1900 to 1901

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1900 to 1901

 

22/9/1900

v Lydney, Away. Draw 0-0. Team:- M S Bigwood, S W Crisp, Ll. Edwards, L G Edwards, G A Perreau, C Purcell, M Purcell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, Norman Moore, E A Wetten, A J Taylor, J Godwin, F O Lloyd.

“……the first visit ever paid to the Gloucestershire coal depot.”

In consideration of the heat, only 25 minutes each way played. There was precious little three-quarter play, and what there was took place between the brothers Edwards.

Cashnella, Perreau* and Bigwood.

“Master ‘Cash’ once allowed his zeal to outrun his discretion.”

Perreau, the Old Hermit, had been playing his football in India, but was still was deliciously keen. However, his occasional dashes at a mass of forwards, “led to more contact with the turf than was necessary.”

“Biggy” added to his reputation amongst Gloucestershire clubs: “….he fielded smartly, and when unable to clear managed to wriggle about among the enemy until Bathonians came to the rescue.”

*(G A Perreau rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army and was killed aged 43 in Mesopotamia 1917)

29/9/1900

v Cheltenham, away. Won 14-6. 2 goals and a goal from a mark to 2 tries.

Team:- J Godwin, Llewellyn Edwards, J T Timmins, E F Gooding, S W Crisp, Leonard Edwards, G A Perreau, G Ruddick, C Williams, N Moore, F Cashnella, P J Cooling, H R Tutton, E W Clarke and E A Wetten.. The team were greeted with: “Are you ready for that beating, Bath?” However, the visitors soon reversed the tables, despite Cheltenham’s early try. Perreau and Tutton scored Bath’s tries. Williams and Moore converted one each and Norman Moore kicked a goal from a mark.

Leonard Edwards was perhaps, the most prominent player on the ground.

 

6/10/1900

v Wellington, Home. Won 9-0. Team:- W H Bond, Hubert Heavan, E F Gooding, Ll Edwards, M S Bigwood, O Edwards, C Lewis, C Williams, N Moore, F Cashnella, H R Tutton, E W Clark, A J Taylor, E A Wetten and A Richards. Heavan and Cashnella scored the tries and Bigwood kicked the penalty goal.

The Chronicle correspondent complained regarding the holding of a Somerset Trial. “But on Saturday to summarily demand seven of Bath’s best men to appear at Frome on pain of suspending them, or the Club, is an arbitrary proceeding, and is more likely to produce a ‘decline of Somerset football’ than the lamentations of exalted pessimists.”

“Nobody would be a penny the worse if these trials were abolished entirely,……”

A high note was the presence of, ex Bristol player, Hubert Heavan on the right wing. Although a bit on the light side, he was seen to have all the attributes that Bath needed to boost their three-quarter performances. Bristol had objected to his move, but the understanding was that he came to Bath entirely on his own initiative.

 

13/10/1900

v Clifton, Away. Won 4-3. Team:- W H Bond, W F Long, M S Bigwood, E F Gooding, S W Crisp, G A Perreau, O Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, N Moore, F Cashnella, E W Clarke, H R Tutton, J Godwin and A E Wetten. W H Bond dropped the goal for Bath.

Centre, E Bostock Smith scored Clifton’s try.

Bath provided five for the County Trial at Wellington and came up against a formidable set of scrummagers at Clifton. There was an apparent lack of ability to locate the ball. However, when the Bath call was for “a long push, a strong push, and a push altogether” they managed to subdue all opposition. Cashnella was noted for his keenness on the ball.

 

20/10/1900

v Bristol, Away. Lost 0-9.Team:- H G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, E F Gooding, M S Bigwood, Len G Edwards, G A Perreau, G Ruddick, C Williams, N Moore, F Cashnella, E W Clarke, W Watts, P Cooling and A Richards.

Bath played an entirely passive game trying to keep their hosts at bay. There were around fifty to sixty scrums called, “and from only two of these was the leather expelled by the heels of the Bath forwards. This fact is full of eloquence, and must convey to the minds of those who were not present an idea of the high tension at which all the Bath outside players must have been strained throughout the game. As one of the visiting three-quarters expressed it in homely terms-he was ’fed up with tackling.”

The Bristol pack was “feeding machinery in perfection.”

