1962 to 1963

Match reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale


Sports Chronicle & Herald – 18th August 1962.



“If a number of newcomers live up to their reputations, they could prove considerable assets to Bath rugby for the coming season, not necessarily as members of the first fifteen, but to act as a spur to those already in possession.

During the last disappointing season the lack of success could to some extent be attributed to the complacent attitude of some of the players, who knew that they would be difficult to replace and allowed a little of the edge and keenness to go out of their play.

Such will not be the case this time, especially if skipper Laurie Rimmer has anything to do with it. He intends to see that discipline is enforced and that if any individual shows signs of slipping he will either bring himself up to scratch again or if that fails replace him.

Keenest competition for first XV places is undoubtedly likely to come in the forwards, where a wealth of talent seems available to challenge the present incumbents.”

In the front row – Peter Parfitt, Pat Hill and John Lacey faced challenges by Dick Byrne – former Munster prop, John Rainforth – former Cambridge Blue, and Don Coles – ex Monkton Combe player. A possible second row partner for Kevin Andrews was Paul Venn or veteran Tony Jacob following Bruce Farrer’s departure. Newcomers could strengthen the back row of Rimmer, Bill Burley and Phil Hall.

“ Last year Bath scored more points than in any other season since the war “

The choice for scrum-half lay between Gordon Drewett, Frank Booth or Julian Darling.

Fly Half Brendan Perry was uncertain about his availability if he went to Cardiff University. Mid-field player Geoff Frankcom, bound for Cambridge University in October, would not be able to team up with Paddy Hillyard for long. Wing Nick Bruford continued, but one berth was open for challenge between Roy Farnham, last seasons skipper and leading try scorer and Old Edwardian Richard Andrew.

“The main crux of the matter, though, lies with the ability of the individual to work in with his team mates and improve understanding.”

The Sports Chronicle & Herald – 25th August 1962.



“Although skipper Laurie Rimmer and his fellow selectors will have learned much from today’s final trial, they have already received two vital pieces of information – one good and the other distinctly disquieting`. The news was that Brendan Perry expected to be available regularly; Kevin Andrews would not be if he were to be transferred to work away from Bath after October.

Rimmer, meanwhile, was concentrating all of his efforts on building up the side, substituting the traditional Bath training methods for his own rigorous brand by developing physical fitness, followed by tactical practice.

“The new captain intends to see that each individual knows the play of his colleagues inside out and team work and spirit will be the premium.”


The oncoming season brought a flush of new players:-

Ewan Anderson, scrum half, from Oxford University, for whom he had also played cricket in county matches during the previous season.

Frank Booth, scrum half, member of the Lancashire side, had represented North Western Counties against touring sides and was understudy to England player Steve Smith at Cambridge University. He had just moved south.

Dick Byrne, prop, aged 23, who formerly played for Cork and Munster, and was living and working in Bristol.

Tony Comer, back row forward, who was a member of the City of Bath Boys’ School side last season, and was already well known in local sporting circles as a member of Lansdown Cricket Club.

John Dent, centre, from Gosport, who had impressed in the trials.

Colin Evans, prop, who was on the staff of Bishop Wordsworth School at Salisbury. He was a former Welsh Schoolboy International, but had been out of the game for some while following a hernia operation.

Philip Jones, centre, or fly half, a member of Midsomer Norton Grammar School team the previous season, and who gained a trial for the England Senior Schools XV.

Martin Lubbock, fly half, who had come to work at the Severn Wildfowl Trust, Gloucestershire.

Colwyn Owen, hooker, ex-member of the St. Luke’s College team, and a teacher at Oldfield Boys’ School, Bath. He had previously played for the first XV’s of Neath, Llanelly and Bridgend.

Gordon Parfitt, second row forward, from Midsomer Norton, who played an occasional game at the end of the previous season. A distant relation to Peter Parfitt the prop forward.

John Parsons, second row forward, weight 17 stone, from Devizes, who represented Dorset & Wilts the previous season. He caught Bath’s eye when playing in the Devizes side which won the local sevens tournament the previous April.

Brian Toogood, second row or No 8 forward, one of the most consistent performers in the highly successful Walcot Old Boys XV. He was on trail with Bath under the Combination scheme.



v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, P Hillyard, B Perry, J Donovan, R E Ford, F Booth, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, K P Andrews, P Venn, L I Rimmer, L Clark and D Anderson.                                                                                                                                         It was a disappointing start to the season, as Bath succumbed to the seasiders’ fiery forwards. The Bath eight failed to shake off their early season rustiness, and the whole team handled poorly. Weston’s Williams soon had the Bath defence in a tangle, with clever jinking runs. The home side then took two heels against the head. When Bath did get the ball, they looked totally disorganised. At one stage, Perry and Ford changed positions and some constructive play was in evidence. At the very end, Ford crossed for Bath’s try.



v Bridgwater, Home. Won 19-0. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, J Donovan, B P O’Mara, C Elliott, B Perry, F Booth, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, L Clark, P Venn, L I Rimmer, W Burley, and R Lavis.                                                                                                                                                         Despite a slippery ball, Bath looked much more convincing on their home patch, against another Somerset rival, Bridgwater. The first half saw a dazzling run by Rimmer, only for Perry to have the ball knocked out of his hand right on the line. Then right on top of the interval Paul Venn crossed over on the blind side.

The second half certainly favoured Bath, and forwards Lavis, Rimmer and Burley soon stamped their authority on the loose play. O’Mara’s cross-kick enabled Farnham to pick up and send in Donovan at speed. Hawgood converted and soon added a penalty. Later Donovan dribbled through, but overran the ball; Farnham was backing up and touched down for the third try, which Hawgood again converted. Finally, O’Mara finished off good work by Donovan and Elliott by touching down for the final try.



v Leicester, Home. Lost 5-21. Team: – J R Hawgood, R Farnham, J Donovan, B P O’Mara, C Elliott, P Margesson, F Booth, D Robson, C Smith, J Lacey, K P Andrews, P Venn, L Leighton Jenkins, R Lavis, and I Rimmer.                                                                                                                                  It was Welsh International, Leighton Jenkin’s debut for Bath.

