Explore the History of australian football

John Marriott (Norwood)

SANFL: A New Era at Port

Port Adelaide coach Fos Williams, unlike his great rival Jack Oatey, was no purist.  Football, for him, was essentially a simple game, in which the most desirable qualities were energy, strength, leg power, stamina and courage - courage, indeed, most of all.  Without these qualities a player possessing the combined skill of “Polly” Farmer, Barrie Robran, Robbie Flower, Gary Abletts both and Darrel Baldock would, if let loose in league company, be left floundering like a fish out of water. Williams saw the truth of this matter graphically emphasised almost every time South Australia took the field against the VFL. The South Australians could kick, mark and handle the ball every bit as well as their opponents - until the pressure was applied, after which they tended to perform like fumbling schoolboys. As coach of both Port Adelaide and South Australia, Williams would make it a personal crusade to try to ensure that all of his players took to the field with a mindset which maximised rather than masked their capabilities; in this, he was only partially successful, especially in the interstate arena, but the successes which he did achieve had an enormous impact on raising expectations and standards, as well as on rendering the sport of Australian football in South Australia more overtly “professional".  

Williams' impact on a somewhat demoralised and under-achieving Port Adelaide side had been immediate and pronounced.  In his first season in charge, 1950, the Magpies reached the preliminary final, and the following year saw them impose themselves on the competition in redoubtable fashion. A 2 goal loss to West Torrens at Thebarton in round 9 proved to be the side's only reversal for the year. In the finals, North Adelaide was comfortably accounted for twice, and Port Adelaide had secured one of the most comprehensive premiership triumphs in league history. Half back flanker Alan Greer, renowned for his exhilarating downfield dashes, was best afield in the grand final, with centre half back Ted Whelan not far behind. Future Magarey Medallist Davey Boyd, just twenty-one years of age, gave a veteran's performance in the centre, while second year Victorian import John Abley gave a hint of what was to come with a miserly performance on the last line of defence.

After failing to qualify for the finals in 1950 North Adelaide managed this feat in 1951 with something to spare. The Roosters won 13 and lost 5 matches to finish second at the conclusion of the minor round. Sandwiched in between their second semi final and grand final losses to Port was a comfortable if somewhat slipshod preliminary final win against Glenelg. Final scores were North Adelaide 10.20 (80) defeated Glenelg 7.13 (55).

Glenelg, runners up to Norwood in 1950, dropped one rung on the premiership ladder in 1951. The Bays finished the minor round with 5 successive wins and maintained their solid form in the first semi final with a 14.9 (93) to 7.13 (55) defeat of West Torrens. North Adelaide in the preliminary final proved too accomplished, however. Glenelg full forward Colin Churchett booted precisely 100 goals to top the SANFL goal kicking list.

Glenelg full forward Colin Churchett achieved the distinction of being the first post-world war two footballer in the SANFL to register 100 goals in a season.  He managed the feat twice, in 1950 and 1951, and all told kicked 555 goals in his 145 game league career (which includes one game played with South Melbourne in 1944, while on war service in Victoria).

With characteristic eloquence, Jeff Pash described Churchett as "a wizard when it came to the matter of directing the essentially irregular object that is a football through the goals”.[4]  He did this with almost equal facility in weak Glenelg teams as he did when the club was battling for the premiership.  Although not a particularly long kick, his unerring accuracy extended to both feet, a comparatively rare capability at the time.  He was equally effective from a snap shot or when kicking on the run, but formidable ground play was his acknowledged forté, with his ability to get boot tellingly to ball in awkward situations unparalleled among South Australian full forwards of his time.

Churchett topped Glenelg's goal kicking list six times in seven years and only Jack Owens and “Fred” Phillis have kicked more goals in the black and gold.

West Torrens had the satisfaction of inflicting Port Adelaide’s only defeat for the season. Theyt achieved this by a margin of 12 points in round nine at Thebarton Oval. Scores were West Torrens 7.8 (50); Port Adelaiode 4.14 (38).

