1948 to 1949

Match reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1948-1949

 

4/9/1948

v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Lost 9-13. Selected team: J Arnold, T Hicks, K O’Shaughnessy, F/O K Watson, A Wenyon, A Thomas, M Hanna, J Messer, R Clark, G Reid, A Burcombe, L Harter, T Lewis, M Sutton and W A Todd (Capt.)

The ‘Seasiders’ just had the edge on Bath and ran in two tries, converted and a drop goal to Bath’s two unconverted tries and a penalty.

In perfect weather, Bath looked resplendent in a brand new set of blue, white and black jerseys. Hicks and O’Shaughnessy figured in brave attempts to break the Weston defence, but passes went astray in the fickle sea breezes. Sutton defied the wind in the 12th minute landing a tricky penalty. More smart work by O’Shaughnessy, Hicks brought no reward.

“When the ball was kicked into touch a small dog created a diversion by catching hold of it by the lace and making off with it. There was a good tackle by a spectator.”

Jack Arnold saved a certain score, but Weston pulled up level in the 26th minute when Moule dropped a goal. (now 3 points) They went further ahead when wing-forward Jefferies dived over, for Coleman to convert. Bath were now playing into a stiffening wind which was a great help to the home side. At the turn around, it was Bath’s turn to utilise the elements, and they emulated Weston’s preference for using the feet. However, they left a yawning gap, and a Weston counter attack left Griffin a run in, for Coleman to again convert. At last Bath rallied and tries by Trevor Lewis and Tommy Hicks narrowed the gap.

 

11/9/1948

v Leicester, Away, Lost 3-15. L Moores, K Wilcox, K O’Shaughnessy, M Terry, T Lewis, M Hannah, A Thomas, G Reid, R Clark, J Messer, A Burcombe, L Harter, B Ball, M Sutton, W A Todd. Leicester scored 4 tries and a penalty to Bath’s try by Mike Terry.

 

It was Ken Wilcox’s debut game and Trevor Lewis was a makeshift winger. Bob Ball filled a pack vacancy. Les Moores featured in early exchanges, his strong touch kicking relieving pressure on a number of occasions. Leicester went ahead with Ellis’s try in the eight minute and they soon went further ahead with a penalty goal. Leicester were applying all the pressure and it took a brilliant tackle by Jim Messer to avert another score. The game continued at a cracking pace and the Tigers had further successes.

“Moore’s kicking was a feature of this half, as it was in the first. The crowd of 3000 cheered a spell of bright passing by the Bath backs, in which O’Shaughnessy and Thomas were the most noticeable.

Arthur Burcombe was in the wars, and had to go off for a few minutes for attention. While he was off the ground Terry intercepted 35 yards out and, with a beautiful clear run through and over on his own account, he was given one of the biggest ovations of the afternoon. It was a grand opportunist’s try.”

Later on, Leicester’s Rees followed up a speculative kick ahead, had the luck of the bounce, and raced over for the Tiger’s fourth try.

 

18/9/1948

v Swansea, Home. Lost 0-14. Team: L Moores, K John, M Terry, K O’Shaughnessy, T Hicks, M Hanna, R Wilcox, J Messer, R Clark, T Smith, G Reid, L Harter, A Lewis, M Sutton and W A Todd.

Tom Smith returned to the side, but his R.A.F. National Service had been extended for a further three months.

This was another big reverse at the hands of Swansea. The visitors scored 4 tries, one converted, without reply. The visitors turned on an exhibition of classic match-winning rugby and Bath found themselves constantly on the defensive. When Bath won ball, they seldom gave their Wingers room to operate. Alec Lewis, making his 1st XV debut in the back row came very close to scoring, but Bath were sluggish in comparison to the wily Welshmen.

 

25/9/1948

v Devonport Services, Home. Drawn 11-11. Team:- J Arnold, C Porter, M Terry, T Hicks, K O’Shaughnessy, M Hanna, R Wilcox, T Smith, R Clark, J Messer, A Burcombe, G Reid, A Lewis, M Sutton, A Todd.

It was an exceedingly hot day: “Rugby was really a self inflicted form of cruelty on such an afternoon.”

Bath, and particularly scrum-half Hanna, suffered from a sluggish heel. After a promising foray by O’Shaughnessy, newcomer Alec Lewis scored Bath’s first home try of the season. Bath broke away again in the 14th minute for Sutton to touch down and Cyril Porter converted. In the second half, Waller scored a try for the Services, and seven minutes later O’Sullivan added another.

Porter added a penalty to put Bath ahead, then the best try of the afternoon when Sub Lt. Glastonbury carved a path through the Bath middle, with a swerving run, which had the defence grasping at thin air. Hosking converted to level the game.

