|Alberton Church Unit.||14||8||6||16|
|St. Peters O.C.||14||4||10||8|
|Colonel Light Gardens||14||14||0||28|
|Henley and Grange||14||9||5||18|
|Prince Alfred O.C.||14||8||6||16|
The SAAFL registered 465 players for 26 teams from 19 clubs during 1932 when three new clubs were admitted and one departed. Mount Barker had been in the SAAFL for only two seasons before the geographical logic of playing in the Hills Association finally was acknowledged. Its place in A2 was taken by Colonel Light Gardens which had entered a ‘B’ team in the Junior League the previous season. A2 Grand Finalists from the previous season, Alberton Church United and Goodwood, displaced St. Augustine and Henley and Grange in A1, so both divisions remained at eight teams each.
The three new clubs were Kings Old Collegians, Otiose, and Semaphore Central Juniors. Kings was newly formed and played its matches on the College Oval. Otiose had been in the Y.M.C.A. Association for four years, and its ground was near the corner of South and West Terrace. Semaphore Central Juniors was a separately organised club from Semaphore Central although sharing Largs Reserve, and had been playing in the Port Adelaide District Association. After just one season in the S.A.A.F.L. it would revert to its original name of Exeter. All three new clubs were admitted to the Junior League along with Alberton United B and P.A.O.C. B giving a 10-team competition. Elder Smith & Co. had applied to join but withdrew its application, while Flinders Park Methodist also applied but was unsuccessful.
Umpires appointed for the season included P. A. Bampton, D. Busbridge, S. Chick, C. Groves, C. Hepburn, W. Minear, F. J. Monten, C. D. Packham and N. A. Walsh. The central umpire was paid 30/- per match, 5/- less than in 1925. Calls for the year totalled £14 per club.
Two important issues were discussed. Firstly, the formulation of procedures for transfer of players between the amateurs and the SANFL had been discussed at least since 1926. The amateurs finally agreed that amateur players would be allowed to leave and go to the A grade of an SANFL team and then return, provided they did so before the end of May. Secondly, following an invitation to send a state team to W.A. and prompted by the newly-formed Tasmanian Amateur Football League, it was decided to pursue the formation of an Australian Amateur Football Council.
Two teams dominated the 1932 season with undefeated records – University in A1 and Colonel Light Gardens in A2. Full forwards also dominated: Les Fillmore of Colonel Light Gardens in A2 kicked 21 goals in the last minor round match, the highest tally to date for an A1 or A2 match, but still fell short of the 25 goals kicked by Don Wallace of Semaphore Central Juniors in the Junior League earlier in July.
In the A1 Semi Finals, University easily beat Semaphore at Jubilee Oval 15.12 to 7.17, and Underdale scraped home against Alberton at North Park 8.11 to 7.12. University then played Underdale in the Final at Jubilee Oval under umpire D.Busbridge. The match was close right up until early in the last quarter when Underdale’s captain, Mick Spain, who had been playing well at full forward, was taken to hospital for an X-ray of his arm. The Uni defence appreciated his absence and its forwards kicked more accurately to give Uni victory by 16 points, 14.11 to 11.13. Ian Seppelt, Alby Gillespie and Horrie Thompson were best for the Blacks. This was University’s eighth premiership. In the eighteen years of competition, University and Semaphore Central had won fourteen premierships between them. However, tougher times were ahead for these two clubs, and 1932 was the end of their complete dominance of the S.A.A.F.L. competition.
In A2 PAOC protested the result of its Semi Final against St. Augustine on the grounds that a goal had not been recorded on its score and so the match was replayed, but it still lost 10.9 to 14.9. Colonel Light Gardens, after winning the Semi Final 18.18 to 6.8, finished its undefeated season by winning the Final against St.Augustine 12.12 to 11.13.
The Junior League table after 16 rounds was Semaphore Central Juniors (30), Colonel Light Gardens B (26), Kings O.C. (24), Kenilworth B (19), Goodwood B (18), S.A. Railway Institute (15), Otiose (8), S.P.O.C. B (2) and P.A.O.C. B (2). Alberton United B dropped out after round 5. Semaphore and Kenilworth won the Semi Finals 6.22 to 5.5 and 10.9 to 7.15 respectively, then Semaphore defeated Kenilworth 13.14 to 10.10 in the Final.
Two players tied for the Hone Medal, William Curtis of Alberton and Gordon Day of Teachers College. The A2 medallist wasMervyn Evans of PAOC. The leading goalkicker in A1 was Mick Spain of Underdale with 54 goals while Les Fillmore of Colonel Light Gardens kicked 118 in A2.
The interstate team from Melbourne arrived on the Saturday of the King’s Birthday long weekend and was taken to the match between Sturt and Norwood at Adelaide Oval. That evening both teams were entertained at Wests Picture Theatre, then the following day were motored through the hills.
The pleasantries ended abruptly on Monday 6th June however, as S.A. was keen to avenge its big defeat by the Vics the previous season. S.A. was weakened by the retirement of state captain Chris Sangster who had graduated in medicine, but had still picked a tall strong side for the match at Norwood Oval, and a record crowd turned out, the gate takings of £27.19.8 at 7d per head plus 174 free tickets suggesting an attendance of over eleven hundred spectators. They must have cheered loudly because S.A. enjoyed its second victory over the Vics.
The S.A. team, managed by Hugh Millard, was as follows:
- Bridgland, Lionel capt. chb St.Peters O.C.
- Brunt, Bill wing Kenilworth
- Burnett, Charlie hb Underdale
- Day, Gordon centre Teachers College
- Evans, Mervyn wing Prince Alfred O.C.
- Fillmore, Don hf Colonel Light Gardens
- Fillmore, Les ff Colonel Light Gardens
- Gillespie, Alby hf University
- McGorm, Jack follower Alberton Church United
- McLeod, Allan v.c. rover Scotch O.C.
- McMichael. Dick chf University
- Reval, Alan ruck Semaphore Central
- Scarman rover Kenilworth
- Seppelt, Ian ruck University
- Stephenson, J fb Kenilworth
- Toms, Ern follower St.Peters O.C.
- Tunbridge, Harold bp Semaphore Central
- Tuohy, Doug hb St. Augustine
The reserves were Don Burnard (Uni) and Reynolds (Kingswood). Burnard came on during the third quarter to replace Scarman who had injured an ankle after roving brilliantly. According to a report in the Advertiser (7.6.32), there was “everything which makes the game brilliant as a spectacle ” with long kicking, spectacular high marking and accurate hand ball and footpassing, and the match was “refreshing because of the absence of harassing tactics, and often reaching the acme of skill.” S.A. held the lead from early in the first quarter, with the advantage fluctuating as each team took turns to score goals. The Vics bombarded their goals late in the second quarter but the S.A. defence held firm led by captain Bridgland at centre half back. S.A. was having trouble moving the ball through half forward despite the many opportunities created by its rovers, followers and centre-line players. Then after ten minutes of play in the last quarter Victoria hit the front and desperately tried to hold on, but S.A.’s tenacity won out when with only one minute of play remaining Fillmore kicked the winning goal. The scores were as follows: