BATH CHRONICLE 26th August 1961
Bath were full of optimism as they rang up the curtain on another season. The aim was to surmount the previous difficulties of mediocrity and unpredictability. The immediate aim was a good start with the September fixtures. It is a matter of record, that they certainly achieved that aim!
v Stroud, Away. Won 19-3. Team:- I A Balding, R Farnham, B D O’Mara, G P Frankcom, J Cousins, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, P Mulligan, K P Andrews, J A Jacob, J Evans, Lance Clark and P Hall.
Bath opened with a useful win against Stroud, in which the backs demonstrated a marked superiority. They achieved this, despite losing the services of Kevin Andrews for much of the game. In the opening minutes, only the shortness to the dead ball line prevented Phil Hall from registering a try.
Indeed, Bath’s flanker featured in much of the early play, including a smart handling movement in combination with Balding and Farnham.
Bath forwards dictated play, establishing a platform from which the backs were soon to profit. Brendan Perry made a neat break to send Frankcom speeding in for the first try. Then Frankcom initiated another attack, cross kicking for Jacob to gather, allowing Cousins outpace all defence.
Stroud, led by former Bath forward, David Peglar, came back powerfully, but Balding stopped certain scores on two occasions. Later, Balding ran from deep, exchanged with Farnham and took the return pass for the third try. Drewett’s conversion attempt was touched in flight. Then Stroud got on the scoreboard when Sheen slipped through on the blind side. Later, Andrews returned from injury to touch down after a fine move. Frankcom converted. Late on, Balding dispossessed Phillips, dummied through, and handed to Frankcom, who was left to cruise in for Bath’s fifth try. This time, Drewett converted.
v Leicester, Away. Won 12-11. Team:- I Balding, R Farnham, J Keepe, G Frankcom, J E Cousins, B Perry, G F Drewett, R Clark, C Smith, P Mulligan, B Farrer, P Heindorff, J Evans, P Beck and P Hall. The side included four Bath Old Edwardians in Gordon Drewett, Chris Smith, Geoff Frankcom and Bruce Farrer.
This was a virtuoso Gordon Drewett performance, as he chalked up four well taken penalties, including the winning kick eleven minutes from time. Bath had been 6-11 down at the interval, Leicester scoring tries by Senior (unconverted) and Almey (converted Scotland), and a penalty by Scotland.
In the second half, Beck, Evans and Hall continually harassed the Leicester back line, and John Keepe made some fine runs. Continued pressure yielded further penalty opportunities and Drewett majored gratefully. It was Bath’s second win at Leicester in 37 appearances.
(Thursday) v Clifton, Home. Won 18-0. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B P O’Mara, G Frankcom, J E Cousins, B Perry, G F Drewett, P Mulligan, C Smith, R Clark, P Heindorff, B Farrer, P Beck, J Evans and P J Hall.
Bath won their first home game in style, with three goals and a try to nil. The team were far superior in the back line, but the predominantly reserve forward selection was unable to reproduce the heroic effort at Leicester, and Clifton managed to hinder Bath in gaining possession.
The Drewett and Perry partnership worked well and Frankcom’s mobility gave them no end of trouble.
It was Frankcom who dispossessed Clifton’s John Lewis, then linked with Beck, who in turn left Farnham to race past three defenders for a fine try which Drewett converted.
The second half brought two tries from Frankcom. For his second effort, he set off at top speed, stopped dead in his tracks, allowing himself a rapid change in direction, which left defenders grasping at air. Drewett added the extras. Frankcom again featured with Hawgood and O’Mara finally sending Hall through (like a bullet) for the final try, which Drewett again converted.
v Llanelly, Home. Won 13-6. Team:- J Hawgood, R Farnham, B P O’Mara, G Frankcom, A Reid-Smith, B Perry, G F Drewett, P Mulligan, B Davis, P J K Parfitt, J A Jacob, K P Andrews, L Rimmer, L Clark and P Hall. The selected side included three Oldfield Old Boys in Roy Farnham, Pat Hill and Peter Parfitt.
A large crowd was treated to a thrilling and highly entertaining game. The Welshmen were prepared to throw the ball about, and were six points up within 20 minutes. Astonishingly, Bath not only pulled back the arrears, but went on to win handsomely. Drewett’s personal contribution was a penalty and two conversions. It was Bath’s fourth game without defeat. Drewett’s penalty was Bath’s only first half score, but stout work by Brian Davies, Kevin Andrews, Peter Parfitt, Paddy Mulligan and Lance Clark in the forwards, gradually brought Bath into the game. Llanelly began to fade, and Frankcom was able to intercept for an opportunist try, which Drewett converted. This raised Bath’s confidence and smart work by Perry and O’Mara took Bath forward. Next Pete Parfitt broke from a line out, enabling Andrews to score a try and for Drewett to again convert. Llanelly came aback into the action, but stout defence by Perry, Frankcom, and full-back Hawgood, kept them at bay. There were several narrow escapes, but they had beaten the best.
v Bridgend, Home. Won 16-6. Team:- J Hawgood, R Farnham, B P O’Mara, G Frankcom, F Harrison, B Perry, G F Drewett, P Mulligan, P J Hill, P J K Parfitt, K Andrews, A Jacob, L Rimmer, P Beck and P Hall. Drewett was again in fine kicking form, succeeding with 2 conversions and 2 penalties. Try scorers were Harrison, and Phil Hall. This was another match where the visitors scored first and Bath staged a commendable come-back. Brendan O’Mara sustained an ankle injury, which would keep him out of the game for a while. Play was evenly matched to the end. Bridgend’s Welsh International, Roddy Evans summed the game up in this fashion: “Both lines were crossed twice but you had a great goal kicker, and we didn’t.”
