Match Report - Griffith Outclassed In 1965 South West Grand Final

By JACK LUHRS

Ganmain won their 13th South-West League premiership last Sunday on the Narrandera Sportsground when they outclassed Griffith in a 12-14 (96) to 6.12 (48) victory.

Under appalling conditions with over 90 degrees temperature and a dust-laden westerly playing havoc with both players and spectators, a good crowd paid £1,548 to see Ganmain set up a winning edge in the third quarter and hold it to the final siren.

Griffith paced it with the Maroons till the half-time interval but had few counters to Ganmain's crushing power in the second half. Two goal-less quarters did little to improve their winning chances but although outclassed, Griffith fought the match right out and deserved their grand final ranking.

Although Ganmain won by 38 points, the game's hero came from the losing side in Griffith's full back Vic Hathaway.

Continually winning unstinted applause for his display from the big crowd, Hathaway returned one of his most brilliant exhibitions in his long brilliant studded career.

Holding Tom Carroll to two goals in the match and a clean winner in their duel, Hathaway at times held the Ganmain attack almost single handed and despite the over-bearing temperature, finished the game playing as strongly as he began.

However, it was a different story at centre half- forward where Ganmain match winner Frank Hodgkin outplayed Sid Robins.

Kicking five goals Hodgkin struck a body blow to Griffith with three of these goals in the third term.

To Robins' credit he strove willingly to hold the Ganmain star and frequently beat him on many occasions.

Griffith never recovered from Ganmain's flare up in the third term but gave their supporters hope with three goals in reply as they in turn got on top at the end of the quarter.

Down 23 points on the last change, a goal-less final term by Griffith in reply to Ganmain's three majors never altered the obvious result and although the Red and Whites lost nothing in courage and their will to win, Ganmain's power play showed up Griffith inability to seal victory.

Griffith ruckman Bob Spears closely pressed Hathaway as the best player afield. Completely fearless in a match where both sides hit hard and often, Spears joined in the bone-jarring crashes with gusto and played his best football all around the ground.

Ganmain capitalized on a losing ruck where Bill Biron and George Schlitz won most of the tap-downs, by sharking the hit outs through rovers Jim McCaig and Ross Reiher.

Coupled to a magnificent backline display from Will Kember, Bill McCaig and Pat Carroll, Ganmain gaining a winning edge across the ground by turning Terry Lenon into the most damaging wingman afield.

Griffith full forward Ian Crewes booted five of their six goals, and with three goals in the first quarter put Griffith in a match-winning light up till the halfway mark.

Used for half a spell in the centre, Crewes threw all his ability into an attempt to win the game off his own boot and supported his desire with a willingness to mix in when the game developed into several flare ups.

John Hudson likewise was a welcome beacon in a side not always at their best and lacking in the keen team football that characterised their 1965 football season.

Hudson's dash and great ball sense repeatedly drove Griffith downfield and his many duels with star defender Billy McCaig had the fans roaring their approval.

Both sides floundered to score goals in the second quarter when the respective defences collared the attack.

It took 27 minutes of play in the term before Ganmain broke the drought with the only gal of that session.

Despite winning most of the ruck duels, Griffith seldom took the ball cleanly from around the packs but in Cliff Hawkins, they had a rover tireless and talented in his efforts to match the Ganmain pair.

Griffith lacked key match-winning players and this was highlighted when both Len Sexton and John Foley were most times checked by opponents.

But both players took more punishment than most players afield with Ganmain's tactics successful by playing close attention to expected match-winners.

Nonetheless Sexton shared in many great dashes and was a key figure when Griffith knew their moments of match control.

Both Bob Carroll and Don Best worked solidly to turn the Maroons downfield on many occasions.

However, Garry Carroll's support of Frank Hodgkin helped both players to star, despite the spoiling tactics of Sid Robins, too many times left to battle alone when ready to turn in attack.

Ganmain gained a lot of drive around the flanks especially through Ross Symons who took many fine marks, and Bruce Irvine.

Both sides were forced to bring on both their reserves, Ganmain using Rex Holgate and Ben Cedelland whilst John Kirkwood and Claude Smith appeared for Griffith replacing Denny Dreyer and Bill Tyndall.

Wingman Robert Munnerley was a late withdrawal from the selected side with George Schlitz going into the team from 19th man, Hudson moving to the wing and Kevin Kirkpatrick to the half-forward flank.

Ganmain in victory held a major advantage over Griffith - they had the class to win and once hitting the lead, Griffith lacked the ability to steal it away. However their effort this season has been a magnificent one and despite their defeat.

The Area News - Tuesday, September 28, 1965