GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Aussie Ruler" April 23, 1967 - No. 3
By Neil Griggs: Coolamon offered very strong opposition for three quarters at the Ex-Servicemen's Oval last Sunday, but had "no petrol left in the tank" for the final term and by adding 8.4 to 2.1 the Red and Whites were 44 points up at the final siren. Once again coach Kevin Kirkpatrick was an inspiring leader and rated best afield. His brilliant play won him his second successive three points vote in the Co-op Menswear-Ernest Hillier suit award and he now has a handy early lead.
Angie Maloni gained two points for his good play in the centre and Brian Fitzpatrick took the one point for some very solid and safe defence. Others under notice for a lot of good football were John Higgins, John Fitzpatrick and Bob Spears.
With Bill Biron, Joe Whyte and Jim Eley, all of whom played in the first 18 grand final, having their first run of the season, and Les Collis, the second 18 was a pretty strong one, but although their winning margin was 74 points, they never really assumed full control. All four "new" players had good games, whilst Darryl Collis and Garry Owen also played well.
The cans from the Supporters Club were certainly most welcome after the game.
HIGH MARKS AND FUMBLES
By Neil Griggs
A hat trick of losses at Ganmain last Sunday gave the Griffith supporters nothing "to crow about" but they can take heart, there will be better days coming along soon. Apparently caught napping when Ganmain "jumped the gun" in the first quarter, the Red and Whites lost that quarter badly (7 goals to 2) but they were on top in the other three but not enough to make up the leeway. It was quite a good effort really and it was encouraging to see the players, with very little in their favour, battle the game right out to the bitter end.
The move by the S.W.D.F.L. to use two local umpires each week for economy reasons was quite a controversial move and Griffith fans at Ganmain had plenty to say against it last Sunday during and after John Doherty's confusing and incomprehensible exhibition with the whistle. One pertinent point that figured prominently in the discussions after the game was that the local umpires move could boomerang and cost the Clubs more than $100 (about) they or the League stood to save by bringing up only three Melbourne umpires each week in that people would not travel to see games that should be beauties turned into untidy scramble or a general free-for-all incompetent umpiring and consequently gates would suffer. Two top administrators Messrs Ron Hutchins (Riverina District Councillor) and Jim Quinn (SWDFL President) attended the game and their observations on the umpiring of Doherty would be most interesting.
Battered, bruised and bloodied could best describe Griffith rover Mal Russell when he came off the ground at Ganmain. The target for plenty of behind the play attention and flailing backhanders Mal was rather upset at the lack of protection given by the umpire and was not too happy. It took him quite a long time to squeeze out a smile from his sore, tender face after which he gradually regained his usual good spirits.
Two players gained their first votes in the Griffith Co-op Menswear - Ernest Hillier suit award for the first 18 last Sunday.In his best performance of the season Sid Robins was right at his top to rate as best player and gained three points with two other stalwarts Angie Maloni (2) and Bob Spears (1) really earning the minor points. The progressive tally in this point score after three games is: Kevin Kirkpatrick 6, Angie Maloni 4, Sid Robins 3, Brian Fitzpatrick, Mick Newman, Mal Russell and Bob Spears 1 each.
Spectators and players at Ganmain on Sunday saw a potentially great full forward Frank Gumbleton wearing the maroon guernsey in action. Young Gumbleton only 16 has the attributes of height, a big leap, safe hands, anticipation and an accurate kick that go to make a good full forward and with 19-3 this season he is well on the way to being just that now. He kicked four of his six goals in the first quarter on Sunday after which Bob Spears applied full pressure and with close play restricted him to another two for the final three quarters. Spears for his effort rated one of Griffith's best players so the young full forward's effort was quite a good one.
Despite the fact that some last minute recruiting was necessary the Griffith second 18 gave their Ganmain opposites quite a shock on Sunday and nearly caused an upset. The Red and Whites turned in a good courageous exhibition to fail by only six points and they were attacking so solidly at the end that the Ganmain fans were very relieved to hear the final siren. Players who have progressed from the thirds who impressed in this game were Garry Owen, Les Hodson, Terry Overs, Max Eldridge, Barry Noonan, while Darryl Collis again revealed he is on his way to the first 18.
The Griffith third 18 went down to a better co-ordinated Ganmain team and with quite a few newcomers in the line-up this year it is essential they learn the fundamentals of the game and the place for that is at the training sessions on Wednesday and Friday. Coach Bob Spears will be in attendance each afternoon and he doesn't care how many turn up, he is bigger enough to handle them all.
Riverina Advocate - Wednesday April 26, 1967