In 1953 there were Six teams in the Canberra League, Ainslie, Eastlake, Manuka, Queanbeyan-Acton, RMC and Turner.

Ainslie were only defeated twice in the home and away games.

Ainslie played Queanbeyan-Acton in the Second Semi-Final but were defeated by 1 point before a crowd of 2000 at Manuka Oval.

  • Final score: Ainslie 9.15-69 def by Queanbeyan Acton 9.16-70
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: P Platt 4, J Backen 1, R Bloomfield 1, D Ross 1, N Cleary 1, B McCabe 1
  • Best: Backen, Ross, Boorn, Ray

In the Preliminary Final held at Northbourne Oval before a crowd of 3000 Ainslie defeated Manuka to set up a re-match with Queanbeyan-Acton in the Grand Final. In a spiteful last term Police came onto the ground to clear a melee between the teams and to get spectators off the ground.

  • Final score: Ainslie 11.13-79 def Manuka 6.8-44
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Backen 3, Platt 3, Ross 2, McCabe 1, Hawke 1, Stevens 1
  • Best: Ray, Ross, McCabe, Boorn, Backen

Ainslie was Runner-Up in 1953 being defeated by Queanbeyan-Acton in the Grand Final by 6 points before a crowd of 4000. The scores were level with two minutes to go but a late goal to Queanbeyan-Acton gave them the Premiership.

  • Final score: Ainslie 8.12-60 def by Queanbeyan-Acton 9.12-66
  • Goals for Ainslie: A Stevens 2, L James 2, J Backen 1, D Ross 1, N Cleary 1, A Hawke 1
  • Best: Birch, Hawke, Stevens, Ross, Ray

The Ainslie First Grade team for the Grand Final was:

John Cleary, Alan Ray, Bryan Birch, Robert Boorn, Don Robertson, Barry Browning, Lionel James, Barry McCabe, Tom Boyd, Alan Stevens, Don Ross, William Keough, Allan Hawke, Phil Platt, Jim Backen, Bruce Whatman, Max Griffiths, Neville Cleary, John Loftus, William Gale, Barney McCabe

  • Coach: Alan ‘Ginty’Stevens
  • Captain: Bruce Whatman
  • Vice-Captain: Neville Cleary

1953 Ainslie Second Grade Team

Ainslie Second Grade defeated Turner in the First Semi-Final.

  • Final score: Ainslie 8.14-62 def Turner 4.3-27
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Browning 2, O’Sullivan 2, Farrer 1, Zuraczek 1
  • Best: Bloomfield, Marryat, Moore, Zuraczek

Ainslie Second Grade defeated Eastlake in the Preliminary Final.

  • Final score: Ainslie 12.12-84 def Eastlake 4.14-38
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: O’Sullivan 4, Browning 4, Love 1, Keegan 1, O’Brien 1, Hansen 1
  • Best: McCullough, Crombie, Marryat, Lawson

The Second Grade were finished as Runners-Up after being defeated by Queanbeyan-Acton in the Grand Final by 1 point. Ainslie fought back from a half time deficit of 25 points to hit the front with minutes remaining only to see Queanbeyan-Acton score on the siren.

  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Zuraszek 2, browning 2, Crombie 2, Mathews 1
  • Best: Zuraszek, McCulloch, Crombie, Farrer

The Ainslie Second Grade Grand Final team was from:

Frank Mathews, Bob Bloomfield, Trevor Graham, Paul Lawson, Frank Curtis, Eric O’Sullivan, Frank Marryatt, Jim Keegan, Ken O’Brien, George Farrer, Joe Trembearth, Ray McCulloch, Alan Browning, Brian Crombie, Tom Moore, John Zuraszek, Bill Hansen, Harry Perryman, Gerry Hamilton, McCaskie, Bill Love

Captain of Second Grade, George Farrer, won the League’s President’s Trophy for Best & Fairest in the Second Grade.

  • Coach: Lionel James
  • Manager: Vic Lake

Third Grade

The Ainslie Third Grade team were eliminated in the Semi-Final by Manuka.

  • Final score: Ainslie 5.10-40 def by Manuka 7.6-48
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Schumack, Crowley, Stevens, Hyde, Wallace
  • Best: Butt, Bennett, Wallace, Crowley


The Ainslie Juniors won the Grand Final over Manuka to win the Premiership.

  • Final score: Ainslie 10.7-67 def Manuka 1.2-8

The Sub-Juniors were defeated in the Preliminary Final by Eastlake.

  • Final score: Ainslie 4.3-27 def by Eastlake 5.2-32
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Webb 2, Mullens 1, Howe 1
  • Best: Worthy, Webb, Grant, Martin

The Midgets were beaten in the Grand Final by Manuka.

  • Final score: Ainslie 3.0-18 def by Manuka 4.2-26
  • Goal kickers for Ainslie: Kershaw, Hall, Jordan
  • Best: Bloomfield, Rochford, Elvin, Ross, Shannon, Huntingford

The Atoms were beaten in the Grand Final by Turner.

  • Final score: Ainslie 0.0-0 def by Turner 1.2-8
  • Best: Ross, Davies, McKay, Neilson

Club Awards

First Grade

  • Best & Fairest: Alan Ray
  • Most Consistent: Barry McCabe
  • Best Clubman: Bruce Whatman
  • Finest High Mark: Jim Backen
  • Best Young Players: Lionel James, Allan Hawke

Second Grade

  • Best & Fairest: Tom Moore
  • Most Consistent: Ray McCullough
  • Most Improved: T Hansen
  • Most Consistent Forward: Alan Browning

Third Grade

  • Most Consistent: T Brady
  • Most Determined: R O’Keefe
  • Most Promising: R Brady
  • Best Clubman: A Bennett

Junior Awards

  • Juniors Best & Fairest: Ray Hincksman
  • Sub-Juniors Best & Fairest: C (Darby) Martin
  • Midgets Best & Fairest: John Butler
  • Atoms A Best & Fairest: John Davies
  • Atoms B Best & Fairest: A Sharp

Club Office Bearers

  • Patron: James C. Moore
  • President: Ralph Lewis
  • Senior Vice-President: Stan Ray
  • Committee: J.E. Cleary, Tom Evans, C. Gregory, J. Horgan, J. Keogh, M. Kildea, H. Kruger, H. Loftus, N. Lynraven, M. Martin, C. Meeking, J.L. Mulrooney, J. Watt
  • Secretary: T. Fettes
  • Treasurer: A. Bryan