Reigning premiers Norwood suffered a significant and quite surprising decline in fortunes, winning just half of their fixtures to finish fifth. The Redlegs got off on the wrong foot, losing their first 3 games, and they never really recovered. For the most part they were capable of comfortably defeating the teams below them on the premiership ladder, but a narrow win against Glenelg at the Bay was their sole success against any of the eventual finalists. In spite of the club’s mediocre season ruckman John Marriott ended up winning the Magarey Medal. Marriott was a superb knock ruckman - or, more accurately, in his case, a tap ruckman - who played 176 league games for Norwood between 1947 and 1956, kicking 122 goals. He was also sufficiently mobile to produce some fine football at centre half back on occasion. According to Jeff Pash, the essence of his game was its paradoxical gentleness. Marriott was 

the gentle strong man. He loves his football and would not ill-treat it for worlds. The term "knock-out" applied to his dispatch of the ball from the rucks is crude and misleading, in fact and in the suggestion of violent pugilism it brings.  It is the benignest and exactest of touches; the ball is gently guided down. [5]


In his marking - the safest and most inevitable of its kind and probably his largest single contribution to the game in spite of the excellence of his rucking - we have seen the same essential gentleness.   No deft, insolent plucking of the ball out of its course (Allan Crabb); no high, triumphant capture of an enemy (Ian McKay); no exploitation of the ball as a kind of ring about which to turn wild somersaults (Don Lindner).  A simple, firm, affectionate grasp - which nothing can shift.  And at the end an almost embarrassed shuffle, the mark is pulled down quickly, out of sight, and the game proceeds. [6]

And finally:

In his kicking, the same refusal of violence. [7]

Highly regarded wherever football was played throughout Australia, Marriott was a popular winner of the 1951 Magarey Medal. A South Australian interstate representative on no fewer than 23 occasions, he earned an All Australian blazer after the 1953 Adelaide carnival. He won Norwood's premier individual award in 1949, 1951 and 1955, and both the Advertiser and News-Ampol Trophies in 1951, and spent his final four seasons as club captain.  In 1948, when the Redlegs overcame the challenge of West Torrens on grand final day, Marriott lined up at centre half back, while two years later in the defeat of Glenelg he was in his more accustomed position of first ruckman.  Had he not elected to retire prematurely in order to concentrate on his career as a dentist he might feasibly have been expected to have carved out a name for himself among the game's bona fide immortals.  As it is, the name John Marriott remains synonymous with highly adept and telling ruckwork of the highest order.  Hardly surprisingly, John Marriott was chosen to lead the first ruck in Norwood’s official Team of the Twentieth Century.

West Adelaide’s decline following their 1947 premiership victory continued as for the second season in succession they finished sixth. Westies managed to defeat both Glenelg and Werst Torrens during the season but overall were much too inconsistent to make a realistic bid for finals participation.

Sturt (2 wins) and South Adelaide (1 win) were both hopelessly off the pace in 1951. Sturt’s victories both came at the expense of South in rounds nine and eleven while South’s only win was against Sturt in round nine.

ABOVE: Fred Buttsworth (West Perth)

RIGHT: West Perth's Ray Scott (no. 8) marks against East Fremantle.

BACK TO:   Season Reviews

A Review of the 1951 Football Season

VFL: Classy Cats Account for Bombers

At Geelong, the Reg Hickey Hickey “pace and space” formula, instigated two years earlier, finally clicked fully in 1951. With experienced and highly gifted individuals like future 'Team of the Century' members Bob Davis, Fred Flanagan and Bernie Smith now at their absolute peak as footballers, Geelong had a nucleus of talent unequalled anywhere. The supporting cast was not bad either, comprising as it did defenders of the calibre of Bruce Morrison, John Hyde, Russ Middlemiss and Norm Scott, a ruck division which included Tom Morrow, Russell Renfrey, Loy Stewart and Jim Norman, explosive wingmen in Syd Tate and Terry Fulton, polished and energetic rovers in Peter Pianto and Neil Trezise, and of course the unfailingly accurate George Goninon to finish things off.

