S.S.S. START TO SEASON
Determined to raise the standard of fitness, skipper John Jacobsen, introduced a “Sweat out the Summer Staleness” training programme. 30 players turned up for rigorous circuit training, including Tino Sidoli (brother of Gio), B E Gidley (from Bristol), Gwyn Thompson (R.A.F. Compton Bassett) and promising ex Downside schoolboy – 20 year old Kevin Andrews. Angus Meek agreed to captain the United in succession to Tom Smith.
Three new ‘signings’ attracted attention:- Alan Howard-Baker, the Dorset & Wilts. full-back or centre, John Davis, a doctor at the R.U.H. from London Hospitals, and Pilot Officer Jim Brown of R.A.F. Melksham. Significantly, Peter Heindorff from Avon, had also thrown in his lot with the Bath Club, and would probably play in the forwards.
v Old Cranleighans, Home. Won 12-0. Team:- B R Richards, D L Lavery, R Farnham, M Evans, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen (Capt.), B Davis, P Parfitt, K Andrews (Downside School), J A Jacob, I D S Beer, P J Winchcombe and G Robins.
Referee Freddie Wolfe (Somerset)
There was a prompt response to the Old Boys’ first incursion: “Bath came back however, and Morton Evans sold the dummy nicely to start a movement which ended within a few yards of the visitors’ posts.” Gordon Drewett was as lively as ever and he sent Lavery away, but his final pass went astray. Bath looked the more dangerous side and splendid handling produced a fine try by Roy Farnham. David Lavery added a further unconverted try and Bath led 6-0 at half time.
The visitors defended desperately until Lavery accepted a pass from Morton Evans and went over in great style. Within very few minutes Lavery had chalked up a hat trick – again following a pass from Evans. Bath finished well on top.
There was good news on the improved condition of the Rec. No transfers to Lambridge were envisaged.
The Programme Notes included grateful thanks for voluntary help in cleaning and painting the Clubhouse.
“The Captain’s Retort.”
This little column will provide the players with a magnificent opportunity to answer some of the more biting and amusing abuse which you hurl at us from time to time. Let me say at the very outset that we do not in any way resent almost anything you care to shout at us, for good hecklers are an invaluable asset to any rugby ground, so please shout louder, longer and more abusively for or against us, but be ready for the answer back in the following week’s edition of this column.
However, before this battle of words begins, I should like to thank you on behalf of the players for coming to watch us at all. As most of you will know, the roar of the crowd can inspire a team to great things and similarly cause the opposition to quake in their boots, feel all their blisters and bruises and think longingly of the friendly atmosphere at their home ground. We can therefore help each other, spectators and players, and we shall do our utmost to provide you with open, entertaining, winning rugby. When we don’t succeed, please don’t shoot the pianist, the rest of the orchestra are just as much to blame.
This last is a most important point. Rugby is in essence a team game and we can beat the best opposition only if we mould our talents into teams playing team tactics. You can help us in this by assessing our efforts on those terms. How seldom does one hear a quick heel from the loose loudly applauded, yet this is one of the most difficult plays to achieve. There are many similar moves which are very much the result of teamwork; the crosskick; the inside pass to forwards backing up; the second row man who has spent the afternoon cornerflagging in defence against this one breakthrough. This is the sort of move we will be practising and your encouragement will help enormously.
We wish you all, very happy sore throats.
v Leicester, Away. Lost 11-12. Team:- B R Richards, D Lavery, R Farnham, A Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G F Drewett , J Jacobsen, B Davis, P Parfitt, K Andrews, J A Jacob, I D S Beer, P J Winchcombe and G Robins.
After 40 years of trying, Bath had high hopes of a win at Leicester. After an epic struggle, they were leading by two points two minutes from ‘no-side.’ Amid unbearable tension, Rawson beat Richards to the ball, and the Leicester hoodoo remained!
Leicester had led 6-3 at half time with a penalty and a drop goal to Drewett’s penalty. In the second spell, Robbins crossed for Bath and Drewett converted. Bath were playing well and were rewarded when Harrison gathered a high bouncing ball for Winchcombe to score wide out. Gavin landed another penalty for Leicester and in the last frantic10 minutes – Leicester worked for their winner.
v Clifton, Home. Won 21-8. Team:- B R Richards, F E D Harrison, A J Howard-Baker (T), R E Ford, D A Lavery, B O’Mara, G F Drewett (3C,P), J Jacobsen, B Davis (T), P J K Parfitt (T), K Andrews, R B Marson (T), M Jones, P Winchcombe and P B Robinson.
“….Bath still have some way to go before becoming world-beaters, but at least, they can produce good attractive football, although a lively and more cohesive approach by the forwards is needed.
Problems at half-back were evident. Roger Ford took over to partner Drewett and Brendan O’Mara looked more ‘at home’ when he moved to the centre berth.
v Llanelly, Away. Won 11-3. Team:- Barry R Richards, Frank E D Harrison, Alan J Howard-Baker, Roy Farnham, David Lavery, Roger E Ford, Gordon F Drewett, Peter J K Parfitt, Bryan Davis, John Jacobsen, Richard Marson, Anthony Jacob, Peter B Robinson, Phil Winchcombe and Gwyn Robins.
