v Lydney, Home. Lost 0-12. Team: J Godwin, S W Crisp, James, J T Timmins, W G Marsh, F Russell, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, P J Cooling, E W Byrde, W Holme, A J Taylor, and C Williams.
James, a newcomer from Usk, was intended to be tried out at centre. Unfortunately he was made hors de combat after a few minutes, and the Bath pack were weakened by having to provide the replacement back. Consequently, Bath were unable to contain a greatly improved Lydney eight.
v Taunton, Away. Lost 0-3. Team: J Godwin, W G Marsh, J T Timmins, Percy Titley, S W Crisp, F Russell, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, C Williams, R Tutton, A Taylor, E W Byrde, and W Holme.
This time, the forwards provided plenty of ‘leather’, but the half backs, Russell and Bence muddled their opportunities to get the backs moving. Cashnella just missed a try, but knocked on in front of the line. Otherwise, he played an inspirational game. There was much dissatisfaction over Taunton’s winning try.
“Crisp, on the right wing, and Godwin declare that the man who got over was in touch all the time he was running about ten yards, and the full back, seeing the Taunton touch judge hoist his flag, did not go for the man. It was a mistake, for the flag only waved for half a second, and when questioned by the referee, the linesman said the runner had not gone out of play. Remembering what happened in Taunton in April, the Bathonians accepted the situation with the meekness of lambs. But it was hard lines.”
v Dinas Powis, Home. Drawn 3-3. Team: J Godwin, S W Crisp, J T Timmins, P Titley, W G Marsh, W Bence, F Russell, A J Taylor, E W Clarke, F Jordan, W Watts, P J Cooling, H R Tutton, G Parfitt, and Magrath.
A bright and open game, which Bath could have won with a regular place kicker, even with the handicap of Bence off injured. Cooling scored Bath’s try.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 3-20. Team: J Godwin, Ll W Edwards, J T Timmins, P Titley, W G Marsh, Leonard Edwards, V Bartlett, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, A Taylor, H R Tutton, A E Clark, C Williams and G Parfitt. Bartlett scored Bath’s try.
v Penarth, Home. Won 14-5. Team:- J T Timmins, G S Parkinson, W G Marsh, F F S Smithwick, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, A J Taylor, W Watts, H R Tutton, P J Cooling and G Parfitt. Twice capped Irish international F S Smithwick, played for Bath. He had broken his leg during the previous season; he provided the necessary experience, and the Bath backs benefited accordingly. Marsh showed vastly improved form at centre. Parkinson scored a well deserved try. Other Bath tries by Cooling, Marsh and Ruddick, with Crisp converting one.
v Lydney, away. Lost 0-6. Team: J Godwin, G S Parkinson, W G Marsh, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, C Williams, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, G Parfitt, and P J Cooling.
Bath fancied their chances at Lydney and a reversal by two tries came as a nasty jar. On the journey back, there was team talk of : “training, resolves as to sprinting, bathing and rub-downs.”
A Bath supporter, walking down Lydney’s principle street had remarked: “Fancy a little place like this having a team that can beat Bath.” It was observed that, herein was a small club’s strength; they were all regularly together, talking rugby and training together. They were not individually brilliant, but took infinite pains to get into condition, were willing to learn, and could always last the pace. Undefeated to date, their forwards were strongly drilled and packed down in tight formation. By contrast, Bath lacked system of any kind, and perhaps they could now benefit from this small town’s example.
v Penylan, Home. Won 14-3. Team: W F Long, G S Parkinson, H Turtle, J T Timmins, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, C Williams, A J Taylor, P Cooling, J Godwin and G Parfitt. Bath tries by Williams, Bence, Crisp and Watts, with Crisp converting one.
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 3-21.Team: W F Long, G S Parkinson, J T Timmins, W G Marsh, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, C Williams, W Watts, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, PJ Cooling and J Godwin. Parkinson scored Bath’s try.
(Gloucester were having a good season. Their record after this game: Played 10, Won 8, Lost 1, Drawn 1, Points For 183, Against 25)
v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Drawn 0-0. Team:- G Parsons, S W Crisp, W G Marsh, J Godwin, G S Parkinson, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, G Parfitt, H E Lever and A Baverstock.