Refereed by Gwynne Walters (Welsh R U ) An excellent official, greatly respected by all players at this time. P Hill, P Parfitt and B Perry played for Somerset this day.


Bath, depleted by injuries and county calls, struggled against a determined Leicester.

“The Tigers were thirteen points up at the interval and threatening to run Bath off their feet, but the home side tightened their defence and staged a final half- hour revival, which showed they were capable of better things”.

Leicester took the lead, after twelve minutes with a great try by Gibson, converted by Scotland.

Bath’s three-quarter line lacked fluency in contrast to Leicester’s brisk attacks. Good forward work, produced their next try: “…..From a line-out Beason gained possession, slipped to Small and the supporting Matthews, crashed over, Scotland again adding extra points. A further score came when Beason and Horrocks – Taylor started a move, which enabled Bird to streak through”.

During the second half, Bath turned on the pressure, launching some good attacks and engaging in stiffer tackling. Their try came: “…From a line out. Donovan tried a drop at goal, miss-timed, but the ball ran loose under the posts, and Elliott pounced on it to score; Hawgood converted. Channer, crossed, for Leicester’s fourth try.” Their final try came from Senior and was converted by Scotland.



v Teignmouth, Away. Won 15-6. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B P O’Mara, P Hillyard, C Elliott, B Perry, F Booth, D Robson, C Smith, J Lacey, A Jacob, P Venn, L I Rimmer, R Lavis and P Hall.

This was Bath’s first visit to Teignmouth for 30 years, and there were some who prayed that at least another 30 would elapse, before there was a return!

“For what promised to be an entertaining game deteriorated into an untidy and often ill-tempered mauling scramble, and Bath finished it with fly-half Brendan Perry and hooker Chris Smith already in the dressing room injured, and Roy Farnham a badly lamed passenger on the wing.”

It was a heavy price to pay against, arguably, the weakest side on the fixture list. Regrettably, Bath allowed themselves to be dragged into heated exchanges, seldom checked by referee Benton. Bath backs showed early promise and a clever break by Perry, was carried through by Hillyard for Farnham to dribble the final yards to touch down. There was an almost immediate repeat, with Farnham again finishing with a try. Roy Farnham was certainly on a ‘purple patch.’ Next, a solo effort saw him punt over the full-back, race on to catch for his third try in ten minutes. Unfortunately, he pulled a hamstring in his final sprint for the line. His injury signalled a general falling off in Bath’s attacking initiative and Nathan, snapped up a sloppy pass to open Teignmouth’s scoring. Wing forward Davies added another in the second half.

Farnham was still not very mobile, and moved to wing forward and Roger Lavis went on the wing.

Bath’s play became ragged, and they foolishly decided to ‘fight it out’ in the forwards, and the pointless brawling continued. Their fortunes further deteriorated with the departure of Chris Smith.

O’Mara continued to play well and a fine burst of speed, allowed Hillyard to touch down for a fourth unconverted try. Next Perry limped off and Rimmer deputising at fly-half, tried to rally his 12 fit players.

“Constructive football seemed almost out of the question, but Bath showed they were still the better side with another try, started by Hawgood. The full-back gathered a kick ahead, dodged two opponents, punted upfield, tackled his opposite number in possession, and saw Dave Robson send in Hall, who made a pleasing come-back at wing forward.”


v Ebbw Vale, Away. Lost 5-18. Team:- J R Hawgood, H Blinkhorn, P Hillyard, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, P Margesson, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, J A Jacob, K P Andrews, L I Rimmer, L Jenkins and P Hall.



Bath’s disappointing form, seemed to be due to several factors, namely injuries and clashes with county friendly matches (which meant releasing key players). Also the fact that team building and experimentation was under way which involved trying out various permutations of players, before deciding upon a regular line-up.

“Bath made a slow start at Ebbw Vale, improved to snatch a lead, but then made two bad defensive blunders, and were trailing by three tries to a goal at the interval.”

Despite the heavy rain, Ebbw Vale had forged ahead from a scrum, resulting in an unconverted try by Daniels. Bath gradually stepped up their pace with some crisp moves and deft handling but not the best of luck, with a couple of missed penalties.

“Bath were doing everything but score and after a pushover attempt had failed, Jenkins tried unsuccessfully to bulldoze over between the points. From the next scrum, however, Bath heeled, Jenkins feinted to pass to Drewett and crashed over. Drewett converted, and Bath were in the lead.” Not for long though, as the Welshmen soon led again, following two tries by Jones.

Although Bath’s forwards kept Ebbw Vale defending during the second half, a penalty goal kicked by Knott put the home side further ahead, for a convincing win.



v Taunton, Home. Lost 3-8. Team:- J R Hawgood, H Blinkhorn, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, P Hillyard, F Booth, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, A J Jacob, P E Venn, L I Rimmer, W Burley, and P Hall.

Bath’s second half rally almost earned them a face-saving draw, but Taunton deserved their first win at Bath for many years. It was yet another uninspiring and ragged display, characterised by ineffective tackling and lack of cohesion at half-back. Eighteen year old Paddy Hillyard looked completely out of touch, and Rimmer took over his position after 30 minutes. There was another switch, when Brendan Perry tried his hand at partnering the somewhat erratic Booth, with Hillyard playing at centre. Through all this, John Donovan had a great match, almost saving the game, with stout defence and several touchline runs. Taunton played on in workman-like fashion and their consistency was rewarded with two tries, one converted. At the end of the first half, Bath gained a push-over try, which was credited to Tony Jacob.



v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 16-10. Team:- J R Hawgood, H Blinkhorn, P Hillyard, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, P Margesson, F Booth, P J K Parfitt, B Davis, J Lacey, K Andrews, J A Jacob, L I Rimmer, W Burley, and P Hall.