Bath were very lucky to travel with 15 men. Tony Jacob had a habit of arriving at the last minute. He certainly cut this one a bit fine. With a minute or so to go, John Jacobsen rushed to phone Tony’s home. Just as he was about to press button ‘A,’ up came Jacco, grinning from ear to ear. His comment: “I haven’t missed one yet.”
As to the game – it was “a triumph all round.” A momentous winner in front of an estimated 9000 crowd. Tries by Howard-Baker and Farnham, Drewett converting one, and a drop goal from Roger Ford. Gwyn Robins demonstrated his fitness, amazing speed and crash-tackling ability, making him a bright prospect for the future. Overall, the team showed far more promise, than had been the case in recent years.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 23-3. Team:- I Balding, F E D Harrison, A J Howard-Baker, R Farnham, D A Lavery (T), R E Ford (T), G F Drewett (4C,P), P J K Parfitt, B Davis, J Jacobsen, R Marson, J A Jacob, P B Robinson (T), P Winchcombe and G Robins (T)
A solitary penalty in the 25th minute, by Drewett, was all that divided these sides at the interval
Much of Bath’s approach work had been excellent, but they lost chances, and seemed over-anxious.
Farnham and Howard- Baker had been particularly closely marked. Within five minutes of the re-start, Lavery wrong-footed his cover, and cut through “in dazzling fashion” for the first try, which Drewett converted. St.Mary’s were stung into action, and Woolhead crashed over for an unconverted try. Bath were now well on top, and consolidated their position with tries by Robins, Ford and Robinson. Drewett converted all of them. Bath had a fine second row combination in Tony Jacob and Richard Marson. (For those readers in the R.A.F. at that time, Richard was the son of Air Vice Marshall J Marson, A.O.C. of No. 24 Group, R.A.F. Rudloe Manor, Nr. Bath.)
v Bridgwater, Away. Won 11-3. Team:- I Balding, F E D Harrison, A J Howard-Baker, B O’Mara, D A Lavery, R E Ford, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, B Davis, J Jacobsen, R Marson, J A Jacob, I D S Beer, P Winchcombe and G Robins. The brothers Carlisle were now Bridgwater players. As former King Edward’s Schoolboys, they looked forward to entertaining their ‘home’ side. In the event, Bath returned home as victors, tries by Howard-Baker and prop Pete Parfitt did the damage. Drewett converted one and Ford dropped a neat goal.
v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Lost 8-11. Team:-B R Richards, R Andrew, D Lavery, A J Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, R E Ford, D Peters, D G Robson, B Davis (T), R Brown, R Marson, K Andrews, I D S Beer (Capt.), P Winchcombe and G Robins.
Bath, without G F Drewett, J A Jacob, J Jacobsen and P J K Parfitt, were rather inglorious in defeat.
“The visitors’ only consolation was that surely, not for a long time to come, will they play so badly.” (Wrote W.J.S.) Weston soon lost their outside-half with concussion, and at various times were beset with injuries to Gibbs, Hope and Burnell. “But even this did not seem to help Bath, who floundered hopelessly, wasting numerous opportunities, and, it seemed, almost ‘giving’ the game to Weston.
This was particularly true forward, where Bath’s lifeless eight were more than held by seven-sometimes six-rampaging Weston forwards, who undoubtedly paved the way for victory by pulling out something extra and beating Bath at their own game.”
Bath looked the better side in the early stages: “…they took the lead with a neat handling movement between Ford and Beer, enabling debutante Andrew to fly over in the corner for an unconverted try.”
Then, for some inexplicable reason, the Bath eight wilted under pressure from the depleted Weston pack. Howard-Baker was called back for a scrum after being put away by Andrews. Thereafter Bath seemed to loose heart, as nothing seemed to be going right for them. Brian Davies scored a Bath try and Richards converted.
“Weston won, and won deservedly, against all the odds, a game which Bath will want to forget. Only Ford, Robins and Newcomer Brown did much to enhance their reputations.”
v Bridgend, Home. Drawn 13-13. Team:- A J Howard-Baker, R Andrew, D Lavery, P J Fale, F E D Harrison, R E Ford, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, R B Marson, J A Jacob, I D S Beer, P Winchcombe and G A J Robins.
“Bath’s game with Bridgend on the Rec. this afternoon proved to be a thriller. Twice Bath were in arrears, but each time they fought back magnificently, first with a try by Andrew, and then a drop goal by Ford.” “Exchanges were fast and furious, with play swinging suddenly from end to end, and both sides had chances of victory…” In the first half, Bridgend were leading by a converted try, but “out of the blue,” Bath came back at them. Winger Richard Andrew brought the crowd to their feet with a brilliant pick-up and race for the line, which outstripped all opposition. Drewett dutyfully converted. Soon after Bridgend landed a penalty to lead 8-5 at the interval. Andrews again featured in speedy open play and Ian Beer took the ball within a few yards of the visitors’ line. Drewett kept things boiling with breaks from the scrum and deft kicks ahead. Then his pass to Ford allowed the fly-half to drop a beautiful goal. (8-8) Bath were now fired up – none more so than Jacob who was outstanding in the forward rushes. Then Bath were rocked on their heels when fly-half Richards spread-eagled the defence, scored between the posts and converted his own try. However, the home side had more fire in their bellies, and: “Bath scored a brilliant try when Fale broke through and Robbins carried on for Jacob to touch down. Drewett converted.”
v Devonport Services, Home. Won 25-0. Team:- A J Howard-Baker, F Harrison, John H Ducker (ex Monkton Combe School), B O’Mara, D A Lavery, R E Ford, D J Peters, J Jacobsen, B Davis, R Titchen, M Jones, A J Meek, I D S Beer, P Winchcombe and P B Robinson. Tries by Howard-Baker, Harrison (3), Peters, Beer and Robinson. Conversions from Jacobsen and Lavery.