Bath backs had plenty of opportunities, but bungling and lack of judgement kept them off the seasiders’ line. Parkinson, on the wing, usually so reliable, fumbled feebly and failed with no-one to beat. Once again, in an extremely fast game, many failed to last the pace.
v Clifton, Home. Won 6-3. Team: G Parsons, G S Parkinson, J T Timmins, W G Marsh, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, C Williams, A J Taylor, J Godwin, G Parfitt and H R Tutton. Crisp scored Bath’s try and Marsh kicked the penalty goal.
v Cowbridge, Home. Won 12-0. Team: G Parsons, S W Crisp, J Timmins (Capt.), W G Marsh, W C Dainton, V Bartlett, W Bence, T B Timmins, F Cashnella, W Watts, G Parfitt, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, J Godwin and H E Lever. The visitors included players with Penarth and Cardiff experience, and Bath did well to win. Dainton and Marsh scored the tries and Crisp converted one. Marsh dropped a goal.
v Gloucester, Home. Lost 0-26. Team:- G Parsons, W C Dainton, J T Timmins, G S Parkinson, H Turtle, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, T B Timmins, G Parfitt, J Godwin, A J Taylor, and A Baverstock.
Hignell and Marsh cried off. The resultant disorganisation gave Bath little chance from the start.
v Bristol, Home. Lost 0-3. Team: J Godwin, W C Dainton, W G Marsh, J T Timmins, G S Parkinson, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, G Watts, G Parfitt, T B Timmins, A J Taylor, C Williams, and H R Tutton.
Bristol breathed a sigh of relief at the final whistle. It was re-assuring that the home side could still give their neighbours a tight game.
CHRONICLE COMMENT on THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD and WRETCHED WEATHER.
“Gratitude for small mercies is a virtue that the Bath football executive has had disciplined into them by the experience of vexatious disappointments in a long series of seasons, so instead of bemoaning the fact that Bristol gate was reduced to a shadow by the rush on the part of Jupiter Pluvius to atone for shortcomings earlier in the year, they are thankful it was possible to play the three fixtures set down in Christmas week.
For at the outset of that week it seemed as if a football would not be kicked. Both players and officials were anticipating home comforts by the fireside instead of facing the rigours of wintry weather on the Recreation Grounds. Then in a moment the whole aspect was changed, and the tap was turned on so decisively that flood instead of frost seemed imminent on Boxing Day. But the Cowbridge game was duly played on a ground in excellent condition, and visions of big gates for Friday and Saturday arose.
But the iron hand of Jack Frost was stretched forth in the night, and it seemed doubtful whether the Gloucester contest would be possible. It was just though the Cits. did not relish turning out on the crisp turf, wet as it was on top. After the Gloucester reverse-which was fully expected-there was an informal committee meeting to discuss the wisdom of taking measures to protect the field from frost in view of the Bristol match on the morrow, for it was freezing like grim death, but happily no steps were taken, for when the day dawned the wind was sou’ west, rain pelting down, and it never left off until Sunday morning was far advanced.
So the Bristol match was played. Fortunately for the Bath club, this fixture was the ‘extra’ at which admission receipts were to be shared by both clubs, or with the gate reduced to the absurdly small total taken on Saturday, financial trouble would have stared the Bath F.C. in the face. The Bristol match proper in Bath is on Easter Eve, and as at the end of March, decent climatic conditions are likely to be experienced, the outlook is not so disagreeable as it might have been.”
v Neath, Away. Lost 0-26. Team: G Parsons, H Hignell, J T Timmins, W G Marsh, H Webb (Bristol Medicals), V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, A J Taylor, C Williams, G Parfitt and J Godwin and H E Lever.
Watts missed the train, so Neath provided a substitute.
Bath were overwhelmed as Neath gave a display of vastly superior football, on a “sodden, soft and slippery” surface. “ To add to their miseries J T Timmins had to leave the field with a wrenched knee. In any case, he would not be regularly available for a while, as he was moving to London.
“Hignell was off colour, but Bartlett played a good game, and Parsons tackled very well at back.”
Lacking some of the regular forwards: “They did not pack systematically, they could not push, their footwork was invisible, while their tackling was too weak for words.”
“Neath is a far cry, and when Bath has to travel thither in the darkest days of winter it is not the easiest matter to raise a full team, and it speaks well for the keenness of Bath footballers that many of them who had to make pecuniary sacrifices, cheerfully got off to take part in this engagement, while several employers have to be thanked for their kindness in facilitating matters.”
v Old Edwardians, Away. Won 8-0. Team:- G Parsons, H Hignell, W G Marsh, W T Webb, Dai Evans, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, F Cashnella, W Watts, C Williams, A J Taylor, J Godwin, G Parfitt, and P J Cooling. Cashnella and Bence scored the tries and Williams goaled.
