W.J.GIBBS 20 G.WOODWARD 1, S.G.U.CONSIDINE 8 H.J.COMM 1, R.S.CHADDOCK 7 L.W.HUMPHRIES 1, L.H.SCOTT 6 L.T.SEAL 1, J.B.HANNAH 6 C.MANNINGS 1, A.E.ANDERSON 3 R.BANKS 1, T.ROSE 3 P.L.CHAPMAN 1, L.S.SNAITH 3 W.H.SHEPPARD 1, C.E.CARRUTHERS 2 L.W.BISGROVE 1
L.J.RICHARDSON 2 F.W.ROBERTS 1, F.A.MEINE 2, F.RHYMES 2, J.P.RIDGE 2, H.VOWLES 2
G.WOODWARD 16 S.G.U.CONSIDINE 1, H.J.COMM 6
G.WOODWARD 2 S.G.U.CONSIDINE 1, T.LLOYD 2 H.J.COMM 1
Highest Scorers:- W.J.Gibbs 60 points.
G.Woodward 49 points.
In Championship games (Somerset defeated in semi-final):-
C. Mannings 4
S.G.U.Considine 2 (Illness made him not available for other two)
G. Woodward 1
Non Championship game v Middlesex:-
Training to commence at Somerset Boys Home ground, Brougham Hayes, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Bath Extras XV was soon to be formed. Their fixture card indicated the playing area as:
“Playing Field – field opposite Carradale. Changing Quarters – Church Army Hut at rear of the Hadley Arms.”
‘Facilities,’ included zinc baths, which were soon saturated with Combe Down’s particular blend of coffee-coloured mud.
v Leicester, Away (Jungleland*). Lost 3-6. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, H Richardson, Anderson, G Woodward, H Slade, H Vowles, Tommy Lloyd (Combe Down), N J Blake, L J Richardson, C Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, J Dobson, C E Carruthers. Attendance 7000.
At the interval, the Tigers led with two penalty goals. Bath backs had few opportunities, then: “Bath attacked hotly, and scored a beauty through Gibbs in the corner, after all the backs had handled beautifully. Woodward failed.” It was felt that Bath had made a reasonable start to the season. Every Bath man had played well and their backs were potentially better. The slippery ball had hindered the handling game. Arguably, Bath hardly deserved to lose, as they kept their line intact, and broke down the Leicester defence for their try.
“Mercier, in the “Athletic News,” says: “Bath, so it seemed to me, aimed at being too clever too early, and against too strong an opposition. They had the same failing as a cricketer or a tennis player, who tries to hit before his eye is in.”
An Official Match Programme produced and circulated by the Committee of the Bath Football Club was produced at 2d a copy from this first home match.
PROGRAMME NOTES: After the encouraging reception of the official programme last season the production on similar lines for the ensuing season is felt to be justified. It is necessary to state, however, that the Bath Club Committee is now responsible for the publication.”
The Supporters had originally produced a match programme on the 22nd September 1922
v Aberavon, Home. Lost 3-4. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Slade, H Richardson, Anderson, Woodward, Vowles, Considine, Chaddock, L J Richardson, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Dobson, Carruthers. There was an attendance of around 4000 in very hot weather. The Bath City Band entertained the crowd, with their rendition of “Yes we have no Bananas,” and the “Beauty of Bath.”
“There was one change in Bath’s selected side; Tommy Lloyd, who did so well at Leicester was unfortunately unable to play through an injured ankle, so Harry Slade, who also did well in
Jungleland *, came in.”
It was well into the second half before Bryn Phillips dropped a goal for the ‘Wizards.’ Both Vowles and Considine initiated promising runs, but were unable to break through. Then: “Mannings started another great rush. This time Williams could not clear, and Gibbs scored in the corner. Woodward just failed to goal with a very difficult kick.”
“The pace was killing and the excitement intense, for Bath were putting in their usual last quarter of an hour spurt.” “Despite the heat the players stuck it admirably.”
Bath again kept their own line clear and scored the only try. They were beaten by the four point drop goal. S G U Considine was in dazzling form; he was studying for his Law exams in London, but was expecting to play in Bath’s major games.
The players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for Mr. G A. Roberts, who had held the office of Honorary Treasurer since 1902. At that time, the teams changed in the cricket pavilion.
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 8-18. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Chaddock, H Richardson, Anderson, G Woodward, Vowles, Considine, Flt.Lt. Rose (R.A.F.), L J Richardson, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Dobson, Carruthers. Referee:- Mr. Barry of Cardiff.
Gloucester’s Millington kicked a ‘cushy’ penalty within three minutes of the kick-off. Collier bagged a try and Millington added the extras. Bath were 0-8 down by half-time. Bath had only threatened the Gloucester line on one occasion. Within three minutes of the restart, Gloucester piled on the pressure and Millington scored a great try. (0-11) Play was taken to the Bath 25, and Voyce dropped a splendid goal, followed by a penalty from Millington. Bath revived in the last ten minutes and Gibbs scored a good try, which Woodward converted. In the dying minutes Considine went over for an unconverted try.
HARRY RICHARDSON INJURED
“Bath played with only 14 men from within 10 minutes from the start.
The visitors crossed the Gloucester line twice, as Gloucester crossed ours twice, Gloucester winning by the two penalty goals. (plus the drop goal!)
