1893 to 1894

Match reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale



 25th September 1893

The Bath Chronicle reported on the Trial match staged at Henrietta Park in front of a goodly gathering of spectators.

Middleton and Ross were conspicuous amongst the newcomers. The play resulted in a win for the Forwards, captained by Frank Soane, who scored 31 points, as against 27 compiled by the Backs, led by T N Parham.



v Clifton at Horfield in front a large crowd of spectators. Lost 3-5. Team:- A E H Pinch, Back; G Middleton, T C Rogerson, E H Gunnery, three-quarter backs; T N Parham and G C Vincent, half backs; F Soane, B H Vincent, W Coles, E C Rogerson, H F Clarke, J Trobridge, H A C Ross and W England, forwards. The Clifton side included B H Belson, later to join Bath.

“The first portion of the game was keen and close, the forwards having all the work to do. Very soon after the second half had been entered upon Bingham headed a rush and scored, though the Bath players lodged a protest on the ground that the referee had previously blown his whistle for an infringement. The point, however, was allowed, and Lias kicked a goal. Subsequently Bath were awarded a free kick from which B W Vincent kicked a goal. The game thus ended with a win for Clifton by a goal (5 points) to a penalty goal (3 points)”

The matter of the disputed try was placed before the R.F.U. for a decision.



v Weston-s-Mare, Home, Won 6-0. Despite unfavourable conditions, there was a strong muster of spectators for the first match at Henrietta Park.

Bath team: A E H Pinch, G Middleton, F Bateman, W Pattinson, T N Parham, G G Vincent, F Soane (Capt.), W A Coles, F Derrick, H C Ross, C Doyle, G Trobridge, C H Melsome, Rev. W A Purton and R Howard. The advertised kick-off time was 3-15, but it was an hour later, before the ‘seasiders’ were ready to take to the field. They were, nevertheless, cordially welcomed to the playing arena.

“They looked a stiff, fit lot and it was prophesised that Bath would not secure the easy victory that had been anticipated upon the grounds of the feeble display made by Weston in recent years since its prestige as the best club in the county departed. The expectations of a keen fight, which arose when the physique of the players was noted, were fully realised, and at the commencement it looked as if the homesters would be overpowered.”

“Play, however, was fast and exciting, not to mention a suspicion of roughness, and the interest of the onlookers was well maintained. Loud cheers arose when G G Vincent, receiving from Parham who had made a useful cross-country run, landed the ball between the Weston goal posts. The pass was obviously forward, and the umpire’s whistle recalled the ball to the centre of the ground. Weston then assumed the aggressive, and it was only by adroitly falling on the leather that Pattinson arrested an ugly rush by the Weston pack headed by Alridge. Bath had to save again before half time was sounded, and each team changed ends with a blank sheet. Scoring was witnessed soon after positions had been reversed. From a line-out in the popular corner G G Vincent got possession and scampered over the Weston line amid loud applause.” Middleton failed to majorise.

There were frequent ‘off-side’ offences, and some of the Bath men were far from blameless.

Then it was Weston’s turn to attack, and Vowles took the ball close to the Bath line, only to be ‘grassed’ by Pinch. Then a scrum immediately in front of the Weston posts allowed the ball to carry to Gerald Middleton: “who went over the border, and gained the second and last try for Bath.” Middleton again failed with the kick and Bath ran off winners by two tries to nil.



v Bath College, on the College ground. Bath won 45-3. Team: Pinch, Helps, Bateman, Pattinson, Vincent, Rev. Purton, Derrick, Doyle, England, Doveton, J D’Aguilar, Melsome, Ruddick, Ross and Trobridge. Bath romped home with 7 goals (1 a penalty) and 3 tries to a try.

G G Vincent obtained 6 tries for Bath, B Helps 2, Pattinson and Derrick one each. D’Aguilar attended to all the conversion kicks and also landed a penalty from near the centre spot. Stephen scored for the College, but his side were otherwise, outplayed in the back department.



v Bristol, Away . Bath lost by a goal to a try. (3-5) . Team: Pinch, Lawrence, Morris, Bain, Seers, Vincent, Walwyn, Coles, Doyle, J D’Aguilar, England, Trobridge, MacWatters, Carter, and Doveton.