At last, a creditable away win in wet conditions! After the match, the chilly weather was forgotten. Their hosts maintained their usual warm hospitality, at the Colonnade in central Birmingham.
v Taunton, Won 27-3. Team:- G Parsons, W T Webb, W G Marsh, Dai Evans, G S Parkinson, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick (Captain), W Watts, F J Cashnella, A Taylor, C Williams, J Godwin, P J Cooling, H R Tutton.
Ruddick, Webb, Parfitt, Godwin, got first half tries. “Marsh, after a smart but unsuccessful attempt to drop a goal, brought off a sensational run, but was legged just outside the Taunton sticks. The visitors moved off in a dribble, but Webb and Parsons between them, arrested the danger, and the half time whistle sounded.” Bath 12-0 up.
Parkinson (2), Evans, Webb and Cashnella got the second half tries – not one was converted! An excuse was proffered: “Apparently there was something wrong with the ball, for it refused to rise to the occasion.”
“It was certainly Bartlett’s day out, and he seemed to take a special delight in making rings round the representatives of his native town. He wriggled clear, dodged, swerved, and out-manoeuvred his opponents at every turn.”
v Clifton, Away. Lost 0-6. Played on snow, only Gloucester and Bristol had beaten Clifton at home that season. Team:- G Parsons, W T Webb, Dai Evans, W G Marsh, G S Parkinson, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, C Williams, F Cashnella, F Watts, H R Tutton, J Godwin, W Parfitt, and A J Taylor.
A disappointment after last week’s success: The Bath forwards were overweighted in the scrums, and could not give the halves any chances; but when the ball did come out into the Bath outside line, disappointing mistakes gave away excellent opportunities.”
Clifton’s gate money amounted to 26/-
v Bristol, Away. Lost 0-32. Team:- G Parsons, W Vaughan, Dai Evans, W G Marsh, G S Parkinson, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, P J Cooling, J Godwin, and G Parfitt.
A heavy defeat at Ashley Hill, Bristol. It was the second highest set-back against their old rivals. In 1900 there had been a record margin of 35 points, while in 1891 and 1892, Bristol accumulated 27 and 25 points respectively. This latest encounter was by no means a pleasant experience! Bath were outweighed in the pack and the ball repeatedly stuck in the back row. There was: “a general languor and laxity about the whole side which also contributed to the wholesale downfall.”
v Old Edwardians, Home. Lost 6-8. Team: G Parsons, G S Parkinson, P J Titley, W G Marsh, F J Russell, V Bartlett, W Bence, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, Tutton, A Taylor, G Parfitt, J Godwin and H E Lever.
Attendance was extremely sparse, for the game, played in unpleasant conditions of snow settling on frozen turf. Bartlett and Tutton got Bath’s tries.
Bath made a strenuous effort to pull the game out of the fire, but the ‘Brum’ boys held on to their two points margin.
v Knowle, Home. Won 20-0. Team:- G Parsons, S W Crisp, R Meister, J Godwin, Parkinson, Bartlett, T White (Oldfield Park), G Ruddick, G Parfitt, C E Williams, W Watts, P J Cooling, H Lever and P J Cooling.
“it seldom happens that skating on Corsham pond and Rugby football on the Recreation Ground are possible on the same afternoon, but that decidedly unique circumstance could be recorded on Saturday.” There certainly seemed little prospect of a game at early morning inspection, but strong sunlight soon chased the frost away.
Tries:- Bartlett, Crisp, Parkinson (2). White converted all four.
v Weston-super-Mare, Home. Lost 5-6. Team:- G Parsons, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, P Titley, G S Parkinson, W Bence, T White, G Ruddick, Watts, Parfitt, Godwin, A Baker (Walcot), Cooling, Williams and W Comely.
Parfitt scored after a solo effort, White converting with a fine kick. Weston ran in two tries to win “a remarkably close and resolutely fought game.
Beaten forward the home team made a capital fight under unequal conditions. It was unfortunate that the Bath pack should have been exceptionally light in a match where the opposing eight are men of abnormal size and weight, but so it was.”
