1919 to 1920

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1919-1920

Bath Weekly Chronicle – August 26th 1919

BATH RUGBY

THE FIRST TRAIL MATCH

Thanks to the kindness of Mr J G Young, the Bath Football Club played the first of its two trails on the Somerset Boys’ Home field, Lower Bristol Road on Tuesday evening. The following sides lined out under Mr Cliff Walwin who made a most efficient referee in the presence of a large company of spectators: –

Mr P.P Hopes XV

C Whittaker, P.P Hope, A Hope, H Richardson and J.E Colquhouan, H Vowles and SGU Considine ; WH Royal , E J Hodges, F Russell, J Pope, EC Haines, L Richardson and R Richardson.

Mr F J Cashnella’s XV

J Shore: S Curtis, C Chapman, HG Walker and H Robbins: T Fry and HJ Slade, F J Cashnella, N Willcox, S Rummings, G Collins, WF Coles, J Hall, CE Carruthers and J Perman

Very level play was seen in the first half and the only score was a try by P.P Hope, which Hodges goaled. Excellent form was shown by many of the recruits and little Slade was applauded for his plucky play at scrum half.

A Hope, Considine, Vowles, P Hope and Hodges obtained tries for the winners after lemons, but only one was goaled by Vowles. There were several displays of clever combinations among the backs, and in the second half the forwards of Hopes team packed well. Final Score

Hopes XV …………….. 3 Goals, 4 Tries (22pts)

Cashnella’s XV……… Nil

Another trial takes place on the Recreation Ground this Saturday Afternoon.”

“Many of the older hands seemed to have improved in the interval, and the ex-servicemen had undoubtedly benefited by their Army training.”

“It is not necessary to individualise, but Vowles has improved, and P P Hope is at the top of his form, while Archibald Hope should prove a great acquisition to the club, the brothers combining admirably together.”

 

BATH CHRONICLE 24/8/1919

SATURDAY TRIAL

P P Hope’s Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Hope, S Curtis, H Richardson, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, E Hodges, H Harding, C E Carruthers, L J Richardson, J Pope, W Coles, and

F Russell.

F J Cashnella’s Team:- J Shore, C E Chapman, L Basdon, J J Hills, T Fry, H Slade, R West, F Cashnella, A V Rosenburg, F Hall, N Wilcox, G Padfield, H Perman, and G Collins. Referee, Mr. Cliff Walwin.

P P Hope’s Team 4g 5t (35pts) – Cashnella’s team 1t (3pts)

28/8/1919

Secured St. Mary’s Church House gymnasium, Grove Street for evening training and changing quarters. Players could train Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Jerseys not available in time for first match, and therefore purchased 2 doz. Sky blue ones.

2 Trial matches on Boys Home ground. (1 guinea donated)

St. Stephen’s Club found a ground at Bathford.

Schools Union boys allotted passes for bank underneath score board.

Season tickets for Boys up to 15 years at 3/6 obtainable from schools or Mr H Bowen.

PLAYER AVAILABILITY FOR FIRST GAME, AWAY TO LEICESTER.

In consequence of war intervention, several of the older players had chosen not to resume, and so many promising Bath youngsters had fallen in the fighting. For example, Widcombe Juniors XV had lost twelve of their number.

Happily, Clarence Whittaker had returned and could fill his old spot at full-back.

Phillip Hope would fill the right wing spot and his brother, A. Hope would partner Harry Richardson at centre. T Fry was fast and a good handler and would go left wing. He comes with a good pedigree; his uncle was none other than “Tich” Fry, who was a Rec. favourite 25 years previously. Bath were fortunate to include Harry Vowles and Ulick Considine at half-back. Harry Vowles had shown early return to his old form in the March and April games.

“Considine’s form at Easter was magnificent for so young a performer; his skill in gathering the oval when in the air or on the ground is extraordinary, and he goes straight for the line at great speed. Unfortunately for Bath , at the end of this month he returns to Blundell’s School and thence on to Sandhurst.”

Another youthful three-quarter H G Walker, was also returning to studies at Felsted.

Stalwart Dave Fisher had died and E Russell severely wounded. Old Monktonian, Captain W H Royal would lead the forwards, packing down with fellow Captain of the 4th Somerset’s, Doctor W Worger. Cashnella, Fred Russell and E J Hodges would be needed. H Harding had returned, a fitter man, and would probably hold his place.

J Pope had shown up well in the ‘revival’ games; also Leslie Richardson, elder brother of Harry Richardson.

 

6/9/1919

v Leicester , Away. Won 16-3. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope (Capt.), A Hope, H Richardson, T Fry, H Vowles, S G U Considine, Capt W H Royal, Dr W Worger, F J Cashnella, E J Hodges, F Russell, J Pope, L J Richardson, and H Harding.

Bath’s fixture of the 1914-15 season was to have been away to Leicester. With the onset of the Great War, the match was cancelled on September 1st 1914. It was particularly apt, that these great clubs should re-commence promptly, upon resumption of normal playing days.

It was particularly pleasurable that Bath should start with a win. Amid loud applause, Philip Hope scored a capital try, which Vowles converted.

“Leicester came back to the attack, Haselmere running well, but Considine cleared to touch.

