1949 to 1950

Match reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale




v Weston Super Mare, Away, Drawn 3-3. L Moores, W Donnelly, M Terry, J Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, G Hawkes, N Halse, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, T Lewis, M Sutton, A Lewis. Mike Terry made a fine break in the first minute, but his effort was stifled in sight of the line. The Bath forwards contained the seasiders in these early stages, but Weston defended stoutly and brought play back to midfield. Donnelly was kept out with a last ditch tackle, and in turn, Weston rallied and Shellabear was downed by Hawkes a few yards short of the Bath line.

(Half time no score)

From the re-start, fullback Les Moores brought off a magnificent drop-goal from five yards inside the Bath half. Later, a Bath fumbled pass yielded a five yards scrum, and Weston’s King popped over with the equaliser.



v Leicester, Away. Lost 0-9. L Moores, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, J Lewis, W Williams, M Terry, N Halse, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

With the redoubtable R V Stirling in the Leicester pack, Bath lost. Programme comment: “Leicester hardly deserved to win by 9 pts., and Bath members can be assured their representatives did quite well. The Tigers were really fortunate in getting the points they did.”

Mike Terry had a splendid game, but all too often, his efforts came to nought – for want of support. Roberts, Alec Lewis and Burcombe led a fine forward effort.



v Hylton Cleaver’s XV, Home. Lost 6-21. L Moores, W Williams, J Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Donnelly, M Terry, N Halse, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, T Lewis, W Todd, A Lewis, L Harter. Attendance 6000.

The ‘All-Star’ XV scored 3 goals, a try and a penalty goal to a try and a penalty goal. The game was kicked-off by Mr. I J Pitman M.P., who was capped for England in 1922. The referee was Cyril Gadney of England, with F D Prentice (Secretary of the R.F.U.), and Roy Harris as touch judges. The combative nature of the struggle was signalled by just one breakthrough in the first half, when Vic Roberts (Penryn, Cornwall, Barbarians and England) eluded the cover, to send in T F Huskisson (O.M.T.’s Eastern Counties and England) for the first try. Gerwyn Williams (London Welsh, Middlesex and Welsh Trialist), kicked the goal.

“Bath held their own with distinction in the first half, taking the ball time and again into the opposition territory. Terry was masterful, strong in running, determined, fast, passing with speed and guile, and using his feet very sparingly.” Gradually the Internationals began to get a grip on the game and added 11 points in 13 minutes. Their second try was scored by Martin Jackson. Williams converted comfortably and added a further penalty. The crowd thrilled to the personal duel between fliers, Donnelly and Jack Gregory (Army, Blackheath, Gloucestershire and England). Gregory got past Donnelly on one occasion for a thrilling 25 yard corkscrew run, for an unconverted try.

Then it was Bath’s turn, as Les Moores landed a penalty for obstruction. The Internationals were quick to counter and Turner scampered over for their fourth and final try, which Williams converted.

Two minutes later, L S Harter scored Bath’s first try of the season. This effectively ended a game in which the Bath side was worthy of the highest praise.

There was a grand after-match dinner at the Christopher Hotel and a dance, attended by 400 revellers at Bath’s prestigious Pump Room.



v Devonport Services, Home, Won 6-5. L Moores, W Williams, Jack Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Donnelly, D Brighton (Taunton School and Moseley), Cadet J E Place (R.A.F.), J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, Alec Lewis, W C Jenkins.

The Services backs combined well for Hoskin’s converted try, but it was the fleet footed Donnelly who stole the show with two high speed tries, and was somewhat unlucky not to get a third. It was Bath’s first win of the season. Full back Les Moores had been kept busy in defence, Brighton had a good game at stand-off, and Harter, Jenkins and Francis showed well in the pack.

Scrum half Mick Hanna had cried off, Curly Halse was injured, so there was a race to Lambridge for R.A.F. Hullavington cadet J E Place, who therefore played his first game for Bath 1st XV on his 19th birthday. He acquitted himself well, and provided the cross-kick which sent Donnelly away for his first try.



v Bath & District Combination, Home, Won 6-3. P Sullivan, A Wenyon, K Wilcox, G Burt, J Hopkins, G Hawkes, M Hanna, T Smith, K Weiss, P Sheppard, G Brown, K Newburn, J Vassiere, J Dingle, R Ball (Capt.). Paddy Sullivan returned after an operation to remove a bone splintered in his nose. He opened with a penalty after 20 minutes.