Match with Penarth scratched, as Bath could not raise a side, due to injuries and illness.
v Knowle, Home. Lost 6-10. Team:- G Parsons, G S Parkinson, P Titley, Ll. Edwards, H Turtle, V Bartlett (Walcot), F Russell, G Ruddick, C Williams, W Watts, J Godwin, A J Taylor, G Parfitt, H R Tutton, and T Ruddick. G Ruddick and Turtle scored Bath’s tries.
“It was eating the leek with a vengeance to be downed by Knowle, but the result was due solely to the fumbling of the Bathonians, for whom it was an afternoon of wasted opportunities.”
v Bridgwater Albion, Away, Lost 3-19. Team:- W G Stone, G S Parkinson, W G Marsh, J Godwin, G Parsons, R F David (Cardiff) and Murray Wilson, G Ruddick, C Williams, A J Taylor, P J Cooling, Tom Ruddick, A Baverstock, W St. B Griffith (Hermitage School), and L G Myers (Eversley).
Bath fielded a scratch side, following cry-offs through injury and illness.
David scored for Bath in a very fine fashion.
“Myers was a most useful forward and Godwin was good in the three-quarter line.”
“What happened on Friday and Saturday morning was a painful reminder of what constantly occurred a few seasons ago when there was a desperate effort just before the time to start for an away fixture, to whip up a fifteen.”
v Cheltenham, Away. Lost 0-11. Team:- G Parsons, G S Parkinson, W G Marsh, S W Crisp (Combe Down), * “A Good’en”, R F David, E Fisher, G Ruddick, J Godwin, A Taylor, G Parfitt, H R Tutton, Satchell, Baverstock, and T Ruddick.
Ball missed the train at Mangotsfield and Cheltenham provided a substitute named Satchell.
(* “A Good’en” was a former Somerset winger – name unknown to researchers)
Rest of Bath v Oldfield Park, evening match on the Recreation Ground.
Rest of Bath Team:- J Holbrook (Post Office), Simpkins, W Emery, G Sanger (Fairfield), S W Crisp (Combe Down), F Russell (Captain) (Walcot), A Large (Batheaston), F Marshmann, B Curtis, J Hobbs (Walcot), Vennall and S Moody (Combe Down), S Neate (Batheaston and District), S Greenhill (Post Office), and H Porch (Fairfield).
Oldfield Park Team:- W Holmes, F Gooding, N Meister, H Baker, A Naish, T White (Captain), H Bishop, A Goodman, F Fear, A Isaacs, T Smith, W Comely, H Drew, W Fletcher, and C Rawlings.
Oldfield Park won with 1 goal and a try. (8-0)
v Bristol, Home. Lost 3-27. Team:- G Parsons, S W Crisp, W G Marsh, J T Timmins, W Emery, F Russell, W Bence, G Ruddick, T B Timmins, W Watts, A J Taylor, J Godwin, G Parfitt, H Tutton and J Ball (Penygraig).
Bath again unable to compete with Bristol’s vastly improved side, which included former Bath player, Norman Moore. Taylor scored Bath’s solitary try after an Emery dash, while Bristol crossed the Bath line no less than seven times.
THE BUSINESS INFLUENCE?
“Bristol possesses advantages that Bath lacks. There is a larger constituency to draw players from, and our neighbours’ enthusiastic supporters include business men of influence, who are always willing to help on the interest of the team in a hundred and one ways which make for success.”
Played in ideal conditions, the gate money of £36 was lamentably low, and attendance did not pick up for the Monday game with Bridgend.
v Bridgend, Home. Drawn 0-0. Team: Parson, “Titch” W Emery(Fairfield),
J Godwin, W G “Smasher” Marsh, W S Crisp, V Bartlett, F Russell, T B Timmins, W Watts, A J Taylor, H R Tutton, G Parfitt, A Ball, Froude and H Lever.
This was Bridgend’s first game at Bath and a lively game was expected. However, they managed precious little in attractive play; the best of the passing movements came from the homesters.
v Neath, Home. Bath put up a splendid fight, to hold Neath to a 3-3 draw.
Team:- G Parsons, S W Crisp, R Meister, J Godwin, G S Parkinson, T White, V Bartlett, G Ruddick, W Watts, A J Taylor, J Ball, H Lever, H R Tutton, A Baverstock and F Froude.
“Bath scored through a splendid effort by Taylor, who secured in a line out and putting on splendid pace out-distanced all opposition.”