 

27/9/1948

v Penzance, Away, Won 11-6. J Arnold, R Sharpe, M Terry, J Hicks, K O’Shaughnessy, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Messer, W Barrow, T Smith, V Northam, A Burcombe, A Lewis, C Reid, W Todd. The first win of the season. “Bath began in great style, Todd heading a dashing pack, going over after 5 minutes, and that very fine forward, A Lewis added another, which, this time, the 16 stone R.A.F. Sergeant, Northam converted. Before the second try, however, Bath were penalised, and Porrett kicked a penalty goal.” Gunn (Was it Ben by any chance?) added an unconverted try for Penzance, then Bath’s Terry (a Cornishman), scored a try after a well placed kick ahead by Tommy Hicks.

After the match the players were entertained to a dance and memories of a lost game were soon forgotten.

 

28/9/1948

v Redruth, Away, Lost 3-13. J Arnold, R Sharpe, T Hicks, K O’Shaughnessy, M Spark, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Messer, W Barrow, T Smith, L Harter, V Northam, A Lewis, J Vassiere, W A Todd.

Alec Lewis scored Bath’s only try – his third in three games. His football brain was very apparent from the start. It was little wonder that he went on to Captain Bath, be capped 10 times for England, become England’s Chairman of Selectors, Tour Manager to South Africa, President and Life Member of the Bath Club.

 

2/10/1948

v Llanelly, Away. Won 3-0. First time Bath had won at Stradey. Team: W G Jenkins, C Porter, T Hicks, M Terry, A Wenyon, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Messer, T Smith, G Reid, A Burcombe, V Northam, A Lewis, M Sutton and W Todd.

Notably, Bath had to return from a short Cornish Tour and then bestir themselves for a further away trip, this time to Llanelly.

“‘Twas a famous victory” and Dr. W A Todd and his men, were appropriately congratulated.

Bath were without Jack Arnold (cracked rib), Les Moores (honeymoon), A A Clarke (Dorset & Wilts. game), and O’Saughnessy (returned to Bristol University rugby). Llanelly were also obliged to make a number of changes. Bath were livelier in the early play, with Wilcox constantly probing for openings. However, both defences held until Bath commenced to hammer away: “with a persistence that worried the home defence. They battered at the Llanelly line, and it was left to nippy Greville to relieve the pressure.

Bath sprang a great surprise on the Welshman when not 10 minutes from the end Porter, on the right-wing collected a loose ball and ran in grand style. He threw an inside pass to Terry, which the Cornish recruit to Bath gathered beautifully.

He found the Welsh defence spread-eagled, and running strongly scored a great and outstanding try.

Thus Bath gained their first victory on the Llanelly ground-and their first first-class victory in Wales. A great day for Bath, look you!”

 

9/10/1948

v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Lost 9-20. Selected team: L Moores, A Wenyon, T Hicks, M Terry, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, T Smith, R Clark, G Reid, V Northam, L S Harter, A Lewis, P Ryan and W A Todd.

Bath missed 6 players absent on County calls. The students amassed 5 tries, one converted and a drop goal, to Bath’s two first half tries and a later drop goal. Alec Lewis was again on the scorecard with a smartly taken try, from Hanna’s opening. Ryan got the other try, and Bath started the second half in more confident mood. Recent honeymooner, Les Moores capped a good performance with a capital drop goal. “Doubtless Bath carried too many reserves to hope to repeat their success of a week ago. The hospital had taken their chance with both hands and with abundant enthusiasm.”

 

16/10/1948

v Bristol, Home, Drawn 3-3. L Moores, A M W Wenyon, T Hicks, M Terry, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, C A Reid, W Barrow, J Messer, A Burcombe, M Sutton, A Lewis, T Lewis, W A Todd. Pre-match rain kept all but the most ardent supporters by their firesides. Bath’s Williams scored the only try of the afternoon, while Bristol had to be content with one successful penalty.

Almost on time, Les Moores had a chance to win the game with an award right in front of the Bristol posts, but it drifted wide. In all other respects, Moore’s performance was faultless. Terry, Wenyon and Hicks performed well in defence. The whole back division suffered from an extremely slow heel.

In the forwards, it was a terrific dual played out in the best sporting spirit. “Merry and Merciless,” was the journalist’s comment at the time. The result was in doubt to the end – which made for a highly entertaining and exciting game of rugby.

 

23/10/1948

v Bridgwater, Away, Lost 0-8. L Moores, P O Corris, T Hicks, G Hawkes, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Messer, W Barrow, G Reid, L Harter, W Todd, A Lewis, P Ryan, J Vassiere.

Bath had lost to the ‘Seasiders,’ the ‘Tigers’ and the ‘Swans,’ drawn with the ‘Servicemen,’ had ups-and- downs with the ‘Cornish Pasties,’ drawn the ‘Derby’ and now lost out to the ‘Brickmen’ of Bridgwater!

 

Both sides were depleted with County calls, but it was Bridgwater who scored a goal and a penalty goal without reply. Alec Lewis and Wilcox were prominent in the early stages. There was adequate possession from the set scrums and the Bath backs attempted to play an open game. However, repeated forays were repulsed by Bridgwater’s stubborn defence. Thirteen minutes into the second half, Collyer kicked a penalty when Bath were caught offside. Later, Guerrero added a try, for Collyer to convert.

