SAAFL History – 1948

Life Memberships were awarded to H.V.Millard and C.G.Tideman who were beginning their 24th and 17th year of service respectively. These two men had been the backbone of the Amateur League and would continue to give sterling service. GivenHugh Millard’s central position in starting interstate football amongst the amateurs, it was appropriate that 1948 was also the year that the A.A.F.C. was granted representation on the Australian National Football Council. As a consequence of this significant move, the A.A.F.C. agreed to adopt the same rules as the A.N.F.C., including 19th and 20th men in place of the unlimited replacement, except that the amateurs would retain the send-off rule.

With three divisions in the Amateur League the number of umpires required grew as well, and H.W.Main was appointed Umpires’ Coach. The umpiring panel included R.Ackland, J.F.Bennett, C.Bridgart, W.L.Bridgman, C.H.Cox, V.Cocks, E.R.Guy, L.C.Heath,C.B.Johnson, J.A.Johnson, R.J.McArthur, F.J.Monten, F.K.Russell, C.Sisson, A.K.Tucker and E.Waldeck.

Postal Institute had formed a football club in 1944 following many years of social and mid-week matches, and had been a member of the Adelaide & Suburban Association before joining the Amateur League in 1948. It stayed with the amateurs for what was to be a 41-year residency. Also admitted were the B teams of Goodwood, Kings O.C., Prince Alfred O.C., St. Peters O.C. and Teachers College, bringing the total number of teams to 28. Many B teams of clubs had been playing in the Student Association, but now that an A3 division was in place it was simpler to play both A and B teams in the Amateur League.

The A1 and A2 divisions were each increased to ten teams. The bottom A1 teams in 1947, Colonel Light Gardens and Prince Alfred O.C., remained in A1 and the A2 finalists Goodwood and Kelvinator came up to A1 to make up the ten teams. Promoted to A2 were Christian Brothers O.C., Payneham B, Pulteney O.S. and S.A. Railways Institute, and all the new teams went in to A3 to make up an eight-team competition.

Exeter and University were the best performed teams in A1 and played stirring matches against each other. The first time these two teams met it resulted in a draw, then on the second occasion University inflicted Exeter’s only defeat for the season. With four drawn matches in A1 and two in A2 there was plenty of interest in who would play in the finals.

However, at the end of the minor round 4 teams stood well above the rest, the top 3 retaining their positions from the previous season, and Semaphore Central replacing Payneham who had slumped to ninth.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Team Gms W L D Pts
Exeter 18 16 1 1 33
University 18 14 3 1 29
Woodville 18 12 4 2 26
Semaphore Central 18 12 5 1 25
Goodwood 18 8 9 1 17
Prince Alfred O.C. 18 8 10 0 16
Walkerville 18 7 11 0 14
Kelvinator 18 6 12 0 12
Payneham 18 3 14 1 7
Colonel Light Gardens 18 0 17 1 1

Semaphore surprised by defeating second-placed University 12.12 to 12.5 in one Semi Final, while Exeter defeated Woodville in the other 14.19 to 12.6. Hence the co-tenants at Largs Reserve, Exeter and Semaphore Central, faced each other for the first time in a Final since 1940. The match was played at Woodville Oval under central umpire Mr. F.K. Russell and Exeter was victorious 8.10 to 6.8 with Merv Natt, the best S.A. player in the recent Perth carnival, outstanding at half back, and well supported by team mates Franklin, Powell and Zucker.

This Grand Final victory gave Exeter five of the previous six A1 premierships and set a record unmatched in the Amateur League as at the date of writing. It could be said that the period 1939-48 was Exeter’s Golden Decade. One wonders what it would have achieved had there been no disruption caused by war.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

A2 teams Kings O.C. and Teachers College reversed their positions on the A2 premiership ladder from the previous season, when they went from second and third bottom to second and third top at the end of the 1948 minor round. Only Alberton Church

Team Gms W L D Pts
Alberton Church United 18 16 2 0 32
Kings O.C. 18 15 2 1 31
Teachers College 18 15 3 0 30
St. Peters O.C. 18 11 7 0 22
S.A. Railways Institute 18 8 9 1 17
Kenilworth 18 8 10 0 16
University B 18 7 11 0 14
Christian Brothers O.C. 18 6 11 1 13
Payneham B 18 2 15 1 5
Pulteney O.S. 18 0 18 0 0

United, finished with a better win-loss record. Kings and College then continued to display good form by winning their Semi Finals 12.8 to 9.15 and 9.24 to 8.10 respectively, and so met in the Final at Kensington Oval which Kings won 14.13 to 12.15. However, in the Challenge Final at Alberton Oval, minor premier Alberton turned the tables winning 10.16 to 8.9.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

In A3 Goodwood B, Scotch O.C. and Postal Institute led the field during the season.

Team Gms W L Pts
Goodwood B 18 15 3 30
Scotch O.C. 18 14 4 28
Postal Institute 18 13 5 26
Teachers College B 18 10 8 20
St. Peters O.C. B 18 10 8 20
Prince Alfred O.C. B 18 5 13 10
Queens O.C. 18 5 13 10
Kings O.C. B 18 0 18 0

Goodwood and Scotch won the Semi Finals 13.9 to 7.7 and 19.14 to 7.10 respectively. Goodwood then won the Final at Teachers College Oval 16.13 to 9.6.