“Bath gained just the tonic they needed with a convincing victory in an entertaining game against St Mary’s Hospital on the recreation ground this afternoon.”

The visitors started well with an early try by Chow converted by Thomas.

Bath gradually improved their performance and the opposition responded with some fine play both in the loose and set pieces.

Baths first try came when it was least expected. “Following a scrum on the 25; Margesson made a half break, and punted under the posts, then in a flash, O’Mara had fly kicked through and scored the try, easily converted by Hawgood.” This gave the home side just the “shot in the arm” they needed and they then moved ahead with a penalty kick by Hawgood.

“Bath seemed to slip back into their old bad habits at the start of the second period…they soon settled down again, however…”and afterwards went further into the lead when Hillyard crossed for Hawgood to convert. Within minutes Andrews scored a try although all the credit was due to Rimmer.

St Mary’s replied with some brilliant running to stretch the Bath defence. Then from a scrum, the St Mary’s forwards pushed over; their try awarded to Jelly and converted by Young.



v Dorset & Wilts. Home. Won 19-6. Team:- J R Hawgood, H Blinkhorn, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, L Jones, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, J Lacey, B Toogood, J Parsons, P Hall, W Burley, and D Anderson.

Dorset & Wilts included the following Bath players in their side: J Donovan, Wing; P Margesson, Fly Half; Dave Robson, Prop; Brian Davis, Hooker; C Evans, Prop; W Marks 2nd Row; Ray Woolford, Back Row; Laurie Rimmer (Capt.), Back Row.

Bath’s experimental pack proved too strong for the County side, and succeeded in dominating all aspects of play. Debutantes Toogood and Parsons dominated, and Bill Burley got through a prodigious amount of covering. Parson’s weight was very much in evidence at the set scrums, where Parfitt, Lacey and Owens had the beating of the County selection. Tries scored by Toogood, Perry and Parsons (2), Drewett converting two and scoring a penalty.



v Harlequins, Away. Lost 3-29. :- J R Hawgood, H Blinkhorn, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, B Perry, L I Rimmer, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J Lacey, J A Jacob, J Parsons, P Hall, B Toogood and W Styles.


“Bath ran into all sorts of trouble at Twickenham today.”

They started with fourteen men because their scrum-half had not turned up, so skipper Laurie Rimmer deputised for him, but their seven man pack were soon pressed by Quins. No sooner had Bill Styles completed the Bath team than the injured Lacey was carried into the dressing room.

“Surprisingly, Bath kept well in the game largely through sterling forward work and backed up by useful touch-kicking by their captain, Rimmer.”

Harlequins scored first with a try by Silk. Bath countered with some enterprising play but Quins continued to dominate the game, with tries from Williams, Young and Eden, each converted by Prosser-Harries.

Bath persisted, however, but were then down to thirteen men, when Styles had to leave the field for ten minutes, after taking a knock.

Quins raced ahead with a Williams try, Prosser-Harrie’s conversion and tries by Eden and Payne.

“But Bath, if nothing else, had the last word, for near the end, O’Mara made a spirited run, and Perry raced thirty yards to score a good try.”



v Clifton, Away. Won 21-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, L Jones, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, C Evans, A Jacob, J Parsons, P Hall, W Burley, and B Toogood.                                                                                                                                                                   At last, Bath played some delightful attacking rugby, albeit against slightly less formidable opponents. Try scorers were Donovan, Treloar, O’Mara, and Parsons, with Drewett converting three and adding a penalty. Toogood and Jacob did useful work and Peter Parfitt had a storming match, ably supported by heavyweight Parsons and Burley.



v Aberavon, Away. Lost 9-10. :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, T Akibogun, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, C Evans, A Jacob, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and P Hall.


“Aberavon just gain the edge in keen game.”

Bath started sensationally, with a drop goal, by recalled scrum-half Gordon Drewett.

Bustling play by the Aberavon forwards kept the game firmly entrenched in the Bath 25 for over 10 minutes, but the covering defence could not be faulted.

Bath then moved into the Welshmen’s territory, where the home side continued to attack.

Drewett, however produced some saving touch kicks.

Aberavon’s first score came from a try by Hullin, the opposing scrum-half. Ashton converted to give them the lead at half-time.

Bath regained the lead, with two penalty gaols in succession by Drewett.

Aberavon finally won the match, with Ashton’s conversion following Peter Jones’s try.



v Devonport Services, Away. Lost 5-6. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan , A Treloar, B P O’Mara, R Farnham, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, C Evans, J A Jacob, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and P Hall.


“Devonport Services gained ample revenge for last season’s heavy defeat by beating Bath at Rectory Field this afternoon. Bath, well below their best, conceded a try and a penalty in the first fifteen minutes, and spent the rest of the game trying, unsuccessfully, to pull it back.”

The Service forwards pressurised Bath’s inexperienced backs into making midfield handling errors. Devonport’s try originated from a scrum, just inside their own half, and was scored by hooker Gosling. He just failed to convert, but kicked a penalty goal soon afterwards.

Bath’s forwards continued to gain possession, but time and again their chances were thrown away.

“It took Bath 25 minutes to produce their first worthwhile attack…this gave Bath the confidence they needed, and they began to show something like their true form.”

The Services defence remained strong throughout. Despite this, Bath eventually scored a try by Donovan, converted by Drewett.



v Bristol, Away. Lost 6-26. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, R Farnham, B Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, C Evans, J A Jacob, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and P Hall.


“Brilliance and power proved too strong.”

Bath dominated at the start, but then faded against an efficient home side.

Bath soon gained possession with a determined run by Parsons, followed by crisp handling by the threequarters.

Bristol replied with a neat break by Colston and cross kick by Blake.

Bath kept the pressure on, tackled decisively, and gained advantage in the set scrums.

“In addition, the Bath pack, notably Parsons and Burley, displayed in the loose to hustle Bristol into mistakes and keep them pinned in their own 25.”