Drewett, Jacob and Parfitt (Debut County game) played for Somerset v Gloucestershire.
“Lastly, I would like to extend a most warm welcome to Roy Titchen who is playing his first game for Bath today. He has played regularly for the Navy for some years and had represented Combined Services. Like myself, he is in Bath polishing the seat of his trousers in the Admiralty and no doubt will enjoy the sensation as much as I do.”
“Joe Bailey hopes to meet some of his old shipmates once more, and since the band has been augmented by none other than Drummer G P Eskell, the musical programme should be good.”
Touch Judge Jack Arnold, had officiated at some 300 games since the end of his playing days. He estimated that he had trotted up and down touch-lines for some 600 miles – no wonder he had no need to diet!
v Bristol, Home. Lost 13-27. Team:- L Rimmer (T), F E D Harrison, B O’Mara (T), A J Howard-Baker, D Lavery, R Fieldgate, G F Drewett (P,2C), R Titchen, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, J Jacobsen, P Winchcombe, J A Jacob, G Robins and P Robinson. (135th encounter)
Bath wilted in the face of a powerful Bristol performance. The visitors dominated from the start, with a superb exhibition of the handling game, in front of a record crowd. It was Laurie Rimmer’s debut on the Rec. Normally a back row forward, the Oxford Blue was obliged to cover the full-back position. Bath found themselves 0-19 down at half-time.
Bath reorganised their back division in the second half, with Rimmer moving to centre and Howard-Baker taking the full-back position. The new formation could do little to halt Bristol’s scoring progression. At last, Drewett did succeed in opening Bath’s account with a fine 40 yard penalty.
“As the second half progressed Bath did have a little more of the play, but made little headway. In a belated revival O’Mara took advantage of two Bristol defensive errors to score for Bath, and Drewett converted.
Bath scored a second try when Harrison broke through. Lavery handled and Rimmer scored for Drewett to convert.”
v Plymouth Albion, Away. Won 10-8. Team:- A Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, B O’Mara, H Cormack, D E Lavery, R Fieldgate, D Peters, J Jacobsen, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, P Heindorff, A Meek, P Robinson, P Winchcombe and G Robins.
The Plymouth air appeared to agree with Peter Heindorff, as he kicked two conversions in his debut 1st XV game. Back-row forward G Robins provided the tries.
Drewett and Jacob played for Somerset.
v Harlequins, Away. Lost 11-21. Team:- A J Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, B O’Mara, H Cormack, D E Lavery (T), R Fieldgate, G F Drewett (C,P), J Jacobsen, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, P Heindorff, J A Jacob, L Rimmer (T), M J Jones and G Robins.
As befits a City traveller, the majority of the team and officials, travelled to White City dressed in bowler hat, dark suit and replete with rolled umbrella.
Bath failed to pull off, what would have been a ‘fashionable’ win. “Lots of reasons may be given for their defeat, but perhaps one which may have contributed is that two of the ‘Quins, John Currie and Roger Whyte, have been training with Bath and, presumably, they tipped off their colleagues about Bath’s strengths and weaknesses.” Newly arrived Laurie Rimmer made an impact on the game. At one stage, his try levelled the score, and he made try saving tackles with his brilliant cover work.
He had taken up a post as a master at Dauntsey School.
v United Services, Home. Won 24-5. Team:- A J Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, B O’Mara, H Cormack, D E Lavery, R Fieldgate, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, P Heindorff, J A Jacob, R Robinson, M J Jones, G Robins.
The nineteen points margin flattered; the Services fielded a fast and fit side and they deserved more luck than they got. They suffered considerable disruption by having to make six last minute changes to their line-up. Hooker Brian Davis scored a try in the first 4 minutes and Drewett converted. Five minutes on and Drewett added a penalty. Services responded with a first half converted try. In the second half, Bath threequarters came to life, Cormack split the defence, took a return pass from O’Mara, and scored his first try for Bath. Drewett converted. The lead was increased with tries by Robins (converted Drewett), Harrison, and Lavery.
v Saracens, Home. Lost 5-6. Team:- A J Howard-Baker, F E D Harrison, B Brooks, R F Farnham, R Andrew, R Fieldgate, G F Drewett, R Brown, B Davis, J Jacobsen, P Heindorff, M Jones, M Lambert, P Winchcombe and G Robins. Bath lost by a try and a penalty to a converted try.
There was no score after an uneventful first half, despite a number of penalty opportunities.
