GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Aussie Ruler" June 23, 1963 - No. 11

By Neil Griggs: Still the slump continues and another home ground defeat by poor "tourists" Narrandera (supposedly) has confronted us with a hard task to make the finals.

Don Best, after a bit of early fumbling, soon settled down and his consistently solid play won him the special award given by a keen fan for his game.

Bob Tyndall in his first game for several weeks, was quickly in top form, as also was John Cramp, after his three week absence. Both were amongst our few good players.

The players are still keen and optimistic, however, especially the second 18, which had 36 players available for selection this week.

Judging by their performance (26-72), however, it seems as if the selectors used the wrong pin. It was the team's worst effort - but you can only play as well as the opposition will let you.

Shirt winners last Sunday were John Lane (seconds) and John Bortolazzo (firsts), and, for once, nearly everyone agreed with the judges.

We were disappointed at no third 18 game last Sunday against Narrandera, who apparently had forgotten we had taken a team there. Our boys will get a game this week when we repay Leeton their visit.     

Notes No. 12 ...

Match Report - Griffith's Hopes For Finals Are Gone

By JACK LUHRS

Leeton Redlegs rang the "No Sale" sign on Griffith's chances of making the South-West finals when they convincingly thrashed the Red and Whites at Leeton on Sunday.

The Leeton team won by 74 points - 19.19 (133) to 9.5 (59).

Definite in the pre-match speculation, Griffith up till half time matched the more fancied Redlegs but Leeton unleashed premiership winning football in the second half to unmercifully run Griffith into the ground and into a mammoth 74 points defeat.

However, Griffith came out of the game with some glory despite the trouncing. Despite the big gap in the scores, they continually took the game to their opponents doorstep, fought tenaciously for every mark and kick in the game and never stopped trying to stem the Leeton onslaught.

Early setbacks killed whatever slim chance they had of victory. The suspension of Bill Biron and the unavailability of John Cramp plus the late arrival of Don Best had them down in player strength.

Best did not arrive at the ground until the senior team was about to run on the field and his place was taken by second 18 player Fred Stevenson after appearing in the early match.

Adding to Griffith woes, they lost Bob Spears injured in the first 20 minutes and he was replaced by Allan Anderson.

However, I doubt if Griffith could have altered the result even with these player available. The Redlegs victory was too convincing to dull any merit to their win.

Griffith despite their handicaps, swapped score for score with the Redlegs in the first half.

Dead on target in front of goal with Bill Tyndall cleverly scouting the packs to kick two majors, outpacing Leeton in the race for the ball and using fierce tackling to bustle their opponents into errors, Griffith played in front of their opposition to inspire team mates into securing a slight edge in the play.

With coach Fred Mundy a clear winner in the rucks over Des Lyons and John Walsh superior in control against Barry Swasbrick, Griffith looked capable of causing a upset.

They had Allan Smith, Bob Tyndall and Bob Carroll glorious winners in defence and rover John Bortolazzo completed the ruck supremacy established by Mundy.

Over shadowed in general play Leeton had two aces that kept them in the game.

Captain Gerald Eastmure kicked three brilliant goals in the first term to capitalise on the opportunities that came his way and Max Kruse was almost unbeatable at full back.

A freakish solo effort by Dux Allen almost on the half time siren gave Leeton a slender nine points lead when Allen brilliantly goaled from a boundary kick from the half forward flank. However, the Redlegs early in the third term set the pattern that was to steam roll them to eventual victory.

Wingers Ron Vivian and Dick Gilbert became match winners and with Eastmure, Allen and Scott brilliantly gaining control, Des Lyons now at full forward after his early thrashing from Mundy in the ruck, marked gloriously on two occasions to goal twice in less than a minute.

From that point, with Griffith fighting gamely, Leeton produced their premiership winning brand of football to run haywire into continual attack.

Erratic kicking in front of goal robbed the Redlegs of a bigger lead than their 21 points on the last change.

The Redlegs added 3/8 to 2/2 in this term with Griffith's goals coming from Fred Mundy and Len Sexton.

Leeton delivered the knockout punch in the final quarter. To a man their team game exploded in its full fury to yield no les than 10/6 - 66 to 2/1 - 13.

Paralysing bursts of handball, blistering pace and constant backing up by-passed a still fighting Griffith backline that continued to allow Griffith a bright say in the game.

But the systematic Redlegs had too much class in front of goal and in most positions around the ground.

Leeton controlled the wings, were faster from the packs and unyielding in defence and booted goals from almost every forward position.

Although outclassed, Griffith refused to acknowledge defeat and through Sexton, Mundy, Bortolazzo, Smith and Stevenson, along with Walsh, Brauman and Carroll, they fought out the game to its bitter end.

Defeat ended for Griffith what chance they had of making the final four and their appears little danger of the present leaders losing their position with the duel defeats of Whitton and Grong Grong-Matong, the remaining challengers to the top group.

Special praise is due to second 18 player Fred Stevenson.

Thrown into the senior game at the 11th hour after appearing in the second 18 match, Stevenson replaced Don Best to show that he was far from awed by the occasion.

Stevenson has youth on his side, is fearless and needs only to develop his kicking to realise on his promising potential. Newcomer John Lane in his first senior game warranted his senior selection with a sound display.

His ruckwork had polish and Lane joined in the movements around the ground to show promise of better football in future games.

The match throughout was incident free, had pace and even scoring in the first half to offset its drop in standard and Leeton's powerhouse football in the second half to hold plenty of interest for the £197 gate.

Griffith skipper Fred Mundy with his outstanding ruck display and his brilliant football in recent matches must be automatic choice in the combined South-West side to play Carlton at Narrandera on July 7.

Mundy "killed" South-West ruckman Des Lyons in the ruck duels but Lyons starred in front of goal later, when shifted to full forward.

Leeton's Gerald Eastmure and Max Kruse also consolidated their selection with brilliant games whilst Len Sexton played well to warrant his inclusion along with Mundy, Lyons, Eastmure and Kruse.

The Area News - Tuesday, June 25, 1963