v West Germany XV, Home. Won 30-0. Team:- J Edwards, G Frankcom, J Donovan, R Andrew, B K Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K P Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, W Marks and P R Hall. A resounding start to the season. Bath’s display was said to “sparkle like champagne,” with “one vintage try after another.” The West German side suffered their heaviest defeat of a tour which had included Llanelly and Coventry. Unfortunately Parsons was injured and would miss three games. Richard Andrew scored a try in the 8th minute, but it was fellow Old Edwardian Frankcom who really took the limelight, with an all round polished display, which included two tries. Winger John Edwards was also in good form, and also bagged two. Bill Marks sent in the powerful running John Donovan for his try, and he in turn, set up a simple run-in for Richard Andrew’s second score. Finally, Frankcom snapped up a loose ball to send in Perry. Hawgood converted the last three tries. It was a good run-out.
v Bridgend, Home. Lost 6-17. Team:- J Hawgood, J Edwards, G Frankcom, J Donovan, R Andrew, B K Perry, G Drewett, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K Andrews, P Venn, L Rimmer, W Marks, and P R Hall. Bridgend exposed Bath’s weak spots, using the high kick ahead to good effect. Hawgood did well to survive the early forays. Despite good individual efforts by Frankcom, Donovan, Hall and Perry, the visitors were 9-0 up at half time, with a drop goal, a penalty and a try.
The second half opened with a dazzling display of high speed running and passing by the Welshmen.
Bath fought back gamely, and reduced the deficit with Hawgood’s 35 yard penalty. However, Bath were being taught a hard lesson in the loose, with Bridgend’s Dunne pouncing on lost possession for a try. They carved further gaps in Bath’s defence for Jones to crash over, and for Landeg to convert.
A late burst from Donovan was rewarded with a final Bath try – but by then, they were out of the picture.
v Bridgwater, Away. Won 9-0. Team:- J Fuller, R Andrew, J Donovan, G Frankcom, J Edwards, B K Perry, G F Drewett, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K P Andrews, A Jacob, J Edward, P Venn and D Anderson. Bath had previously beaten Bridgwater 19-0 at home, and 11-3 away.
Tony Jacob, the United Captain, moved up to the second row, to fill a shortage in that department.
Despite the win, it was an infinitely forgettable game, elsewhere, described as a shambling, untidy encounter. Bath had scored six points by the quarter hour, then “misfired their way through the game like a car on three cylinders.”
Gordon Drewett had opened proceedings with a penalty and Brendan Perry’s punt, had sent in Frankcom for a try. From there on, constructive play seemed to fall apart. Drewett continued to serve up good ball, but Perry had an uncharacteristic off-day, and was quite unable to shake off the attentions of the opposing back row. Eventually, Drewett resorted to gaining territory with touch-finding kicks. Paradoxically, Bath dominated in the line-out, where Kevin Andrews was in top form, whilst Pat Hill supplied a quick heel in the tight. “All their efforts produced was a weird half-game in which tactical errors and individual shortcomings produced a sorry succession of dreary mauls, touch-kicks and not infrequent penalties.”
Eventually, winger, John Edwards managed a classy try, after a handling movement which started in one corner and ended with him diving over at the opposite extremity.
v Leicester, Away. Lost 3-22. Team:- J R Hawgood, R Andrew, J Donovan, G P Frankcom, J Edwards, B K Perry, G F Drewett, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K P Andrews, A Jacob, J Edward, P Venn and P R Hall.
Bath could find no answer to the fast moving Tigers. Gordon Drewett’s second half penalty, although fine in its performance, was small fry against a side playing splendid attacking rugby, who ran in 5 tries, converted 2 of them, and added a penalty for good measure.
Bath were, quite frankly, outclassed, and weak tackling did not help.
v Clifton, Home. Won 20-3. Team:- M Rees, R Andrew, A Treloar, G Frankcom, J Edwards, R Ford, G F Drewett, P Parfitt, P J Hill, D Coles, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, L Jenkins and P R Hall. Roger Ford deputising for the injured Perry, dropped a goal in the first minute. Drewett completed Bath’s first half scoring with a well-taken penalty. Clifton defended splendidly, and Roger Whyte’s penalty kept them in the game, with Bath just leading 6-3 at half time.
Later, the home side asserted their authority, with a break-away try by Hall. Then the best spectacle of the evening, when winger, Richard Andrew receiving a quick pass from Drewett, jinked inside past two defenders, punted ahead, raced on to catch his own ball and speedily eluded the full-back, to touch down for a memorable try. Then, Jenkins sent skipper Kevin Andrews scampering over for the next touch down.
“Finally Jenkins tapped the ball away from the back of a line-out to Parfitt who, with a dummying flourish reminiscent of his scrum half days, scampered over for Drewett to convert.”
This was the first appearance of the season for Welsh International Leighton Jenkins. He was stationed at Yatesbury and was Captain of the R.A.F. and Combined Services. He had played two games for Bath the previous season.