Bath’s attacking was great. Vowles was splendid in touch kicks. Royal left the ground injured.

Bath dribbled finely, Russell leading, but Vowles was injured in tackling Mellor, who had to leave.

Bath pressed hotly, and at half-time were on the Leicester line. (5-0)

In the second half: “The Bath forwards were swarming on the Leicester men and seemed all over them.

Vowles and Considine appeared to be over several times, so hotly was Bath pressing.”

Fry gathered to score a ‘solo’ try in the corner, which was not converted. (8-0)

“At the end Bath were as god (sic) as ever after A Hope had run well he gave to Cashnella, and (who) scored in the corner.

Royal had to leave again, he had had a nasty smack in the head. Then Haselmere was given a try by the referee for a foul.

P Hope then intercepted in his own 25 and showed himself too fast for anything Leicester had. (11-0)

The full-back only partially stopped him, but he got in for a delightful try, running three-quarters of the length of the ground.

The effort was loudly applauded by the huge crowd of between 8,000 and 9,000.

Hodges goaled with a fine kick.” (16-3)

 

‘A’ XV IN GOOD SHAPE

“The ‘A’ XV is full of promise, and the difficulty will be whom to leave out of the team from the numerous candidates. They have been in evidence at practice and at trials in great numbers. Everything will be done by the Club to foster their keenness and encourage their talent, and before long several will be knocking at the door for admission to the first XV. J Shore as a resolute tackler and sure touchfinder has impressed everyone as a full-back. Chapman (extremely swift), Robins and Curtis, three-quarters; plucky little Slade and Reg West at half, with many likely scrummagers, are turning out; in the latter may be mentioned, C E Carruthers, Coles, Sheppard, Willcox, Stickler, Hall, G Collins (a son of the late Serg. George Collins), Rosenburg and many more. That keen and worthy Rugger devotee Dr. A Beck Cluckie, is not able to ‘carry on’ as Captain of the Seconds, a post to which he was elected before the war, but I believe Arthur Ford is willing to skipper them, and what better choice could be made?”

Much was expected of Harry Slade, who at just 17, was showing great promise as a scrum-half.

 

13/9/1919

v Penylan, Home. Won 11-0. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope (Capt.), A Hope, H Richardson, T Fry, H Vowles, S G U Considine, Capt W H Royal, Dr W Worger, E J Hodges, F Russell, S J Richardson, H Harding, J Pope and A Jones.

Referee Mr. Cliff Walwin.

The ropes were well lined for Bath’s first home game.

“Then Cashnella managed to get hold from a line out, and gave to Vowles. The half had PHILIP HOPE running with him who received at the right moment, and beating the full back and several others after he had crossed the rut, planted the ball almost behind the posts, so Vowles easily goaled.” (5-0 at half-time.)

In the second spell: “Cashnella raced on, and at the right moment passed out to CONSIDINE, who got over in the corner.” Later on, Hope again galloped away, with a good try which delighted the crowd.

“Vowles and Considine were especially good – the scrum-half doing no end of saving work with his smart punts, and Considine raced through strongly time after time.”

 

20/9/1919

v Llanelly, Home. Lost 3-6. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Hope, G Johnson, J Boyland, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, W Worger, F Cashnella, F Russell, L J Richardson, E Hodges, J Pope, H Harding. Gate £120.

Russell was credited with Bath’s try after Bath forwards bunched over the Llanelly line. “It was a hard game from start to finish, and I doubt if the Bath boys will have a harder one throughout the season.

It was doubtful whether our friends were 3pts. better on the run of play, but perhaps they were more robust, and so got the narrow verdict.”

RAILWAY STRIKE

London Welsh had wired through to Bath, that owing to a railway strike, they would be unable to reach Bath. In conjunction with the Bath officials, Captain Kitching hastily raised a side. “Mr. Walter Hale officiated as referee, being keen enough to cycle from Bristol.”

 

27/9/1919

v Captain A F Kitching’s XV, Home. Bath won 33-6. Bath team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Hope, Harry Richardson, Reg Richardson, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, J Pope, E Hodges, F Russell, J Richardson, C E Carruthers, A Considine and W Worger.

Captain Kitching’s XV:- Dr. A Beck–Cluckie, A F Kitching, C W Walwin, A Blanchard, C E Chapman, W Fear, A Hatherill, F Cashnella, F Froude, G Padfield, E C Cambridge, A Ford, N Kearns, W Hales and N Blake.

Bath tries:- A Considine, S G U Considine (3), R Richardson, H Richardson (2), Vowles, and A Hope. Bath conversions F Russell, Vowles, Hodges

For the scratch side Froude try and Walwin drop goal from a penalty.

 

4/10/1919

v Bristol, at Radnor Road, Horfield, Bristol. Lost 3-13.

Team:- C Whittaker, C Walwin, A Hope, H Richardson, R Richardson, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, W F Coles, F J Cashnella, E Hodges, F Russell, J Pope, A Considine and J Richardson. Reg Richardson got Bath’s try. For Bristol, Pickles and Corbett were outstanding.

“One thing I did notice, and that was that the whole Bristol side always tackled low.

This cannot be said of Bath. Pickles was missed by several before he gave to Tom Spoors to score.

Bath had the better of the first half and could have scored at least twice.

