A proposal was received from the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association to discuss the possibility of a joint-venture to acquire an oval as the playing headquarters for both bodies. Though a meeting did take place the details are not known, but the proposal obviously fell through.

Alan Statton took over from A.F.R. Dodd as Secretary. Former state player, Secretary of Kenilworth and long-serving member of the Umpire and Permit Committee Hibble Main, was awarded Life Membership of the Amateur League. An official just beginning his term of office was Frank ‘Sandy’ Cockburn appointed trainer for the state team. Sandy was trainer for Semaphore Central and later Adelaide University, and continued as the state team trainer for 34 years until his death in 1994.

The S.A. Mid-week Night Football Association was formed to organise pre-season Wednesday evening matches under lights at Thebarton Oval. Brighton, Payneham, Riverside and Semaphore Central took part along with Central Districts & Police. Several League stars such as Gary Window (Centrals), John Vaughan (North & Norwood) and Brian DeBroughe (West Adelaide) took part.

Two new clubs in Seaton Ramblers (only 3 years old and from the West Torrens Association) and The Teachers (newly formed) were admitted to the Amateur League. The Teachers team was mainly comprised of players who had graduated in their teaching course and so did not qualify for the Teachers College team. The two new entrants brought the number of clubs to 30. Because there were now 60 teams, it was decided to increase the A1 and A2 grades to 12 teams in conformity with the other three grades, and so no teams were relegated. With each team in a grade playing its opponents twice, 22 rounds were necessary.

Kilburn, in only its fourth year in the Amateur League, had been promoted to A1 after being undefeated premier in A2 and A3 the previous two seasons. It continued to win most of its matches and was sitting second at the end of the minor round, its winning streak of 45 games coming to an end in May when beaten by undefeated University.

Premiership Tables

A1 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Team Gm W L D Pts
University 22 22 0 0 44
Kilburn 22 17 4 1 35
Riverside 22 14 8 0 28
Teachers College 22 13 8 1 27
Semaphore Central 22 13 9 0 26
Brighton 22 13 9 0 26
Exeter 22 9 13 0 18
Semaphore Park 22 7 14 1 15
Walkerville 22 7 14 1 15
Payneham 22 7 15 0 14
Kenilworth 22 6 16 0 12
P.A.O.C. 22 2 20 0 4

Riverside beat Teachers in the First Semi 14.12 to 8.12. College star Bob Kite, relieved of his Amateur League responsibilities, lined up the next week at centre for Norwood Reserves and was voted best player on the day, so he was promoted to the League team for the Grand Final the following week and made the best players.

Kilburn pulled off the biggest upset of the season by downing the previously undefeated Blacks 8.11 to 6.18 in the Second Semi. The Chics hit the front for the first time in the last quarter, and held on to win by five points aided by fine defence from Brian Beer and Ray Girdham. Uni came out firing in the Prelim. to demolish Riverside 19.8 to 7.12, and so met up again with the Chics in the Grand Final at Alberton Oval. Umpired by W. Stone, it was a low-scoring affair in which University had the upper hand most of the day, despite strong defence from Beer and Nicky Williams. With fine performances by rover Juan Hooper and ruckman Tony Clarkson, Uni won its second successive A1 premiership 8.6 to 3.8.

The season ended in tragedy for Riverside when state player Peter Ford was killed on an end-of-season trip after he fell four floors from the Federal Hotel in Melbourne.

A2 Premiership Table

(as at the end of the minor round)

Goodwood was thankful for the decision to increase the A2 competition to 12 teams and have no relegation as it had finished bottom of A2 in 1960 yet rose to minor premier in 1961.

Team Gm W L Pts
Goodwood 22 19 3 38
Hyde Park 22 16 6 32
University B 22 15 7 30
Rosewater 22 15 7 30
Alberton United 22 15 7 30
St. Peters O.C. 22 13 9 26
Scotch O.C. 22 10 12 20
Henley & Grange 22 10 12 20
Flinders Park 22 9 13 18
Eastwood 22 5 17 10
Woodville B 22 4 18 8
Ethelton 22 1 21 2

The Semi Finals were won by Rosewater against University (11.10 to 11.7) and Hyde Park had a victory against minor premier Goodwood (10.8 to 7.8). Goodwood, led by captain/coach ‘Bud’ Abbott, then won the Prelim. 14.19 to Rosewater’s 11.10, only to lose the Grand Final with atrocious goal shooting 3.14 to Hyde Park’s 8.11. With successive premierships in A3 and A2, Hyde Park had followed in Kilburn’s giant footsteps, but to go on and emulate Kilburn’s A1 Grand Final appearance was another matter.

