GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'Wester" April 22, 1979 - No. 2
By Swan: The Sou'Wester No. 2 unavailable
UMPIRE BEAT SWANS
By Jack Luhrs
Football fortunes fail to favour the Swans when they play on Wagga grounds, and last Sunday was no exception when Griffith, after looking a winner for almost all the match with Turvey Park on Maher Oval, lost out in goal mouth decisions and the game, minutes before the end .. to lose 10/13 (73) to 8/10 (58).
The Swans played tradesman-like football from the start and for most of the game, without being able to establish a clear cut superiority, they were nevertheless the most impressive of the two sides.
They had grafted a significant and hard won seven points lead with only five minutes remaining but in the next three minutes, three dubious free kicks from umpire Peter Smith from the Albury Umpires League, allowed the Bulldogs to goal on three occasions and again it was the same old story of Griffith returning from their longest voyage of the year, but again empty handed.
Umpires have their right to pay the free kicks as they see them but surely the paying public also has the right to expect the free kicks in front of goal, that can change the result of a game, to be clear cut and not obscured by apparently technical or clouded infringements.
Turvey Park may have felt peeved had they been defeated when high marking full forward Tim Finemore continually booted the Bulldogs out of the game despite his magnificent high marking that won him the ball.
It was the shift of Finemore to centre half forward in the last quarter that paid a handsome dividend as it allowed Mark Meek to kick one of the winning goals in the dying stages and Finemore to be a better player further out of goal.
The Swans were again in trouble midfield where the Bulldogs had a trio of winners on the wings in Terry Ness and Stephen Nolan and coach Allan Hayes in the centre.
Hayes led the side very well with a big number of strong marks and several charging runs to rescue his side when they looked threatened.
Despite their problems midfield, Griffith were able to bolster their game elsewhere where Garry Smart and Nifty Brand gave them the ruck edge and Peter Dwyer went very close to being best man afield.
The latter honour was reserved for veteran defender, Sid Robins.
It was the old days for Sid Robins when he was rated the best centre half back in the league, but now from the back pocket he is still the old master, grabbing the attack by the ears and putting up the stop sign to the Bulldogs attack.
Robins had two smart assistants in the Best twins, Shane and Stephen, and Shane showed up in a new roll when he was shifted to centre in the last quarter in an effort to curb Allan Hayes.
Kelvin Turner also showed his best form this season in the defensive pocket while Ian Wade did well in the key centre half back role in his welcome return to football following his shoulder injury.
Phillip McGarry showed out at times but had a troublesome shadow in Mike Daniher, and Darrell Collins worked hard for his two goals in a day where any score was gilt-edged.
Peter Matuska gave the Swans a good start with some strong ruck play in the first session and he also moved to plug some of the gaps when the Bulldogs stormed home in the finish.
(The Area News - Tuesday April 24, 1979)