BATTEN RELIVES THE GLORY DAYS
John Batten has been a long time newsagent at Jamestown.
Last Saturday, he returned to his foundation football club and celebrated one of the Angaston Football Clubs finest hours.
A Panthers footballer in his youth and early adulthood, Batten was a member of the historic Panthers 1977 A grade premiership.
This flag, the Angaston Panthers 21st in the Barossa and Light competition, has been etched in local folklore.
Just to start, Angaston needed to beat the reigning premiers and previously undefeated (for the season) Nuriootpa Rovers Football Club just to make the finals.
They then defeated Tanunda in the first semi-final and on a windy and wet Eudunda Oval against the odds, Angaston collected a brilliant preliminary final win over the Tigers.
More drama was to unfold the following week.
Jack Batten and his teammates played in a grand final draw against Kapunda at Freeling Oval.
They would return the following week to finally collect the flag and etch themselves into local football legend status.
“I played in three premierships for Angaston,” Batten said.
“The first was a Colts premiership in 1970, with Mark Hentschke winning the medal that year.
“We also won the Under 17 flag in ‘75.
“I missed most of the season with a broken leg.
“My parents were away and I decided to play a good month before I was supposed to.
“I played the last minor round game, along with in the finals.
“That day I started at full forward and ‘Milky’ (coach Malcolm Johnston) moved me to centre half back during the third quarter.
“The ‘77 (A grade) flag had Peter O’Neill at full back, Kym Lehmann at centre half-forward and myself at centre half back.
“We were all just out of the Colts and still teenagers.”
Batten would play well over 150 senior games with the Panthers.
Along with Lehmann, Batten was high in the Panthers’ best players list in the ’75 Under 17s flag, kicking six goals before being moved into defence.
There is another local connection to that historic ’77 Barossa and Light grand final.
Three members of the Schell family, Geoff, David and a young Phil all played with the Kapunda Bombers in both grand finals.
Geoff, who kick four goals as a key forward in the drawn grand final, and David played NEFL football with BBH Rams, while Phil was a South Clare Demon, after winning a pair of Mail Medals in the mid 1980’s with the Bombers.
KNIGHT ENJOYS MORE SHOWDOWN SUCCESS
In just his 25th game of AFL football on Sunday evening at Adelaide Oval, Riley Knight was already playing in his third “Showdown” encounter.
Back in 2015 in his second AFL match Knight enjoy the win over Port Adelaide in his first cross-town battle.
He was also involved in the round three win this year against the Power and played his part again in Sunday’s ‘Showdown’ record-breaking 84-point victory over Port Adelaide, finishing with 14 disposals and four tackles.
In an emphatic and one-sided performance Adelaide won 18.22 (130) to 7.4 (46) and this was after kicking a horribly inaccurate 1.9 in the opening term.
Knight is starting to secure his position in the side having played the last six rounds in a row.
Adelaide is now sitting on top of the premiership ladder and has a big couple of months ahead.
As all sportsmen know timing is a critical aspect in the game.
If Knight can continue to perform with the same vigour and intent, this South Clare export may be destined for the ultimate glory in the game.