The District Combination XV put in an outstanding performance, but were just shaded out by a side captained by Bath Club stalwart, Bob Ball. The losers did particularly well, considering that they lost their captain L Jago (Admiralty) in the 13th minute with a broken collarbone.

Bob Ball scored Bath’s try fifteen minutes into the second half, but it was too far out for Sullivan to convert. In the closing stages, the Combination staged a spirited revival and Teague of Trowbridge dropped a splendid goal.

The Combination side was:- R Whitelaw (Admiralty), R Sharp (Old Sulians), L Jago (Admiralty), J Stock (Stotherts), R Hambly (Old Edwardians), L Teague (Trowbridge), G T Turner (Trowbridge), P Boltwood (Avonvale), N Tucker (Combe Down), D Flowers (Avonvale), C Rosenburg (Combe Down), L Moore (Old Sulians), A Hanna (Old Sulians), F Dowding (Stotherts) and T A Wyatt (Old Sulians).



v Devonport Services, Away, Lost 0-17. L Moores, W Williams, K O’Shaughnessy, G Hawkes, W Donnelly, B Brighton, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, G Brown, L Harter, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

A combination of sea breezes and a strong services side, and Bath were blown away to the tune of a goal and 3 tries plus a drop goal, without reply.

Despite the loss, Kevin O’Shaughnessy shone in fine bursts of aggressive play, as Bath came close to scoring. Bath certainly had their chances, but were usually unable to handle the greasy ball. Alec Lewis had a good game until he received a finger injury, but all along Bath were up against a superbly motivated and skilful Services pack. In the backs the Services had the edge with Lt Glastonbury and Sub-Lt Malcolm Thomas.



v Exeter, Away. Lost 8-9. L Moores, A Wenyon, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, L Harter, V Northam, G Brown, J Vassiere, J Dingle, R Ball. Tries by Wenyon and Alec Lewis after six minutes (playing at centre), with North converting one.

It was Bath’s fourth loss in seven games. Perhaps a draw would have been a fair result. Exeter preserved their 100% record but it was by the narrowest of margins – two penalties and a try to a goal and a try. It was a rousing affair, thoroughly enjoyed by a large and appreciative crowd.

Les Moores kicked and tackled well and the halves co-operated nicely. Northam, Roberts, Harter, Brown and Ball gave heartening performances in the forwards. “Vassiere was like a terrier, up and hurrying.”



v Llanelly, Home, Lost 0-6. L Moores, W Donnelly, T Hicks, A Lewis, A Wenyon, K Watts, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, T Lewis, J Dingle, J Vassiere.

Ken Watts, from Combe Down, had his introduction to senior rugby and Alec Lewis retained his place at centre in the absence of Bryan Brighton. Llanelly fielded four internationals. Conditions were ideal for handling, but both sides elected to keep the ball tight. Llanelly moved ahead in the 16th minute, when Desmond Jones kicked a magnificent penalty goal. Bath revived briefly with Alec Lewis featuring in driving play. Watts, Hicks, Trevor Lewis and Tom Smith, all made valiant efforts to force a way through. “The game was gruelling enough with much cut and thrust as well as a deal of swirling, but the teams were playing tough rugby where conditions cried out for picture-book technique.

Donnelly saved what seemed like a certain try and Lewis (A.), by beating three opponents, looked like making the opening for one. It was always the same however-too close marking, too certain tackling.”

Following a lineout on the Bath line, Llanelly’s own T Lewis, flopped over for an unconverted try.

