…great interest prevails in the district around here at present owing to the near approach of the football season, and fact that we have a team here that should they keep up the enthusiasm at present displayed, will give their opponents something to think about…
At the annual meeting of the Bourke-Evelyn Football Association, held at the Bridge Inn, South Yan Yean in April 1912, it was announced that two new clubs had joined the Association―South Morang and Arthurs Creek. A correspondent to the Evelyn Observer from Arthurs Creek, confidently reported that ‘Great interest prevails in the district around here at present owing to the near approach of the football season, and fact that we have a team here that should they keep up the enthusiasm at present displayed will give their opponents something to think about.’
The team from Arthurs Creek was formed to play in the Bourke Evelyn Association against teams from Doreen, Diamond Creek, South Yan Yean, Whittlesea and South Morang. The competition commenced on Saturday 11 May 1912. In their first match, Arthurs Creek, 1 goal 4 behinds (10 points) were defeated by Diamond Creek, 5 goals 5 behinds (35 points).
On the following Saturday, the team suffered a further loss against last year’s premiers, South Yan Yean. ‘The local Football Club, although beaten twice, will have every confidence in themselves and hope to have a win next Saturday, when they play Doreen. I think this will be a very even contest, and may I add I hope it will prove a friendly game.’ Arthurs Creek, 3 goals 4 behinds (22 points) defeated Doreen, 2 goals 1 behind (13 points). The Doreen Club disbanded at the end of the first round, ‘owing to lack of players and funds’.
When South Morang and Arthurs Creek met for the first time, each team had several absentees. South Morang, 7 goals 14 behinds (56 points) defeated Arthurs Creek, 7 goals 4 behinds (46 points). ‘Half Back’ reported the Arthurs Creek team to be ‘a fine hefty lot of young fellows, in fact, as many of the spectators remarked, ‘they stripped bigger’ than any team in the Association. They play well together for a new team, and are fast, but some of their players, particularly the younger ones, and some of the old ones, too, are perhaps a little too fond of ‘growling’ at the umpire. This is a very bad fault, and, I think, if they remedied this, they would get along a lot better…’
At the return match, held in July at the Arthurs Creek ground, Arthurs Creek, 2 goals 5 behinds (17 points) defeated South Morang, 1 goal 10 behinds (16 points). ‘Owing to the very bad playing area, the game on Saturday last degenerated into a scramble soon after the ball was bounced, and the superior strength of the home side gave them their very narrow victory’.
‘To create additional interest in the Bourke-Evelyn Football Association’, a gold medal worth 1 guinea was provided by the Evelyn Observer for the Best Footballer in the competition, ‘the public to be the judges’. Supporters were asked to record their votes on a coupon published in each issue of the paper. The player receiving the most coupons at the end of the season was to be awarded the ‘Evelyn Observer Trophy’. The Trophy for the 1912 season, was won by Ern Andrews of South Yan Yean. A. Verso of Arthurs Creek finished in third place.
At the end of the third round ‘Half Back’ wrote, ‘Although they are not in the final four the Arthurs Creek team, (the red and whites), are to be complimented on their fine play right through the season, considering most of them were only beginners’. The finals matches were played at the Doreen Recreation Reserve, considered to be the best ground in the competition. In the grand final, South Yan Yean (45 points) defeated Whittlesea (35 points) to become premiers for the fourth successive year.
A social night for the Arthurs Creek Football Club was held in the Mechanics Institute during October ‘as a winding up of the football season. Some 24 couples kept the floor to music supplied by Miss Ryder’. The President, Mr. P. Murphy, ‘presented Mr. McKimmie with a medal subscribed for by his club members to show their appreciation of his services. The medal, given by D. Murphy for improved play during the season was won by Mr. Christian’.
Teams playing in the Bourke-Evelyn Football Association for the 1914 season were Mernda, South Morang, Hurstbridge, Whittlesea, Arthurs Creek, Kangaroo Ground and Epping. The grand final was played between Arthurs Creek and Mernda. Arthurs Creek were runners-up to the premiers, Mernda. ‘You have worthily kept up your end, and are a team in the making’, said ‘Half Back’.