Courtesy of nafc.com.au
Having won their first premiership in 1900, North were cruelly hurt by injury in 1901. They finished third but unearthed a brilliant crop of juniors including Sandland, Jessop, Lewis, Dawson and Smith. Sandland won the Magarey Medal in 1901 in his first and only full season of SANFL football. Although he didn't play during the minor rounds of 1902, he returned to play a significant role in the grand final.
The 1902 season saw the introduction of the "Challenge" system of finals. Under this system, the teams finishing first and third played in one final and the teams finishing second and third played in another final. The winners then played in the grand final, but if the minor premier was not the ultimate winner, that team had the right to challenge for the premiership.
North began 1902 with 3 losses, but thereafter didn't lose another game. Despite this, they finished second on the ladder and Port were the minor premiers. North were therefore scheduled to play West Torrens in a final on Saturday 30 August and the Port-South final was to be played on Monday 1 September (a public holiday), following a match between Yorke Peninsular and a combined18. North won their final comfortably, 6.9 to 1.3. But in a sensational development, Port refused to play under the appointed umpire (Mr Kneebone). This was first announced on Saturday afternoon, but only confirmed on the morning of the match. When it was apparent that the game would not go ahead, North were approached to play an exhibition game against South. To their enormous credit, despite the extremely short notice and the absence of several of their best players, North managed to field a team of 18 and put in a creditable performance. The issue of the forfeit was discussed at length at the Association meeting on the following Wednesday and Port were disqualified from the finals. It was agreed that South and North would meet in the grand final on the following Saturday.
Forward: J. Earl E. Johns A Daly
Half-forward: J. Matthews F. Dickenson N. Lemon
Centre: N. Pash P. Sandland J Rees
Half-back: T. Bradley N. Clark N. Claxton
Back: W. Dawkins A Ewers G. Carter
Followers: C. Fotheringham J. Reedman (c) C. Jessop
Mr Kneebone was the appointed umpire for the grand final. Given the controversy that had surrounded him, it was pleasing that he was given a very cordial and sympathetic greeting. He gave an excellent display, keeping the contest open and clean. The weather was almost perfect - warm with a very slight breeze, and North kicked to the Southern end in the first quarter. Play started slowly but soon quickened and the early part was a battle of defences, with Bradley the stand-out for North. South got the first goal on the board but from the centre bounce Rees kicked the ball forward and Dickenson scored a goal from a long way out. After a point to South, N. Pash returned the ball to the other end and Jessop kicked a great snapshot goal. From the bounce, Rees got the ball to Jessop who goaled again to give North an 11 point lead at the first break.
South had the better of the second quarter and, despite resolute defence from North, hit the lead after scoring two goals. Another running goal to Jessop (his third) regained the lead for North and the margin at half-time was 4 points.
After the break, North opened the game up with a rousing exhibition of fast, clean, skilful football. Dickenson scored his second goal, then Johns kicked another from an "impossible" angle. Three points followed, before South finally escaped North's attacking zone and added 3 points themselves. North then took possession of the game, with Jessop snapping his 4th goal and Daly bringing up North's 8th goal and securing a 32 point lead at the last change.
The game was all but over, and the last quarter was a tame affair as South realized that they were beaten and the teams played out time. North had most of the play but were inaccurate, with Johns scoring their only goal for the term.
North had won their second premiership in 3 years.
|North Adelaide||South Adelaide|
|9.14 (68)||Q4||4.7 (31)|
North Adelaide: Jessop 4, Johns 2, Dickenson 2, Daly 1
|SAFA/SAFL/SANFL Grand Finals|
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