It was not a brilliant game. Too many free kicks.”
v United Services, Away. Won 5-0. Team:- Comm, A Harding (Cheltenham), T Lloyd, Woodward, Anderson, Rhymes, Considine, Chaddock, L J Richardson, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Dobson, Carruthers, and Lieut. T Rose (R.A.F.).
CONSI ‘JUMPS’ THE FULL BACK.
A sparse crowd in heavy rain. “…..Considine got a beautiful try, after a great run, jumping the full back, after receiving from Sheppard. Woodward kicked a beautiful goal, so Bath were 5 points up.”
Both teams enjoyed the game, and it was particularly pleasing to beat the Services on their own ground.
The servicemen’s side had the better of outside play, but it was Bath’s heroic tackling that kept them out. Another feature of Bath’s play was the splendid dribbling by the forwards. Sheppard, Joe Richardson and Bisgrove were particularly prominent in this phase of play.
Considine’s jump was reportedly of Olympian proportions: “He must have been 5ft. in the air!”
Tommy Rose was an R.A.F. flyer, stationed on Salisbury Plain. He played almost any where in the forwards, 30 times in all. “Rose was a good footballer, and a good sport, and one of the best fellows who ever wore a Bath jersey.”
v Pontypool, Home. Won 12-11. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Woodward, Flt-Sergt. Snaith * (R.A.F.), Anderson, Rhymes, Lloyd, Chaddock, L J Richardson, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Dobson, Carruthers (Capt.), Lieut. T Rose.
Pontypool were very strong at forward and South scored from a line out, with Ford converting. Then it was Bath’s Carruthers after picking up a loose ball. Next it was Joe Richardson who touched down with the ball almost on the dead ball line. Woodward converted. Within a minute Joe William’s try had levelled for Pontypool at 8-8, and Richards scored wide out to put Pontypool ahead.
“Then Bath’s forwards led a capital dribble and touch was reached near the scoring line. There was a long throw out and the ball got to Tommy Lloyd who dropped a wonderful goal, so Bath were a point up (12-11).” “There was a great shout when the final whistle went with Bath winners by a single point.” * Later Flying-Officer Snaith, taking part in the Schneider Trophy Race.
v Newton Abbot, Away. Lost 0-11. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, H Wilkinson, E Mortimer, G Parfitt, Rhymes, G Woodward, Chaddock, P Chapman, Mannings, T E Wall, Seal, H Jones, Carruthers, Morley. Attendance 2000. In fine weather, open play was the order of the day. Bath found themselves one try down at half time, and were resolved to do better in the second spell. They started encouragingly enough, with a fine run by Gibbs, but forward rushes brought play back into the Bath half. They soon yielded another try by winger Hugo and the Devon side continued to have the best of the play.
”A wonderful round of passing by Newton ended in a try by Facey, Taylor goaled from the touch line. Bath were well beaten.”
v Plymouth Albion, Away. Lost 3-10. Team:- H J Comm, Sergt. Snaith, G Woodward, Tom Lloyd, A E Anderson, S Rhymes, H Vowles, Chaddock, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, Jones (St. Stephen’s), C E Carruthers, T Rose.
Pinning their faith in the forwards, Bath travelled with a weakened back division, with Vowles obliged to fill the outside half position. Things did not auger well, when Vowles was unable to grasp Rhymes first pass. However, their partnership improved as the forwards heeled cleanly. “Vowles did great things in a’ smart punt and follow up.” Nevertheless it was Plymouth’s Glanville who scored the first try, converted by Hanley. Bath countered hotly, and Vowles was inches wide with a drop goal attempt. Bath were now winning the forward tussle, but the backs were unable to penetrate stout defence. Then Bert Anderson missed a tackle allowing Wood to touch down, and Harley to convert. (Half-time 0-10)
In the second half, Bath got a consolation try through Snaith. Bath did not deserve to lose by a seven points margin. Despite the absence of Considine, the Bath backs played well throughout. Tom Lloyd carried a leg injury for most of the second half.
v Torquay Athletic, Away. Lost 4-9. Team:- T Lloyd, Sergt. Snaith, H J Comm, G Nudds, G Parfitt, G Woodward, H Rhymes, H Vowles, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C Mannings, T Wall, A Seal, R White, and C E Carruthers. Bath played towards the sea. This time Vowles and Rhymes combined well in the early stages, but the visitors were soon 3 points down with Middleton’s penalty goal. Bath then attacked strongly and Tommy Lloyd kicked a fine long range drop goal. Later, Torquay responded with two unconverted tries. Thus ended the Devon Tour. It seemed a pity that the Bath selections had not been truly representative.
“Harry Vowles deserves a word of praise and showed his great interest in his club in a very marked degree. He travelled down on Friday, came back on Sunday, got Nudds and Reg White, and was down with them at Torquay on Monday when we arrived there.”
v St Thomas Hospital, Home. Won 26-6. Team:- H J Comm, A E Anderson, L Snaith, G Woodward, F A Meine, S Rhymes, H Vowles, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, A Seal, C E Carruthers, Lieut. T Rose. Attendance 3000, including the Somerset County Committee. The Medics did well in the early scrums and were the first to score when Gibbons received an inside pass and ran in from half-way. This was quickly followed with a run by Cooper: “Snaith brought him down, but he got up again and went over with the Hospital’s second try.”
