BATH TRIAL Whites 16, Colours 5.
Whites:- Moon, Whittaker, Merrett, Dolman, Challis, Churchouse and Rhymes, Smith, Wood, Tanner, Milsom, Greenslade, Meredith, Kemp and Blake.
Colours:- Frankcom, Penney, Glisson, Bailey, Derrick, Beavan, Burns, Cleaves, Beer, Wilson, Lawley, Shipp, Phipps, Davies, Piles and Sealey.
v Leicester, Away, Drawn 3-3 ( 1t each) Team:- H Slade, C E Gough, E J Eastcott, L D Wardle, W E Hancock, E Y Benson, R Banks, I F M Spence (Capt.), NW Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, L Seal, S Weeks, T Coles, R K Lindsay. Bath’s try by Spence.
A seemingly big decision on whether to travel by train or coach. In fact, players asked to decide. In the event, they opted for the 8-30a.m.G.W.R. train, and in those days the Club had the courtesy of a Form 1522 from the G.W.R. station, confirming booking details. The alternative transport was described as a charabanc or saloon bus, hired from Bath Tramways Company. The party duly assembled on Bath Spa station, along with “Jack Cutting and his big bag, A E Anderson the official touch judge, and a few very keen supporters.”
“Amy Johnson’s visit to Leicester probably affected the gate, for the crowd was not great, at any rate, from the start.” Greenlees, the Scottish International, captained the Tigers.
Bath had a good share of the early play, and Weeks just missed with a drop goal attempt. In drizzling rain, Greenlees cleared well for the Tigers, as Spence and Haydon worried the home defence. However, it was Leicester’s Llewellyn who was first to score in the twentieth minute. “Slade did fine work after the restart, but the wet ball was handicapping the backs, and both sides made mistakes.”
Spence levelled with an unconverted try, but Bath were unfortunate to lose Banks , and could not take advantage of the quick heel in the closing minutes. Wardle just missed a try after a Leicester fumble.
“Player after player made desperate struggles to force a way through and Hancock, in particular, gave the Tigers’ tacklers much trouble.” It was an excellent beginning against a talented Leicester side.
v Bridgwater, Home, Won 15-3: P Moon, W E Hancock, L D Wardle, E J Eastcott, C E Gough, E T Benson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, R K Lindsay, E G Haydon, L Seal, T Coles, and S Weeks.
Early exchanges were confined to the forwards. “Wardle was kicking well and Bath kept up a hot attack, but the play was ragged.” Then, just as Bath were breaking from a scrum, Watson, the visitors’ right wing intercepted and scored. Then it was Bank’s turn, as he put in a short punt and won a chase for the line. Next, Wardle intercepted an inside pass and raced from half way for a great try, which Weeks converted. Spence added a further try after good following up and Banks completed Bath’s effort with a neatly taken drop goal.
v United Services, Away, Drawn 9-9: H Slade, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, C E Gough, R Banks, E T Benson, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, L T Seal, E G Haydon, T Coles, R R Lindsay.
A heavy storm swept the ground just as the players appeared, but there was a good crowd despite the conditions. Playing with the wind, Bath had most of the early play, Banks dropping a goal after 25 minutes. However, Services were quick to counter, when Lee raced in following Powell’s miskick. Benson, Banks, Spence Matthews and Haydon showed well, and Hancock went over for a great try, which Weeks converted from near the touch-line. In the late stages, Bath conceded a penalty and a late try by Buckley brought the scores level. The Bath forwards did well to hold the Services eight, and in fact, won the heeling duel. Banks and Weeks were in top kicking form
v Gloucester, Away, Lost 0-13. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, L D Wardle, L St. V Powell, H Buse, A G Hutchinson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, S Weeks, L T Seal, E G Haydon, L W Moore, D Wilson, M V Shaw.
