110 years ago (August 1910) Perth welcomed their very first intrastate guests, when South Australia arrived fairly gingerly on our shores to play five friendlies against various select sides, including three ‘Tests’ versus the home State.
Sadly, extreme wet conditions and a tram strike thwarted any hope of seeing large attendances at any of the games.
The visit was a reciprocal gesture following Western Australia’s marathon tour of the eastern seaboard the previous year, which included two games in the Croweater state.
On August 13, after disembarking Fremantle late following a wet and rocky journey on the ship Riverina, Western Australia secured the first win with a 2-0 triumph at the WACA Ground. Tommy McCreery and G McCann were the scorers. South Australia however, were not without their chances after having struck the woodwork and missed two open goals.
The South Australian’s second match four days later was against a Fremantle XI which was won by the home team 2-1.
Western Australia then triumphed 4-1 in the second Test (at Claremont Showground) with McCreery netting all four. McIllmurray scored a consolation for the visitors.
The next match saw South Australia clinch their first win with a 1-0 victory versus a Perth District XI on the WACA ground.
Spurred on by that success, the visitors battled out a 1-1 draw in the third Test against Western Australia that was played at Fremantle Oval. ‘Chick’ Pearce put the Croweaters in front after ten minutes though ultimately shared the spoils when ‘Mac’ Evans scored from a scintillating solo run late in the game – but not before he fired a penalty kick over the crossbar moments prior.
The best player for South Australia was their goalkeeper and vice-captain EP Rowley, who was playing football in the Goldfields three years earlier. Ted Rowley went on to make a significant contribution to the code in the southern State.
View the 1910 Inter-State Carnival tour programme (pdf, 5543kb) (courtesy of the Museum of Sydney)