He had previously played for Newport and Leicester, and although he had lost some of his previously devastating speed, and had been out with a knee injury, he was still considered to be one of the most knowledgeable footballers in the game.
v Ebbw Vale, Home. Lost 3-6. Team:- J Hawgood, R Andrew, J Donovan, G Frankcom, J Edwards, R Ford, J Darling, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, L Jenkins and P R Hall.
Ebbw Vale held on to their unbeaten record in a tense battle of the packs. Bath were without Perry, Drewett and Treloar. Ford and Darling came in at half-back and Donovan came back as centre. Ominously, the Welshmen won the first four scrums – two against the head, and the visiting pack dominated in the opening exchanges. Then Frankcom failed to hold a pass and the ball was hacked through; Bath retained possession, only for Ford’s clearance kick to be charged down. “The ball rolled agonisingly over the line, and a race for possession between Hawgood and Preece was won by the Welsh hooker. Knott surprisingly missed an easy conversion.”
After the interval, Ebbw Vale increased their lead, when Gough kicked a magnificent 50 yard penalty. Bath’s response was immediate: “It all began with an electrifying burst from a scrum by Rimmer. He linked up with Frankcom, who slipped the ball to Andrew. The winger sped for the line, but was halted inches short; however, Darling followed up to score. Hawgood’s touchline conversion attempt hit the post.”
In the last dramatic moments, Bath tried frantically to rescue the game. Ebbw Vale came storming back, and only the heroic covering of Rimmer, Jenkins and Hawgood – and a final knock-on by Foster avoided a further try for Bath’s rampaging visitors.
v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Lost 0-3. Team:- J Hawgood, R Andrew, A Treloar, G Frankcom, J Donovan, B K Perry, J Darling, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, D Anderson, L Jenkins and P R Hall. The game had been intended to give an airing to new Laws encouraging open play. With hindsight, there was too much local rivalry attached to this ‘derby,’ and Weston soon resorted to their characteristic spoiling tactics. Smothered by Weston’s forward cover, Bath’s three-quarters gave an inept display. They seemed unable to execute the most orthodox of movements, let alone, open up the game. Passes were mistimed, often served up, when the intended recipients were surrounded by defenders. It was a sad result for Bath’s hard working forwards, who had made the, somewhat greasy ball available. The Seasiders gained the verdict, some 15 minutes from the end, when a Bath move broke down and Hunt fly-kicked through to win the chase for the touch down.
It had been a scrappy game, which reflected little credit on either side.
v Llanelly, Away. Lost 3-32. . Team:- J Hawgood, R Andrew, A Treloar, G Frankcom, J Donovan, B K Perry, J Darling, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, P Venn, and P R Hall.
Bath threw away their few chances at Stradey Park, where Llanelly’s Ieuan Jones was in devastating kicking form, while Bath wasted five penalty attempts.
At times, Llanelly swarmed all over Bath, but despite being in low spirits, Bath did produce a fine try:- “Hall came into a threequarter movement as an extra man to leave Donovan clear on the right. He broke down the wing, and his cross-kick caught the defence unawares, and Frankcom and Perry fly-kicked for the former to score.” Hawgood was having a bad day with the boot, and was well wide with his conversion attempt.
By the final flourish, Llanelly had crossed the Bath line five times, Jones had converted three and scored three penalties, and Griffiths had contributed one conversion.
Gordon Drewett resigned, after eleven years loyal service as a player. In paying tribute, the Committee asked him not to sever his association with the Club.
His unexpected retirement after only five games was one of the sadder occurrences in 1963. There was no ready replacement as a consistent points scorer.
“Year after year the tiny scrum half regularly topped Bath’s point scoring list with a stream of goals from his accurate boot; and once he retired, so the scores seemed to reduce to a trickle.”
v Stroud, Away. Won 11-5. . Team:- G Mobley, J Cousins, A Treloar, G Frankcom, J Donovan, B K Perry, J Darling, D Robson, C Buckle, J Hawkins, J Parsons, P Winchcombe, J Edward, L Jenkins and T Martland.
Bath fielded nine reserves, but, bringing in 6ft. 4in winger, John Cousins proved to be an inspired selection: “On the very day when ace kicker Gordon Drewett had announced his retirement, the former Gloucestershire sprint champion showed his prowess at an art which he was never previously considered, and was the star of this victory.” He scored eight of his side’s points, and by adding goal kicking to his portfolio, staked a claim for repeat selection for the senior side.
Geoff Frankcom scored the first try after only ten minutes. Again, he combined with Perry, to send in Cousins for a second. The lofty winger proceeded to add the conversion, with a towering touchline kick. Stroud came back with a hard-earned forward’s try by Shipton, which Sheen converted.
‘Man of the Match,’ John Cousins, clenched the game with two further penalties.
There were some promising performances for Bath:- “One picked out, in particular, Joe Hawkins for his sensible ball distribution, last minute substitute John Edward for his 100 per cent effort, and newcomer Tom Martland, who played at open side, and showed himself a gifted footballer with exceptional attacking qualities.”