Bath fielded a number of substitute players who were unable to impress. Saracens looked livelier in the second half and Bath made many handling mistakes. Saracen’s winger Bartlett eventually penetrated the Bath defence, after shaking off a high tackle by Harrison. The try was not converted. Bath were subdued and hard-pressed until good work by Howard-Baker brought them to life. Drewett broke away on the right and Farnham and Brookes handled before sending Harrison over in the corner. Drewett’s kick gave Bath the lead for just two minutes. Frazer dashed Bath’s hopes of a win with a touch-line penalty.
Former Bath skipper, Alec Lewis attended the match. His verdict: “Disappointing for Bath, but the better side won on the day.”
v Cheltenham, Home. Won 3-0. Team:- B Richards, R Andrew, H Cormack, A Howard-Baker, R Farnham, R Fieldgate, G Drewett, R Brown, J Jacobsen, P Parfitt, A Jacob, P Heindorff, M Lambert, M Jones and G Robins. Rimmer was on County duty for Cheshire.
Calm and collected, Gordon Drewett dropped an early goal to hold off the youngsters from the Garden City. It proved to be a difficult struggle, with the visitors defending strongly. It was difficult to break down a solid and tenacious defence. “Bath continued to be the more impressive side. Once more Drewett broke away. Heindorff joined in with his threequarters, and Howard-Baker sent winger Andrew away. He was well into the visitors’ 25 before being thrown into touch.”
“Bath did the attacking, Cheltenham the defending, and neither side got very far.”
(Bath Chronicle 21/11/1959)
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- B R Richards, R Andrew, R Cormack,A Howard-Baker, R Farnham, R Fieldgate, G F Drewett, R Brown, J Jacobsen, P J K Parfitt, J Jacob, M J Jones, M Lambert (T), R Titchen and G Robins.
There was plenty of action at the beginning, with both sides scoring within two minutes
Exchanges of tries by Gloucester’s Peter Ford, and Bath’s Lambert, completed the points tally for the first half. After this initial excitement, the game descended into a gruelling affair. Bath were forced on the defensive by the home side’s powerful pack, and Hopson and Booth at half-back gave them no end of trouble, with the out-half providing the springboard for every Gloucester attack. Forwards, Robins and Titchen figured well in defence, as Bath continued to tackle like demons. Booth succeeded in breaking away and ‘Digger’ Morris forced his ample bulk over for an unconverted try. For long periods Bath continued to tackle desperately.
Then: “Ford brought the game to life with a long punt ahead to the left. Andrew scrambled clear, but from a line-out, an orthodox handling move developed, and Taylor shook off two tackles before passing to winger Smith, who just got over in the corner for an unconverted try.” Gloucester held on for a win.
v London Scottish, Home. Won 5-3. Team:- B R Richards, R Andrew, R Cormack, B J O’Mara, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, M Davey, R L Brown, A J Jacob, P B H Heindorff, M Lambert, R Titchen, G Robins. Former Prior Park pupil Ian Reid travelled with the Exciles team. He had been the regular fly-half choice for both London Scottish and Dorset & Wilts., but was out with injury. He would have relished playing against Bath, having had a game with them two years previously. Richard Andrew scored Bath’s try, which was converted by Gordon Drewett. Welshman Barry Richards, was competent at full-back; his handling, kicking and positional play was much improved. Although the pack still lacked cohesion, there was encouraging teamwork from the back row composed of Mike Lambert (ex Cleeve), Welshman Gwyn Robins, and Roy Titchen (R.N.) Former Bristol hooker, Mervyn Davey had an impressive game against international Norman Bruce.
v Gloucester, Home. Lost 8-26. Team:- B R Richards, R Andrew, A Howard-Baker, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Wilcox, G Drewett (Capt.), R Brown, M Davey, P Parfitt, A Jacob, M Jones, M Lambert, R Titchen, G Robins.
Bath failed dismally in their return with Gloucester. “From the start the visitors showed all the aggression, their strength being in their pack, which paved the way for Gloucester’s eighth successive win.” Gloucester took the lead after 11 minutes, when Morris charged down Richard’s kick and fell on the loose ball. The visitors continued to dictate the pattern of play, with ample supply of ball from their heavyweight forwards. Fowke was soon over for their second try, which Taylor converted. Drewett relieved with a penalty, but there were two more Gloucester tries from Fowke and Ricketts, both converted by Taylor. Bath were 3-18 down at half-time. “Gloucester’s ability to gain possession, and gain it quickly, had had dire results for Bath, who seldom looked dangerous.”
Gloucester’s Morris scored a storming try in the second half, followed by Taylor, who converted his own effort.
A disheartened Bath did manage to cross the Gloucester line at the end. Titchen was credited with the try and Drewett converted.
v London Irish, at Sunbury. Drawn 3-3.m Team:- I Balding, R Andrew, B O’Mara, A Howard-Baker, R Farnham, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, P Parfitt, M Davey, J Jacobsen, M Jones, A Jacob, P Robinson, R Titchen and M Lambert. The Irish were a strong side at this time, and an away draw was considered to be a meritorious performance. Bath were the first side to win at the new Sunbury ground. Howard-Baker got Bath’s try.
v Old Blues, Home. Lost 3-5. Team:- C P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, A J Howard-Baker, R Andrew, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, M J Davey, J Jacobsen, J A Jacob, M J Jones, T Bishop, R Titchen and M Lambert. These were two games in which Bath got off to a good start, and then the standard dropped somewhat. “The last two matches of 1959 were a perfect example of this for after drawing with powerful London Irish a home defeat against humble Old Blues followed on Boxing Day.” Drewett scored a penalty.
v Leicester, Home. Drawn 0-0. Team:- C P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, M J Davey, J Jacobsen, J A Jacob, R Marson, P Robinson, M J Jones and M Lambert.
