SAAFL History – 1950

1950 was notable as the first year of Australian selection for the amateurs when they took part in the Australian National Football Council’s third carnival in Brisbane in July. South Australia had 7 representatives in the Australian Amateur team. In his annual report, Secretary Hugh Millard bemoaned the disrespect which some players showed to umpires. His words are as true today as ever.

Football is only a game and should be played and viewed as such and the poor old umpire, upon whom so much depends to keep the game attractive, should feel that he is doing his job among friends and not enemies.

Dr. D.G.McKay retired as President after a thirty-year association with the Amateur League, the last fourteen on the Executive. A dinner was held in his honour at the Hotel Adelaide (then in Pirie Street) and in a speech to the guests Dr. McKay commented:

Amateur football has a place which the national league and its association just cannot hold. There is much misunderstanding in the world today between various strata, if I can term them that, and there is no doubt that our circle of friends is too narrow. Here in the Amateur League however, we have a good cross-section of the general community and we have an opportunity of mixing with people whom otherwise we would never meet. (Advertiser 20.4.50)

The new President was A.E.C. (Cory) Treloar, a former state player with University and Kenilworth, and Deputy Chairman of the Amateur League since the War. Three old scholars clubs in C.B.O.C., Pulteney O.S. and Queens O.C. did not re-affiliate in 1950. Kings O.C. did not field a ‘B’ team. New ‘B’ teams for Flinders Park and Payneham came in as well as a C team for University. This decreased the number of teams to 29, so the A3 competition had only 9 teams. Each club was levied £30 for each team plus 2/- for each registered player.

The War Memorial Medal was introduced in 1950. The Amateur Sports Club of S.A. had erected a War Memorial on its premises, and part of the Memorial was a bronze plaque. Replicas of this plaque in the form of a medallion would be presented each year to a member of each affiliated association (of which the Amateur League was one). Each association would forward the name of a player under 21 years of age who measured up in ability, constant improvement, sportsmanship, leadership and popularity. The inaugural winner for the Amateur League was Bob Williams of Payneham.

Walkerville went on with its good form from the previous season and served notice it would be a premiership threat by defeating University by seven goals at the University Oval in June. University had its revenge in August when it won by eight goals, R.R. Hancock kicking eleven for the Blacks, but Walkerville still finished minor premier. Semaphore Central lost its last minor round match to Woodville, which along with University’s defeat of Exeter, caused Centrals to drop out of the final four on percentage.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Team Gm W L D Pts
Walkerville 18 16 2 0 32
Exeter 18 14 4 0 28
Woodville 18 14 4 0 28
University 18 13 5 0 26
Semaphore Central 18 13 5 0 26
Kelvinator 18 6 11 1 13
Colonel Light Gardens 18 5 13 0 10
Alberton Church United 18 4 14 0 8
Kings O.C. 18 2 15 1 5
St. Peters O.C. 18 2 16 0 4

Walkerville won its Semi Final against Woodville 10.24 to 7.12, but University and Exeter fought out a stirring draw 10.10 each. Hence University and Exeter lined up against each for the third successive Saturday in the replay which Exeter won 8.15 to 5.11. University consoled itself by playing Norwood the following Saturday as the League team had a week off before the Grand Final. The amateur Final was played at Thebarton Oval with Mr. A.K. Tucker in charge. Exeter looked like causing an upset when it kicked four goals to one in the first quarter, and scoring became very difficult thereafter. It led for most of the match, but the three previous hard matches against University must have been a handicap as Exeter failed to score in the last quarter and Walkerville won its first A1 premiership by 5.12 to 6.3. Walkerville rover and future North Adelaide Secretary Ross Young starred for Walkerville, ably assisted by Fred Trickett and Norm Ferguson.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

As expected, Flinders Park led the charge in A2. However, after a string of 55 successive victories it didn’t start well losing its first match to Goodwood who had been relegated from A1.

