GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'wester" September 6, 1981 - No. 19
By Swan: The Sou' Wester No. 19 unavailable
Swans Nosedive In First Semi-Final
By CHRIS BLACKSHAW
Griffith Swans 1981 South West premiership hopes ended at Narrandera Sportsground on Sunday when they were thrashed by 88 points at the hands of the Imperials.
Narrandera put their seal on the first semi-final in the first quarter when they scored 12 goals.
It was a blow Griffith were never to recover from.
The Imperials kicked 26.6 (162) to the Swans' 8.26 (74), showing how Griffith's inaccuracy in front of goals let them down.
Narrandera had runners everywhere and used the open spaces of the sportsground to their advantage.
Griffith looked like fish out of water on the big ground as the Imperials backed up and used clever hand ball to create the loose man.
Grant Luhrs, Griffith's Gammage medal winner, tried valiantly to lift the Swans but after such a disastrous start, the task was beyond him. Luhrs kept trying all afternoon but the Swans poor kicking in front of goal ruined any chances they had of getting back into the match. Marty O'Donnell, was the only Griffith defender to come out on top of his opponent.
Full forward Victor Hugo managed seven goals but three of them were free kicks and O'Donnell more than held his own with the Imperials' leading goal scorer.
Bruce Thomson was another good trier for the Swans but apart from a few key players, the Swans were very undermanned.
They were well beaten around the flanks but have come a long way after finishing with the wooden spoon last year.
Any fears that Narrandera would be outgunned in the ruck were quickly dispelled as Bruce Clark was a dominating player in the first 25 minutes.
The Swans were first to goal following a big knock from Phil McGarry which swept play downfield, but Narrandera had the answer in a matter of seconds when Ian Male booted the first of his four goals.
Clark began to get on top in the ruck and took some telling marks around the ground while Garry Hoskin continually found himself in the open to provide an avenue to goal.
Mike Gilmore's performances oozed class as he banged on three goals and created several others.
He busted tackles with ease and treated the three opponents the Swans placed on him with disdain.
Narrandera's disposal and handball was brilliant and they boasted many good players but none better than ruck rover Russell Durnan.
(The Area News - Tuesday, September 8, 1981)