Considine, the forward, played a champion game, and however he failed to score in the first half I can’t make out.”

This game marked the resumption of the Bristol – Bath derby matches, which had been suspended during the Great War. The last game had been on 31st January 1914, when Bath won 9-0.

He’s my bruvver!

“The Bath Club is a very brotherly affair this season.

There are the Hopes and Considine, and Richardson and Coles.”

 

11/10/1919

v Penylan, Home. Won 20-3. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Hope, H Richardson, R Richardson, H Vowles, Capt B J Murray Sheriff, W H Royal, W Considine, L Richardson, E Hodges, F Russell, J Pope, F Cashnella and W Worger.

Cashnella opened the scoring, followed by a brilliant effort from Philip Hope which Vowles converted. (Half time 8-0) In the second half Philip Hope raced away for a capital try, followed by Reg Richardson, Archie Hope and a second for Philip Hope.

Captain Murray Sheriff had a fine first game, having a hand in many of the tries. He will be a ready replacement for ‘S.G.U.,’ who had returned to captain Blundell’s.

“W Considine is taking a team to Blundell’s School on Wednesday next to play against his brother’s School XV.”

 

18/10/1919

v Exeter, Home. Won 11-8. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Hope, H Richardson, R Richardson, H Vowles, Capt. Murray-Sherriff, W H Royal, L J Richardson, W Considine, E Hodges, F Russell, W F Coles, F J Cashnella, J Pope.

A good crowd entertained the ‘Ever Faithful City’ in excellent weather. Their hospitality extended to allowing their visitors to score the first try and Bath remained 0-5 down at half time. Whittaker had been injured, with Pope moving to the full-back position. In the second spell, Exeter’s lead was extended to 0-8, before Bath began a fight-back. Russell then scored to tumultuous cheering, with Considine narrowly missing the kick. “Hardly a minute had passed when P Hope was seen careering down the touch line in his own style, and beating everyone he got a wonderful try. The cheering when Considine converted with a delightful kick cannot be described. Play continued with honours even until Russell went over from a line out. Vowles could not convert, but Bath had won an exciting encounter.

“Leonard Burt is taking up his duties at Twerton Higher Elementary School on Monday next so will probably be in the Bath side next week.” (Ex Coventry, Army trialist)

 

25/10/1919

v Cross Keys, at Cross Keys for the first time.. Lost 3-20: J Boyland, P Hope, H T Smith, H Richardson, R Richardson, J Russell, A Hatherill, W H Royal, L J Richardson, F Russell, F J Cashnella, E Hodges, W F Coles, C E Carruthers, N Blake. Cross Keys scored 15 points in the first half, and Bath’s only reply was a try by Jim Russell. The second half was more evenly contested, but failed to yield points for Bath’s depleted selection. The Bath backs rarely saw the ball.

Despite the loss, it was a very enjoyable affair: “…..it is indeed a pleasure to record that our opponents on Saturday were to a man, players and officials alike, sportsmen of the very first order. I have never witnessed a cleaner game on Welsh soil. This was all the more remarkable when it is known that a prominent member of the home team had to referee.”

“Cross Keys have a pretty little ground, no stands, but on the left side a characteristic Welsh hill rises, and the slopes of this form a capital stand, from which, tier above tier, the sporting public of the district view the games.”

 

1/11/1919

v Abertillery, Away. Lost 0-3. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, L F Burt, H Richardson, R Richardson, J Russell, Capt Murray Sherriff, W H Royal, H W H Considine, J Pope, L J Richardson, E Hodgers, F Russell, C E Carruthers, and S Horwood.

Another trip to Monmouthshire and another loss. “The ‘Tillery men are a hot lot to meet on their own patch, and I do not remember Bath beating them there, but we gave them a fright on Saturday.”

Bath saw the best of their play in the second half, but despite a good effort in the forwards, they were unable to score.

“These trips to the mining valleys of South Wales are trying journeys for the players, and with the restricted railway service it is difficult to arrive in a reasonable time, and then after the game the players have to rush away in order to get home in anything like respectable time if they can get home at all.

Last week the team journeyed up the valley from Newport by motor charabanc, and as may be imagined among the Welsh hills it was a cold affair.

Next week the trip to Pontypool will finish the Welsh journeys, and no player will be sorry.”

 

15/11/1919

v  Pontypool, Away. Lost 0-3. Team: C Whittaker, J Pope, H Richardson, J Russell, R Richardson, H Vowles, Capt. Murray Sherriff, W H Royal, H W H Considine, F J Cashnella, L J Richardson, F Russell, Lieut. C G Lock, C E Carruthers, G Wilkins.

“The Bath forwards did splendidly, Russell, Considine, and Royal all being noticed. Among the backs, Harry Richardson played a splendid game, his tackling saving Bath time after time.”

The game was played on an extremely hard ground in very cold weather. However, Bath were generally pleased with their performance – and at least, it was the last game in Wales for a while!

 

20/11/1919

v Highland Division, Artillery. Home. Won 30.

 

22/11/1919

v Bristol University, Home. Won 19-8. Team:- J Boyland, L V Burt, J Russell, A Hatherill, Reg Richardson, H Slade, Capt. Murray Sherriff, F Russell, F J Cashnella, E (Ernest) Hodges, C E Carruthers, A L Lang, L J Richardson, G Wilkins, and Dr. Worger. Harry Slade put up a plucky performance in his debut game.

