GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'Wester" June 10, 1979 - No. 8
By Swan: The Sou'Wester No. 8 unavailable
LAST QUARTER TELLS ON SWANS
By Jack Luhrs
A month without football and a run of bad breaks did nothing to assist the Griffith Swans last Sunday when Leeton survived an error laden display from their forwards to labour through to an apparently convincing victory by 41 points, 16.12 (118) to 11.11. (77).
Played at Leeton, the Redlegs partly satisfied their supporters when they kicked seven of their goals in the final session, but while they dictated most of the scoring, they looked less than a threat to the premiership challenge being thrown out by Narrandera, Ariah Park and Coolamon.
Leeton looked lost in attack and provided a blessing to the undermanned Swans when the latter at times moved within a winning chance, yet could not find the extra goal or two, that could have reversed the day's result.
Despite their difficulties with eleven of their side playing in their first year of senior football and despite losing two of these through injury in the first quarter, throwing there whole interchange plan into confusion, the Swans battled for most of the match and many times played better than their opposition.
The penalty of no match play for the past few weeks, however, found holes in the Griffith line up.
They had fought to within three points of the leaders with the best part of the third quarter already played.
But Leeton rescued the position with finishing goals from Glen Robson and full forward Bruce Harrison to push Leeton clear by 15 points at the finish of the term.
It was this period that proved to be the most crucial in the game.
The Swans had a run on ... the Griffith backline had the Redlegs blazing indiscriminately at goal while their own forward division had thrown off their own errors to look good enough to bring about a surprise result.
But Griffith simply lacked enough good fit players to go on to victory.
With Dennis Schmetzer and Geo Duncan out of the game from the first quarter with ankle injuries and with Peter Arnall, Greg Hill and Peter Dwyer, all hampered with ailments, the battered Swans lacked the fire power to prevent the Redlegs takeover.
Yet Leeton had to wait until the final session before their impending victory took real shape.
They could have been safer early but easy chances were fumbled up front and the Redlegs paid an expensive penalty in having to continuously labour for minimum return.
Coach Harry Skreja must be wondering what he has to do to correct their inability for a higher conversion rate in front of goal. His own game from the centre was top class and he constantly made position and found the opening for his forwards to sight what should have been more goals in the bag.
It must have been galling to him to see the smallest player afield in Swans' Kelvin Turner from the backline repeatedly tear down the Redlegs attack, with Turner pushing close to being best afield.
While few of the Redlegs giants asserted much influence in the game, the Swans likewise lacked effective big man power to turn it to advantage.
Peter Matuska was one of the "over six footers" to capture the supporters eyes where his big marking on occasions gave the Swans a distinct edge.
However, Matuska was an equal as any in the mistakes department when some of his handball could have been re-thought.
The delights in the game came from the midgets.
Kelvin Turner led the tear through tactics and he had equal support from Peter Dwyer.
Not far behind and with a slightly bigger frame, Swans half forward flanker Darryl Collis joined this pair in giving the Swans their best service for the day.
Leeton won the match because they had more opportunities to kick the scores that push a team ahead on the scoreboard card.
The Swans made most of it because they refused to give in despite adversity.
They, however, bombed some of their scoring attempts when the opening were there to move closer in the scoring.
Centre half back Peter Carey gave a big effort in his final game for the Swans. Carey will shortly leave on a visit to France and his absence will throw a further strain on the Swans' strength in the tough matches ahead.
Griffith started the day badly when rover Robbie Owen had to withdraw from the selected side with a virus and his place was taken by Peter Arnall who earlier had been named in the reserves.
(The Area News - Tuesday June 12, 1979)