Goninon it was who virtually proved the difference between the combatants on second semi final day, contributing half of Geelong's 22 goals in an 82 point annihilation of Collingwood. Eleven goals in a finals match equalled the all time VFL record established by Harry Vallence of Carlton in the Blues' 20.10 (130) to 5.12 (42) first semi final defeat of Collingwood in 1931[1].  According to future VFL chief commissioner Jack Hamilton, who was at full back for the Magpies when Goninon entered his name in the record books:

It was the worst day I have ever had. I had handled Goninon quite easily in two matches in which we had met earlier in the season [2] and was confident of being able to subdue him again. As it turned out, George couldn't do a thing wrong and I couldn't do a thing right. Geelong had the ball on their forward line for most of the match and I had no chance of stopping some of the passes that were delivered to him. His kicking was superb, he was credited with 11.1, but it should have been 12.0.  One of his shots went straight through the middle and the goal umpire signalled a behind!  It wasn't my place to argue.  [3]

Two factors combined to bolster the Cats' confidence in advance of their grand final showdown against reigning premiers Essendon, which had ended Collingwood's season with 2 point victory in the preliminary final. The first was that Bomber spearhead John Coleman, the biggest superstar in the VFL, would miss the match after having been suspended by the VFL tribunal for striking Carlton's Harry Casper in the last minor round game of the year.  Coleman had averaged more than 4 goals a game in 1951, and it went without saying that, without him, the Bombers would be a significantly less troublesome opponent. The second boost to the players' confidence came from classy and irrepressible back pocket Bernie Smith being awarded the Brownlow Medal, the first Geelong player since “Carji" Greeves, in the Medal's inaugural year of 1924, to be so honoured.

The 1951 grand final started well for Geelong as George Goninon had a goal on the board within a minute of the opening bounce. Full of confidence, the Cats surged forward again and again, but their next half a dozen shots for goal all resulted in minor scores.  Meanwhile the Bombers, with virtually their only coherent forward foray of the term, goaled through Hutchison. Goals for Geelong late in the term through Norman and Goninon gave the Cats a 3.8 (26) to 1.0 (6) quarter time lead, but given the extent of their superiority they should have been much further in front.

Perhaps predictably, Essendon proceeded to punish Geelong's waywardness during the second term, adding 5.2 to 1.2 to lead at the main break by 4 points. With the match very much in the balance the Geelong players were forced to dig deep, which they duly did to run the Bombers off their feet in a decisive third quarter. At three quarter time the Cats led by 27 points and looked home, and so it ultimately proved, although not before the Bombers had received a late lift by the entry to the arena of their legendary champion “King Dick” Reynolds. Inspired by Reynolds, Essendon got within 5 points late in the final term, but Geelong was able to steady and pull away to secure an 11 point victory, 11.15 (81) to 10.10 (70). The victors were best served by their defensive trio of Hyde, Morrison and Smith, rovers Pianto and Trezise, centreman Leo Turner (another member of the club's 'Team of the Twentieth Century') and ruckman 'Bill' McMaster. George Goninon top scored with 4 goals. Whether the presence of John Coleman in the Essendon team would have made a difference to the eventual result is a tantalising question, the answer to which will presumably vary depending on your allegiance.  Nevertheless, what cannot be denied is that Geelong under Hickey had developed into a marvellous team. Indeed, with Bernie Smith having won the Brownlow, and George Goninon, with 86 goals, having been the league's top goal kicker, the Cats had secured a prestigious treble which only Collingwood, in 1927 and 1929, had previously accomplished.

Full forward George Goninon began his senior career with Essendon Stars before joining Burnie in the NWFU, where his 67 goals in 1947 was good enough to top the competition's goal kicking list.  Recruited by Essendon the following year he found it hard to establish himself because of the presence of John Coleman, and he managed just 9 senior VFL games (for 11 goals) in three seasons before crossing to Geelong. Given the responsibility of spearheading the Cats' attack, Goninon came into his own and, in four and a half seasons he accumulated 278 goals from 78 games. Favouring the then somewhat unfashionable drop punt when kicking for goal, he was renowned as one of the most accurate kicks in the league. 