Bath forfeited the Rag Doll mascot.



v Bridgwater, Home, Won 13-9. P Sullivan, J Hopkins, K Wilcox, T Hicks, W Donnelly, K Watts, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, G Brown, L Harter, V Northam, J Dingle, J Vassiere. Both sides were weakened by County calls. Donnelly scored two magnificent tries, one from a 60 yard run. Sullivan added the extras. For good measure, Sullivan also scored a fine drop goal 26 minutes into the second half. Bridgwater fought back strongly, and Bath did well to win.



v Bristol, Away. Lost 11-13. P Sullivan, J Hopkins, K O’Shaughnessy, S Addenbrooke, W Donnelly, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

A Radio commentary was provided by Mr. Ergo Jones for BBC “Sport in the West”. The Memorial Ground pitch had never been in better condition and it was the biggest crowd of the season.

The Victoria Prize band were there “to brighten the moments before play begins. If the concord of sweet sounds please you, drop a coin or two in the collectors’ boxes.”

Bristol played Wartime International Fred Hill at hooker and Eric Hopton in the second row. Both were destined to give long and meritorious service to Bath.

It was a debut game for Guy Addenbrooke, late of Clifton, but principally a Swansea winger.

Sullivan dealt successfully with a couple of Bristol forays and the Bath tackling was first class. Bristol took the lead after 22 minutes for a scrummaging offence. Griffin was successful from 35 yards. Bath fought back strongly and the sides turned around with Bristol leading 3-0.

The second half commenced in the same hectic manner, and then the game was halted while Donnelly recovered from a ‘knock-out’ blow. Shortly after, Bristol’s Bain raced through for a try, which Griffin converted. Next Rees flopped over and Griffin again did the honours.

Donnelly had been limping badly, but in the 23rd minute he suddenly made the running. Intercepting a loose pass he rounded the Bristol full back lost the ball and went down hurt. Newcomer Addenbrooke was quickly on the scene to pick up and score in his first match for Bath. Sullivan missed the conversion but compensated with a penalty three minutes later.

A minute from time, Bath’s two Lewises charged on the Bristol full back and Alec Lewis touched down amidst great applause. Sullivan converted, but Bristol were just ahead – by a whisker.



v Somerset Police, Away, Lost 0-6. P O’Sullivan, W Williams, B Brighton, G Addenbrooke, J Hopkins, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, J Vassiere, J Dingle, A Lewis.

After a pointless first half, the Police defeated Bath with two tries in the last few minutes.

The ball was wet and difficult to handle and although there was some bright passing, there was little to enthuse the small number of attendees. After a frustrating first half, Bath brought Vassiere out into the backs and tried their luck with seven forwards.

It was, without doubt, the poorest spectacle of the season and looked set for a goal-less draw until two late tries livened things up.



v Harlequins, Away, Lost 6-24. P Sullivan, B Brighton, G Addenbrooke, K O’Shaughnessy, J Hopkins, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

Bath were eight points down in the first nine minutes and continued to struggle on Twickenham’s hallowed ground. Quins fielded internationals J R C Matthews and R G H Weighill in the back row.

“The pitch was a picture of perfection, but the handful of spectators looked lost in the large stands – ghosts left behind from the last international match.”

O’Donnell scored Harlequin’s first two tries and Lloyd-Davies added the extras. The second came after: “… a proper bit of muddling when someone called out for the ball under pressure to be flung back. It was – and it was lost. O’Donnell, snapping it up, dribbled ahead and over with the defence completely out of position.” Harlequins went further ahead. “Bath kept on trying, but their display was disappointing.

After nine minutes the visitors’ luck turned a bit. Alec Lewis chased a full-back behind the posts in a round-the-houses gallop, forced him to kick wildly, and Brighton, gathering the ball on the left flank, went over for a try, a bit belated, but welcome for all that.” Sullivan added a penalty in the 14th minute.

Bath came close to scoring in the closing minutes, the final nail in the coffin arrived with A Grinstell’s try, again converted by Lloyd-Davies.



v RAF (Wilts), Home, Won 6-5. L Moores, R Hambly, G Hawkes, G Burt, K John, K Watts, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Franics, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, G Brown, J Vassiere, J Adams. This was an unusual event in that the services selection represented the pick of the local R.A.F. establishments. Bath won by the odd point with a try by Jim Vassiere and a drop goal by Hawkes.



v United Services, Home, Won 9-5. L W Moores, W Williams, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, R Hambly, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, Cpl. Clarke (R.A.F. Yatesbury), T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

It was a debut appearance for Old Edwardian winger, Robin Hambly.

