1929 to 1930

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1929-30

 

7/9/1929

v Leicester, Away, Lost 6-19. Bath’s 2 tries to Leicester’s 2 goals, 2 tries and a penalty.

Team:- H G Slade, W E Hancock, C E Gough, B C Barber, J B Hannah, F Rhymes, R Banks, I F M Spence, N Matthews, P R Skinner, J Dingley, S Weeks, A Milsom, W H Stapley and M V Shaw.

Ten years had elapsed since Bath last beat the Tigers in their own lair. Attendance 4000.

This early set-back, highlighted the need for improved back play. The Leicester threequarters were given far too much room to operate in. Shaw fitted in well, and gave encouraging advice to his new team mates.

B C Barber’s and M V Shaw’s first match.

 

14/9/1929

v Weston, Home. Won 13-5. Team:- H G Slade, J B Hannah, B C Barber, E L Stinchcombe, C E Gough, F Rhymes, R Banks, I F M Spence, N Matthews, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, A Milsom, H West, and J Jones.

The Club were indebted to the Fire Brigade, who had poured hundreds of gallons of water on to a parched pitch.

An interesting point was that in M V Shaw and E L Stinchcombe, Bath selected both the former Captain and Vice Captain of the Bristol side.

Bath tries from Hannah, Rhymes and Gough. Conversions by Banks and Weeks.

J B Hannah suffered a dislocated shoulder.

 

21/9/1929

v United Services, Away. Lost 3-11. Team:- H Slade, W E Hancock, B C Barber, E L Stinchcombe, E J Eastcott, F Rhymes, R Banks, IF M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H West, A Milsom, and J Jones.

Bath had the best of the early play and Hancock brought off an exciting run. However, they found themselves three points down after 20 minutes, and they continued to miss scoring chances throughout the first half. Services final tally was a goal, a try and a penalty goal. Bath’s reply was a second half try by Milsom, when Matthews picked up after a dribble.

 

28/9/1929

v Gloucester, Home. Drawn 3-3. Team:- H G Slade, W E Hancock, R Banks, B C Barber, E J Eastcott, F Rhymes, E L Stinchcombe, I F M Spence, N Matthews, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H West, P R Skinner, A Milsom. Gloucester’s early try came after a brilliant run by their outside-half James.

“It was Gloucester’s first half easily, the home backs having shown little, either in defence or attack. The Bath forwards were holding their own but the halves were outclassed.” The second spell heralded a Bath revival:

“Bath were the only side in it now, and at last their efforts were successful. There was a forward rush-a cross kick by Eastcott and Matthews picked up. He slung out wide to Hancock, who raced over with a beauty. Weeks narrowly missed a goal. This equaliser came five minutes from the end.”

 

5/10/1929

v Swansea, Away Lost 0-11 (1 goal and 2 tries) Team :- HG Slade, W E Hancock, E L Stinchcombe, L St. V Powell, E J Eastcott, A Hutchinson, R Banks, IF M Spence, N Matthews, M V Shaw, J Dingley, PR Skinner, S Weeks, A Milsom, H West. It rained all the way from Chepstow, through Cardiff to Swansea, and the already small crowd was seemingly dwarfed by the enormous, wind-swept stands at St. Helens. Bath held their own in the early exchanges, but gradually yielded territory in the face of Swansea forward rushes, and conceded their first try after 25 minutes. Bath continued in combative vein to the end, but constant pressure led to two more Swansea tries, one of which was converted.

 

12/10/1929

v Plymouth, Home. Lost 5-8. (1t to 1goal and a try) Team :- H G Slade, E C Gough, B C Barber,E L Stinchcombe, W E Hancock, A J Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, K C McIntyre (Royal Tank Corps), M V Shaw, P R Skinner, J Dingley, S Weeks, H West, A Wilson.

Plymouth were at full strength, including four English internationals. There was a great try by Hancock: “ He punted on and outpaced the Plymouth men. Spence and Wilson were up, but when the ball went over the line it was Hancock who scored, and Weeks goaled amid tumultuous cheering.

Hancock, in following up, showed really remarkable pace, and must have been the fastest man on the field.””

 

19/10/1929

v Cardiff, Home, Lost 9 –10 Team:- H G Slade, W E Hancock, E L Stinchcombe, J Lester, J B Hannah, A Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, J Dingley, H West, A Wilson, S Weeks, L T Seal.

Bath scored three tries to Cardiff’s two, but Cardiff converted both for a narrow win. Bath scorers were Skinner, Hancock and Hannah. Slade worked wonders in defence, and brought off a particularly memorable tackle on halfback Griffiths, when a try seemed a certainty.

 

26/10/1929

v Old Edwardians, Away, Won 16 -10: F S Le M James, W E Hancock, C E Gough, L St. V Powell, B C Barber, A J Hutchinson, J Lester, M V Shaw, PR Skinner (Capt.), S Weeks, L Seal, L W Moore, A Roney, J Dingley, A Wilson. Tries by Hancock (3), Gough. Weeks converted two. Bath played some delightful rugby and deserved more tries. Gough missed three sitters – he ran over the dead ball line twice and dribbled over it once. In mitigation, it was a very short in-goal area! There was no holding Hancock – he had a real day out!