3/11/1900

v Bridgwater, Home. Lost 3-13. Team W G Bond, E F Gooding, J Godwin, Ll Edwards, M S Bigwood, L G Edwards, O Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, N Moore, F Cashnella, W Watts, E W Clarke, A Richards and P J Cooling. Bigwood scored Bath’s try.

Onlookers felt Bath were robbed by unfair referee decisions. Be that as it may, Bridgwater forwards showed greater strength, untiring energy and greater alertness, and drove off from the ground “singing for all they were worth.” “Evidently they were on excellent terms with themselves, and doubtless spent a good time at their Carnival.”

“When it was too late, the home pack woke up, but not sufficiently to stem the tide of disaster which had swamped the boat. Not only were they too easy going in the packs, but there was an absence of that cleverness in footwork which has so long been a feature of the Bath front rank. There was an occasional flash, but no sustained effort, and the side was never in greater need of men of the Soane, Belson, and D’Aguilar type.”

 

10/11/1900

v Old Edwardians, Away. Won 5-3. Team:- W G Bond, S W Crisp, E F Gooding, Llewellyn Edwards, P Titley, C Lewis, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, A Richards, W Watts, H R Tutton and A J Taylor. Gooding scored Bath’s try and Williams converted.

Described as a surprise win over an on form side. “The principle reason for this most acceptable win was that every man played up to his best form, and there was a hearty determination animating each player to leave nothing to his colleagues, and to act as if the result depended upon his individual exertions.”

17/11/1900

v Knowle, Home. Won 11-6. Team:- E F Gooding, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, Llewellyn Edwards, M S Bigwood, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, N Moore, E W Clarke, A Richards and H R Tutton. Llewellyn Edwards, J T Timmins and L G Edwards scored Bath’s tries and Bigwood converted one.

The Bath backs performed well, despite Knowle forward dominance.

 

24/11/1900

v Gloucester, Home. Lost 0-10. Team:- E F Gooding, M S Bigwood, Llewellyn Edwards, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, Len Edwards, F Russell, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Richards, H R Tutton, N Moore, E W Clarke, A J Billett and A Baverstock.

Despite several regulars missing, Gloucester easily outclassed Bath, scoring two goals without reply.

 

1/12/1900

v Taunton, Home. Won 24-0. Team:-E F Gooding, M S Bigwood, Ll Edwards, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, F Cashnella, E W Clarke, A Richards, N Moore and A J Billett.

Tries by Timmins (2), Ruddick, Watts, Moore and Bigwood. Conversions by Bigwood (2) and Williams.

Although Taunton’s fortunes had faded somewhat, it was still an opportunity for the Bath backs to show what they could do with ample possession. “Though the passing and receiving were not so clean as in the Knowle match, individual efforts of exceptional smartness atoned largely for the absence of the finished combination which delighted everyone a fortnight previously. All were good at times, but Llewellyn Edwards played an outstanding game. ‘ His brother Leonard worked hard and “his touch finders were beauties.”

 

8/12/1900

v Penarth, Home. Lost 6-12. Team:- E F Gooding, M S Bigwood, Ll Edwards, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, L G Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, A Richards, C Williams, E W Clarke, A J Billett, W Watts, N Moore and F Cashnella. Bath tries from Ruddick and Billett.

Bath appear to have thrown this game away. “Certainly the prettiest instances of scientific action were exhibited by the Bathonians.”. Bigwood certainly missed a conversion ‘sitter’, right in front of posts, and to add to the self-inflicted problems – Gooding got himself sent off. He retired by order of the referee for varying football tactics with fisticuffs! Norman Moore was by no means successful as a stand-in ‘custodian.’ “Len Edwards was again too fond of describing semi-circles.”

Gooding avers that he was kicked when on the ground, and that started the mischief. Certainly it was a rough game, with the Penarth tacklers delighting in up-ending some of Bath’s smaller men.

CHRONICLE COMMENT

“From a financial point of view, I understand the match proved as satisfactory as could have been expected with the weather by no means promising, for the Club, after paying the sum guaranteed the visitors, will have just sufficient remaining to meet the expenses attendant upon every home engagement and the percentage taken by the Recreation Grounds Company.”

 

15/12/1900

v Weston-super-Mare, Home. Won 3-0. Team:- W G Bond, M S Bigwood, J Godwin, E F Gooding, S W Crisp, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, A Richards, F Cashnella, W Watts, E W Clarke, A Billett and N Moore. A dreary game of wasted opportunities.