Bath almost scored when Drewett’s attempt at a drop goal went just wide. Soon afterwards, his penalty kick put Bath on the scoreboard.

Bristol gradually stepped up the pace to take the lead, with a try by Grove, converted by Hazell. Shortly before the interval, Bristol took control as Spratt scored a try, Hazell converted.

The second half saw Bath restart with enthusiasm. “It was not long, however, before Bristol were sweeping back into attack, with clever changes of direction, intelligent backing up, and full back Colston often providing the overlap by joining in handling moves.” Bristol continued to pile on the points, with Weaver’s tries, both converted by Hazell, who also added a penalty goal to his impressive kicking performance.

“Despite the huge deficit, Bath did not give up trying, and on another excursion into the Bristol 25, Drewett landed another penalty.”

Thorne completed Bristol’s tally with a try in the right hand corner.



v Old Cranleighans, Home. Won 19-0. Team :- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, L Rimmer, P Hillyard, R Farnham, B O’Mara , G F Drewett , J Lacey, D G Robson, C Evans, B Toogood, P Venn, J A Jacob, W Burley and C Brighton..

Game well controlled by F L (Freddie) Wolfe (Somerset), another good local referee, popular with the players. He played for Old Wesley, Ireland, in his younger days.

Somerset lost to Gloucester 3-11. Not one Bath player was selected!


“Comfortable victory for new look team.”

“The non arrival of fly half Margesson meant last minute revisions to the Bath side. O’Mara moved in to partner Drewett, Rimmer went into the centre, Toogood moved to the back row, and Jacob filled the vacancy in the second row.”

Bath led after ten minutes, with a try by Drewett.

“The Old Cranleighans were kept pinned back in defence, and when they did eventually break into Bath territory it was merely the signal for another score against them.”

Useful work by Bath’s extra man, Hawgood, led to Laurie’s first try, after Brighton and Jacob had handled. Laurie’s second try, converted by Drewett, came just before the interval.

Although the Old Boys rallied, their efforts were thwarted by the dominance of the Bath pack.

Bath swept further ahead with O’Mara’s fine individual try.

Injuries to both sides led to a spell of scrappy play.

Bath soon sealed their victory, with a final try, coming from Burley, converted by Drewett.



v Plymouth Albion, Home. Lost 3-12. Team :- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, B P O’Mara, P Hillyard, T Akibogun, P Margesson, G F Drewett, C Evans, C Owens, J Lacey, J A Jacob, P Venn, W Burley, B Toogood and C Brighton.


“Bath suffered another home defeat today-this time at the hands of Plymouth Albion, who owed their success to the superiority of their pack, in a rugged, tight game, in which the backs had little chance to shine.”

Bath was captained by J. Hawgood, in the absence of the injured Laurie Rimmer.

“The burly Plymouth forwards gained their side a territorial advantage in the opening stages…”

Play continued with the Plymouth pack dominating. Their efforts were rewarded when Southern kicked a penalty, following a scrum infringement. Soper added more points with his try.

Bath had few chances, until just before the break, when Akibogun scored a try, made by Margesson.

Bath started the second half with renewed vigour; Plymouth responded by tightening their defence.

Bath lost chances to score from three successive scrums. Plymouth, however, succeeded in pushing over from a scrum on the Bath line, the try being scored by Greep.

Although Bath fought back to get into an attacking position, they were unable to keep possession.

Plymouth finished with an unconverted try by Glazsher.



v R.A.F., Home. Won 16-3. Team :- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, P Margesson, G F Drewett, J Lacey, Gibbs (WSM player), C Evans, P Venn, A Meek, D Anderson, W Marks and P Hall.


“A faint glimmer of hope flickered through the darkening clouds surrounding Bath rugby as a result of the remarkably convincing victory over the R.A.F. on Wednesday. It proved, if nothing else, that Bath’s spirit, which has been draining away as the side has sunk into the doldrums, is not dead, merely dormant.”

Tries by Laurie, Donovan, Venn and Meek, with Drewett converting two.

“No one man was outstanding-though ‘veteran’ Angus Meek showed all the verve of a two years-old. Paul Venn led his men with great gusto and guest hooker Mike Gibbs from Weston-super-Mare gave of his very best. It was a case of eight men working as one.”



v Saracens, Home. Lost 3-8. Team :- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, P Hillyard, P O’Mara, R Farnham, R Winthorpe, G F Drewett, J Lacey, D G Robson, C Evans, P Venn, B Toogood, D Anderson, W Marks and C Brighton.

Scrum half Gordon Drewitt was knocked out in last five minutes and carried off.


“Anderson goes over in fine movement.”

“Although Bath snatched a lucky interval lead over Saracens on the Recreation Ground this afternoon, they were unable to keep it. The Saracens equalised soon after the change-round, and went on to score a deserved victory.”

“Saracens opened generally much more brightly than their opponents. For ten minutes Saracens gaining a distinct advantage in the set scrums and bustling well in the loose, were well in control, but did not make the best use of their chances.”

“When Bath eventually got on to the attack…they were given little chance to develop their pressure…they were mainly forced on the defensive.”

“Yet entirely against the run of play, Bath took the lead, after the best move of the game so far. It was started inside the Bath half by Venn, who broke away on the blind side and linked up with Farnham. The ball was subsequently moved via Anderson, right across the threequarter line to Laurie, who managed to give a return pass to O’Mara, but then failed to hold a similar pass himself, near the line.”

In the resultant scrum, however, Anderson gained possession to dive over to score a try, which Drewett failed to convert.

Shortly after the break, Saracens equalised, when wing forward Rodgers went over for an unconverted try. The Londoners took the lead, soon afterwards, with a try by Williams, converted by Parsons.

Although Bath tried hard, their efforts were unrewarded.


v Bridgend, Away. Lost 6-16. Team :- J R Hawgood, P Hillyard, B P O’Mara, A Endall (Birkenhead Park and Cheshire), I Laurie, R Winthorpe, J Darling, A Meek, C Owens, C Evans, B Toogood, P Venn, D Anderson, W Burley and P Hall.