It was a 1st XV debut for wing forward Tom Martland and hooker, Clive Buckle, ex Bristol and Keynsham.
v Aberavon, away. Lost 6-23. Team:- J Hawgood, R Andrew, A Treloar, G Frankcom, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, D Coles, P J Hill, J West, K Andrews, P Winchcombe, T Martland, L Jenkins, and D Anderson. Bath put up a splendid fight, and the sides were level at 6-6 at half time. Hawgood had kicked a towering goal from 45 yards. The ‘Wizards’ countered with a penalty and a try. “Right on half-time, Martland led a rousing Bath forward rush right to the Aberavon line, and they suddenly drew level.
From the scrum, Frankcom tried to go through, found his way blocked, and quickly slipped the ball inside to Leighton Jenkins who dropped a splendid angled goal.”
The second half, signalled Aberavon’s ascendancy and they ran in 3 tries, converting one, and added 2 penalties.
v Dorset & Wilts., Home. Lost 3-5. . Team:- J Hawgood, J Cousins, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B K Perry, J Darling, P Parfitt, P J Hill, J West, J Parsons, A Jacob, T Martland, P E Venn, and P R Hall. Alan Treloar scored Bath’s try just before half time.
Bath’s own Leighton Jenkins was the thorn in his own Club’s flesh. Near the end of a 70 minute mud bath, he touched down under the posts for Dorset & Wilts. To add insult to injury, he converted his own try, to turn Bath’s anticipated win, into a shock defeat.
“No wonder Bath were depressed! But honestly they had only themselves to blame. They had done far more in attacking, but, tactically, made a proper hash of things making it easy to understand why they are at such a low ebb.”
v Devonport Services, Home. Won 11-8. Team:- J Hawgood, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, D Coles, K P Andrews, P E Venn, L I Rimmer, P Winchcombe and T Martland. Tries by Bruford and Martland, and a conversion and a penalty by Perry. A useful home win against a fit and young Services side.
Pete Parfitt had been putting in some fine games at prop. The former Oldfield Schoolboy, had first played for Walcot, and in joining Bath in September 1958, had continued a family tradition, for before him his father, grandfather, and two of his uncles, played in the blue white and black.
v Bristol, Home. Lost 6-8. Team:- C Harvey (Marlborough), N Bruford, B P O’Mara, A Treloar, J Edwards, B K Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P J Hill, D Coles, K P Andrews, P E Venn, L I Rimmer, L Jenkins, and T Martland.
Bristol’s Mike Lawrence, dashed Bath’s hopes when he scored a try in the last two minutes.
Treloar had put Bath in the lead after less than five minutes and the 3-0 lead was held to the turn-around. Bath had enjoyed much of the play. In turn Bristol’s possession had been hampered as, O’Mara and Treloar had succeeded in ‘bottling up’ the Bristol centre.
Soon, Bristol pressed home an attack: “Redwood at last found a chink in Bath’s armour. He punted over the Bath line, and , though Bruford dived desperately, Weeks got the vital touch down. Hazell missed a comparatively easy conversion, and so the sides were all square.”
“A heel in the tight ended when Darling, unable to break through, slipped the ball to Rimmer. The wing forward put in a huge cross kick, which Colston failed to gather, and up raced Edwards to tap the ball over the line, and score.”
Bath had a not unreasonable hope of winning, until Lawrence’s late effort, and could only stand and watch, as Watts converted from in front of the posts.
v Old Cranleighans, Home. Lost 6-8. Team:- C Harvey, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, R Farnham, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Buckle, D Coles, K P Andrews, P E Venn, L I Rimmer, D Bonner and P Hall. Bruford and Darling got Bath’s tries. Old Cranleighans scored a goal and a penalty.
Bath standards seemed to be on a downward spiral. Certainly, defeat at the hands of the Old Cranleighans was a bit of a shock. Skipper Kevin Andrews had based his strategy on a high level of physical fitness, but this was not the whole answer. At training and with pre-match discussions, there was little emphasis on developing tactical skills and the practicalities of teamwork. There seemed to be an inability to adjust to varying playing conditions. Some performances had been dismal, and some players were poor in the tackle, and unable to give or take a pass. With so many close results, it was essential that they did not go into the field without a recognised kicker.
v Pontypool, Home. Won 3-0. Team:- C Harvey, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B Perry, J Darling, J West, P Hill, D Coles, K P Andrews, J Parsons, T Martland, L Jenkins and P Hall. Bath shocked Pontypool in the second minute. Pontypool’s back row forward Eddie Jones was caught offside, and Brendan Perry kicked a simple penalty. Bath held on doggedly for the best part of 80 minutes of rugged encounter, in difficult conditions. Perry won his tactical kicking duel with Clive Rowlands, and the Bath forwards performed heroically in ‘siege’ conditions.
v Saracens, Away. Drawn 3-3. Team:- J Hawgood, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B Perry, J Darling, D Robson, C Buckle, J West, K P Andrews, J Parsons, T Martland, L H Jenkins and P Hall. Dave Robson substituted for Parfitt in the front row.
