Celebrating the history of the great Australian game



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MagpiesMallala was a foundation member of the Adelaide Plains Football Association in 1909 and has maintained an unbroken involvement in the competition ever since. The club reached the grand final in its debut season, but lost to Virginia, as it did again in 1910. The breakthrough first premiership in 1912 was equivalent to a dam bursting. If you take into account the fact that the Association suspended competition from 1916 to 1918 then Mallala effectively racked up seven successive flags, missed out in 1922, and then garnered another hat trick from 1923. Inexplicably, however, that was where the fun ended, at least for the time being. During the remainder of the inter-war period Mallala only contested three more grand finals, losing to Wasleys in 1935 and 1936, and to Hamley Bridge in 1938.

The early post-war years were scarcely an improvement as the Magpies lost the 1949 and 1950 grand finals to Long Plains. Finally, in 1953, the longest premiership drought in the club’s history was over as Mallala defeated Long Plains by 3 points in an unusually low scoring grand final which produced a total of just 8 goals.

The Magpies added two further flags in the 1950s, while the 1960s brought half a dozen grand final appearances but only a couple of successes. The 1970s proved to be the club’s best decade for half a century, yielding four premierships from six grand finals. The 1974 grand final against United produced a rare draw, 13.10 (88) apiece, but Mallala comfortably won the replay by more than 8 goals.

Winning premierships in the modern game is obviously a lot harder than it was at the beginning of the twentieth century, but the Magpies have fared better than most, particularly since claiming their twentieth senior grade flag in 1990. Since then there have been another four grand final appearances spawning triumphs in 1993 and 2007 against United, and 1997 at the expense of Virginia, plus a narrow reversal at the hands of Hummocks Watchman Eagles in 2008.


John Devaney - Full Points Publications


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.