“They are very good. They take all their chances and it’ll take a top team to break their run.”
News that Alan Howard-Baker had decided to throw in his lot with Harlequins. He was already working in London, and had found the extra travelling too much of a strain.
Gossip that Gordon Drewett’s “guided-missile” kicking had impressed in a West of England versus Taunton game earlier in the week. Peter Parfitt had also had also interested the selectors.
Congratulations extended to Lance and Bob Clark and Brendan Perry upon their selection for Somerset’s experimental side.
Eighteen year old Brendan Perry, was continuing to impress with his “Bank of England” safe hands and cool head. However, he was only available to Bath when St Brendan’s College were willing to release him. Bath were keen to maximise on the youngster’s undoubted potential, and although loyalty to one’s school was important, experts thought that he should graduate from the ‘kindergarten’ of schoolboy rugby and apply his talents to the Senior game.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Won 25-8. Team:- J Hawgood, R Farnham, J Donovan, G Frankcom, F Harrison, P Margesson, G F Drewett, P Mulligan, P Hill, P J K Parfitt, K P Andrews, A Jacob, L Rimmer, L Clark and P Hall.
By courtesy of the home captain and the referee, the kick off was delayed for 10 minutes, to enable Laurie Rimmer to complete his 100-mile car dash from Dauntsey School.
Before the game, Bath’s Frank Harrison had a pain killing injection at St. Mary’s Hospital. Two hours later, he took the field against his Hospital hosts.
All the backs, except Margesson, scored tries! It was a debut senior appearance for South Wales born John Donovan. He also celebrated with a try. Bath brushed aside St. Mary’s Hospital, leading 6-0 at the interval and finally running in tries by Frankcom, Harrison, Farnham, Hawgood, Frankcom, Drewett and Jacob, with Drewett converting two of them.
v Bridgwater, Away. Won 11-3. Team:- J Hawgood, R Farnham, G Frankcom, J Donovan, J Cousins, B Perry, G F Drewett, W Mulligan, P J Hill, P J K Parfitt, A Jacob, K Andrews, P Beck, J Evans and P Hall. Tries by Hawgood and Frankcom, with a conversion and a penalty by Drewett.
Seven wins in a row is a great start to any season, and the early successes engendered excellent club spirit under the captaincy of Roy Farnham.
Bath’s surfeit of talented players was somewhat short lived, as they were faced with the return of Frankcom to Cambridge, Brendan Perry honouring some school commitments, Tony Reid-Smith moving to Scotland and John Keepe posted to Lincolnshire. Constant changes in selection made it difficult to build teamwork, and establish any sort regular pattern of play. Nevertheless, September 1961 was one of the happiest months in the Club’s middle history.
v Harlequins, Home. Lost 6-13. Team:- J Hawgood, J Keepe, G Frankcom, J Donovan, J Cousins, R Farnham, G F Drewett, W Mulligan, P J Hill, P J K Parfitt, A Jacob, K P Andrews, L Rimmer, L Clark and P Hall.
In front of a very large Rec. crowd, the Harlequins’ pretty three-quarter play was finally too much for Bath. However, the homesters got off to a good start, when Farnham slipped the ball to Donovan, who pressed on strongly, his kick ahead forcing the Quins full-back, Willcox, to touch down hurriedly. Farnham again prompted a Bath attack with a diagonal punt to Keepe, but his pass to Frankcom went awry. Bath were hustling Harlequins into mistakes. Burly prop Wrench broke from a line out, but was caught from behind by the diminutive Drewett.
Bath snatched the lead after 16 minutes; Clark led a forward rush, then Hall gathered the loose ball and handed back to Clark who went over in the corner. This prompted the Quins into a superlative display of running rugby, and they were unlucky when Payne was whistled back after crossing the Bath line. More clever play left Bath standing; Willcox recovered a loose ball, dummied through to half way and
linked with Payne, who in turn, transferred to Eden. He wrong-footed both Hawgood and Rimmer, and scored beneath the posts. Willcox completed the easy conversion. Harlequins stepped up their game, and Young burst through at high speed, sending an inside pass for Taylor to touch down, and Willcox to convert. “A minute later, however, following a scrum in the second half, Bath’s threequarters had a rare chance to handle, and Frankcom slipped through neatly before putting in a short punt, which rolled into touch near the line just before Keepe could reach it.
A minute later, however, following a scrum under the posts, they did reduce the deficit. Clark came away with the ball, and when challenged, transferred to Farnham. Bath’s fly half was boxed in but he steadied himself, and calmly dropped a goal, the ball bouncing on the cross-bar before going over.”
Bath continued to throw everything into attack, and Farnham again distributed smartly. However, the skipper was unfortunate in being caught offside and Willcox kicked a penalty from 40 yards out.
