Club Trial at Henrietta Park. Teams captained by Messrs. Pattinson and Soane. The ground had been properly prepared and the playing area roped off. New player Roberts, Rogers, Soane, Rogerson, Parham and the two Vincents were the pick of the players. Pattinson’s team won by 3 goals, 3 tries, to 3 goals.
v Clifton Oakfield, Home. Won 14-6. Team:- H E Clarke, G L Strachan, T C Rogerson, E F P Roberts, Rogers, T N Parham, F Soane, W A Coles, R H Dykes, D Wright, C P Robertson-Glasgow, F F Jones, E C Rogerson, A Pinch and L Provis.
“Bath decided the first of their fixtures at Henrietta park on Saturday. The teams were as advertised with the exception of Strachen, who, through some misunderstanding, although on the field, was replaced by Anderson. Soon after the kick off play settled down in the Oakfield territory, and before many minutes had elapsed Parham commenced business by getting behind, T.C. Rogerson converted an easy try. After this the ball went rapidly down into the Bath 25, but some very smart passing between the Bath three-quarters followed and Anderson taking the ball from Rogerson went down on the Clifton line. Nothing, however resulted. There was some very even play after this in mid-field until Howe secured, and by a brisk run scored the first try for Clifton, which was, however, not improved upon. On the ball being again set in motion Bath had a very warm time, but Soane intimately relieved. Later on another bit of neat passing took place between the Bath men, and Parham again scored. Rogerson kicked the gaol. Just before half-time Bath were hard pressed, but the whistle came to their rescue. Half- time scores: Bath, 2 goals; Clifton 1 try. The game in the second half was characterised by very even play. Clifton started brilliantly, and the game for some time was very fast. Bath, by repeated rushes, took the ball back, but after a time England made a neat drop goal for Oakfield. Bath soon retaliated, and Roberts and Rogers scored tries in quick succession, which were, however, not converted. The final score was:- Bath, 2 goals, 2 tries; Clifton, 1 goal (dropped), 1 try.”
v Wellington, Away. Lost 0-10. (Two goals) Team:- Pinch, Astley, Clarke, Rogerson, Anderson, Parham, Rogers, Hooper, Coles, Fry, Roberts, Glasgow, Jones, Swabey, Dykes and Soane (Captain).
(16 players recorded!)
“A fast game between these clubs was played on the Wellington ground on Saturday, before a good number of visitors. Fox started the ball for Wellington, and Mermagen quickly carried play to the visitors’ 25, where from a line out Vernon obtained the ball and secured a try. H Merry kicked a goal. Soon afterwards Mermagen looked like scoring for Wellington, but was pulled down. He continued to play, but was evidently in pain and at half-time he had to retire, a doctor finding on examination that he had a broken collar bone. Till half-time play continued fairly even, no other point being scored. In the second half, although they played a man short, Wellington were better than their opponents, the home forwards playing an exceptionally good game. At length the home forwards, playing close to the ball, for some time penned the visitors in the 25, till some quick and loose play Perry obtained possession, and secured a try, from which Merry kicked another goal. Just before the call of time Parham made a good run, and the three-quarter to whom he passed was all but in when collared by Twose. The whistle sounded with the score – Wellington, 2 goals; Bath, 0.”
BATH HERALD 14/10/1892 (Extract)
“I don’t think I shall be saying too much in favour of the forwards when I observe that there was not a combined effort during the whole of the game. There was not the slightest visible understanding in their movements, and to this alone must be attributed their defeat.”
v Clifton: (Henrietta Park). Lost 0 – 11. Team:- Pinch, Roberts, Fitzwilliam, Ross, Anderson, Vincent, Rogers, Coles, D’Aguilar, Clarke, Hooper, R. Jones, R Dykes, P Dykes, Fry.
A large crowd saw Bath go down to Clifton by 2 goals (one dropped), and 1 try to nil. Bath were weakened by several County calls. Clifton were stronger and heavier in the forwards. In the Bath backs, Fitzwilliam and Roberts showed good form, but Bath were overwhelmed.
v Swindon Rangers, (Henrietta Park) . Won by 3 Goals, 7 tries to nil. = 29-0
Team:- Pinch, Roberts, Fitzwilliam, Clarke, Anderson, Parham, Rogers, Soane (Capt.), Coles, Doyle, Derrick, P A Dykes, Fry, Roberts, Garrod.