The Bath forwards proved to be too much of a handful for the services side, but it was almost on the interval before Hanna opened Bath’s account. John Roberts missed the kick. A rainbow followed a heavy downpour and it seemingly heralded a stirring passage of football in which the Bath forwards dominated. Alec Lewis was noticed for his prodigious efforts. Next O’Shaughnessy was entrusted with kicking duties, but missed a penalty opportunity. Then Les Moores was given his first attempt and succeeded. This further enlivened the home side’s effort in which Addenbrooke and Hambly were prominent. Burcombe and Harter were always in the thick of the fray.

“Bath piled on the pressure, and from a line-out Alec Lewis crowned a splendid afternoon’s work by kicking over and flopping on the ball for their second try, Moores failing to add the extra points from wide out.”



v Weston Super Mare, Home, Won 15-0. L Moores (1dg&1pg), W Williams, G Addenbrooke, K O’Shaughnessy, W Donnelly, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, A Lewis.

Addenbrooke scored for Bath in the first four minutes. Les Moores missed the conversion and two successive penalty attempts, but he certainly made amends, some 20 minutes into the game. First, he kicked a relatively easy penalty, and soon added a brilliant drop goal from near the half way line.

“Bath scored again at lightening speed, Addenbrooke sending in Williams in the corner amid applause. Moore’s kick failed.” “The Bath win was clean-cut and emphatic and in the last minute Wilcox sent in the strong-running O’Shaughnessy for the third and final try. Moores narrowly missed the conversion.”



v St Mary’s Hospital, Home, Won 15-6. L Moores, W Williams, G Addenbrooke, K O’Shaughnessy, W Donnelly K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, A Lewis. Paddy Sullivan was off with a touch of flu, and Les Moores was a most dependable stand-in. He was quite the hero of this game, slotting four most memorable penalties. Addenbrooke contributed a drop goal, and thus Bath amassed a 15 points to 6 win, by kicking alone. By coincidence, a certain T Sullivan, full-back, scored two tries for the students.



v London Scottish, Home, Won 6-3. L Moores, G Addenbrooke, K Wilcox, K O’Shaughnessy, W Donnelly, P Sullivan, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis. Sullivan played at outside-half.

A closely contested match with Sullivan kicking a penalty in the early stages against a strong gusting wind. The Excile’s Miller levelled the score with a try in the 21st minute. Bath forwards raised their game in the second spell. “A rousing rally by the Bath forwards caused the blood to tingle and the crowd to roar, “Well played Bath.”” Indeed, it was wing-forward Alec Lewis who made the opening for Donnelly to touch down for the winning score. “There were remarkably few casualties considering the toughness of the play, which never let up for one moment.”



v Oxford, Home, Lost 3-8. L Moores, W Donnelly, G Addenbrooke, K Wilcox, R Hambly, P Sullivan, N Halse, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, J Vassiere, J Dingle, T Lewis. A surprising loss at the University College ground by a goal and a try to a try by Bill Donnelly. Somerset captain, Arthur Burcombe was unavoidably detained, so Bath started with 14 men. Meanwhile, team secretary Harry Davies changed ready to go on if Burcombe did not show within 10 minutes. Just as he was about to dash on, Peter Sheppard arrived at the gates and made, probably, his hastiest change into football gear, to fill the vacancy. The game was very sparsely attended. “It was not a very inspiring game. For one thing, Bath missed the crowds, the excitement and the shouting.”

The solitary reporter, watched the game through a pavilion window, as there was no grandstand.

It was all rather low key and Bath, perhaps appropriately, put in below par performance.



v Llanelly, Away, Lost 5-17. L Moores, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, K Wilcox, G Addenbrooke, P Sullivan, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, R Ball, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis. At half time Bath led from John Robert’s try and Paddy Sullivan’s conversion. Played out in bleak, sleeting conditions, cold hands made passing difficult. Llanelly started their climb back just four minutes into the second half, when Iles kicked a neat penalty goal. At the finish, Llanelly had scored a goal, a try, a drop goal and two penalties.