Bigwood scored the try.

 

26/12/1900

v Saracens, Home. Won 36-0. Team:- J Godwin, M S Bigwood, Ll Edwards, J T Timmins, H Hignell, Selwyn Biggs, L G Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, A Richards, W Watts, A J Billett, T B Timmins and J Ruddick. Tries by Ll Edwards (4), Bigwood (2), Biggs and Ruddick. Billett kicked a drop goal and conversions by Bigwood (2), Biggs and L G Edwards.

In winning by 36 points to nil. Bath showed a complete mastery of Saracens; Bath had the assistance of Welsh International Selwyn Biggs, who was in great form and opened up the game in all departments. Unfortunately Timmins tended to starve his wingman Hignell, but nevertheless Bath seemed able to score at will.

 

27/12/1900

v Portsmouth, Home. Won 11-0. Team: J Godwin, W C Dainton, J T Timmins, Llewellyn Edwards, M S Bigwood, Selwyn Biggs, Len Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Richards, T B Timmins, J Ruddick and A J Taylor. Tries by Ruddick (2) and Cashnella, with Bigwood converting one.

In contrast to the previous day, this was a wet and slippery encounter. Biggs was closely marked and was less effective in the heavy conditions. However, a sizeable holiday crowd, witnessed a good win.

A Gloucestershire Official did not turn up, so Frank Soane refereed. Soane seems to have popped up everywhere! He refereed Castle Cary versus Bridgwater on the previous Saturday.

 

29/12/1900

v Knowle, Away. Won 16-0. Team:- W G Bond, W C Dainton, M S Bigwood, J T Timmins, H Hignell, L G Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, A Richards, W Watts, F O Lloyd, Norman Haigh and E W Burde.

Tries by Timmins (2), Russell and Hignell. Bigwood converted two.

Timmins again showed a tendency of neglecting his wing man. “After the lemon sucking”, the back division was re-aligned and play improved.

“Len Edwards played the best game he has put in for a long while, dribbling, kicking to touch, and running in the best of style, while he also brought off that clever lifting of the leather from his toes into his hands while going at full speed, which is rarely seen.”

There was a shortage of jerseys for this game, and there was a remarkable medley of colours. E W Byrde wore his Harlequins jersey, Watts was in amber and black, while Richards wore his Somerset jersey.

Bath Weekly Chronicle – 03 January 1901

“To score 63 points in 4 days without having their line crossed is a performance for when it would be difficult to find a parallel in the annals of the Bath Club and the players are pardonably proud of the Christmas record for 1900.”

 

5/1/1901

v Stroud, Away. Lost 3-4. Team:- W G Bond, H Hignell, J T Timmins, L G Edwards, M S Bigwood, C Lewis, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, A Richards, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Billett, N Moore and A Taylor. Bath spirits were ruffled at this result, as they thought they would win. Watts scored Bath’s try, but Bigwood missed his conversion, attributing this to his wearing square-toed boots, rather than his pointed ones – so successful on other occasions. The ‘Gothamites’ (Stroud) held on by the one point, from winger, S Blanch’s drop goal.

“Everybody waxed hot with excitement, and the home forwards, never renowned for playing a parlour game, put so much unnecessary vigour into their work, that it was only through praiseworthy restraint that the Bathonians exercised, regrettable scenes were not witnessed.”

 

12/1/1901

v Gloucester, Away. Lost 0-33. Team:- W G Bond, H Hignell, J T Timmins, J Godwin, M S Bigwood, Selwyn Biggs, Len Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, A Richards, F Cashnella, A Billett, N Moore, A J Taylor and W Watts.

Defeat by six goals and a try, was described as a terrible hiding.

Biggs made little impact against the generally superior play by Gloucester. Another feature of the hosts’ success, was the dozen kicking points amassed by place-kicker G Romans. At that stage of the season, Gloucester had scored 339 points , with only 27 against. Of their 19 matches, 13 had been won, three lost and three drawn.

 

19/1/1901

v Old Edwardians, Home. Won 11-0. Team: W G Bond, H Hignell, J T Timmins, Llewellyn Edwards, M S Bigwood, F Russell, Len Edwards, G Ruddick, W Watts, C Williams, F Cashnella, A Richards, A Billett, N Moore and A Taylor. Tries by Ruddick (2) and Hignell, with Bigwood converting one.

