Despite the distance it was not unknown for teams, particularly representative teams from Mt Isa to travel to Townsville to play intercity matches. At 14ookms it was a fair old trip.
The game was obviously popular among the remote but thriving mining community. The respectable crowd between the pitch and the Mount Isa mine shaft in the background of this cover photo offers a clear indication of interest.
The cover photo is believed to be from the match Scotties Vs Pannonia match. The other images highlight the other teams participating in the competition.
Records including result exist of the four team competition in 1953:
Sunday 24/5: St Helens 3 v 1 BSD; Pannonia 3 v 1 Scotties.
Sunday 14/6: Pannonia 3 v 0 St Helens; Scotties 3 v 0 BSD.
Sunday 21/6: St Helens 4 v 1 BSD; Pannonia 2 v 1 Scotties.
Sunday 28/6: Pannonia 2 v 0 BSD; St Helens 3 v 0 Scotties.
Sunday 5/7: Scotties 0 v 0 BSD; St Helens 5 v 1 Pannonia – game spoiled by send offs and walk offs.
Sunday 9/8: British Isles v Europe (Abandoned)
1954: Mt Isa played Ingham in an intercity match in September. The Mt Isa league competition, consisting of 4 teams finished with Pannonia at the top. The other teams placed: (2) Scotties; (3) St Helens; and (4) Hollandia.
1955: Mt Isa played Townsville in an intercity match. Pannonia defended their title. The other teams placed: (2) Hollandia; (3) St Helens; and (4) Scotties.
1956: Mt Isa beat the visiting Townsville team 4-1. Pannonia defended their title again. Nothing is known of the fortunes of Hollandia, St Helens and Scotties. (2) Mt. Oxide; Shamrocks; (4) Leichhardt.
1957: Pannonia took out the title for a fourth straight year.
Ian Syson notes that The Canberra Times reported on an active internationalism in Mount Isa. ‘Soccer’ gets a mention but not before the Hungarian cricket team. Junior teams also emerge in the town in the second half of the decade.
On the sporting side new Australians have come to the forefront in many fields. They are also trying their hands at typically Australian games such as cricket. The Pannonia Cricket Club is almost totally a New Australian Club. They are also giving zestful performances on the soccer field and are represented in every local soccer team.
The Canberra Times, 8 October 1957, p2.
1958: Scotties took the title over (2) Irish; (3) St Helens; (4) Concordia.
1959: Scotties defended their competition win, despite the resurgence of Pannonia: (2) Irish; (3) Pannonia; (4) Concordia; (5) Scandinavia; (6) Isa Rangers.
Ian Syson is one of Australian Football’s foremost historians. Ian’s ground-breaking research and more information related to football in Mount Isa can be found at his football history site neos osmos.