Bath held the upper hand through the first half; a penalty by Hawgood and Hall’s try gave them a deserved 6-3 lead at the turn-around. Then their effort tailed away, as Bridgend gained in confidence. A series of thrilling forward rushes were crowned with a try from their captain – Boyo James. Bath were visibly rattled and more Bridgend scores followed. A charge by Toogood and Venn provided some respite, but the Welshmen generally dictated all phases of play.



A number of new players had augmented the playing strength and there was considerable interest in newcomer- Tony Endall, the former Birkenhead Park and Cheshire centre. There were encouraging possibilities with the addition of Bob Winthrope, the St. Luke’s College fly half. Julian Darling was a player of great natural ability.



v United Services, Portsmouth, Home. Won 6-0. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, A Endall, P Hillyard, I Laurie, R E Ford, J Darling, J Lacey, C Owens, C Evans, A Meek, P Venn, D Anderson, W Marks, and P Hall.                                                                                                                                  Two tries were scored amongst a plethora of failed penalties!

Donovan’s try came after a forward scramble. Services had ample opportunity to get among the points, but individuals paid the penalty for being selfish. A generally indifferent game concluded when Laurie dribbled over for a second unconverted try.


v London Scottish, Away. Lost 5-17. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, A Endall, B P O’Mara, I Laurie, R Farnham, J Darling, J Lacey, C Owens, C Evans, A Meek, P Venn, D Anderson, W Marks, and P Hall.

“Bath found the big guns of London Scottish a little too much at Richmond this afternoon. They snatched a shock lead just after the start, but were soon mastered by the better organised Scotsmen, who cruised home to a comfortable victory.”

Marks got Bath’s early try, which was converted by Hawgood. The visitors had their work cut out, in coping with the Scot’s fast moving forwards, of whom, Wilson and ten Bos were outstanding. Bath lacked the polish and understanding of their opponents. Outside-half Farnham, could not escape the close attentions of the opposing back row, Wingers Ian Laurie (ex Old Edwardians, Bath) and John Edwards (St. Luke’s College and England Schoolboys) debut 1st XV game. He played with a broken finger, as he did not wish to miss the game! He hardly saw a ball in any sort of attacking position. By contrast, left wing Charles Hodgson was able to race in four tries.



v Gloucester, Away. Lost 3-19. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, A Endall, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, R Winthorpe, J Darling, J Lacey, C Owens, C Evans, P Venn, A Meek, D Anderson, W Marks and P Hall.

Bath conceded eight points at the start, never re-gained their composure and turned around 0-11 down.

In the second half, there were some good individual efforts, first Donovan and then Hopson and White were prominent. Gloucester again crashed over for a fine try, which was converted. “They did not have things all their own way, however, and soon afterwards Bath seized a splendid opportunity to score. Edwards picked up well and scored a good try in the right corner.” Gloucester capped the closing stages with another fine try, which served to emphasise their superiority.



v London Irish, Home. Lost 5-8. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, T Evans, B P O’Mara, J Donovan, B Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, J Lacey, P E Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and D Anderson.

This was a dour forward struggle, in which a high wind imposed limitations on open play. There were injuries on a slippery surface. In the early stages, the Exciles had the better of the play. A sluggish heel, gave the home backs little room to manoeuvre. Then Bath roused themselves and O’Mara was in the van of constructive raids. Perry signalled his return to the side with some clever touches.

The Irish scored two tries in the first half, one of which was converted. (0-8)

Parsons employed his considerable bulk to crash over for Bath’s try, which Hawgood converted. Bath then lost Lacey with a leg injury and despite a spirited fight back, the Irish forwards took control

Bath’s hopes faded, along with the failing light.



v Llanelly, Away. Lost 8-11. Team :- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, A Endall, B P O’Mara, P Hillyard, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, C Evans, P Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer (Captain), W Burley and D Anderson.

Bath put up a great fight at Stradey Park and actually led 3-0 at the turn-around. Perry had pounced on a loose ball and sent in Endall for an unconverted try in the left corner. Llanelly’s fortunes changed seven minutes into the second half, when Hawgood’s kick was charged down and Morgan was able to flop down on the ball. This breathed more fire into the Welshmen and further pressure forced Bath to yield a penalty to Thomas. Next, Llanelly’s Marlsdon Morgan dribbled though for a try, which Thomas converted.

Bath finished on a high note, when Perry started a movement, linking with Endall and Edwards, and Hillyard crossed for Bath’s second try, for Hawgood to convert.


There was a nation-wide freeze-up lasting from 26th December to the 16th February. All games cancelled through snow and severe frost. At one stage, there was about a foot of frozen snow on the Recreation Ground, where 30 Degrees of Frost was recorded. The ground was only just playable for the Wasps game.



v Wasps, Home. Lost 0-6. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Farnham, B P O’Mara, A Endall, I Laurie, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, C Evans, P E Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and D Anderson.                                                                                                                                                        Bath resumed after a long lay-off, but there was no improvement in form. Wasps adapted better to the slippery conditions. In the first half they dominated in the forward struggle and secured a comfortable victory, with splendid handling and running. Booth and Tapper supplied their tries. Again, Perry showed some nice touches and Parsons worked manfully. Ian Laurie nearly succeeded with a right wing break, only to be balked by full-back Mettler. Apart from this, Bath never looked like catching up on Wasp’s six point lead.



v Bristol, Home. Lost 9-29. Team:- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, B P O’Mara, A Endall,J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, D Coles, P E Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Marks and P Hall.                                                                                                                                                                    The long anticipated ‘bumper gate,’ never materialised. The County programme had been held up and it was decided that Gloucestershire would play Oxfordshire this day. This meant a loss of considerable interest at Bath, as many of the first choice Bristol players were on County duty.

“Coming as it does after all the other cancelled matches it is just about the last straw,” exclaimed the Treasurer. Bath tries by Laurie (2) and Parsons.

