It was on August 19, 1910 that a team from Ginninderra and Yarralumla played the first recorded game of Association Football at Ginninderra Showground in what was then the Federal Capital Territory. 100 years later Football is now the biggest participation sport in the Australian Capital Territory region.
Below is the match report of the first game played Friday 19th August 1910.
The first part of the programme consisted of an association football match between Yarralumla and Ginninderra. The game was fast and clean from start to finish, played in true sportsman like manner, and was exceedingly interesting from a spectator’s point of view. The sides were evenly matched and the play, during the whole of the match; but particularly the latter half, was of a strenuous nature. Yarralumla taking advantage of a passing rush, and the temporary disorganisation of the local backs, scored during the first half. This was the only points recorded, although at the call of time, the locals were punching their opponents heavily, and narrowly missed scoring several times. The spectators were much interested and pleased with the fine exhibition of football, and the game has only to be introduced into the various district centres in order to become very popular. Most of the players were new to the game, but the two men who stood out prominently on the local side, its playing a particularly fine game were, L. Harpham and E.G. Grace.
The return match was played two weeks later and was reported thus.
The Ginninderra footballers journeyed to Yarralumla on Saturday last to recover the lost ashes. The local team was somewhat weakened by the absence of two of their number, but on reaching the trysting ground it was found that their opponents were similarly handicapped. Mr F. Campbell gave the visitors a warm welcome, and together with Mrs. Campbell were interested spectators. Mr Harpham captained the visitors and Mr Hill acted in a like capacity for Yarralumla. Mr Gleeson gave every satisfaction as referee, and was complimented by members of both teams at the close of the game. The boundary umpires were Mr J. Flannagan and Master Vest. Yarralumla kicked off, but were immediately put on the defence. Very early in the first half the visitors carried the ball into their opponent’s penalty area, when Harpham passed to A. Bolton who scored. Much give and take ensued, and the local men made a determined effort to recover lost ground. Killoran shot for a goal which rebounded from his opponent, and as it did so he bumped it through with his head, but unfortunately for Yarralumla the player was offside and no score resulted. Harpham narrowly missed scoring on two occasions and did some magnificent kicking throughout the game. The second half was contested very stubbornly. The Yarralumla forwards playing a splendid game, but the back portion of the Ginninderra team were too solid to find a week spot and no score resulted for either side. The game thus resulted in a victory for Ginninderra, one goal to nil. For the visitors Harpham, Bolton, Simpson and Grace played a good game, and on the losing side, Jackson, Hill and Killoran showed to advantage. An excellent afternoon tea was provided and the visitors are loud in their praise of the way in which they were treated.