their share in the Griffith victory, with Hathaway scoring three goals. Jim Eley was the next best Griffith goal-getter with two majors.
Griffith opened the game kicking down hill and had an early advantage when kicking 1/1/7 before the Magpies opened a rush of scoring to add 4/2/26, without a further addition to the Griffith score.
However, two goals by Sexton, and one each from Doug Geddes and Hathaway had Griffith 8 points up on the first change.
Newcomer Bob Evans showed early that he is a valuable acquisition to the Griffith team despite missing two easy chances at goal. Evans needs only to steady himself to prove a damaging half forward and secure a permanent berth in the senior 18. First quarter scores : Griffith 5/4/34, Grong Grong-Matong 4/2/26.
The second term had both sides sharing match honours. Magpies goals came from Box, Pat Hogan and Bill Walsh, before Bill Tyndall and Kevin Rowston replied with majors for Griffith.
Grong Grong-Matong had a perfect team game functioning for the quarter, with Griffith individually matching their play.
Griffith led by 4 points at half way with the scoreboard reading 7/9/51 to 7/5/47.
Mervyn Pieper put the Magpies in front with an early goal on the resumption, but Spears, Sexton and Hathaway replied for Griffith. Defenders John Anderson and Frank Conlan many times barred the way for further Magpie majors.
However, it was the dynamics of half back flanker Don Best that held the back line play of Griffith to springboard their score 4/3/27 for the term, with the Magpies reply of 3/1/19.
Leading by 12 points into the final quarter, Griffith secured an early goal through Jim Eley before Alan Jones answered with a further Magpie goal.
Again Jim Eley goaled before the Magpies rallied strongly led by Walsh and Hogan. Pieper and Allan Rava added goals, interrupted by three Griffith singles but Griffith were secure in victory , though leading by only seven points.
Griffith's victory at Grong Grong was laid on the foundation of fitness.
But this advantage was lost to the toughness of their opponents, who had greater ease in handling the flint like playing surface under the film of dust. Blistered feet was a big casualty faker to the Griffith side.
The Area News - Tuesday April 11, 1961