By Peter Argent
The CMS Crows was formed in 1994 from a merger between Southern Yorke Peninsula Football League clubs Minlaton, Curramulka and Stansbury.
Before this association began, Stansbury won its last flag in 1988, while Curramulka was victorious a year earlier. It was back in the 1970s when Minlaton had success, claiming the 1979 premiership title over Curramulka.
The inaugural coach of the CMS Crows was former Woodville and North Adelaide footballer Rodger Clift, who also took on captaincy duties.
Tim Vince, the father of perhaps the club’s greatest football export Bernie – 100-game footballer and best and fairest with both the Adelaide Crows and the Melbourne Demons – was on the committee at the at the start. He remembers that it was a significant step up in intensity and physicality taking on the northern Yorke Peninsula sides.
“It was certainly a ‘wake-up’ call for us and it took us a little while to adjust, but we got there,” Vince said.
“The gap between the foundation competitions was significant in the early days.
“We worked hard and got competitive.”
The Crows played in their first YPFL Grand Final against the competition yard stick of the era, Wallaroo, in 1996 and were also bridesmaid to the Bulldogs for the following two years before a breakthrough inaugural flag in 1999, when they defeated Bute by 33 points – 18.12 (120) to 12.15 (87).
The second flag in 2003 came after finishing the minor round on the edge of finals participation and charging through to beat Paskeville in the season decider, with a young Bernie Vince returning from college to be a part of that glory.
Norwood champion Troy Clements led the Crows to the 2006 title while Jamie Kemp was in charge of the back to-back successes in 2012 and ‘13, with goal kicking ace Adam Jolly as his skipper.
Former Willaston, Central District 2008 Premiership player and Crows rookie, now playing with Mypolonga, James Moss famously kicked 12 goals himself in the 2012 win over the Bloodhounds.
This club also played in A grade YPFL grand finals in 2013 and 2017.
Currently, long-term servant Brett Baillie is the senior coach with Angus Glazbrook skipper.
There have been a number of stars come through the club over the past 25 years, with left footed midfielder Ron Cook, tough-as-nails in-and-under on-baller Paul Morris and the silky smooth Indigenous talent Derick Wanganeen winning Mail Medals in this era.
Other talent which came to the Crows included siblings Wade and Kriston Thompson, Nigel Osborn (who made his State League debut for West Adelaide in round 7 last week at age 28), Ben O’Donohue and defender Jarod Curtis.
One of the more interesting stories is local ruckman Jason Aldenhoven who played in the 2003 flag alongside Bernie Vince and state country sportsman Adam Pitt and later returned in 2013 to initially play just reserves but finished in the A grade side for the grand final triumph over Kadina that year.
Now making a name in media circles, Bernie Vince had a stellar playing career, which included 129 games for the Crows and the 2009 Malcolm Blight Medal and exactly 100 games for Melbourne including the Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Medal in 2015.
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