A weak Bath side played for some time with 13 men – Walwyn (Collarbone), and Pinch being badly injured in a collision. Bath had led by three points to nil, until a minute or two from time, when Bristol got the upper hand and eventually, amidst great enthusiasm, Turner scored for Bristol. Then Thompson secured Bristol’s win by converting from a difficult angle. Coles had scored Bath’s unconverted try in the first half..

The match played on a County fixture day and the following players were at the Trial:-

T C Rogerson, T N Parham, F Soane and W Coles, Bath and F Fowler, Bristol.

“Whilst admiring the courage of the Bath Club in facing certain defeat rather than disappoint the Bristol public, we cannot help recognising the un-sportsmanlike conduct of Bristol in refusing to release their neighbours from the engagement. The motive was, we hear, purely a financial one – if this is so it is greatly to be regretted that so popular a club as Bristol should be guilty of such mercenary behaviour. It is our proud boast the Rugby football is purely an amateur sport, but when we are confronted with a similar case to the Bristol v Bath fiasco we prefer to remain silent on this point.” (Bristol had previously been asked to scratch the fixture in view of County commitments.)



v Clifton at Henrietta Park in front of 500 spectators. Bath won by 3 tries (9) to nil.

Team: A F H Pinch, W Pattinson, F Bateman, B Lawrence, G C Middleton, T N Parham, G G Vincent, F Soane (Capt), W A Coles, J D’Aguilar, J H Doveton, G E Carter, W England, C Doyle and D H Bain. The Clifton side included R Rogers, H C and B H Belson.

The ball was slippery, and the ground wet and treacherous. Although fast and fluctuating, play was not of a brilliant nature. New centre, Lawrence, showed well in arresting ominous rushes by the Clifton forwards who played with combination and dash. Pattinson put in some useful touch-finding kicks.

With a greasy ball, D’Aguilar failed with all three conversion attempts.

Tries by Soane, Parham and D’Aguilar. In the final stages: “Clifton were looking dangerous when Middleton, after dodging several Cliftonians, made a magnificent kick down the touch line. This was followed by the home forwards, and a try by D’Aguilar resulted.”



v Swindon Rangers, Home. Won 14-0. (A goal and 3 tries) Team:- A E H Pinch, W Pattinson, B Lawrence, F Bateman, G C Middleton, G G Vincent, Rev. W Purton, W A Coles, F Derrick, W C Williams, G E Carter, C Doyle, J Ruddick, W England and G E Trobridge.

Bath made several first half forays, but could not cross the Swindon rut.

Play speeded up in the second moiety and from a scrum on the goal line, Vincent got in for Bath. After this the visitors defence was in disarray and Bath camped on their 25-yard line. Again, Vincent crossed for an unconverted try. Pattinson got a third, which was majored by Middleton. Finally Pattinson crossed near the end, but his try was not improved upon.



v Stroud, Away. A Draw – no score. Played in snowstorm. Team:- F Bateman, G C Middleton, T C Rogerson, J MacTier, B Lawrence, G G Vincent, T N Parham, F Soane, W A Coles, C Doyle, J D’Aguilar, J H Doveton, H G C Bailey, W England, and E C Trobridge.



v Cardiff Harlequins at Roath Cardiff. Bath lost 3 tries to nil. (0-9)

Team: E Seers, B Lawrence, F Bateman, J MacTier, G C Middleton, T N Parham, G G Vincent, F Soane (Capt.), W A Coles, F Derrick, J H Doveton, W England, G E Carter, J D’Aguilar and C Doyle.