H Burgess had dropped out at the last minute, and Arnold Ridley dashed off to get L W Moore in Monmouth Street. “The train was moving out when he and Moore rushed in the station and got on the last coach.”

 

2/11/1929

v Edgware, Away. Lost 6-11. Team:- H G Slade, J B Hannah, E L Stinchcombe, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, A J Hutchinson, Lester, M V Shaw, PR Skinner, S Weeks, H West, J Dingley, D Wilson, A Roney, K McIntyre. Bath woke up in the last 10 minutes, with tries by Hancock and Powell.

A very disappointing game on a poor ground. Bath doubted that Edgware’s tactics were legal, their forwards being continually offside and obstructing. There was much unchecked ‘scragging and wrestling’.

Chronicle Comment :“It was a most disappointing match and then the players found no light and scarcely any hot water in the changing room. I learned afterwards that the lamps had not been used since last season and were not in a condition to be lit last Saturday. The quarters, I heard, had received many visits from burglars, who had even carried off the reflectors the players need for training purposes.

The hot water, or rather lack of it, was due to the fact that the new groundsman – who knew little about it – nearly blew himself up trying to light the boiler at midday. So that, except perhaps for the facts that they won and had a good gate, it was an unfortunate day for Edgware as well as for Bath

Bath’s troubles, however, ended when they left the Edgware ground, for after dinner, the party were guests of

Mr. Arnold Ridley to see “The Flying Fool”, at the Prince’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, and a very enjoyable evening was spent.”

 

9/11/1929

v Old Paulines, Home, Won 24 – 5. (3 goals, 3 tries to 1 goal) Team:- H G Slade, Eastcott, C E Gough, L St. V Powell, J B Hannah, A Hutchinson, R Banks, N W Matthews, MV Shaw, PR Skinner, S Weeks, H Burgess, H West, A Milsom, J Dingley, LT Seal.

Old Paulines played in the Somerset colours of red, black and white. Perhaps the colours goaded Bath into greater effort, as Gough scored within a minute of the start, Weeks adding the extras. Hannah’s try followed within eight minutes. The old boys replied with a converted try, and this fine game continued to yield tries; thirteen points had been scored within 15 minutes. More Bath tries followed from Powell, Gough and Eastcott (2), with Weeks and Banks adding extras.

 

16/11/1929

v R.N.E.College, Home. Won 19-0. (2 goals three tries) Team:- F S Le M James, Eastcott, C E Gough, L St.V Powell, J B Hannah, R Banks, A J Hutchinson, A Bovill, PR Skinner, M V Shaw, N Matthews, H Burgess, S Weeks, L T Seal, I F M Spence.

Hannah opened the scoring 20 minutes from the start. Powell then attacked smartly, feeding to Burgess, who romped over and converted his own try. “Powell again was a decided success, and Hannah had a rare packet for the corner, but was brought down just outside.

At last Banks scored, going through straight on his own from a scrum 10 yards out. Burgess could not goal.

Powell again made a wonderful burst through, and Eastcott took his pass, but was brought down from behind.”

Powell again figured in the play and was unlucky not to score.

“Hannah scored a moment later, after Banks, who worked the reverse pass as he did last week, goaled.” Bath had the better of the play and Seal scored after a forward rush. The game ended in near darkness, with the appreciative home crowd encouraging the College boys to score.

The winning match programme ticket number 4699 was held by George Simpkins, the eight year old nephew of the Bath Secretary, Eddie Simpkins. He won a rugby ball.

 

 23/11/1929

v Bristol Away, Won 6-3. Team:- Slade, Hannah, Gough, St. V Powell, Hancock, Hutchinson, Banks, Spence, Matthews, Shaw, Skinner, Dingley, Weeks, Seal and Burgess.

A great local derby and a great win!

Attendance 8000. It was estimated that 1200 Bath supporters had taken the excursion train and many more arrived by road. Bath played in white. The touch judges were Jimmy Oates and Ulick Considine.

Bath’s Mervyn Shaw was playing against his former club, and was indeed, a previous Captain. “It was pleasing to see several of the Bristol players just prior to the kick-off, go up to Mervyn Shaw and shake hands with him.” He enjoyed a good, sporting reception from the crowd.

The teams were fairly evenly matched in the early stages, but Bristol had the advantage of heftier forwards. Within minutes, it was raining heavily. Powell and Slade brought off some fine clearance kicks in the face of repeated forward rushes. Two set-backs followed, when first Slade and then Weeks had to go off for treatment. However, there was no score at half-time. Harry Slade returned, amid a great reception.

“Bath here showed some excellent passing, and the Bristol threes were muddling things badly.”

Then: “Powell intercepted and raced through the centre with a long pass which Hannah took up and raced away.

He punted on and got the ball to touch down amid tremendous cheering.”

“Powell again intercepted and turned defence into attack. He raced 50 yards and then punted on.

Burland happened to get back to find touch in the Bristol 25.

