As mentioned in Chapter 5, Payneham had a miserable start to its first A1 season when in round 1 its winning run of 72 matches in a row was ended: then in round 2 after defeating University it had its points taken away because one of its players was a professional runner; then in round 4 after defeating the strong Exeter team, it had its points taken away again for playing a professional cyclist.

The Amateur League Ball must have retained its status as social event of the year as it warranted an organising committee of 32 people. The Walkerville club dominated the evening as it won the prize for the Best Decorated Box (‘Ye Olde Kickit Inn’) and the miniature bike race.

A less frivolous event was the suspension of Semaphore Central. As a result of incidents in the match against S.A.Railways Institute on June 3rd, two Semaphore players were suspended (for abusive language and “hacking an opponent”), and the Club secretary was disqualified from holding any official position in the Club until the beginning of 1940 for striking a Railways player during the first quarter. Then a few weeks later the Semaphore club was reported by the central umpire for the behaviour of the team, its coach and its supporters in a match against University.

Umpire J.J. Quinn, a former S.A.N.F.L. umpire and Life Member of Semaphore Central, alleged that Semaphore coach F.J. Herde had menaced him during the match, that the Semaphore team had constantly disputed his decisions and used bad language, that supporters had used filthy and abusive language and had come onto the ground at three-quarter time and menaced him, and that several Semaphore players had attacked University players behind the play. After taking evidence from several witnesses, the Tribunal disqualified Semaphore for the remainder of the season. This meant that with only one minor round match left to play, Semaphore, who had been at the top of the premiership table and favourite for the flag, would miss the finals. Semaphore appealed the decision but the Executive Committee dismissed the appeal.

The disqualification of Semaphore left newly-promoted teams Payneham and Railways in top and third positions respectively at the end of the minor round, Payneham having overcome its shaky start to the season. For the first time University was in danger of relegation to A2 as at the end of round 16 it was bottom and had to win its last two matches (one against top side Semaphore) and rely on Payneham beating Walkerville in the last minor-round match. However, all this eventuated and so Walkerville, though equal with University on points, was relegated because of an inferior percentage (46.64% compared to 47.13%).

Team

Gms

W

L

Pts

Payneham

18

13

5

26

Exeter

18

13

5

26

S.A. Railways Institute

18

11

7

22

Colonel Light Gardens

18

8

10

16

Underdale

18

7

11

14

St. Peters O.C.

18

6

12

12

University

18

6

12

12

Walkerville

18

6

12

12

Prince Alfred O.C.

18

5

13

10

Payneham was far too strong for Railways in the Semi Final winning 16.11 to 6.12, but Exeter, after a five-goal-to-one first quarter, had to struggle hard at Alberton Oval to win 7.11 to 6.5 against Colonel Light Gardens. The Final was played at Prospect Oval under J.J. Quinn, and in a fiercely contested game Exeter won 15.20 to 14.12, aided by a fine match from centre half forward J. Doyle. Payneham then exercised its right of challenge and the replay at Prospect Oval was again in the charge of J.J. Quinn. Payneham opened with an eight goal burst in the first quarter and still lead by four goals at the commencement of the final quarter. An early goal put them five goals in front but then Exeter took over, hit the front for the first time with six minutes remaining, and held on to win its first Amateur League premiership by two points, 15.11 to 15.9.

Exeter centre half forward J.Doyle was again best player, and full forward Alec Kinlough kicked 9 goals. Payneham full forward Sid Loader kicked 8. After the match Exeter Captain Augie Reinberg announced his retirement after 20 years of football, but reappeared on several occasions in the next couple of seasons when war reduced the available playing ranks.

The two teams relegated from A1 the previous season, Kenilworth and Alberton Church United, dominated the A2 competition.

Team

Gms

W

L

Pts

Kenilworth

18

16

2

32

Alberton Church Unit.

18

13

5

26

Teachers College

18

11

7

22

Pulteney O.S.

18

11

7

22

Kings O.C.

18

10

8

20

Y.M.C.A.

18

9

9

18

Scotch O.C.

18

9

9

18

Christian Brothers O.C.

18

6

12

12

Combined Banks

18

4

14

8

University B

18

1

17

2

Teachers College surprised by beating Kenilworth in the Semi Final 7.7 to 6.10, whilst Alberton accounted for Pulteney 12.13 to 10.7. In the Final at Prospect Oval, Teachers College beat Alberton 14.15 to 10.4, and so had to accept the Challenge from minor premiers Kenilworth. The Challenge Final was played at Norwood Oval under F.G.H. Davis, and this time Kenilworth was the victor 15.13 to 12.16.

Awards

The Hone Medal winner for 1939 was Underdale vice-captain George Matson, with Grant Jarrett of Scotch the A2 medallist. Alec Kinlough of Exeter kicked 118 goals to the end of the minor round to win the A1 goalkicking.

Interstate

The interstate match was played at Norwood Oval on July 29 under central umpire J.J. Quinn. Coach of the team was Syd Ackland, former Norwood and state player and coach of Payneham. Ivan Hooper of Pulteney was named captain but broke his collarbone before the match was played. The team was as follows:

  • Adcock, Clarrie follower Kings O.C.
  • Anderson, Charlie reserve Exeter
  • Bertram, John captain bp St.Peters O.C.
  • Boucaut, Arthur chf St.Peters O.C.
  • Dawkins, Arthur ff Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Dillon, Bert rover Walkerville
  • Hand, Ron fp Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Hogan, James hb Christian Brothers OC
  • Hudson, William bp S.A.Railways Institute
  • Inglis, Arthur fb Semaphore Central
  • Jarrett, Grant follower Scotch O.C.
  • LeMessurier, Peter w St.Peters O.C.
  • Ligertwood, Noel hf University
  • McLean, Les chb Semaphore Central
  • Mills, Lindsay w Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Narroway, Max hf Pulteney O.S.
  • Palmer, Alan centre Payneham
  • Powell, William hb Exeter
  • Vincent, Harry reserve Exeter
  • Ware, Bruce rover Payneham

A strong wind marred the standard of play, but suited the more vigorous Victorian team whose half-back line controlled the game. The Vics also won the marking contests and generally kicked the ball a lot further. Any chance S.A. had was wasted in the third quarter when it kicked 1.8 with the strong breeze. Dillon roved well for S.A. and Inglis played his usual sound game at full back.

Team

1Q

2Q

3Q

Final

Victoria

0.2

9.9

12.11

15.16 (106)

S.A.

5.4

6.5

7.13

10.17 (77)

  • Goalkickers: Dawkins 3, Jarrett 2, Dillon, Hand, Ligertwood, Narroway, Ware
  • Best Players: Dillon, Inglis, Jarrett, Bertram, Adcock, LeMessurier