Club History – 1991 to 1996

HIGH EXPECTATIONS

The Nineties (1991-1996 Pre National Netball League)

In 1991, Class A Contax represented SA in the Prime Minister’s Cup, finishing 2nd. Despite the availability of outside Australian players, Contax were the only club opting not to utilise the import rule. This same year, the State League team racked up premiership number 6 in a most satisfying and convincing manner. The Grand Final was again contested against arch-rival Garville who were out-muscled, out-classed and completely out-played by the close knit Contax group. Life membership was awarded to Helen Ward. 1992 began the era of what would become a 4-year premiership drought at the top level. The Contax Netball Club had built high expectations in recent years, and amongst the players, only premierships were considered successful. Contesting Grand Finals was not enough. Contax finished 1st in the Pre Season Dairy Vale Cup, 2nd in the Prime Minister’s Cup and 2nd in the State League. In 1993, Contax won 6 premierships, fielding a record 29 teams for the season. For the 2nd successive year, the State League Team lost the Grand Final to Garville. 1994 was a year of mixed emotion. Contax, with new sponsor Fairmont Homes on board, won the Prime Minister’s Cup over Garville in controversial circumstances. Import player Vicki Wilson dominated to Contax goal end and the match finished level at full time. The extra time period produced a 3-goal margin in favour of Contax. The full time score was disputed post-match by Garville, claiming they had in fact won the game in the regular 60 minutes of play. The speculation and media interjection in the following weeks soured the Contax victory, however, history shows that Contax were in fact the winners of the 1994 Prime Minister’s Cup. Contax again were runners up to Garville in the State League season. A total of 12 teams played in Grand Finals, resulting in 8 premierships. In 1995, ETSA Corporation became the principal sponsor of the Club, and Contax would now be known as it is today, ETSA Contax. The entire club played in bodysuits, a popular choice with the juniors. 13 teams made Grand Finals, resulting in 7 premierships. The disappointment continued for the State League Team, losing their 4th successive Grand Final to arch-rival Garville, this time by 1 goal. Life Membership was awarded to Wendy Deayton. Margaret Angove was awarded an OAM for services to Netball. 1996 saw ETSA Contax fielding a total of 31 teams, with an amazing 21 reaching Grand Finals. A club record of 16 premierships was achieved. ETSA Contax again competed in the Mobil Superleague, finishing 4th after losing Vicki Wilson to injury in the finals series. Locally, ETSA Contax dominated the State League season to finish minor premier, and go on to defeat arch rival Garville by 3 goals in the Grand Final. This was a huge relief to the club, following Garville’s 4-year reign as the dominating team at the top level. It was ETSA Contax that were to depart the “old netball” era with a premiership. Netball Australia announced that a full National League was to form for the 1997 season, and ETSA Contax applied to enter as a club. The application was subsequently denied by the South Australian Netball Association, opting for the current Thunderbirds/Ravens structure as the 2 South Australian teams in the National Netball League.