In order to raise funds to send a team to the 1959 carnival in Perth, it was decided to resurrect the Amateur League Ball which was held in Centennial Hall Wayville. Although returning a profit, it seems it did not reach the dazzling heights of those held in the late ’30s. Certainly the press did not go into raptures about feminine apparel on show.
By 1958 over 60 teams were competing in the Amateur League and the number of registered players topped the 2000 mark. A statistic that would bring envy to the eyes of present-day officials is the number of players appearing before the tribunal – 5! Even allowing for a 3.4 increase in the number of teams today, one expects that if today the tribunal had to hear charges against only 17 players in a season, it would be an extremely light year. The number of clubs increased by 2 with 3 in and 1 out. Long Range Weapons disbanded after only 5 seasons, and Scotch O.C. returned after a one-year recess. Two very strong clubs who were to be a force right up to the present time were also admitted. Brighton had been in existence since 1885 and had spent most of its time in the Glenelg District/Glenelg South West Associations, while Kilburn had been in the North Adelaide District Association for 38 years. Both were placed in A3 but were to be A1 sides within 4 seasons.
University again finished minor premier in A1 for the ninth time since the War. However, A2 premier from 1957 Riverside, under coach Allen Greer, gave as good as it got to be a real threat in its first season back in A1, winning its last seven matches in a row including the last two against University and
Rosewater, and so pipped Semaphore Central for second after Centrals lost 4 of its first 5 matches, then only 1 more – to Riverside by a point in round 12 – which started Riverside’s winning run. Flinders Park slipped from third in ’57 (12 wins) to bottom (4 wins) in ’58.
A1 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
Reigning premier Rosewater won the First Semi Final against Semaphore 11.7 to 8.11. The Second Semi at Kensington between University and Riverside ended in a draw, Uni 13.7 to Riverside 12.13, Akkermans and Lill for Uni kicking 5 goals each and ex-Port Adelaide star Roger Clift kicking 7 for Riverside. The match was replayed and this time University won 9.12 to 7.11. Riverside then easily accounted for Rosewater 10.3 to 3.6, and so fronted up to University for the third time in four weeks. The Grand Final was played at Alberton Oval in perfect conditions, with high marking and long kicking the order of the day. Unfortunately for University, its kicking for goal was not up to scratch and Riverside was better in general field play, so that Riverside emerged premier winning 8.11 to 6.13. Riverside had won nine, drawn one and lost one of its last eleven matches for the season to become only the third club after West Adelaide United (1936) and Woodville (1946) to win the A1 premiership in its first year after promotion to A1.
Traditional rivals S.P.O.C. and P.A.O.C. led the way in A2, each having defeated the other once in the minor round.
A2 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
|St. Peters O.C.||18||13||5||0||26|
|Prince Alfred O.C.||18||13||5||0||26|
|Colonel Light Gardens||18||6||12||0||12|
|Henley and Grange||18||0||18||0||0|
The Old Blues and Old Reds met in the Second Semi at Payneham. The Reds, coached by Ted Norman, led by five goals halfway through the third quarter when Leon Gregory came into the game taking mark after mark in the forward pocket to get the Blues up by four points 15.14 to 15.10. Semaphore Park beat Alberton in the other Semi 9.13 to 8.10. Princes then won the Prelim. 12.14 to Semaphore Park 10.9, and so faced up to Saints for another go in the Grand Final at Brighton. This time it was Princes’ turn, and with players such as ‘Doc’ Clarkson, Peter Dalwood and Murray Ducker leading the way, and with Keith Scott shutting out Saints ruckman and captain Alan Giles, it won 11.20 to 10.11. This would have been a very happy moment for Amateur League supremo Alan Statton who was Secretary of the Old Reds at the time.
New club Brighton looked like having a clean sweep in A3 until the last minor round match when it was beaten by Kilburn who was returning the favour for its only defeat.
A3 Premiership Table
(as at the end of the minor round)
|S.A. Railways Institute||18||5||13||0||10|
Brighton reversed the result in the Semi Final by beating Kilburn 13.12 to 9.7 and Woodville won its Semi against Ethelton 19.13 to 7.8. Then in the upset of the season, Woodville destroyed Kilburn 10.12 to 3.14 in the Prelim. to win a place in the Grand Final at Kensington, but was no match for Brighton who won comfortably 14.11 to 8.9
The A4 premiership table at the end of the minor round showed Riverside B on top with 32 points followed by University C (30), Teachers College B (24), Semaphore Central B (24), Wattle Park T.C. (22), Rosewater B (18), Brighton B (16), Birkenhead Sports (10), Semaphore Park B (4) and S.P.O.C. B (2). The Semi Finals were won by University (9.12 to 5.10) and Semaphore Central (8.12 to 6.6). Riverside recovered from its loss to Uni by defeating Centrals in the Prelim. and then went on to win the Grand Final at Kensington Oval 5.10 to University 2.8. Riverside thus enjoyed A and B grade premierships (defeating Uni in both cases) and celebrated well into the night.