Tries by J Richardson, F Russell (3), and Burt. Hodges kicked two conversions.

 

29/11/1919

v Bristol, Home. Lost 3-16. Team :- C Walwin, R Richardson, H Richardson, D T Lewis, L F (Fred) Burt, L V (Len) Burt, J Russell, F Russell (Capt.), F J Cashnella, G Wilkins, C E Carruthers, L J Richardson, C G Lock, F Froude and W F Coles. “Conditions under foot could not have been worse, for after the snow the ground was in a terrible state

A Referee for Each Half.

The designated referee, Mr. T (Tommy) H Vile of Newport and Wales had not appeared, so Mr. W Dolman officiated.

Bath were soon 0-5 down, when Cliff Walwin: “……..dropped a lovely goal amid tumultuous cheering.” Bath were 3-8 down at the interval.

“Mr. Vile from Newport, had arrived now and took charge of the game. He had missed his connection at Bristol, but arrived before the wire he sent from there.”

Unfortunately, Bath did not score again, and Bristol ran in a total of four tries, converting two. Bath were quite outplayed, with Pickles and Corbett outstanding.

“E C Lock, who came up from Taunton for the game, was quite one of the best of the home forwards, while Richardson and Cashnella worked like Trojans.

It is interesting to note that the following regular men were out of the side today; Hope, Whittaker, Vowles, Considine, Royal, Pope, Hodges and Murray Sherriff, and if we count the younger Considine we find nine men absent.”

Len Corbett’s Injury

Following this game, a report in the Bristol Times and Mirror contained strongly worded allegations of Bath rough play.

“He (Len Corbett) was brought down after he had parted with the ball-which was a foul in itself-and thus had his right leg badly twisted-one of the dirtiest pieces of work seen on a football ground for a long time.”

Bath officials felt that the allegation was unfounded. Mr. Dolman, Somerset Rugby Union, who refereed one half, and then witnessed the remainder of the game, repudiated the allegations: “He would not have tolerated such play, but as a matter of fact he saw no incident from beginning to end that could be described as unnecessarily rough play.” A letter from Tommy Vile confirmed that the Corbett injury was the result of a perfectly fair tackle. So there the matter rested.

 

6/12/1919

v Stroud, Away. Drawn 3-3. Team:- C Whittaker, J Russell, H Richardson, L F Burt, R Richardson, L V Burt, P P Hope, W H Royal, H W H Considine, F Russell, L J Richardson, J Pope, C E Carruthers, G Wilkins and C G Lock. A disappointing game in which Bath missed many chances, and when tactics were sadly lacking. Considine got the Bath penalty goal. Chisholm of Stroud got the try.

 

11/12/1919

v Kingswood School. Won.

 

13/12/1919

v Cheltenham, Home. Won 9-0. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, J Pope, H Richardson, R Richardson, H Vowles, Murray Sherriff, W H Royal, E Hodges, F Russell, H W H Considine, E C Lock, C E Carruthers, L J Richardson and G Wilkins.

Tries by P Hope, Sherriff and Reg Richardson. Again, Bath backs failed to make use of their chances. Vowles had injured his shoulder in the County trial, and was in repeated discomfort, and he was to be unfit for the Paignton game.. “The two Richardson’s, I thought, did better, but taken as a whole, the Bath passing was as slow and ineffective as possible.”

 

20/12/1919

v Paignton. Home. Lost 0-5. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, E C Lock, H Richardson, R Richardson, L V Burt, Murray Sheriff, W H Royal, F Cashnella, J Pope, E Hodges, H W Considine, L J Richardson C E Carruthers and G Wilkins.

S G U Considine made a late withdrawal due to illness. Nevertheless, an unexpected defeat. The makeshift half-back partnership did not work well. Of Considine, the Chronicle reported: “He was taken with a bad heart attack after 1 o’clock, and the doctor was with him just before the game.”

 

26/12/1919

v Glasgow University. Home. Won 15-5. Team:- Whittaker, P Hope, C Walwin, N H Coates, V H M Coates, H Vowles, S G U Considine, Royal, Considine, Hodges, Russell, Pope, Lock, Richardson and Carruthers. For this game, the Scots arrived early on Christmas morning, taking breakfast at Bristol’s Royal Hotel. They then moved to Bath for Christmas Dinner and attended the pantomime on Boxing evening.

CLIFF WALWIN’S TRAGIC DEATH ON THE REC.

Described as the Saddest Event in the History of the Club.

 

27/12/1919

v Cross Keys. Home. Drawn 0-0. Selected team:- Whittaker, P Hope, N Coates, H Richardson, Woodward, Vowles, Considine, Royal, Russell, Considine, Hodges, Gregory, Locke, Pope, Richardson.

N.B. In fact, Cliff Walwin played in this match, possibly replacing Whittaker, but with tragic results.