 

Skipper Allan Todd was concerned at Bath’s patchy performance:-

In a circular dated 28th October 1948, he called upon all players to attend training at 6.45pm prompt, every Tuesday.

The Training activity was outlined as:-

1 Post-mortem on the previous Saturday game,

2 Plan for next game,

3 Open discussion, and time permitting,

4 Practice of what points can be practised in the circumstances.

An outside expert would attend some of the sessions.

Extract from final paragraph: “Naturally the attendance of players at this training will be taken into consideration when the sides are selected.”

 

30/10/1948

v Harlequins, Home, Won 18-13. L Moores, W Wenyon, M Terry, I Lumsden, T Hicks, G Hawkes, M Spark, J Messer, A Clark, G A Reid, A H Burcombe, M Sutton, A Lewis, T Ryan, W A Todd .

Bath performance picked up against the men with the multicoloured jerseys. Perhaps skipper Todd had engendered some team spirit, but more likely, it was the welcome return of Ian Lumsden after a long absence on his R.A.F. medical duties. Importantly, Bath secured their first home win of the season

Within four minutes of the start, Lumsden had found an opening for Terry to speed in forty yards for the first of his three tries. Lumsden’s presence had transformed Bath’s back play and he sent Terry in again, just ten minutes later. Quins rallied briefly with a converted try, then Allan Todd found his way through to touch down in the corner, for a third unconverted try. Near half time, Todd scored a second, after a feed from Wenyon. Newcomer Hawkes dropped a smart goal. In the second half, Terry deserved the loudest applause of the afternoon, when he intercepted a wayward pass and set off at great speed for the fifth and final try.

“The memory of Terry’s glorious run will outlive much else that has happened so far this season.” Commented ‘The Captain.’ Allan Todd was an inspiration, and played his finest game of the season to date.

Bath then sat back on their laurels and Harlequins made a valiant effort to close the gap. It had been a very entertaining afternoon of rugby. But Oh ! those missed conversions!

 

6/11/1948

v United Services, Away, Won 14-11. Team:- L Moores, W Donnelly, K Wilcox, M Terry, T W Hicks, G Hawkes, M Spark, J Messer, R A Ball, G A Reid, A Burcombe, G S Brown, M Sutton, P Ryan, W A Todd. It was Bath’s the third away win of the season.

Bath did well with four Reserves. Michael Terry was in fine form. Donnelly’s tackle saved a certain try, when he brought down Services’ International centre, N O Bennett. It was Bill Donnelly’s first team debut. Along with Terry, he was a student at the School of Physiotherapy, Combe Park, Bath.

Both sides threw the ball around with delightful abandon, with both sets of halves outstanding. Mike Terry was the undoubted ‘match winner,’ and young Donnelly’s tackle, was undoubtedly –

the ‘match saver.’ Les Moores was excellent as last line of defence and Tom Hicks tackled well in his preferred centre position. Skipper Todd, led by example – he scored a try and kicked a goal. Burcombe, Sutton and Ryan also showed well in a lively pack.

Bath tries by Todd, Terry (2) and Sutton.

 

13/11/1948

v Oxford, Home. Won 14-6. J Arnold, W Williams, T Hicks, K Wilson, A Wenyon, M Spark, G Hawkes, J Messer, W Barrow, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, A Lewis, P Ryan, W Todd.

Newcomers to the Rec., Oxford gave a good account of themselves. Chronicle comment: “Tommy Hicks performed with quiet solid efficiency, without being spectacular.”

“Jack Arnold, reappearing at full-back gave a clean and finished performance.”

Tries by Hicks, Lewis (2), and Williams. Todd converted one.

 

20/11/1948

v Gloucester, Away, Lost 0-5. J Arnold, A Wenyon, I Lumsden, M Terry, W Williams, N Halse, G Hawkes, J Messer, R Clark, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, A Lewis, P Ryan, A Todd.

The combination of Lumsden and Terry at centre and Hawkes at fly-half, showed early promise, but feeds to wingers Wenyon and Williams were quickly stifled. Arnold had a difficult afternoon, but acquitted himself well. The Bath centres remained the mainstay of the attack to the end, but there was always a Gloucester player on hand to bring a player down.

“I feel the most ardent Gloucester supporter will agree that Gloucester were a lucky side to win last week. Crabtree got the match winning try, gaining the better of an awkward bouncing ball, and the infallible W Jones got his goal, and his kicking saved Gloucester on numerous occasions.

Bath did everything but score.” (Programme Notes)

 

27/11/1948

v Stroud, Home, Won 11-0. L Moores, W Williams, T Hicks, K Wilcox, C Porter, M Spark, G Hawkes, J Messer, W Barrow, G Reid, M Sutton, J Dingle, P Ryan, K Newburn, J Vassiere.