“Bath were not excelling.” At last, Meine had a good run, ending with George Woodward dropping a goal. Rose was next to score after Bisgrove’s dribble, and Woodward converted. (Half-time 9-6)
Bath improved from the re-start, tries flowing from Anderson (2), Chaddock, Woodward and Rose. Woodward converted Chaddock’s try.
“The Medicos, of course, are not a great side, but they played more attractive Rugby than some great sides have done in Bath, and the spectators were pleased – not only because Bath won, but because, after all, the “Game’s the thing.”
v Cross Keys., Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, F A Meine, G Woodward, A E Anderson, H Vowles, T Lloyd, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, A Morley, C E Carruthers, Lieut. T Rose.
Tip up seats established in the reserved portion of the stand. The Welsh side healed smartly, for winger Benson to score in the corner. (Half-time 0-3)
“The Welshmen went off with a rush at the restart, and were almost in, but Richardson and Comm just cleared.
Then Woodward brought off a capital move and carried play to the Keys line. Meine crossed, but was brought back for touch. Gibbs then had a rare packet to get over, but touch again resulted. Chaddock took the ball splendidly from the line out and simply fell over with a great try.”
“Bath’s forwards had a tough job on, and carried it out well. Every one did his bit, so there (is) no need to individualise.”
Cross Keys played the better Rugby, but Bath deserved the draw – if only for their dogged determination.
v Bristol Varsity. Home. Won 18-6. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, L S Snaith, G Woodward, F A Meine, H Vowles, T Lloyd, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, P R Skinner, C E Carruthers, T Rose.
Bath try scorers:- Chaddock, Snaith, Gibbs, Comm, and Meine. Woodward missed all conversion attempts, but kicked a penalty. “It was not a very exciting affair.”
v Clifton., Away. Won 6-5. Team:- H J Comm, A E Anderson, T Lloyd, A L Neale, F A Meine, H Rhymes, L V Burt, R S Chaddock, P Chapman, L W Humphries, P R Skinner, L T Seal, J Dobson, C E Carruthers, A Morley. Bath had nine men on County duty. Bath tries from Bert Anderson and Dr. Meine. “Bath’s weakened team did well, but at no time of the game played good football.”
v Old Edwardians., Away. Won 3-0. Team:- H J Comm, L Snaith, Lieut. A L Neale, G Woodward, Dr. F A Meine, H Vowles, S G U Considine, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, P Chapman, L W Bisgrove, J Dobson, C E Carruthers, Lieut. T Rose.
Referee Browning (Gloucester)
“The Old Boys proved a greater obstacle to Bath than was expected.” “There was not a decent bit of outside play shown by Bath, who really never looked like scoring except by an individual effort.” The penalty count was 10 against Bath and 2 against the Old Boys.
“Considine’s great run and the keen tackling of the Old Boys were the chief features of a far from attractive game. Considine’s try was, I think, the finest he has ever scored for Bath. As the man in the street would say, “He was absolutely whacked when he got over the line.”
v London Welsh., Home. Won 19-3. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, L S Snaith, G Woodward, F A Meine, H Vowles, S G U Considine, R S Chaddock, L W Humphries, W H Sheppard, L J Richardson, L W Bisgrove, J Dobson, C E Carruthers, Lieut. T Rose.
Marquis scored for the visitors within three minutes of the start. Bath pressed hotly, and Considine initiated a number of attacks. Then Carruthers led a great rush to the opponents’ 25, where Considine picked up for a neat drop goal. (Half-time 4-3)
Bath second half tries from:- Rose, Gibbs and Considine. Woodward 3 conversions.
The Match Programme prize was to be a tin of cigarettes, and sales went well. The task was to find a deliberate error in one of them. “No one found the printer’s error in the programme. The one which will carry the prize has been sold, so have another look through yours.”
v Bristol University, at Combe Dingle. Won 6-0. Team:- H J Comm, J B Hannah, L S Snaith, G Woodward, L V Burt, P Rhymes, G Nudds, R S Chaddock, P Chapman, L W Humphries,
G E Blake, J Russell, J Dobson, C E Carruthers, A Morley. Hannah scored both Bath tries.
v Richmond., Away. Won 11-5. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, J T Webster, L Snaith, F A Meine, H Rhymes, S G U Considine, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, G Woodward, C E Carruthers, T Rose.
“The Bath outside half got in another clever run, but perhaps tried too much on his own, but Bath got a great try just after. All the locals handled except Meine, and Gibbs received near the half way. He put on great pace rounded Palmer and Middleton and scored a great try, which Woodward could not convert.”
“Considine found touch well in the Richmond territory, but the unexpected happened. Richmond got the ball back, and Dodgson cut clean through between Webster and Snaith. When he reached Comm he kicked over his head, and following up, scored behind the posts for Middleton to goal.”
“Bath attacked hotly.” “Considine managed it again. He picked up a cross kick near half way and running through a host, scored behind the posts, another great try.”
Near the finish, Gibbs ran in from half way, beating both Palmer and Middleton. Woodward goaled.
“Considine’s tackling was remarkable. He got each of the wing men in turn in great style. Another feature of his play was his screw kicking. Time after time he got out of an awkward position with a screw punt to touch. His try fairly beat the Richmond side, and personally I should think they are still wondering however he did it.