Harlequins gradually assumed control and had the distinction of ending Bath’s run of seven wins.
Skipper Farnham, was now faced with re-organisation of the back division. Geoff Frankcom was on his way to Cambridge, and he had the news that St Brendan’s had invoked their first call on schoolboy Brendan Perry.
v Aberavon, Away. Lost 0-11. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, J Keepe, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Farnham. G Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, J A Jacob, J Evans, L Clark and P Hall. Set-backs set in, when faced with the Harlequins, and then Aberavon.
An eleven points to nil drubbing from the ‘Wizards’ was not good for the morale!
v Stroud, Away. Won 37-8. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, J Keepe, B O’Mara, R Farnham, B Perry, G Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, W Mulligan, P Heindorff, J A Jacob, P Beck, J Evans, and D Anderson..
A procession of tries from:- Keepe (3), Farnham, Jacob (2), Beck, and Evans. Drewett converted 5 of them and kicked a penalty.
v Devonport Services, Home. Won 32-6. Team:- :- J Hawgood, J N Bruford, J Keepe, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Farnham, G Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and D Anderson.
It was all a bit too hot for the Services! Bath were simply too fast and too clever and had totted up an aggregate score of 69-14 in two days. It was Oxford Blue, Nick Bruford’s debut game and he celebrated with a try. Other tries stemmed from Keepe (2), O’Mara, Farnham (2), Andrews and Heindorff. Drewett converted four of them. Bath’s second half blitz, completely knocked the stuffing out of the visitors. Roy Farnham led by example. Nine wins in eleven games. Would that it was always like this!
v Bristol, Away. Lost 0-28. Team:- J Hawgood, J N Bruford, J Keepe, B O’Mara, R Farnham, B Perry, G Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and D Anderson.
Bath had pinned their hopes on the availability of senior England School’s outside half Brendan Perry. In the event, he was available and played directly opposite his schoolteacher and mentor, John Blake. Bristol chalked up their 15th successive victory against their old rivals. They were 6-0 up at half time, and repeated Bath blunders, allowed them to escalate to 28 points without reply. Unusually, Bath the away side, changed to green jerseys. Although the Bath forwards played well against heavier opponents, Bristol always looked the more dangerous. Bristol’s second row partnership of Watt and Currie was difficult to contain in the line out.
The backs had problems in defending against Bristol’s frequent changes in direction.
In this most difficult of games, young Perry played with distinction, and covered admirably.
Farnham made a nice break in the second half, and although Bristol were caught unawares, the attack could not be pressed home, because there was no one up in support. Bristol stormed on for a major victory in front of their rapturous supporters.
This ‘debacle’ at Bristol, came as a great shock indeed, for not only was it Bath’s biggest defeat for a long while, but coupled with the loss of some key players, it signalled possible struggles against better sides..
News of good performances from KES teacher Lang Jones, formerly Loughborough College. He arrived with a reputation of being one of the fastest wings in the Club, but there was doubt over his regular availability in view of his teaching commitments.
v Metropolitan Police, Home. Won 9-3. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, J Keepe, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Farnham, J Millman, J Lacey (Walcot), P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and P Hall. A hard fight for the tenth win of the season. Bath took a first half lead when Phil Hall bulldozed over for a try. John Millman was a capable scrum half, but Bath missed Drewett’s generalship and set piece kicking ability. The Police made strenuous efforts to get on terms, and under concerted pressure, Bath yielded a penalty to the visitors, but re-took the lead, when Heindorff initiated a passing movement, which went through the hands of O’Mara and Farnham, and finally Harrison, who forced his way 20 yards along the touchline, before crossing at the corner. Further pressure was rewarded when Donovan scored a good try. Heindorff’s touch-line conversion attempt hit the upright.
v Plymouth Albion, Away. Drawn 3-3. Team: – J Hawgood, R Farnham, J Donovan, B O’Mara, F Harrison, P Margesson, G Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and P Hall Late withdrawal by Keepe necessitated some re-organisation, and a weakened team performed well to hold Plymouth Albion to a draw, away from home. In the early stages, Bath were effectively harassed by the Plymouth back row. Hall was caught offside, and Tait kicked an easy penalty goal after 12 minutes. Five further minutes and Drewett, playing his 200th game, equalised with a smartly taken drop goal. That concluded the scoring in what seems to have been a rather bland sort of a match. Of real interest, was Plymouth’s inclusion of former Bath second row stalwart Eric Hopton, who was now enjoying some fine games at lock
v Saracens, Away. Lost 6-9. Team: – J Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Farnham. G Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and P Hall. Drewett’s finely taken drop-goal enabled Bath to mount a partial come-back after being 0-9 down after only 20 minutes. (Half-time 3-9) Saracens defended stubbornly as Bath gradually assumed an attacking role, trying desperately to save the game; Hawgood scored an unconverted try, but following this, Saracens managed to hold Bath out to the final whistle.
The game was later described as: ” a totally unnecessary defeat in London against mediocre Saracens.”
v Cheltenham, Home. Won 19-3. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, B O’Mara, F Harrison, R Farnham. G Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, W Burley, L Clark and P Hall. A comfortable win, but a large chunk of the credit was due to Gordon Drewett, who kicked 3 penalties and 2 conversions, for a personal tally of 13 points. Donovan had a successful afternoon, in scoring two fine tries, the first of which was executed at tremendous speed, involving a 50 yard touchline run.