In an undistinguished game at Southgate, Bath fought through to obtain a draw after being 3-0 down at the interval. In the early stages, Bath had handled the slippery ball well, but the standard of play deteriorated. Neither side looked like scoring until Jenkins was dispossessed on his own line, and Saracen’s wing forward Rogers pounced on the ball to score. In the second half, a scrummage infringement allowed Hawgood to level with a 35 yard penalty.
v R.A.F., Home. Lost 3-11. Team:- C Harvey, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, C Buckle, B Hillier, A Jacob, P E Venn, T Martland, D Bonner and P Hall. Bath were depleted by County calls and fielded only three of their first choice forwards.
The R.A.F. representative side adapted better to the muddy conditions. Surviving early Bath pressure, they went on to score a goal and two tries, to Bath’s penalty goal. Clive Buckle did a fine hooking job, but the home side were outplayed in the loose. In the line-outs, R.A.F. giants Mike Marson and Ron Glazsher dominated.. Generally outplayed, Bath’s only reply was a late penalty by Alan Treloar.
v Neath, Away. Lost 3-17. Team:- C Harvey, J Edwards, A Treloar, B P O’Mara, N Bruford, B Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, L Jenkins and T Martland. British Lion, Terry O’Connor was a guest player in the home side.
There was little doubt on the outcome of this encounter, and Neath’s unbeaten record was barely threatened. Bath’s three-quarters were largely ineffective and were frequently caught in possession by Neath’s speedy cover. Neath had the game won at a canter. There was little consolation in Bath’s late try. It came when Treloar made a splendid break, leaving Bruford a long run in to score.
v United Services, Portsmouth. Away. Won 11-8. Team:- J Hawgood,, J Cousins, A Treloar, B Owen, N Bruford, J Donovan, J Darling, D Robson, C Buckle, J Hawkins, K Andrews, J Parsons, P Hall, P Winchcombe and T Martland. Rimmer and Jenkins were on County business, so a back row change brought in Hall and Winchcombe. Hawkins deputised for Parfitt. Ian Duckworth was playing for United Services.
Bath dictated the early pace and utilised their line-out superiority. In the 23rd minute, Bruford slipped his cover, exchanged passes with Owen and evaded the full-back for the first try. Hawgood converted Hawgood was again in the action with a 40 yard penalty. Then Cousins went over in the 32nd minute.
Services pulled back with a penalty, when Hall was caught offside. Next, Service’s Ian Duckworth caught Hawgood in possession, allowing Rothwell to touch down and Golding to convert.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 3-0. Team:- C Harvey, J Donovan, A Treloar, B Owen, N Bruford, B Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, L Jenkins and P Hall. Former Bath player and Old Sulian, Bill Styles played for St. Mary’s.
Bath were made to work hard for this victory, and it was only Brendan Perry’s late penalty, for obstruction, which saw them through. Bath forwards had dictated terms, only to see the opportunities wasted by indifferent handling in the three-quarters. It was a game that always promised to burst into life – but never quite got there. Rimmer and Jenkins were always in the thick of the action.
v London Scottish, Home. Lost 0-13. Team:- C Harvey, N Bruford, A Treloar, B Owen, J Donovan, B Perry, J Darling, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, L Jenkins and T Martland. Despite the absence of Scottish internationals, Rodd and Laughland, the Exciles were at the peak of their form and established their eight point lead in the first 25 minutes. However, Bath’s forwards took them on up-front, gaining sufficient possession to test out their defence. The Bath back row’s quick breaking did much to disrupt the Scots’ possession. In the second half, Bath fought on stubbornly, but the heavyweight visitors were just too much for the home side to handle.
v Old Blues, on Combe Down R.F.C. ground. Won 24-3. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, B Owen, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, J Darling, L Jenkins and P Hall . Bath were very pleased to welcome back Geoff Frankcom, who was down from Cambridge for the holiday.
The Bath lowlands were shrouded in a thick coat of fog, and it looked as if this annual fixture would again be cancelled. There followed an inspired switch to the heights of Combe Down, where the sun was shining brightly.
The ensuing rugby was equally bright, and Bath served up tries by Frankcom, Donovan, Jenkins (2) and Hall, with John Cousins scoring a try and landing three conversions.
v Northampton, Home. Won 9-3. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, L Rimmer, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, P Hall, L Jenkins and T Martland.
Bath triumphed in a tough battle with the Saints. Their fiery and determined display, brought a fine ending to the old year. Northampton were depleted by County calls, whilst Bath were handicapped when Brendan Perry pulled a hamstring, and withdrew for 25 minutes. He returned heavily strapped and saw out the game on the wing. Adapting to the ‘gluepot’ conditions, Bath managed to outplay their visitors for much of the game. Roger Hosen’s penalty had put Northampton ahead within the first two minutes, but he never looked comfortable at centre three-quarter.
“Pat Hill hooked as consistently as ever and neither John Parsons not Kevin Andrews gave much away to Saints’ heavyweights, Alan Southwell and Peter Woolfenden in the line-outs.
Yet as always, it proved that games are won from the loose. This was the biggest phase of Bath’s improvement with Leighton Jenkins, as ever, utilising his experience, Tom Martland a bundle of non-stop energy and Phil Hall hunting tigerishly after the ball.”
Bath tries from Cousins and Martland, with enigmatic Cousins contributing a penalty.