A3 Premiership Table 1961

(as at the end of the minor round)

In A3, Seaton Ramblers’ rover Vin Camporeale kicked 26.10 in his team’s 48.35 to 4.2 thrashing of Colonel Light Gardens in August. This equalled Sid Maley’s record set in A1 in 1946.

Team Gm W L D Pts
Teachers College B 22 18 4 0 36
Seaton Ramblers 22 17 5 0 34
The Teachers 22 15 7 0 30
University C 22 15 7 0 30
Wattle Park T.C. 22 14 7 1 29
Brighton B 22 12 10 0 24
Kings O.C. 22 11 10 1 23
Payneham B 22 11 11 0 22
S.A. Railways Institute 22 7 13 2 16
Riverside B 22 6 16 0 12
Rosewater B 22 4 18 0 8
Colonel Light Gardens 22 0 22 0 0

Both Semi Finals resulted in easy victories for The Teachers (13.17 to 8.10) and Seaton (19.11 to 6.10). In the staff v students Prelim. Final, the students from Teachers College showed no respect for authority in their 14.7 to 9.15 caning of The Teachers. However, the boys from Pedlar Reserve were of a different class altogether, and Ramblers gave the students a lesson as it chalked up a Grand Final victory 10.16 to 7.8. This was the third new club in four seasons to win the A3 premiership, a trend which was to continue.

Other Tables and Scores

In A4 Pulteney O.S., the only ‘A’ team in the grade, was to repeat its 1955 premiership. After 22 rounds Kilburn B was minor premier with 38 points, followed by Pulteney OS (34), Semaphore Park B (32), Exeter B (32), Teachers College C (28), S.P.O.C. B (24), Semaphore Central B (20), P.A.O.C. B (18), Goodwood B (14), Hyde Park B (12), Kenilworth B (10) and Brighton C (6).

1st S. Exeter 7.12 Semaphore Park 6.11 2nd S. Pulteney OS 9.13 Kilburn 7.8 Prelim. Exeter 6.12 Kilburn 6.6 G.Fin. Pulteney OS 8.13 Exeter 6.11

A5 saw the first premiership for University outside of A1. Whilst its ‘A’ team had been the dominant team over the years in A1, the University ‘B’ and other teams had struggled against other teams’ higher sides. The A5 list after 22 rounds showed Flinders Park B (38), University D (35), Wattle Park TC B (32), Payneham C (29), Henley and Grange B (28), Teachers College D (28), Ethelton B (22), Eastwood B (20), Alberton United B (14), Scotch OC B (12), P.A.O.C. C (8) and Brighton D (0).

1st S. Payneham 11.19 Wattle Park 5.12 2nd S. Flinders Park 12.8 University 7.10 Prelim. University 12.9 Payneham 2.2 G.Fin. University 9.8 Flinders Park 3.7

The Colts age qualification was changed to under 18 on January 1st of the year of playing. With four new teams bringing the total to 12, 22 rounds were played at the end of which Kilburn was undefeated with 44 points, followed by Brighton (36), Exeter (34), Semaphore Central (28), Payneham (24), Flinders Park (24), Riverside (22), Walkerville (22), Ethelton (12), Henley and Grange (8), Colonel Light Gardens (8) and Kenilworth (2).

1st S. Exeter 8.7 Semaphore Cent 5.5 2nd S. Kilburn 15.10 Brighton 5.5 Prelim. Brighton 7.7 Exeter 4.5 G.Fin. Brighton 7.15 Kilburn 6.15

Awards

Neil Hawke, a former Port Adelaide and West Perth player and a future star for West Torrens and test cricketer for Australia, won the A1 Hone Medal playing for Brighton. Another star was Bill Buckley of Henley & Grange who won the A2 Chambers Medal, his third Amateur League medal in three years. The A3 medal was won by the irrepressible Bert Haslam playing for Wattle Park, and Pulteney’s Peter Richardson was Best & Fairest in A4. The other two medallists were Don Leonard of Alberton United in A5, and Kevin Atkinson of Kilburn in the Colts.

The War Memorial Medal was won by Chris Butler of Riverside, and Peter Morton of University was the leading goalkicker in A1 with 64 goals.

