v Zummerzet Barbarians. Home. Won 15-5. Team:- A Gay (T), J Monahan, B O’Mara, G Margretts, J Donovan(T), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, R Marson, J Parsons(T), T Martland(T), D Gay and P Hall(T). David Gay’s debut and a good start to the Centenary season.
Richard Sharp opposed them at centre and kept Bath defence on their toes throughout. Bristol’s Dave Watt was hard to handle, but the back row of Martland, Gay and Phil Hall, did much to disrupt the visitors. Bath scored five tries, but kicking attempts from Martland, Allen Gay and Margretts, all went awry. Allen Gay showed great determination, holding off two defenders for his try, whilst Martland displayed his running skills, as he swerved and jinked through a mass of defenders. John Donovan was outstanding on the right wing.
v Devonport Services, Away. Won 13-6. Team:- A Gay, J Cousins, B O’Mara, G F Margretts, J Donovan (T), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, S Royal, P Jenkins, J Parsons, P Heindorff(T), T Martland, A Comer(Cx2) and P Hall(T). The Devon and Cornwall Tour got off to a good start as Bath notched up three tries and two conversions, to a drop goal and a penalty. The Services side was depleted by injuries, and Bath looked stronger from early exchanges. Farnham, Donovan and Margretts were on good form, and Heindorff enjoyed crashing over for his try. Comer obliged with two conversions.
v Penzance & Newlyn, Away. Won 5-3. Team:- D Dolman, G Hand, B O’Mara, G F Margretts, J Donovan, P Jones, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, J Ziupa, A Comer and P R Hall
Headline – Bath hold on to win in nerve-tingling finish
It was a narrow but well deserved victory, displaying fine team work as well as good individual performances. The Mennaye Field, with its exposed position, was shrouded in a heavy sea mist and the ball was like a piece of soap. Surprisingly, Bath adapted better to the conditions and held on to their narrow lead established in the first minutes of the second half. The Cornish forwards were as rugged as the conditions, but the Bath eight coped well. No one more so than Peter Parfitt, who led splendidly and several times sent the Pirates reeling in combined loose play with Clive Buckle and Freddy Williams in the vanguard. Heindorff and Parsons were a solid factor in the set pieces. John Zuipa worked well with back row partners Hall and Comer. Jim Galley and Phillip Jones commanded at half-back. Astute captaincy by Margretts, maximised forward involvement, and Bath began to prosper.
Penzance actually scored the first try, but this roused Bath to greater efforts: “Almost immediately Bath won a loose maul, Jones broke away and handed on to Donovan. He tore down the right wing and then produced a superb cross-kick which had the defence out of position. Parfitt and Heindorff were there, the ball went on to Zuipa and it was young Graham Hand, playing his first game, who got the vital touch down.
A towering touch line conversion from Tony Comer gave Bath the lead they managed to maintain.”
At the end Dolman defended manfully as Penzance exploited the up-and-under.
v Redruth, Away. Lost 5-8. Team:- A Gay, G Hand, B O’Mara, P Jones, G F Margretts, R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, A Comer, D Gay and J Ziupa. Another ‘tingler!’ Playing with 13 fit men, Bath were leading 5-3 seven minutes from the end. A mid-field mistake allowed Redruth’s Barry Johns to hack through; Allen Gay who had been playing well, inexplicably missed the ball and Johns was past him to touch down. Sweeney converted, so all Bath’s spirited efforts proved to be in vain. It was a great shame, as Bath had been playing so well in all departments. As to the earlier play, Paddy McGovan, ex Bath, had scored Redruth’s first try. Parsons had scored for Bath, and Comer converted..
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful tour.
v Bridgwater, Home. Won 14-3. Team:- A Gay, D Dolman, B O’Mara, J Donovan, R Farnham(Capt.), J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, A Comer, D Gay and T Martland. A bit tired and jaded after 4 games in a week, it was nevertheless a comfortable victory on home ground.
The game again highlighted the lack of thrust in mid-field, which would be a problem against better organised sides. Whatever their pre-match planning – they seemed unable to put theory into practice. At times, they had neither the speed nor guile to execute their moves.
Pete Parfitt ensured the forward momentum, ably supported by a lively back row.