It was a tale of woe as the team arrived, already without Benson, Slade and Lindsay. In the changing room, Charlie Gough was unwell and declared himself unfit to play. Herbert Buse filled as late replacement, in the unaccustomed position at right wing. Gloucester’s converted try arrived in the 15th minute and D Crichton-Miller added another, for Boughton to convert on the half-hour. (0-10 half-time) In the second spell, Hordern (a Newport player) took a short pass for a good try, to complete the scoring. Bath were without a regular hooker and Gloucester enjoyed continuous possession from the scrums. Gloucester’s guest players, Hordern and Crichton-Miller were outstanding.
v Exeter, Home, Won 16-3. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, LD Wardle, L St. V Powell,C E Gough, E T Benson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, L T Seal, P A Curtis, E G Haydon, and D Wilson. Exeter returned to the Rec. after a long absence.
Bath tries:- Powell (2) and Haydon. Banks converted two and Weeks scored a penalty.
v Moseley, Away, Won 11-0: P Moon, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, L D Wardle, A Merrett, E T Benson, R Banks, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, S Weeks, P Curtis, L T Seal, J Jones.
Bath tries from Merrett, Powell and Haydon, one converted by Banks.
v Plymouth, Away, Lost 5-6: H Slade, W E Hancock, R A Gerrard, L. Wardle, A Merrett, F Rhymes, L St. V Powell, L W Moore, M D Shaw, P R Skinner, S Weeks, L T Seal, D Thomas, J Jones, D Wilson. Try by Shaw converted by Weeks. “Bath did well to run a strong Plymouth side to a single point. They held the lead by two points until ten minutes from the end when Monson got a try for Plymouth.
Bath were outweighted in the pack, Plymouth having a tremendously heavy side, but outside the scrum Bath were superior. Gerrard, the new man played a good game as did Powell. The most prominent man outside the Bath scrum was Slade, the Bath full-back, and he did well in pulling up Plymouth’s strong forward rushes. Towards the end Plymouth did all they could to get the lead which Bath held on to remarkably well. There was some keen tackling and in one of these Slade got rather badly injured. He was off the field when Plymouth scored but cam back just before the end.”
v Bristol, Away, Lost 8-18: H Slade, W E Hancock, L St V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, R Banks, E T Benson, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, N W Matthews, R G Sampson, D Thomas, L T Seal, S Weeks. Two tries by Merrett, with Banks converting one.
Bristol Programme comment:
“One of the chief reasons for Bath’s success is the fact that they have a well balanced side and rank second to none in team spirit. They possess few individual stars, but they are so “all together” that they are a difficult side to defeat. In Slade they possess one of the finest full backs in England; the three-quarter line is fast and resolute, while the arrival of Benson (the Oxford Blue) has strengthened the halves considerably. Forward, Bath have always been strong, and this season is no exception. Ian Spence, the wing forward is this season’s captain, and his vice captain, Norman Matthews (the Trial Cap) is also in the pack.”
v Old Edwardians, Home, Won 32-12: P Moon, W E Hancock, R Banks, L St. V Powell, A Merrett, F Rhymes, E T Benson, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, S Weeks, D Thomas, E G Haydon, D Wilson, L T Seal. Bath tries:- Hancock (2), Powell, Merrett (2), Haydon (2) and Wilson. Drop goal and conversion by Banks and conversion by Weeks.
v Bridgwater, Away, Lost 3-6: P Moon, W E Hancock, R A Gerrard, R Banks, L St. V Powell, E T Benson, A J Hutchinson, M V Shaw, P R Skinner, L T Seal, E G Haydon, I F M Spence, D Wilson, N Matthews, S Weeks.
Nine forwards originally selected, but D Thomas asked to stay at home to meet a relative who was passing through Bath, and whom he had not seen for many years. Benson scored Bath’s solitary try.
v Old Paulines, Away, Won 23-11: P Moon, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R Banks, E J Eastcott, E T Benson, F Rhymes, M V Shaw (Capt), D Wilson, J Jones, L W Moore, E G Haydon, D Thomas, S Weeks, D Meredith.