A centreman during his career with West Adelaide as well as during the early part of his VFL stint with Geelong, Bernie Smith is better remembered as one of the greatest back pockets in the history of the game.  Moved to the back pocket by coach Reg Hickey in 1951, he went on to win both the club best and fairest award and the Brownlow Medal that same season, while for good measure he was among the Cats' best in their grand final defeat of Essendon. 

Smith was ideally suited to a back pocket because he was pacy, had good ground skills, marked well, was always cool under pressure, and had superb judgement.  Opposition coaches came to view him as Geelong's first line of attack, and in what was a virtually unprecedented move for the times he was often subjected to what would now be called tagging.

Bernie Smith played 55 games with West Adelaide between 1945 and 1947, winning a best and fairest award in his final season.  His last game for Westies was the winning grand final of 1947 against Norwood, in which he was widely acknowledged as the best player afield.  He won two best and fairest trophies during 183 games in eleven seasons with Geelong, played in two premiership sides, was named in the inaugural All Australian side after the 1953 Adelaide carnival, and was captain of the Cats for part of 1950 and the whole of 1954.  In 2001, he was selected in the back pocket in Geelong’s official Team of the Twentieth Century.

After the grand final Geelong visited Adelaide where it met SANFL premiers Port Adelaide in a challenge match. The Cats won a tough, high standard encounter by 8 points, 8.14 (62) to 6.18 (54).

Essendon finished with a 13-5 record to qualify for the finals in third place. The Bombers were particularly impressive at their home ground of Windy Hill, losing only once - to Carlton, by 15 points - all season. In the first semi final against Footscray they trailed by17 points at quarter time, 15 points at the halfway stage, and 4 points at the final change before doing just enough in the fourth quarter to get over the line. Final scores were Essendon 8.13 (61) defeated Footscray 8.5 (53). The Bombers had sorely missed the suspended John Coleman, and their normally smooth teamwork was in disarray. It was a similar story in the preliminary final meeting with Collingwood: Essendon again trailed at every change before rattling on 5.3 to to 1.1 to sneak home by a couple of points. It was the narrowest winning margin in a preliminary final for for twenty-six years.

The grand final was closely fought and Eseendon made a wholly valid bid for victory but had to concede that, on the day, they were second best.

After finishing the minor round second to Geelong on percentage, both teams netting 14 wins from 18 matches, Collingwood endured the agony of bowing out of the flag race “in straight sets”. It was almost a case of “colliwobbles” before the expression had been coined. After kicking 6 goals to 2 in the first quarter of their first semi final clash with Geelong the Magpies fell apart and were overwhelmed. The fact that they had finished the home and away season as the “form” team of the competition, winning their last 7 matches in succession, made the defeat all the harder to explain and endure.

A week later in the preliminary final Collingwood outplayed Essendoln for three and a half quarters but then conceded the last 5 goals of the match to go down by 2 points. Some might say the Magpies were unlucky, but the Victoria Park fraternity would doubtless choose a stronger adjective.

Despite having an extremely inexperienced team Footscray won 12 matches to qualify for the finals in fourth place. Twelve of the men who fronted up against Essendon in the first semi final had never previously played finals football, but for three quarters the Bulldogs made light of this, keeping the Bombers firmly on the back foot. Ultimately, however, it was Essendon who progressed, and Footscray who were left licking their wounds. Nevertheless, it would prove to be an invaluable learning experience. On 23rd June at the MCG Footscray 23.14 (152) downed Melbourne 5.19 (49); the 103 point margin was a club record for the VFL.

Fifth placed Fitzroy had a creditable season but drawn matches against South Melbourne and Carlton effectively scuppered their finals prospects. As late as round twelve they occupied second spot on the premiership ladder but they finished the season poorly. At their best, however, they could certainly compete with the top sides, as wins over Collingwood (at Victoria Park), Essendon and Geelong proved.

