An agreement was struck with the S.A. Football Association (S.A.N.F.L. ‘B’ teams) whereby there would be a trial of free interchange of players between the Association and the Amateur League.

The Amateur Footballer, a weekly football budget produced by the Victorian amateurs, was introduced in South Australia as a joint production. Sold to the clubs for sixpence it contained club notes, results, team lists and premiership tables.

Following a number of forfeits by ‘B’ teams in the previous season, the procedure for forfeits was formalised with the receiving team being awarded two premiership points and a 5-goal to nothing score. An important precedent was set when the Umpires and Permit Committee overturned a refused clearance by Pulteney O.S. for a player wishing to transfer to Prince Alfred O.C.

The number of teams increased to 35 with the admission of new clubs Commonwealth Bank from East Torrens and North Brighton/Somerton from Glenelg South West, and the B teams of Exeter and Semaphore Central. Postal Institute went into recess and Gepps Cross applied for admission but was refused. Rather than introduce an A4 division it was decided to have twelve teams in A2 and thirteen in A3.

Sporting personality L.G. (Jack) Giles, former Sturt captain and state cricketer was appointed coach of St. Peters O.C., and Kevin Brown (ex Richmond) was appointed coach of Payneham.

Walkerville celebrated its Jubilee Year with a veterans’ match and buffet dinner at Walkerville Oval during the season, followed by a Jubilee Dinner at Walkerville Town Hall in November. However the Jubilee celebrations were mainly off the field as Walkerville did not compete in the finals for the first time in four years. With one match to play any one of Flinders Park, Semaphore Central and Walkerville could qualify in fourth place, and the evenness of the competition was demonstrated by the last round wins of Princes over Alberton and Walkerville over Exeter.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

TeamGmWLPts
University1816232
Exeter1813526
Alberton Church Unit.1812624
Flinders Park189918
Semaphore Central189918
Walkerville1881016
Woodville1871114
Prince Alfred O.C.1871114
Payneham1861212
Riverside183156

The Semi Finals resulted in easy victories to University (17.16 to 6.4) and Exeter (11.14 to 8.8). Then greater accuracy and a brilliant game from centre half forward Allan Dolman assisted Exeter to win the Final 14.5 to 10.16. The Challenge Final was played at Thebarton Oval with Mr. W.J. Edgeword in charge, and with state captain J.K.A. ‘Wimpy’ McLeod kicking seven goals, University won its second premiership match against Exeter in successive years, 13.17 to 10.7. Its best were half forward Richard Hancock and ruckman J.B. Laurie.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

S.P.O.C. recovered from a relatively poor season in 1951 to head the A2 table.

TeamGmWLDPts
St. Peters O.C.20173034
Kenilworth20155030
Goodwood20155030
Semaphore Park20146028
University B20146028
Teachers College20119022
Kings O.C.201010020
Rosewater20811117
Colonel Light Gardens20712115
Woodville B20515010
Kelvinator2031706
Payneham B2002000

Goodwood surprised in the Semi Finals by beating minor premier St. Peters O.C. by two points 8.13 to 9.5, and Kenilworth accounted for Semaphore Park 12.20 to 8.7. Goodwood beat Kenilworth in the Final 10.5 to 7.13 but then lost in the Challenge Final at Alberton Oval to minor premier St. Peters O.C. 11.9 to 9.14.

A3 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

With five ‘A’ teams in A3 it was surprising that only one made the finals.

TeamGmWLDPts
Commonwealth Bank18171034
Exeter B18153030
Semaphore Central B18144028
Flinders Park B18144028
S.A.Railways Institute18135026
University C1898119
Nth Brighton/Somerton18710115
Scotch O.C.18512111
St. Peters O.C. B18512111
Goodwood B18513010
Prince Alfred O.C. B18513010
Pulteney O.S.1831417
Teachers College B1821515

Semaphore Central caused an upset when it beat Commonwealth Bank 9.11 to 7.9 in one Semi Final, and Flinders Park accounted for Exeter in the other 9.2 to 6.9. Semaphore then defeated Flinders Park in the Final 10.12 to 4.8 and Commonwealth Bank 11.14 to 7.15 in the Challenge Final at Payneham Oval.

For the third time on record, voting for the A1 Hone Medal resulted in a tie. The co-medallists were state teammates Merv Natt (Exeter) and Stan Hobbs, Alberton Church United’s captain/coach and former Port Adelaide rover. Another state player Clarrie Christensen, formerly of Exeter and now with Rosewater, raced away from the opposition in the count for the A2 Chambers Medal to leave his nearest rival 15 votes in arrears. Ian McLeod of Railways won the A3 McKay Medal, and Don Pike of Teachers College won the War Memorial Medal. The leading A1 goalkicker was state captain and University full forward Alistair McLeod with 56 goals. The awards were presented at a buffet dinner in the banqueting room of the Adelaide Town Hall.

After the hectic state schedule of the previous few years, things became reasonably sedate with just the one match against the Victorians at Alberton Oval on Monday June 9th umpired by W.J. Edgeword. George Tilley was again coach and Graham Wilson manager. Half back John Lawrence was the 1952 Rhodes Scholar.

  • Bunce, Brian bp Alberton Church United
  • Christensen, Clarrie hf Rosewater
  • Cocks, Kevin wing Walkerville
  • Crichton, John reserve Semaphore Central
  • Dodson, Brian fb Exeter
  • Elix, ‘Gus’ centre University
  • Farr, Jim follower Riverside
  • Giles, Doug ruck University
  • Gubbins, Frank ff Walkerville
  • Harris, Digby follower University
  • Hobbs, Stan vice capt rover Alberton Church United
  • Jarratt, Claude wing Walkerville
  • Lawrence, John hb University
  • McLeod, Alistair capt. chf University
  • Natt, Merv hb Exeter
  • Schultz, Tommy rover Walkerville
  • Seedsman, Ken chb St. Peters O.C.
  • Shannon, Stan reserve Rosewater
  • Stevens, Laurie ruck Woodville
  • Tunbridge, Peter hb University

The match was fast and vigorous and S.A. lost Cocks and Lawrence with injury in the first quarter. Victoria gained the ascendancy in the second quarter and led by 20 points at half time. Big Alistair McLeod was shifted to centre half forward and proceeded to kick 3 goals to put S.A. back in the match and even take the lead in the last quarter, but then full forward Frank Gubbins suffered a leg injury and was immobilised in a forward pocket. The scores were levelled with a few minutes to go then disaster struck again as full back Brian Dodson was carried off on a stretcher just as the Vics scored the winning goal in the last minute of play. High-flying follower Jim Farr was S.A.’s best with an inspired display in the ruck, and Natt and Dodson were sound in defence.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 2.4 6.6 8.11 9.15 (69) S.A. 2.3 3.4 6.6 9.9 (63)

  • Goalkickers: McLeod 4, Christensen, Farr, Gubbins, Harris, Schultz
  • Best Players: Farr, Tunbridge, Natt, Harris, Dodson, McLeod,

Merv Natt and Jim Farr were awarded trophies.