GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'Wester" April 22, 1979 - No. 2
By Swan: Congratulations Ariah Park, you certainly showed us how to win top class football and all the clubs shall heed you as possibly the team to beat to win the premiership.
Our own side has obviously got to work that much harder on the field - we have weaknesses but we also feel we can go a long way towards shaping this year's final series.
Not all our players gave us good games for the full period of the match but Peter Matuska, Phil McGarry, Steve Best, Garry Smart and youngster Darrell Collins (six goals) deserved to be mentioned.
Our Reserve Grade had a struggle to beat the vastly improved Ariah Park and although we had the fire power to do so, stiff opposition prevented us from completely dominating.
Len Threlfall and Bob McKenzie have the Under 19's shaping well but a lot of improvement is necessary before they are liable to be a premiership threat.
The material is there and a big test is today against the Bulldogs. In face, this applies to our three grades.
We need to win the First Grade needing top redeem themselves for the big disappointing start to the season last Sunday.
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)