Another who made a name for himself in London was Bert Comm, and the Pressmen were continually remarking on his soundness
v Devon Services., Away. Won 16-6. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, F A Meine, L Snaith, J B Hannah, F Rhymes, H Vowles, R S Chaddock, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, G Woodward, C E Carruthers, L T Seal. ‘Services had three players away at the international trial at Coventry, and Bath’s S G U Considine was similarly committed.
“Bath scored a great try by Gibbs after beautiful passing. Rhymes, Vowles, Snaith and Meine handling in great style, and Gibbs fairly romped home. Woodward failed to convert.” Then Hannah passed to Carruthers, who bullocked over, and this time Woodward added extras.
“The fastest side ever seen on the ground” was a remark overheard in the Stand. The pace was “red hot” and the Rugby of a high order. Vowles had made some champion bursts, which eventually led to a try for Rhymes. In the second spell, Hannah got a great try, dodging his opposite number and the full back, to touch down under the posts. Woodward goaled. “The forwards were passing like threequarters. A splendid game was won by Bath.”
‘RUGBY FOOTBALL Vol. 1. No. 16. Dec.22, 1923: “The speed of this hefty pack, who have seven Somerset county men amongst them, is something astonishing, and what is more important is that they break away from the scrum very quickly and are always harassing the opposing defence. Their fine work led up to two of the four tries, and at times they ran the disorganised Services’ forwards off their feet.”
Gibbs on the right wing had a great game, very ably supported by Dr. Meine at right centre. Bath’s speed of attack stemmed from the speedy distribution provided by skipper, Harry Vowles, who was on top form.
v Old Blues., Home. Won 8-4. Team:- H J Comm, W J Gibbs, Dr. F A Meine, L Snaith, J B Hannah, S G U Considine, F Rhymes, H Vowles, H J B Wake, L J Richardson, C N Mannings, W H Sheppard, L W Bisgrove, C E Carruthers, Lieut. T Rose. Over 1000 match programmes sold.
Match was watched by Bath’s new M.P. Mr. F W Raffety, along with the Mayor and Mayoress.
Bath tries from Joe Richardson, converted by Considine, and W J Gibbs. (Amid tumultuous cheering) Old Blues score was a first half drop goal by centre, Bockett Pugh.
“……….a delightful one from beginning to end, the Old Blues throwing the ball about irrespective of whether they were attacking or defending.”
v Abertillery., Home. Won 6-3. Team:- Comm, Scott, S G U Considine, Snaith, Hannah, Rhymes, Vowles, H W H Considine, L J Richardson, Mannings, Chapman, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, and Wake. Bath were the better side all round and played a fine open game. ”Features of the play, were an excellent performance by Considine, smart handling and great pace shown by the Bath backs and an exceptionally fine performance by Comm the home full back. It was the pace of the Bath XV which told and Aber. Could not cope with it. Considine got both Bath tries-the first after a brilliant individual dribble from beyond halfway and the second after taking an inside pass from Scott who got in many fine runs on Bath’s right wing. Lewis kicked a penalty goal for Abertillery, and Considine crossed with what looked like the best try of the match, but the visiting touch judge brought him back for touch.” Joe Richardson tore a knee ligament in this match, and would be out for some weeks.
In true holiday spirit, there were to be two Match Programme prizes. His Worship the Mayor provided a Christmas Cake and another friend of the Club – a tin of cigarettes.
v Gloucester. Home. Won 12-5. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Considine, Snaith, Meine, Rhymes, Vowles, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, Wake.
The most enjoyable and significant win of the holiday games. Veterans, G Holford and F J Cashnella were the touch judges. Gibbs scored three minutes from the start, and just one minute later Chaddock went over after a clearance kick was charged down. Woodward added the extra points
“Gloucester had not yet had a look in……..” (Half time 8-0)
“A great touch finder by Considine was the first thing of note in the second half. When Bath’s passing broke down Millington dribbled through well but over-ran the ball. Gloucester continued to have more of the game than they had done in the first half. Scrumming was taking place almost on Bath’s line, and the home men had many narrow shaves.
Comm found touch near halfway with a great kick.
Hughes cut through well and covered a lot of ground before he gave to Millington. Then the unexpected happened, and Gibbs got a great try. Mannings picked up from a scrambled raced away. Consi, of course, was up and took his pass in great style and then gave to Gibbs. The wing man received just over halfway, and putting on great pace ran round behind, leaving everyone but Consi, who was up with him. Woodward failed with the kick. But within a minute Gloucester got a try after good passing, by Meadows, and Millington converted, so the score was 9-5.
Woodward followed up well again; Snaith helped, and then Considine got the ball at his feet, but dangerously near the touch line. He touched it inside, kept it in play and dribbled another fine try. He could not convert, however; he hit the left upright.”
Comm, S G U Considine, Snaith, Vowles, Rhymes, Mannings, Bisgrove, Carruthers and Wake played in all three holiday games.
v Pontypool., Away. Lost 4-12. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Considine, Woodward, Scott, Rhymes, Vowles, Seal, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Jones, Carruthers, Wake.
Bath continued to lose in Wales, and one observer reckoned that the last win had been 29 years previously at Penarth! (Mascot) : “ I remember drawing at Mountain Ash the season before the outbreak of war, when Vincent Coates was playing, and a good many will perhaps call to mind that a Bath XV once beat Newport Thursday at Newport.”