Bath held Leicester to a draw, and enjoyed the best of the play. In the opening stages Bath did all the pressing, with Wilcox playing a pivotal role. His opposite number was England’s, P J Horrocks-Taylor, who was able to open up bright three-quarter movements.
Marson then initiated a movement in which Drewett, Cormack and O’Mara figured, but Howard-Baker – sent clear on the wing, dropped a simple pass. The game continued, with both sides surviving lengthy periods of defence. It was anybody’s game, but Bath were generally the livelier side.
v London Welsh, Away. Won 10-6. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham , B O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, M J Davey, J Jacobsen, J A Jacob, R B Marson, L I Rimmer, J Evans and M Lambert.
A memorable victory at Old Deer Park, showing their best form away from home. A major factor was the inclusion of Laurie Rimmer, who scored one of the two tries, Roy Farnham getting the other. Drewett converted both. The presence of six-footer, Richard Marson had improved Bath’s play in the loose, and he had done some useful work in the line-out. True to tradition, Bath now had a surfeit of good back row men, lining up for selection. Bath took London Welsh’s home record.
v Devonport Services, Away. Won 6-3. Team:- C P Masters, R Fieldgate, R Farnham, B O’Mara, R Andrew, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, D G Robson, M Davey, J Jacobsen, J A Jacob, P Heindorff (2T), M Lambert, M Jones and G Robins. CHRONICLEHEADLINE:-
BATH TRIUMPH OVER SERVICES.
Heindorff’s Big Role in Season’s First Double
Former Avon back, Peter Heindorff came into the second row, as replacement for Marson, and scored two tries. Late in the first half, Bath were having the better of the exchanges. “A three-quarter movement by Bath came to nothing near the Services posts. Then some short handling by the Bath forwards when Heindorff was in possession. He dropped over the line with the ball to open the scoring, but the greasy ball was too heavy for Drewett to convert.” Bath continued to get the better of the scrums and the line-outs. “Drewett left Services defenders slithering in the mud as the ground began to cut up. His mid-field swerves were dangerous.” Play moved into the Services half and Heindorff crashed through from a line-out. Again the conversion failed. Near the end, English Trialist Pearey got away, and when tackled at the line, fed to his winger Watson for the touch down. Heindorff had carried the day!
Most unusually, Jack Arnold was unable to travel to Plymouth. It was the first premier game he had missed in two years. He had been an ever-present figure as a touch-judge. As Team Secretary, he was the hardest working official in the Club.
K.E.S. schoolboys, helped out Bath this week. Geoff Frankcom played centre for United, and scrum-half Jimmy Edwards played for the ‘A’s
Drewett’s First Try In Two Years.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Won 18-0. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, R L Brown, M Davey, J Jacobsen, J A Jacob, R B Marson, L I Rimmer, M Lambert and G Robins.
What a difference when Rimmer was around! However, it was Gordon Drewett who made the headlines on his 136th appearance. Bath emerged as comfortable winners and Drewett’s contribution, at last – was a try, a penalty and 3 conversions. (Twelve points)
Other try scorers were Roy Farnham and Tony Jacob.
Bath showed more aggression with lively forward play from Rimmer, Marson and Robins. Drewett’s try came after Bath had been ‘sitting’ on the St. Mary’s line for a few minutes. Drewett decided to break the deadlock, and skated through on his own. He soon emerged, still holding the ball, from a pile of players. Bath were very much on top at the finish.
Welshman, Hugh Cormack, swapped his houseman shift at St. Martin’s Hospital. He did not wish to miss a game against his former Club. He was previously beside Lew Cannell in a fine centre partnership.
v Northampton, Home. Lost 5-10. Team:- C P Masters, R F Farnham, B J O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, R Titchen, J A Jacob, R B Marson, L I Rimmer, I D S Beer and G Robins.
Northampton:- J A Hawgood, F D Sykes, I M Gibson, J Butterfield, J P Hyde, R Leslie, R E G Jeeps, C R Jacobs, (Capt.), A S Pearson, R Wilkins, C P Daniels, A L Canham, D F White, P J Taylor, P J Stewart. At this time Northampton, with seven internationals, had one of the strongest sides in the country, and had only been beaten four times that season. It was judged to be no disgrace to be beaten by 2 goals to one, and in fact scoring first. Bath deservedly took the lead: The movement was started in midfield by wing forward Robins. He cut cleverly past two defenders before passing to Farnham. The wing-man cut inside with surprising speed, catching the defence ‘on the wrong foot,’ and he timed his pass perfectly for Titchen to go over almost unopposed for a try which Drewett had no difficulty in converting.” At this time, the Saints were strangely subdued, although the forwards, marshalled by Dickie Jeeps, continued to work hard. The backs were continually harassed by close tackling. Near half time, Northampton pressure was rewarded with a try by White, who also converted.