Swindon played two men short and the encounter was one-sided from the outset. Soane scored in the first five minutes. “The play which ensued was of an extremely fast description, the Bath three-quarters showing excellent form, nor was it long before the leather, having been deftly passed across the field from Fitzwilliam to Rogers, and from Rogers to Anderson was taken over the line by the latter and successfully converted. Shortly afterwards Anderson got right round with the ball, but this time the place was not successful. Roberts got in later however and Anderson converted.”
“In the second half Swindon played up better but tries were gained by Bath in rapid succession by Fitzwilliam, Anderson, Soane and Roberts, the latter making several magnificent runs. A try by Soane was converted just as time was called.”
BATH HERALD 28/10/1892
“Roberts rendered immense service to his team, and he was ably backed up by several other members of the home party, who played with dash and determination.”
“To speak honestly, they do not appear to have any idea of unanimity, so essential to the front rank, while one is pleased now and again to note a fine individual performance, the players should remember that individual excellence is not everything – and combination they have yet to learn the value of.”
Referring to Roberts: His play was smart in the extreme, and if he continues his admirable form he should soon gain his county colours. Rogers, too, should make his mark, but although a slight improvement was to be observed in his play on Saturday, he is rather inclined to be self-conscious, and trust to his own personal efforts when those of his companions in the rank would be of special value. I would point out that this practice is not advisable under any circumstances. Hugging the ball until half-a-dozen men hug you, is not exactly football, but more like a phase in a wrestling match.”
Tommy Parham and Frank Soane selected for Somerset v Gloucester.
v Bristol. Away, Lost 10 – 25. Team:- Pinch, Fitzwilliam, Rogerson, Anderson, Roberts, Vincent, Rogers, Rogerson, Coles, Doyle, Dykes, Roberts, Strachan, Fry and Jones.
A good crowd was in attendance at the County Ground. Bristol were without several Gloucestershire players.
“On both sides play was faulty. It was spirited enough, and there was no lagging on the part of individual members of either team, but combination was very defective. The Bath three-quarters were superior to their opponents, but the visitors failed to exercise their forces to the greatest advantage. There result was that there was now and again a lot of scrambling around the leather which reminded one of the football days when method and combination were almost unknown. The Bath men made a plucky stand in the first half. Bristol soon led the attack, and in time loose play was engaged in near the visitors’ twenty five line. Here the Bristol three-quarters did some passing; there was nothing particularly smart about it, but it led to Hunt putting in a timely kick, which Lockyer followed up, with the result that he secured a try between the posts. Ashford kicked a goal. The Bath men warmed up to their work after this, Capenhurst, Dewar, and Pearce did some good work for Bristol, and Hunt, poaching on the three-quarter preserve, also rendered useful service. Still the visitors repulsed their opponents, and Anderson and Rogerson led a dash for a place, the latter securing a try, which Strachan converted. As time passed it became evident that the Bristol men were the superior pack. They added a goal to their record before half-time, Davies giving Lockyer a chance which enabled him to make a try. Ashford failed at each shot at goal. Pearce had better luck, dropping a goal in a very cool manner, and his score was one of the most popular successes of the day. After this Bath turned the tables for a moment, and Anderson surprised Bristol by getting a try, from which Strachan kicked a goal. The final score was made by Lockyer, whose try was converted into a goal by Ashford. Bristol won by 4 goals and 3 tries to 2 gaols (25 points to 10) “
(One of Bristol’s goals was a drop goal i.e. 4 points) The game was reported as an: “inglorious defeat, and it is not to be wondered at that the city team was not looked upon with favour on Saturday night.”
v Taunton (Henrietta Park) Won 22 – 8. Team :- Pinch, Fitzwilliam, Anderson, Strachan, Parham, Helps, Soane, Coles, Melsome, Derrick, Scott, Rogerson, Garrod, Jones, and Doyle.