Bath tries:- Banks (2), Haydon (2), and Meredith. Drop goal Benson and two conversions by Weeks.
v Weston, Away, Won 13-6: L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, R A Gerrard, R Banks, E J Eastcott, F Rhymes, E T Benson, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, D Thomas, L T Seal, D Wilson, L W Moore.
Gerrard outstanding in this game. Tries from Hancock (2) and Gerrard. Banks 2 conversions, to take Weston’s unbeaten record.
v Bristol, Home, Lost 0-6: R Banks, A Merrett, C E Gough, A E Gerrard, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, L T Seal, R G Sampson, D Wilson, L W Moore.
Pre-match stormy weather reduced the gate money to just £150. Immediately the game started – the rain ceased!
“Yet many, determined not to miss what is always the keenest struggle between two teams, made the journey from Bristol; among the visitors was a large percentage of women and girls. They were far more suitably clad than the men, for most of them wore Wellington boots and sou’ wester hats.”
“Everyone must have enjoyed the game; it was a typical Bath and Bristol match of modern times – how different from those of long ago, when very often there were scenes and disturbances among the spectators!”
“The band and bugles performed during the interval, but could not march owing to the state of the ground. Their playing was rightly very much appreciated.”
v Weston, Home, Won 9-3: P Moon, W E Hancock, R Banks, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, F Rhymes, L St. V Powell, M V Shaw, N Matthews, D Wilson, R G Sampson, LW Moore, LT Seal, E G Haydon, D Meredith. Bath tries by Haydon, Merrett and Gerrard.
v Richmond, Away, Drawn 8-8: H Slade (Capt.), A Merrett, R Banks, C E Gough, W E Hancock, L St.V Powell, F Rhymes, M V Shaw, S Weeks, D Wilson, LW Moore, J Jones, E G Haydon, L T Seal, D Meredith. Bath tries from Haydon and Seal, with Weeks converting one.
v St. Bartholomews Hospital, Home, Won 35-8: R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, F Rhymes, C E Gough, IF M Spence, NW Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, S Weeks, D Wilson, L T Seal, J Jones.
Bath tries:- Hancock (2), Gerrard, Merrett, Wilson, Haydon (2), Spence (2). Banks slotted 4 conversions.
v Old Blues. Home. Won 28-3. R Banks, W Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, C E Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, D Wilson, L T Seal, E G Haydon, L W Moore.
Forward, E G (George) Haydon scored 5 tries, Hancock two and Merrett one. Weeks kicked two conversions.
v Neath, Home, Won 8-0: R Banks, H Slade, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, C E Gough, IF M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, S Weeks, D Wilson, J Jones, L T Seal, L W Moore. Tries:- Hancock and Gerrard. Conversion Slade.
v Moseley, Home, Won 27-0. (3g. 4t) Team: R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, F Rhymes, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, E G Haydon, D Wilson, D Crichton-Miller, LW Moore.
Tries:- Powell (2), Spence, Haydon (3) and Moore, with Weeks converting three.
L T Seal sportingly stood down, to allow Donald Crichton-Miller to play his first game for Bath.
Gerrard made the first break through, but was well stopped by Lindop; the ball went loose and on to Hancock. Once again, it was Lindop who kept Bath out. After more sustained pressure, Hancock ran for the corner and passed inside for Powell to score. Lindop again featured in a counter attack and was unlucky not to score. Then Hancock ran well to halfway and it was left to Haydon to dribble on for the second try. By this time Lindop’s valiant defence had left him limping badly. Next, Gerrard ran strongly and good handling enabled Spence to score. This time Weeks added the extras.
Both sides continued to play well in heavy conditions, then Weeks got away, and a long pass left Moore with an easy run in. Weeks converted. Crichton-Miller was conspicuous at this point. Lindop again thwarted a Gerrard foray. Powell got the next try: “He and Hancock had been stopped many times by Lindop and Woodberry, but at last Powell went through on his own to get a good try. Weeks did not goal.”