Bath’s lighter pack were able to move about more freely on the Rec. quagmire, and the home “ups” were cleverer in footwork.

 

9/2/1901

v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Won 9-6. Team:- W G Bond, M S Bigwood, J T Timmins, W E Davies, P Titley, Len Edwards, F J Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, F Cashnella, A Richards, A J Billett, E W Clarke, and N Moore.

All glory to the forwards in the loose. Tries by Norman Moore and Ruddick, and in particular – Watts, who sprinted and dodged like a seasoned three-quarter. Banwell and Fisher scored for Weston.

CHRONICLE COMMENT

“Several Bath footballers have been seized with a desire for martial glory, and Cliff Lewis is said to have passed all tests for the Imperial Yeomanry. Cashnella got on satisfactorily until it came to managing the gee-gee. H Wyatt who did duty at full-back for the ‘A’ has gone to Aldershot.

Norman Biggs, I hear, is returning to the front with a commission.”

 

16/2/1901

v Bristol, Home. Lost 0-6. Team: W G Bond, W C Dainton, Llewellyn Edwards, J T Timmins, M S Bigwood, Leonard Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, T Richards, A Billett, Norman Moore, E W Clarke and A J Taylor.

Many of the Bath team actually got down to some serious preparation for this game, and most were able to keep up a gallant fight to the finish. F Russell was the best of the backs, and he was a surprise replacement for Selwyn Biggs. He only turned up in kit, because there was a group photograph!

There is more on the astonishing career of F. ‘Chumpy’ Russell in the 1921-1922 section.

CHRONICLE COMMENTS

“Bristol are kept to a regular course of training, and it is thus, in a great measure, that they are able to render such a capital account of themselves when the test is applied. They possess a paid trainer, who is quite an important official of the club, and it is a moot point whether it would not be desirable for Bath to make an experiment in the same direction.”

“Considering the doubt entertained by many whether the ground would be fit, the attendance at Saturday’s match was well up to the average. There must have been over 2000 present, as the receipts for the sixpenny side exceeded £41, and the concession of allowing two lads in for 6d. was taken advantage of to a considerable extent. Altogether the gate takings were £55 18s 6d., and to this has to be added the admission fees at the stand.”

 

23/2/1901

v Wellington, Away. Won 3-0. Team: W G Bond, M S Bigwood,, J T Timmins, J Godwin, A J Taylor, Len Edwards, W E Davies, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, F Cashnella, A Richards, A Billett, N Moore and Dean (loaned from Taunton).

Bath’s first win at Wellington, and clinched in the last minute when Cashnella dribbled over for a try. (Cashnella had played against Wellington four times – and scored in every game.) Timmins was brilliant in defence. “Once four Wellingtonians seized a limb apiece and held J. T. shoulder high before he was grassed, but the vice-captain bobbed up smiling.”

 

2/3/1901

v Cheltenham, Home. Lost 6-11. Team: W G Bond, M S Bigwood, J T Timmins, Ll. Edwards, J Godwin, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, Richards, F Cashnella, A J Billett, N Moore and E W Clarke. Len Edwards scored Bath’s try and Bigwood kicked a penalty.

A poor defensive effort, tackling too high, and kicking ahead too hard. “…….The Bathonians seemed to have lost all scoring ability.” Llewellyn Edwards was altogether out of form.

9/3/1901

v Bridgwater, Away. Lost 0-8. Team:- Arnold Davis, G E G Phillips, J T Timmins, H Turtle, W G Bond, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Billett, A Richards, N Moore and A J Rowe.

A makeshift side for this encounter, with Timmins as the only regular back. There were again complaints about the referee, who is alleged to have allowed Bridgwater tries, after two or three knock-ons in one instance, and half a dozen yards offside for another! Cashnella was in good form, but had a try disallowed for a knock-on.

 

16/3/1901

v Clifton, Home. Won 28-15. Team:- W G Bond, Ll Edwards, J T Timmins, H Turtle, S W Crisp, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Billett, N Moore, J Godwin and A J Taylor. Bath tries by Timmins, Turtle, Watts, Russell, Cashnella and Len Edwards.

