Click on 1959 season to return
BEST OF AUSSIE RULES BRIEFS
by Neil Griggs
Some of the new faces are on this year's selection committee with Fred Savage being the only one of last season's 'men of decision' on the panel. The new panel are Fred Clarke and Neil Griggs replacing Ern Myott and Joe Tyndall, who have decided to have a break from this thankless job. Don Keyter and vice-captain Vic Hathaway take the places vacated by Tom Allen and Rod Burgoyne - so their will probably are some new ideas in the selection of future teams.
Two of the players revealing form in the Griffith training sessions are Bob Eddy and Graham Lockett from South Australia and both are likely to be strong contenders for a place in the First 18. Bob still has a bit of condition to get off but being 6ft. 4ins. and over 14 stone is the type of player badly needed in the Griffith team. Coach, Don Keyter feels sure that Bob will become a very handy ruckman. Considerably smaller, Graham is revealing a lot of dash and should prove an ideal defender.
Keen Leader (9/4/59)
If the Griffith Club does not enjoy a successful season, it will no fault of newly elected President, Dick Bitcon, who already, in a few weeks, done a vast amount of work for the club and the players. Dick ably led the club at the end of last season when President, Noble Guild left for Shepparton, and is carrying on his good work most enthusiastically. If his enthusiasm is contagious, Dick should have a keen committee right behind him this year.
As a result of the election at the annual meeting of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Griffith Club some new faces will be seen on the executive positions this year. The meeting was well attended, and the executives was elected as follows: President, Mrs. Betty Griggs; Secretary, Mrs. Iris Savage and Treasurer, Mrs. Jean Fielder. Whilst it is pleasing to see new faces coming along it will be hard to visualise the Auxiliary without Mrs. Mary Collins at the helm. Mary has been President of the Auxiliary for quite a few years and done a power of work for the Cub.
Club officials revealed appreciation of her services two years ago when she was honoured with Life Membership.
Two Champions (23/4/59)
Followers of the Griffith team have been privileged to see two really top-class footballers in dominant action in two successive Sunday's.
At Grong Grong, Peter Box turned on a sparkling exhibition to lift his team to victory over Griffith whose Don Keyter had rather a quiet day.
Don, however, left no doubt as to his outstanding ability last Sunday, as by example he inspired the Griffith 18 to give one of the best exhibitions seen. Players of the ability of Keyter and Box can do nothing but improve the standard of the game in the SWDFL.
Record Score (23/4/59)
Griffith's big score against Ariah Park-Mirrool recently led to some research for the highest SWDFL total recorded.
Coolamon easily holds that honour by scoring 44.28 (292) points against Grong Grong in 1939 in a game played at Coolamon.
Another record from this game that has stood the test of time and seems likely for quite a long time is the 28 goals kicked by Coolamon's full forward, ex-Ganmain, Carlton and Hawthorn player, Jack Green.
A Boost (23/4/59)
On the Australian Rules radio broadcast sessions last Friday night - the talented Grong Grong-Matong coach, Peter Box said that in his opinion the standard of SWDFL was better than the Melbourne League seconds or Victorian Association.
That is a very high rating for a country competition, but Peter has experienced both League and Association football and should have some idea of the form.
Two Needed (14/5/59)
A very keen follower of the National code and the Griffith team, after the game at Narrandera on Sunday was so enthusiastic about the performance of coach Don Keyter that he remarked, "Let us get another one like him, we won't have to worry about the other 16 then."
Don certainly turned in a magnificent exhibition against Narrandera but he would be first to admit that it takes 18 players to make a team.
Those two youngsters noticed at recent games arrayed in full glory of a complete Griffith outfits are sons of former Griffith player, and now well-known commentator Jack Luhrs.
Grant and Glenn (pictured) have apparently gained their parent's enthusiasm for the code and could in a few years show Dad how to play the game. If they come up to Jack's rating, Griffith or some other team will get two really good players.
A Local Hero (14/5/59)
For his weekly interview, commentator Jack Luhrs, got among the schoolboys at the Showground last Saturday afternoon and one young 'Coleman' interviewed had a Griffith player as his idol - Billy Tyndall being his favourite player.
Bill's team mates on Sunday reckoned he must have spent a lot on ice creams to get this lad's interest, but it is certain that if his admirer develops into a player of Bill's calibre some team will gar a grand player in the future.
Big Hearted (25/5/59)
A leg injury causing the unavailability of Don Best gave Johnny Forbes his first game of the year in the Senior 18, last Sunday.
'Forbsie', whose small frame encases a big sized heart, proved equal to the occasion and his safe and clever defence on the half back flank turned many Ardlethan sorties and he contributed his share towards the Griffith victory.
Herculean Effort (11/6/59)
Coach, Don Keyter turned in a brilliant exhibition of almost non-stop rucking against Turvey Park last Sunday to take the unanimous vote as the best player afield.
Don played tirelessly and provided many chances for his rovers who, however, did not take advantage of the plentiful opportunities.
Two SWDFL selectors saw Don in action on Sunday and nothing could be more certain that he will be the first one picked for the game against the neighbouring Farrer League on June 21.
On Top (18/6/59)
Griffith might not be top of the ladder for football, but the Club certainly has the best boundary umpire's set-up in the League.
Unlike other clubs Griffith does not forget the Seconds game and its central umpire always has two responsible boundary umpires correctly and neatly attired for each game.
George Coggan, Noel Tyndall, Rod Burgoyne and Vic Ledwidge are the men concerned and they are doing a really good job for the Club.
Good Effort (25/6/59)
Griffith representative in the SWDFL seconds team last Sunday, Len Maples played a good game - with little help from his fellow forwards, bagged two goals. The South West attack was generally clueless against the strong, virile Farrer defenders and it was this unchanged weakness that was the main contributing factor in their defeat.