Taunton included an International and five County men.
“From the very start Bath showed themselves to advantage, the forwards exhibiting a smartness which they are rarely seen to possess, the three-quarter play was well nigh perfect, and in every respect they proved themselves the better lot.”
“Play had been in progress something like quarter of an hour when as smart a bit of passing was observed among the Bath three-quarters as one would wish to witness, and Strachan, who had up to this point threatened time after time to score, managed to beat his opponent’s back and grounded, converting the try by a splendid kick. But this was only the beginning of hard times for Taunton, for although the score was not improved upon during the first half, Bath pressed continually, and gave their opponents a very lively time of it. Time after time, they were on the very goal line, and it was only one big effort on the part of the three-quarters that further scoring was avoided. Taunton showed a slight improvement on changing over, but the Bath men quickly pulled themselves together and Derrick was soon over the line, Strachan again converting. A penalty goal for the visitors followed, but they were soon driven back to defend their own territory against the repeated and combined rushes of their opponents. Then there was a bit of comparatively even play and a light scrum, but Soane, obtaining the leather from one of his wing men scampered over and secured the try, which was converted into a third gaol. It was not long before the ball was grounded again, this time Parham taking it cautiously from the scrum, while Fitzwilliam distinguished himself in a similar manner a few moments later. Parham’s try was easily converted, but the other kick was a difficult one, and Strachan, for the first time during the game failed. This was the means of turning the scale somewhat, for Taunton during the few minutes that remained, played with a determination that they altogether lacked during the early part of the game, and after repeated raids on the home territory, Boucher scored, and successfully took the place kick. Here matter practically ended, the final result reading:- Bath, 4 goals, 1 try; Taunton, 2 goals (1 penalty).”
More comment on the Taunton match: “Therefore, I hope that the return to form will be a permanent one – for just now, remember, their reputation is hanging in the balance – and that there will be no more cause for that wailing and weeping which has lately been going on.”
v Weston-s-Mare, Away. Won 3 goals, 1 try (17) to 1 goal and 1 try (7) Team:- Pinch, Anderson, O’Connor, E J Smith, Helps, Parham, Clarke, Rogerson, Coles, P A Dykes, Scott, Melsome, Garrod, R H Dykes, and Derrick.
O’Connor registered a try almost on half-time. “In the first part of the second half, Bath had it pretty well their own way, and scored 2 goals in rapid succession. Weston then played up with increased energy, and from a scrum a try was obtained, which was splendidly converted by Gilmore. Bath immediately after got the leather into the home 25, and scored another try. Weston made a gallant attempt to equalise, and rushed the ball into the visitors’ quarters, and from a scrum Nicholson scored a try, which, however, Gilmore failed to improve.”
v Bath College, Bath won 22 – 4. Team:- Pinch, Anderson, O’Connor, Clarke, Conningham, Helps, Rogers, Rogerson, Coles, P Dykes, Garrod, Carter, Melsome, Fry and Scott. Played amidst a never-ending downpour at Henrietta Par, Bath won by 4 goals and a try to 2 tries.
Despite the conditions a good game was watched by a large crowd of College boys and a small number of the Bath club faithful. “The deputy-treasurer was seen on the stand with his face ‘sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,’ as he stood counting the few heads of the spectators, and ruminating on the ‘gate’ which would have been had the weather been in a less watery mood.” “It was slip-slop, slip slop, most of the time, and the wonder was that the players didn’t bungle more frequently than was actually the case. It was a veritable west country deluge, the rain descended continually, terra firma everywhere was embedded in a thick layer of mud – in fact matters meteorological seemed to have gone to the very dogs”
Anderson was seemingly irresistible and scored three times in succession, converting two of his own efforts. In the second half, Head scored two unconverted tries for the College. Anderson’s final tally was all six tries and two conversions. Soane and Parham played for Somerset v Devon.
v Bristol at Henrietta Park. Drawn 0-0. Team:- Pinch, Anderson, O’Connor, Clarke, Conningham, Parham, Helps, Soane, Rogerson, Coles, Derrick, Dykes, B H Vincent, Carter and Fry.
