1881 to 1882

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

There appears to have been no regular reporter at these early games. As with Junior Rugby, it was up to the team officials to send in their results and match reports in time for the print deadline. The Bath Argus contained frequent reminders to this effect.

Consequently, there are reporting gaps.


1881- 82



v Wells F.C. Home. Won. “The above match was played at Bath on Wednesday last. Digby (Captain) winning the toss, the ball was kicked off by Wells. The good forward play of McLorg and Digby made Wells touch down in self defence. Afterwards Jacobs made a good run and obtained a try but the goal failed, Wells then played up hard and nothing more was gained till half time. The ball being kicked of was well followed up by McLorg, who made the opponents touch it down, and on being brought out to the 25 yards flag, Helps and Digby made good runs, the latter obtaining a try, touches down being made by McLorg, Luckham, and Jacobs. The best players for Wells were Bradford, Ford and Bartlett. The play of the Bath forwards was exceptionally good, and if one more than another deserved praise, Walling should not be overlooked, the passing being highly commended by spectators as well as opponents.”


v Oldfield Park F.C. Home. Won by 11 tries to nil. “This game was played on the ground of the former on Saturday. The ball was set in motion by Daubeney for the Bath Club and was well followed up by Everett, who gained the first touch; the try unfortunately failed. Helps soon after ran in but lost the ball, and C Everett again touched it down, but the try at goal was once more unsuccessful, and to the end of half time a succession of touches were gained for the Bath Club by Digby, Walling, Helps, McLorg, and Wake. After half time the Oldfield Club, with the wind in their favour, played up with greater force, three more touches only being gained by their opponents, two by Sants and one by Lysaght, the trys at goals failing. Thus ended a pleasant but one sided match in favour of Bath Club by eleven trys to nil. For the visitors Tarrant, H Edwards, F Edwards, and Hermann did their best to avoid defeat.”.


v Devizes, Home, Won by one goal and 2 tries to nil. Team:- Richardson, C Williams (backs), Jacob, Luckham (three-quarter backs), G Helps, O’Donoghue (half backs), Essex, Digby (Capt.), E Everett, Christie, Lysaght, Menzies, Protheroe, Haddon, Smith, Wake and Walley (forwards).

Jacob made a splendid run for Bath and touched down just before half-time. The try at goal failed. Upon resumption, Jacob made another run from the mid point spot. “The ball being brought out C Williams secured the goal for Bath, after this the play was resumed with still greater vigor, C Everett getting the ball passed it back to Helps, who after a short run was collared, made a good pass back to Walley, who gained another try for Bath, but no goal being obtained.”


v Bath College, Away, Won. 1G, 5 ROUGES to 1G, 2 ROUGES,1 DISPUTED

“One interested in the Bath Club” writes: ‘The play of the College team was without exception, the best I have seen for some time. Sydney College (from which the present Bath College sprang) has turned out one, if not two men, who now play for England. I refer to the Stokes* and I have every reason to believe that Jones and Simmons will some day do something that will be an honour to the Bath College. The play of the Bath Club did not compare favourably with previous matches this season, but it must be taken into consideration that most of the team played a very stiff match against the Bristol Medicals the day before, and were more or less knocked up.“

“Bath College kicked off; the club having chosen the lower goal, the ball was kept for some time near the club goal, but was taken well up to the College half by a good run of Jacob; after the scrimmage Williams got the ball and made a good drop at goal, but without success; a second drop was made at the college goal. The club goal was kicked cleverly by Luckham just before ‘no side.’ Those who played well for the college were Jones, Vincent and Simmons; those for the club Jacob, Luckham, Sants O’Donoghue and Wake. (Some correspondence has taken place between the Bath College F.C. and the Bath F.C., respecting the above game, the College urging that there is no doubt as to the decision of the game, and claiming a victory.)”

“I have written to the Field for a decision on Thursdays match, and as soon as I get the answer will send it to you for publication.”

(* Stokes refers F Stokes {Blackheath} capped from 1871, and L Stokes {Blackheath} capped from 1875. At least one of the Stokes brothers had turned out for Bath during Bath College vacations.)


v Westbury Park, on Lambridge Meadows, Won by 2G, 1 POSTER, 7T, 14 TOUCHES to nil. Team:- G Helps and Louis Smith (halfbacks), O’Donoghue and H Parsons (three-quarter backs), Richardson and C Williams (full-backs), C Everett (Capt.), Christie, Clay, Lysaght, Menzies, R M Parsons, E Sants, Southcombe, and Wake (forwards).

Westbury were two short for the whole of the game and three short part of the time.