“Full marks were won by Moores for his work at full back. He stopped one hurtling raid after several efforts by his colleagues to hold the Llanelly forwards. “Llanelly owed their success to the half-backs, and particularly Iles, who at this stage, kicked nine of Llanelly’s 12 points.” Just as the crowd was beginning to leave, Llanelly’s Peter Rees scored a final try, which Iles converted.



v Gloucester, Home, Won 14-11. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, T Lewis, J Dingle, A Lewis.

An early exchange of penalties ended in a success for Gordon Hudson of Gloucester. Sullivan was playing a fine game in his preferred position at full-back. He levelled the score with a fine penalty kick from near the half-way line. “A line-out near the Bath line produced an exciting passage in which Tom Smith saved the situation by a dart through the ruck with head well down” “Bath kept it up with more thrust among the backs than we have seen of late, but the marking and tackling were both close and fierce. Sullivan so far, had not put a foot wrong and hereabouts shook off a half tackle and got in a long kick to touch.”

The forwards continued to battle it out until another long distance penalty sailed over from Sullivan’s boot. Next, a phalanx of Gloucester forwards smashed through a yawning gap for Dunn to touch down. Nicholls converted. Right on half time, Addenbrooke wrong footed the defence and touched down for Sullivan to convert.

In the second half, O’Shaughnessy, Addenbrooke and Donnelly made valiant efforts to score. In the 23rd minute Gloucester were penalised for holding the ball on the ground and up stepped Sullivan for another successful kick. Near the end, Gloucester’s Davies was able to slip over for a score, but the lasting impression was the all-round improvement in the performance of Bath’s back-division.



v Old Blues, Home, Won 21-6. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, L Moores, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, T Lewis, J Dingle, G Brown.

Sullivan converted tries by Wilcox (2) and Donnelly. Adding to the entertainment, both O’Shaughnessy and Moores, played strong and resourceful games, each producing a drop goal. The traditional Boxing Day visitors brought one of the biggest packs seen on the Rec. It was pleasing to see a thoroughly competent performance from the Bath backs. Peter Sheppard aggravated a bad cauliflower ear, and was replaced by Walcot’s Jim Messer for the Leicester game.



v Leicester, Home, Lost 5-11. P Sullivan, R Hambly, L Moores, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, K Wilcox, N Halse, J Roberts, J Francis, J Messer, L Harter, A Burcombe, G Brown, J Vassiere, T Lewis. Both Bath wingers were left out in the cold, as Leicester got the better of the forward battle. There was close marking and heavy tackling throughout, coupled with a fair share of handling mistakes. Quine opened with a penalty for Leicester after 17 minutes.


“Just before this happened Harter had a shaking up and shortly afterwards the hooker, Francis, was in the wards, too. But the application of the magic sponge soon put these two sailormen right.”

Two minutes later, a yawning gap ion the Bath defence allowed Cullen to score from half way without a hand being put upon him. Quine converted.

“The Bath forwards again came into their own for, following a five yards scrum, they pushed the Leicester eight over the line and Burcombe touched down for a deserved try which Sullivan, by converting, further helped to narrow the margin.”

“The game had become a tremendous struggle between the forwards and at some stages a ball seemed hardly necessary! The Leicester pack was as tough as that of Bath – which is saying a great deal.

Bath’s chances of saving the game disappeared almost right on time when Nicholas dribbled over the line and Sibson got the successful touch-down. Quine’s kick failed.”



v Old Cranleighans, Home, Won 12-0. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, J Dingle, G Brown, T Lewis.

Bath ran in four unconverted tries for a comfortable victory. Tries by Williams, Addenbrooke, Sullivan and Donnelly.

“The right wing-threequarter using his pace, outstripped one defender and then, when he came up to Henderson, the full back he looked inside as if he were about to pass- but he went the other way and just beat his tackler.”



v London Welsh, Home, Lost 6-11. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, R Self, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, J Dingle, A Lewis, T Lewis.

Bath’s spirited revival came too late to save this game, although Addenbrooke’s try was particularly noteworthy: “Bath were fighting back hard and a brilliant run by Addenbrooke, in which he was shaken but not floored by a tackle, saw the best try of the match. It brought a loud cheer. Unfortunately Sullivan could not add the extra points.”