Walwyn was fairly tackled by Cross Keys player George Greenslade (a miner), and sustained a blow to the kidneys. He was carried to the pavilion in a great deal of pain and taken to his home in Grosvenor and examined by Dr. Lindsay of No.1 The Circus. With fear of internal bleeding, he was taken to the Church Street Nursing Home where Mr. Forbes Fraser was called into consultation and an operation performed. Unfortunately after a brief revival, at 11pm his pulse weakened and he tragically died from the injury at 12.05 on Sunday 28th December 1919. Coroner Frederick Shum certified – ‘Accidental death from shock + Collapse through internal injury whilst playing Football.’

George Greenslade was also injured in the collision and was on his back for several months.

It was most pleasurable that our research re-discovered the undoubted popularity of Cliff Walwin both as a player and as a well known local personality, and for this reason, we devote further time to some of the many tributes.

D.R.Gent writing in The Sunday Times: “A more genuine sportsman never played for Bath or any other club. He was not quite a first class player but he was a first class sportsman, a man the club could always rely upon to turn out, even at the last minute, and every minute of the game he was heart and soul for his side. What admirable fellows these are; always at their club’s disposal, consistently good in their play, and ever clean in their tactics. They are to be found in every club- its backbone, really. They do not get the plaudits of the crowd or Press, like the ‘stars’, by their worth is appreciated by the players, officials and all who understand the stuff of which the torch-bearers of the traditions of Rugby are made. Of such was Walwin.”

The late Eddie Simpkins contributed in the Bath Herald: “…….

No player was ever more popular with the crowd, or with the players. His cheery smile while entering the gate, to the officials, then again as he entered the dressing room, to the players, will live among us for ever. No one, either, has done more for the welfare of the club off the field.”

In Bristol Sports News: “…The last day of 1919 saw the grave close over one of the finest sportsmen Bath ever possessed. Clifford Walwin may not have attained the fame that other Bath Rugby footballers have acquired, but by all who knew him he was regarded as the pattern of a true Christian gentleman. His was a charming personality. No one ever heard him utter an unkind word and he had a smile for all. Business claims prevented him from playing so regularly for Bath as he wished to do; but no one was keener. He stayed in Bath rather than go to his native Gloucester for Christmas, because there was a chance of a game. With what tragic results.”

In addition to the family mourners, representatives from Boots, Bath Pharmaceutical Association, the Somerset Red Cross VAD, local organisations etc., the congregation at Walcot Wesleyan Church read like a ‘who’s who’ of the region’s rugby fraternity and the extensive list of attendees contained so many instantly recognisable Bath family names.

Out of historical rugby interest, this record is confined to official representatives of the Bath Club and players: –

Capt. Vincent H Coates MC, Messrs. A H W Taylor, G A Roberts, C C Wills, J T Piper, E F Simpkins, F J Cashnella, W T Davis, A Hatherill, A J Bennett, A Ford, W Cleall, G Gray, H W Considine, S G U Considine, C Lock and E S Cambridge.

Additionally, Bath Players – Messrs. E J Hodges, C E Carruthers, T Fry, J Fry, C Tucker, S Horwood, F D Stickler, J Richardson, R Richardson, F Russell, L V Burt, W Wilkins, H Vowles, S Vowles, F Smith and T Hanney (Trainer)

The “Last Post” sounded at his Lansdown graveside was but a fitting farewell to this outstanding young gentleman. All Rugby teams in the city refrained from playing the following Saturday as a mark of respect for this:……”clean and manly sportsman.”

 

3/1/1920

v Exmouth. Away. Cancelled – Following on the death of Clifford Walwin, Bath rugby was at a total standstill this day.

 

10/1/1920

v Gloucester. Lost 0-24. Team:- E Appleby (Combe Down), R Richardson, H Richardson, Capt. Murray Sherriff, A Woodward, F Russell (Capt.), J Russell, E Hodges, G C Lock, L J Richardson, H S Gregory, G Wilkins, C E Carruthers, A Ford, W H Sheppard.

“There were several perfervid supporters of Gloucester in the stand last Saturday. Everything their side achieved was immense; nothing that Bath did was worth mentioning…..This noisy partizanship is to be depreciated. It does no good and leads to unpleasantness. For, naturally, Bathonians “chipped in. J Russell’s immediate compulsory retirement, from injury, was the crux of Bath’s troubles, and, personally, I was not surprised at the result. Though some of the half-dozen tries which came in quick succession towards the end ought to have been prevented. Bath’s defence was out-manoeuvred, but it ought not to have been possible after the first try.”

“A Woodward earned golden opinions, and should score many tries for Bath.”

(Bath Chronicle comment 17/1/1920)

Bath had several absentees on County duty.

 

17/1/1920

v Bridgwater: Home. Drawn 3-3. C Whittaker, PP Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson,

L T Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, F Russell, E Hodges, L J Richardson, G C Lock, J Pope, G Wilkins, C E Carruthers and W H Sheppard.

H S Gregory could not be considered for selection as he was taking part in a boxing bout that evening.

“Mr. Ford’s decision in the Bath match last week when he pulled up Joe Richardson when he was all over a scorer, has been generally criticised. There is no question that the referee blundered. It was hard lines on Bath, and also on Richardson, who has developed into a magnificent forward. He certainly was not offside.”

 

24/1/1920

v Bristol, Away. Won 19-9. Team:- F J Appleby, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L T Burt, L V Burt, R West, F Russell, L J Richardson, G C Lock, E Hodges, G Wilkins, C E Carruthers, H S Gregory, W H Sheppard.