A word of thanks was due to Jack Simpkins, Bath’s Honorary Secretary, who refereed the match at short notice. “He made a few mistakes but in general kept good control of the game…”
v Leicester, Home. Won 11-0. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, A Treloar, J Donovan, L Rimmer, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, T Martland, P Heindorff and P Hall.
Bath fortunes appeared to be improving as they gained their fourth victory in five matches. The plaudits went to their forwards, who appropriately scored all of their points. They led at half-time with a try by hooker Pat Hill, converted by John Cousins. The forwards remained lively and there was a steady flow of possession from all phases of play, and Leicester remained subdued. However, the temporary expedient of playing Rimmer at outside-half was not entirely successful.
Burly forward Parsons supplied both the other tries. The first came when Hill moved the ball after a tap penalty allowing him to stroll over. His second try came from a line-out, following a Cousin’s break away. He used his considerable bulk to crash through all opposition.
In the closing stages, Leicester tried desperately to get on terms, but the defence held firm.
v London Welsh, Away. Drawn 3-3. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, A Treloar, J Donovan, R Horrocks, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, P Heindorff and P Hall.
On a bitingly cold afternoon, and 0-3 down, Bath fought back for a well deserved draw.
John Dawes had landed an early penalty. Frequent penalty awards and poor handling marred the early exchanges, but the Exciles were more adept in turning defence into attack. The Bath backs were frequently disrupted by the marauding Welsh forwards. “Heindorff and Parfitt did good work individually, yet as a unit Bath’s forwards were sluggish, and could do no more than hold their own.”
However, fortunes improved after the interval: From a loose scrum just inside his own half, Rimmer broke away on the blind side and after an exhilarating 60 yards’ run up the right touch line, passed inside to Donovan, who scored.” Unfortunately, Cousins could not convert. The appreciative crowd was kept on tenterhooks to the very end
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Drawn 0-0. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, A Treloar, R Horrocks, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, J Hawkins, P Hill, J West, K Andrews, P Venn, R Woolford, P Heindorff and P Hall.
“A weakened Bath side did well to run St. Mary’s Hospital to a pointless draw at Teddington this afternoon. The Bath forwards, in particular, gave a very good account of themselves, but apart from Perry outside the scrum there was no thrust.” Nick Bruford had a fine run down the wing, Venn, Heindorff, Woolford and Andrews were conspicuous in the forward exchanges. Bath survived a big scare, almost on time; St. Mary’s broke clean away, and only the pace of Cousins saved a certain score. He raced almost the length of the field, to kick the ball over the dead ball line – to save the day.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Lost 6-21 C Harvey, J Edwards, B Perry, N Bruford, J Donovan, R Horrocks, J Millman, P Parfitt, P Hill, J West, P Venn, J Parsons, L Rimmer, P Heindorff and P Hall. Tries by Rimmer and Heindorff.
The selectors hoped to have learned a lot from this heavy home defeat. Although Bath had been unbeaten since the 7th December, considerable hopes had been placed on this experimental selection, which had the object of introducing more ‘punch’ midfield. Unfortunately, there was little improvement, and with the present playing strength, it now seemed appropriate to build on defensive strengths, particularly in the forwards, which had seen them through previous ‘sticky patches.’ The team seemed to come alive when Frankcom was playing, but with his spasmodic availability, Andrew’s team would need to adapt to their ‘reduced’ circumstances. The forwards continued to play with fire and determination, and the Club would look to them to hold the line for the time being.
There was news that John Hawgood was contemplating a career move and would be joining Coventry or Moseley.
v Gloucester, Home. Lost 11-19. J Hawgood, N Bruford, B O’Mara, A Treloar, J Donovan , B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, J West, K Andrews, J Parsons, L Rimmer, P Heindorff, and P Hall.
Bath trailed 8-16 at the interval, with tries by Heindorff and Donovan, and Heindorff converting the second try. They had done well to narrow the gap, as the home side were largely dictating terms. Heindorff again figured within three minutes of the re-start. His high punt ahead led to a Gloucester scrum infringement, and the ex Avon man, was there to land a 30-yard penalty. (11-16)
Gloucester lost much of their composure, as Heindorff’s next touch-line penalty attempt, just passed under the cross-bar. At the end, Gloucester rallied, and their back row combined to send in White for the final try.
v Cheltenham, Away. Won 3-0. J Hawgood, N Bruford, B O’Mara, A Treloar, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, P Hill, J West, P Heindorff, J Parsons, L Rimmer, K Andrews and P Hall. Another dour battle at Cheltenham. A point-less first half. Bath forwards livened up in the second spell and a great run by Parsons was just stopped at the line. However, his effort was not wasted, as Hill won from the ensuing scrum and Kevin Andrews picked up and forced over, for an unconverted try.