A POINTLESS GAME
Umbrellas and raincoats were the order of the day, as the gate suffered greatly from another afternoon of drenching rain. “The ground was in a sorry plight, and the players had the greatest difficulty in keeping their perpendicular for many moments in succession.” Both teams worked with vigour in appalling conditions. “Time after time the visitors appeared to be on the brink of scoring, but they were prevented by the clever tactics of their opponents, whose capabilities were put to the severest test. Eventually the game became of a more even character, but had not Soane and Parham, who exhibited some smart work at times, exercised their powers in the thickest of the fight, the result might have been very different. During the second half the excitement was intense, and although Bath occasionally got the upper hand, the visitors set to work with a determination that repeatedly threatened to prove fatal to the success of the home team. Scoring, however, was prevented, chiefly through the efforts of Derrick, Vincent, Anderson, and others, and the game ended in a draw, neither side scoring.”
BATH HERALD 2/12/1892. Referring back to the Bristol game: “The gate was in keeping with the weather – bad, and if there is no clearance by Saturday, I should advise the committee to set about constructing an ark for the rescue of well soaked football men and their enthusiastic followers.”
“It was stubbornly contested, but the ball, like the players, was immured in mud, and few attempts were made to handle it. Sometimes one would essay to do so, but he would be hauled down before many yards were traversed, and then all the crowd would ‘close with one another in a rough and tumble smother,’ and the ball would be lost in the mazes of a struggling mass of mud and humanity.”
v Widcombe at Henrietta Park. Bath won 4 goals, 1 try to nil. (22-0) Bath team: Pinch, Anderson, Clarke, Helps, Conningham, G G Vincent, Parham, Soane (Capt), Rogerson, Coles, Carter, Fry, P Dykes, R Dykes and Melsome. This was quite a set back for the Institute, who had been enjoying a particularly good season. The Widcombe team is worthy of record as it contained so many players who put in appearances for Bath:- Jones, Skelton, Crouch, Canning, Banks, Turvey, Ellis, Gibbs (Captain), Ruddick, Rev. H S Brooke, Trobridge, Lavis, Uphill, Dyke and Hallett. It was the largest assembly of spectators seen at a Bath match, with men craning their necks to get a glimpse of the game. “But at times there seemed a danger of a portion of the crowd growing too enthusiastic, and partly feeling began to run at too lofty an eminence. Discourtesy is generally the last thing a Bath crowd have to be accused of, but to howl and rave at a decision of a referee, whose impartiality and excellent judgement have been acknowledged all round, is rather a near approach to a breach of good taste. The guilty ones have no doubt by this time seen the error of their ways.”
Widcombe were confined to their own 25 for most of the first half, and it was to their credit, that they kept the premier side at bay – but for the one try by Melsome. The floodgates opened in the second spell, with tries by Anderson, Parham (2), and R Dykes – all converted. Specially noticeable was the play of Parham, who, as usual, was a host in himself, Soane, Helps, Anderson, Conningham, and Pinch for Bath, and England, Crouch, Banks, Canning, and Gibbs for Widcombe.”
v Exeter at Henrietta Park. Bath won by 1 goal, 3 tries to 1 goal. (11-5)
Bath team: Pinch, Pattinson, B H Vincent, Anderson, Conningham, Parham, Helps, Soane, E C Rogerson, Coles, P Dykes, Barnes, Melsome, Fry, and R Dykes. A magnificent display by Vincent, ably supported by Parham. Anderson scored a hat trick of tries
The Somerset and Dorset Railway Band were in attendance, and played a selection of music before the game.
v Hermitage at Henrietta Park. Bath won by a goal and 3 tries (11) to a goal (5) Team: Pinch, Anderson, Pattinson, Smith, Conningham, Parham, Helps, E C Rogerson, Coles, P. Dykes, Carter, Timmins, Garrod, Melsome and Fry. Tries by Anderson (2), Parham and Pattinson.