There was news comment that Roy Farnham had done a fine job as captain, but many would have preferred to see him in his best position as three-quarter, rather than shouldering the problem of playing at fly-half. There was the prospect that Brendan Perry might soon be available, and Farnham could be released from this extra responsibility. It was a first game for Bill Burley of Falmouth and Cornwall. The front row was comprised of all ex Oldfield School players.
v United Services, Portsmouth, Away. Won 12-8. Team: – J Hawgood, F Harrison, B O’Mara, J N Bruford, J Donovan, R Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, W Mulligan, K P Andrews, P B Heindorff, W Burley, L Clark and P Hall. Parfitt, Drewett, and Farnham were on duty with Somerset. Former Bath and St. Mary’s player Hugh Cormack, was in the centre for the Services and scored against his old friends. Roy Farnham had been called up for his first Somerset cap; Former Trowbridge High School Captain, Roger Ford took the outside half spot, for his first game of the season and scored two drop goals. Harrison and O’Mara got the tries. This was John Spencer’s debut game. It was an evenly contested and exciting encounter, with the result in doubt until the end.
JOHN STEVENS TALKS RUGBY- 25TH NOVEMBER 1961. (Extract)
FARNHAM’S MEN CAN LOOK BACK WITH PRIDE
“Other Bath captains on taking office for the first time, have publicly pronounced that they intended to play the open game, but few have succeeded in doing so to quite the extent which Roy Farnham and his colleagues are at the moment.
There may be weaknesses in the system, and in the men who perform it, but Farnham’s attitude is to be given the highest praise.”
v London Scottish, Home. Lost 3-11. Team:- J R Hawgood, F Harrison, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, J Cousins, R E Ford, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, W Burley, L Clark and P Hall.
Bath came off second best in a dour game, against a star-studded Exciles side. Bath were level at half time, courtesy of a fine winger’s try. “From a scrum on the halfway line, Ford made a clever break, O’Mara carried on, and Donovan put in a short kick ahead. Cousins following up at speed, snatched the ball from the hands of Macdonald, and just managed to force his way over for a try which Drewett failed to convert.” The Scots equalised after 20 minutes, when profiting from a quick heel, Law made a great deal of ground and Don Macdonald forced his way through despairing defenders.
The Exciles forwards were very much on top and Rodd was the mainspring of their terrier like three-quarter effort. The Scots switched their attack to a foot rush, but Ford and Hawgood were able to save the situation, albeit, temporarily. Bath held on “by the skin of their teeth,” until Wilson profited from a lucky bounce, to send in Macdonald for his second try, which Law converted. The homesters fell further behind, when Cruikshank crossed after a blind side break.
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- J R Hawgood, F Harrison, B P O’Mara, R Farnham, J Donovan, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, W Burley, P Venn, and P Hall. Gloucester managed three tries in front of their Kingsholm faithful. Hawgood dropped a goal for Bath.
DREWETT OUT – SPENCER IN
The Selection Committee’s decision to drop Drewett in favour of Spencer caused quite a stir. He was Bath’s longest serving player and had been top scorer over the previous four seasons. His match-winning capabilities were legend, but at this juncture it was decided to plump for the new scrum half’s attacking potential, rather than Drewett’s largely defensive stance. It was indeed a gamble, as Spencer, an ex Quins player, was still something of an unknown quantity. Against this, Drewett had already amassed 89 points in 16 first team games. At Leicester, with his four penalties he had virtually won the match on his own. In Drewett’s absence, Bath would have an urgent need for a reliable goal kicker.
Bath paid the penalty for poor finishing. Gloucester took the lead, when weak tackling conceded a try to Smith after just three minutes. “Bath found it hard going, and played none too certainly in defence.”
Lively play by Gloucester’s Ford and Gilbert-Smith upset Bath’s equilibrium. There was one bright spot after the interval, when a loose ball was fly-kicked towards Hawgood, who picked up to drop a fine 35 yard drop goal to level the scores.
Then disaster for Bath as Meadows swept past Harrison for an unconverted try, and their troubles were compounded when, Roger Ford gathered a high kick, ran behind the Bath posts, only to muddle his exchange, and gift Meadows a simple, opportunist try.
“Now is the winter of our discontent.”
v London Irish, Away. Lost 11-23. Team:- J R Hawgood, W Burley, J Donovan, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, R Farnham, J Lacey, P J Hill, R Clark, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, B Farrer, P Venn and P Hall.
Spencer, ex Harlequins, was selected at scrum-half, but did not turn up for the match. Roy Farnham added to his repertoire by playing at the base of the scrum. Hoping that Spencer would turn up, Bath struggled on with 14 men. Bill Burley came out of the pack to take up the wing position.
The loss of weight in the forwards was bound to tell, but surprisingly Bath took an early lead, when Farnham broke to the right, linked with O’Mara, who sent John Cousins flying over in the corner.