Described as a “strenuous” game, Bath fielded a weakened side, and counted themselves somewhat lucky, that there was only one minor injury, and that – a kick on the ankle for Harry Vowles.
The Bath backs found it difficult to hold out against sustained forward rushes, and showed some reluctance to go down on the ball in the face of repeated onslaughts. In the set piece, the visiting forwards heeled well enough, allowing the three-quarters some good handling moves in which Gibbs was prominent. It was fortunate that fullback Comm was in good form; he contributed Bath’s only score, with a nicely taken drop goal.
“Summing up the Ponty game, one might say : “With ordinary luck Bath might have won. Everything went Pontypool’s way, and if not a clever side they are a powerful one.”
v Richmond., Home. Drawn 6-6. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Snaith, Woodward, Scott, Rhymes, Vowles, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Wake, Carruthers, Rose.
Richmond, as always, promised good running Rugby, and they did not disappoint.
“The weather turned out delightfully fine and the turf was in good condition, although, perhaps on the soft side. Richmond arrived in Bath by the Spa Express at 1 o’clock, lunched at the Red House, and changed at the Royal Baths. They brought a good side, including three Public School boys, one each from Cheltenham, Sherborne and Eastbourne.”
From the start, there was a hectic ten minutes, with the visitors moving the ball about dangerously. Vowles saved the situation on two occasions. Then it was Vowles and Rhymes who broke into the visitor’s twenty-five, only for H W H Considine to take play back into the Bath half. Exciting play continued to be end to end, with Bath somewhat lucky to be level, with no score at half time.
Into the second spell, and Richmond had the first success, when Douglas sent in Napier for an unconverted try. Gibbs scored Bath’s first try :”Bath had heeled and Rhymes, Vowles, Woodward and Snaith handled. Snaith threw it at Gibbs feet, but W.J. picked up, ran round Palmer and Witham, to score in the corner.” There followed more pressure on the Bath line, but Vowles stopped Douglas with a splendid tackle. Then Bath’s wingman, Scott gathered well and scored in the corner. Finally, Richmond’s Burton levelled with the final try of an exciting encounter.
“There is no doubt, on the run of the play as to which was the better side. Richmond played delightful Rugby, clean, fast, hard and open, and the wonder is how Bath managed to stave off their repeated attacks.” (‘THE MASCOT’ – BATH CHRONICLE)
WELL DONE CARRUTHERS!
In the dying seconds of the game, Carruthers went off injured: “Carruthers was unfortunate. He sprained his ankle in the very last minute. His sister, however, Miss Nora Carruthers, was quite lucky. She was the proud possessor of the winning programme numbered 103, and so wins the cake presented by Mr. A.W.H. Taylor.”
v Clifton Home. Won 15-0. Team:- Comm, Scott, Snaith, Anderson, Hannah, Rhymes, Nudds, Chaddock, Chapman, Humphries, N Blake, Seal, Woodward, Skinner, Morley.
Clifton’s motto was “Dum Ludimus Ludamus” – “While we play, let us play.” Bath were considerably weakened by County calls, but the usual good spirited game with “The Club,” was anticipated.
Unfortunately it was a bleak, wet afternoon, and in consequence, there was a very poor crowd.
Bath tries from Snaith, Humphries, T B Hannah, Scott, and Rhymes. Oh for a goal kicker!
v Devon Services, Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Nudds, Anderson, Scott, Rhymes, Vowles, Chaddock, Humphries, Mannings, N Blake, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, Wake. Another small crowd in attendance, with heavy rain throughout and an extremely heavy pitch.
Services were the first in with a try from English International, Marine E. R. Gardner. In the second half, Chaddock scored for Bath, after a smart follow-up.
“The conditions prevailing beat everything, and so the result a draw is a true reflex of the game- for after what they went through neither side deserved to lose.”
v London Welsh, Home. Lost 0-6. Team:- H J Comm, Sergt. F Ridge (R.A.F.), J T Webster, Northway, Hannah, Rhymes, Nudds, Chaddock, W H Sheppard, Mannings, Sergt.Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, A E Jones.
Bath pack were in good form, with effective rushes from Bisgrove, Mannings and W H Sheppard. Comm cleared up the occasional loose ball. Bath were penalised for ‘feet up,’ and Marques kicked the Exciles ahead. “Trefor Davies and Rowe Harding showed good passing and running, but Bath’s tackling kept them out, though again the Welsh were attacking.” Gumbley secured their try after Nudds failed to gather. There was splendid tackling from Northway, Webster and Sergt. Ridge.
“The game was marred to a certain extent by the number of times the players were pulled up by the referee; it was a case of whistle, whistle, whistle.”
v Newport, Away. Lost 5-27. Team:- Comm, Scott, Sergt. Ridge, Anderson, Hannah, Rhymes, Nudds, Mills, Sergt. Sheppard , C Woodward, N Blake, Seal, G Woodward, Jones, Sergt.Boston. There were a number of injury cry-offs , to add to absentees on County commitments.
Therefore, Bath took a strange combination to Newport, including three locally stationed R.A.F.
sergeants. Attendance 2000.