SURPRISE – ANTI-CLIMAX – LAST MINUTE TRY

Bath were without Allan Todd and Ian Lumsden (Scottish Trial), Michael Terry (Cornwall), Arthur Burcombe, Mac Wenyon and Alec Lewis [Reserve] (Somerset), and R Clark and Trevor Lewis (Dorset & Wilts.) Hawkes fielded the kick-off ball and sent in Williams for a sensational try within 60 seconds.

After this initial excitement, the game settled into a tight, mauling affair, with only an occasional flash of interest. Stroud’s forwards were tough and forceful, with little interest in opening up to their backs. Any Bath man who attempted to run with the ball was quickly brought to the ground. Stroud lost forward, Merritt, who was removed to hospital, but their seven-man pack continued to suppress any efforts at open play. At last, Cyril Porter got over for Bath and converted his own try. “In the closing minutes Dingle fought gamely to get over, and Porter, in the last split second, scored in the corner but could not convert.”

 

4/12/1948

v London Scottish, Away, Lost 6-9. Amended Team:- L Moores, C Porter, I Lumsden, M Terry, W Williams, G Hawkes, M Spark, Newburn, R Clark, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, A Lewis, P Ryan, W Todd.

The Scots fluid game started with frequent line-out possession – and Bath needed to tighten up their marking in this phase of play. The sides turned around with Bath trailing 0-6. The backs suffered from a sluggish heel; by the time Spark got the ball, a wing forward was around his shoulders. Terry was closely marked and given little opportunity to shine in front of an English selector. Reid and Lewis led rousing raids into Scots’ territory, countered by another surge from the Exciles. At this point Les Moores stood up manfully under severe pressure. Williams did some useful destructive work amongst the opposing backs, which led to Porter landing a well taken penalty. In fading light, the Scots’ winger Smith crossed for a try. This prompted a last rally and Hawkes was on hand to drop a goal to reduce the arrears.

 

11/12/1948

v Somerset Police, Home, Drawn 6-6. L Moores, C Porter, M Hanna, T Hicks, W Williams, G Hawkes, M Spark, G Roberts, R Clark, G Reid, L S Harter, M Sutton, T Lewis, K Newburn, P Ryan. Bath were hard pressed to hold a tough Police side to a draw. It was a shocking afternoon, in which rain wind and mud reduced play to an amorphous and continuous maul. There was the odd exciting moment as both teams tried to play football as it was intended, but in the end, the mud gained the upper hand. Bath’s winger Williams had a fine game, countering both of the Police scores with two well taken tries. Hanna and Hicks worked well in partnership.

 

18/12/1948

v Weston Super Mare, Home, Won 3-0. L Moores, W Williams, T Hicks, M Terry, C Porter, G Hawkes, M Spark, W Jenkins, G Reid, J Messer, A Burcombe, M Sutton, P Ryan, A Lewis, W A Todd. A second half drop goal by Hawkes was the only score of the match. Both Bath wingers had promising runs and Todd featured in thrusting movements, but the Weston line held firm.

Hawkes was fast and lively throughout and there was a prophetic tribute from ‘THE CAPTAIN’:

“A Lewis, best forward on the field, nearly did the trick again. He is a remarkably fine back row forward, and if he does not make International class, it will be surprising.”

 

26/12/1948

v Old Blues, Home, Won 17-0. L Moores, W Williams, T Hicks, K O’Shaughnessy, C Porter, G Hawkes, M Hanna, G Reid, W Jenkins, J Messer, A Burcombe, M Sutton, P Ryan, A Lewis, W Todd.

This was typical Boxing Day fare, with Bath running in tries by Williams (2), O’Shaughnessy, Porter and Hanna. Todd converted one.

“The secret of Bath’s success was some of the best half-back play by a home pair that we have seen for many a day.” Tommy Hicks had one of his best games alongside Kevin O’Shaughnessy. Williams was ever a thorn in the flesh of the Old Boys and Porter had a good game. Todd and Lewis were in the thick of things.

 

28/12/1948

v Llanelly, Home, Won 6-0. L Moores, W Williams, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, C Porter, M Hanna, T Hicks, J Messer, R Clark, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, L Harter, W Todd, W Jenkins.

Bath retained the Rag Doll mascot, completing a double over the ‘Sospans’ at Stradey Park. Despite the poor conditions, the Bath backs gave an exhibition of superior handling, behind a pack which gave them a plentiful supply of ball. Owing to player shortages, Alec Lewis was asked to play at centre. Once again, he put in a superb performance. His strength, speed and safe hands, made all the difference to the back line the win could largely be attributed to his presence. It was his outrageous ‘dummy’ that wrong-footed his opponents, enabling Williams the tear away for the first try. (His 8th of the season). His co-centre profited from Lewis’s presence, but this time it was Porter who found the opening for O’Shaughnessy to score. In the forwards, Todd, Messer, Reid and Harter were in tremendous form. Moores was again – a stout-hearted tackler. No one had got past the Bath full-back in three successive games.