Bond attained some success with three conversions, which had been an area of weakness in so many games. Len Edwards dropped a goal. Russell and Leonard Edwards had particularly good games.

 

23/3/1901

v Neath, Away. Lost 0-3. Team:- W G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, C Spillaine, H Turtle, Len Edwards, F Russell, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Richards, A J Rowe, A Billett,, N Moore and A Clark.

This was a cracking game, against a side who had beaten Cardiff and Bristol. Ruddick was unlucky to be denied a try, for an alleged forward pass. The commentator thought the referee had a “defect of vision.” Richards was also clear for the line, and pulled up for a forward pass, having received the leather from a good yard behind his team mate. (Says the observer!) The Bath scrummagers played a “rattling” game, and replacement player Rowe, is said to have had a “clinking” game!

 

30/3/1901

v Lydney, Home. Lost 3-6. Team: W G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, C Spillaine, H Turtle, F Russell, Len Edwards, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, F Cashnella, A J Taylor, A Clark, N Moore, and H R Tutton.

Bath lapsed into irritating inferiority against the tin-workers from Lydney. Cashnella got Bath’s try.

“Dainton, I am happy to hear, will be home on holiday, and ready and willing, like Barkis, to do his level best for the blue and black.”

 

6/4/1901

v Bridgwater Albion, Away. Lost 3-7. Team: W G Bond, W C Dainton, H Turtle, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, Len Edwards, W Fear, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, N Moore, J Godwin, A Baverstock and H R Tutton. Watts scored Bath’s try.

Albion relied on their forwards: “for they are fit as fiddles, as tough as nails, as strong as young horses, and as rough as savages. A team at all puny or irresolute in its front rank has no chance whatever against Bridgwater Albion, and it was only because Bath possessed a sturdy lot of forwards on Saturday that they made such a close fight.”

“All the visiting quartet did their utmost, and no reproach can be cast upon them for the result. Turtle vied with Timmins in shooting-off in lightening-like dribbles-footwork was the most profitable procedure with the conditions prevailing-and might have scored from one of these dashes had not he been deliberately fouled by Sealey. Ruddick appealed for a penalty, but the referee declined to allow it-a most extraordinary decision. But the Bath team is growing accustomed to vagaries of referees.

Unfortunately, on neither of the occasions he has appeared for Bath, has Dainton been favoured by a dry ball and firm turf. He received only one pass on Saturday, and made a splendid effort to get clear, but had no margin, being forced into touch. He made half a chance in the home twenty-five once, but in dodging Sealey, slipped up on the treacherous turf and was held before he could recover himself.

Contrary to anticipation, Russell’s ankle did not give out, and Kingston and Keirl were unable to do anything with the ball, as Russell and Fear were always on them before they could move. But as neither set of forwards could heel clearly, it was no day for halves to display their abilities in attack. It was a marvel to all that Russell emerged from such a fierce encounter without a recurrence of his injury.

Both full backs had numerous calls upon them, and both played a champion game, Bell was in form vastly superior to what he displayed as custodian for Somerset against Middlesex. He kicked with wonderful power, and when he can find touch as accurately as Gamlin, Somerset will have a worthy substitute for the International. He robbed the Bath forwards of the ball with wonderful dexterity, and the Albions have to thank him that they were not beaten. Bond suffered little, if anything, in comparison with Bell, playing one of this finest games, and the crowd, a most one-sided loud-voiced assembly, were bound to acknowledge his ability.”

When Watts opened the scoring by obtaining Bath’s try, the crowd was particularly virulent. He was standing offside when the ball came to him, but inasmuch as it had touched an opponent in its course, he was quite correct in romping over with a try. More in reality converted with a fine kick, but the referee called it a poster.”

 

8/4/1901

v Cardiff Romilly, Home. Won 11-0. Team:- W G Bond, W C Dainton, J T Timmins, H Turtle, S W Crisp, F Russell, O Edwards, G Ruddick, F J Cashnella, Norman Moore, A E Billett, A Baverstock, A Clark, H R Tutton and J Godwin.

Drenching showers reduced the Rec. to a quagmire, with players floundering around like ships without rudders. With nothing registered at half time, “the players regaled themselves with slices of lemon – though some of the Cardiffians preferred a pull from a bottle which their trainer produced from his coat pocket.” Bath tries from Ruddick, and Moore (2); Bond converted the last effort. Cashnella was prominent throughout.