“After sixteen minutes play Scott marked on his own 25. Wetter fielded the ball but fumbled it, Scott kicked it from him, dribbled right down the field, beat five of the homesters and flung himself on the ball for a glorious try. George Woodward kicked a great goal. Bath were thus five points up.
The light Bath pack were playing as though possessed. They stopped Newport’s rushes by great tackling.” However, Bath’s moment of glory was short lived, as Newport pressure was rewarded by a try under the posts. “……..the backs crumpled up dreadfully in the second half and their tackling was lamentably weak.” Six Newport tries and a penalty were to follow. Amazingly, none was converted.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Won 3-0. Team:- Comm, Scott, Ridge, Neale, Gordon, Rhymes, Vowles, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Seal, Wake.
The R.A.F. provided two centres and a wing, in Neale, Ridge and Gordon. The Londoners took the field at 3-10, having changed on the train. In the first half, Scott rounded his opposite number for a fine score in the corner. “Little need be said about such a game, and I’m afraid very few of the spectators really enjoyed it. Bath just won, and perhaps only just deserved it.”
Only Players and Committee were allowed into the Pavilion. Somehow, a little boy managed to wander in after the match. He caused much amusement, as he went up to a counter, where the Honorary Treasurer was counting up the match takings. The lad placed his penny on the counter, asking the Treasurer for: “A cup of tea please.”
v Aberavon, Away. Lost 3-14. Team:- Comm, R Banks (Tramways F.C.), Ridge, Northway, Anderson, Vowles, Nudds, Seal, Chapman, W F Coles (Trams F.C.), W H Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, J Sheppard.
“No one expected Bath to win at Port Talbot, and very few thought they would put up such a good show as they did. On Friday evening the team were four forwards short, and then Gibbs’s place had to be filled at the station.”
“Bath arrived at Port Talbot at 1.30. The weather was delightfully fine, but the ground did not look very inviting. It was decidedly bare in patches and had been covered with straw, which apparently had not done it much good. Where the sun had reached it it was sloppy, but in the shade it was on the hard side.” Splendid tackling kept Aberavon out for 25 minutes, then Bath succumbed to the first of 4 tries and a conversion.
“Young Banks led to a try by Bath with a fine kick after good passing. There was a good following up, Seal scoring in the corner, but Woodward could not convert.”
BATH CHRONICLE 23/2/1924
Report of the Richmond Club’s Dinner. Mr Waters replied to the toast of ‘The Rugby Union.’ He felt the game had degenerated in some respects; men lost their tempers and consequently there was far too much rough and shady play. Mr. Walters pointed out that it was up to referees to exterminate the canker by sending the culprits off the field: “Rugby football is a game for sportsmen, said he, and ninety-nine and threequarters per cent of those who play it are sportsmen. Why should we tolerate the other quarter?” (THE MASCOT)
v R.A.F., Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Sergt. Snaith, Northway, Considine, Vowles, Nudds, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, N Blake, Rose.
Honours even in a “Sparkling Game.” Bath welcomed back S G U Considine, absent from the Bath ranks since 29th December. It was not long before he: “made a great effort to get away in a capital run. When faced by Stephens, he turned inside, and then could not get clear. It was one of Considine’s old runs, and probably had he gone round instead of turning in, he would have got there.”
Sheppard got away with a fine dribble and Comm figured well in the kicking exchange. At the restart, Bath obtained two heels in quick succession. At the second attempt Vowles moved the ball swiftly and Snaith made a break through, but was downed. “Then Bath got a try which must be called Vowles’s although he did not get it. He stole round the blind side of a scrum and giving Chaddock a short pass, the forward scored in the corner. Woodward failed with a difficult kick.” Almost immediately, Isaac scored for the servicemen after a forward rush. Bath attacked in the final stages of the game; Comm missed with a drop goal attempt and Considine was just short of scoring. The draw was a fair result.
v Plymouth Albion, Home. Lost 0-3. Team:- Comm, Houghton, Ridge, Holbrook, Hannah, Symes, Nudds, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Wackett, Brown, J Sheppard, Jones, Rose.
v Llanelli, Away. Lost 3-11. Team:- Comm, Banks, Anderson, Northway, Symes, Nudds, G B Williams (Llanelly), Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Seal, J Sheppard, Carruthers, Bill Messer*.
* Bill Messer, from the Walcot Club, had first played against Llanelly in 1912.
“It was only fitting that Bath should be in Wales to-day, for the land of the leek kept high Festival on their national day, the feast of St. David – Patron of the Principality. Bath always enjoy their visits to Llanelly, alias the ‘Sospans’ or ‘Scarlet Runners,’ for this team always play a keen hard game of the open type and the crowds are very fair indeed to visitors.”
Llanelly fielded four internationals in Jenkins, Dai John, Elwyn Evans and Ivor Jones. Bath were 3-0 up at half time after Mannings scored from a forward rush. Seal and Symes figured in a fine break away, just before the change around.
In the second spell, the ‘Scarlets’ played some spectacular rugby, serving up a goal and two tries, to the obvious delight of some 5000 spectators.
v St. Bart’s Hospital, Home. Lost 8-13. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Ridge, Northway, Hannah, Vowles, Nudds, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, Wake.