“Bath’s triumph was so emphatic because their defence was as sound as their attack was brilliant. All four three-quarters obtained tries. It would be interesting to recall the last match in which this happened. And they were all clever tries-no flukes, no snips.”

“What gave greatest pleasure at Bristol was the manner in which the Bath halves made good. If Wring thought he had a snip ion front of him he was sadly mistaken. Reg West used his head, and made a beautiful opening when Woodward scored”

 

31/1/1920

v Llanelly, Away. Lost 0-20. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L F Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, T Russell, E Hodges, G C Lock, L J Richardson, J Pope, C E Carruthers, H S Gregory and R S Chaddock.

“Though they could hardly sing “This is the end of a perfect day” with strict truth, the Bathonians were by no means dejected when they regained this city at 2a.m. last Sunday.”

“No one contemplated victory at far-off Llanelly; but few expected so heavy a reverse. Nor would it have been recorded but for unfortunate accidents and inexplicable falling away in defensive strength.

Honestly you would not have thought it was the same three-quarter line that applied the closure so resolutely at Bristol a week earlier.

Of course, there is the alternative that the opposing quartet was cleverer, faster, and altogether more difficult to stop.

And this was the case in measure, but not to such an extent to account for the difference between a ten points win and a twenty points defeat.”

“What made Bath so impotent was the absolute failure of their forwards to heel out-once in a dozen scrums was as often as they controlled the leather.”

 

7/2/1920

v Pontypool. Home. Won. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L F Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, F Russell, E Hodges, G C Lock, S Gregory, C E Carruthers, L J Richardson, G Wilkins, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard. (Selected from). “Bath’s splendid win over Pontypool greatly pleased everyone connected with the home club. May we see many more such glorious tries as that served up on the Rec. by Considine, F Burt, and Harry Richardson.”

“Cannot more attention to place kicking be paid by the Bath team, It is not very difficult art if sufficiently practised.”

 

14/2/1920

v Exeter. A Won 19-3.(2g,3t-1t) Team: C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L F Burt, L V Burt, S G U Considine, F Russell, E Hodges, S Gregory, C E Carruthers, G C Lock, G Wilkins, L J Richardson, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard.

“Using his head, as well as his hands and legs, Considine did a clever thing when he kicked from near the left touch line to the right wing, and gave P P Hope the chance from which he scored.” Only two of Bath’s five tries were converted, and it again highlighted the need for a specialist kicker: “But what is more important still is that the forwards should be practised in proper scrum formation and clean heeling.”

 

21/2/1920

v Abertillery. Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- W Lewis, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L F Burt, L V Burt, S G U Considine, F Russell, E Hodges, S Gregory, L J Richardson, C E Carruthers, G C Lock, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard.

Full-back, Whittaker, had sprained his ankle at Exeter, and so, Major Wally Lewis stepped in as custodian. Harry Shewring, the old English International, refereed the game.

Lawrence Burt was taken to the Royal United Hospital, with a suspected fractured tibia of the right leg. It later transpired that he had wrenched cartilage.

 

28/2/1920

v Bridgwater. Away. Lost 8-14. Team:- W Lewis, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, S Fisher, L V Burt, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, C G Lock, S Gregory, G Wilkins, R S Chaddock, S J Richardson and W H Sheppard.

“It does not take long to explain Bath’s reverse at Bridgwater, where the home club’s forwards did the trick. They had been “waiting” for Bath and every ounce of their abnormal weight, every bit of vigour, all their brawn and sinew, were brought into play. Considering that the visiting forwards were smaller and lighter than their opponents they made a great fight. It was only in the last stages of the game that Bridgwater wiped out the arrears against them, and put on winning points. The tit-bit of the match was P Hope’s try. It was a replica of the grand effort which aroused the enthusiasm of the Leicester spectators in September.”

“I should think nearly half the population of the town was on the ground, it was a mighty throng.”

“I could not help admiring the fierce, headlong, united rushes of the “Brickies.” They meant to win by sheer physical force, and they did it.”

 

4/3/1920 (Weds.)

v Burnham, Away. Won 26-3. Team:- Bailey, Hope, H Richardson, E Anderson, R Richardson, Considine, Burt, Jones, J Richardson, Baker, Clifford, Gregory, Chaddock, Wilkins, and Lock. Burnham starting with only 13 men, had only twice previously been beaten on their own ground.

Tries:- Anderson (3), Richardson, Considine, and Hope. Lock converted two. Drop goal Considine

“Play had been very keen and even, but Bath were superior in combination and weight.”

6/3/1920 v Stroud: Home. Won 18-0. W Lewis, P P Hope, H Richardson, A Woodward, L V Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, C G Lock, H S Gregory, G Wilkins, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard.

 

13/3/1920

v Cheltenham, Away. Lost 5-7. Team:- W Lewis, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, A Anderson, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, L J Richardson, F Russell, C G Lock, H Gregory, C E Carruthers, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard.

CHELTENHAM OUT

CHRONICLE COMMENT: “a Cheltenham reporter spoke of the ‘roughing’ in the game. Well, he was a faithful chronicler, and he might have made his remarks more pointed. The players at the Garden Town are incited to a style of play by the most ferocious crowd I’ve ever struck.