 

1/1/1949

v Old Cranleighans, Away, Won 20-3. L Moores, W Williams, A Lewis, H Leek, C Porter, M Hanna, T Hicks, J Roberts, G Reid, L Harter, A Burcombe, M Sutton, K Newburn, P Ryan, W A Todd.

After fifteen minutes, Alec Lewis, again at centre, intercepted for the first of his three tries. Despite dreadful weather, Bath were giving the ball plenty of air, and Lewis was again in with a score. He sliced clean through a muddled defence, clearing his path with a tremendous hand-off. Todd added the extras. The Old Boys revived briefly with a well taken penalty goal, but Ryan, Williams, Leek and the irrepressible Lewis, took their turns to touch down.

 

8/1/1949

v London Welsh. Away, Lost 5-6. L Moores, C Porter, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, T Hicks, M Hanna, J Roberts, W Jenkins (Cambridge), G Reid, A Burcombe, K Newburn, P Ryan, M Sutton, W Todd.

TWO OF THE LEWIS’S

Coincidentally, Alec Lewis of Bath was marking opposing centre Alec Lewis of London Welsh.

Our own Alec put in another fine performance, but this time he was closely marked by all and sundry. Nevertheless, his play prompted more praise from ‘THE CAPTAIN:’ “How difficult Lewis is to tackle. He seems to bullock through, brushing aside all opposition.”

Bath drew first blood with a try by Sutton after 22 minutes. Porter kicked a magnificent goal.

“Encouraged by this, Bath launched a series of thrilling attacks. Again and again they pressed. Forwards and backs joined in. They showed pace and pep, and the defence was hard put to keep them out.”

In the second half, the Welsh Exciles stepped up their play. Les Moores was forced to drop on the ball, but it was regained by C D Williams, who flopped over for an unconverted try. Bath pulled out all the stops, but Excile’s Harrison commenced a run from the half-way line, at last beating Moores. Williams raced back to cover, but his tackle was just too late to halt his dive for the line.

“Bath had victory snatched from their grasp. Hard lines!”

 

15/1/1949

v Cardiff. Home. Lost 6-9. L Moores, C Porter, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, T Hicks, M Hanna, G Roberts, G Reid, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, M Sutton, P Ryan, W Todd.

The teams were level at 3-3 at half time. Wilfred Williams had dropped a goal for Bath and Burn had scored a try for Cardiff. Bath changed into white jerseys at half time. Dai Jones put Cardiff in the lead with an unconverted try, but Bath revived strongly for Arthur Burcombe to touch down. Cardiff were not to be outdone and their speedy backs, well supported by the forwards, led to W Jones putting them in a winning position.

“Right on the end Roberts missed a penalty goal for Cardiff just in front of the posts, and this ended a grand game with Bath going down with flying colours in what was a close affair.”

 

22/1/1949

v Moseley, Home, Drawn 8-8. P Sullivan, W Williams, A Lewis, M Terry, A Wenyon, M Hanna, T Hicks, J Roberts, R Ball, G Reid, A Burcombe, L Harter, M Sutton, P Ryan, A Todd. Bath led 8-3 at half time, although Moseley were first to score with an opportunist try by winger Venner. Outstanding play by centres Lewis and Terry, eventually led to Sutton crossing for a try which new full-back Sullivan (ex Bristol) converted.

In the second half: “Lewis threw out a beautiful overhead pass to Williams, missing out the intervening player, and the little Welshman, who has the heart of a lion and stops at nothing, crashed over near the flag.”

 

29/1/1949

v St Mary’s Hospital, Away, Won 11-3. P Sullivan, W Williams, T Hicks, M Terry, A Wenyon, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Roberts, R Ball, G Reid, A Burcombe, L Harter, A Lewis, M Sutton, W Todd.

Another coincidence as Sullivan of Bath, encountered Sullivan, left wing for St Mary’s. Alec Lewis was back at wing forward accompanying Sutton and the, in form, Allan Todd. Bath’s efforts were rewarded in the 25th minute when Terry streaked in for a try, to be magnificently converted by Sullivan.

(half-time 5-0) In whatever playing position, Alec Lewis would not be denied, and he crossed for a try five minutes into the second half. Beatson pulled back with a penalty when Bath were caught offside, but another Williams break in the 34th minute, and that man Lewis was over for his second try of the afternoon.

 

5/2/1949

v Newbridge, Away. Won 5-3. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, H Leek, T Hicks. W Williams, G Hawkes, M Hanna, G Reid, R Ball, W Todd, A Burcombe, W Todd, A Burcombe, L Harter, A Lewis, M Sutton, T Lewis.

Bath’s first visit to Newbridge yielded a win by 5 points to 3, Alec Lewis scoring a try in the last few minutes, for Paddy Sullivan to convert. There had been an hours delay, with possible cancellation for frost. In the event, it was a good game and Bath took their host’s ground record. Notwithstanding this, the Newbridge folk were extremely hospitable, and more so, when a Bath player won their club raffle and carried back a bulky parcel of groceries for his wife.