Western Mail comment: “The Cardiff ‘Quins, receiving their first visit from Bath for some years, wiped it in pretty hot, despite the fact that the visitors were assisted by several Somerset country men. By the way they started it looked as if the visitors would make a bold did for victory, but after the ‘Quins had scored their first point the play of the Somerset men fell off in a marked degree, while that of the homesters showed a decided improvement. Forward the sides were evenly matched, both packs excelling in the loose and being also keen tacklers. For Bath, Soane stood out head and shoulders above his fellows, while, amongst the homesters; front rank Buse, Coles, and Morgan were conspicuous. In the back division the ‘Quins showed a decided superiority, although their passing was not up to their usual standard of excellence. Jago and Hill shone most, the latter’s try being the result of a brilliant run, while for Bath Middleton and MacTier were the pick of a very moderate quartet. The halves were evenly matched-of the four Bellamy and Parham being best- while the custodian of both teams gave a very moderate display.’ The same paper says the Bath club had not been beaten before this season, but of course that is wrong.”



v Cheltenham at Henrietta Park, crowd of 600 including a large number of ladies. Bath won by 5 goals and 1 try to nil (28-0). Team: A E H Pinch, W Pattinson, F C Bateman, J MacTier, G C Middleton, T N Parham, G G Vincent, F Soane, W A Coles, J H Doveton, J D’Aguilar, W England, G E Carter, C Doyle and L J Fry.

The ground was slippery after overnight frost. Bath were quick to score, with the excellent MacTier going over twice in succession. D’Aguilar landed the goal. Additionally, D’Aguilar scored and converted two tries before half time. A clever passing movement, involving Pattinson, Bateman and MacTier, resulted in Bateman securing another and D’Aguilar converting. Shortly before the end, Bateman crossed for another try, which D’Aguilar improved from a difficult angle.

“The visitors seemed to be completely outmatched, their back being the only man who put in anything like good play.” (Chester – back)



v Stroud at Henrietta Park. Bath won 9-0. Team: Pinch, Pattinson, Bateman, MacTier, Middleton, Seers, Vincent, Coles, Derrick, Doveton, D’Aguilar, England, Doyle, Carter and Fry.

Middleton and MacTier were noted for their first half activities and Pinch was effective at back. Bateman scored an unconverted try just before half time. “After the interval McTier, who played a consistently good game, got in after a very dodgy run.” Again, it was not improved upon. Derrick scored the final unconverted try, after a fine dribble.



v Clifton at Horfield. Bath won by 2 tries to 1. (6-3) Team: Pinch, Bateman, Pattinson, Bain, Middleton, Seers, Vincent, Coles D’Aguilar, Doveton, Doyle, England, Carter, Fry and Trobridge. All the scoring was in the second half. The visitors opened with a powerful attack, their loose play being particularly effective. D’Aguilar was the first to score, and in doing so stole a march on the Clifton pack, who was completely surprised. Vincent next got in with a clever run and Clifton’s try was made by Norrington just before the call of time. The Bath passing was occasionally very good.”



v Weston-S-Mare, Away. Bath lost by 1 goal and 3 tries to 1 try. (3-14)

A Bath side weakened by “business, illness and other causes” Team:- H S Barrett, R Roberts, D H Bain, A G Perreau, F G Bateman, T N Parham, G G Vincent, J D’Aguilar, J H Doveton, E J D Taylor, L J Fry, E C Trobridge, E Carey, W H Noke and R Fisher.

Early play was a fairly even, although Perreau’s first half try had nudged them ahead. Soon after the re-start Parham was injured stopping a rush and had to withdraw from the game. Trobridge stepped in as a makeshift half, but Bath’s fortunes took a turn for the worst, as Weston ran in four tries, converting one.



v Jesus College (Cambridge) Wanderers. Bath lost their ground record, by 1 try to nil (0-3) at Henrietta Park in front of 1500 spectators, in a keenly contested and exciting game. Parham was still injured and the visitors fielded several brilliant players. Team: Pinch, Pattinson, Perreau, Rowett, Middleton, D H Bain, Vincent, Soane, Coles, Derrick, D’Aguilar, Doveton, Fry, Trobridge and Taylor. The game opened at a blistering pace so it was all the more surprising that there was no score by half time. The Cantabs had been granted several penalty opportunities, as Bath players frequently strayed offside. Soane worked vigorously, but the Bath forwards were often driven back by the opposing eight, who worked well in combination with their halves. Near the end, Gomer-Williams crossed for the College, and although Bath fought strenuously to equalise, they could not improve on their score.