News that Irish Trialist, R.A.F. and former Bath centre, John Keepe had returned to his native land. He had made his Bath debut two seasons previously and took part in a memorable win at Leicester. A posting to Colerne had raised hopes of a possible return to the Bath colours, but he had continued to appear for the R.A.F. representative sides and for the London Irish Club.
v Wasps, Away. Won 14-9. Team:- C Harvey, N Bruford, J Donovan, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, P Hill, D Robson, P Heindorff, K Andrews, G Leyshon, L Jenkins and P Hall. Phil Hall was penalised in the first three minutes and Compton put Wasps ahead with a penalty. However, Nick Bruford was soon finding the gaps and his corner try put Bath level after eight minutes. Back came Wasps with a drop goal. John Millman levelled the first half, following a blind side move. Bath took the lead after 20 minutes with another Bruford try, which Heindorff converted. Two minutes later, Richard Sharp narrowed the gap with a neatly taken try, which Compton failed to convert. John Donavan consolidated Bath’s advantage with a further unconverted try.
v New Brighton, Home. Won 6-0. Team:- C Harvey, N Bruford, J Donovan, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, P Hill, D Robson, K Andrews, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, L Rimmer, and P Hall.
In a game of previously missed chances, Bath snatched victory with a late drop goal by Brendan Perry. Phil Hall doubled the points in the final minute. New Brighton were making a last effort to save the game – a frantic pass went astray, and O’Mara and Leyshon paved the way for Hall’s final clincher.
Pat Hill was carried off with an ankle injury, and apart from a run out in the United, he was not to play again that season. It was doubly unfortunate for Hill, as the former Oldfield Old Boy, had previously come back from injury. ‘Understudy’ Clive Buckle, ex Keynsham and Bristol, was now given his chance of a regular spell of first team duty.
v Bristol, Away. Lost 3-6. Team:- C Harvey, N Bruford, J Donovan, B O’Mara, J Cousins, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, J Parsons, K Andrews, G Leyshon, P Heindorff, and P Hall.
A debut game for W (Bill) Carling, of the Army Flying Corps., father of Will Carling, the England Captain, and Harlequins centre three-quarter. Bill Carling attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
Bristol Team:- P Colston (Capt.), M Ellery, D Weeks, J Glover, M Collins, B Redwood, J Amor, D Hazell, J Pullin, M Pegler, D Neate, J Currie, L Davies, D Watt and M Lawrence.
Once again, Bristol completed a ‘double’ over Bath, in a particularly dour encounter. Bath defended stubbornly for the first fifteen minutes, and just as they were consolidating their effort, two forwards were caught offside and Hazell kicked Bristol into the lead. Bath fought back spiritedly, and following a scrum infringement, Heindorff’s touchline penalty levelled the score. Just before half-time, Pullin won a scrum on the Bath 25, Colston joined a handling movement, and with the Bath cover and the crowd, expecting him to pass, he sold a dummy and crashed over in the corner. In the closing stages, play was confined to the Bath half, but the defence held firm. Redwood took a heavy tackle and was carried off on a stretcher. At the finish Hall and Donovan were leading an attack, but it was too little too late.
v Swansea, Away. Lost 3-36. Team:- C Harvey, J Donovan, L Rimmer, G Margretts, J Cousins, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, D Robson, K Andrews, G Thomas (Swansea), G Leyshon, P Heindorff and P Hall.
The St. Helens ground is no place to be with a weakened side, one short, and contemplating borrowing a local player! Such was Bath’s dilemma on arrival. Things got worse as the game went along and they found themselves 0-15 after 30 minutes, in which they were out-paced and out manoeuvred by a classy Swansea side. “Swansea were in complete control, for despite stubborn efforts by the Bath pack, they got the ball far too often, and far too quickly for the visitors’ comfort.”
In occasional excursions, Perry and Donovan tried to emulate Swansea’s excellence, and generated applause from the crowd. Phil Hall scored a try near the end, but Heindorff could not convert.
v Coventry, Home. Lost 3-9. C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, L Rimmer, and P Hall. Bath had high hopes, with the inclusion of Frankcom, but hopes were dashed when full-back Chris Harvey went off with concussion. While he was off, the visitors were able to establish a six point lead. Nevertheless, Bath refused to submit, and there were bright moves from Frankcom and Perry. John Cousins then took up the cudgel and battered his way through a mass of players, finally slipping the ball to Heindorff, who touch down for Bath’s try. Play was lively to the end, but Bath could not pull any rabbits out of the bag.
v Harlequins, Home. Lost 6-16. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, J West, K Andrews, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, L Rimmer, and P Hall.
Defensive lapses cost Bath this game. The heavier visiting pack, out-shoved and threatened to completely over-run Bath, whilst their backs demonstrated greater mobility and handling skills.
For 25 minutes Bath hung on to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of Heindorff’s touchline penalty. Later, a typically opportunist Frankcom try served to raise their expectations, but the Quins’ score mounted steadily, and Bath capitulated with the final ignominy of a penalty try for collapsing the scrum.
v Birkenhead Park, Home. Won 24-0. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, J West, K Andrews, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, L Jenkins, and P Hall.
Bath got back to winning ways, with a 5 try romp against these North West tourists. Tries by Frankcom (2), Perry, Donovan, Parfitt and Cousins, with conversions from Heindorff and Jenkins (2).