Then the Bath forwards brought off a tremendous rush. Spence pulled over Watts, and Matthews had Everett right on the Bristol line.

At last Bristol saved, but from the next scrum had another free, though they did not get out of their 25.

Slade failed to hold right on the half-way line.

With about eight minutes to go, play was as keen as possible, with Bath holding their own. Really Bristol did not look like winning. Their backs were so closely matched that they could not get going.

Pickles was brought down in possession. Bath’s white jerseys were badly discoloured with mud, and the referee ordered Burgess to get a clean one.

Bath were hanging on to their lead like grim death, going down to stop the Bristol forwards in serious, almost dangerous, fashion.”

In the last two minutes, Bristol’s Lillicrap got over for a soft try, but Burland failed with the kick. Bristol’s ground record was holding.

Then: “Bath passed and Powell fed Hancock, who raced away, jumped clean over Watts, the full-back, and scored amid tumultuous cheering.”

 

The whistle blew sharply – Bath had taken Bristol’s jealously guarded ground record!

 

THE WESTERN DAILY PRESS COMMENTED: “The Bath forwards played like men possessed and wrested the honours from the Bristol men…The Bath threequarter line in the second half was much smarter than Bristol’s.”

 

On the Thursday before the Richmond game, the pitch had been flooded three foot deep at the North Parade end. The Fire Brigade pumping could make little impression after pumping off 250 gallons a minute. The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the pumping had not lowered the flood one-hundredth part of an inch. Bath Chronicle:

“On Saturday morning there was a decided improvement, although there was water up to the 25 line. It was decided to risk it and advertise the game on the Rec. Then the water went quicker than it came, and at 12.30 the ground was absolutely clear of flood.

What surprised everyone was that the turf showed no effects of having been submerged for nearly a fortnight. It has been many times worse on scores of occasions.”

 

14/12/1929

v Richmond, Home. Won 19-0. Team:- H G Slade, E J Eastcott, C E Gough, L St V Powell, W E Hancock, A Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, MV Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H Burgess, L T Seal, E G Haydon. Bath tries by Hutchinson, Eastcott, Weeks, Powell and Banks. Burgess converted two.

 

REC RECOVERY

Richmond fielded three England players but despite this, Bath had a handsome victory with one of the best performances of the season. It came after a three weeks enforced lay-off, due to flooding on the Rec. At the early morning inspection, the water was still edging up to the 25 flag on the popular side of the ground: “The risk, however, was taken, and at mid day the ground was absolutely clear.” By 2pm the ground was in remarkably good condition. Rain commenced just as the players came out punctually to time, but the surface held up well for the whole of the game. Once again, the ‘Rec’ had demonstrated its amazing rate of recovery.

 

21/12/1929

v Edgware, Home. Won 8-3. Team:- H Slade, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, G Nudds, J B Hannah, R Banks, A Hutchinson, I F M Spence, P R Skinner, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, E G Haydon, L T Seal, H Burgess. Norman Matthews was away at Gloucester, for the England Trial. Haydon was easily the most prominent of the home pack.

Bath won with George Nudd’s 10th minute try, cleverly converted by Burgess from a difficult angle, and again Burgess with a penalty goal from half-way. Edgware replied with a try.

 

26/12/1929

v Old Blues. Home. Won 11-8. (1 goal, 1 try and a Penalty to 1 goal and a try)

Team:- Slade, Hancock, St. V {Powell, Merrett, Hannah, Banks, Hutchinson, Spence, Matthews, Shaw, Skinner, Weeks, Burgess, Seal and Haydon.

Tries from Merrett and Hancock. Burgess kicked a conversion and a penalty. It was good Christmas fare, and the result did not really matter to the visitors. They were renown for their sporting open play and would always be welcome in Bath.

 

27/12/1929

v Gloucester, Away, Drawn 3-3. Team:- H G Slade, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, A Merrett, J B Hannah, A Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H Burgess, L T Seal, E G Haydon, and A Sampson. Total attendance between 7000-8000. Bath support was 300 approx.

It was the third draw in four encounters!

Chronicle: “Although beaten in the scrums, the Bath forwards must be praised for their work in the loose, and for the plucky way in which they stuck to their heavy opponents. Mervyn Shaw, Dingley, Burgess, Sampson and Weeks bore the brunt of the solid sort of opposition, and Spence, Haydon and Seal did the worrying in the loose.”

“The first half was all Bath’s, the second all Gloucester’s, so that the score of a try each is perhaps a very fair indication of the game.”

Gloucester’s try, to some, was considered a bit of a flook: “Bath’s came as a result of following up one of Powell’s high kicks. The home threequarters failed to gather and Hancock got possession. He beat Boughton, the full-back, and had a clear field, but did not know it, so he passed to Spence. The captain, thinking he was being overhauled, ran for all he was worth and was very surprised when he put the ball over the line to find there was no one within five yards of him.”