How does ‘Break their necks’ sound when shouted from the grand stand?

To cut matters short I may say that Bath are not going to be candidates for this sort of thing any more; so exit Cheltenham from the 1920-21 programme.”

 

18/3/1920

West of England v South Wales. Memorial Match in Aid of the Walwin Fund.

A representative side from South Wales played a West of England XV.

The Welsh side included a number of internationals.

West of England XV:- C Whittaker (Bath), A Hudson (Gloucester), L J Corbett (Bristol), F M Arkle (Bristol), P P Hope (Bath), J Humphries (Gloucester), S G U Considine (Bath), A Spriggs, W Fowler and J Read (Bridgwater), P J Williams and S T Tucker (Bristol), F Webb and F Ayliffe (Goloucester0 and L J Richardson (Bath).

South Wales:- E Owen (Crumlin, E Kelleher (Cardiff), S Jones (Cross Keys), Giles (Abertillery), T R Benson (Cross Keys), Jack Wetter* (Newport), A Brown (Cross Keys), S Winmill* (Cross Keys), S Morris* (Cross Keys), W Morris* (Abertillery), J Williams* (Blaina), G Oliver (Pontypool), L Richards and L Blakemore (Monmouthshire) and another. * Denotes this year’s Welsh Internationals.

West of England 13pts, South Wales 8pts.

Referee:- George Romans (Gloucester)

Staging costs were defrayed by the Bath club, and in true sporting spirit, the West of England players, or their Clubs, covered any personal out of pocket expenses. The whole of the Grandstand was reserved, for ‘all-pay’ availability.

Mr. S M J Woods comment: “The game was splendidly played and it was the best football I have seen for many years. The West forwards beat the Welsh, and therefore gave the halves many more chances, and so Humphries (the scrum half) and Considine quite held their own against the Welsh internationals.” It was remarkable that no England Selectors attended.

“Yes it was a lovely game and a splendid gate.” (£250)

“How everyone enjoyed the excellence of Thursday’s game! It is true I have met a few discontented critics, but they are in an infinitesimal minority and the sort of folk whom noting on earth will satisfy.”

TWO TRIPS FOR ONE MATCH?

“Mr. S M J Woods expressed his delight at the game in no grudging manner, and I am glad he found it so entertaining, as he had made two journeys to Bath for it!

How’s that? Well, he got the impression when Bath were in Burnham that the game was on the 11th, and duly travelled here to find ‘nothing doing.'”

 

20/3/1920

v Bristol, Home. Lost 6-8. Team:- C Whittaker, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L V Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, H Gregory, C G Lock, C E Carruthers, R S Chaddock and W H Sheppard.

All previous figures for this local derby were exceeded. Bath were unlucky to lose by a slender margin, as Woodward’s long range drop at goal, missed by so very few inches. Bath were fortunate that Len Corbett was not in his best form.

 

27/3/1920

v Gloucester Lost 6-16. Team:- J Russell, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L V Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, C E Carruthers, H Gregory, R S Chaddock, W H Sheppard and E C Lock. Whittaker was rested as his leg was far from sound, after a run of hard games. Three more of the visiting contingent were barely fit, and in the circumstances, Bath put in a fine game.

“Bath suffered from Whittaker’s absence, for, though J Russell effected several daring and fine clearances, he could not judge the flight of the ball in the gusty wind, and failed to catch the leather at critical junctures. Woodward and Considine were the outstanding men in the back division. The former proved himself an opportunist of high order, scoring one clever individual try and leading up to another by Considine. In the loose Bath’s forwards were decidedly superior to the famous Gloucester pack, but could not heel so often as the winner’s eight Still, Vowles got the ball occasionally and when the Bath threes handled their passing was far better than Gloucester’s, while man for man they were decidedly speedier. Hope, Harry Richardson and Vowles were the partially crocked men, who would have stood down but for the desire to do well at Gloucester.”

“Though defeated, Bath felt they had done creditably – of this there is no question.”

[Extract – “PLAY UP BATH”]

There was comment that Bath players should not question a referee’s decision. Gloucester’s Humphries try was hotly disputed. The Referee remarked: “If you say it was no try I’ll show you that it was” and he promptly decided in Gloucester’s favour!

The try count was four to Gloucester and two to Bath.

 

3/4/1920

v Blaina. Home. Won. Team to be selected from:- Whittaker, Russell, Lewis, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L V Burt, A E Anderson, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, C G Lock, H Gregory, E C Carruthers, W H Sheppard, R S Chaddock, G Wilkins, H Westlake, E Hodges and H Loader.

 

5/4/1920 (Monday)

v London Irish. Home Won 37-8. Team:- J Russell, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, G H Walker, H Vowles, S G U Considine, L J Richardson, F Russell, H Gregory, R S Chaddock, F Cashnella, E Hodges, H W H Considine and H Loader.

Bath dominated with a brilliant exhibition of open rugby. Towards the finish, both Walker and Gregory were off the field, and still Bath continued to add points.

Woodward opened the home scoring within five minutes with a beautifully taken drop goal. Hope was over with a try a few minutes later, and scored once again after smart work by S G U Considine. Chaddock added the next try for a half time tally of 13pts –5pts.