Tries by David Gay (2), O’Mara and Buckle. Conversion by Comer.
v Leicester, Away. Lost 3-9. Team:- A Gay, G Hand, B O’Mara, G Margretts, P Sibley, R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, R Marson, T Martland, P Heindorff and P Hall.
Headline – LEICESTER TIGERS TOO SPEEDY FOR BATH.
Visitors’ centres lacking in penetration
Essentially, Bath had the same midfield problem identified in the previous week’s match.
It was another determined display by the Bath forwards, who’s driving play denied hindered Tigers’ possession. Paradoxically, this was of no immediate concern as the slow-moving Bath threequarters did not trouble the Leicester defence unduly. Soon the Leicester backs clicked into top gear and it was left to full-back Allen Gay , who’s faultless positioning and safe hands enabled him to clear the lines. It was Gay’s 30 yard penalty that kept Bath in touch. The forwards played well enough, but sadly, the backs were unequal to the task.
It was Peter Sibley’s debut 1st XV game. Formerly of Blackheath, he had taken a teaching post at Monkton Combe School. His arrival at age 30, was soon to re-invigorate both himself and his team-mates, as a period of exciting open rugby developed. Certainly, a change in style of play was accelerated by Law changes avoiding direct kicks to touch within the 25 yard zone, but much of the credit is rightly attributed to Sibley’s running rugby philosophy.
v Alec Lewis’s International XV. Bath lost 8-12.
Bath Team:- A Gay(C), J Donovan, G Margretts, B O’Mara, P Sibley, R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, R Marson, P Heindorff, T Martland, D Gay, P Hall (Tx2)
International Team: D Rutherford, A Hancock, K Nelson, W Patterson, D R R Morgan, F Hawkins, C Rowlands, A Horton, J Thorne, B Dovey, V Harding, M Davis, N Silk, D Perry (Capt.), D Rogers.
Bath put on a plucky display for this gala game.
“The game had everything – thrills, perfect passing movements, wonderful forward play, breathtaking running – and though Bath’s dream victory did not come true, they hardly did themselves any harm by this performance.
From the kick-off, facing a side containing 13 internationals, they were up against it, and at times, certainly, it looked as if they might disintegrate before the visitors’ power play.
Yet skipper Gordon Margretts kept them going with admirable fortitude by personal example and it spoke highly of their efforts that the internationals did not take the lead for the first time until less than 10 minutes from the end.” (Bath Chronicle)
Freddie Williams, Phil Hall and David Gay played heroically, and Peter Parfitt led his pack magnificently. For the Internationals, Welsh Captain, Clive Rowlands, was the tactical general.
Referee was Air Marshal Sir Augustus Walker K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.C., R.A.F., and President of the R.F.U.
The evening Dinner at the Octagon, was as enjoyable as the game.
The Bath Football Club (R.F.U.) Centenary book went on sale at the Recreation Ground. Price 12/6d
v Ebbw Vale. Home. Lost 8-17. Team:- D Dolman, J Donovan, G Margretts, B O’Mara, P Sibley (Tx2), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, R Marson, P Heindorff(C), T Martland, R Woolford, P Hall. Bath paid the penalty of missed chances on the Rec., and were outscored by a mobile heads of valley side. However, the game was memorable as newcomer Sibley found his feet, turning in two good tries. He also featured in defence and saved one certain score.
There were acrimonious moments amongst the forwards and the two captains received lengthy lecturing. At the close, Bath looked a sad lot – ‘Ebbw’ were the better side!
v Clifton, Home. Won 26-3. Team:- A Gay, G Hand, G Margretts (T, C and P), P Sibley, J Monahan(T), R Farnham, J Millman, D Robson, E Patton, F Williams, R Marson(T), J Parsons, D Gay(T), P Heindorff (T) and P Hall.
Referee – Freddie Wolfe (Somerset). Later to become a very well known figure in local circles and the Bath Club. A most genial fellow- he used to play for Connaught (Ireland)
“A pointed half-time pep talk by skipper Gordon Margretts was needed to transform Bath from a shambling collection of individuals into the smooth, well oiled machine which eventually carried them to their biggest victory of the season at the expense of Clifton on the Recreation Ground last night, writes John Stevens.”
v Royal Navy, Home. This was the second of the special Centenary matches. Before the game, the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Mrs. Elsie Hanna was introduced to the players. Bath won 11-0.