v Rest of Bath, at Henrietta Park. Drawn 3-3. Bath Team: Barrett, Pattinson, Rowatt, Perreau, Bateman, Bain, Vincent, Derrick, D’Aguilar, Doveton, Fry, Trobridge, Noke, Fisher and Howard. Perreau scored Bath’s first half try, but D’Aguilar failed with the conversion attempt.

“Upon restarting, the combination pressed for some considerable time, and as the result of a smart forward rush Gibbs landed a try for the scratch crew.” Bath pressed hard for a winning score but were unable to break a stout defence. The game ended in an honourable draw.

Rest of Bath team: Crouch (Avon Vale), E Palmer (Post Office), B Lawrence (Sydney), S W Rouse (Post Office), C Banks (Widcombe), T Randall (Post Office), Captain Brooke (Widcombe), J W Gibbs (Widcombe), W E Lane (Post Office), Puddy (St. Mary’s), T Dyke (Widcombe), W Wheeler (Widcombe), F Swabey (Widcombe), F Palmer (St. Mary’s) and T Hanney (Widcombe). Bath had the expected advantage in skills, but the scratch team put up a brave and hard working show, in an excellent game.



v Wellington Bath won 1 goal to nil (5-0) at Henrietta Park in front of 1200 spectators. Team: H S Barrett, W Pattinson, Rowett, B H Vincent, B C Helps, D H Bain, G G Vincent, D’Aguilar, Doveton, Fry, Trobridge, V Soane, Taylor, W H Noke and Fisher.

“A more stubbornly contested game we do not remember having witnessed, and the result affords a striking illustration of the growth of football in the city.”

“Ultimately from a splendid pass from Rowett, B H Vincent scored amid tremendous excitement, and D’Aguilar converted with a magnificent kick”

“………both teams strained every nerve to gain the upper hand, and played like veterans. It did one good to see the amount of dash, energy, and skill thrown into the work by the Bath forwards, who repeatedly carried and wheeled the scrimmage, and used their feet to advantage in the loose. The play after the interval was equally fast and exciting…….”

“It was a magnificent game from first to last, and B H Vincent, who gained the try for Bath, had probably never played a finer game in the whole of his experience.”



v Swindon Rangers. Away. Bath won 7-0. (Drop goal and a try) Team:- H S Barrett, B C helps, B H Vincent, T R Rowett, W Pattinson, G G Vincent, D H Bain, J D’Aguilar, S J Fry, W England, C W Doveton, R W Fisher, E C Trobridge, J Ruddick and W H Noke.

Swindon put up stiff resistance and it was nearly half time before Vincent secured Bath’s try. In the second half, Bath were several times near scoring another, but it took a smartly taken drop goal by Vincent to put Bath in an unassailable position.



v Taunton at Henrietta Park. Bath won by 5 goals (1 dropped) 1 try to nil (27-0) Team: Perreau, MacTier, B H Vincent, Pattinson (Capt.), Parham, G G Vincent, D’Aguilar, Derrick, Coles, England, V Soane, Fry, Trobridge and Bain.