Within three minutes, Gibbs managed to scramble over for a try in the corner, which Woodward could not convert. Soon after, Gibbs was again in scoring action, and ran behind the posts. Woodward added the extras and Bath were 8 points up. As with the previous Saturday – Bath’s half time score was their final success. The visitors however, had played fine rugby and a first half try reduced the deficit. Bart’s great running and clean handling established ascendancy in the second spell, and the final tally was 2 goals and a try to the students and 1 goal and a try to Bath. “They were a better side and thoroughly deserved to win.”
v Bristol, Away. Lost 0-6. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Ridge, Northway, Chaddock, Rhymes, Vowles, Wake, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Carruthers, Rose.
Both City Mayors and their consorts, arrived with all pomp and ceremony replete with civic coach and horses. In plebian contrast, the rail excursion from Bath Spa to Ashley Down had been well patronised and there assembled, in perfect weather, a large gathering of the good people of Bath and Bristol.
Both teams were weakened by injury and non-availability.
L Sheppard started for the visitors, and Bath more than held their own. Gibbs just failed with two touchline runs. However, it was Bristol’s Stinchcombe who scored the first try on the quarter hour. So it stayed through half time. The second half saw attack and counter attack, with excellent tackles from both sides.
“Bath were attacking hotly but the passing broke down and Stinchcombe racing away with only Comm to beat. The Bath fullback brought him down.
Gibbs had a fine chance to get clear after Ridge had done very well, but the Bath winger was limping dreadfully.
Stinchcombe had a good try in the last minutes of the game. Pickles failed to convert.”
In scoring two tries, Bristol deserved their win, but it was unfortunate that Bath’s fine performance yielded no reward. Bath were comparatively weak at centre threequarter. Gibbs was by far the most dangerous player, but Bristol were able to shepherd him towards the touchline. In the latter stages he fell lame, and so the visitors’ main point of attack was blunted.
Sheppard, Wake, Chapman and Woodward were prominent in the Bath forwards.
v Blackheath, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- Comm, Scott, Ridge, Snaith, Hannah, Vowles, Banks, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Ealand, Bisgrove, Woodward, Seal, Rose.
Considering the glorious weather, the crowd was rather meagre. It is probable that a bus and tram men’s strike accounted for this. Blackheath scored a try within eight minutes.
“Banks did well with a very fine touch kick, and Vowles and Mannings were often in the picture. Snaith and Seal followed up a high kick well, and Collett was in difficulties, but managed to clear.”
Then Banks scored after a fine break away by Mannings.
“The play came to Bath’s 25, but the home forwards were doing well. Then Wynne got a try which should not have been given, for he was in touch and the Bath touch judge gave touch, but the referee overruled him- a very bad decision, as London pressmen remarked.”
Just on half time Blake dribbled through for Blackheath’s Kemp to score a third try. There was no score in the second spell.
v United Services, Home. Won 20-6. Team:- Comm, J B Hannah, T Houghton, E G Northway, F Ridge, Rhymes, Banks, Chaddock, Chapman, N Blake, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Woodward, Seal, Wake.
Both sides were well below strength. For the Services: “W J A Davies, of course, was the life and soul of their side, and besides his great try, he brought off some wonderful kicking, and served his threequarters with the ball in delightful fashion.”
Bath scorers:- Woodward Penalty. Tries by Ridge, and Hannah (2). Woodward 2 Conversions and finally: “Woodward had his kicking boots on to-day and no doubt about it, for when Bath heeled, Rhymes, Banks and Woodward handled, and the last-named dropped a capital goal, bringing Bath’s points up to 20.”
“The Rhymes and Banks combination worked very well indeed, and Northway played quite a good game, while Hannah and Ridge were two good wings.”
A Bath side beat the Rest of Bath by the small margin of a goal scored by Wall and converted by Woodward.
Bath XV:- Comm, Bence, Chapman, Woodward, Ridge, Dixon, Wall, Chaddock, Carruthers, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Seal and Banyard.
Rest of Bath XV:- I Fale (Combe Down), Slade (Trams), Sam Bailey (Bathwick), S Houghton (Combe Down), W Bishop and W Latham (Walcot O.B.’s), R Banks (Trams), H S Baker (Y.M.C.A.), Lieut. Lace (Combe Down), W Messer (Walcot), C Ford (Trams), W Cowley (Wessex), G Francis (Avon Vale), J Pitt (St. Stephens) and H Benney (Bathamton).
Bath Boys v Bristol Boys Selection:-
Merrett (Weymouth House), Davis (West Central), Shrimpton (Somerset Boys Home), Hancock (Weymouth House), F R Rose * (Oldfield), Slade (S.B.H.), Wright (Walcot Senior), Swann, Clarke, Saunders (S.B.H.), Croft (Weymouth House) and Kemp (Oldfield). Reserves:- Bailey ( West Central) and Godley (Weymouth House). *Rose-Schoolboy International.
v Cross Keys, Away. Lost 8-17. Team:- Comm, Ridge, Woodward, Wall, Chapman, Rhymes, Banks, Chaddock, Seal, Mannings, Ealand, Bisgrove, Wake, Carruthers, Messer.
Chapman got Bath’s first try, within three minutes of the start, after picking up a loose ball on the half-way line. The home side went ahead after twenty minutes, when Martin touched down for Hicks to convert. This was closely followed by a try from Williams and a further try by Evans, saw Bath 3-14 down at half-time.