Bath then decided that Spencer was not going to show, and brought on reserve forward Bruce Farrer. (ex KES). Soon after, O’Hart scored for the Irish, after an astute punt from Mulligan. Farnham struggled on gamely in his unaccustomed roll as scrum-half. The Irish increased their hold on the game, with two swift tries by L’Estrange and Craig, (Half-time 3-9)
Within five minutes of the re-start, O’Mara was obstructed on the Irish line, and a penalty try was awarded, which Hawgood converted. “The Bath forwards continued to play with spirit, with Heindorff and Andrews in the forefront. They stormed into the Irish half, heeled from a set scrum, and Perry was there to wriggle round his man, and drop a goal, which regained the lead for Bath.”
The Irish struck back with high ‘up-and-unders,’ and Bath survived until L’Estrange rounded off some slick handling with a try under the posts, which Craig converted. Further tries followed from L’Estrange (his third), O’Hart (his second) and Mooney.
v Old Cranleighans, Home. Won 22-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, G Frankcom, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, P Margesson, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, J Jacob, R Woolford, P Hall, P Heindorff.
“Apart from stubborn defence, the Londoners had little to offer.” Tries flowed from Farnham, Donovan, Drewett, and Woolford. Hawgood kicked a penalty and Drewett kicked one conversion. Another five points were contributed by Tony Jacob, who celebrated his return with a try and a touch-line conversion. There were stout performances from Parfitt, Heindorff and Andrews in the forwards, and clever touches from Margesson and Frankcom in the backs.
“Heindorff has probably earned the title of being the most improved forward in the club this season and his handling prowess -gained while playing as a back in junior football-could serve Bath as well in the back row as it has in the second.”
“In the past few weeks strongly-built sprinter, winger John Cousins, has alternated between the 1st XV and the United. From the point of view of scoring, though, it does not seem to make a great deal of difference to him. He has touched down in each of his last four appearances in Bath colours.”
“A great number of former Bath players have asked to be remembered to their old colleagues at Christmas. They include Ken Miners, Mike Jones, Paddy McGovan, Johnny Thomas, Robin Owen, Ian Beer, Alan Howard-Baker, John Clark and Mike Terry.
26th and 30th December 1961
Matches cancelled by reason of severe frost and snow.
v Leicester, Home. Won 8-5. Team:- J R Hawgood, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, G Frankcom, R Farnham, B Perry, J Spencer, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, K P Andrews, A Jacob, W Burley, P Heindorff, and P Hall. This was a very useful team selection. Oh that they could keep this combination!
Bath accomplished their first ‘Double’ over Leicester since 1919! The pitch had recovered well from recent frost and snow, but there was a distinct possibility that the turf would break up as the game progressed. Wisely, Bath made the most of their early opportunities and snatched the lead after 15 minutes. Perry kicked ahead, Frankcom picked up smartly, sending O’Mara away. In turn, Perry was up to receive an inside pass. He maintained the impetus, only to be brought down short of the line. Leicester heeled, but their attempted clearance kick was charged down and Heindorff pounced on the loose ball to score an unconverted try. Bath completed the first half scoring, when a Tiger’s mix-up, enabled Lacey to touch down for his first try in senior football. Jacob hammered home with a conversion.
Handling became difficult and Leicester were rewarded after a stirring forward effort. Gibson broke away on his own and kicked ahead. The ball bounced awkwardly and Tatham was up to score a try, which Martin converted.
HALF BACK PAIRINGS
“It is interesting to note that when Perry played with John Spencer today, it was the sixth half-back combination Bath have tried this season. Firstly, it was Perry and Drewett, then Farnham and Drewett. Next it was Farnham and Millman, followed by Ford and Spencer, and Ford and Drewett.”
v London Welsh, Away. Lost 5-20. Team:- J R Hawgood, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, G Frankcom, R Farnham, B Perry, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, A Jacob, R Woolford, P Heindorff, and P Hall.
SOME LIGHT ON THE HISTORY
This was the Bath team’s first experience of playing under lights.
The score was delicately balance 5-6 up to the last 10 minutes. Kevin Andrews had crashed over from a line out for Jacob to convert, and the Exciles had scored two unconverted tries.
The home side staged something of a Welsh Revival in the second half, and Bath wilted in the final ten minutes, as Chilton landed a penalty, Williams touched down under the posts for Chilton to convert. Chilton landed a second penalty goal and a midfield handling error allowed Robins to dribble away and score.
“In the closing minutes, Bath attacked strongly, but their finishing was pathetic. Jacob missed the easiest of penalties, and Farnham dropped the ball with the line at his mercy, after Bruford and Perry had done the spade work.”
In parallel with the senior side’s activities, the United XV, skippered by Dave Robson, were having an amazingly successful run. Old Edwardian’s Bruce Farrer and hooker Brian Davis had been part of his regular ‘corps.’ The forwards had often been reinforced by the likes of Pete Heindorff, Tony Jacob and Ray Woolford. Robson commented: “No matter who had come into the side, they have always settled down well and no one has complained if they have been played right out of position. It all helps to make a happy team.”
v Llanelly, (Friday). Away. Lost 3-16. Team:- J R Hawgood, B P O’Mara, J N Bruford, J Donovan, R Farnham, B Perry, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, J A Jacob, B Burley, P Heindorff, and P Hall.
