The ACTAFL Competition had 7 teams in 1981, Ainslie, Belconnen, Eastlake, Manuka, Queanbeyan, Sutherland and Weston Creek.
Ainslie finished the Home and Away games on top of the table with 15 wins and 3 losses. All the losses were to second placed team Manuka.
Ainslie played Manuka in the Second Semi-Final at Football Park, Phillip. Ainslie ran out winners by 83 points to go through to the Grand Final.
- Final score: Ainslie 24.13-157 def Manuka 11.8-74
- Goal kickers for Ainslie: Neale 4, Senjov 4, Brock 3, Holford 3, Nolan 3, McCormick 2, Miller 2, M Smith 2, Davey 1
- Best: Heystraten, Stone, Nolan, M Smith, McCormick, Bellchamers, Marshall
Ainslie met Manuka again in the Grand Final and Manuka were able to reverse the Semi-Final result to win by 22 points leaving Ainslie as Runner-ups.
- Final score: Ainslie 15.14-104 def by Manuka 18.18-126
- Goal kickers for Ainslie: Neale 3, McCormick 3, Brock 2, Bellchambers 2, Mooney 2, Nolan 2, Senjov 1
- Best: Croser, McCormick, Bellchambers, Holford, C Smith, Marshall
The Ainslie Grand Final team was:
- Backs: Gordon Marshall, Greg Croser, Tony Ielasi
- Half Backs: David Moon, Alan Smith, Brian Holford
- Centres: Ron Davey, Ken Stone, Craig Smith
- Half Forwards: Martin Smith, John Miller, Terry Mooney
- Forwards: David Bellchambers, Kevin Neale, John Brock
- Rucks: Hans Heystraten, Stephen Nolan, Jack McCormick
- Interchange: Mick Senjov, David Monaghan
Ainslie won the Club Championship.
Keith Heales received the AFL merit certificate for outstanding service to football.