Team:- A Gay(C), P Sibley (T), G Margretts, B O’Mara, J Monahan(T), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, R Marson, J Parsons,
T Martland, (T) P Heindorff and P Hall. Referee:- M H Titcombe (Glos)
“In spite of heavy rain and the greasy ball both sides did all they could to make this an exhibition game by keeping play open.
Right on half time the Navy had a chance to score but skipper Highton cross-kicked when he was only five yards from the line.
The rain eased in the second half and the game improved. But the slippery ball cost the Navy dear. With the visiting backs trying to handle in mid-field, a pass went astray and Martland snapped up the ball, headed for the line and sent in Sibley for a try.
Ten minutes later winger, Monahan put Bath further ahead with a fine try and before the end Tom Martland had put the result beyond doubt with a good try after fine forward work. Gay converted.”
v Weston-super-Mare, Away. Lost 9-12. Team:- A Gay, J Monahan, G Margretts, P Hillyard, P Sibley, R Farnham, J Galley, D Robson, B Collins, F Williams, R Hayes, P Heindorff, T Martland, D Gay and P Hall. Try by Monahan, penalty Margretts and drop goal Sibley.
JOHN STEVENS COMMENTED: “Never have I seen such an improbable performance on the rugby field. The second half just had to be seen to be believed. For Weston it spelled a glorious victory; for Bath a nightmarish defeat.” Five minutes from half time, the seasiders were leading by a penalty; they then lost scrum-half Clayton Hope, who had masterminded Weston’s disruptive tactics. He and partner Mapstone had already cut through Bath’s defence with consummate ease. With Hope gone, Bath’s fortunes might have changed for the better. Certainly, there was encouragement, when Sibley landed a drop goal from 40 yards. “For the next 15 minutes Bath did everything but score… and then a series of strange events took a never rough game right out of reality.
The first hint came when Bath’s full-back Allen Gay inexplicably misjudged a high kick, got back to cover, then hesitated fatally and failed to clear, tried to pass to Paddy Hillyard, but instead gave to Weston’s Dave Hazzard, who scored.” Weston led again and 20 minutes left.
“…within the next three minutes, their plucky 14 men were reduced first to 13 when lock John Vowles limped off and then to 12 as Morgan, too collapsed. Bath’s victory now looked assured.” John Monahan scored an equalising try. Vowles then unexpectedly reappeared, Hazzard punted upfield and tackled Gay, who was penalised for non-release and Cole kicked an easy goal.
“Next Morgan limped back as well, Weston swarmed to the Bath line again, and the bandaged Vowles took advantage of loose marking to dive over for a try.”
“With 10 minutes left Bath made determined but somewhat feverish attempts to move the ball to the open spaces. They all but scored on four occasions but, in fact, a Margretts penalty was their sole reward… and Weston were cheered off for a remarkable victory.”
Bath ended up, mentally kicking themselves. Much of their possession was sluggishly gained, and the threequarters’ handling was described as abominable. Against 14 – 13 then 12 men – they should have won handsomely.
v Aberavon, Away. Lost 11-12. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts (T and C), P Hillyard, J Cousins, R Farnham, J Galley, D Robson, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, W Lye(T), A Comer(P), T Martland. Played on a muddy pitch, Aberavon attacked strongly from the start and it was down to Farnham and Gay, in particular, to kept the Wizards at bay. Martland’s long penalty touch-finding was invaluable, but near the end, his slight delay in passing, saw him caught in possession, and a hurried pass by Lye allowed an interception, for Aberavon’s winning try. Both scrum halves left the field with injury.
v London Hospitals, Home. Won 27-3. Team:- A Gay, R Farnham, P Sibley, P Hillyard, J Cousins, G Margretts, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, T Martland, A Comer, W Lye. The young ‘medicals’ were game to the final whistle, but they were generally outplayed by a superior side. Bath played some attractive first-half rugby, but were rather careless and inept in the second spell. Buckle dominated in the scrum and Parsons and Heindorff cleaned up in the line out. The three-quarters were not impressive and the experiment of playing Margaretts at centre was not a success. The final score count:- Tries by Sibley (2), Cousins (2) Galley, and Parfitt. The conversions were shared between Margretts, Williams and Comer (2).