 

12/2/1949

v Gloucester, Home, Won 13-3. P Sullivan, W Williams (T), T Hicks, M Terry, A Wenyon, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, G Reid, L Harter, A Burcombe, W Todd, A Lewis, M Sutton, P Ryan. Attendance 4000.

Chronicle Headline:-

Bath’s 13 Points Against 13 County Men.

UNLUCKY NUMBER FOR GLOUCESTER

Gloucester had not won an away game since their triumph at Richmond back in October. Bath got off to an extraordinarily good start. The excitement commenced when a combined forwards and backs effort sent in Terry near the posts for Sullivan to convert. The applause had barely subsided when Bath repeated the performance. This time, Ryan got the touch down for Sullivan to add the extras.

“Some of the supporters who had come down to see a close game must have been rubbing their eyes.

They forget to cheer with any gusto until the 23rd minute, when box-of -tricks Williams broke through from the half-way line to kick ahead and finally touch down for a really spectacular try.”

Dangerfield touched down for Gloucester in the second half. For Bath, it was a magnificent victory.

 

19/2/1949

v Moseley, Away, Drawn 6-6. L Moores, W Williams, T Hicks, M Terry, B D Brighton, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, G Reid, L Harter, A Burcombe, W Todd, A Lewis, M Sutton, P Ryan. Bath included Brighton for his first game on the right wing. Moseley were first in with a try by Gibbs, but Bath were quick to counter when Alec Lewis dribbled on a loose ball, kicked on to the try line and touched down. It was all so simple, but typical that Lewis was on hand to seize the opportunity. Bath were doing all the pressing: “From wing to wing moved the dangerous Bath raids. First Williams had a clear run, but stumbled and fell, then Terry’s pertinacity brought Bath the lead. Tackled as he tried to cut through, he loosed the ball, played it with his foot, gathered and touched down.”

Late on, Moseley equalised when Layton kicked a penalty.

 

19/2/1949

Bath United v Combination. Programme reveals some interesting local names. e.g. G Roberts – alias J W P Roberts, Tom Smith, R (Bob) Ball, Haydn Leek, for the United, and Patrick Cobbe, J (John)Harding and Flowers etc for the Combination.

 

26/2/1949

v Wasps, Home, Won 13-8. P Sullivan, H Leek, M Terry, T Hicks, W Donnelly, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, R Ball, J Roberts, L Harter, W Todd, J Vassiere, M Sutton, A Lewis. W (Bill) Donnelly scored a runaway try in his second game for Bath: “Donnelly’s fine running won him success at last; in the 16th minute of this half, when snapping up the ball when it went loose, the young Scot proved what a flyer he is. The crowd deservedly cheered him. It was a notable try and well worth going to the Rec. alone to see.”

Unusually, Wasps turned out in a white strip. The Bath Chronicle’s “Captain,” commented:

“Who ever saw an albino wasp?”

Sullivan featured with a fine kicking performance, and there spirited performances from both packs of forwards: “But the Wasps were by no means done with; there was plenty of sting left in them and they launched a couple of lively raids. But their buzzing this half lacked the penetrative power of the West Countrymen who looked to have a real asset in Donnelly who has gained considerable experience with the United.

He is a well known runner in his native Scotland, and must be the only Bath player to wear kilts in civvy street.”

VALUE FOR MONEY.

“In the 22nd minute MONEY, the Wasps left wing threequarter, running with great class and speed got in at the corner for an unconverted try, and the Wasps continued to fight back in lively fashion.”

Bath tries by Donnelly and Terry. Sullivan converted both and landed a penalty.

 

5/3/1949

v Bristol, Away. Won 3-0. P Sullivan, W Thomas, M Terry, T Hicks, J Hopkins, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, G Reid, L Harter, A Burcombe, W Todd, P Ryan, M Sutton, A Lewis

Played in a snowstorm, a magnificent first-half penalty by ex Bristol full-back, Paddy Sullivan secured a Bath victory in this tight struggle.

“Bath attacked like a pack of hounds in full cry, giving Bristol defence no mercy. They banged away in mass formation, lively and aggressive, warming the hearts of visiting fans, and once M Hill nearly dropped the ball on his own lion. It was a narrow escape.

The pace did not slacken, it was a cracker, and the players threw in every ounce. It was, if anything, even more exciting as time went on.”

 

PROGRAMME COMMENT: “Congratulations to Allan Todd and his team on a truly magnificent win under appalling conditions at the Memorial ground. I have rarely seen the Bath pack play better and to play at all in this game was a feat of endurance. Some of the players bootlaces had to be cut after the game and their hands and legs well rubbed to restore circulation! Still, it was a famous victory and with Eddie Simpkins, the players and Committee, I would say to all those Bath Supporters who came to Bristol and made themselves heard, ‘Thanks for Coming!”