Sullivan kicked a second half penalty in response to the Exciles’ goal and two tries. Overall, the Bath backs failed to get into their stride, all to many of their kicks ahead going straight into the waiting arms of their opponents.



v Cardiff, Away, Lost 8-18. P Sullivan, W Donnelly, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, A Burcombe, L Harter, A Lewis, J Dingle, T Lewis.

Cardiff built on a first half lead of nine points to three, to run out comfortable winners by 5 tries and a penalty to Bath’s goal and a penalty. Bath’s demise was witnessed by a handful of spectators, as the overriding interest was focussed on the Wales v England encounter at Twickenham. The game was punctuated by announcements as to the big match progress. Sullivan kicked a first half penalty. Play was of an exciting nature with attack and counter-attack. After 18 minutes of the second half, O’Shaughnessy ran brilliantly to touch down under the bar, for Sullivan to convert. The Bath forwards had a magnificent afternoon, but there was not the same thrust amongst the three-quarters. The Cardiff backs were brimming with talent and their efforts were reflected in the score-sheet.



v Gloucester, Away, Lost 0-3. P Sullivan, W Williams, K Wilcox, L Moores, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, A Lewis. Attendance 4000.

After a scoreless first half, Gloucester’s captain and former England international forward, G Hudson landed a magnificent touchline penalty goal to settle the issue. The game had been exciting and tough: “Gruelling of course, was this game, with two splendid packs at battle grips.”

Moores and O’Shaughnessy worked well in partnership. One of O’Shaughnessy’s, well documented hand-offs, drew considerable adverse reaction from the Shed support.


At one stage the game was stopped for the referee to repair his whistle. He borrowed a knife to get it working again.



v Newport, Away. Lost 8-21. P Sullivan, W Williams, K Wilcox, R Self, K O’Shaughnessy, G Addenbrooke, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, A Lewis. Attendance 6000.

This match is the one in which winger Guy Addenbrooke sustained a bad arm injury, which kept him off rugby until December 22nd 1951. Significantly, he was wearing a number 13 jersey (for the last time), but playing at outside half. This laid weight to the general phobia, which surrounded the wearing of a ‘Number 13’ jersey.

Bath took on fourteen men plus Welsh International flyer Ken Jones, playing at centre. He is singled out as the former Bathwick schoolmaster was in devastating form. His second half try saw him run more than half the length of the field, amidst the loudest cheers of the match. Edwards added the extras, and a grandstand finish was augmented when L.E.T. Jones raced in two Bath defenders – and a dog, for their 5th and final try. Bath stalwart John Roberts got Bath’s try, which was converted by Sullivan. Sullivan had earlier landed a penalty.



v Wasps, Away, Lost 0-11. L Moores, R Hambly, K Wilcox, R Self, W Williams, G Hawkes, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, K Newburn, J Dingle, C Brown, A Lewis.

Wasps beat Bath by a goal, a try and a drop goal without reply. Burcombe, Sullivan and O’Shaughnessy were forced to cry off: “This last named is undergoing inoculation before going out to Nigeria in a Government Land Survey.”

“Wasps kicked off and Dingle knocked on.” In muddy conditions, the Bath forwards took a hand and Tom Smith showed well in foot rushes. Unfortunately they could not keep up their attack and were quickly driven back. Bath continued to tackle resolutely, but Wasps gradually took a hold on the game.



v Bristol, Home. Drawn 6-6. P Sullivan, R Hambly, K Wilcox, A Lewis, W Williams, R Self, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, T Lewis.

Alec Lewis donned the Number 13 jersey to play at Centre. It will be remembered that there was something of a hoodoo on this jersey. Guy Addenbrooke had been injured twice while wearing it.

Bristol pulled back from a half time 0-6 deficit, to score two tries and tie the game. Bristol had been penalised after just two minutes and former Bristol player, Sullivan put Bath ahead from a very difficult angle. This start encouraged Bath to greater efforts and a sustained forward rush ended in a try for talented flanker, Trevor Lewis. This time Sullivan failed from a much easier position.

In fact, Lewis had one of his best games for Bath. “He was always in the van of rushes, quick off the mark and swift in the uptake.”