Bath faded badly after a promising start., but finally capitulated to 2 goals and 2 tries to Gordon Drewett’s 7th minute penalty. “It was the same old story though, of poor finishing and lack of method, and much of the sterling work of the forwards, particularly John Lacey, Peter Parfitt and Kevin Andrews was wasted.” Amazingly, they turned around with Bath 3 points in the lead. Llanelly commenced their onslaught ten minutes into the second spell. Tries flowed from Cyril Evans, Mariston Morgan, Elliott and again Evans. Full-back Young converted their last two tries.
v Cardiff, Home. Lost 0-8. Team:- J R Hawgood, Donovan, B O’Mara, J N Bruford, R Farnham, P Hillyard, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, W Burley, L Clark and P Hall.
Bath were soon 5 points in arrears, when a long touch throw found Davies at outside half, who had the pace to cut through Bath’s midfield defence, exchange passes with Morgan and touch down under the posts. Priday converted. Cardiff scrum half Lloyd Williams was prominent when initiating slick Cardiff attacks, which Bath were hard pressed to repel. Several Cardiff players combined in a forward rush, and Bath offended when halting the incursion. Priday put the visitors further ahead with a penalty.
In direct contrast to Cardiff’s innovative, high speed play, Bath were utterly orthodox in their build up. Nevertheless, it was greatly to their credit, that they continued to hold such a talented side
“Davies continued to be the main ‘thorn in Bath’s side,’ wriggling through at will.” “”In every aspect of back play, Cardiff were yards faster and much cleverer than the home side, and it seemed only a matter of time before further tries came.” Cardiff’s close marking knocked Bath completely out of their stride.
However, the Bath pack refused to yield, and battled it out and kept the score within bounds to the final relieving whistle.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Drawn 3-3-. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, L I Rimmer, B O’Mara, J Donovan, P Hillyard, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, A Jacob, P Heindorff, P Beck, L Clark and P Hall. At the last minute, Laurie Rimmer came in for Bruford at centre.
In greasy conditions, both sides showed commendable spirit in fighting on, in a game which might be remembered for players’ enthusiasm, rather than spectacular play.
The first half was characterised by a rugged forward battle, there was little constructive handling and no half time score in consequence.
Upon resumption, Rosslyn Park’s, Reynolds was able to touch down in spectacular fashion, but Ainscough failed to convert. After this set-back, Bath refused to give up, and more battling forward effort, found the warring packs within a few yards of the visitors’ line. From a loose maul, Pete Parfitt snatched the ball and battled on and on, until he was able to touch down to square the game. Play ended in the same mauling fashion, with enthusiasm not matched by handling skill. Definitely, a game for the connoisseur of forward play!
v Gloucester, Home. Drawn 8-8-. Team :- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B O’Mara, N J Bruford, J Donovan, J Dawson (Halifax), G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, W Burley, and P Hall. (Half-time 5-5)
Another drawn match in an afternoon of missed chances, with both sides scoring a goal and a penalty goal. Roy Farnham touched down for Bath’s try, which was spectacularly converted by Drewett, who also landed the penalty.
Peter Ford crashed over for Gloucester and Hillier converted. Drewett and Dawson combined well at half back and Farnham occasionally made ground. However, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous, taking advantage of Bath’s poor midfield handling.
“The forward struggle was extremely even, and the high standard in this department was raised still further with some fine close inter-passing near the touchline between Beck, Lacey and Andrews, which took play to the Gloucester 25, Bath then missed a golden opportunity of taking the lead, although the visitors won the lineout and opened up, Bayliss was caught in possession.”
Most unusually, Drewett ‘fluffed’ his penalty attempt from in front of the posts!
There was a late exchange of penalties to level the game.
v Cheltenham, Away. Won 5-0. Team: – J R Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R E Ford, G F Drewett, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, P Beck, W Burley, and P Hall.
Bath checked a sequence of poor results, making hard work of a ‘double’ over Cheltenham, missing many chances in the process.
Bath sorted out their scoring effort within five minutes, with an easy try for Beck, which Drewett converted. Thereafter, any positive Bath moves terminated with negative results. There was little sparkle in the home side, but Bath’s finishing again let them down. It was hardly a satisfactory win.
v Wasps, Away. Lost 0-5. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Heindorff, L I Rimmer, W Burley, and P Hall. Bath lost their way in this dour struggle, with poor finishing again their downfall.
Wasps scored in the 20th minute, when a fumble by Ford, allowed Edwards to send the 17 stone Woodward, playing at forward, thundering away on the left: “He battled his way through several half-hearted tackles, and then ran round behind the posts to score a try, converted by Mettler.” Bath showed a marked reluctance to tackle!
“It was however, a tale of missed chances by both sides, Wasps failed to capitalise on the good work in the line-out of Cutter and Yarrington, and Bath on Hill’s hooking.”
News that Peter Heindorff was playing his last game in Bath colours, for the time being, prior to taking up an appointment in Frankfurt. He was intending to continue playing rugby in Germany, with an ambition to gain a place in the country’s national side. It was his 50th game in a First XV jersey.
v Bristol, Home. Lost 0-16. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Venn, L I Rimmer, W Burley, and P Hall. Bath were strengthened by the return of Laurie Rimmer.
Bristol’s record was not quite up to some previous standards, but they were still playing the sort of rugby that was capable of bringing the crowds to their feet. They reserved one of their best efforts for this local Derby. At this stage of the season, Bath had won 15 games and Bristol 17.