v Combe Down School (Past and Present)
“An excellent game witnessed by a large number of spectators, was played on Thursday at Henrietta park, between the Bath (Thursday) team, and Combe Down School (Past and Present. Bath put in a strong team behind the scrums, and the threequarters, with the exception of Bateman, who will play against Bristol on Saturday, had some capital practice in passing. The school was without the services of several old boys whose assistance had been expected. Bath were the first to score, D’Aguilar having a walk in through injudicious tactics adopted by a Combe Down man. Anderson made a splendid kick at a difficult angle and converted. Swabey, by a good run, then scored, and Lloyd landed an easy goal. Rogerson, whose pace has increased since he last played for Bath, obtained a try which Anderson converted. W Battye got in for the School and Lloyd again improving the position, both sides had two goals when half-time sounded. Although Combe Down played up pluckily after this, it was evident that the team lacked the staying power of their opponents, for whom tries were secured by Rogerson, Vincent and McTier, one of which was converted. The School did not add to their record, and the match ended in a win for Bath by three goals and two tries (19 points), to two goals (10 points).” (Bath Chronicle 29/12/1892)
Bath team:- Smith, McTier, Bateman, T C Rogerson, Anderson, Perreau, B H Vincent, D’Aguilar, Derrick, Garrod, Carter, Provis, Kemble, and another forward.
v Bristol, Away. Bath lost by a goal and a try to nil. 0-7. Team: Pinch, O’Connor, Anderson, McTier, T C Rogerson, T N Parham, B H Helps, F Soane, T C Rogerson, W A Coles, B H Vincent, Carter, Timmins, Barnes and D’Aguilar. Play was very fast and exciting, with individual brilliance on both sides, but poor combined play.
v Bristol at Bath College ground. Lost 5-13. Team:- Pinch, Pattinson, T C Rogerson, Dykes, Helps, G G Vincent, E C Rogerson, Coles, Fry, Roberts, Timmins, Carter, and Dykes.
About two to three hundred very chilled spectators stayed on to the end, Bath playing with only thirteen men, Bristol with fourteen. MacTier, Perreau and Barnes were selected, but did not appear.
A fall of snow was up to 6” deep in a storm, and conditions were near impossible. For Bristol, Thomas got two early tries, one of which was converted by Davies. In the second spell, Fry skated over for Bath, and Rogerson added the extras. Bristol secured tries by Lockyer and again Thomas. Pattinson, and Vincent distinguished themselves in the closing stages, but the game had been little better than a farce. Bath lost by a goal and 4 tries to a goal.
v Swindon Rangers. Away. Bath won six tries (12) to one goal (5). Team: G Morris, Perreau, Bateman, Helps, P A Dykes, Parham, G Vincent, R Dykes, Carter, Fry, Melsome, Timmins, D’Aguilar, Coles and V Soane.
Helps secured an early try, then Parham after a typical dodging run. Parham scored twice more, but again the conversion attempts failed. Then Davies scored and converted for Swindon. Dykes got another. The in form, Parham, again scored near the finish. He was greatly assisted by outsides Vincent and Perreau, and also Coles, Vic Soane and Fry in the scrum.
v Cheltenham at Henrietta Park. (First fixture) Bath won by 2 goals, 6 tries (22) to a try (2). Team: Pinch, B H Vincent, Pattinson, Helps, Clarke, G G Vincent, Parham, Soane, Coles, Fry, R Dykes, P Dykes, Timmins, Melsome and Roberts. Pattinson or Soane scored a first half try. Cheltenham’s resistance broke down in the second spell and tries came in quick succession from B H Vincent, Fry, G G Vincent, Soane, Parham and Pattinson (2). Clark, Helps, Dykes and Pinch were prominent.
v Exeter (A) Bath won 12-5. Team:- Pinch, Pat O’Connor, B Vincent, Perreau, Parham, G Gray, Soane, Coles, Rogerson, P Dykes, Roberts, Fry, Doyle, Melsome and Timmins. Bath tries:- B Vincent, O’Connor, Parham. Vincent two conversions. The home team had a formidable pack, but their backs were not up to Bath’s standard.
“Pinch was not idle, but he was as effective as barbed wire on Saturday and was responsible for several brilliant captures.”
v Wellington at Henrietta Park. Bath beat: “The crack team of the western shire”” by a goal and a try (7) to nil (0). Team:- Pinch, O’Connor, T C Rogerson, B Vincent, Clarke, Parham, Helps, Soane, E C Rogerson, Coles, Fry, Doyle, Derrick, and Dykes.