 

12/3/1949

v Richmond, Home, Lost 0-13. P Sullivan, W Williams, T Hicks, B Brighton, J Hopkins, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, T Smith, G Reid, A Burcombe, A Todd, P Ryan, M Sutton, A Lewis.

The programme Notes described this as ‘a grand game.’ Richmond joined Cardiff and Swansea as the only sides to beat Bath at home that season. Their outside-half Kemp did the damage!

 

19/3/1949

v Newport, Home, Lost 0-18. P Sullivan, A Donnelly, T Hicks, B Brighton, A Wenyon, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Messer, W Barrow, G Reid, A Burcombe, L Harter, P Ryan, M Sutton, A Todd. Newport’s Ken Jones and our own Alec Lewis and John K-C were otherwise engaged at Cardiff Arms Park.

Burnett controlled Newport’s operations and the visitors were able to pen Bath in their own half.

“The Bath defence came out with great credit for the way they held their swift and aggressive opponents, who used the whole of the goal line for the purposes of attack.”

After twenty minutes of sustained pressure, Haydn Thomas opened Newport’s try scoring spree. Despite spirited resistance from a fired up Bath pack, it was Newport who dictated play. Welsh international Ken Jones had a comparatively quiet match, but he did get away in the 25th minute of the second half. Newport were superior in all phases of play.

The Newport side included the half-back pairing of Roy Burnett and Haydon Thomas. The forwards included Internationals Bale and Travers (Captain)

 

26/3/1949

v Exeter, Home, Lost 5-11. P Sullivan, J Hopkins, D Brighton, M Terry, W Donnelly, T Hicks, M Hanna, J Messer, W Barrow, G Reid, A Burcombe, L Harter, W Todd, M Sutton, A Lewis. This was yet another reversal, as the team again fell to a visiting side.

Exeter monopolised scrum and line-out and their style of short inter-passing continually threatened the Bath defenders. Speedy Scot, Donnelly got Bath’s sole try, which was converted by Sullivan.

Mike Terry and Alec Lewis were carrying injuries for the greater part of the game.

 

2/4/1949

v London Scottish, Home, Lost 5-17. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, B Brighton, Roy Self (Aged 17), W Williams, T Hicks, M Spark, J Messer, W Jenkins, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, J Vassiere, W Todd, J Dingle.

The Scots included three internationals in centre backs L and R B Bruce-Lockhart and R Sampson in the forwards, and it was L B-L who landed a long range penalty in the fourth minute of play. Later it was R B B-L who spread-eagled the defence, grounding the ball under the posts, for his brother to convert. Thus, Bath were eight points down within the first 20 minutes. The Scot’s fast moving mid-field triangle opened another yawning gap and R B B-L scored again. Full back Reynolds then contributed a fine drop goal to put Bath further behind, and R B B-L piled on the agony with yet another dazzling try in the corner. At the very end Donnelly, Bath’s own Scot, finally got away for a consolation try, and Sullivan’s successful kick concluded a lively afternoon’s rugby.

 

9/4/1949

v Old Paulines, Home, Won 22-3. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, D Brighton, W Williams, I Lumsden, M Hanna, J Messer, W G Jenkins, G Reid, A Burcombe, M Sutton, J Dingle, W Todd, A Lewis.

It was a lovely Spring afternoon and a goodly sized crowd. The Old Boys side had not visited Bath for a number of seasons. Lumsden was Allan Todd’s house guest for the weekend, and he took up his familiar outside-half spot. Lewis figured in early exchanges, and Lumsden just missed a drop from an awkward angle. Paddy Sullivan opened the scoring with a finely taken penalty in the 23rd minute. Then Lewis and Williams were in the van of a Bath surge: “Lumsden slipped through the centre with a beautiful swerve and passed to Todd who carried on. Todd then brought in Sutton who had come up in support and when the Cambridge Blue was in danger of being squeezed out by the touch line, he passed inside to Todd who dived over in the 27th minute. Sullivan’s kick failed” (Bath Chronicle)

Seconds later Lumsden set up a try for Williams, which was converted. The game continued at a cracking pace, leading to a third try just on half time by Jenkins.

After the restart Lumsden inspired a score for Brighton, with Sullivan adding the extras.

Then strenuous efforts by the Old Boys were rewarded by an unconverted try by Runacres.

Five minutes from time Donnelly got away to send in O’Shaughnessy for the final try.

 

16/4/1949

v Newport, Away, Lost 8-34. P Sullivan, R Self, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, T Hicks, M Hanna, J Messer, W Jenkins, G Reid, J Dingle, L Harter, G Roberts, M Sutton, W Todd. Attendance 6000.

Bath took a weakened side to Rodney Parade and had the extreme discomfort of seeing their line crossed eight times, with five of the tries converted. Bath had levelled at an early stage, when Sullivan kicked a penalty. They also managed a try by Williams in the ninth minute of the second-half. Sullivan converted.