There was no score at half time and it was certainly not the walkover that the score seemed to suggest. However, Bristol were the more inventive and incisive, largely due to the mobility of their forwards in the loose. Nevertheless, Bath stuck grimly to their task, with Andrews often shining in the line-out.
Within three minutes of the restart, Bristol’s determination brought an unconverted try for Morris. This was closely followed by a try from Collins, converted by Redwood with a fine touch-line kick.
As Bath tired, Redwood dummied through and gave a perfectly judged pass to Ellery for the next score. A fourth try was soon forthcoming, when Neate broke away and a fine handling movement ended with Collins speeding over in the left corner. Redwood capitalised on Bristol’s triumph with another conversion.
v Swansea, Away. Lost 10-12. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, A Jacob, P Venn, L I Rimmer, L Clark, and P Hall.
Bath had performed strongly in defence, against a side including the redoubtable Dewi Bebb at wing three-quarter. Just before half-time, a misdemeanour yielded a third penalty to John Faull, and unfortunately, he was successful at the third attempt. (Half time 0-3)
“Swansea increased their lead after the interval, with a try by skipper Gwyn Lewis, but centre Hillyard put Bath back into the game in fine style by making a great interception to score near the posts. Jacob converted.
Shortly afterwards with excitement whipping up, Swansea went ahead with another penalty by Faull.”
Phil Hall scored a second try for Bath, which Jacob converted.
There was concern that in the last nine games, Bath had crossed their opponents line on only six occasions, and the backs’ contribution had been one meagre try. The imminent return of Frankcom and Perry was enthusiastically anticipated.
Kevin Andrews, followed in his father’s footsteps in playing for Hampshire this day. It was the County Final at Twickenham.
v Neath, Home. Lost 3-26. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, J Dawson, P Hillyard, J Donovan, B Perry, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Venn, W Burley, L Clark and P Hall. A 12.15 start was proposed, so that both teams could watch the Calcutta Cup on the Telly. John Lacey’s seventeenth minute try was Bath’s only contribution to an otherwise busy scoreboard. At the finish, Bath were sent home demoralised by Neath’s powerful forward play and the clever running and handling of their youthful three-quarters. “Had it not been for the very brave defence and sound kicking under pressure of full-back John Hawgood and the tireless corner work of Lance Clark and Bill Burly, Bath must have gone down by a bigger score.”
Unstoppable Neath, topped the 400 points mark for the season.
v Torquay, Away. Lost 8-21. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, J N Bruford, G Frankcom, R Farnham, P Hillyard, J Spencer, J Lacey, B Davis, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Venn, P Beck, W Burley, and P Hall. Bath slumped to their fifth successive defeat. “They had a fair share of the play, and midway through the second half were sharing the honours. But then they paid the penalty for not playing to the whistle, and making handling errors in defence. In addition they lost pack leader Paul Venn 20 minutes from the end.” Farnham scored in the 17th minute and in the second half, Hillyard paved the way for Frankcom to send in Bruford, for Hawgood to convert.
Torquay piled on the points and Bath’s desperate efforts to get on terms were to no avail.
v B.A.O.R., Home. Won 11-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, P Hillyard, G P Frankcom, J N Bruford, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, A Jacob, R Lavis, W Burley, and G Leyshon.
Bath were made to work hard for this win, in a thrilling, fast moving game against a very fit services side, playing their third game in as many days. The opposing pack was propped up by the veteran Irish International, the Reverend Robin Roe and England Rugby League star Jack Hirst. A strong Guards element provided the essential height in the line-out, and their rampaging backrow, included former Bath player Phil Winchcombe.
For Bath, Pat Hill, Glyn Leyshon, Kevin Andrews and Roger Lavis were prominent. Roy Farnham scored two tries, and Tony Jacob converted one and added a penalty.
v Devonport Services, Away. Won 42-0. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B O’Mara, P Hillyard, J N Bruford, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, K P Andrews, P Venn, R Lavis, W Burley, and G Leyshon.
This was Bath’s biggest win of the season against a weakened Services side. Bath tries by Bruford (3), Burley, O’Mara (2), Andrews, Hillyard (3), Farnham, and Lacey, with conversions by Hawgood, Burley and Andrews.
v Moseley, Home. Lost 11-13. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B O’Mara, P Hillyard, J N Bruford, B Perry, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, P Venn, A Jacob, R Lavis, W Burley, and G Leyshon. Bath finished strongly against the Midland side, but it was too late to rescue the game. It had been a first half in which Moseley had scored first, with a 45 yard penalty from Gavins; Bruford scored for Bath, for Jacob to convert. Finally, Moseley’s second row forward Owen, had streaked away at high speed to score a try which Gavins converted. (Half-time 5-8)
The second spell brought a try by Ward for Moseley, and Gavins was on hand for another conversion. Bath were hampered by a lack of possession, but dogged determination was rewarded with unconverted tries for Farnham and Bruford.
v Taunton, Away. Lost 0 – 6. Team:- J R Hawgood, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, B O’Mara, R Farnham, B Perry, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, P Venn, A Jacob, R Lavis, W Burley, and G Leyshon.
Bath were beaten by a drop goal and a try, by a side playing ‘no frills’ football, relying on a storming pack, backed up by a pair of ‘siege gun’ kickers at half back. In contrast, Bath persisted in their efforts to play an open game, but made so many handling errors – they played right into Taunton’s hands.