Haydon again showed his prowess: “Gerrard fed him beyond the halfway line, and he ran, outpacing everyone, more than half the length of the field to score, and Weeks goaled. Then Haydon got a real gift. Moseley evidently thought the ball had gone dead and did not seem to worry, but Haydon chased it, touched down and a try was awarded, and Weeks kicked another goal.”
Largely due to the efforts of W T (Tommy) Davis, there was a ‘Vacation’ fifteen in operation between 1929 and1931. Most probably, the last game played was on January 5th 1931, when the team was as follows:-
Bath Wanderers:- C N Royal (Bristol University), E J H Hart (Monkton Combe), L D Wardle (Malvern), A F Lace (Malvern), T R V Gurney (Monkton Combe), C A Fortune (London University), K Jenkin (Fettes), J Bartlett (Brighton), E Lace (Oakham), W J Drummond (Bristol University), R J Oates (Prior Park), J W Moodie (Kingswood), C Kawahata (Weymouth) and the Rev. I Morgan (Kingswood)
v Devonport Services, Away, Won 10-6 (2g. to 2t): R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, C E Gough, F Rhymes, N W Matthews, A Shipp, D Wilson, R Jones, E G Haydon, S Weeks, L W Moore, D Meredith.
Despite sunny weather, there was a poor gate – Plymouth Argyle were playing Everton in the F.A. Cup. Gerrard and Hancock showed early pace behind the scrum, but the Services side began to match Bath’s efforts. Following great work by Matthews in the loose, Gerrard got a fine try from halfway, which Weeks converted. The Services replied with an unconverted try, and play continued “at a hot pace.” Wilson, Matthews and Weeks showed well in the rushes, and new men, Jones and Shipp contributed to a good forward effort. Hancock won the game with a spectacular try in the last minute: “He picked up at half-way, raced off, and, tipping the ball over the full-back’s head, won the race for the ball.” Weeks again converted.
v Gloucester, Home, Won 9-3: R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, D Wilson, S Weeks, LT Seal, L W Moore.
Bristol Evening Post. “Hancock was the hero of the match between Bath and Gloucester, which Bath won by three tries to a try.
Hancock was easily superior to his opposing wing. He was the scorer of the first try and the brain behind the two subsequent Bath tries which were scored by Haydon.
Haydon as usual, was well up and was ready each time Hancock made a burst along the line.
The game was an exceptionally fast one. Gloucester’s forwards worked well and their rushes were mainly responsible for a number of onslaughts made on the Bath line.
Gloucester’s threequarters, however, did not handle too well and Bath’s defence was sturdy.
Banks played a sound game at full-back and Gloucester’s rushes, particularly at the opening of the second half, were well parried. Bath threequarters were in excellent form and their precise passing to the left gave Hancock the chances , which led to the Bath scores.
The goal kicking on both sides was poor, although on one occasion the attempt at goal was made directly in front of the post.”
v Oxford Greyhounds, Home, Won 24-7: R Banks, W Hancock, H Buse, H Slade, A Merrett, C E Gough, F Rhymes, M V Shaw, D Wilson, S Weeks, L W Moore, E G Haydon, L T Seal, J Jones, R G Sampson.
Bath were without four of their County players, but were reinforced by Harry Slade, who came up from Exeter. The visitors brought a young side, their forwards heeled splendidly and their were some promising moves from their back division. Then Haydon led the Bath resistance, taking play to the Oxford 25. It was fifteen minutes from the start when fine passing yielded a try to Moore, which Banks converted. Ten minutes on, and it was Merrett’s turn to cross over after a fine passing movement. Weeks secured a long distance penalty for an off-side offence. Into the second half, and Buse got in for Bank to convert. The Greyhounds responded with a smart drop goal. Buse then intercepted and ran strongly for Haydon to score his 21st try of the season. The visitors were playing well in the late stages, and King scored an unconverted try. Buse countered with a further try which was converted by Weeks.
v Devonport Services, Home, Won 26-0 (4g. 2t) Team:- R Banks, W Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, C E Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, G G Gregory, E G Haydon, D Wilson, S Weeks, L T Seal. Played midst snow flurries.