 

28/12/1929

v Glamorgan Wanderers. Home. Won 12-3. Team:- H Slade, E J Eastcott, A Merrett, L V Powell, W E Hancock, R Banks, A Hutchinson, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, E G Haydon, L T Seal, H Burgess, J Jones and J Tanner. The visitors scored first in dreadful weather conditions, but Bath soon levelled with Burgess’s penalty goal. This was no mean achievement with a heavy ball. Next, Bath moved ahead with a try by Eastcott, who ran around his man “in certain style.” As the pitch deteriorated, Bath were obliged to change to their white strip. Bath handled well in the following encounters, but the Wanders covered well: “and it was pretty evident that a good pack of forwards had come through the Severn Tunnel.” Haydon then scored his first try for Bath, after four or five good games.

Haydon Again:

“The Walcot boy (Merrett) showed really fine ball control in dribbling, but was outpaced by the Midsomer Norton man, who scored again.”

Bath had not lost a match since November 2nd. And it looked as though St. Thomas Hospital were in for a hot time.

4/1/1930

Norman Matthews, along with Sam Tucker of Bristol, appeared for Rest v England in Twickenham International Trial.

The Chronicle Sports writer judged the six best Clubs as: Plymouth Albion, Coventry, Blackheath, Gloucester, London Welsh and Bath. Neighbours, Bristol were described as suffering “from an eclipse.”

 

4/1/1930

v St. Thomas Hospital, Home. Won 43-0. Team:- C R Bailey, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, A Merrett, J B Hannah, R Banks, A Hutchinson, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H Burgess, L T Seal, E G Haydon, P R Skinner. An easy win for Bath. The visitors had their line crossed eleven times and five goals were kicked. Poor weather reduced attendance, although the new stand, nicknamed: “The White Elephant,” was almost full. Tries by Hancock (4), Hannah (3), Banks, Merrett, Seal and Haydon. Conversions by Weeks (4) and Spence.

 

EVERYONE, BUT EVERYONE!

Bath were playing better rugby and there was a good spirit in the team. “….the players are such a happy lot together. There is no grousing! Everyone is as good as everyone else, and everyone respects everyone else simply because everyone is a member of the same side. It has been my pleasure to mix with the Bath players for more than 20 years, and I never remember a happier lot.”

“To my way of thinking they were very much at home in the mud. Everyone of them.”

 

11/1/1930

v Devonport Services, Home, Away. Drawn 6-6. Team:- H Buse, W E Hancock, A Merrett, E J Eastcott, J B Hannah, F Rhymes, R Banks, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, S Weeks, J Dingley, P Curtis, L T Seal, E G Haydon, J Jones. Bath were depleted by County calls. Herbert Buse 1st XV debut.

“The ground was in a deplorable condition. A driving storm of rain and sleet swept round the ground just before the start. The conditions could scarcely have been worse, and if the rain continued it was doubtful if the game would be played to a finish.”

“There were not a dozen folk on the popular side and very few in the stands.” (Plymouth Argyle were playing Hull City in a Cup-tie!) The game developed into a ‘battle royal’ between the forwards. However, it was Hancock who got Bath’s first try after a break by Eastcott. Rhymes got the second.

“Then came another terrible storm of rain, wind and snow.” Bath had most of the play, but the services matched their tries for the draw.

 

18/1/1930

v Swansea, Home, Lost 8-9. (1 goal, 1 try to 2 tries and a penalty) Team:- H Slade, W E Hancock, C E Gough, L St. V Powell, J B Hannah, A Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H Burgess, E G Haydon, L T Seal, P R Skinner. (Norman Matthews in Cardiff as Reserve for England)

A tense game saw Swansea inflict Bath’s first defeat for two months. It was a beautiful afternoon, in direct contrast to the previous Saturday’s deluge. Swansea showed well in the early stages, but first, Slade and then Hancock covered well. Then Hancock got away on a fine run, only for Haydon to knock-on. Swansea’s fine backs then dictated play, and it took a good tackle by Hannah to avert a score. In the thirtieth minute Banks disrupted the Swansea passing and Burgess was able to dribble for full forty yards for a clever individual try. Slade then broke up a promising Swansea passing movement. Ten minutes after the re-start came the Swansea equaliser – a good try from Trew. Then Bath held on to the ball too long, enabling Lewis to score from the resultant penalty. Swansea then went six points up when Hill stole over in the corner. Bath responded with Haydon’s try, which Burgess converted, but the game closed with Bath one point behind. Slade and Hutchinson had particularly good games, but the Bath three-quarters could not match the Welsh club’s expertise. Hancock saw little of the ball, which was a pity, as he appeared to be at the top of his form; he was frequently across to provide cover for his opposite wing mate.

“Such excitement as we had in the Swansea game is not altogether too good for some people, and I confess I am one of them.” [‘MASCOT’]

 

25/1/1930

v Devonport Services, Home. Won 38-0 (4 Goals, 6 Tries) Team:- H Slade, E J Eastcott, A Merrett, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, A Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, H Burgess, PR Skinner, E G Haydon and L T Seal.

The Services were badly depleted following a strenuous Army Cup match during the week. Also the Army were playing the Navy on this day.