The visitors kept Bath in check during the opening stages, then a line-out break-away, led by West, with Hall and Woolford in close attendance, brought play to the visitors’ 25. Millman added impetus to Bath’s attacks, and then Frankcom got to work on the half-hour. His rapid acceleration took him forward and as opposition expected him to pass to Cousins – he sold a beautiful dummy and continued on his way to the try line. This was the precursor of some entertaining three-quarter play, which allowed Bath to build up their high score.
v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Won 8-5. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Donovan, Philip Jones, J Darling, Simon Royal, D Robson, K Andrews, P Heindorff, G Leyshon, L Jenkins, and P Hall.
Frankcom played – Bath won! This result served to epitomise Bath’s vacillating performances.
“……Bath are a far better, indeed quite different side when Frankcom is playing in the three-quarter line.” Frankcom seemed to inspire the men around him, and his devastating speed over 30-40 yards
was frequently the main-spring of attack. For the second season in succession, he was already the leading try scorer (10), even though he had played in less than half the matches.
The Old Boys fielded a big and lively pack, the halves kicked skilfully, and with their threes lying up, the Bath ‘threes’ were knocked out of their stride for long periods. With Glyn Leyshon playing out on the wing, the remaining seven, rose splendidly to Andrew’s leadership. Hall, Jenkins, and Parfitt did much useful work and young Simon Royal, from Kingswood School turned in a fine hooking performance. Phillip Jones, also a schoolboy international, kicked shrewdly, but lacked the pace to make openings for the back division.
Leighton Jenkins scored and converted his own try, and finally, with the referee looking at his watch, Margretts gave a perfectly timed pass for Frankcom to dash a few yards to score.
v Sheffield, Home. Lost 0-6. Team:- G Mobley, J Cousins, B O’Mara, G Margretts, J Donovan, B Perry, J Darling, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, J Parsons, G Leyshon, P Venn and P Hall.
Bath were caught napping with a spirited display by a youthful visiting pack, led by Yorkshire Captain, Colin Heighton. There was little sparkle in Bath’s back division, and it was a poor ending to the holiday games. They did lose Darling with concussion, which necessitated prop Peter Parfitt switching to his schoolboy – days position at scrum-half.
There was comment that the Bath players, and possibly the selectors, were inclined to underestimate the strength of their opposition. It was hoped that they would learn by this experience.
v Llanelly, Home. Lost 5-6. Team:- G Mobley, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Donovan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, P Heindorff, R Woolford, L Jenkins and P Hall..
The biting wind made handling difficult and Gordon Mobley had some anxious moments, as he was forced to make hurried clearances. John Millman, in particular, came in for some fairly rough treatment from the opposing back row.
In this dour struggle, Bath led 5-3 at half time, thanks to Leighton Jenkins who had forced his way over, and converted his own fine effort. “Llanelly at once struck back hard, and when fly-half John sprinted up the touch-line and then punted inside, only a last minute appearance by Hall saved the day for Bath. John soon produced another dangerous diagonal punt, but this time, Margretts marked to relieve pressure.” At the start of the second half, Bath had a narrow escape, when Delme Thomas’s high kick bounced awkwardly, and Frankcom was caught in possession. Each team in turn, had its periods of ascendancy, and there was extreme pressure, as Bath survived drop goal attempts from both Barry John and Bourne. “Bath were having nearly all the narrow escapes, but in the next Llanelly raid, they were not so lucky. Slowness by Mobley let the visitors through on a loose ball, and Perry had to kick dead to save his line. From the subsequent scrum the ball went loose, a defender tried to hack it upfield, but kicked it straight to full-back John Howells, who calmly dropped a fine goal from 35 yards.”
v Taunton, Away. Won 15-8. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Monahan, B Perry, J Millman, D Robson, C Buckle, W Carling, P Venn, J Parsons, T Martland, L Jenkins and P Hall. Taunton’s fortunes had declined, and Bath should have piled on the points.
“Poor finishing and carelessness was the cause. Time after time Bath swept upfield in a game which they controlled territorially, yet because a final pass was delayed or went astray, they could score only three tries.” Bath tries by Frankcom (2), and Monahan, with Jenkins converting all three.
v Moseley, Home. Won 14-3. Team:- C Harvey, J Donovan, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Monahan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, J Parsons, T Martland, P Heindorff, and P Hall. Tries:- Frankcom, Martland and Hall. Heindorff – conversion and penalty.
John Parsons was off after about 30 seconds play. He was bowled over trying to mark from the kick-off, sustaining a cut head. Bath were 5-3 ahead at half time with a try by Frankcom, which Heindorff converted. It was Hawgood, ex Bath, who responded with one of his ’round the corner’ penalty kicks. Into the second half, and Bath continued to pin the visitors down, and they were lucky to survive a high punt from Frankcom, which caught Hawgood in possession. After scrambling the ball into touch, Moseley conceded a second try, when Hall gained possession, slipped to Martland – who crashed over. Hall and Martland did much to subdue any half-back forays, and it was Hall who bludgeoned his way over for a third score. Victory was assured, when Heindorff kicked a 30 yard penalty five minutes from time.