Bereft of six County players, Bristol were still far too good for Bath, as they cruised to their 16th consecutive victory. Bath held them back 6-8 at the interval, then Bristol’s slick inter-passing and changes of direction had Bath on the back foot to the end.


Mr. Nowell from Knowle?

A Mr. J R Nowell had his spectacles broken when struck by a ball at the Bath v Bristol game. It was agreed to cover the cost of repair. (At a later meeting it was resolved, to first see if there was a possibility of making a claim on the Club Insurance. Pending a reply from the insurance company, a sum of 2 guineas was to be forwarded.)



v Swansea, Home. Lost 0-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, B P O’Mara, A Endall, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Owens, D Coles, P E Venn, W Marks, L Rimmer, W Burley and J Leyshon.

Reduced to 14 men, Bath had battled it out in the mud. They were more than a touch unlucky when Swansea scored in the last second of the game. It took a last gasp try by Dewi Bebb, the Welsh International winger, to wrest this game after a tenacious Bath performance against a heavier side.

In the forwards, it was a rugged, mud-splattered dual throughout, with most of the play confined to the Bath half. The defence was sorely tested. In this department, Hawgood’s positioning had been faultless, and Bath heroically survived in siege conditions, until those last few agonising moments.



v Neath, Home. Won 13-6. Team:- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, A Endall, B P O’Mara, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, D Coles, P E Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Burley and P Hall.

At last! A run of seven successive defeats was broken with a fine win. The visitors arrived a man short and Bath’s Colwyn Evans, an ex Neath prop, filled their wing-threequarter vacancy.

Bath led 5-3 at half time, following a try by O’Mara, converted by Hawgood. Williams scored for Neath. Bath’s advance was considered to be against the run of play at this stage of the game, but they came into their own in the second half. Perry featured in enterprising open play and John Edwards ran in two tries, Hawgood converted one of them. Williams scored a late try for Neath.



v Richmond, Home. Won 17-12. Team:- J R Hawgood, B P O’Mara, G P Frankcom, A Endall, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, D Coles, J Parsons, P L Hall, W Burley, P R Hall and L Rimmer.

Bath tries by Frankcom, Edwards, P R Hall and Rimmer. Conversion and penalty by Hawgood.

If anything, Bath improved on the previous week’s performance. The visiting full-back, Hawkes, went off after eighteen minutes. Richmond were 0-9 down at half time, but as the Bath effort wilted, the visitors fought back valiantly to narrow the gap. Overall, Bath showed some of their best form of the season and there was a notable line-out performance by the new back row forward P L Hall, formerly of Coventry and St. Luke’s College.



v Nuneaton, Home. Won 24-0. Team:- J R Hawgood, G Margretts, G P Frankcom, A Endall, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, J Parsons, P R Hall (P), L I Rimmer, D Bonner and P R Hall.

Bath powered to their biggest win of the season against the youthful Midland’s side. A solid performance up front formed the base for a plethora of tries, which flowed from John Edwards (2), Parsons and Frankcom (2). Hawgood converted three and kicked a penalty.

Pat Hill won the set scrums almost at will. “Peter Parfitt and his prop colleague John West played a prominent part backed up superbly by the formidable efforts of John Parsons and Philip L Hall in the second row and leaving the back row to roam dangerously all over the field.”

Philip R Hall was outstanding at open-side and Doug Bonner had a fine debut game at No 8. Winger John Edwards showed his remarkable ability to find the open spaces. As the game progressed, the Bath pack drove all before them, with John Parsons playing a real ‘power-house’ of a game! Newcomer, Gordon Margretts had a good introduction and Geoff Frankcom was able to bring his not inconsiderable skills into play for his two tries.



v Moseley, Away. Lost 0-17. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, G Frankcom, B P O’Mara, G Margretts, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, P L Hall, J Parsons, L Rimmer, D Bonner and P R Hall.

A wide margin of defeat at the hands of the Midlanders. The final tally was a goal, a drop goal and 3 penalties, with no reply from Bath. Former England full-back Mick Gavins was Moseley’s high achiever, with three magnificent penalties and a conversion. (11 points).

Bath did not take advantage of the few chances presented to them. A first half brake-down epitomised Bath’s display: “Perry made a clever weaving run to link up with Frankcom, but O’Mara was not there, and Frankcom had to return the ball to Perry, who was swamped by the opposing defence.”



v Stroud, Home. Lost 3-11. Team:- J R Hawgood, P Hillyard, G Margretts, B P O’Mara, I Laurie, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, P E Venn, J Parsons, Martin Eley (Kingswood School), D Bonner and G Leyshon.

Ironically, it was Roy Farnham, the previous season’s skipper, who played a major roll in Bath’s downfall. Unfancied Stroud, were a player short, and Roy stepped in at fly-half, to play an outstanding game. For some unaccountable reason, Bath were dreadful, and their performance deteriorated as time went on. They were untidy in the set-scrums, disorganised in the line-outs, slow in the loose, hesitant at half-back, unimaginative at centre, and could not hold the few passes that came their way.

On the credit side, Peter Parfitt, John Parsons and Doug Bonner had charged around like young bulls, but the whole pack effort gradually subsided – perhaps discouraged by the inept play behind them. Meanwhile, Farnham played a solid game, providing an efficient link between forwards and backs, eventually augmenting with smart moves and accurate touch-finding. Two of his breaks led directly to Stroud tries. For the record, Hawgood kicked a penalty.

Near the end, Bath threw everything into attack – but it just wasn’t their night.



v Harlequins, Home. Lost 9-18. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Edwards, G Margretts, B P O’Mara, I Laurie, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, P E Venn, J Parsons (T), L Rimmer, D Bonner and P R Hall.