Within two minutes of re-start, Bath were rocked by a Northampton movement which started from a Bath heel. Before Drewett could pick up, White had robbed him of the ball and fly-kicked across the field. Leslie picked up in great style, jinking through cleverly to send a long pass over his centres to speedy winger Hyde, who was left with a clear run in. White converted. The match was played out with Bath desperately trying to get on level terms, but an entertaining game came to an end with no further score.
v Rosslyn Park, Away. Lost 3-5. Team:- C P Masters, R F Farnham, B J O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G F Drewett , J Jacobsen, M J Davey, R Titchen, P Heindorff, M Jones, L I Rimmer, I D S Beer, and G B Robins. Penalty by Drewett.
“Much of the inconsistency has been due to the club’s inability to field the same side for more than two weeks in succession, and in consequence they have never really had a chance to settle down.”
v Oxford University Greyhounds, Home. Won 11-3. Team:- C P Masters, R Farnham, B J O’Mara, H Cormack, A J Howard-Baker (2T), R J Wilcox, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, M J Jones, P B H Heindorff, L I Rimmer, I D S Beer and M J Lambert. Bath’s youthful visitors tackled magnificently and gave the home side some anxious moments. However, the visitors were unable to contain Bath’s strength and experience. Tries flowed from Howard-Baker (converted Drewett), Heindorff and a second one for Howard-Baker. Greyhounds’ Poole scored when O’Mara dropped a pass.
v Wasps, Away. Lost 0-26. Team:- P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, A Howard-Baker, R Wilcox, G Drewett, J Jacobsen, M Davey, P J K Parfitt, P Heindorff, A Jacob, L Rimmer, M Jones and M Lambert.
Howard-Baker was off the field for all but 30 minutes with a knee injury, and Bath were generally outplayed and outpaced for their worst defeat of the season. Strangely subdued, Bath continually came off second best. Playing at wing-forward, seventeen stone Ted Woodward, played a big part in Bath’s demise. A de-moralising day – and Bristol coming up the following week!
v Bristol, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- C P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, R B Marson, J A Jacob, L I Rimmer, I D S Beer and M J Lambert. Bath played in green jerseys.
Bath put up a stiff fight, but eventually succumbed to Bristol’s open attacking style. Bath deserved their score when a Bristol movement broke down in midfield. O’Mara fly-kicked on and Cormack was up to crash over for an opportunist try. One particular foray by Ian Beer, nearly brought another. Once more, O’Mara took advantage of a poor clearance, gained possession and drove straight for the line. He actually grounded the ball, but was adjudged to have touched the corner flag before he touched down.
After this, Bristol came more into the game with attractive handling movements. The tackling was fierce, and there were occasionally bitter exchanges as local rivalry held sway. Then Dash initiated a dazzling movement in which the ball passed through many pairs of hands, and finally to hooker, Thorn for an outstanding try. Bristol continued to turn up the heat, with rampaging forward play. Blake again featured in another weaving attack, only for the final pass to go astray. After some frantic passages of play the sides changed over all square at 3-3.
In the second spell, Drewett just missed with a drop at goal, then Bristol’s Blake and Bridgeman were away again on the right, and Bath were forced to concede a penalty. Cripps stepped up and made no mistake from 40 yards out. “Another Bristol try came following a scrum near the Bath line. Redwood broke away on the blind side, and sent out a scoring pass to Bridgeman, who went over for an unconverted try.”
v Swansea, Away. Lost 6-12. Team:- C P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, R Andrew, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, A Meek, J A Jacob, L I Rimmer, R Titchen and M J Lambert. Mainwaring and Drewett swapped penalties in the first half, but Swansea took a deserved lead through wing Roger Harding. Near half-time, Bath were unlucky, when a brilliant handling movement saw O’Mara tackled inches short of the Swansea line.
Resolute defence kept Swansea out as the second half got under way, and Drewett improved Bath’s position with a fine penalty. The home side gradually gained the ascendancy and ran off with a 6 point margin. Bath had put up a good fight. There were encouraging signs, with improvement in the ‘outsides’ play, with O’Mara, Wilcox and Farnham showing great promise. Tony Jacob was playing better and there was fine work from the back-row trio.
v Neath, Away. Lost 3-6. Team:– C P Masters, R Farnham, B O’Mara, H Cormack, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, A Meek, J A Jacob, L I Rimmer, R Titchen, M J Lambert. Roy Titchen’s second half try was a late response to Neath’s two touchdowns on a rain swept ‘fortress’ Gnoll. Throughout, it was a ding-dong struggle, as the packs worked prodigiously, and both sets of backs tried to open up the game. Cormack and Wilcox combined well and there were some good attacking movements which extended into the second half.
