Most of the clubs had former League players coaching, with Fred Aistrope (Sturt) at Kenilworth, C.W.Bennett (West Adelaide) atKelvinator, H.Blight (West Torrens) at Woodville, C.R. (Dick) Halliday (Glenelg) at Payneham, Fred Herde (South Adelaide) at St. Peters O.C., Bill Knuckey (North Adelaide) at Walkerville, Ray McArthur (West Adelaide) at Goodwood, Harold Page (Norwood) at University, Harry Powell (West Adelaide) at Exeter, John Stephens (Norwood) at Prince Alfred O.C., and L.Sterzi (South Adelaide) at Colonel Light Gardens.
With eight teams in A1 each team played fourteen minor round matches, and Exeter was back to its best pre-war form finishing minor premier with only two losses (to Payneham and Woodville). During the season it held a past-versus-present match, and as part of the half-time festivities fifteen players were given four attempts to dropkick a football into an old tub from forty yards. Arthur Gower did so at his first attempt, and was the only player to succeed.
A1 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
|Colonel Light Gardens||14||3||11||6|
|Prince Alfred O.C.||14||3||11||6|
Woodville temporarily knocked out Exeter in the Semi Final winning 14.12 to 10.11, and University beat Payneham 9.18 to 6.11. However, as mentioned in Chapter 5, Payneham protested on the grounds that University player L.Streng had umpired for fees the previous season and hence had forfeited his amateur status. The Amateur League Executive duly awarded the match to Payneham. Woodville thus met Payneham in the Final at Teachers College Oval and won 17.18 to 15.7, and having already beaten Exeter in the Semi Final lined up as favourite in the Challenge Final at Alberton Oval under umpire L.R.Cooper. However, Exeter, under the leadership of captain/coach Harry Powell and the brilliance of Don Russell and Arthur Gower, won easily in front of a crowd of 2000 people 14.14 to 6.8, giving it a record four out of five consecutive Amateur League premierships. Exeter celebrated its victory by playing a match against Port Adelaide the next day at the I.C.I. Oval, while Woodville overcame its sorrow with an interstate trip to Ballarat.
A2 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
A2 also had its sensation when Goodwood protested the result of its A2 match against Kings O.C. at Goodwood Oval in June. With three minutes left in the game, Goodwood was trailing by six points when Goodwood ruckman Jack Andrew soccered the ball through the Goodwood goals. However, the goal umpire had just suffered an epileptic seizure and was being supported by a bystander when the ball went through between the goal posts. The goal umpire was incapable of making a decision, and although the bystander said he saw the ball pass through the goals and was willing to signal a goal, the central umpire, L. Heath was bound by the rules to disallow any score and bounce the ball in the goalsquare. Kings then cleared the ball from the area and the siren went to give Kings the match 10.12 to 9.12. Goodwood protested on the grounds that the bystander was in fact the temporary umpire during the period that he assisted the helpless official. However, the Tribunal ruled that the central umpire had acted correctly and so the score remained with Kings winning by six points.
Despite this setback, Goodwood still finished minor premier.
|Alberton Church United||14||9||5||0||18|
|St. Peters O.C.||14||7||6||1||15|
Goodwood easily won its Semi Final 12.14 to Alberton Church 6.9, and Kelvinator also won easily 12.17 to St. Peters 4.15.Goodwood then erased all negative thoughts about its disallowed protest in June by winning the A2 Mark Mitchell Shield, scoring 13.8 to Kelvinator’s 9.8 in the Final at Payneham Oval, assisted by fine games from Sorrell, Hill and Crase.
With only six teams in A3, each team played the others three times. At the end of the minor round Railways, who had started the season in A2 but switched with A3 team Teachers College after the third match, was the minor premier, although as it began with zero points in round 4 its unclear how it ended with a 13-2 win-loss ratio.
A3 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
|Christian Brothers O.C.||15||12||3||0||24|
In the Semi Finals, Railways defeated Payneham 10.15 to 7.13 and C.B.O.C. thrashed Pulteney 27.12 to 5.4. Then to complete a year of protests, Payneham was awarded its Semi Final on the grounds that Railways player I. McLeod had officiated as a paid umpire the previous season. However, as a coda to the season of sensations, the Amateur League ruled that as Railways was minor premier it would still have the right of challenge. C.B.O.C. had another easy win in the Final scoring 16.13 to Payneham’s 9.11, and then led by Kildea, Isaac and Egar, put the issue beyond doubt by defeating disqualified Semi Finalist Railways in the Challenge Final at Thebarton Oval 11.8 to 10.13 to become the inaugural winners of the Darnley Naylor Shield.
The Hone Medallist in 1947 was Payneham’s coach and vice captain of the state team, Dick Halliday. Bill Hay of St. Peters O.C.won the A2 Chambers Medal, while Ivan Hooper, captain of Pulteney O.S., won the inaugural A3 McKay Medal. This was Hooper’s fourth Amateur League medal, having won the A2 medal in 1936, 1937 and 1940. The leading goalkicker in A1 was state full forward Bernie Jordan of Woodville with 42 goals.
At the first meeting of the A.A.F.C. since the war it was agreed to admit the Western Australia Amateur Football Association which had brought its definition of an amateur footballer into line with the other states. Plans were put in place for a carnival in Perth in 1948. In the meantime S.A. invited Victoria to play a match at Adelaide Oval. Even though it was Victoria’s turn to host the match, the availability of Adelaide Oval was enough to have the match played at the S.A.N.F.L.’s headquarters.
After having managed every S.A. team since the inception of interstate football in 1925 right up to the last match played in 1939,Hugh Millard stood down as manager in favour of Executive Committee member G.P. Wilson. University’s coach Harold Page, a former Norwood and state player, was the coach.
In an internal trial at University Oval on August 2nd, Tregonning’s team defeated Halliday’s team 14.19 to 10.14. The South Australian team for the state match on August 9th was as follows:
- Abbott, Derek chb University
- Bennetts, Lionel chf Walkerville
- Bray, Geoff wing Alberton Church United
- Bunce, Brian reserve Alberton Church United
- Carr, Ray bp Semaphore Central
- Davies, Don hf University
- Downing, Bruce hb Prince Alfred O.C.
- Duke, Keith follower Payneham
- Garland, Tom ruck Woodville
- Griffiths, Frank reserve Semaphore Central
- Halliday, Dick v.c. rover Payneham
- Hamilton, Doug fb Woodville
- Hay, Bill ruck St.Peters O.C.
- Jordan, Bernie ff Woodville
- Russell, Don reserve Exeter
- Simpson, Harry reserve Colonel Light Gardens
- Teagle, Ken reserve Woodville
- Tregonning, Alec cpt. c University
- Webber, Robert rover Teachers College
- Whelan, R follower Kenilworth
- Wood, Ray hf Kings O.C.
- Woodward, Oliver wing University
A very large crowd estimated at 6000 people witnessed an even contest up until half-time, but after the long break S.A., with dominant rucks and Davies starring on a flank, put on a match-winning six-goal burst. Unlike former contests, it seemed that the S.A. team was taller and heavier than its opponents and so won the aerial contests whilst also outpacing the Vics. Abbott at centre half back, won the award as S.A.’s best, and rovers Webber and Halliday appreciated their ruckmen’s fine play to shine for S.A. The umpire was L.R. ‘Casey’ Cooper.
- Goalkickers: Halliday 4, Webber 4, Hay 3, Bennetts 2, Jordan 2, Teagle 2, Davies
- Best Players: Abbott, Webber, Halliday, Davies, Bennetts, Garland
This was only the fourth time that S.A. had beaten Victoria in sixteen meetings.