Harlequins were always the ‘classier’ side, but Bath, particularly the pack, stuck to their task in grand style. Their unfortunate weakness lay in the number of missed first tackles, which enabled the Londoners to develop their characteristic handling movements. Pat Hill hooked well, although it was subsequently established that he had again broken his recently-mended arm. Paul Venn put in a superb line-out performance against giants Adcock and Marson. Rimmer, Bonner and Hall worked wonders in the back-row department. Bath actually scored first, when John Parsons bulldozed his way over. A Hawgood penalty, and a try by John Edwards were to follow, but the Quins scored some fine tries to consolidate their win.



v London Hospital, Home. Lost 9-21. Team:- J Rees, J Donovan, C Elliott, G Margretts, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, D G Robson, J West, J Parsons, P Venn, M Eley, P Beck and L Rimmer.

John Edwards went off with a thigh injury after only 10 minutes, and the Hospital’s lost no time in exploiting Bath’s weakened position. Bath conceded 16 points in as many minutes, and spent the remainder of the game trying to make up the leeway. Despite Parson’s presence, the visitors had a weight advantage, and their forwards took control for most of the game. Bath needed to spread the ball wide, but became increasingly inclined to pointless mauling in the Recreation Ground mud. Bath’s back row consisted of three blind-side forwards, and even this combination was disrupted, as Rimmer and Eley, were seconded into the back division. Dave Robson improvised at hooker, but even when he succeeded with the strike, the pack were usually pushed backwards off the ball. Bath tries from Margretts, Parfitt and Parsons. From Bath’s perspective, it was a depressing match, which the players wished to forget as quickly as possible.



v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Lost 0-17. Team:- J Rees, I Laurie, P Hillyard, G Margretts, Clive Elliott, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Smith, J West, A Jacob, J Parsons, M Eley, D Bonner and P R Hall.

Bath crashed to their fourth defeat in a row, going down to a goal, 2 tries, a penalty and a dropped-goal, without reply. Bath secured plenty of possession, but their makeshift back division flopped badly in attack, and missed their tackles in defence. It was very discouraging for the forwards, as only Perry and Margretts managed to put in creditable performances. Time and again, after winning good ball, the pack were urgently needed to track back and rescue threatening situations, brought on by their three-quarters’ defensive lapses.



v Llanelly, Home Won 6-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, I Laurie, G Margretts, R Farnham, J Donovan, B K Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, C Smith, J West, A Jacob, J Parsons, M Eley, P Beck and P R Hall.

Just as their faithful supporters were beginning to despair, Bath turned in a rousing display against the talented Welsh side. Once again, it was the pack, that did the often gruelling groundwork. They were magnificently led by Tony Jacob, and although three points down at the interval, they doubled their efforts, virtually monopolising possession.

“Splendidly propped by John West and Peter Parfitt, and with a concerted shove behind him, reserve hooker, Chris Smith, gained mastery in the tight, Jacob and Peter Parfitt shone in the line-out and the whole eight went after the loose ball like a hungry pack of wolves.

With Phil Hall, Phil Beck and Martin Eley a first-class constructive and destructive unit they ruthlessly ground Llanelly into the mud, seemingly gaining strength as the game wore on.”

Half-backs Drewett and Perry worked the touch-line to great effect. Perry and Hawgood, clinched the game with spectacular drop goals.



v Weston-super-Mare, Home. Won 6-5. Team:- J R Hawgood, P Hillyard, A Endall, R Farnham, J Donovan, B K Perry, G F Drewett, D G Robson, C Smith, J West, J Parsons, A Jacob, M Eley, P Beck and P R Hall.

Despite enjoying almost total possession, Bath could not break through Weston’s defence. It was left to the trusty boot of scrum-half, Gordon Drewett, to land two match-winning penalties.

The forwards could hardly have played better, but the whole side was constantly thwarted by red-shirted seasiders,’ backs-to-the-wall defending. Forward progress was largely via Gordon Drewett’s touch-line kicking, interspersed with darting forays by Perry. Unfortunately, neither of the Bath wingers had the pace and guile to outwit their cover.



v Exeter, Home. Won 19-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, P Jones, R Farnham, J Cousins, B K Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, C Smith, J West, A Jacob, J Parsons, P Beck, P L Hall and P R Hall.                                                                                                                                                                 “Bath adapted themselves far better to the quagmire conditions on the Recreation Ground on Saturday and cruised to one of their most comfortable wins of the season over disappointing Exeter.” (writes John Stevens).

Bath tries by Donovan, Drewett, Parfitt, P L and P R Hall, with Drewett converting two.

“In their last home appearance of the term, Bath again owed very much to their pack who were in sparkling form in every department but were particularly dominant in the loose with the ball at their feet.”


v 4th Division, British Army. Away. Lost 6-21. Team:- J Rees, P Hillyard, J Donovan, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B K Perry, J Darling, D G Robson, C Evans, J Hawkins, A Jacob, A Meek, G Leyshon, L Rimmer and P R Hall.                                                                                                                            This was an unexpected defeat for the somewhat travel-warn tourists, and it spoiled Bath’s 100% overseas record. Laurie Rimmer had a lively game. There were solid performances from P L Hall, Robson and Jacob. Brendan Perry had a classy game, epitomised by an inch-perfect diagonal punt to send in speedy John Cousins for, arguably, the best try of the Tour. A late revival created a try for Jacob.



v R.A.F. Germany, Away. Won 6-0. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, P Hillyard, B P O’Mara, J Cousins, B K Perry, G Drewett, D G Robson, C Smith, C Evans, A Jacob, J Parsons, P R Hall, P L Hall, J Darling.                                                                                                                                                          John Donovan and Brendan O’Mara were in fine form. Julian Darling played well in the unaccustomed position at wing forward.

Bath took the lead after 15 minutes, when Perry raced through to send in Donovan. Drewett added a second half penalty. The R.A.F. side revived, but Bath held on, despite looking a little short on sleep!



v B.A.O.R., Away. Won 22-3. Team:- J R Hawgood, J Donovan, P Hillyard, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B K Perry, G F Drewett, J Parsons, D G Robson, G Leyshon, P L Hall, A Meek, Hawkins, P Heindorff, P R Hall.                                                                                                                                                   Bath tries:- Leyshon, Hall, Hillyard (2), and Cousins. Drewett converted 2 and kicked a penalty.