Richmond, who finished with a 10-8 record, had statistically the best attack in the competition. However, the Tigers were inconsistent, frequently losing to lower ranked opponents. A sequence of six consecutive defeats between rounds eight and thirteen put an end to their finals aspirations.

Aside from the fine win at Windy Hill against Essendon, mentioned earlier, Carlton tended to struggle against the leading sides, whilst almost invariably beating those ranked below them. The Blues’ cause was not helped by the decision of key player Jack “Chook” Howell to stand out of football for the season followin a dispute with the club.

South Melbourne finished with an identical win/loss record to Carlton (8 wins, 11 defeats and a draw), and like the Blues they consistently outperformed lower ranking opposition. However, their only victory over an eventual finalist came in round three at the Lake Oval when they accounted for Essendon by 13 points.

For North Melbourne, who had contested the 1970 grand final, the 1951 season was immensely disappointing. The Kangaroos managed just 7 wins, and although they were seldom thrashed - the 93 point capitulation to Collingwood in round one was a noteworthy exception - they never managed to beat any of the four finalists.

Tenth placed St Kilda, eleventh team Hawthorn and wooden spooners Melbourne were all to varying degrees out of their depth in 1951. The Demons, who had been premiers just three seasons earlier, managed just one win, against Carlton in the sixth series, while neither the Saints nor the Hawks managed to defeat any opponents of note.

WANFL: Cardies Back on Top

After a poor start to the 1951 WANFL season, West Perth recovered well to clinch second spot with 64 points, ahead of Perth (56 points) and East Fremantle (40 points), going into the finals. They then lost the second semi final to minor premiers South Fremantle by 9 points, but won well the following week, 12.15 (87) to 6.11 (47), against Perth. In the grand final, despite being without the services of Stan “Pops” Heal, who had broken his ankle, West Perth, with half forward Don “Mary" Porter, full back Ray Schofield, wingman Vic Fisher, and back pocket player Wally Price especially prominent, held on to overcome a fast finishing South Fremantle by 3 points in the closest grand final since the 1938 drawn game between Claremont and East Fremantle. With just moments to go in the match, South Fremantle forced the ball forward into the goal square and a frenetic melee ensued before Price, showing great presence of mind despite the heavy traffic, managed to gain possession and clear the ball out of danger with a thumping kick. This proved to be South Fremantle’s last attacking thrust of the game. The grand final Simpson Medal went to Don Porter, topping off what had been a marvellous all round season for the club, with both the Sandover and the Simpson Medal for a state game against VFL being won by Fred Buttsworth. In addition, Ray Scott with 127 goals during the qualifying rounds and a further 14 in the finals was the season's top goal kicker.

After seeing older brother Wally embark on what would develop into an illustrious football career with West Perth and, later, Essendon, young Fred Buttsworth was determined to do the same. In 1942 he joined West Perth's war time under age side and helped the Cardinals to a premiership; two years later he won a club fairest and best award, but the following year he was old enough to enlist, and joined the navy.  As chance would have it, he was posted to Melbourne for a time and Essendon, fully aware of his talent, gave him the opportunity to play in the VFL alongside his brother.

Strongly built and hard to beat, especially in the air, Fred Buttsworth played much of his early football on the half forward lines, but when he resumed in the WANFL - which had by then reverted to a full scale senior competition - in 1946 it was as a centre half back, and it was in that position that he really made his name.

West Perth during the immediate post-war period boasted an immensely powerful side, with Fred Buttsworth's indefatigable performances on the half back line often a key to its success. When the Cardinals won flags in 1949 and 1951, Buttsworth's contributions were telling, as they were on numerous occasions for Western Australia, notably in the famous 1947 carnival win over the VFL, and in a 1951 meeting with the Vics when he earned a Simpson Medal.

That 1951 season was easily Buttsworth's most memorable. In addition to the Simpson Medal and a premiership, he won his second West Perth and best award, and finished a comfortable 7 votes clear of runner-up Frank Treasure in the Sandover Medal voting. Given this, it seems somewhat surprising that, just two years later, after 182 WANFL games, but still aged only twenty-five, and fighting fit, Fred Buttsworth retired.  Perhaps he felt he had nothing left to achieve, but his untimely departure left the football world in general, and West Perth in particular, the poorer.