“The visitors kicked off from the upper goal at a quarter-past three o’clock, and by some good forward play their goal was soon in danger. Everett getting the ball secured a try, which, however, was not allowed. Soon after the five yards, Everett made another run but could not get in, and the visitors touched in self- defence. After the 25 Helps made a good run, Parsons, Wake was enabled to take the ball in, securing the first try, but the kick by Williams was unsuccessful. The ball being again brought out was well stopped by forwards, and run in by Parsons, but no goal was kicked. The ball was again stopped in the same manner, Wake securing a try from throw out of touch, from which a goal was nil kicked by Williams. After half time Helps made a good run in, but the kick by Williams did not come off. After the 25 R M Parsons obtained another try, after some good passing. Helps tried this place but without success. The ball being sent into play again, Helps obtained another try, but no goal was kicked. H Parsons by a good run secured another try, which this time resulted in the second goal. After the kick off the visitors for the first time got the ball near their opponents goal, but it was soon taken back by Williams, who made the whole length of the ground and secured a try, from which no goal was kicked. Just before no side Everett obtained another try, from which O’Donoghue kicked the poster. One of the home men retired at half time. Besides those mentioned, Sants, Menzies, and O’Donoghue played well.”


v Swindon Rangers F C, Home, Won: W Helps, C Williams (backs), A J Luckham, W Jacobs (three-quarter backs), G Helps. E Sants (quarter-backs), R Hill, L A O’Donoghue, Richardson, E E Digby (Capt.), Haddon, Smith, R A Allenson, R A Cooper, J Wake, H Parsons (forwards).

“After the ball being taken out, Jacobs (the flying man) made a splendid run, but was collared close to the opponent’s goal; he then passed the ball to G Helps, who obtained a try which was disputed. Another try was gained by Sants, but the kick at goal failed. Bath playing with greater strength again made Swindon touch down several times in self defence. It would be impossible to mention one man more than any other of the Bath team as they played with equal vigor.”


v G.W.R. Swindon, Away, Drawn: C Williams, E Richardson (backs), A J Luckham, W Jacobs (three-quarter backs), E Sants, G Helps (quarter-backs), E Digby (Capt.), J Wake, A Cooper, H Parsons, H Clay, TJ Gandy, L O’Donoghue, E Allen, and E L Christie (forwards).

“Nothing was gained except both teams having to touch down twice each in self defence. It would be impossible to say in whose favour the game lay, the play being most even on both sides.”


v Trowbridge, Home, Won by 2G,3T,6TD to nil. Team:- C Williams (back), H C McTier, L Jacob, F J Hill (three-quarter backs), A C Hayes, E Sants (half-backs), E Digby (Capt.), C E Everett, P Christie, G D Crooke, A J Luckham, J A Wake, F L Protheroe, J G Gandy and W Sants (forwards).

“Trowbridge winning the toss set the ball in motion, but Bath defending the upper goal soon took it close to their opponents’ goal and in about ten minutes Hill secured a very clever try, but the kick at goal was unsuccessful. Nothing more was gained till just before half-time, when Digby got another try for Bath, which was soon converted into a goal by a splendid kick from C Williams. After change of sides Hayes made a good run and obtained a try, but no goal was kicked, and soon after Hill made a splendid run in, this goal also failed, but just before half time was called Digby got another try, and on the ball being brought out was converted into a goal by C Williams. Thus ended a very friendly but one-sided match, Bath winning by 2 goals, three tries, six touchdowns to nil. Besides those mentioned McTier, Jacob, Luckham W Sants and E Sants played well for Bath.”


v Weston-super-Mare, Away, Lost by 2 tries to 1. Team:- Hodson, Helps (backs), Hill, Jacob (three-quarter backs), G Helps, Protheroe (half-backs); E Digby (Capt.), C Everett, Menzies, Hathaway, Wake, Parsons and Smith (forwards). Bath played two men short. Played amidst heavy rain. “Bath kicked off and there began a very exciting game, the ball being taken backwards and forwards from one end to the other, but neither side seeming to gain much advantage, when just before half-time one of the Weston men took the ball whist dead and obtained a try, which Bath objected to, a goal was then kicked under protest. At change of ends Barnwell soon got two tries for Weston after which Bath seemed to play with renewed vigour and succeeded in taking the ball from their end of the field behind their opponent’s touchline, thus ended the match, Weston winning by two tries to one.”


v Kensington, Home. Team:- W Helps, C Williams (backs), McTier, Jacob, Hayes (three-quarter backs), G Helps, E Sants (half-backs), E Digby (Capt.), W Sants, Wake, Lysaght, Hill, Haddon-Smith, Hathaway and Daubeny (forwards).

