As Community Football leagues across the State kick off their 2020 season, we take a look at the big turnout for footy’s return in the Spencer Gulf FL, thanks to Think! Road Safety.
By Nick Dillon
It was not quite a case of no Solomontown, no worries for the Spencer Gulf Football League, but league officials had a reason to smile after what has been a long off-season.
The SGFL forged ahead with five of its six clubs returning to action on Saturday, with huge crowds attending the two games at Port Augusta and Port Pirie.
With Solomontown electing not to field teams in the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the five remaining teams are going it alone.
SGFL president Les Promnitz said last season’s runner-up Solomontown made the decision not to play in the best interest of its players and the club itself.
There was a lot of work to do with Covid restrictions and implications and that was their biggest concern,” Promnitz said.
“There’s a lot of extra volunteers required for the season and a number of their senior footballers weren’t comfortable playing either.
“Most of their players have filtered out to neighbouring leagues rather than playing for a rival club.”
Average crowds at SGFL games normally sit at around 500, but both games in round one surpassed 750 spectators.
Spectators were treated to a tense match at Port Augusta. The game was close until the last 15 minutes when Central Augusta pulled away to win by 35 points.
Up until that point, West Augusta was right with the Bloods, but was unable to match it with stars Jack Muirhead and Nathan Kahn all game.
The game at Port Pirie was on the opposite end of the spectrum, with Prop-Risdon smashing Port by a whopping 135 points.
While few predicted a Port victory, a much closer game was expected and gave Lions’ supporters hope for a better finish than last season’s straight-set exit.
Reigning premier South Augusta will play its first match this weekend against West Augusta.
Prop-Risdon 24.12 (156) d Port 3.3 (21).
BEST: Prop-Risdon – T. Eckert, T. Ley, P. Browne, H. Wallace, S. Dyer. Port – J. Akker, D. Voumard, M. Voumard, N. Noblett, S. Keane.
GOALS: Prop-Risdon – S. Dyer, H. Wallace 5, T. Eckert 4, A. Jacobs 3, T. Horsnell 2, J. Fuller, A. Oliphant, F. Wyatt, L. Patterson, L. Edwards. Port – D. Voumard, D. Gray, J. Akker.
Central Augusta 11.9 (75) d West August 6.4 (40).
BEST: Central – J. Muirhead, N. Khan, J. Dare-Ryan, M. Fuller, N. Wedding. West – T. Harrison, J. Mckenzie, H. Warren, D. Kroes, R. Hobbs.
GOALS: Central – C. Benbow 3, J. Muirhead, T. Milera 2, P. Hull , D. Miller, J. Reid, T. Cribb. West – H. Warren 3, T. Harrison, J. Mckenzie, S. Laube.
Rd 2 – July 11
South Augusta v West Augusta; Prop-Risdon v Central Augusta.
Rd 3 – July 18
South Augusta v Prop-Risdon; Port v Central Augusta.
Rd 4 – July 25
Central Augusta v South Augusta; Port v West Augusta.
Rd 5 – August 1
West Augusta v Prop-Risdon; Port v South Augusta.
Rd 6 – August 8
Central Augusta v West Augusta; Port v Prop-Risdon.
Rd 7 – August 15
West Augusta v South Augusta; Prop-Risdon v Central Augusta.
Rd 8 – August 22
Central Augusta v Port; Prop-Risdon v South Augusta.
Rd 9 – August 29
South Augusta v Central Augusta; Port v West Augusta.
Rd 10 – September 5
South Augusta v Port; Prop-Risdon v West Augusta.
SECOND SEMI-FINAL – September 12
FIRST SEMI-FINAL – September 13
PRELIMINARY FINAL – September 19
GRAND FINAL – September 26