Newport’s fine side is worth recording:- G Gibbon, Ken Jones, A G Stevens, T J Brewer, A Roach, Roy Burnett, Haydn Thomas, J H Bale (capt.), E Coleman, R Rowland, Peter Davies, B Edwards, D Dando, R T Evans and S Kimpton.

Wilfred Williams had a classic tussle with the mighty Ken Jones, ‘grassing’ him on a number of occasions. Lewis and O’Shaughnessy were tireless in defence, but the Bath halves had an unhappy afternoon.

 

18/4/1949

v OMT, Home, Won 27-6. P Sullivan, R Self, K O’Shaughnessy, T Hicks, W Williams, M Spark, J Arnold, J Messer, W Jenkins, G Roberts, L Harter, J Dingle, W Todd, A Lewis, G Reid.

Two days after their torrid encounter at Newport, Bath entertained their home crowd to some good holiday style rugby. After a sluggish start, Bath tries flowed from Lewis (2), Sullivan, Self (2), O’Shaughnessy, and Williams. Jack Arnold was brought back from retirement and he partnered Spark to good effect. Les Harter had a fine game in the pack. Sullivan converted three.

 

19/4/1949

v Leicester, Home, Lost 3-8. P Sullivan, W Williams, K O’Shaughnessy, D Brighton, M Hanna, J Hopkins, T Hicks, M Spark, J Messer, W Jenkins, G Roberts, L Harter, J Dingle, A Lewis, W Todd. Bath experimented with Brighton at five-eighth and only seven forwards. Generally, there was a failure to fully utilise the “odd man,” but it was agreed that they might try this formation again, against a lesser team than Leicester. Bath had led in the first half with a try by O’Shaughnessy, but the defence then faltered, letting in the Tigers for two tries, one of which was converted.

 

22/4/1949

v Taunton, Away, Won 14-6. L Moores, R Self , D Brighton, K O’Shaughnessy, J Hopkins, J Arnold, M Hanna, J Roberts, T Smith, L Harter, M Sutton, G Brown, A Lewis, W Todd, J Dingle.

Bath returned to Taunton for the first time in forty years. Jack Arnold was again employed and distributed the ball admirably. Tries flowed from Brighton, Lewis, Harter, and Self. Les Moores converted one.

Les Harter was said to have secured from a line-out and shot across the line, like a bullet from a gun! Roy Self had some great runs and scored his first Away try for Bath at age 17.

 

26/4/1949

v Penzance, Home, Won 25-8. P Sullivan, R Self, D Brighton, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, J Arnold, M Hanna, J Messer, T Smith, G Roberts, L Harter, J Dingle, A Todd, Trevor Lewis, Alec Lewis.

Mick Hanna had the misfortune to sustain a hand injury, and missed the second half of the match.

It was a sporting, enjoyable game and a light-hearted end to a hard season.

“Bath played really match-winning football, and one was struck by the determined leadership of Todd, the dashes of Harter and Messer and the all-round ability of Dingle, in the line-out, attack and defence.”

Bath tries by Self, Brighton, O’Shaughnessy (2), Williams, Alec and Trevor Lewis.

Sullivan converted two.

 

FOR THE RECORD

SCORERS –

GOALS:- P Sullivan 17, W A Todd 4, C Porter 3, V Northam and L Moores 1 each.

PENALTY GOALS :- P Sullivan 4, C Porter 2, M Sutton 1.

DROP GOALS:- G Hawkes 3, L Moores and W Williams 1 each.

TRIES:- A Lewis 17, W Williams 15, M Terry 12, K O’Shaughnessy 7, W A Todd 5, M Sutton 4, R Self 4, P Ryan, C Porter, W Donnelly and B Brighton 3, T Lewis and T Hicks 2, P Sullivan, L Harter, M Hanna, H Leek, A Burcombe and W Jenkins 1 each.

 

ROLL CALL – 45 players made the following attendances:-

W A Todd 38, G Reid 35, T Hicks 34, M Sutton and A Lewis 33, M Hanna 31, J Messer 30, A Burcombe 28, W Williams 27, L Harter 24, P Ryan 20, L Moores, G Hawkes, and M Terry 18, K O’Shaughnessy 16, P Sullivan 15, K Wilcox and J Roberts 12, A Wenyon, M Spark and C Porter 11, T Smith and W Jenkins 10, J Arnold, R Clark, W Barrow and B D Brighton 9, J Dingle 8, W Donnelly 7, T Lewis and R Ball 6, J Vassiere, K Newburn, J Hopkins and R Self 5, V Northam and I Lumsden 4, H Leek 3, A Thomas, K John, R Sharpe, and G Brown 2, and R Watson N Halse and P/O Corns once each.

 

The United XV had a good season:-

Played 29, Won 20, Lost 7, Drawn 2. Points For 309 – Against 145. K Weiss – Captain.

 

This page was added on 03/06/2014.

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