Leyshon, Hall and Pete Heindorff led a fine forward display: “ruthlessly grinding their opponents into the dirt……..”

Angus Meek was chaired off the field, having announced his retirement. Angus had reached the ripe old age of 31, and had played for 14 memorable seasons with the Club. He had led the pack magnificently – and a good win was an appropriate reward.

Roy Farnham had travelled as a player, but a hand fracture in U.K., forced him to spend a day in R.A.F. Hospital, Wegberg.

The Tourists had acquitted themselves well – despite ‘a heavy social round.’



v Bedford, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- J Hawgood, J Donovan, P Hillyard, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, G Drewett, P Parfitt, D Robson, J West, J Parsons, A Jacob, R Woolford, P Beck, P R Hall.

A weakened Bath side encountered formidable opposition at Goldington Road. However, the sides were level at the break, following a try by Bedford’s Williams and a Gordon Drewett penalty, after O’Mara was tripped. Bath forwards endeavoured to upset the Bedford rhythm, but the home side produced a slick handling move for Inglis to force his way over in the corner. In the closing stages, D G Perry sealed Bedford’s victory, when he barged his way over for a third unconverted try.



v Coventry, Away. Drawn 3-3. Selected Team:- J Hawgood, I Laurie, P Hillyard, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, G Drewett, P Parfitt, D Robson, J West, J Parsons, A Jacob, R Woolford, P Beck, P R Hall. Gordon Drewett penalty.

A hotly disputed try by Brian Grace, four minutes from the end, denied Bath a victory against a side, unbeaten in club rugby that season. It was Bath’s contention that the player was offside. Notwithstanding this late score, Bath should have been well ahead by half time, but unfortunately, their tremendous forward effort, was never matched by the three-quarters.

“Early in the game, for example, fly-half Brendan Perry at his best, made a superb outside break carried on by Brendan O’Mara, who was also outstanding for ruthless tackling, only for Ian Laurie to drop the pass with the line at his mercy.”

It was Bath’s first visit to Coundon Road for 35 years.


If one excluded the German Tour, Bath had called on 59 players for their 39 games.

There was no disguising the fact that it had been a very disappointing season, starting with a loss against Weston-super-Mare and ending a draw at Coventry.

“Skipper Laurie Rimmer frankly, disappointed both by his own play and management of the side’s tactics, injuries disrupted things from start to finish and much of the undoubted potential remained untapped.” Team-work and spirit were somehow lacking, and there was a question mark on the overall team fitness levels.

As to individual performances, John Hawgood had been a model of steadiness, but in front of him, the back division had experienced so many changes, and there was a lack of commitment – especially in defence.

Winger, John Edwards had been an undoubted success and Tony Endall had done much to steady the line, alongside the relatively inexperienced Brendan O’Mara. Gordon Margretts performed with promise and the Club had been delighted to include Geoff Frankcom when he was available. Ian Laurie, John Donovan and Paddy Hillyard had tailed off in performance terms.

Brendan Perry was plainly a class above the other fly-halves, but an efficient pairing had been hard to find. Frank Booth, Julian Darling and Gordon Drewett had all figured.

In the forwards, Peter Parfitt was consistently good, Colwyn Owen hooked well in Hill’s absence, and John West was a good prospect at prop.

John Parsons used his weight to great effect, but Paul Venn gave a more polished performance. Veteran Tony Jacob, came back to lead the eight and Philip L Hall “certainly added a little devil.”

There were some good individual performances in the various back-row combinations, but they rarely combined as a significant constructive or destructive element.



John Hawgood 37, Brendan O’Mara 31, Peter Parfitt 28, Philip R Hall and Brendan Perry 27, John Parsons and Laurie Rimmer 23, Paul Venn 22, John Donovan 21, Bill Burley, Julian Darling, Tony Jacob and John Lacey 17, Ian Laurie 16, Gordon Drewett, Pat Hall and Paddy Hillyard 15, Colin Evans 14, Roy Farnham 13, John Edwards, Tony Endall and Colwyn Owens 12, David Anderson and John West 11, Alan Treloar 8, Gordon Margretts, Bill Marks, Dave Robson and Brian Toogood 7, Phil Beck, Frank Booth and Chris Smith 6, Harry Blinkhorn, Doug Bonner, Martin Eley, Clive Elliott, Philip L Hall, Phil Margesson and Angus Meek 5, Kevin Andrews and Don Coles 4, Charlie Brighton, John Cousins, Geoff Frankcom, Roger Lavis and Bob Winthrop 3, Tunde Akibogun, Lance Clark, Roger Ford, Leighton Jenkins, Lang Jones, Glyn Leyshon, Mike Rees 2, Brian Davis, Tim Evans, Mickie Gibbs, Philip Jones, Bill Styles and Ray Woolford 1.

Though he played in only 15 games, Gordon Drewett was the principle points scorer with 65, made up of 10 penalties, 13 conversions, 2 tries and a drop goal.


Tries (70): John Parsons 8, John Edwards 7, John Donovan and Ian Laurie 6, Brendan O’Mara 5, Roy Farnham and Philip R Hall 4, Geoff Frankcom and Paddy Hillyard 3, Gordon Drewett, Peter Parfitt, Brendan Perry and Paul Venn 2, Tunde Akibogan, David Anderson, Kevin Andrews, Bill Burley, Clive Elliott, Tony Endall, Roger Ford, Philip L Hall,, Tony Jacob, Leighton Jenkins, Gordon Margretts, Bill Marks, Angus Meek, Laurie Rimmer, Brian Toogood and Alan Treloar 1 each

Penalties (17):- Gordon Drewett 10, John Hawgood 7.

Conversions (27):- John Hawgood 14, Gordon Drewett 13.

Drop Goals (3):- Gordon Drewett, John Hawgood and Brendan Perry one each.


This page was added on 09/07/2014.

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