Barossa and Light rivals play off in 300th milestone game

Ahead of this weekend’s 300th clash between Kapunda and Angaston in the Barossa Light and Gawler Football Association, Peter Argent reflects on the historic rivalry between two of BL&G’s foundation clubs. 

Kapunda, currently coached by 2017 Jack Oatey Medallist and dual Sturt premiership player Fraser Evans, will face off against the Angaston in a milestone 300th official match between the two clubs at Dutton Park this Saturday, August 14.

For the Bombers and the Angaston side, coached by 2014 Bob Quinn Medallist Jay Shannon (when at North Adelaide), this penultimate game of the regular season has plenty of significance from a finals perspective as well.

Angaston need to win this, as well as the final minor round game against ladder leaders South Gawler, to participant in the finals series this year. It’s also a crucial game for Kapunda who need to win either this game or its final round match against Nuriootpa to guarantee a place in the major round.

Other footballers with a significant SANFL connection in this landmark match are former Port Adelaide Magpies champion Steve Summerton and ruckman Marc Borholm with the Panthers, while Evans ’17 SANFL premiership teammate Josh Dodd is also wearing the Bombers red and black.


Kapunda playing coach Fraser Evans kicking out from defence.  Image: Peter Argent

These clubs are foundation members of the Barossa and Light competition, playing their first official fixture on May 2 of the opening 1908 season.

Of the meetings so far, Kapunda has recorded 134 victories, compared to Angaston 160, with five games being draws.

As far as records go back, SANFL traditional rivals Norwood and Port Adelaide have played 305 times, while in the VFL/AFL competition, Collingwood has faced off against Carlton on 260 occasions.

According to the BLG’s stats guru (the best in rural football in this state), Anthony “Schuby” Schubert, Angaston played Kapunda in their first B&L Grand Final clash in 1911 at Greenock Oval, with the Panthers winning this game by 13 points.

The 100th clash between the two clubs was played at Angaston Oval on July 15, 1939 – with Kapunda 12-16 (88) defeating Angaston 11-8 (74) – on the back on an eight-goal haul by the Bombers mercurial goal sneak of the era, John Maguire. He kicked eight goals in this clash, during a season where he finished with a magnificent haul of 123 goals.

Angaston champion goal-kicker of the same epoch Eric (Peter) Hearl finished with a haul of six goals in this contest, also kicking 105 goals for the season.

The 200th match was at Dutton Park Kapunda on June 21, 1975, in which Angaston 17-16 (118) defeated Kapunda 16-16 (112).

Brian Hurn, a SACA Sheffield Shield winning cricketer a decade earlier, kicked five goals in this win by the Panthers, while for the Bombers’ Geoff Jarman, one of five siblings that donned the red and black in the 1970s, kicked four majors for the hosts.

One the most exciting finals series in Barossa and Light history was the 1977 major round campaign, where Angaston and Kapunda were chief protagonists.

Former Central District rover Robin Mullholland’s Nuriootpa Tigers were looking for a third title in a row, but Kapunda upset them in the second semi-final to gain a direct berth in the decider.

Against the odds, on the back of a famous Ted Boylan goal, Angaston won the preliminary final against the Tigers to see Kapunda face Angaston in the decider at Freeling Oval.

The first Grand Final was a tense and pulsating affair, with the scores locked away at 13.13 (91) when the final siren sounded.

The replay the following week was another tough and uncompromising contest.

Teenager Kym Lehmann – later a Central District League footballer – was outstanding at centre half forward for Angaston in a 19-point triumph.


Angaston playing coach Jay Shannon in action. Image: Peter Argent

During the Barossa, Light and Gawler period, which started in 1987, Kapunda was looking for its first flag in 30 years, taking on the reigning premiers from the previous season, Angaston, at Freeling Oval in the 2004 decider.

On the back of a 40-plus possession best on ground performance by centreman Mick McCarthy, the Mail Medallist that season, Kapunda enjoyed premiership success with an emphatic 67-point win in that Grand Final.

For the record, Kapunda won its first B&L flag in 1921, defeating Angaston by eight points and again defeated them later that decade, getting up 7.17 (59) to 8.7 (44) in 1927.

They were Grand Final combatants again in 1935, where Kapunda won by five points.

In the first Grand Final after World War II when the game resumed in 1945, Angaston defeated Kapunda by four goals in that Grand Final.

Three of the five 300 game BLG A Grade Player Life Members are from these clubs.

Panthers Matthew Doecke (438 games) and Craig Hadden (306), along with Bomber Sam Ryan (321) are in this special club, along with Aaron King (Gawler Central) and Danny Westhoff, the father of Leigh, Power champion Justin and Matthew, who were all SANFL League footballers.


The Kapunda Bombers’ 2004 A grade premiership team.

For the Record:


For Angaston against Kapunda (at Angaston) 1995 – 33.19 (217)

For Kapunda against Angaston (at Kapunda) 1988 – 25.18 (168)


By Angaston against Kapunda (at Kapunda) 1950 – 1.3 (9)

By Kapunda against Angaston (at Angaston) 1909 – 1.2 (8) and Kapunda against Angaston at (Greenock Oval) Grand Final 1912 – 1.2 (8)


Angaston – 14 from 1966-1970

Kapunda -12 from 1947-1951


Kapunda defeated Angaston at Kapunda Oval – 1948 22.16 (148) to 1.5 (11) by 137 points.

Footnote – Angaston has also played Tanunda in their 300th official match this season, the round 13, July 17, fixture where Sam Colquhoun’s Magpies won by 10 points.

Angaston young guns of the 1977 B&L premiership Kym Lehmann and John “Jack”

Batten – at the 40th year reunion in 2017


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