In the latter stages there was a touchline contretemps between Crisp and one of the Romilly players. At this incident, a hot blooded visiting spectator was ordered off the arena for calling the referee a liar! (Sounds like a good game!)

 

9/4/1901

v Neath, Home. Lost 0-8. Team:- W G Bond, W C Dainton, J T Timmins, H Turtle, S W Crisp, L Edwards, W Fear, G Ruddick, N Moore, A J Billett, H R Tutton, E W Clarke, J Godwin, F J Cashnella and W Watts. Bath failed to reverse their earlier result against a crack team.

Neath scored a goal and a try without reply.

 

11/4/1901

v Berkshire Wanderers, Home. Lost 3-6. Team:- W G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, L Edwards, W C Dainton, W Bence, H Turtle, G Ruddick, J Godwin, N Moore, H R Tutton, P Heath, H Lever, C E Williams and A Baverstock.

“If the Berkshire Wanderers fiasco did nothing else, it brought the capabilities of Bence, the little Oldfield Park half-back, into prominence.” “He has a genius for opening up the game…….”

 

13/4/1901

v Stroud, away. Won 9-0. Team:- W G Bond, W C Dainton, J T Timmins, H Turtle, S W Crisp, F Russell, G H Beloe, G Ruddick, W Watts, C E Williams, F J Cashnella, N Moore, A J Billett, J Godwin, H R Tutton. Bath won by three tries to nil.

Bath atoned for their poor showing in earlier games, and the forwards were able to push the visitors off their feet. The presence of Cashnella and Watts had a significant effect on the eight’s performance. This time, the tackling was low and resolute

The was undisguised relief that the ‘Gothamites’ would not appear on the ‘card’ next season:

“Stroud is always an unpopular journey, being one of the most inaccessible places to be visited, while the games are never of the friendliest or most agreeable character.”

“Everyone was pleased that Dainton closed his Easter vacation matches with a try. He had more opportunities against Stroud than in any of the previous games, but the whole number would not reach half-a-dozen. Any impression that he is only a sprinter was quite dissipated by the effective tackling he brought off in all the matches. The splendid fashion in which he bottled up the Neath right-winger was as prompt an application of the closure as has been seen on the ground.”

 

20/4/1901

v Taunton, Away. Lost 0-4. Team: W G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, J Godwin, J Holmes, Russell, W Bence, G Ruddick, C E Williams, F Cashnella, A Richards, H R Tutton, N Moore, E W Clarke, and A Baverstock.

A bizarre game and a disputed result! Disputed to the extent that it was referred to the Somerset County Union and on to the President of the E.R.U. Astonishingly, the reporter felt so strongly, that in his weekly FOOTBALL TALK record – he listed the game as ABANDONED!

Actually, skipper Ruddick, did take his team off the field. “So disgusted were the most sportsmanlike of the onlookers at what had happened that when the Bathonians, with a plucky resolve to try and beat sixteen men with fourteen, re-entered the arena, there were cries of ‘Play up Bath, and win.”

“To record the result as a win for Taunton, is a flight of imagination to which I cannot rise, and it is to be hoped that Bath club will lodge a formal protest against the decision. Happily, a medical practitioner of Bath, who, I believe, is an old Irish International, was present and is prepared to give evidence as to Crisp’s dismissal, and to state most emphatically that the referee was wrong in giving Taunton a dropped goal.

One thing is certain. No Bath team will ever consent to proceed with a match if they see that Mr. Hill of Bridgwater is the referee.

Play was so disorganised by the upsetting incidents which occurred that as a test of form this match was worthless.”

CHRONICLE COMMENT 2nd May 1901: “That the action of the referee in the Taunton match was not only inexplicable to Bathonians, but also to others. I quote with pleasure the following from the ‘Somerset County Gazette’ (Taunton). In their notes on the game they say: ‘Bath were unlucky to lose, as they ran in a good try, which was lost to them owing to the short dead ball boundary. On the other hand, there is no question that the ‘dropped goal’ was one of those curious things which occur at times, although there is no doubt that Mr. Hill acted conscientiously in awarding it as such.”

The problem was pinpointed: “A peculiar incident then happened. Darling raced away and preferred to kick over the back’s head instead of endeavouring to beat him. The ball went over the bar, and the referee gave a dropped goal to Taunton, though there seemed no question that the kick was a punt.”