v Llanelly, Home. Lost 14-17. Team:- D Dolman, J Donovan, G Margretts, T Martland (DG), B O’Mara, R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, P Heindorff, R Marson, R Woolford, A Comer (P x 2 and C), P Hall(T). As John Stevens, of Bath Chronicle put it: “Bath failed to sustain any cohesive effort for long and certainly, though the final margin was narrow, there was no question of them being robbed as might have been said of last week’s game at Aberavon.”
Bath had an early lead with Tom Martland’s drop goal and a Tony Comer penalty, but their advantage was eroded in the second half. Untypicaly, Bath pack were outplayed in tight and loose. Hooker, Clive Buckle lost a difficult tussle with international Norman Gale. David Dolman had difficulty with high swirling kicks. Although Margretts tackled “stoically,” Martland was the pick of the three-quarter line.
v Bristol, (146th Bristol-Bath game) Home. Lost 3-8. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, T Martland, B O’Mara, Derrick Williams (Mountain Ash and Cardiff), J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams(T), P Heindorff, R Marson, W Lye, A Comer and P Hall.
As the game progressed, Bristol had decided to neglect the handling game, and concentrate on a series of kicks and rushes. Thankfully, Allen Gay was on form and was singularly successful in covering defence and touch finding.
It was end to end stuff until Bristol gained advantage with a try three minutes before the interval.
Sustained pressure enabled Collins to score after manhandling Margretts. Redwood converted. A great effort by Galley, through Hall and Heindorff, presented Fred Williams with a consolation try. But it was too late and too little, to influence the result.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 12-6.Team:- A Gay, W Davidson, G Margretts (P), P Stevenson, D Dolman, D Williams (DG), J Galley (DG), P Jenkins (T), E Patton, P Doyle, J Parsons, P Heindorff, W Lye, R Marson and P Hall. Owing to County and International calls, Bath were without Sibley, Parfitt, Buckle, Martland (First County Cap), Frankcom and Vaughan Williams, and in consequence, fielded six second string players. They nonetheless, acquitted themselves grandly, with the forwards winning a useful share of the ball. On the few occasions the visitors tried to get away, their outside half was peremptorily halted by the marauding Phil Hall. Unusually, drop goals from both Bath halves.
v Bridgend, Home. Lost 3-6. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, T Martland, W Davidson, D Williams, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff (T), W Lye, R Bodenham, and P Hall.
Two scores in the last fifteen minutes settled this intense game. Bridgend’s saviour was Ken Bradshaw, who dropped a goal and kicked a penalty. There was no score in the first half, but constant Bridgend pressure threatened to overcome Bath, who could find no answer to the Welshmen’s subtle play and changes in direction. Bridgend created plenty of opportunities, but resolute tackling had kept them out.
At the end, Heindorff crashed over for an unconverted try.
v Neath, Away. Lost 0-11. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, T Martland, W Davidson, D Williams, J Galley, P Parfitt, E Patton, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, W Lye, R Bodenham and P Hall. Attendance 3000.
Bath’s stout defence held for the greater part of this game. Neath’s powerful forwards had excerpted control, and from this dominance the Welshmen set up numerous scoring opportunities. It was only their poor finishing and Bath’s tackling, which kept the scoring within bounds.
“Gay saved more than one awkward situation with determined last-ditch efforts, and Galley, too, was prominent for his defensive work.”
v Saracens, Away. Lost 0-6. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, T Martland, B O’Mara, D Williams, D Lewis, P Jenkins, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, P Heindorff, W Lye, R Bodenham and P Hall.
