Rising ruckman Nathan Richards inspired Griffith Swans to the club's first football flag since 2003 with a dominant performance in the under 17 grand final against Leeton-Whitton.
After a tight first quarter, the Swans got on top in the second term and pressed home their advantage in the third on the way to a 15.11 (101) to 6.3 (39) victory over the Crows.
It was also the club’s first under 17 premiership since 1999 and the enormity of their achievement was evident at three-quarter-time when coach Gary Argus implored his players to look around, see how much it meant 'and bring this home to Griffith'.
“It’s just a bit undescribable really, it’s just sensational,” Argus said.
“It’s been 16, 17 years since (Griffith) won an under 17s flag so it means a fair bit to a lot of people I’d say.
“I’m just digesting it at the moment but it does mean a lot. They’ve been a great bunch of young adults all year and they really deserve this – they’ve worked hard, they’re good mates, they train hard, they play hard and it’s been a pleasure coaching them.”
The Swans went in as red-hot favourites after winning their semi-final against Wagga Tigers by more than 100 points. But it took until 20 minutes into the first quarter before they hit the front against Leeton-Whitton in a high-scoring opening term.
With three goals in the last six minutes before quarter-time, the Swans went to the first break eight points in front.
As the rain set in at a sodden Robertson Oval, Griffith kicked the only two goals of the second quarter but absolutely dominated possession. And they added another four unanswered goals after the main break to lead by 50 points at three-quarter-time.
“The second quarter was great – we closed them down, we had all the footy in our forward line and I think it went down there (Leeton-Whitton’s forward 50) once,” Argus said.
“Once they adjusted to the conditions instead of trying to play the dry weather conditions, it was all over.”
One of Griffith’s key first graders, Nathan Richards was dominant in the ruck and around the ground and was awarded the Col Kohlhagen Medal as best on ground.
The Crows found a couple of goals in the final quarter but Griffith still finished off strongly for the 62-point win.
““I always confident today, I just felt good about it and they were ready.,” Argus said.
“They’ve lost their finals in the past and they weren’t losing this one.”
Griffith Swans: 5.3 7.7 11.10 15.11 (101)
Leeton-Whitton: 4.1 4.1 4.2 6.3 (39)
Goals: (Griffith) J Favell 3, J Conlan 2, R Greenaway 2, S Foley 2, A Coldwell, T Clarke, J Heym, R Matheson, Rowston, Villata; (Leeton-Whitton) H Collins 2, C Sharman 2, C Morden, D Fisher.
Best: (Griffith) N Richards, A Coldwell, S Foley, J Rowston, J Conlan, L Testoni, J Favell; (Leeton-Whitton) A Crelley, T Sidebottom, N Tang, H Collins, C Sharman, R Dunn