Tries from Hancock (3), Merrett (2), Powell (3), Haydon and Burgess, with conversions by Weeks (2) and Banks (2). Hancock scored three tries in succession. A feature was the successful half-back pairing of Hutchinson and Banks. Powell had a generally good game, but with one or two lapses of concentration. At full-back, Harry Slade did not have a great deal to do. Merrett showed that he is a clever attacking centre, but his defence had yet to be tested.

 

1//2/930

v Llanelly, Away. Lost 9-14. Team:- H Buse, J B Hannah, L D Wardle, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, R Banks, A Hutchinson, N Matthews, M Shaw, S Weeks, J Dingley, P R Skinner, E G Haydon, L T Seal and J Jones.

Attendance low. Ground waterlogged. Llanelly scored and converted a try five minutes from start. In reply, Bath initiated a fluid three-quarter movement, from which Powell was well positioned for a successful drop-goal. Bath continued to do well, when Wardle intercepted and raced to the full back, leaving Haydon a clear run in to score. Banks converted. Haydon and Seal led several rushes. Matthews and Llanelly’s Hughes, were temporarily absent, while mud was washed from their eyes. Then Seal had to leave the field with a knee injury. Sustained pressure brought play into the Bath 25, and Hughes was gifted a try when Buse failed to gather the slippery ball. Powell knocked-on, and from the resultant scrum, Howells notched up another Llanelly try

 

8/2/1930

v Pontypool, Home. Lost 0-5. Team:- H Buse, W E Hancock, L D Wardle, L St. V Powell, C E Gough, R Banks, A Hutchinson, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, J Dingley, S Weeks, H Burgess, E G Haydon, P R Skinner.

Hannah was away in London playing for Lloyds Bank. (He scored a try) Another bank worker, J Dingley announced that he was being transferred to a post in his native Cornwall. (Launceston Branch)

A rather cheerless game in cheerless weather. Within five minutes from the start, Buse failed to gather and allowed the Pontypool forwards to set off in a rush. Several Bath players tried to halt progress, but the ball skidded over the try line for Baynham to touch down; Bayliss added the extras. “Free kicks were numerous, mostly to Bath, but Burgess could not get points, even when he had one straight in front but far out.”

“Bath’s threequarter play was a bit disappointing. They should have done more with the chances they had had.”

“Banks must be excused if he did not show as much thrust as usual. He had a nasty boil on his face, and in the morning expressed a wish not to play. Powell was not in his best mood, and did far too much kicking, while Gough as a wing is not fast enough. Hancock did not get enough to do, and really the only back who added anything to his reputation was L D Wardle, who was easily Bath’s soundest performer behind the scrum.”

 

15/2/1930

v Moseley, Away. Lost 3-6. Team :- H Buse, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, J B Hannah, A J Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, H Burgess, PR Skinner, L T Seal, J Jones. A thoroughly disappointing game, played in a strong cold wind. The Bath XV put up a very poor show. Lance Wardle was the best of the backs, but Banks and Hutchinson did not combine well. Hancock did not get a pass through the whole of the first half. Jones was an able deputy for Haydon. Ralph Banks scored bath’s try.

 

22/2/1930

v Moseley, Home. Won 20-3. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, LD Wardle, J B Hannah, R Banks, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, H Burgess, L T Seal, E G Haydon, PR Skinner, S Weeks. Bath were able to make three changes for the return game and won handsomely by 1 goal, 5 tries to 1 try. Moseley were without Lindop, (England Reserve) and J D Monahan*, an old Kingswood School boy, came out of the pack to take his place at centre. Bath started in positive style, and after winning three scrums, Haydon pounced on a slow Moseley heel for the first try. Shaw tried to open up play, but Banks missed his pass: “and only a daring go-down again by Moon stopped a score.” Moseley were winning more ball, and Monahan was showing well at right centre. Then Bath heeled from a scrum, and Wardle was away in great style to send in Powell with a great try wide out. Weeks converted and Bath were eight points up on the quarter hour. Whilst Matthews was off with injury, Moseley scored from a forward rush. Hannah then got a try in the corner, which Weeks could not goal. He then put Bath further ahead: “Hannah at last got a real good try in the corner. All the backs handled except Hancock, and when Hannah got possession he went for the line in quite his old style, and got there.”

“A smart break-away from a scrum by Rhymes led to another Bath try. The half-back went away on his own and passed to Seal at the right moment, the ‘A’ team vice-captain just getting over.”

“Hannah got a third try in the corner after going all out again.” Rhymes and Banks combined well, and there was an all round improvement in Bath’s play.

 

* Further research has revealed that this was the uncle of brothers, John and Jamie Monahan, who commenced with Bath 1st XV on 9/4/1964 and 16/2/1966 respectively. He later acted as Midland area Secretary.

Moseley’s J Dermot Monahan was a Methodist Minister.

 

1/3/1930

v Plymouth, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, C E Gough, L D Wardle, J B Hannah, R Banks, F Rhymes, N Matthews, I F M Spence, S Weeks, L T Seal, L W Moore, D Wilson, A Roney and T Coles. Bath travelled with a depleted side.

