GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'wester" June 17, 1979 - No. 9
By Swan: While we were able to make a game of it for three quarters last Sunday, the Redlegs finished to kick seven goals in the final period to make our chances of a place in the finals much more difficult.
We battled to be close more than once and at one stage near the end of the third quarter, we were within three points of taking the lead.
Lack of match play for the month we were without football took its toll on our game and fitness and with two players out from the first quarter and taking no further pat in the game we had too many players in the finish showing up their hurts and we lost momentum. Our two best were our little guys Kelvin Turner and Peter Dwyer and not far behind was Darryl Collis.
Our Reserves showed their class in a spiteful match that saw us hold our top place on the table.
To single out some players is to apologise to the remainder for all played their part. Special mention is deserved for Allan McGann, John Toscan, Ashley Faulkner, Terry Bennett and Len Threlfall. Lenny regretfully suffered a fractured wrist but will still be around to coach our Under 19's. The latter lost on the day to Leeton and two players short did not help our chances.
Top clubman and player, Peter Carey will be lost to us for the rest of the season. Peter is off to France to visit relations and we wish him all the best.
Jack Luhrs' spotlight on 'Rules'
Griffith beat Grong Grong-Matong last Sunday and outside the club, many will say "so what, the Swans usually come out on top against the Magpies".
What is not known is how much drama went within the Swans' camp as far as finding a side to line-up on Sunday.
Griffith has been "cut to the bone" with no less than eight players out of the side that had played against Leeton the previous week, and the same side fielding many players either in their first year of senior football or playing their first senior game.
The Swans had their back to the wall and faced the real possibility of being beaten by a side that had previously had one only success for the season.
Around the selection table the problems were several ... firstly to find the players to fill the many gaps and secondly to come out of the match with as much grace as possible and even to consider the possibility of winning.
It was this background that caused so much joy after the match.
Not only did the club race up a win but turned it into a percentage booster and had a further bonus in seeing the youngsters they were forced to blood for the first senior match from the reserves and under 19's, do so well.
Perhaps the match did not deserve to be recorded in banner lines and it is true that parts of it were lifeless and error-filled, but the class of the final quarter and the manner the Swans raced on eight goals to run up their big winning margin of over 60 points, was all the reward the club could ask for from the players who had done so much to make it all possible.
The past two competition games have seen a decimation of the Swans' reserve grade.
Holding competition leadership after winning the premiership last season, the Swans at full strength could be considered a good bet to repeat the dose again this season.
However, they have little chance to field anything like their best side with so many demands made on their numbers by the seniors. It is to the credit of coach Kevin Kirkpatrick and the club selectors the Swans continue to churn out wins.
Last Sunday the reserve grade faces yet another challenge and they had to dig deep into their player numbers to come up successful.
Ian Wade came back from an earlier injury to test his fitness as part of the rally to find the numbers and there is every possibility he will declare himself available for the big test at Coolamon next Sunday when the Swans start their haul against the four leading teams in the seniors when they meet in turn, Coolamon, Ariah Park, Turvey Park and Narrandera.
A lot of new names started with the Swans early in the season but are no longer around for different reasons.
The major departure was assistant coach Garry Smart who has now been cleared by the Swans to Western Districts Club in the Brisbane competition led by former Griffith paid player Arch Wilkey.
South Australians Trevor Drake, Fred Dermott, Laurie Saunders and Glen Kruger have departed the scene and the Swans trialled Ross Weightman, at Jerildrie, but decided he would remain with his Mildura Club.
With the departure overseas of Peter Carey, a movement known to the Swans at the start of the season, and the unexpected injury to both Glen Harrison and Ian Wade, has left the way open for a big bunch of reserve graders to gain promotion into senior line-up.
The promotion will benefit the Swans and the local football talent has found itself maturing earlier than previously thought.
Griffith clearly has to look to this talent for the future and while the side has few big namers, by winning their share of games is sufficient evidence the promotions were not without their value.
(The Area News - Wednesday June 20, 1979)