Bath fielded a strong team, including, G G Gregory, the Somerset hooker, then at Reading University. D Crichton-Miller was selected, but withdrew, in view of his International selection for Scotland v Wales the following week.
Services tackled well in the face of enterprising handling by the Bath backs. George Haydon scored within 20 minutes, for Banks to convert. Next, Norman Matthews ran in like a three-quarter, for Banks to again add the extras. Into the second half and Bath were monopolising the ball in the forwards, enabling Gerrard to race away and give Louis Powell a clear run the line.
“But again the ball went nicely to Merrett, who made away at a great pace and when opposed by Farrow passed inside again to the ever-following up Haydon. He gathered and fell over to score wide out. Weeks kicked a really fine goal, the ball just going over the cross bar.”
Despite deteriorating conditions, Bath continued to dominate play. Gough gathered skilfully setting up Hancock for the next try, which Weeks converted. Finally, Gerrard ran half the length of the pitch, allowing Spence to outpace Oliver and score in the corner.
The Bath Chronicle 6/2/1931, carried the announcement that Bath were seeking to strengthen their fixture list, launch a United XV, and hasten ground improvements. Mr. Arnold Ridley was appointed as Team Secretary and would put the team changes into effect.
“An “extra first” team called Bath United will run with an attractive list of fixtures.”
The declared aim was:-
A GOOD MATCH ON THE REC. EVERY SATURDAY.
v Stroud, Home, Won 29-9. (4g.3t to 3t) Team:- R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St V Powell, W E Hancock, C E Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, L T Seal, E G Haydon, S Weeks, D Wilson and D Thomas.
Stroud kicked off and contained Bath for just 5 minutes then: Hancock kicked over Bruton’s head, and Haydon, following up, kicked on and was easily a scorer from the 25 line.” Merrett got an excellent try after a run from half-way, and Banks goaled.
Bath tries followed from Hancock (3), Merrett and Gerrard, with Banks converting three of them.
“Stroud had put up a good show, although their style of play had been by no means scientific.”
BATH SCHOOLS – REPRESENTATIVE RUGBY
The Stroud game was preceded by Somerset & Gloucester Boys v Devon & Cornwall Boys’
It was the first occasion a four-counties Boys’ match had been played at Bath. It was the first season for the Official Somerset Schools Rugby Union. Playing for the Somerset & Gloucester side was City of Bath schoolboy forward Alec Richard Thom. Cecil Ascott of Oldfield School, Captain of Bath Boys XV, and Somerset, was first reserve.
At that time, the last boy to gain an International Cap was Robert Rose, of Oldfield School; he played for England against Wales in 1924, at Cardiff.
C Parsons, forward and Harry Vowles, scrum half, had previously gained schoolboy caps whist at East Twerton School. Indeed, East Twerton provided no less than four England trialists in 1906-7. The School record was: Played 14, Won 14. Points for 441, Against 0!
v Llanelly, Away, Lost 0-8: R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, H Buse, A Merrett, F Rhymes, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, D Thomas, S Weeks, D Wilson, L T Seal.
Bath were without Internationals, Gerrard (ankle injury), Crichton-Miller and Gregory. Nevertheless, they showed promise in the early stages, when they moved the ball along the whole of the three-quarter line. However, it was not long before Dai John sent the Llanelly threes away, and Bath did well to hold them. Then, a smart bit of heeling, and a reverse pass to John, led to Syd Howell making a clean break for Llanelly’s first try, which Bryn Howell converted.
Llanelly went away strongly at the commencement of the second half, with a lively forward effort.
“Five minutes from the end S Howell got another fine try, and the Bath players applauded him.”
v Leicester, Home, Won 19-9: R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, C E Gough, J Hutchinson, M V Shaw, G G Gregory, S Weeks, N W Matthews, Dai Thomas, D Crichton Miller, E G Haydon, I F M Spence.