Bath players enjoyed a bracing walk along the Hoe, before facing up to an intense encounter at Beacon Park. Matthews took the hooking spot and set a fine example. It was near the finish, before Bath’s Hannah could respond to Plymouth’s three tries. He touched down after a spell of good passing. “Bath obtained from a scrum just outside the Plymouth 25, and Rhymes, Banks, Gough, Wardle and Hannah all participated in brilliant handling, which left Jim with the ball and two men to beat – Rees and Lewis. Hannah went all out then, in most resolute fashion, and literally flung himself for the last five yards to get over. He had never gone for the Johnstone Street corner with more vim than he put into it to get that try, and the Plymouth crowd appreciated his effort to the full.”

Otherwise, the Bath backs had little opportunity to shine, as their forwards were outplayed by a heavier Plymouth eight. Nevertheless, replacement forwards Wilson, Moore, Coles and Roney stuck manfully to their task.

 

8/3/1930

v Llanelly, Home. Won 6-3. (pen. gaol and a try to 1 penalty) Team:- P Moon, J B Hannah, L D Wardle, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, P R Skinner, H Burgess, E G Haydon, LT Seal.

Bath had the better of the early play as the forwards shaped up in grand style. Then Powell made a break and cross kicked to Hannah. On being checked, the ubiquitous Haydon was at his side to power over and score.

Bath’s lead was short lived, when they were caught offside and Iowerth Jones kicked a penalty from the half way line. Half time arrived with the sides level, although Bath had had the better of the play.

In the second spell, a forward rush took play into the visitors’ 25, where Weeks landed a superb penalty kick from wide out. “Bath now had one hand on the mascot and were playing like a winning team.”

A memorable win, as the ‘Scarlets’ had won 14 out of the previous 15 encounters with Bath..

 

15/3/1930

v Northampton, Away. Won 8-4. Team:- P Moon, W Hancock, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, J B Hannah, R Banks, F Rhymes, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, E G Haydon, L T Seal, L W Moore, J Jones and J Coles. Referee: Mr. Tommy Vile. Hancock scored in the first five minutes and Weeks converted from an easy position. Northampton quickly replied with Haslemere’s drop goal and Bath were just one point ahead.

“Hancock got another great try, after passing.

All the backs again handled, and the wing man ran round his opponent and jumped the full back.”

Northampton strove to reduce the visitors’ lead, but Bath tackled manfully to the end. Hancock’s tries were considered to be two of the best he had ever scored.

 

22/3/1930

v Bristol, Home. Won 9-3. Team:- P Moon, J B Hannah, L D Wardle, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, R Banks, R Sampson, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, E G Haydon, S Weeks, L T Seal and H Burgess.

A keenly fought contest in fine weather. It was fifteen minutes from the start when Hannah charged down a kick for a smart try, but Weeks could not goal. Hannah was hurt in scoring and Haydon went out on the wing.

“There was a fine bit of work started by Shaw, and the home threes got away in great style, Wardle cutting clean through in great style, but Hancock could not hold the pass.

Then came another round of passing and Wardle broke through again. He ran straight to Brown and then sent out to Haydon, who gathered finely and raced away to score.” Bath were six points up in 25 minutes, whilst Bristol were giving a disappointing show.

“Bath’s tackling at this point was excellent and two or three Bristol men were bowled over almost as soon as they received.”

At the restart, Bristol came back with a try by Sherman, but Burland missed his conversion attempt from in front of the posts. Hannah returned to the field of play, fifteen minutes into the second half, and this seemed to signal another Bath revival.

At that time, it was probably the biggest crowd seen on the Rec. Opinions varied on between 8,000 to 10,000.

In addition to season ticket holders, a total £300 was taken at the gates. Queues at the Riverside entrance were 200 yards long. Pulteney Street was blocked.

 

HUGE CROWD FOR BRISTOL DERBY

HUNDREDS FROM BRISTOL

Bristolians poured into Bath in their hundreds this afternoon to see the Bath-Bristol Rugger match on the Recreation Ground.

Before the kick-off motor cars, parked broadwise to the road and two deep, lined Pulteney Street from top bottom, and there was an “overflow” in Henrietta Street and Sydney Place.

The teams, before the match, went over to the cricket pavilion to be photographed together, and both teams had a separate photograph taken, that of Bath’s XV, including I F M Spence, who was unable to play, in “mufti.”

“I have never seen a larger crowd on the Rec.,” Spence said. “It ought to be a rattling good game.”

After the game had begun crowds, although thinning, were still coming in. There was a heavy but orderly crush at the Pulteney Weirs entrance, where season ticket holders and those who had to pay for admission then and there were entering by the same gate.

The Mayor of Bath (Counsellor Andrew Bateman) was present at the match.

The band and Buglers of the 4th Battn. Somerset L.I., augmented by some of the band of the 2nd Battn. marched through the city to the ground, and before the match and during the interval they played selections.

This was the first time a military band had played, and it was a great success. It marched up and down while playing, reminiscent of Twickenham.

When the game started every available seat was filled and there were hundreds standing, including a very large sprinkling of the fair sex.