No finer full forward has lined up in the red and blue of West Perth than Ray Scott, who topped the Cardinals' goal kicking list on eight consecutive occasions from 1948. A strong marking player of remarkable consistency and reliability, had his career not coincided to a considerable extent with that of South Fremantle’s legendary sharp shooter Bernie Naylor, his reputation would almost certainly have been even weightier.

Ray Scott booted a total of 901 goals for West Perth during a 198 game league career that saw him defy the challenge of Naylor to top the WAFL goal kicking list in 1951 with 141 goals. Four years later, after Naylor had departed the scene, he did so again with 83 goals. His best single season though was 1953 when he managed 143 goals, 24 shy of Naylor's all time record tally of 167.  Scott 'topped the ton' on four occasions, and invariably kicked at least twice as many goals as behinds. In one game against Perth in 1953 he booted a club record 15 goals.

After his retirement as a player, Ray Scott coached briefly in Wagga Wagga before embarking on an illustrious 141 game umpiring career which included three WANFL grand finals.

When the Falcons announced their official Team of the Century in October 2000, Ray Scott was, one presumes, an almost automatic inclusion, although not, somewhat surprisingly at full forward, that honour going to Ted Tyson.

South Fremantle were comfortably the best team in the minor round but lost the one match that matters. The team was badly affected by injuries; at one point, no fewer than ten first choice players were unavailable for selection. In the grand final clash with West Perth the red and whites trailed by 45 points early in the second quarter but fought back superbly. The closing minutes were strenuous, nail-biting stuff, but the Cardinals just managed to hold on.

After the season was over South engaged in a challenge match against VFL side Collingwood at Fremantle Oval, winning 22.9 (141) to 15.12 (102). Full forward Bernie Naylor booted 8 goals. Afterwards, Collingwood coach Phonse Kyne remarked: “We all know that South Fremantle would hold their own in Victorian football. They may lacvk two or three big men, but they have some mighty fine players and have nothing to learn about system, pace and kicking - the main requirements of a first-class side.”[8]

Fourth at the conclusion of the minor round Perth then achieved a fighting win over East Fremantle in the first semi final. Scores were Perth 9.12 (66) defeated East Fremantle 7.16 (58). West Perth in the preliminary final proved much too accomplished, however.

During the minor round East Fremantle comfortably downed Perth three times, but they fell short by 8 points when the sides confronted one another in the first semi final. Old Easts had the best attack in the competition, statistically at any rate, but there were defensive frailties.

East Perth had a topsy turvy season which featured wins against all four finalists as well as slme unaccountable losses. After seventeen rounds the Royals looked likely finalists but they finished the season badly, losing 3 out of their last 4 matches to miss out by a couple of wins plus percentage.

Sixth placed Claremont won 9 games including triumphs at the expense of West Perth, Perth and East Fremantle (twice). Overall, however, the Tigers were blighted by inconsistency and never truly looked like reaching the finals.

Subiaco managed just 4 wins for the season, 3 at the expense of Swan Districts and 1 against East Perth. The Lions had a dreadful finish to the season which saw them lose their last 6 matches.

Bottom club Swan Districts’ only win for the year came in round fourteen when they downed Claremont by 20 points, 11.12 (78) to 8.10 (58).

Other Highlights

Prahran won the 1951 VFA premiership thanks to an 11.13 (79) to 10.10 (70) grand final defeat of Port Melbourne. The match, which took place at the Junction Oval, attracted 32,000 spectators. Reigning premiers Oakleigh dropped to third this year, with Sandringham completing the final four. This season saw Moorabbin and Box Hill admitted to the Association.

Watched by a crowd of 13,079 New Town convincingly defeated North Hobart in the TANFL grand final. Scores were New Town 19.9 (123); North Hobart 15.13 (103). New Town had earlier downed reigning premiers Hobart by 50 points in the second semi final while North Hobart had progressed to the grand final via wins over New Norfolk in the first semi final and Hobart in the preliminary final. The state premiership was not contested in 1951.

