SAAFL History – 1920

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TeamGmsWLPts
University1512324
Henley and Grange1512324
Glenferrie1510520
Kingswood159618
Semaphore Central159618
St. Peters College153126
East Adelaide153126
Prince Alfred College

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The SAAFL competition, in recess since 1916, resumed in 1920. Inaugural member St. Francis Xavier did not form a team (but reappeared in the Catholic Association in 1923), which left only University and Glenferrie as foundation members. Kenilworth re-applied but apparently was refused because of a debt outstanding from 1915, and so played instead in the Adelaide Football Association along with University B, Adelaide High, CBC and Goodwood ANA et al.

Applications were received also from Prospect, East Adelaide (formerly in the Adelaide Association) and Grange (formerly in the United Suburban Association), the latter two being admitted to keep the number of teams at eight. East Adelaide’s ground is not known, but Grange played at Grange Oval, and before the season merged with Henley Beach to form Henley and Grange.

Prospect could not have been in favour with the delegates of the SAAFL, as the club had applied unsuccessfully to join at least twice before the War, and would seem therefore to have had priority over the two club’s eventually admitted. It played the 1920 season in the YMCA Association.

Unusual events surrounded two matches played during the season. A match between University and PAC on University Oval had to be abandoned just after half time when a heavy downpour flooded the oval. In what seems a surprising decision, the match was awarded to University as it was leading at the time. In another match between Semaphore Central and Kingswood, at three-quarter time the score was Semaphore 3.5 to Kingswood 3.4. However it was discovered that Kingswood had nineteen men on the field and so its score to that point was cancelled. Semaphore thus began the last quarter leading 3.5 to nil. However, Kingswood must have displayed great character to kick five straight goals in the last quarter and so win the match by one point, 5.0 to 4.5.

At the end of the minor round, University was minor premier for the fourth time in six seasons. However, it led only on percentage from Henley and Grange which had performed exceedingly well in its first season in the SAAFL. Glenferrie was in the final four for the first time since 1912, while Semaphore Central was out of the finals for the first time since joining the SAAFL East Adelaide struggled to win just 3 matches.

Henley and Grange beat Kingswood 5.18 to 5.11 in one Semi Final, and University defeated Glenferrie. University then easily won the Final 10.18 to Henley and Grange 2.11, its best being Prest, Finey and Simmons. W. Mair was best for Henley & Grange.

Voting for the Naylor Medal resulted in five players each receiving an equal number of votes. Apparently the names were referred back to the umpires for a decision, but there is no record of the outcome.

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