Bath kept up the pressure, and their best passage of play came when Rimmer’s burst, sent the three-quarters away, only for Harrison to be tackled as he streaked for the corner. “Again Bath pressed, and Rimmer went over, but was whistled back. Then the Bath pack pushed over, but were again whistled up.” This period of persistent attack eventually brought reward for Titchen. This was a spirited effort, and some encouragement after a poor run of results.
v Llanelly, Home. Lost 0-9. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, B O’Mara, R Fieldgate, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G F Drewett, D G Robson, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, A Meek, J A Jacob, L I Rimmer, R Titchen, M J Lambert. Owing to televising of the Grand National, the kick-off was arranged for 4p.m. Llanelly were reinforced by the selection of Welsh Captain Rhys Williams in the second row. The visitors pressed hard from the start, but Lambert, Fieldgate and Farnham figured well in reply. Drewett missed two penalties, and a drop goal by the narrowest of margins. A long kick brought play into the Bath half, and Coslett landed a fine penalty from the touch-line. Bath were again penalised, this time in front of posts, and Coslett had no difficulty with his kick. Bath had started well enough, but were now beginning to struggle. Drewett was wide with another penalty attempt and again off course a few minutes later. By half time, Llanelly were well on the way to retaining the coveted Rag Doll, as the value of an ‘in form’ kicker was drummed home.
Bath’s fortunes had slumped in the month of March!
v Moseley, Away. Drawn 3-3. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, B O’Mara, R Fieldgate, F E D Harrison, R Wilcox, G Drewett, J Jacobsen, M J Davey, P J K Parfitt, R Marson, J A Jacob, T Bishop, A Meek and M J Lambert. Brendan O’Mara sustained a shoulder injury in the Llanelly match and there was some doubt as to whether he should play. Unfortunately, he took a heavy tackle 20 minutes into this game, and was little more than a passenger for the rest of the proceedings. Fieldgate scored from a well taken interception for his first try of the season.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 3-8. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, G Frankcom, R Fieldgate, R Andrew, P Margesson, D Peters, J Jacobsen, M Davey, P Parfitt, A Jacob, A Meek, T Bishop, M Jones and M Lambert. A spate of injuries, provided an opportunity for youngsters to make their mark in senior rugby. The performance of Geoff Frankcom (K.E.S.), and Phil Margesson (Marlborough), were closely watched. Richard Andrew (Old Edwardians) was given another chance. Drewett was rested, providing a welcome return for David Peters, who had been doing so well in the United.
Bath encountered a well-organised side, who chalked up their 29th victory of the season. However, it was a good run out for several younger players. Early effort was rewarded by a penalty by Balding, but the more experienced visitors came back with a goal and a penalty goal. “Bath, although they threw everything into sparkling handling moves, just could not break down the Exeter defence.”
On the same afternoon, the United beat B.A.C. 80-3 at Bristol. P Robinson scored 39 points.
v Harlequins, Home. Lost 14-34. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, G Frankcom, L Rimmer, R Fieldgate, P Margesson, D Peters, P J K Parfitt, J Jacobsen, D Robson, A Meek, A Jacob, M Lambert, M Jones, P Robinson. Tries by Fieldgate, Margesson and Peters. Balding kicked one conversion, and young Frankcom dropped a goal. Some good tries, but the eighth game without a win!
A fine treat for Bath’s Rugby devotees, providing they did not mind the result. The crowd enjoyed the 48 points that were scored, although the home side came off second best in the encounter.
The Quins again showed their superior class behind the scrum and the experiment of playing Rimmer at centre was not a success. A disappointing afternoon for the Bath team, but nevertheless – a fine open game.
v Birkenhead Park, Home. Won 14-5. Team:- G Drewett, R Farnham, G Frankcom, H Cormack, R Fieldgate, P Margesson, D Peters, D Robson, J Jacobsen, P J K Parfitt, A Jacob, M Jones, L Rimmer, R Titchen and M Lambert. A welcome win after an eight games did much to raise spirits – at least – for a while! Drewett played at full back, which allowed another opportunity to look at the Margesson – Peters partnership. Pete Parfitt scored in the first minute. Bath showed considerable quickness on the ball, as Peters, Lambert and then Jacobsen, charged down attempted clearance kicks. Bath’s second score was not long in coming: “Lambert gained possession, tore for the line, and then passed to his captain, Jacobsen, who went over for a try. Drewett converted, and thus completed his 100 points for the season, for which he received a great ovation from the crowd.” The visitors narrowed the margin with a converted try, but tries from Farnham and Rimmer secured a comfortable win for Bath. One particularly passage of play deserves note: “Jacob battered his way through and the supporting Robson was only held up inches from his objective after a fierce forward melee, which resulted in the stoppage of the game for treatment to two home forwards.”
v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Lost 6-11. Team:- G Drewett, R Farnham, G Frankcom, H Cormack, R Fieldgate, R Wilcox, D Peters, P J K Parfitt, J Jacobsen, D G Robson, A Jacob, R Marson, A Meek, L Rimmer and M Lambert.
Headline – Tired Bath Disappoint Against O.M.T.
Bath would have been expected to win with ease, but never looked like doing so; “They played with all the lethargy of a team tired out after an arduous season.” Drewett, at one stage, raised hopes with a penalty to trail 3-11 at the interval. Little went right at the re-start. First Jacob retired with a badly cut eye and Peters took a couple of nasty knocks. Drewett looked a bit more lively, when he broke away and cross-kicked. Robson and Parfitt went away with the ball and sent Farnham over for their try. It was all a bit late. O.M.T.’s had made their effort earlier.