Great Tussle (2/7/59)
Spectators at the Griffith - Coolamon game last Sunday witnessed one of the best ruck duels anyone could - as former South Melbourne teammates, Don Keyter and Ian Gillett battled for supremacy. Both were a inspiration to their fellow players and on the day there was little between them. Gillett, bigger and stronger might have just taken the edge at the centre bounce but Keyter's greater pace and mobility saw him cover much more territory and 'honours even' would be a decision that should make the most partisan follower of either team happy.
Best of Day (2/7/59)
Bill Biron played his best game for a long time against Coolamon and was the popular choice of best player afield. Playing in the back pocket he was the key man in a very solid Griffith defence and did a terrific job.
Bill was keen for a run on the ball in the last quarter but was told by the coach Don Keyter. "No dice, you are doing too well back there".
And sure, enough it was his grand play that did much to control Coolamon's desperate last quarter rally and one glorious mark he pulled down won for him another 'best mark of the day' award.
Happy Switch 9/7/59)
The switch of Kevin Rowston to full forward after veteran Tiger's full back Ted Thompson had blanketed Don Bitcon paid good dividends for Griffith at Whitton last Sunday. Kevin took some glorious high marks and finished with five goals but if he had been able to kick straighter could have reached double figures. However, he was not the only one of the Griffith players off target.
One day Kevin will have his right boots on, and the Griffith total will then get a decent boost.
Umpire F. Warwick (pictured) officiating at the Coolamon - Grong Grong-Matong game last Sunday apparently didn't please the fans for when the crowd invaded the ground at three quarter time their remarks were so derogatory and frank that the local officer of the law, Sergeant Tom Crossley also went to stand by. Nothing untoward happened, however, and umpire Warwick got safely away.
Reports from the ten games (Farrer and SWDFL) at which five umpires officiated were all bad but as (The Daily Advertiser) scribe Ted Ryder wrote on Tuesday there can't be many bad ones left to come so perhaps from now on the standard will improve. All fans hope so anyway.
Happy Function (23/7/59)
The lady's night and social on Monday, July 13 was a very enjoyable and happy function. There was a good roll up of players and committee - the music was lively; supper was plentiful and tasty, and a number of very good items really topped off a great evening's entertainment.
Tim Clarke led the washing up squad with the same verve he displays on the field whilst Jack Mitchell did a great job in the kitchen.
Looking Ahead (30/7/59)
Don Keyter, who incidentally informed the executive of the Club that he would be staying on as coach for 1960 already, has the Griffith team in the finals next season. He reckons they have been unlucky this season in several games, and he says it is 'London to a brick,' Griffith will make the finals next year. All supporters of the team hope Don's forecast are right and if enthusiasm of the coach and the players count for anything it has a lot in its favour.
The Griffith team has some very vociferous and voluble supporters and competition between the two cheer squads - male and female, has been keenly contested. After last week at Leeton, however, the barracking title has been awarded to the fairer sex and they take out the award of a packet of throat drops each. It was a blow that several men edged away and left the good ladies to barrack alone but the elimination of No. 1 man, Joe Tyndall by Dot Carroll was a big upset of the day and definitely turned the tide in the ladies' favour.
Building Up (6/8/59)
Promising young Griffith player Odey 'Oscar' Biron has returned from Sydney on the milk, etc., diet on account of his stomach trouble but he reckons he will be O.K. to don the red and white guernsey once again next season.
All followers of the team wish him a speedy recovery from his complaint and hope to see him at his vigorous best next season.
If he can emulate his brother Bill, he certainly will be an asset to the team.
In Form (13/8/59)
Griffith full back Bob Tyndall has been at the peak of form in recent games and in the past two weeks when opposed to the two leading goalkickers of the competition has finished on top. At Leeton, big Bill Heath could only tally three goals and last Sunday brilliant Turvey Park full forward, Geoff Kingston, also had a lean time with Kingston scoring four majors but presented with two of them by the umpire whom he thought was Santa Claude dispensing gifts.
The Griffith Second 18 were very disappointed at missing out on the finals. Thinking they only had to defeat Ariah Park-Mirrool to qualify they battled very hard all the game to just outlast the Combines, but they had not reckoned on the Coolamon 'Joker in the woodpile' and their surprise defeat of Leeton saw them replacing Griffith in the four. The local team, however, has enjoyed a good season and many promising young players in the line-up should again be a force to be reckoned next season.
The playing season ended for Griffith Schoolboys teams last Saturday when in the morning High School defeated St. Brendan's by two points after a very exciting game for the Advocate Shield trophy of the local under 13 competitions.
In the afternoon Narrandera easily defeated Griffith in the final of the Leeton Zone under 12 competitions.
The Griffith Club will take the opportunity to bid farewell to a good clubman and vice-president, Roy Taysom at Saturday's night's function.
Roy has been a staunch supporter of the Club and his transfer to Townsville will be a big loss.
All club members congratulate him on his promotion and wish Roy, his wife Flora and family every happiness in their new home.
A Star (10/9/59)
A potential star for next season was unearthed last Saturday afternoon between Beelbangera and Griffith in a charity game with the Griffith District Ambulance been the beneficiary.
'Young' Toddy Smith playing at full forward for Beelbangera was in deadly form to score seven of his team's eight goals.
After the game there was keen competition between Griffith stalwart, Ern Myott and Beelbangera Secretary, Norm Coleman to sign Toddy up for next season but as yet he hasn't committed himself and says he will wait and see what shape he will be in next year.
Incidentally for anyone interested despite a "Phar Lap" finish by Beelbangera, Griffith won the game 10.13 (73) to 8.6 (54).