“The ball was started by Kensington at about ten minutes to three o’clock and was returned to their 25 flag by the aid of a short run and drop kick by Jacob, a good drop, on the part of one of the Kensington men, sent it back into the Bath quarters again, where the first scrimmage was formed, and where for some time the ball was kept by the visiting forwards, who however could not make was against the close play of the Bath men; when it did come out of the scrimmage it was sent towards the home team’s post and looked dangerous, but was secured by Williams, who after cleverly eluding one or two of his opponents who followed up the leather, quickly sent it back to the middle of the field by a clean drop kick; soon after this Yockney secured a try for Kensington, which was followed by a punt out, the ball getting into touch again within three or four yards of the Bath goal line, but by some very good passing and a careful run by Hayes, who played well throughout, it was returned to the centre; the play was now very even and the scrimmages close, when just before half time, McTier secured the ball and after a capital run (the best during the afternoon) succeeded in placing the ball behind the Kensington goal line. The try was a difficult one and the place by Williams failed. One or two short runs by the Kensington men kept the ball in the neighbourhood of Bath goal; just before time was called James secured the second try for the visitors, but the place failed, leaving the Kensington winners by two tries to one. It would not be fair to mention one men more than another of the Bath team, all played well and showed great pluck throughout.”


The Annual Fancy Dress Match at Lambridge resulted in win for the ‘Fancy’ team. Only one side dressed up as there were not enough costumes. A good attendance, despite damp conditions.

The Fancy players were as follows: C Everett (Captain Grosvenor in ‘Patience’), F Sants (Sprite), W Sants (Indian), Gould (Punch), Menzies (Harlequin), G B Hodson (Zouave), H Digby (Mrs. Caudle), Gandy (Red Sprite), Haddon Smith (Parson), McTier (Evening Dress), Barrett (Clown), Daubeny (Executioner), and Edwards (Footman).

Scratch Team; Luckman (Back), H S Jacob, C Hathaway (three-quarter backs), G Helps, Maule (half-backs), Nash, Wake, A Simmons, W F Ommanney, McLorg, R Brabazon, Bamfylde and A Spender (forwards).

31st December 1881

The Somerset County selection which faced Devon on Wellington this Saturday contained the following Bath players:- WB Starkey, T J Hill (three-quarters) and H G Fuller (Half-back).

Harry Vassall of Yeovil skippered the side which lost by two goals to three tries.


v Salisbury, Away. Team:- Walker (back), McTier, Hathaway (three-quarter backs), Sants, Edwards (half-backs), Ommanney, McLorg, Maule, Digby, Williams, Wake, Ogilvie, and Croney.

Within 10 minutes, Hathaway ran almost the length of the field for a fine opening try, which Wake converted. Playing two men short, Bath backs were still able to outpace their opponents. In the second moiety, Kane obtained a try for Salisbury, which was objected to on the grounds that the ball was dead when picked up. The goal was therefore kicked under protest. Salisbury began to pen Bath ion, but again it was Hathaway who got away, to pass on for MacTier to score. The kick failed, but the forwards, following up sharply, touched down again. “The place kick failed owing to the ball rolling.” Hathaway secured another try just before ‘no-side’ was signaled.

“The game ended in favour of Bath by a goal and three tries to a goal (under protest)

Great praise is due to the bath forwards for the plucky game they played against a much heavier team.”


v Clifton, Away, Lost by a goal and two tries to nil. Team:- G Hodson, J Vincent (backs), Maule, Daubeney (three-quarter backs), G Helps, E Sants (half-backs), E Digby (Capt.), Wake, McLorg, Ommanney, Menzies, H Digby, Smith and Fosberry (forwards). A rather uneventful match where Bath were beaten by heavier forwards.


v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Drawn – no score.. The heavier Weston men: “carried the majority of the scrimmages, and in the loose scrimmages used their feet cleverly, and it would be well if the Bath forwards would take a hint and try to dribble instead of picking the ball up. Some fine forward play followed, Digby, Cooper, and Hill being conspicuous for Bath, and Dyer, Handy, Hornet and Gill for Weston.

J F Hill then got away and was collared close to the Weston line. The ball was then kicked behind, and Weston forced to touch down. Up to half-time Weston were much pressed, and had to touch down twice, and Wake gained a try for bath, which was unsuccessfully kicked by C Williams. After half-time Banwell made several good runs, being well blocked by Smith, who throughout the match showed great pace and powers of dodging. The play was now very fast, Hayes, Hill and Hathaway (who punted well) for Bath and Banwell, Smith, Paterson, and Douglas for Weston, making good runs. Bath were now penned, and Banwell passing to Smith, he ran in. The try was unsuccessfully kicked by Banwell. The ball was run out to C Williams, who dropped it well down the ground. During the remainder of the game the play was very even, the quarter-backs of the Weston team playing and passing well to their three-quarters, a contrast to the Bath quarter-backs, who played very selfishly and steadily refused to pass, and showed a lamentable ignorance of the game in this respect. No side was called, leaving the game drawn. For Bath – Hayes, Hill, and Hathaway ran and collared well, and noticeable amongst the forwards were Smith, Wake, Digby, A H Hill, Cooper, and Daubeny.”


v Devizes, Away, Won. 1 Goal and three tries to nil. Team:- Williams (back), A J Luckham, Hathaway (three-quarter backs), G Helps, E Edwards (half-backs), Digby, J Wake, P Fosberry, E A McLorg, R E Hill, Martingdale, T Gandy, C Everett, L A O’Donoghue and P Edwards.