“For Bath, Marson worked hard in the line-out and Rimmer was as elusive as ever.”
v Taunton, Away. Drawn 9-9. Team:- G Drewett, R Fieldgate, R Wilcox, G Frankcom, R Farnham, P Margesson, D Peters, D Robson, J Jacobsen, P J K Parfitt, Griffiths, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, R Woolford and M Lambert.
Taunton made a fine effort to level the game from 3-9 down. Bath had plenty of line-out possession via Parfitt and control in the tight from Jacobson. “A fine try by Beer had put Taunton in front, but then a glorious break by scrum-half Peters led to Lambert’s try from a reverse pass. Very shortly after, Drewett landed a simple penalty…..” An all too brief incursion into Taunton territory, allowed Margesson to drop a beautiful goal and Bath could be excused for thinking they were home and dry.
Bath then wavered as Taunton ‘clicked.’ Frankcom and Wilcox had disappointing games and in the end, and despite splendid efforts from the pack, it was left to Margesson to save the day.
There was a record number of entries for the Bath F C Seven-a-Side competition. 350 players took part in the 10 days of the tournament. All Junior Clubs and local R.A.F. camps entered at least one side, and the Army were represented by R.A.P.C. Devizes and C.A.D. Corsham.
v Bedford, Away. Lost 3-14. Team:- G Drewett, R Fieldgate, M Greensides, G Frankcom, R Farnham, P Margesson, D Peters, D Robson, J Jacobsen, P J K Parfitt, A Meek, A Jacob, T Bishop, M Jones and M Lambert. Walcot’s Mike Greensides made his debut at centre.
Bath lost by a goal and three tries to a solitary try by Fieldgate in the 20th minute: “eventually, after a handling breakdown, Frankcom dribbled through with Farnham in support. On the hard ground however, the ball ran too far, and Bell had ample time to fly-kick to touch.
After 20 minutes Bath’s three-quarters got moving for almost the first time, and a brilliant break by Frankcom, who cut the defence wide open after a 40 yard run, enabled Fieldgate to go over for a fine try in a corner; Drewett just failed to convert.
This score seemed to put more confidence into Bath’s young side, and for a time they had Bedford really worried. Another break by Frankcom, supported by Greensides, looked dangerous but, this time the defence held firm.” In the second half, Drewett missed a penalty from right in front of the posts. From thereon, Bedford ran in three tries, and all was lost.
v Torquay, Away. Lost 12-19. Team:- G F Drewett, M Johnson, R Ford, R Farnham, R Andrew, B Perry, D Peters, J Jacobsen, C Smith, D G Robson, P Heindorff, A Jacob, M Lambert, T Bishop and G Leyshon.
This was Bath’s second post-war fixture with Torquay. Bath fielded a particularly young side, trailed at the end of the first half and although they staged a late rally, were unable to turn the game round. Brendan Perry, aged 17, still a pupil at St. Brendan’s, had his debut game, and scored just before the interval. “Winger Farnham’s startling break from the re-start made a great try for the speedy Andrew and revived Bath to change the complexion of the game.
Several times both Farnham and Perry were seen heading towards the home line and it was their combination in attack that led to Bath’s third score. Normal scrum half Drewett a sound full-back in this rearranged side kicked an easy penalty goal.” Drewett landed a second penalty to bring Bath within four points of their opponents. However, Torquay moved further ahead with a late penalty by Morgan. Other Torquay scores were – tries Williams (2) and Morgan. The last named also kicked two conversions.
v Weston-super-Mare, Home. Won 12-6. Team:- G F Drewett, R Farnham, G Frankcom, H O Cormack, J R Dolman, P Margesson, D Peters, D Robson, J Jacobsen, P J K Parfitt, A Jacob, A Meek, T Bishop, M Jones and M J Lambert. The Seasiders fielded 8 county players.
Bath finished a somewhat indifferent season with a win over neighbouring W-S-M. There was consolation in that, for the closing games, several youngsters had been given their chance, and showed a wealth of promise for Bath’s future. This was a closely fought encounter, with Bath tries scored by prop forwards, Robson and Parfitt. Drewett was on target for two penalties. For much of the game, Bath were beaten for pace and quality of handling. Peters suffered from a couple of inaccurate tap-backs from the line-out.
An unusual record of 364 Points For, 364 Points Against!
It should be borne in mind, that home fixtures were somewhat curtailed, to allow progress with ground improvement work.
TOP TRY SCORER A Howard-Baker 7
MOST CONVERSION G Drewett 29
MOST PENALTIES G Drewett 18
TOP APPEARANCES J Jacobsen 37, G Drewett 36, A Jacob and P Parfitt 33, R Farnham 30, A Howard-Baker and M Lambert 26, B O’Mara 24, R Wilcox 21, G Robins and M Jones 20.
Somerset Sevens at Weston-super-Mare. Final won by Bath in beating Clevedon 11-8. Points For 58, Against 13. Total tries scored – 15. Tries Against – 2.
Bath 7’s team:
Geoff Hancock, Richard Andrew, Roger Wilcox, John Millman, Ray Woolford (Capt.), Pete Heindorff, Phil Hall.
Tries in the Final from Richard Andrew, Pete Heindorf and Phil Hall, with Geoff Hancock converting one.Ray Woolford’s squad were also runners-up in the Bath 7’s.