All eyes were now on the Bath Sevens which included a Colts and Senior Tournament. A record number of 54 teams had entered, representing 400 players, with the competition extending over two weeks.
v Weston-super-Mare, Home. Won 14-3. Team:- C Harvey, J Donovan, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Monahan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, A Jacob, T Martland, L Jenkins and P Hall.
As was usually the case, Weston relied on spoiling tactics. There were many late tackles and petty, unnecessary infringements amidst a hard and unrelenting forward battle. Brendan Perry spent the second half on the wing, nursing a pulled groin muscle. Nevertheless, Bath’s approach remained positive, with Hall, Jenkins and Martland initiating penetrative attacks. Tries flowed from Frankcom, Margretts and Monahan, with Jenkins converting one and adding a penalty.
Kevin Andrews jumped well in the line-out, ably assisted by Tony Jacobs, who had announced this as his last game. Young John Monahan ran forcefully on at least three occasions, and his late try was a fitting reward for his promising play.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 3-6. C Harvey, J Donovan, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Monahan, P Jones, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, W Carling, K Andrews, P Heindorff, T Martland, L Jenkins and P Hall. This was another fiery game between two well matched sides.
Exeter’s Pritchard had barged over for an early try, and Jenkins countered with a penalty for off-side.
In the second half there was little to chose between the teams, although Frankcom inspired several incisive forays. However, fortune favoured the Exeter men, and a quick heel saw the ball moved to Radford, who finding his way blocked, served on to Gardner, who just managed to wriggle over.
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 0-14. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, G Margretts, J Donovan, J Monahan, R Ford, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, J West, K Andrews, P Heindorff, T Martland, P Venn, and P Hall.
In a forward-orientated battle, any hopes of ending with a season, balancing Wins against Losses, were unceremoniously dashed, as Gloucester completed ‘the double’ in front of the Kingsholm faithful
It was left to the following Saturday, to lift Bath’s spirits…….
FRANKCOM AND PERRY AT THEIR BRILLIANT BEST
v Bedford, Home. Won 14-9. Team:- C Harvey, J Cousins, A Pembroke, G Frankcom, J Monahan, B Perry, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Smith, W Carling, K Andrews, P Heindorff, T Martland, L Jenkins and P Hall. Tries by Frankcom (2), and Perry. Conversion Jenkins and a penalty from Heindorff. Brendan Perry’s glorious weaving run, paved the way for a sensational Frankcom try. The Cambridge Blue sprinted over the Bedford line, to the accompaniment of a standing ovation from the crowd. Perry was again in the action: “The visitors tried to open up, but Lord knocked on. Hall snapped up the chance and linked up with Jenkins who slipped the ball to Perry on the half-way line.
The fly-half accelerated away, punted over full-back Smith’s head, and then raced round, picked up a yard short of the line, and crashed over.”
“Far from being a typical end-of-the -season encounter, this was one of the most lively and interesting games seen on the ground this season.”
Bath’s final try was another Perry – Frankcom combination, Perry taking the ball to half-way, handing over for Frankcom – to sprint the other half.
Frankcom was the top try scorer, and in fact, topped the total points list, with 16 tries, 48 points, in just 24 games.
PRINCIPAL POINT SCORERS
Geoff Frankcom (16 tries) 48 points.,
Leighton Jenkins (4 tries, 2 penalties, 1 drop goal, 9 conversions) 39 points,
John Cousins (6 tries, 3 penalties, 5 conversions). 37 points,
Peter Heindorff (3 tries, 5 penalties, 4 conversions), 32 points,
Brendan Perry (3 tries, 3 penalties, 1 drop goal, 1 conversion), 23 points,
John Hawgood (4 penalties, 4 conversions) 20 points.
Andrews 40, Parfitt 38, Hall 37, Perry 36, Donovan 32, Harvey 27, Hill and West 25, Frankcom and Parsons 24, Millman 22, Cousins Treloar and Jenkins 21, Darling, Heindorff, Martland and Rimmer 19, Bruford and Buckle 18, John Edwards 15, O’Mara and Venn 14, Hawgood 13, Margretts 12, R Andrew and Carling 9, Leyshon and Robson 8, Coles and John Monahan 6, Anderson, Drewett and Jacob 5, John Edward, Brian Owen and Winchcombe 4, Ford, Hawkins, Horrocks, Mobley and Woolford 3, Bonner, Marks, and Philip Jones 2, Farnham, Fuller, Hillier, Pembrooke, Royal, Mike Rees, Chris Smith and Gwyn Thomas once each. There were no ‘ever-presents.’
Treasurer reported that the teams of Lady Helpers had served 2263 meals in the Clubhouse for the players and officials, and taken £228 8s 6d from the sale of tea and sandwiches.
Arrangements were in hand to entertain the ladies to a Dinner.
Mr Roberts reported that a portable skittle alley had been mislaid. It was resolved to visit Mr Holbeche, Headmaster at King Edwards School and report back. (The missing item was eventually found at Oldfield Old Boys RFC, and subsequently returned to the Club.)
New Management Committee to consider the engagement of Ball Boys, and if found necessary, that they be paid.