The visitors started in lively manner; their forwards were a clever lot, and their three-quarters soon got to work. “A random pass by MacTier gave the Taunton men the advantage, and the Bath citadel was in danger. G G Vincent managed to break away, and Pattinson, by a useful kick, sent the ball down to the Taunton line. The back was unable to return it, and from loose work in the popular corner, D’Aguilar got over. The kick by himself was an excellent shot. After some fast movements in which T N Parham, whose appearance on the ground after his recent enforced rest was a welcome sight, principally figured, Perreau intercepted a pass between the Taunton threequarter. He handed to MacTier, who, after a splendid spurt, passed to G G Vincent, who ran right under the posts. His brother easily converted. Not long afterwards D’Aguilar took the oval down the ground. Pattinson gained possession, transferred to MacTier who, when collared almost across the line, handed to Perreau, and the old Hermitage boy, who had been playing a sound and correct three-quarter game throughout, landed a try, which B H Vincent majorised. The fourth try was obtained by MacTier who dodged, ran and jumped through the whole of the Tauntonians, Vincent once more secured the additional points. Scoring was again soon seen, for D’Aguilar following up well, stopped a kick by the Taunton back. Coles got hold and made a good run, passed to G G Vincent when nearly over. The recipient obtained a try, which D’Aguilar converted.” (Half-time 23-0)

“Soon after resuming, Parham retired from the game, feeling unequal to further play. Bain was taken from the pack to fill his place at half-back. Notwithstanding this loss Bath still pressed and B H Vincent prettily dropped a goal.”


v Bristol. At Henrietta Park. Bristol Won by 1 penalty goal, 1 try to nil. (6-0) Team: Seers, Pattinson, Perreau, MacTier, Middleton, Bain, Vincent, F Soane (Capt.) Hill, D’Aguilar, Derrick, Coles, V Soane, England and Fry. Bath fielded a side with several of their regular backs missing. Admission charges for this popular game were doubled, but the game still attracted some 2500 excited spectators. The first half was reached with no points registered. The two Soane brothers had figured in fine forward rushes, and Middleton and MacTier had done well in open play and defence.

From the re-start, the Bristol backs put in some good work: “but they were well watched and collared.”

Then Willcocks landed a penalty when Bath were caught offside. “Bristol scored again, when time was not far off. Fenner got in with a dodgy run amid the cheers of the visitors’ partizans.”

Vic Soane made one last splendid foray along the touch line. When challenged he passed to Vincent, but he was grounded as he entered the Bristol 25.



v Wellington, Away. Lost 0-23. (4 gaols and a try to nil.) Team:- James Long, W Pattinson, A G Perreau, R Fanshawe, A.N.Other, G G Vincent, D H Bain, J D’Aguilar, L J Fry, E H Trobridge, R W Fisher, W H Noke, R H Whittington, W A Coles and R Asbotham.

Bath could not get much of a ‘look-in,’ as Wellington produced a procession of 5 tries and 4 conversions. Perreau and Vincent did some good work, but the rest of the team seemed completely outclassed.



v Clifton, Home. Lost 0-6. Team: H Treasure, W Pattinson, R W Fanshawe, H Clarke, G C Middleton, Bain, Vincent, F Soane, J D’Aguilar, W England, W A Coles, F Derrick, L J Fry, G S Balley and E G Trobridge.

The gate prices were doubled and the proceeds dedicated to local charities. Also, members had to pay for admission. In consequence of these arrangements the numbers were considerably reduced.



The visitors managed two tries in the second half, then Bath forwards dribbled the leather over the Clifton line, only for referee D’Asth of Yeovil, to whistle the play back to a half-way spot. After the game, he was followed back to the Angel Hotel: “by a howling crowd, who expressed their resentment at his decisions by loud hooting. Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned. A referee may make mistakes, but it is a thankless office at the best, and insults of this kind do the cause of football much harm.”



game versus Maindy was cancelled, as the Welsh club were ‘cup tied.’



v Exeter, at Henrietta Park. Won 8-0. (A goal and a try) Team:- H Gill, G C Middleton, F W Fanshawe, W Pattinson, W J Williams, G G Vincent, F R Ewart, F Soane, J D’Aguilar, F Derrick, D H Bain, R W Fisher, H Howard, W England and J Ruddick.

Nothing had been registered by the interval, although notably, Pattinson had made a particularly gallant effort, passing through four or five of the opposition.

“Soane restarted and the kick was nicely returned by Gill. From a five yards out scrum close to the right half-way flag Ewart got possession as a consequence of heeling out. He handed to Williams, who transferred to Pattinson; after gaining a little ground he handed to Fanshawe, who passed to Middleton. The schoolmaster, by the finest run he has ever made in Bath, got over the Exeter line.”