The County Executive felt unable to deal with Bath’s protest. Mr Hugh Fox, President of the R.F.U. explained that even if the “goal” were no goal, that body could not alter the verdict if the referee decided it was, he being absolute on questions of fact, but if the referee would write admitting he was mistaken, the E.R.U. might annul the decision. As Mr. Hill will not do that the matter will have to rest where it is.

SENDINGS OFF AT TAUNTON

“As to the fight between Richards and Paul there could be no mistake. The men gave each other some punishing blows before they could be separated, the claret was beginning to flow, and as Richard’s jersey had been torn off his back, the affair looked worse than it otherwise might have done. As to who was the aggressor accounts differ, but it is certain that when Richards had gone off the enclosure and was leaving the pavilion Paul attacked him, and there was thus a repetition of the encounter.”

“The Somerset Rugby Union Committee on Monday investigated the complaint made by Mr. A. W. Hill of Bridgwater, the referee in the Bath and Taunton match at the latter place on April 20. The light sentence of one week’s suspension passed upon S. W. Crisp, the Bath three-quarter, was almost tantamount to an acquittal. The suspension of A. Richards of Bath, for three months for fighting on the field with Paul, of Taunton, will expire in the middle of December next. Richards alleged that Paul was the aggressor, and as the Tauntonian had been previously punished for a similar offence, he is forbidden to play football again under the auspices of the Rugby Union.”

 

27/4/1901

v Bridgwater Albion, Home. Won 4-3. Team: W G Bond, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, J Godwin, H Turtle, F Russell, W Bence, G Ruddick, C E Williams, F Cashnella, W Watts, N Moore, A Richards, R Tutton and E W Clarke.

Good to finish with a win, by a drop goal to a try. Godwin, the faithful Post Office player, had long had a propensity to attempt drop goals, sometimes from impossible positions. This time one came off!

 

The Somerset County R.F.U. Annual General meeting outlined those entitled to attend as: “one authorised representative from each affiliated club and as many “individual” members as care to attend. An “individual” member is a subscriber of half-a-guinea or upwards. So it will be seen that if the latter are sufficiently numerous they can rule the Union, whether they are interested in particular clubs or not. There is a source of danger in this.”

BATH SEASON STATISTICS

Appearances by position:-

6 Full Backs (Custodians): W G Bond 24, E F Gooding 4, J Godwin 2, M S Bigwood, N Moore and Arnold Davis all 1.

20 Three-quarters: J T Timmins 27, S W Crisp 20, M S Bigwood 19, Llewellyn Edwards 16, H Turtle 9, W C Dainton, and H Hignell 8, J Godwin and E F Gooding 7, Leonard Edwards, P Titley, C Spillane all 2, H Heavan, G A Perreau 1, W F Long, A J Taylor, F Russell, W Holmes, G B Phillips and W E Davies all 1.

18 Half-backs: Len Edwards 21, F Russell 20, W Bence and A G Perreau 3, O Edwards 4, C Lewis 3 and S Biggs 3, C Purcell, M Purcell, Bond, Llewellyn Edwards, and G H Beloe 1 each.

25 Forwards: F Cashnella 32 (missed just one match), G Ruddick 31, C Williams 30, N Moore 27, W Watts 25, A Richards 23, A Billett 19, E W Clarke and H R Tutton 13, J Godwin and A J Taylor 10, A Clark 6, A Baverstock 5, A E Wetton 4, P Cooling 3, F Lloyd, T B Timmins, J Ruddick, and A Rowe 2, P Heath, F J Tope, J Lever, N Haigh, E W Byrne and A Dean 1 each.

Tries by: G Ruddick 10, J T Timmins 7, W Watts and F Cashnella 6, Llewellyn Edwards 5, M S Bigwood and N Moore 4, Leonard Edwards 3, F Russell and H Hignell 2, W C Dainton, H Turtle, E F Gooding, H Heavan, E W Clarke, G A Perreau and Selwyn Biggs one each.

Goals were dropped by Bond, Billett, Llewellyn Edwards and Godwin.

Moore kicked a goal from a mark.

Bigwood kicked two penalty goals.

Conversions: M S Bigwood 8, W G Bond 4, C Williams 3 and N Moore 1.

 

This page was added on 01/05/2014.

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