Memories of the splendid fight and draw with Neath are still fresh, and they were recalled with no small degree of satisfaction when the unlooked-for news of Bristol’s rout at that dirty Welsh town was received almost with incredulity.” CHRONICLE 14/4/1902
v Oldfield Park, Home. Won 8-0. In sunny weather, a large crowd, enjoyed a game played for the benefit of funds of Junior clubs of Bath and neighbourhood. Oldfield Park had qualified to play the premier side by beating a XV representing the Rest of the Junior Clubs in Bath.
Bath Team:- Parsons, Parkinson, Godwin, Marsh, Crisp, Bartlett, Russell, Watts, Taylor, Ball, Tutton, Parfitt, Baverstock, Lever and Froude.
Oldfield Park:- W Holmes, E F Gooding, Meister, Baker, Nash, S White (Captain), Bishop, Goodman, Smith, Comely, Fear, Hiscox, Isaacs, Fletcher and Rawlings.
Taylor scored the first try, which Crisp majored. Then at the end, Bath’s Parkinson was fouled by Naish, and the referee awarded a (penalty? ) try.
“They (Oldfield) must be congratulated on the capital game they afforded the Bath team, who fully realized that they had a tough job in front of them, for the Parkites were as keen as mustard to get the better of the black and blue brigade.”
“Oldfield Park entered the match with a capital record. They had played 24 matches, won 18, drawn 3, and lost 3…………….They had scored 248 points and had only 52 points against them.”
“They have been animated by an enthusiasm which is the principle reason for any club’s success.”
The gate yielded £16 for district funds.
v Exeter, Home. Lost 0-3. Team:- G Parsons, J C Keir (Bath College), B Meister, W G Marsh, S W Crisp, V Bartlett, F Russell, A J Taylor (Captain), T B Timmins, J Godwin, A Baverstock, J Ball, H R Tutton, H Lever and G Parfitt.
Described as ‘another grand struggle’, it was felt that but for an accident to Russell, this could have been a win. “There were several chances flung away in the first half that ought to have brought victory, but as the blunders were committed by men who otherwise did admirably it would not be kind to say much about them.”
“Bath have experienced hard lines throughout the season, and in its closing stages fortune does not smile on them.”
v Bridgwater Albion, Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- Parsons, Bruce Naish, Bartlett, W G Marsh, R Meister, W Emery, V Bartlett, T White, T B Timmins, A J Taylor (Captain), H R Tutton, A Baverstock, J Godwin, G Parfitt, Lever and J Ball.
T B Timmins was back to assist. There were encouraging reports from other invalids: “G Ruddick was able to leave his bed last week, but is still unfit for work. J T Timmins is also recovering surely from the attack of blood poisoning which resulted from a wound in the leg on Easter Tuesday, but he was not well enough to turn out to witness Saturday’s game.”
“A rouser wound up the season. It was quite like old times to hear the crowd worked up to a high pitch of enthusiasm over the doings of the Bath team.”
LAST TRY OF THE SEASON
“Soon after the re-start White got the ball from a scrum in mid-field and whipped it out to Bartlett, who sent to Meister. The latter dodged grandly, beating several opponents, and then got the ball out to Naish, who, after gathering cleanly, gave to Marsh, and the latter sprinted round with a splendid try.
It was right behind the sticks, but White did not add points.”
CHRONICLE COMMENT: “As far as Bath F.C. is concerned, the record is not gratifying, but the causes for this have been fully dealt with, so there is no reason to recapitulate excuses and explanations.”
“Injuries and illness have had a lamentably weakening effect on the Bath side. Cashnella’s sad breakdown at Clifton. Ruddick’s smash-up in the Neath contest, and Taylor’s absence from two or three games owing to a cut head, undoubtedly had a prejudicial effect, especially the retirement of Cashnella when there were still so many hard games to be faced. The illness of Bartlett when so many important fixtures were brought off; the departure from Bath of J T Timmins, and the temporary defection of Crisp also made the season more difficult. Owing to these circumstances combination was impossible, and all things considered it is surprising that things turned out as well as they did.”
40 Tries by: Parkinson 5; Bartlett, Marsh, George Ruddick, Taylor, Cashnella, Bence, and Crisp 3 each; W T Webb, G Parfitt, Godwin, Cooling 2 each; Watts, Dainton, Dai Evans, Tutton, Tom Ruddick and David 1 each.
Marsh dropped a goal (4pts), and also dropped a penalty goal (3 pts), while T White converted 5 tries, Crisp 4 and Williams one.
J Godwin played in 29 out of the 30 matches.