In consequence, the home side were worthy winners, and had it not been for heroic covering by John Hawgood, the margin might have been substantially greater. Bath were subdued by half time and well and truly beaten at the final whistle.
v Bedford, Home. Lost 0 – 29. Team:- J R Hawgood, J N Bruford, P Hillyard, B O’Mara,R Farnham, B Perry, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, P Venn, A Jacob, R Lavis, W Burley, and G Leyshon.
Another game to add to the list of disasters! Bath were outplayed in most phases of play in front of their own crowd. They compounded their troubles by woefully weak tackling. There were several occasions when Bath came close to scoring, but Bedford stayed in control throughout.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 8-20. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, R Farnham, B O’Mara, J N Bruford, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, D G Robson, C Smith, P Venn, A Jacob, R Lavis, P Winchcombe and G Leyshon.
More problems as a weakened Bath side faced up to a strong Exeter outfit. The final margin was a goal, two tries and three penalties to a goal and a penalty. P Winchcombe scored Bath’s try, which Jacob converted, also adding a 40 yard penalty. Exeter’s excellent three-quarter line had ample opportunity to throw the ball about.
For Bath, the ‘A’ team’s Chris Smith performed creditably at hooker, but service, for the most part was slower than usual. Scrum half Jamie Spencer had a disappointing game.
v Harlequins, Home. Lost 9-14. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, P Hillyard, B O’Mara, J Donovan, R E Ford, J Spencer, J Lacey, P J Hill, P Parfitt, P Venn, A Jacob, P Hall, P Winchcombe and J Leyshon.
Bath played well above their recent form and contained, in form, Harlequins to a 5 point margin.
Bath’s fiery pack was well led by Tony Jacob, while Phil Hall, Phil Winchcombe and Paul Venn were outstanding. Jamie Spencer had a fine game against his former club, and Roger Ford dictated play with his boot. Things looked extremely promising when Hall touched down after two minutes of play. Harlequins reply came ten minutes later when Eden was sent in for a fine converted try. Then it was Bath’s turn, as Spencer made an open side break, kicked diagonally to the left, where Hillyard picked up and sped over to score. Read responded with a penalty and Todman touched down for another Quins try. Bazalgette completed the Harlequins scoring, and Hillyard wrapped up proceedings with his second try of the game.
v Birkenhead Park, Home. Won 16-6. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, B O’Mara, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R Ford, J Spencer, P Parfitt, P Hill, D G Robson, A Jacob, P Venn, J Leyshon, P Winchcombe and P Hall.
At last, Bath got back to winning ways, by making the most of the opportunities presented. Bath had ample possession in the opening stages, but failed to capitalise. Persistency was eventually rewarded when Phil Hall bulldozed his way through, Jacobs just failing to convert. Birkenhead levelled with a penalty. Bath tries followed from Venn, and Ford, plus a penalty try. Hawgood kicked two conversions. Jim Harty kicked a penalty for the touring side.
v Old Merchant Taylors, Home, Won 24-0. Team:- J Hawgood, C Elliott, B O’Mara, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R Ford, G F Drewett, P Parfitt, P Hill, J Lacey, W Marks, P Venn, R Woolford, I D S Beer, P Hall.
Bath were again in fine form. There was a debut try for Clive Elliott (Midsomer Norton) in the sixth minute, and further second half tries followed from Hall, Beer and Hillyard. Drewett kicked three conversions, and two penalties.
v Weston-super –Mare, Home. Won 19-3. Team :- J Hawgood, C Elliott, B O’Mara, P Hillyard, R Farnham, R Ford, J Spencer, P Parfitt, P Hill, J Lacey, A Jacob, P Venn, R Woolford, P Winchcombe and P Hall.
Despite the high try count, this was a dull and uninspiring game, which featured an untidy spoiling battle between the packs. Walker opened for Weston with an easy penalty goal. Thereafter, Bath tries flowed from Farnham, O’Mara, Hillyard and Lacey, with Hawgood converting two and kicking a penalty. In the closing stages, Bath were well on top and newcomer Elliott’s long striding runs, frequently caught the eye. Hillyard’s try was the Club’s hundredth of the season.
TRIES (101): Roy Farnham 13, Paddy Hillyard 9, Nick Bruford, Geoff Frankcom and Phil Hall 7, Kevin Andrews, John Donovan, John Keeps and Brendan O’Mara 5, Frank Harrison and John Lacey 4, John Cousins, John Hawgood, and Tony Jacob 3, Phil Beck, Gordon Drewett, John Evans, Peter Heindorff, Paul Venn and Ray Woolford 2, Ian Balding, Ian Beer, Bill Burly, Lance Clark, Clive Elliot, Roger Ford, Peter Parfitt 1. Penalty tries 2 (London Irish and Birkenhead Park).
CONVERSIONS (46) :- Drewett 28, Jacob 8, Hawgood 7, Andrews, Burley, and Frankcom 1 each.
PENALTY GOALS (18):- Drewett 14, Hawgood and Jacob 2 each.
DROPPED GOALS (7):- Drewett and Ford 2 each, Farnham, Hawgood and Perry 1 each.