“The visitors were going great now, and ten minutes from the re-starting Ridge got a fine try after dribbling and then picking up and running to the line. Woodward goaled, so the score was 14pts, to 8pts.” Later, Benson put the Welshmen further ahead with an unconverted try.
“Play was very strenuous, the home forwards putting plenty of vigour into their methods.”
“Although Bath were 9pts down they had played wonderfully, and young players had done excellently.”
v Bristol, Home. Lost 0-8. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Snaith, Woodward, Ridge, Rhymes, Banks, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Wake, Carruthers, Rose.
BATH DO EVERYTHING BUT SCORE
“What a day! – and what a disappointment, for an hour before the Bath match the towering clouds poured down rain, hail and sleet. The ‘great’ crowd that was expected was but a skeleton of what would have been had the weather not made April fool of it, but the stand and enclosure were fairly full, and the stand was booked up before the game.
The rain did good in one respect, for before it the ground was frightfully hard, and it saved the club employment of the Fire Brigade had the dry weather continued. (BATH CHRONICLE)
Attendance 4000. Bath played in white. Bristol included internationals B S Chantrill and L J Corbett. From the start, it was a keen struggle between two well matched packs. “Bath’s octet got away with Chapman well to the fore, and B S Chantrill had an anxious time, but he got the ball to touch in his 25. Here Bristol had a free, and their forwards following up well, play came to half way, where Pickles cut through in his old-fashioned way.” End to end play followed, with Bath forwards doing well in the loose.”
“When Bristol had a free, Pickles kicked to the open. Comm gathered beautifully, and running across, gave to Snaith, who fed Gibbs, the wing man rounded Quick, and cross-kicked, but Bristol stopped the movement.”
“The Bath pack were doing great, and there was keen excitement when Chantrill was pressed again.”
Bristol backs then mastered the slippery ball, Len Corbett beat Comm for a touchdown and Bristol nudged 3-0 ahead on half-time.
Later: “Carter opened nicely from the next scrum, and breaking through before he passed out made a fine opening for the threequarters. Stinchcombe handled, and going at a great pace, handed out to Corbett, who raced over, and in trying to get behind the posts was pulled down dangerously near the dead ball line, but had scored a fine try, which Pickles converted, giving Bristol and 8pts’ lead.”
BATH CHRONICLE summarised THE CHIEF POINTS of this game as follows:_
1 – Bath’s bad luck.
2 – No cohesion outside, but improvement of Banks and far better tackling.
3 – Comm’s great game.
4 – Great forwards, but too much off-side, especially – one man.
v Llanelli, Home. Lost 3-11. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Snaith, Woodward, Scott, Vowles, Banks, Chaddock, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Wake, Carruthers, Rose.
Llanelly brought a great side to Bath:- Ewart Thomas, *J Elwyn Evans, Vic Roberts, *Albert Jenkins (Capt.), E Finch, A John, *D E John, Bobbie Evans, Ivor Williams, *Ivor Jones, W Lewis, W Hopkins, Rees Thomas, Fred Harries and Jobez Thomas. *Internationals
“Sheppard and Gibbs worked the short line out well and Chaddock started the backs, but Woodward gave Scott an impossible one. This left a line out at the 25 line, and from this Chaddock got hold and raced away. He pushed Thomas aside, but was pulled down near the line, and stretching out put the ball over for a good try 25 minutes from the start. Woodward kicked well but could not convert.”
Thereafter Llanelly monopolised the scoring and their half time score of 1 goal and 2 tries to Bath’s single try, stood for the remainder of the game.
v Bradford, Home. Won 23-10. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, Snaith, Wall, Scott, Woodward, Rhymes, Banks, H W H Considine, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Wake, Carruthers, Rose.
“OUR MR. GIBBS” A BUSY SCORER.
A SPORTING GAME
“It was graidley, laad. It was! And the huge crowd that stayed in town to see Bath defeat Bradford by 1g 6t (23pts) to 1dg 1pg 1t (10pts) greatly enjoyed it. The game was very open, the backs saw plenty of ball, it was the cleanest, most good tempered of games and an excellent display by the English International, Eddie Myers, and a great try getting by “Our Mr. Gibbs” made it a notable game.”
“Well! By gum hah niver thowt Bath woe so nice! What a lot of toffs there is abaat; they all seem to have plenty of brass. Ah, wonder what they all do for a livin’. Ther all retired ah expect, appeer soa ony way. Am reight glad wer came and ah owp we s’all come ageean next year. They’ve given us a reight good do and saan’t forget it for many a long day.” (BATH CHRONICLE – THE MASCOT)
v Leicester, Home. Won 28-3. Team:- Comm, Gibbs, F B Roberts (Bradford), Wall, Scott, Vowles, Banks, Woodward, Chapman, Mannings, Sheppard, Bisgrove, Wake, Wackett, Rose.
Leicester were at the conclusion of their Easter Tour, Having beaten Plymouth and lost to Bristol.
It was a great game to finish the season. Bath try scorers were Vowles (2), Scott, Gibbs (2) and guest centre Roberts. Comm was successful with 5 conversions. It was particularly enjoyable for Vowles, as his early try was his first of the season and to score a second try in the last match – was a bonus to savour.
“All I can say is that it was a glorious finish and just what was wanted to put us right for next season.”
(BATH CHRONICLE – THE MASCOT)