Team Gm W L D Pts
Flinders Park 18 15 3 0 30
Payneham 18 13 5 0 26
Teachers College 18 12 5 1 25
Riverside 18 11 7 0 22
University B 18 8 10 0 16
Prince Alfred O.C. 18 7 10 1 15
Goodwood 18 7 11 0 14
Kenilworth 18 5 13 0 10
Scotch O.C. 18 2 16 0 4
S.A. Railways Institute 18* 0 18 0 0
  • Railways withdrew after round 6

The A2 Semi Finals were put back a week as the Teachers College team was in Perth on the scheduled Saturday. The trip couldn’t have done it much good as it was easily beaten in the Semi Final by Flinders Park 14.9 to 8.8. Riverside defeated Payneham in the other Semi Final 10.9 to 7.5. For the second year in a row Flinders Park and Riverside met in the Final and this time it was Riverside’s turn winning 9.8 to 8.10. Flinders Park exercised its right of challenge and the match was played at Thebarton under Mr. A.K. Tucker. For the first time in a Challenge Final there was a draw, both sides scoring 5.9, so the two teams met for the third week in a row, again at Thebarton Oval under Mr. Tucker, but only after the West Torrens Cricket Club sportingly altered its practice to the Saturday morning to allow the Amateur League the use of Thebarton Oval in the afternoon. A crowd of 3000 people saw Riverside get on top and surge home in the last quarter kicking 5.7 to 1.0 to win 10.12 to 6.9. Riverside captain Jack R. Quinn (formerly of Semaphore Central and cousin of Magarey Medallist Bob Quinn) was inspirational in leading his team to its first Amateur League flag.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Rosewater had no trouble in going through the season undefeated in A3 where Postal Institute was the only other ‘A’ team.

Team Gm W L D Pts
Rosewater 16 16 0 0 32
Goodwood B 16 12 3 1 25
Postal Institute 16 10 5 1 21
Flinders Park B 16 9 7 0 18
Payneham B 16 7 9 0 14
University C 16 7 9 0 14
Teachers College B 16 6 10 0 12
St. Peters O.C. B 16 3 13 0 6
Prince Alfred O.C. B 16 2 14 0 4

Minor premier Rosewater defeated Postal Institute in one Semi Final 17.22 to 6.6, and Goodwood won the other against Flinders Park 10.14 to 9.14. In the Final played at Walkerville Oval, Rosewater completed an undefeated season by beating Goodwood B 14.11 to 10.12.


State player Colin Christopherson of Kelvinator was the Hone Medallist for 1950. Bob Williams of Payneham won the A2 medal, and Les Long of Goodwood was successful in the A3 medal count. State rover Ross Young of Walkerville was the A1 leading goalkicker with 62 goals.


The interstate program was again hectic with a match against Victoria and the S.A. Football Association. In addition the All-Australian team competed in the A.N.F.C. carnival in Brisbane. Western Australia also invited S.A. to play a match in Perth but the offer was declined due to the costs involved. The S.A. squad for the matches against Victoria and the Association was as follows:

  • Armfield, George Woodville
  • Brebner, Don University
  • Burton, Malcolm Semaphore Central
  • Cate, Brian Walkerville
  • Christensen, Clarrie Exeter
  • Christopherson, Colin Kelvinator
  • Dowding, Alan University
  • Edwards, John Semaphore Central
  • Elix, Gus University
  • Griffiths, Frank v.capt v Ass Semaphore Central
  • Harvey, Jim v.capt v Vic Exeter
  • Iles, Wally Exeter
  • Johnson, Neil Kelvinator
  • Keough, Peter Semaphore Central
  • Lyon, Malcolm University
  • McLeod, Alistair University
  • Natt, Merv Exeter
  • Pederson, Harold Exeter
  • Polden, David Woodville
  • Quinn, Jack Riverside
  • Salvemini, Kevin Semaphore Central
  • Saunders, Phil St. Peters O.C.
  • Seager, Barney Payneham
  • Seedsman, Ken University
  • Sims, Keith captain v Assoc St. Peters O.C.
  • Tapp, John Exeter
  • Trewin, Neville Walkerville
  • Trickett, Fred Walkerville
  • Walsh, John University
  • Wood, Ray captain v Vic Kings O.C.
  • Young, Ross Walkerville

The first match was against Victoria at Norwood Oval. Harold Page and G.P.Wilson were again coach and manager respectively. Although beaten by the Vics the previous year at St. Kilda, the S.A. players were hopeful of repeating the big victory they enjoyed at home in 1947.

