Although there was a long gap between the 1905 & 1920 premierships, North were reasonably successful during this period. They were runners-up in 1906, 1913, 1914 & 1919 and the competition went into recess in 1916, 1917 & 1918 due to the first World War.
North were particularly unlucky in 1919, a year that provided probably the most sensational finals round of all time. The final four comprised Sturt, West Torrens, North and Port. The Challenge system was still in place, so 1st played 3rd and 2nd played 4th and the winners played in the grand final, with the minor premiers having the right to challenge if they were not successful. In the first week North easily beat Sturt and Torrens eliminated Port. North and Torrens drew in the first grand final and North narrowly won the replay 6.2 to 5.3. Sturt, as minor premiers, had the right to then challenge North and this Challenge Final was also drawn. Sturt won the replay narrowly 3.5 to 2.6.
North were again very strong in 1920, losing only 3 games and finishing minor premiers. In the first week of finals, North eliminated Torrens 5.14 to 3.11 and Norwood (who had finished 4th) eliminated Port. Norwood had shown very good form towards the end of the season, but North retained favouritism for the premiership because they had defeated Norwood comfortably on both occasions they had met during the minor round.
|Forward : ||L. Davies ||D. O'Brien ||L. Sprigg |
|Half-forward ||F. Haines ||P. Frost ||G. Trescowthick |
|Centre : ||R. Fuss ||P. Lewis ||A. Fooks |
|Half-back : ||C. Penery ||J. Hamilton ||D. Crawford |
|Back : ||I. Davey ||R. Foale ||L. Reedman |
|Followers : ||T. Leahy ||C. Curnow ||V. Maloney |
(Coach : A. Klose ; Captain : T. Leahy)
The Grand Final
Tom Leahy leads North to the premiership
Norwood won the toss and kicked to the Northern end, favoured by a slight breeze. North attacked early and Leahy took a "sky-scraper" mark and goaled to draw first blood for North. Most of the remainder of the first quarter was a battle of defences, with the ball see-sawing from one end to the other. Eventually Norwood goaled to hit the lead.and North added 3 points to lead by 2 points at the break.
Norwood were first away in the second quarter, scoring an early goal. After two fruitless attacks, Frost goaled for North and this signalled the beginning of a period of dominance in the game. North were initially astray, kicking 5 consecutive points, but then goals to Fooks, Lewis and Curnow gave them a handy 25 point lead at half-time.
Both sides opened the second half with great enthusiasm, but the first 10 minutes produced only a point to North. Leahy and Curnow added more minor scores before first Sprigg and then Leahy goaled to virtually seal the game for North. Norwood scored a late goal to give them some hope, but they trailed by 35 points at three-quarter time.
Norwood managed a couple of minor scores to start the last quarter, but from the second kickout North worked the ball along the wing with quick passes, culminating in Davies passing to Maloney, who goaled. Frost added another later in the quarter, and North ran out winners by 48 points.
| ||First ||Second ||Third ||Final |
|North ||1.3(9) ||5.8(38) ||7.12(54) ||9.15(69) |
|Norwood ||1.1(7) ||2.1(13) ||3.1 (19) ||3.3 (21) |
Goals : Leahy 2.2, Frost 2.0, Trescowthick 1.2, Curnow 1.1, Lewis 1.0, Maloney 1.0, Sprigg 1.0, O'Brien 0.3, Davies 0.3, rushed 0.4
Attendance : Approximately 31,000
Inset, Lto R : I. Davey, L. Sprigg, P. Frost
Rear, L to R : R. Naughton, H. Whitehead, J. Bruce, F. Simpson, T. Hodges, J. Burke, D. Burke, W. Averay, J. McKenzie, W. Dickson, W. Scutchings (V.P.)
Second row, L to R : A. Peppall (V.P.), M. Kinnear, C. Penery, L. Reedman, C. Curnow, R. Foale, D. Crawford, F. Haines, S. Wallis, J. Doody, A. Daly, W. Finlayson (V.P.)
Third row, L to R : C.F. Young (Hon. Secretary), W. Harris, C.L. Jessop (President), T. Leahy (Captain), J.F. Bennett (Hon. Treasurer), G. Trescowthick (Vice-Captain), C.H. Nitschke (Patron), O.Isaacs, A. Klose (Coach)
Front row, L to R : J. Hamilton, P. Lewis, A. Fooks, L. Davies, V. Maloney, D. O'Brien, R. Fuss