A feature of the middle game was the number of penalties missed by Bristol full-back M J Hill.

“The end was more than in sight when Bristol, raising a fresh gallop because the pace was gruelling, at length pierced the Bath defence. Day, their right centre, scored near the post, but Woodward, taking the kick this time, missed amid groans from the big Bristol contingent.” Gollege saved the game for Bristol, with a try by the corner flag. Hill had another chance to win the match, but his kick was another failure.



v Swansea, Away, Lost 8-26. P Sullivan, R Hambly, K O’Shaughnessy, A Lewis, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, J Dingle, G Brown, T Lewis.

“It was a fast and open game, but more had been seen of the Swansea backs than those of Bath so far. Bath shaped well, pressing persistently for a time without, however, being able to round off their pressure.”

Trevor Lewis’s try raised a loud cheer as he sprinted in from half way. Sullivan added the extras. Meanwhile, Swansea piled on the points and it was near the end when Sullivan kicked a magnificent penalty: “one of those kicks that was a goal all the way.”

Swansea’s final tally was a goal, a drop goal and 6 tries.



v Moseley, Away, Lost 3-6. P Sullivan, R Hambly, K O’Shaughnessy, K Watts, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, R Ball, G Brown, J Vassiere. Moseley ran out winners by a try and a penalty to Bath’s single try scored by Stalwart Len Harter. Bath showed improved form with O’Shaughnessy featuring in several forays. Sullivan tried a drop from half-way, hoping the strong wind would help it on its way: “but it proved a fickle jade.”

Robin Hambly had a fine game on the wing, keeping his opposite number in check.

Harter took his chance a minute from the end. Wilcox made an opening on the left and Harter touched down for a first rate try on the corner flag. Bath had left the best to the end. Unfortunately, Sullivan could not convert.



v Cardiff, Home. Lost 6-10. P Sullivan, R Hambly, K Wilcox, K O’Shaughnessy, W Williams, R Self, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, A Burcombe, J Dingle, G Brown, J Vassiere.

It was a creditable performance against a side which included Internationals:- Frank Trott, Bleddyn Williams, Cliff Morgan, Bill Tamplin and G Evans.

Cardiff Gate money amounted to £129. 1s. 9d, with programme sales of £9. 10s 4d.

Bath had a slender 6-5 lead at half time, but Cardiff saved the game in the last three minutes.

Sullivan had opened the scoring with a penalty in the 27th minute: “Then, in a hectic dash through the middle, in which Sullivan was knocked out in trying to stop him, Morgan, the Cardiff stand-off half, just managed to fling himself over the line for a try which Tamplin converted to give the Welshmen the lead after 30 minutes.”

Five minutes later: Wilcox broke clear with the ball at his feet, booted ahead and, in a brilliant chase, Williams outstripped the opposition and won the touchdown amid great excitement.” (H/T 6-5)

“Eventually Cardiff’s most dangerous player, Morgan, darted through the ruck, and with two players outside him, he passed to Bleddyn Williams, who scored a try which Tamplin converted.”



v London Scottish, Away, Lost 14-21. P Sullivan, R Hambly, K O’Shaughnessy, R Self, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, P Sheppard, L Harter, J Dingle, G Brown, T Lewis.

The Exciles beat Bath by 3 goals and 2 penalties to a goal, 2 tries and a penalty. Bath had an early dribble and with Tom Smith in the vanguard, the Scots were driven back some 35 yards. However, the wily L Bruce Lockheart, soon sent Bath scuttling back. A deep cross-kick found a gap in the Bath defence and Stewart touched down near the posts. Lockheart converted. Turnbull then scored from a line out and Lockheart added two penalties to put Bath 16 points in arrears. Two minutes later Campbell exploited another Bath gap and Lockheart was again successful with the kick.

Bath eventually got amongst the points in the fourteenth minute of the second half. Sullivan kicked penalty from a narrow angle. This signalled a considerable revival in which winger Williams bagged a brace of tries and Sullivan majored with a grand goal. Smith, Harter, Francis and Trevor Lewis had a hand in the build up and it was one of the finest efforts of the season. Bath piled on more pressure resulting in Hambly scoring his first senior try near the corner flag. Ex-Bath’s Allan Todd played for London Scottish.