The weather was almost springlike, and the turf in splendid condition.”

 

29/3/1930

v Weston, Away. Won 9-8. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, E J Eastcott, R Banks, F Rhymes, N Matthews, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, S Weeks, H Burgess, L T Seal, E G Haydon, and R Sampson.

Over 300 people took advantage of a Supporters Club Excursion, return fare at 2s 6d.

Matthews secured the first score after a Haydon break away. Weston countered with two tries by Healey. Richards converted the second try and the seasiders were five points up. Hancock ran in for an excellent try, and later Haydon used his great speed to touch down when Weston fumbled.

 

5/4/1930

v United Services, Home. Won 14-8. Team:- H Slade, A Merrett, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, S Weeks, E G Haydon, L T Seal, R G Sampson. Services included internationals D St. Clair Ford and J W Forrest.

A great game. The Services played in a fine open style, whilst Bath’s threes splendid tackling featured in a hard fought contest. The visitors scored fifteen minutes from the start, but Bath were quick to counter with a good try by Hancock. Haydon got another, which was converted by Sampson. Hancock’s second try was even more spectacular, as he jumped clean over Miers to score a great try. “It was Hancock’s great speed and jumping ability which got the winning tries, and it is doubtful if anyone else would have got through the Services’ defence as he did.” Services responded with a converted try by Ryder, and Hancock secured his ‘hat-trick’ after a fine run by Spence.

 

10/4/1930

v Newport, Away. Lost 3-15. Selected Team:- P Moon, A Merrett, E J Eastcott, L D Wardle, W E Hancock, R Banks, F Rhymes, IF M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, P R Skinner, E G Haydon, R G Sampson, L T Seal. In the event, Messrs. Matthews, Shaw, Haydon and Sampson were away, and the forward reserves, Jones, Wilson, Coles and Moore were commended upon their brave performance against tremendously strong and heavy opposition.

“Bath players, who have been to Newport several times, cannot remember playing there in fine weather, before last Thursday. Arriving at 1.30 there was a two hours wait, during which some members of the party indulged in cricket practice on the asphalt racing track. They had a piece of iron for a bat and Arnold Ridley, the general utility man, provided them with a ping-pong ball. Wardle proved himself a good bat and Jones a deceiving bowler, while Wilson owned that his favourite game in the summer was croquet.”

It was Ralph Bank’s 30th game that season, having missed just two matches. He first played for the 1st XV way back in 1924. Unfortunately he sustained a rib injury early in the game.

 

12/4/1930

v London Welsh, Away. Won 14-6. Team:- P Moon, A Merrett, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, W E Hancock, A E Anderson, F Rhymes, IF M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, P R Skinner, E G Haydon, R G Sampson, L T Seal.

The Welsh were a bustling lot and gave an early indication that there might be some lively exchanges before the finish. However, barely five minutes had elapsed before Haydon romped over for Bath’s first try. Then the Exciles lost Gwyn Richards with a cut over the eye, and shortly after Weeks withdrew with a badly damaged shoulder. (Half time Bath 3- London Welsh 0) Soon after the restart, the Welsh drew level with an unconverted try by Williams. This was quickly followed by a try from Roberts and the Exciles were three points ahead.

Bath were spurred on to greater efforts and Spence scored from Powell’s pass, and Merrett added the extras. Match winning tries followed from Powell and Merrett.

 

19/4/1930

v Northampton, Home. Won 10-8. (1dg, 2t to 1g, 1t). Team:- P Moon, E J Eastcott, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, A Merrett, A E Anderson, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, J J Jones, E G Haydon, L T Seal, R G Sampson. Dismal weather affected the gate.

Bath suffered an early shock, when Watkins secured from a line-out and had only to flop over the line for the visitors’ opening try. Treen converted. Good work by Spence, Wardle and Anderson put Bath in a good position, enabling Powell to drop a capital goal. Good following up allowed Northampton’s Harris a further try just on half-time. In the second half Eastcott got well away and threw a high pass to Spence, who gathered in great style for an easy score. Finally the winning try, following a good move from Powell and Wardle, left Eastcott free to run in.

There was a rare tussle in the closing stages and Anderson featured in relieving kicks.

 

21/4/1930

v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Lost 11-13. Team:- P Moon, E J Eastcott, L D Wardle, C E Gough, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, A E Anderson, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, E G Haydon, L T Seal, J Jones and T Coles. The O.M.T.’s had been coming to Bath for something like ten years, and had never been beaten on the Rec. Following recent successes, Bath had high hopes of checking these successes. A crowd of over 5000 was attracted to this holiday game. Unfortunately there were some enforced changes, with Banks, Weeks and Hannah injured, whilst Powell and Sampson were not available.

In the 25th minute, Hancock was checked, kick ahead, and recovered possession. He fed inside to Spence, who raced 25 yards to score in the corner. Wardle converted. Then it was Haydon’s turn to score from a line out, but conversion kick failed.

O.M.T.’s came back with a fine try from Newall, who beat both Hancock and Moon to score wide out. Tebbutt kicked a fine goal. Again, Tebbutt kicked a penalty and Newall got another converted try. Close on time, Shaw scored a consolation try for Bath.