Monday June 12, 1950

S.A.Team v Victoria

Norwood Oval

J.A. Johnson was the field umpire, and S.A. started well in the fine conditions, leading by a goal at quarter time but was outplayed from then on. Although the rucks, centre line and defence struggled hard all day, its opponent was just too classy. Rover Peter Keough was S.A.’s best player.1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 2.4 10.6 14.11 21.14 (140) S.A. 3.4 5.6 8.12 10.14 (74)

  • Goalkickers: Harvey 3, Lyon 2, Saunders 2, Christensen, Keough, Seager
  • Best Players: Keough, Natt, Brebner, Wood, McLeod, Quinn.

For the match against the S.A. Association, Stan Cox of Semaphore Central replaced Harold Page as coach, the latter resigning due to business pressures. The match was played at Adelaide Oval as a curtain-raiser to the S.A.N.F.L.’s second XVIII versus Carlton game. With seven amateur state players in Brisbane for the National Football Carnival, the opportunity was given to new players at state level. Keith Sims, future Amateur League President, was the captain of the team.

After an even three quarters, the Association team ran away in the last quarter to win by 43 points, giving it two wins and a draw against the amateurs since 1937. The absence of seven of its stars in Brisbane obviously weakened the amateur team.

Saturday July 22, 1950

S.A.Team v S.A.F.A.

Adelaide Oval

Scores: 1Q 2Q 3Q Final Association 3.2 9.7 11.7 16.11 (107) Amateurs 4.2 6.3 9.8 9.10 (64)

  • Goalkickers: Young 3, Edwards 2, Saunders 2, Seager, Walsh
  • Best Players: Edwards, Seager, Young, Christensen, Tapp, Saunders

It was important for S.A. players to do well in the match against Victoria, because it was used as the basis for selecting the S.A. and Victorian representatives in the All-Australian Amateurs team for the Brisbane National Football Carnival in July. This was the first time that a team representing the amateurs in Australia had competed, and S.A. had the following seven representatives, Ray Wood being honoured with the vice captaincy.

All Australians

  • Don Brebner University
  • Jim Harvey Exeter
  • Peter Keough Semaphore Central
  • Merv Natt Exeter
  • Alistair McLeod University
  • Jack Quinn Riverside
  • Ray Wood vice captain Kings O.C.

The Brisbane carnival at the Exhibition Ground opened in torrential rain but the amateurs played magnificently throughout to finish on top of Section II. A feature of the carnival was the predominance of the drop punt in the heavy conditions. Apparently the drop punt was then being used more frequently in Victoria, with Jack Dyer claiming he had invented it.

Thursday July 20th 1950

In the first match against N.S.W. Brebner, Keough, Quinn, and Wood played in the 11.13 to 8.6 victory.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Aust. Amateurs 3.4 5.7. 8.10 11.13 (79) N.S.W. 2.1 7.2 7.6 8.6 (54)

Jack Quinn and Ray Wood made the best players and Wood kicked five goals.

Saturday July 22nd 1950

All the S.A. players except Brebner were selected in the next match under lights against Queensland, and the Amateurs did well to defeat the home side.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Aust. Amateurs 4.4 9.6 11.10 14.13 (97) Queensland 3.3 6.3 8.5 11.7 (73)

Jim Harvey kicked four goals and made the best players along with Jack Quinn.

Wednesday July 26th 1950

The final match against the A.C.T. resulted in an easy victory for the Amateurs. All the S.A. representatives with the exception of Brebner again played.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Aust. Amateurs 5.7 9.14 11.17 15.21 (111) A.C.T. 1.3 1.4 3.7 4.7 (31)

Peter Keough kicked four goals.

With three straight victories the Australian Amateurs were champions of Section II. This meant that they would play the V.F.A. (bottom of Section I) the following year for the right to promotion to Section I. The Australian Amateurs played A.C.T. on July 29th in an exhibition match at Newcastle on the way home.

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