“That game with the Scottish must go down to history as one of the most remarkable come-backs in the club’s career.”



v Newbridge, Home, Won 8-3. P Sullivan, A Wenyon, K O’Shaughnessy, R Hambly, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, P Sheppard, L Harter, J Dingle, G Brown, T Lewis.

Newbridge were forced to make a number of changes, but were able to hold Bath at 3-3 by the interval.

Sullivan had scored an early penalty, but right on the interval, forward A Newlands broke through for an unconverted try. Bath went ahead when Francis took a pass from O’Shaughnessy to touch down wide out. Sullivan landed a brilliant conversion kick. Near the end, O’Shaughnessy sent Hambly away on a fine run, but he was bundled into touch short of the line.

Newbridge lost the services of Perry for 45 minutes, Dr. R Scott Reid inserting three stitches. Nevertheless, Bath put in a stirring effort, which could only be checked by one of the best defences seen at the Rec. that season.



v OMT, Home, Won 6-0. P Sullivan, A Wenyon, K O’Shaughnessy, R Hambly, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, P Sheppard, L Harter, J Dingle, A Lewis, T Lewis.

Alec Lewis celebrated his return from injury by scoring the first try. Next, bright handling by Wilcox and O’Shaughnessy sent in Hambly for another. “There was a tough forward battle, and Bath found their equals in a very efficient eight.” Their backs were big, strong and tenacious. There were no end-of-season blues in the Bath pack: “They were all “as fresh as paint,” and had a “battle royal” with the visitors forwards.” The visitors had the lion’s share of the ball in the second half, and Bath did well to maintain a six points advantage.



v Clifton, Home, Drawn 0-0. P Sullivan, A Wenyon, K O’Shaughnessy, A Lewis, W Williams, R Hambly, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, J Dingle, T Lewis, R Ball.



A Harry Slade XV included Jack Arnold, Jack Francis and Jim Vassiere from the Bath Club, in a special game to help launch the newly formed Oldfield Old Boys Club.



v Moseley, Home, Won 8-5. P Sullivan, K O’Shaughnessy, A Wenyon, R Hambly, W Williams, K Wilcox, M Hanna, J Roberts, J Francis, T Smith, L Harter, P Sheppard, J Dingle, A Lewis, T Lewis


Bath took a first half lead with a try by Alec Lewis converted by Paddy Sullivan. Moseley came back strongly ion the second half and Perry crossed for Wright to convert. Sullivan was knocked out in trying to stem the Midlanders’ rush. He soon returned and a good run by O’Shaughnessy and a dribble by Trevor Lewis worried the Moseley defence. “As time was running out and Bath’s chances of victory seemed fading, Sullivan, lively as ever despite his kick on the head, came suddenly into the picture, side-stepped a couple of opponents, ran into position nicely and dropped a most spectacular goal.”



v Taunton, Home, Won 11-6. L Moores, W Williams, R Self, P Sullivan, K O’Shaughnessy, R Hambly, M Hanna, J Roberts, Owen, T Smith, L Harter, M Webb, A Lewis, T Lewis, P Sheppard.

Bath won their last home game by a goal and two tries to two penalty goals.

“Of the three tries in the first half, O’Shaughnessy, playing on the right wing, claimed two. It was there he began his career with Bath, and his determined running and devastating hand-off proved what an asset he is there.” Sullivan scored a try and converted one. There were good performances from Trevor Lewis, John Roberts and Alec Lewis.




v Stroud, Away, Lost 5-11. P Sullivan, W Williams, R Self, A Lewis, K O’Shaughnessy, R Hambly, M Hanna, T Smith, J Francis, J Adams, M Webb, P Sheppard, T Lewis, J Dingle, L Harter.

This game was played at Wycliffe College, as the Stroud ground was being levelled and re-laid. Dyer, a forward scored eight out of Stroud’s eleven points; Phipps scoring their first try.

Williams scored Bath’s try, after O’Shaughnessy had drawn the despairing full-back and Sullivan added the conversion. However, it was that man Dyer who put the issue beyond doubt for Stroud, with a final unconverted try.



This page was added on 03/06/2014.

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