In Sydney, Western Suburbs and Eastern Suburbs contested the NSWANFL grand final, with victory going to the former by a margin of two straight kicks. The triumph gave Western Suburbs, which had entered the league in 1926, disbanded three years later, and then re-entered in 1947,. their first ever senior grade premiership. Newtown and Sydney were the two other finalists.

Windsor (QANFL) won their third consecutive premiership after downing Mayne in the grand final by a couple of goals, 11.18 (84) to 9.18 (72). 

Royal Military College (RMC) won their second CANFL premiership in 1951. Confronted in the grand final by reigning premiers Manuka, who were seeking their third consecutive flag, they eased home by 15 points, 14.14 (98) to 12.11 (83).

Buffaloes won their third NTFL flag in succession by accounting for Waratahs in the grand final by 18 points. Scores were Buffaloes 12.12 (84) defeated Waratahs 10.6 (66).

1951 was a busy year on the interstate front. The VFL engaged in four matches, two each versus both South Australia and Werstern Australia. Against South Australia in Melbourne the Vics triumphed by 8 points, 10.11 (71) to 9.9 (63). South Australia turned the tables in the return fixture in Adelaide, getting home by 6 points. Scores were South Australia 8.11 (59); VFL 8.5 (53). Both clashes with the Western Australians took place in Perth, the Vics winning by 42 points on the Saturday, and 60 points on the following Tuesday.

Following their unexpected loss to the VFA at the Brisbane carnival South Australia issued a challenge which resulted in a match between the two on the Adelaide Oval. South Australia duly obtained revenge of a sort, winning by 95 points, 28.19 (187) to 13.14 (92). 

The VFA also played both Australian Amateurs and Tasmania. The former match was to decide which of the two teams would play in the section one carnival at Adelaide in 1953. The VFA procured this right with an impressive 20.17 (137) to 12.12 (84) win. The match with Tasmania, played in Hobart, produced another emphatic VFA triumph with scores of 26.15 (171) to 12.11 (83).


[1] Vallence equalled his own record a year later, as did Collingwood's Ron Todd in 1938 and 1939.  The closest anyone in the modern era has come to matching these feats was Garry Lyomn's 10 goals for Melbourne in the Demons 1994 first semi final trouncing of Footscray. 

[2] Collingwood had beaten Geelong 14.18 (102) to 7.8 (50) at Victoria Park in round three, with Goninon, who was playing his first match for the season, failing to kick a goal. In round fourteen at Kardinia Park the Magpies had won again, 4.7 (31) to 3.11 (29), with Goninon managing 2 of Geelong's 3 goals for the day. 

[3] The Road to Kardinia by Russell H.T. Stephens, pages 148-9. Hamilton’s comments were made in an interview in 1966.

[4] The Pash Papers by Jeff Pash, page 72.

[5] Ibid, page 161.  

[6] Ibid, page 161. 

[7] Ibid, page 161. 

[8] Quoted in The South Fremantle Story Volume Two by Frank Harrison and Jack Lee, page 51.

Grand final results - VFL: Geelong 11.15 (81) d. Essendon 10.10 (70); SANFL: Port Adelaide 10.12 (72) d. North Adelaide 8.13 (61); WANFL: West Perth 13.10 (88) d. South Fremantle 12.13 (85); VFA: Prahran 11.13 (79) d. Port Melbourne 10.10 (70); TANFL: New Town 20.14 (134) d. North Hobart 9.9 (63); NTFA: Launceston 10.15 (75) d. City 9.9 (63); NSWANFL: Western Suburbs 11.15 (81) d. Eastern Suburbs 10.9 (69); NTFL: Buffaloes 12.12 (84) d. Waratahs 10.6 (66); QANFL: Windsor 11.18 (84) d. Mayne 9.18 (66); NWFU: Ulverstone 17.22 (124) d. Cooee 8.11 (59); CANFL: Royal Military College 14.14 (98) d. Manuka 12.11 (83).