 

22/4/1930

v Leicester, Home. Lost 3-6. Team:- H Buse, E J Eastcott, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, A E Anderson, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, R G Sampson, E G Haydon, L T Seal, W H Stapley and J Jones. Rhymes did not arrive until 20 minutes after the start, and Spence stood in at scrum-half.

Greenlees was very prominent for Leicester. He was clever at dummying and was difficult to hold in the tackle.

Bath took the lead after 20 minutes, when the Tigers’ forwards were adjudged off-side. Sampson kicked a wonderful penalty goal. However, Leicester were a clever lot, and despite heroic Bath tackling, secured the game with second half tries from Kerby and Farndon.

 

26/4/1930

v Pontypool, Away. Lost 8-16. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, L D Wardle, H Buse, E J Eastcott, A E Anderson, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, R G Sampson, L T Seal, J Jones, L W Moore and D Wilson. Bath created something of a record for this away match, in that the team played as originally selected! Nevertheless, they were short of normal first choice players and lost their final game of a fine season, by Pontypool’s 2 goals and 2 tries to 2 drop goals. In cricketing type weather, it was somewhat disappointing to see less than 50 spectators mustered upon arrival at 3.30pm.. However, the numbers had swollen by the time the Pontypool team was finally ready at 4-35 pm. Bath had waited around for 25 minutes and even then, they had to wait while the Pontypool team were photographed! There was little Bath enthusiasm for the game. Pontypool deserved their win, and interestingly, Bodger, their right wing – scored all four tries. For Bath, Lance Wardle kicked a drop goal in each half, and was the most conspicuous of the visiting backs. The ‘A’ team, forwards, Jones, Moore and Wilson played well against heavy odds. Veteran International, Cliff Richards was outstanding at centre for Pontypool.

 

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Bristol defeated for the first time in five years.

A Double against Bristol for the first time since 1888.

Unbeaten by any club in Somerset or Gloucester for the first time on record.

Llanelly beaten for the first time for 5 years.

 

The Try Scorers:-W E Hancock 22; J B Hannah 16; E G Haydon 13; L St. V Powell 8; R Banks 5; E J Eastcott 5; A Merrett 5; I F M Spence 4; C E Gough 4; L T Seal 3; H Burgess 3; N W Matthews 2; F Rhymes 2; W H Stapley, A Milsom, P R Skinner, A Hutchinson, M V Shaw, S Weeks and G Nudds scored one each.

The 30 goals were kicked by S Weeks 15; H Burgess 6; R Banks 5; I F Spence, R G Sampson, A Merrett and L D Wardle 1 each.

L D Wardle and L St. V Powell each dropped two goals, and 5 penalties were kicked by H Burgess (3), and S Weeks and R G Sampson 1 each.

Bath scored 99 tries to their opponnnents’63. Of the 99 – 30 were converted, and their opponents did little better, getting 22 goals from 63 tries. In each case, about one in three goal attempts were successful.

 

Attendances:-

Full back,- H Slade 18; P Moon 11; H Buse 5; F S Le M James 2; and C B Bailey 1.

Threequarters:- W E Hancock 33; L St V Powell 26; J B Hannah 19; E J Eastcott 16; L D Wardle 16;

C E Gough 12; A Merrett 10; B C Barber 6; E L Stinchcombe 6; and J Lester, R Banks, G Nudds and H Buse once each.

Half Backs:- R Banks 20; A Hutchinson 19; F Rhymes 18; A E Anderson 5; J Lester 2; and E L Stinchcombe once.

Forwards:- M V Shaw 35; S Weeks 32; L T Seal 20; I F M Spence 28; P R Skinner 27; N W Matthews 26; E H Haydon 21; J Dingley 20; H Burgess 18; J Jones 12; R G Sampson 8; H West 8; D Wilson 7; A Milsom 6; L W Moore 5; A Roney 4; T Coles 3; L Curtis 2; W H Stapley 2; and L J Tanner and Lieut. MacIntyre, once each.

 

BATH CHRONICLE 27/6/1930

Article that the Report to a Meeting of Members on 11th July 1930 will state:

“From every point of view the season 1929-30 will go down in the records as one of the best in the long and honourable history of the club. The playing record of all three teams is an excellent one, and there was a welcome revival in the social side of the club.

The First XV., under the captaincy of I F M Spence, had a great season, bringing off several brilliant doubles and remaining undefeated by any team in Somerset or Gloucestershire.”

The ‘A’ team, led by A E Anderson, had a record season, winning 21 matches out of 28, and finished the season with a run of 12 consecutive victories.

The Extras, led by A Cutler, won 15 matches, drawing 2 and losing 11.

Congratulations were due to Norman Matthews for again figuring in the England Trials and to the nine Bath players selected for Somerset County during the season.

 

QUOTE OF THE SEASON

Committee Minute re Masseur (Our underlining)

“It was agreed that Cuttings account for massage ‘lie on the table’ until the doctor be present.”

 

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