Leicester fielded fine centres in Buckingham and Greenlees. Bath countered with fine tackling and a sound performance from Banks at full-back. However, the Tigers were six points up 20 minutes from the start. At last, Bath warmed to the task, and Powell made the first incursion with a thirty yards dash, here the ball went loose and Crichton-Miller forced his way over for Bath’s first try, and Gregory goaled. Spence got the next try after a bullocking run by Gerrard. Thus, Bath were in the lead 8-6 at half time. Early in the second half, Spence scored from Hancock’s cross kick. Leicester then fought back hard and got within two points of Bath’s score with a fine try by Hardwicke. Then a long pass found Gerrard, who exchanged cleverly with Merrett; Gerrard raced over for Weeks to add the extras.
Merrett again featured in a touch-line dash and the ubiquitous Haydon was up to take his pass and score his ‘customary’ try. The game closed with Haydon again figuring in the action.
v Pontypool, Home, Won 11-9 Team:- R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St. V Powell, W E Hancock, F Rhymes, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, D Thomas, L T Seal, S Weeks, D Wilson, E G Haydon.
There were bright early stages as both sides elected to play the open game. Fifteen minutes from the start, Hancock ran from half-way, rounding Watkins and Brooke for the opening try, which Banks goaled. A smart heel put Merrett away. The speedy winger ran at Brooks, and Haydon was at his side to take the pass and score. Gerrard then withdrew with a dislocated collar bone and Haydon moved out to the wing. Pontypool then monopolised play, and Bryne Jayne eventually scored when Banks failed to clear. Near half time and Pontypool failed to ground the ball. Merrett came up smartly and touched down for another fine effort. Weeks could not goal. The Usksiders responded with an unconverted try by Cormack. Bath seemed somewhat unnerved at this point, and after some scrambling play, Jayne was allowed to score again. With a few minutes to go, Bath were holding on to their two points lead, only to be reduced to 13 men when Dai Thomas withdrew, again – a shoulder injury.
“Excitement was intense when Wilson and Matthews both got in good runs. Thomas had resumed, and the Bath forwards played like demons to get another score. Hancock made a great dash for the corner and was only just pushed to touch a yard from the line in the very last minute.”
v Neath, Away, Lost 3-14. Team:- P Moon, W E Hancock, R Banks, E J Eastcott, A Merrett, F Rhymes, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, G G Gregory, M V Shaw, S Weeks, L W Moore, D Wilson, E G Haydon.
The weather was fine, but dreadfully cold. The ball was very lively, and in windy conditions, players had difficulty in retaining the ball. There was a good crowd for Bath’s first visit since 1910. Neath fielded internationals Lemon and Hollingdale. Merrett, Rhymes and Spence were conspicuous in early play, and Spence and Hancock did well in loose forays. Neath conquered the windy conditions better than Bath, and their efforts were rewarded with a goal and three tries. Bath’s try followed a Neath muddle, when Banks snatched up the ball, to run 75 yards for an unconverted try.
R Banks, E J Eastcott, H Buse, C E Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, B C Barber, M V Shaw, D Wilson, L T Seal, S Weeks, D Thomas and E G Haydon.
The team travelled via Paddington for Northampton. Harry Slade joined them as a spectator, having travelled over from Paris. Ginger Williams also joined at Paddington. He was the brother of Welsh International Eddie Williams, who ‘went North’ a few seasons earlier. The new scrum half showed well, and looked a useful acquisition. Bath never recovered from a fifth minute penalty goal, soon followed by a try by Cleaver. Amid the confusion, Gough then missed his man, and Bath were nine points down in nine minutes of play.
Bath’s second half reply, was a typical forward effort, with Seal credited with the touch down.
v Plymouth, Home, Won 14-3. Team:- R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St. V Powell, W Hancock, F Rhymes, S Williams, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, D Thomas, D Wilson, L T Seal, E G Haydon.
G G Gregory and Crichton-Miller were away at Edinburgh, confronting one another in the Calcutta Cup match.
The players had enjoyed Friday evening’s performance at the Palace Theatre. In turn, the entire cast were guests of the Bath Club for the match.
