MONA PARK

1951 ES v NS at Henson Park smallIn mid 1950 most of the north coast of NSW was hit by the most horrific floods.  The wet also affected the municipalities of Windsor, Colo and Baulkham Hills.

The Sydney Lord Mayor, Ernie O’Dea, set up a relief fund in order to assist people and government organisations which had been particularly effected by the excessive rain.

Sydney football helped too.

There were no club games on the weekend of 29-30 July because of an interstate clash at Trumper Park on the Saturday where Tasmania towelled up NSW by over 10 goals in front of a crowd of 5,000.

This void in the competition afforded the league an opportunity to play an exhibition match at Mona Park, Auburn, the following day, with Western Suburbs playing Eastern Suburbs. All proceeds raised were donated to the Lord Mayor’s Relief Fund.  The curtain raiser was a reserve grade game between Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney.

The match was played in conjunction with the Auburn Combined Sports Committee with both the Auburn and Burwood bands playing during the afternoon.  Buses had been organised to run from Auburn Station to the ground and league umpire, Alan McIntyre, volunteered his services for the main game.

Messrs Allan Radcliffe and Wal Clark acted as commentators throughout the match on the rules of the game through the public address system.  Both clubs expected their NSW representatives of the previous day to play.

The day was rain affected but attracted a reasonable crowd paying an admission fee of  1/6 (15c).  It was said the play was of a good standard, considering the state of the ground, and the game was won by Wests 11-12 (78) to 9-6 (60).

The match was also used to garner support for the game in the Auburn-Parramatta area but with the following description of the ground, it no doubt failed: “The condition of the ground was described as “deplorable, with pools of water all over the ground.  So deep were some of these pools, players who fell in them were comparatively clean when they stood up.”

Eastern Suburbs won the reserve grade encounter in a close finish 4-10 (34) to 4-6 (30).

On the same weekend, the Australian Amateurs played Canberra at Newcastle.