A large company of supporters enjoyed a briskly played match – despite heavy rain. Bath forwards showed their best form against a doughty foe. After an unrewarding first quarter: The next ten minutes created unbounded interest. Vincent attempted a drop at goal, which was unsuccessful, but he put in a good bit of work all through. Following this up, Dykes got hold of the ball and, outstripping his pursuers in the race for the line, gained a highly meritorious try, which fairly ‘brought down the house.’ Then ensued a keen struggle for supremacy, but the opinion prevailed that this was the forerunner of a winning score and such it was.
The second half of the match was full of incident. There was not a dull moment in it, and the abilities of the teams were kept at high tension throughout.” “The try obtained by the former [Parham] just after the cross-over was the result of one of the best performances of the team this season. Every player who handled the ball during that display of passing is to be commended, but the way in which Clarke took the ball before finally transferring to Parham is worthy of special mention.”
v Weston-s-Mare at Henrietta Park. Bath won 45-0. Team:- Pinch, O’Connor, B Vincent, Clarke, Helps, G Vincent, Parham, Derrick, Timmins, Doyle, Roberts, the two Dykes, Fry and Watkins. A capital afternoon’s entertainment – if you were a Bath supporter! “The skeleton of their former selves, Weston did not come whole, and, after enlisting the services of two or three local reserves, made a very scratch lot.” ”In this match, and the one with Wellington a few weeks ago, Weston had 102 points scored against them without notching a single.” Bath lent them 2nd XV players to make up the numbers.
As to the game, it was simply a scoring procession, involving 5 goals, 8 tries and a drop goal (by B H Vincent – the first of the season) T Parham scored 4 tries, 2 converted; O’Connor and B H Vincent scored 2 each (one converted); Helps 2 (one converted); G G Vincent. Parham and Roberts 1 each, and a converted try by Dykes.
v Taunton, Away. Lost 5 -14. Team:- Morris, Pattinson, B H Vincent, Crouch, Clarke, G Vincent, Parham, Coles, Rogerson, P Dykes, R Dykes, Fry, Doyle, Roberts and Scott. (Half time Taunton led 2-0)
With Pinch and Soane absent, this proved to be an onerous task for a weakened Bath side; to add to their troubles, Parham sustained a shoulder injury and was absent for the second half. Scott eventually scored for Bath and Vincent converted. Bath made strenuous efforts to improve their position, but were overwhelmed by superior numbers, with Taunton running in a total of four tries and converting two.
v Widcombe Institute, on Claverton Down*. Bath Lost (0-4). Team:- Morris, O’Connor, B Vincent, Clarke, A.N.OTHER, Parham, G Vincent, Rogerson, Coles, Doyle, Timmins, the two Dykes, Fry and Scott
The game was very fast, and during the first half Bath scored one goal one try to Widcombe’s two tries. Well into the second half, it was discovered that Bath were playing 16 men. The referee was appealed to, and he decided in favour of Widcombe, giving them the benefit of their two tries, but nullifying the Bath team’s points. The game was proceeded with, and Bath tried hard to draw level, but the sound defence of Widcombe prevented this, and the game ended in favour of Widcombe by two tries to nil.
* Henrietta Park was not available, as Bloomfield Cricket club took precedence as soon as February had expired.
v Clifton, away. Won 7-2. Team: Seers, P O’Connor, B H Vincent, G Perreau, E H Gunnery, G G Vincent, D H Bain, F Soane, P A Dykes, L J Fry, R B Roberts, Doyle, Sturgis, Sandall and Roberts.
The home side kicked off up the hill and pressed Bath so severely that three minors were conceded, eventually leading to a Clifton try. Bath then pulled themselves together, and following a forward rush, Bain scored under the posts. Nevertheless B H Vincent’s kick failed. After lemons, G G Vincent dodged through for a try which was converted by his brother B.H. Soane led the pack well throughout.B H and F C Belson played for Clifton.
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