Plymouth led with a try scored after 25 minutes. Bath responded with tries by Haydon (2), Gerrard, and Spence. Weeks converted Haydon’s second try.
R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, L St V Powell, W E Hancock, C E Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, N W Matthews, M V Shaw,
G G Gregory, S Weeks, L T Seal, D Thomas, and E G Haydon.
Newport were last in Bath on March 14th 1929. (Only one match a season was played)
The visitors brought a heavy pack; both sides played good rugby and Newport ‘attacked hotly: “Then there was rare excitement, with the Newport forwards dribbling away, Banks robbed them and came through a whole bunch of them in great style. When clear, he passed out to Hancock, who kicked on and got the ball again, but could not pick up. He dribbled on and then picked up, but only had a yard or two to work in from the touch line, and Everson pulled him over. It was a splendid bit of play and delighted the crowd – now a very big one.” There was no score at half-time, but Newport’s Edwards scored three minutes from the re-start, followed by a magnificent touch-line conversion by Everson. Newport dominated play and misses by Gough and Powell, enabled Thompson to drop a fine goal, to clinch the game for Newport.
v Exeter, Away, Lost 4-8. Team:- H Slade, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, R Banks, F Rhymes, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, D Thomas, S Weeks, L T Seal, E G Haydon, B C Barber, and D Wilson.
In the Exeter match, Banks played at outside half and dropped a fine goal. Surprisingly, he was not re-selected in this position until 4th November 1933.
This was a disappointing match, as Bath had sufficient possession to enable them to win comfortably.
Exeter took their chances, and Cann went over from their first break-away. Chappell kicked a fine conversion. “Powell certainly did not have one of his on days- neither did Gerrard, for all that, and the wings had very few chances, and when they did get them, they could not out-manoeuvre Cann and Rew. Of Bath’s forwards I consider Matthews, Thomas and Seal were the best.”
v United Services, Home, Won 27-5. Team:- R Banks, W E Hancock, H Buse, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, C Gough, F Rhymes, I F M Spence, M V Shaw, N W Matthews, D Thomas, S Weeks, L T Seal, D Wilson, L W Moore.
Tries:- Merrett, Weeks, Hancock (3), Spence, Gough. Three conversions Banks (2) and Weeks.
A very fast game in fine weather. Bath beat a below strength Services side by 3 goals, 4 tries to 1 goal. In a generally poor game, Bath’s best play came in the final 20 minutes. Replacement Buse had a sound match and improved as the game progressed. “Gerrard was the outstanding back again, and delighted the large crowd with his strong running.” “Hancock got three excellent tries and might have had more had he held all his passes.” Jack Wetter refereed splendidly.
v Old Merchants Taylors, Home, Won 11-3 Team:- R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, H Buse, W E Hancock, C E Gough, F Rhymes, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, D Wilson, S Weeks, D Thomas, E G Haydon, L T Seal, I F M Spence.
This was Bath’s first win over the O.M.T.’s. Bath’s forwards performed particularly well against a very strong team.
Tries by Merrett (2), and Gerrard. Conversion Banks.
“Bath forwards were in excellent fettle, Matthews heading many a rush.”
Gough and Buse combined well, and the former’s cross-kick, enabled Merrett to score the first of his tries. Gerrard cut clean through all opposition on his way to the line.
v Northampton, Home, Won 6-5. Team:- R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, H Buse, W E Hancock, C E Gough, I F M Spence, N Shaw, S Weeks, D Wilson, Dan Thomas, L T Seal, L W Moore, J Jones and A Shipp.
Bath fielded three ‘A’ team forwards in, L W Moore, J Jones and A Shipp, and they all performed well in exalted company. It was Shipp’s first outing with the senior side on the Rec., and gave an impressive performance. Norman Matthews was absent with permission – on his wedding day!
Tries by Hancock and Haydon. Ralph Banks had a particularly sound game.
“Play was open and fast, and Bath’s forwards were again in good form.”