The additional points were not notched.

“Bath continued to have the advantage, and Middleton put play into the visitors’ 25 by a splendid kick into touch across the ground. The ball was worked close up to the Exeter citadel, and the forwards keeping well on the leather, Derrick was enabled to break through the loose, and landed a try for his fifteen. D’Aguilar landed the goal.”



A meeting of the R.F.U. Committee, suspended the Gloucester Club from the 5th to the 24th March on a charge of professionalism. They decided that a Stroud player, Shewell had been improperly approached. The Gloucester Captain was suspended for the remainder of the season and the Club were ordered to pay all the costs of the inquiry.



v Cheltenham, Away. Lost 3-11. ( Lost by a try to a goal and a try) Team:- H Gill, W J Williams, W Pattinson, R W Fanshawe, G C Middleton, G G Vincent, E H Seers, F Soane, J D’Aguilar, D H Bain, R W Fisher, T J Fry, H Howard, J Ruddick and W England.

Played at Cheltenham in glorious weather before a large crowd. Bath pressed hard but, but the Cheltenham defence was grand. By half time, both sides had scored unconverted tries. Thereon, Cheltenham had the best of the game and scored two further tries, one converted. Vincent was the pick of the Bath backs. England scored for Bath.



v Taunton, Away. Won 8-3. (A goal and a try to a try) Team:- H Gill, W Pattinson, E H Seers, C Hardwick, W J Williams, H M Parham, E H Seers, J D’Aguilar, ‘F Dimond,’ L J Fry, R Whittington, R W Fisher, D H Bain, J Ruddick and G H Bailey.

Taunton started a player short, and a commendable performance by the Bath forwards provided the better of the play. “About midway through the first half G G Vincent got possession, and, after a short run, transferred to Seers, who had no difficulty in grounding beneath the posts. D’Aguilar landed a goal.” Taunton came back with a try in the corner. The second portion of the game was fast and even. Then a defensive lapse let Bath in for a try under the posts. Astonishingly, D’Aguilar failed to lift the ball over the bar. H Gill had a brilliant game at back.



v Civil Service. Away. Won by 6 goals and a try to nil (33-0), played on the College ground on a hot Monday afternoon. There was an exceedingly heavy gate, the fair sex being well represented.

It is noteworthy that Bath, or rather – D’Aguilar, converted six tries. One concludes that success with the boot, was largely due to a dry ball on a fine day. Could it be that he was Bath’s first specialist kicker?

Bath tries by MacTier, Middleton (3), Pattinson (2) and Fisher.


“Vincent, who had been showing up prominently throughout, after a capital run passed when just on the rut to MacTier, who ran round and landed the ball in the most favourable position, D’Aguilar had no difficulty in lifting it over the horizontal. McLaren put in a useful bit of work for the visitors. He had been doing well all the while, but rushing through a line he looked dangerously near scoring, but was overhauled by MacTier. Soon afterwards Middleton by a splendid dodgy run got behind. D’Aguilar’s kick this time was non-effective. MacTier not long afterwards gave a fine opening for Middleton who romped over and the try was converted by D’Aguilar. Immediately afterwards half time was sounded, Bath leading by two goals and a try to nil. The Service men played in a determined manner, but as a result of loose play Middleton secured another try. It was right on the corner, but D’Aguilar cleverly converted. Soane just afterwards had a clear field, but his pace was not fast enough and he was overtaken. He managed to hand to Pattinson who got behind, and D’Aguilar again majorised. Soane was again in evidence, and receiving from Perreau made another good run. This ended in England scrambling over, but he lost the ball and Fisher touched down. D’Aguilar once more did the needful. Pattinson just afterwards, by an artful double, again scored, and another goal was registered. The Services made a desperate attempt to score and were almost successful, but the attack was beaten off……………………… The scoring of Middleton was very popular, as although he has done good work for the Club during the season now ended, he had previously scored only two tries.”



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