“A most unpleasant game resulted. The Bath Captain withdrew his men from the field ten minutes before the expiration of time, saying he had come to play football and not to fight. At the termination of this unpleasant game the Bath team had scored one goal and three tries to nothing.”

Elsewhere: “The Bath-men scored a goal and 3 tries when a dispute took place and the game terminated rather abruptly.”


v Salisbury, Home. Drawn in favour of Bath by two touches in goal and three or four touch downs to nil.

Team:- C Williams (back), A Luckham, C Hathaway, and Trask (three-quarter backs), G Helps and E Sants (half backs), Digby (Captain), C Everett, Gandy, P Menzies, Cooper, Fosberg, Wake, M Love and Maule (forwards).


v G.W.R. Swindon, Home. Described as one of the best games of the season. Team:- C Williams (back), Luckham, Hathaway, Vincent (three-quarters), G Helps, Reed (half); forwards – Digby (captain), Menzies, Maule, McLorg, R E Hill, Cooper, Wake, Ommaney, and Trask.

“The ball was carried down to the opponents’ quarters by a good run and pass from Reid to Digby, who although collared on the touch-line by two men, succeeded in placing the ball behind the Swindon goal line. The try was not allowed, Swindon objecting on the grounds that Reid was offside when he took the ball. The Bath umpire, Mr. W. Jones, decided it was not offside, but to avoid any ill-feeling, gave in. There was no further score.”

Elsewhere: “Nothing was gained on either side after this, and thus ended a capital match, in whose favour must be left to the decision of the lookers on.”


v Oldfield Park, Away (Wells Road), Won by 2 goals and 6 tries.

Team:- G B Hodson (back), A Luckham, Williamson (three-quarter backs), Kane and Rev. Crick, half backs, Forwards:- C Everett (Captain), T A Wake, Gandy, Mould, L A O’Donoghue, Maule, McLorg, R E Hill, and Cowan.


v Widcombe Institute (Lambridge Meadows) A hotly contested game was won by Widcombe. Bath were forced to ‘Touch Down’* three times to Widcombe’s once. [*minor the ball]

Menzies of Bath, was injured and was forced to leave the field.


v Trowbridge, (Weds.) Away. Won by two tries to nil. Team:- C F Williams (back), A Luckham, G B Hodgson, three-quarter backs; E Sants, G Helps, (quarter backs); P G Fosbery, G Mould, E McLorg, C Griffiths, E Digby (capt.), T J Gandy, J Wake, Y Maule, C Everett (forwards.)

“Shortly after 3 Digby kicked off for Bath, and the ball being well returned and followed up, the first scrimmage was formed near the Bath 25, Yockney getting hold of the ball made a good run, but was collared just before he reached the touch line-both men falling, the ball being well under. He, however managed to roll the ball on the line. The try was allowed by the umpire, and was kicked under protest. The place failed, and Bath touched down. After this the Bath forwards worked much better together-Trowbridge being obliged to touch down twice in self defence; and at half time the play was well in the centre of the ground. After the kick off for some few minutes the play must have been more amusing to the spectators than to the forwards; the backs for both sides doing some nice drop kicking. At last Hodgson getting hold of the ball made a splendid run for Bath getting well through all his men secured a try. The place by Williams owing to the wind failed, and Trowbridge touched down. After this the game was mainly contested by the forwards, Helps and Luckham playing well, and stopping every man that came near them, while Stancomb and Clarke showed good defence for Trowbridge, both sides touching down once more in self defence. The drop kicking of Hodgson and Williams for Bath, and F W Stancomb for Trowbridge was remarkably good. For Bath McLorg played well. Bath played one short.


v Clifton, Home. Won. Team:- G D Hodgson, J Helps, G Helps, A J Luckham, F Protheroe, E McLorg, G D Brabazon, P Crick, J Wake, E Digby, F Williamson, R Hill, H Reed, R Kane and Y M Maule.

“This, ‘the last match of the season in Bath,’ was played on the ground of the former on Saturday afternoon in very unfavorable weather. Digby kicked off for Bath very much behind time, he having consented to wait for two of the Clifton men, who however did not arrive, which necessitated them playing two men short. The game was very one sided, Bath obtaining four goals and three tries to nothing. The tries were obtained by the undermentioned men:- G Helps (2), F Williamson (2), E Digby, H Reed, E McLorg. The goals were kicked by Kane. For Clifton, Bush, Strachan, and Kiddle played well, the collaring of the latter being unusually good.”




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