In A5 Henley and Grange B and Ethelton B didn’t bother the scorers much during the season but did produce a repeat of the previous year’s A2 sensation. In their match at Henley Oval in round 6, some of the Ethelton players incurred the wrath of central umpire R.R. Thompson. After the fourth player had been dismissed from the playing field during the second quarter, the Ethelton team went on strike and refused to play on. The match was duly awarded to Henley. The defaulting team in the ’57 incident, Colonel Light Gardens B, did not bother the scorer much either kicking an average of three goals a match and failing to score at all for three matches in succession. The only ‘A’ team in A5, Scotch O.C., finished minor premier with 32 points after 18 rounds, followed by Kilburn B (30), P.A.O.C. B (28), University D (26), Flinders Park B (22), Teachers College C (19), Henley & Grange B (15), Payneham C (14), Kenilworth B (12), Ethelton B (10), Brighton C (4) and Colonel Light Gardens B (2). The Semi Finals were won by Scotch (13.15 to 8.7) and University D (11.9 to 10.7), then Kilburn and Uni drew in the Prelim. 4.15 to 6.3. Kilburn won the replay by three points 5.12 to 5.9, and then in the Grand Final at Alberton, the Chics knocked over Scotch by three points 7.11 to 7.8.
The Under 17 Colts minor round finished after 16 rounds with Exeter on 30 points followed by Woodville (26), Flinders Park (22), Semaphore Central (22), Kilburn (16), Walkerville (14), Payneham (6), Brighton (4) and Henley and Grange (2). Exeter and Flinders Park won the Semi Finals 11.8 to 8.5, and 7.6 to 7.4 respectively, then Flinders Park won the Prelim. 13.8 to Woodville’s 5.6 but lost the Grand Final at Alberton Oval to Exeter 3.2 to 6.5.
The medal winners for 1958 were Brenton George (A1 Teachers College), Tony Clarkson (A2 P.A.O.C.), Doug Rundle (A3 Railways), Max Watson (A4 Riverside), Sid Maidment (A5 Scotch) and Graham Cooper (Colts Exeter). Richie Bray of Exeter was the War Memorial Medallist. Charles Akkermans of University won his third A1 goalkicking trophy with 58 goals, and former Glenelg full forward Brian Rundle of Brighton kicked 102 goals in A3.
Adelaide Oval on June 14 was the venue for the interstate match against Victoria. Ray Linke was again coach and L.D. George, a member of the Umpires and Permit Committee, was appointed manager. The captain/coach of Woodville Ron Hewitt (former South Adelaide and state player) was appointed captain, and Bob Slade, captain/coach of Payneham, was vice captain. The team was as follows
- Ames, Peter Flinders Park
- Bray, Richie Exeter
- Chambers, Telford Exeter
- Dickson, Brian Payneham
- Fairclough, Brian Rosewater
- Hewitt, Ron captain Woodville
- Hyde, Geoff University
- Koch, Dean Semaphore Central
- Krieger, Geoff University
- Lill, John University
- Mestrov, Tom University
- Potts, Ken Walkerville
- Powell, Bob Semaphore Central
- Powell, Peter Semaphore Central
- Roe, Gordon Walkerville
- Rundle, Brian Brighton
- Salvemini, Kevin Semaphore Central
- Slade, Bob vice captain Payneham
- Thomas, Graham Riverside
- Walker, Barry Goodwood
Spectators numbering around 4000 paid 2/6 in the outer and 3/6 in the grandstand to witness an exciting match umpired by Bill Henderson. S.A. played brilliantly in the second quarter kicking 6 goals to 2 to go in at half-time leading by 12 points. The lead was maintained until the Vics came with a rush in the last quarter, but S.A. still led with a couple of minutes to go when the Vics scored a goal. S.A. then rushed the ball down the other end to retain the lead, and just when it seemed an S.A. victory was assured, with just a few seconds remaining the Vics snapped a goal to win by four points.
1Q 2Q 3Q Final Victoria 4.5 6.9 8.15 13.16 (94) S.A. 2.3 8.9 11.10 12.18 (90)
- Goalkickers: Rundle 6, Thomas 3, Lill, Mestrov, Salvemini
- Best Players: Lill, Bray, Dickson, Rundle, Fairclough, Krieger
A curtain-raiser was played between P.A.O.C. and S.P.O.C., the Old Blues winning 12.14 to 9.6.
The A.N.F.C. Centenary Championship was held at the M.C.G., and S.A. had six representative in the All Australian Amateurs team – Bray, Dickson, Hewitt (vice captain), Powell, Rundle (who kicked several goals) and B.M.’Boomer’ Seppelt (University). Bob Slade had been chosen also but was forced to withdraw. The team won all its matches as follows:
July 3, 1958
1Q 2Q 3Q Final A.A.F.C. 5.2 9.5 13.10 18.15 (123) Canberra 2.0 3.6 6.13 9.15 (69)
July 9, 1958
1Q 2Q 3Q Final A.A.F.C. 4.1 8.4 16.9 22.11 (143) Queensland 2.0 6.2 6.4 8.8 (56)
July 11, 1958
1Q 2Q 3Q Final A.A.F.C. 2.3 8.5 8.11 10.16 (76) N.S.W. 2.5 4.7 7.10 9.12 (66)