GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Aussie Ruler" April 12, 1964 - No. 1
By Neil Griggs: It's greetings and best wishes to all clubs for a successful and trouble free season from the area of rice and fruit. We, here in Griffith, are confidently anticipating a good season, but we are fully aware that the nine other clubs have similar ideas. So, for the good of the code and our League, we can only hope for a rise in standard and many closely contested games.
Our new coach, Peter Morris, (South West Gippsland League), is doing everything we hoped for, and in two trial games has inculcated a real team game, in which he is being ably assisted by Bob Little, a former Dandenong ruckman and captain.
The firsts' team was not over impressive in winning at Berrigan, but there was a big improvement when we easily beat Finley last Sunday. Ian Crewes and Vic Hathaway have greatly boosted our playing strength, while John Foley (from Leeton) showed against Finley what a grand player he is.
Other newcomers, Bob Smyth (Picola), Murray Shaw (Geelong Grammar), Peter Booth (North Albury) and John Kupsch (ex-Collingwood), also shape like lively recruits. Next Sunday for our first comp game we travel to Ganmain, and what a toughie it will be against the present glamour team.
HIGH MARKS AND FUMBLES
By Neil Griggs
It was disappointing to start the season off on a loss but Griffith will not be the only team the Maroons will beat this season. The Griffith team played well except for a bad patch in the third quarter when they were without initiative and also fumbled badly but they certainly gave the good following of fans some encouragement for the future with their spirited effort in the last quarter. Although a few of the supporters lost some "folding" money, none lost confidence in the team for it was a good effort against a good team.
Ron Pattison gave the critics a pleasant surprise with a splendid exhibition at Ganmain last Sunday. Following a rather drab performance against Finley he was considered a little lucky to retain his place in the Griffith first 18 but he certainly proved that selectors were right when he rated as one of the team's best players. Switched to half-forward line, Banjo was opposed to the redoubtable Bill McCaig but was on top most of the game and his two goals came as a result of good intelligent football.
There was some doubt during the summer months as to whether John Bortolazzo would play this season as he was suffering a serious knee injury. This injury, however responded wonderfully and Borto, became a player once again and his effort at Ganmain indicated he will soon be back to his best. Playing soundly all day he really came into the game in the last term when Griffith issued their biggest challenge and he contributed quite a lot to their sterling finishing effort.
If the S.W.D.F.L. team defeats North Central in the Country Championship semi-final at Narrandera on Sunday June 14, the players will be tendered a Dinner in appreciation of their efforts. New members into the team will also receive a league blazer and those that played in the team last season will receive a pocket for their blazers. If the team goes on to win the Championship final .... ?
Griffith outlasted Ganmain (how their coach Bob Little is not sure) to win a hard fought second 18 game last Sunday and quite a few of the team gave warning to the first grade players that there will be some keen competition for places this season. Peter Booth was impressive at full-forward and with his keen goal sense could develop into a handy forward flanker, Bob Smyth showed that when he fully settles down he could easily make the first 18 as a ruckman and the some could apply to former Ardlethan ruckman Gordon McDonald.
Ray Davies, too was in fine touch in his first game of the season and it will surprise if he is not soon promoted. Allan Smith, Bob Tyndall and John Lane did not play last Sunday and all these players will seriously challenge any complacent first 18 player for his place.
Griffith took a third 18 team to Ganmain and although they were beaten 6.19 (53) to 0.6 (6), the enthusiasm of these lads was most heartening. They were considered smaller and younger than the Ganmain team but lack nothing in keenness and a lot of potential was also evident. Strangely enough, this was the only third 18 of the day, but the Griffith Club will endeavour to arrange this third game whenever possible.
Mr. Col Longobardi of Kendall's Shoe Store has again very generously donated trophies for a Best and Fairest Points Score Award for both first and second 18's.
Points allotted in the first game at Ganmain were: First 18 - J Bortalazzo 5, A Biron, R Pattison 4, V Hathaway, J Eley, M Brauman 3, G Browne, J Walsh 1 each.
Second 18 - R Davies 6, P Booth 4, G Brennan 3, G McDonald, R Smyth, F Gambell, R Smith, K Phillis 2, M Shaw 1.
Riverina Advocate - Wednesday April 15, 1964