R Banks, A Merrett, R A Gerrard, E J Eastcott, W E Hancock, C E Gough, F Rhymes, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, E G Haydon, S Weeks, D Wilson, L T Seal, RG Sampson, A Shipp.
In an injury strewn game, in which a strong and heavy Pontypool outfit ran in 6 tries against a beleaguered Bath side. An injury to Gough meant that Haydon had to move to the wing and Merrett took the outside half spot. Haydon’s absence from the pack proved decisive.
Four of Pontypool’s six tries were accredited to forwards, whilst their backs were clever and fast. Both Bath centres played well, although Gerrard attempted to do rather too much, and suffered from a heavy tackle. Consequent on the loss of Weeks, Bath were packing 3.2.1. in the final stages.
“R Banks, at full-back, and F Rhymes at scrum-half, were easily the most prominent of the Bath outsides.”
“Matthews led them splendidly and set them an excellent example. Seal tackled and followed up like a tiger, and Shaw, Wilson, Weeks, Sampson and Shipp – all the forwards, in fact, played right through in a never-say-die kind of fashion.
Bath certainly were not so overwhelmed as the score might indicate.”
v Llanelly, Home, Lost 3-7 Team:- R Banks, W E Hancock, L St. V Powell, R A Gerrard, A Merrett, F Rhymes, C E Gough, N W Matthews, M V Shaw, S Weeks, D Thomas, L T Seal, D Wilson, E G Haydon, R G Sampson. Llanelly were the reigning Champion Club of Wales.
Much of the Llanelly support took advantage of the G.W.R.’s 6s 6d return excursion arriving in Bath at 1-30pm.
Freddy Rhymes intercepted from a Llanelly heel. He raced away on his own, side-stepped the opposition and scored a capital try within three minutes of the start. Later, Hancock was unfortunate in failing to hold a pass from Powell. At last the Llanelly backs got moving and Brin Evans scored wide out. The “Sospans” were having the better of the game. In the late stages, Hancock dropped another pass, this time from Banks. In the last minute, Dai John dropped a capital goal, and so won the game which Bath hardly deserved to lose.
“The forwards had a rare good day, and it was doubtful which was the better pack, although, perhaps, Bath won at heeling.” The game was played in an excellent spirit and Llanelly retained their reputation as being one of the cleanest sides in Wales.
FOR THE RECORD
Bath scored 45 goals, five drop goals, 2 penalty goals, and 67 tries, while their opponents got 15 goals, 4 drop goals and 47 tries.
E G Haydon 29; W E Hancock 21; A Merrett 16; I F M Spence 10; R A Gerrard 9; L St. V Powell 7; R Banks 4; D Wilson, L T Seal, L W Moore, H Buse 2, and L D Wardle, M V Shaw, E T Benson, D Meredith, D Crichton-Miller, C E Gough, S Weeks and F Rhymes one each.
45 goals were kicked from 112 tries. Banks 22, S Weeks 21, H Slade and G G Gregory 1 each.
R Banks kicked 5 drop goals and S Weeks 2 penalty goals.
Full-Backs:- R Banks 20, P Moon 9, H Slade 78 and L St. V Powell 1.
Threequarters:- W E Hancock all 37 games, A Merrett 28, R A Gerrard 24, L St V Powell 23, C E Gough 8, H Buse 8, E J Eastcott 7, L D Wardle 6, R Banks 6 and H Slade 1.
Halves:- F Rhymes 26, C E Gough 19, E T Benson 10, R Banks 8, A J Hutchinson 4, L St V Powell 3, S Williams 2, and I F M Spence and L D Wardle once each.
Forwards:- M V Shaw 35, S Weeks 35, E G Haydon 34, L T Seal 31, D Wilson 31, N Matthews 30, I F M Spence 25, L W Moore 17, D Thomas 16, J Jones 9, R G Sampson 7, P R Skinner 4, D Meredith 4, T Coles, R K Lindsay, G G Gregory and A Shipp 3, D Crichton-Miller, P Curtis and B C Barber 2 each