Iggies were relegated twice in three years but found their feet again in 1981 under coach and former champion player Michael “Tom” Kelly. The revival was built around several stars from the mid-seventies – mosquito men Brian Norcock, Dick Duddy and Michael King, the great goalsneak David Harben, the impassable defender Kym Dreyer, the bustling mid-field genius of Joe Di Pinto and skipper Marco Nowosilskyj. The club won two premierships and celebrated long and hard. Six weeks earlier, the club, along with Scotch OC, had become embroiled in the infamous “Game that never was” affair, featuring on the front page of The News. However, that drama was soon forgotten as success returned; shortlived though it was.
Following the A4 & A4R Premierships of 1981, Ignatians lost a host of players to retirement, and struggled throughout the early – mid 90s. There were highlights, however. Still remembered today was the famous clash against Rostrevor Old Collegians in the mud at SIC. The crowd was large and as the visitors entered the arena, from the balcony, strains of organ music filtered across the turf. The music did not cease with the first bounce and it drove the top-ranked ROC’s to distraction and defeat.
Still, Ignatians were relegated to A4 and endured limited success until the appointment of Brian Ferrari as coach in 1989. He recruited several players, most notably ex-SANFL players Chris Toome and Andrew Moulds, and they had a pronounced effect on the on-field culture of the club for years to come. Toome won the A4 medal, but was injured in the second semi final and missed the Grand Final, which Ignatians narrowly lost to Kenilworth FC.