In the second spell, Walker opened with a try, which was converted by Vowles – then Walker added another. S G U Considine scored a try which J Richardson converted. Bath were now playing two short, but Hope was in again for an unconverted try, then it was J Richardson’s turn for Hodges to convert. The final try was added by S G U Considine.

 

6/4/1920 (Tuesday)

v Leicester, Home. Won 16-8. Team:- L V Burt, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, H G Walker, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, C Lock, L J Richardson, F Russell, J Carruthers, W H Sheppard, E J Hodges, and S Chaddock.

In front of a large holiday crowd, Bath had the better of the opening exchanges, but it was Leicester’s Norman Coates who opened the scoring with a converted try. Bath’s Hope responded with a typical barnstorming try in the corner. Then Woodward added a lovely drop goal. (7-5). Haslemere was left clear and Leicester were over.(7-8) Bath forwards then figured in a promising rush, but the ball went into touch in goal.

Early in the second spell Woodward took a nasty knock while attempting a mark, and had to leave the field for a spell.

“The game was contested at as fierce a pace as ever, and at length the Bath forwards had the reward they richly deserved. They came from their own half in a glorious dribble, and Lock won a great race, planting under the posts.”

Hope converted. (12-8) Then Woodward clinched the game with another drop gaol and Bath were worthy winners.

 

10/4/1920

v Paignton, Away. Won 9-3. Team: E Appleby, R Richardson, H Richardson, Murray Sherriff, A Woodward, F Russell (Capt.), J Russell, E Hodges, G C Lock, L J Richardson, S Gregory, G Wilkins, C E Carruthers, A Ford and W H Sheppard.

A WEARYSOME JOURNEY

“The break at Newton Abbot for luncheon on the journey to the seaside was much appreciated but it was not so nice afterwards to find the train at Paignton so full up that the only way to reach the destination was to get into the guard’s van.

Mr. Frost of Plymouth, who was the referee last Saturday, enforces the new idea that when the ball is thrown in from touch it must go over the head of the forward nearest the line.

Because Harry Vowles did not do this in the first Line-out at Paignton he whistled and gave the ball to the home scrum worker.

The decision aroused much discussion, but there is little doubt about it being a good idea.”

 

15/4/1920

v Hammett’s XV, Home, Kick-off 5pm. Lost 0-17. Bath team:- L V Burt,P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, A E Anderson, S G U Considine, H Vowles, W H Royal, L J Richardson, F Russell, H Loader, C Lock, W H Sheppard and G Wilkins. (Bath played one man short)

Hammett’s XV. Selected side:-Fred Birt (Wales), H E R Thompson, Tom Jones, E Hammett (England), A E J Holland (Newport), Tommy Vile (Wales), J Wetter (Wales), Percy Jones (Wales), Neil Macpherson (Scotland), George Boots (Wales), Len Attewell, S Skuse, R Wagstaffe, S Roberts and S Carr. Rain quite spoilt this game and the players could scarcely keep their footing in the mud. However, the Welshmen overcame the conditions splendidly, and: “their readiness to attack was a revelation.”

“Bath were outplayed but kept doggedly at it and had a good deal of the game, the forwards rushing and dribbling splendidly. They deserved to score. The backs all played manfully under the circumstances, Woodward, Vowles, and Considine being most noticeable, the latter especially for his superb tackling which was a lesson to his colleagues. The game was interesting though one-sided. Hammett, whose work all through was at the top of his form, opened the scoring with a lovely dropped goal, and tries were scored by Holland, Thompson, and Percy Jones, Vile converting two.”

 

17/4/1920

v Burnham, Home. Won 24-0. Team:- J Russell, L V Burt, H Richardson, Ad, P P Hope, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, H Gregory, R S Chaddock, W H Sheppard, G Wilkins and E Hodges.

21/4/1920 v Torquay Home: J Russell, L V Burt, H Richardson, A Woodward, P P Hope, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, H Gregory, R S Chaddock, W H Sheppard, G Wilkins and E Hodges.

A SENSATIONAL ENDING

24/4/1920

v London Welsh. Home Won 18-0. J Russell, P P Hope, A Woodward, H Richardson, L V Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, R Chaddock, W H Sheppard, C E Carruthers, G Wilkins and E Hodges.

The Times 26/4/1920: “The match between Bath and London Welsh at Bath on Saturday was not finished. Mr. Hancock who refereed the match, had to speak to the London Welsh team about their rough play, and later ordered Williams, one of the London Welsh fifteen, off the field. The London Welsh captain then led his team off the field. Comment is unnecessary. Bath were leading by 18 points to none when this incident, luckily rare in Rugby Football, occurred.”

A letter to Chronicle Editor from A.M. Davies, Team Secretary, clarified the position. Williams had been dismissed: “Then, on restarting, Bath got a try through Richardson, and while waiting for the goal kick, Michael, the visitors’ captain passed some remark which the referee overheard, and promptly ordered him off. There was some discussion between the referee and Michael, and the Welshman then left the field. It came as a great surprise to the large crowd present, who appeared to know little of the why or wherefore of either of the incidents for, I believe, like myself, they had seen little amiss”

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