Interstate

The interstate match between S.A. and Victoria took place at Adelaide Oval on June 10. The Amateur Footballer for that week included the following article.

CHOCOLATE AND BLUE by Converted Pom (With apologies to the State Selectors) I sing my praises ‘Thanks be to God,’For I have just read this year’s State Squad, now on second thoughts, excuse my mirth, The cads have omitted, Kenilworth.For these boys I stand – and who can blame me,We have Amateur League’s best coach- yes, Billy Amee.Like Western cowboys who leave the trail,They left out of that squad our Chooker Hale,Or then again they could have been sportsAnd included one Thomas Davenport,Like scolded dogs who crawl to their kennel,Ignoring players like Donald Reynolds.Donald Manning would easily make the grade,For he digs in harder than a spade,Carl Drummond – yes, strong as a stiltson,Shut out of a game one Barry Wilson.To make the grade we are in no hurry,But couldn’t you have considered David Gurry.Just who do the selectors think they kid,When they leave out players like Brian Delbridge,Abuses galore at them will I hurl,Not even a mention for Bobby Knirl,Another name I thought they mightInclude, of course was Leon Bright.I suppose they think their selection is grand,When they can omit player David Bland,Another may not be Shakespeare’s famous Macbeth,But you will go a long way for a Maxie Mackereth.And so the fat is in the fire,They even omitted young Johnny Prior.One boy I think will hop in like a rooLeaping over a fence – yes Georgie Demetriou.But of all they’ve selected haven’t one that will matchOur famous half back – Bobby Hatch.You’ve read over now the most of my yarn,Why, oh why, did you miss out, Donald Barnes!!!Johnny Freeman as strong as a rock,Larkins and Kenny the best for their knocks.Of course the selectors are all at fault,They even left out our seventeen year old colt.Of those that are chosen he would give most a run,I refer, of course, to Robert Partington.The selectors I’m convinced all must be screwy,Not even selecting our President Tuohy.Perhaps they think we’re playing the Victorian Colts,Will their faces be red when they hear this week’s resultsBut I’ll be home displaying one huge grin,While at the radio they tune in.Then over the air, as bright as the sun,Will come Kenilworth won – University’s done.

The state team included eight University players, four from Kilburn and none from Kenilworth. Future test cricketer and former Port Adelaide and East Perth player Neil Hawke (playing with Brighton) was in the team, along with former and future League stars John Tidswell (North), ‘Doc’ Clarkson (Sturt), Ron Dickson (Norwood), Dudley Hill (North Adelaide), Bob Kite (Norwood) and Grantley Sims (Sturt). The Victorian team included future test cricketer Ian Redpath.

The S.A. team was as follows:

  • Clarkson, Tony v.capt ruck University
  • Dickson, Ron rover University
  • Ford, Peter hb Riverside
  • Hawke, Neil chf Brighton
  • Hill, Dudley ruck University
  • Howson, Denny wing Kilburn
  • Hyde, Geoff hb University
  • Kelly, Kieran wing University
  • Kite, Bob centre Teachers College
  • Morton, Peter reserve University
  • Sangster, John fb University
  • Sims, Grantley chb Prince Alfred O.C.
  • Skinner, Barry reserve Exeter
  • Tidswell, John captain ff Kilburn
  • Todd, Gordon bp University
  • Volbrecht, Stan rover Kilburn
  • Warley, Ray hf Semaphore Central
  • White, Bob follower Riverside
  • Williams, Nicky follower Kilburn
  • Wilson, Barry hf Riverside

A crowd of 4000 turned out to witness a close match. S.A. had the better of things in the first half with Neil Hawke firing at centre half forward and enjoyed a 3-goal break at half-time. Because the players generally had difficulty kicking the ball it was replaced at half time, and the Vics made most use of the replacement ball in the third quarter kicking 5.6 to 5 points to lead by two goals at three-quarter time and look like winners. However, S.A. came alive in the last quarter to kick six goals led by rucks Clarkson and Hill and rovers Volbrecht and Dickson.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final S.A. 3.4 7.7. 7.12 13.12 (90) Victoria 1.6 3.12 8.18 10.19 (79)

  • Goalkickers: Hill 3, Volbrecht 3, Morton 2, Clarkson, Dickson, Hawke, Kelly, Warley
  • Best Players: Clarkson, Volbrecht, Hill, Dickson, Kelly, Hawke

This was S.A.’s first win against the Vics since 1955. Trophies were presented to ruckman Dudley Hill and wingman Kieran Kelly.