The Hone Medal was won by Colonel Light Gardens and state player Harold Simpson. Clarrie Adcock of Kings O.C. and a former state player over four seasons won the A2 Chambers Medal, and Sid Lowe of St. Peters O.C. won the A3 McKay medal. Bill Hudson of Woodville was the leading A1 goalkicker with something in excess of 57 goals during the minor round.


The Western Australia Amateur Football Association had become a member of the A.A.F.C. in 1947 and had the honour of hosting the first post-war carnival in 1948. The W.A. Trotting Association donated a shield for the champions of this, the third AAFC carnival.

The S.A. squad was as follows:

  • Bray, Geoff Alberton Church United
  • Brebner, Don University
  • Bunce, Brian Alberton Church United
  • Dillon, Bert Walkerville
  • Dowding, Alan University
  • Downing, Bruce Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Franklin, Murray Goodwood
  • Gower, Arthur Exeter
  • Griffiths, Frank Semaphore Central
  • Halliday, Dick vice capt. Payneham
  • Harvey, Jim Exeter
  • Hinds, Ken Woodville
  • Hudson, Bill Woodville
  • Jones, Eric Kelvinator
  • McKay, Bruce Kelvinator
  • Michelmore, Barry University
  • Natt, Merv Exeter
  • Price, Owen Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Quinn, Jack Semaphore Central
  • Reeves, Murray Semaphore Central
  • Simpson, Harry Colonel Light Gardens
  • Teagle, Ken Woodville
  • Tregonning, Alec captain University
  • Wood, Ray Kings O.C.
  • Zucker, Lloyd Exeter

Alec Tregonning, a medical student and captain of the S.A. team, came originally from W.A. and was part of a sporting family. His father was captain of the Australian hockey team in 1932. His brother Ken was captain of the University rugby team, and his other brother Chip was captain of the University hockey team.

The team travelled to Perth by train with coach Harold Page and manager G.P.Wilson, leaving at 1.15 pm on Monday 2nd August and arriving in Perth on Thursday 5th at 6.30 am. The Lord Mayor of Perth gave a civic reception to all teams the next day, and the first match was played between S.A. and Tasmania on the Saturday after an official opening of the carnival by the Premier of W.A. Ross McLarty. All matches were played at the Subiaco Oval. Results were as follows:

Saturday August 7, 1948

S.A.Team v Tasmania

S.A. was far too good for the Tasmanians, winning in ruck, at centre and centre half forward. Full forward Hudson kicked four goals in the first seven minutes and had several opponents during the afternoon.1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 7.6 13.14 19.23 23.26 (164) Tasmania 1.3 2.7 2.9 6.16 (52)

  • Goalkickers: Hudson 11, Griffiths 3, Halliday 3, Harvey 2, Hinds, McKay, Teagle, Wood
  • Best Players: Hudson, Teagle, Harvey, Tregonning, Halliday, Natt

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 5.2 7.6 8.11 11.14 (80) W.A. 2.3 5.4 9.7 11.12 (78)

Tuesday August 10, 1948

S.A.Team v W.A.

W.A. looked the better side early in the match kicking 9 goals in a first-quarter blitz. However, S.A. managed to score 5 itself and held the West to only 2 goals in the second quarter to trail by only 6 points at half time. Then W.A. wilted in the third quarter, perhaps feeling the strain of its hard match against the Vics, and S.A. went on to a comfortable victory. S.A.’s rucks were again dominant, especially Zucker and Halliday, and Dowding (the Rhodes Scholar for 1949) fired on a wing.1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 5.5 10.9 16.10 21.19 (145) W.A. 9.3 11.9 11.11 14.15 (99)

  • Goalkickers: Hudson 7, Halliday 7, Michelmore 3, Zucker 2, Harvey, Wood
  • Best Players: Dowding, Zucker, Halliday, Hudson, Tregonning, Natt

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 3.6 7.11 12.19 24.24 (168) Tasmania 3.1 5.4 6.4 8.4 (52)

Thursday August 12, 1948

S.A.Team v Victoria

The match was very tight in the first quarter with S.A. having more of the play but wasting scoring opportunities. In the second quarter S.A. started to break away, and with its half back line well on top enjoyed a handy 25 point lead at half time. However, the Vics came out firing in the second half and looked as if they might go on and win, but a mistake in their forward line late in the match allowed S.A. to score a late goal and win the match.1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 1.8 6.13 7.16 11.21 (87) Victoria 2.4 3.6 8.11 10.14 (74)

  • Goalkickers: Halliday 4, Zucker 3, Hudson 2, Michelmore, Teagle
  • Best Players: Brebner, Natt, Zucker, Dowding, Griffiths, Downing

1Q 2Q 3Q Final

W.A. 6.3 9.6 13.9 16.11 (107) Tasmania 2.0 4.7 8.10 12.16 (88)

This was S.A.’s fourth victory against Victoria and its first carnival championship, Victoria having won the previous two, and would have put the players in the right mood for their long train-ride home.

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