Bath lost ground with a series of line-out misdemeanours, and in consequence lost much of the possession. Then there was a major set-back as Derek Williams withdrew with a torn hamstring. Martland moved out to fly half and Hall to the wing. Lye had missed with two penalty attempts. Saracens then staged a breakaway on the left wing, dispossessed Gay, and Davis scored. In the second half Martland and O’Mara showed odd flashes, then Williams returned to limp out to the wing position. However, despite brave efforts from Gay, Martland and Sibley, Bath were unable to save the game. The result was sealed for Sarries, when Platt added a second try.
v R.A.F. Home. Drawn 0-0. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, R Stevenson, A Russell, I Balding, D Lewis, F Williams, C Buckle, P Parfitt, P Heindorff, J Parsons, T Martland, R Bodenham and P Hall. Described as “a dour stalemate,” there was little to report. Played in ‘arctic’ conditions, handling movements were at a premium, and it was a disappointing game all round – a third match with no Bath scorer. David Lewis had a poor game at scrum half and Ian Balding – an ‘off day.’
The R.A.F.’s left wing – Peter Glover was dangerous throughout, and beat Peter Sibley on more than one occasion.
v United Services, Away. Won 8-6. Team:- I A Balding, B Davidson (T), G Margretts, R Stevenson, A Russell(T), D Williams, M Lloyd(C), F Williams, C Buckle, P Jenkins, P Heindorff, J Parsons, W Lye, R Bodenham and T Martland. It was Malcolm Lloyd’s debut at age 16. Despite minor injuries, he played pluckily and provided an accurate, speedy service.
This game was played in gale force winds and Bath had opened ‘against the breeze.’ Services led with an early penalty, until the 28th minute, when Davidson evened up with a corner try. Then winger Russell scored after a Services fumble. With conversion, Bath were 8-3 ahead. Ten minutes from the finish, Martland was carried off with a knee ligament injury, which was to keep him out for two months. Following this, a Services revival, brought an unconverted try for Williams. Bath had won – just. Malcolm Lloyd’s debut game.
v London Scottish, Home. Lost 6-16. Team:- I A Balding, P C Sibley, G F Margretts, R Stevenson, A Russell, B P O’Mara, J Galley, P Jenkins, C Buckle, F J Williams, R Orledge, J Parsons, R Bodenham, P Heindorff, and P Hall. Stevenson scored a try and Heindorff a penalty.
Hard on yet another loss, the Bath selectors lent priority to increasing pack mobility and effective line-out play. Bob Orledge had an impressive debut game, teaming up with Parsons in the second row. He was the obvious candidate for regular selection, if he could maintain his initial fire and enthusiasm. Tom Martland was shortly to be back in training, and when fit for 1st XV consideration, it was anticipated that he would provide the necessary mobility and leadership. It was Ian Balding’s 91st 1st XV appearance, having joined the Club when he was a Marlborough Schoolboy.
v Gloucester, switched to Kingsholm due to floods at Bath. On a perfect pitch, Bath lost 9-12. Team:- A Gay, W Davidson, G Margretts, R Stevenson, A Russell, B O’Mara, J Galley, P Jenkins, C Buckle, P Parfitt, R Orledge, P Heindorff, A Comer, R Bodenham and P Hall.
Bath scored three tries to Gloucester’s two, courtesy of Messrs. Davidson, Russell and Orledge.
Gloucester’s try count was augmented by two early penalties by Don Rutherford. Bath fought to the very end, but could not pierce the Gloucester defence: “It was too late to save the game, however, and the lack of conversions emphasised how easily Bath might have won had they had a goal kicker.”
Winger Alex Russell selected for Scottish Trial at Murrayfield, after less than a dozen first class matches.
News that Bill Lye was contemplating return to the Walcot Club, and farewells to wing forward Paul Dewey, who was making a career move to London.
v London Irish – Cancelled because of floods.
v Old Blues, Home. Won 25-5. Team:- I Balding, A Russell, G P Frankcom, A Gay, G F Margretts, D Williams, M Lloyd, P Jenkins, C Buckle, P Parfitt, P Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, A Comer, and P Hall.
It was typical holiday fare and in frosty conditions, all locals left the Rec. happy. Indeed, the support was lucky that the pitch was playable, let alone for the viewing of a Christmas spectacle which treated them to 30 points. Bath’s contribution to the festivities was a penalty, 6 tries and 2 conversions.
Scorers:- Tries Russell, Margretts, Heindorff, Lye, Colmer and Hall. 2 conversions and a penalty by Ian Balding. Old Blues, at times, put up no more than token resistance, but a try by Wright, converted by Peart was a small consolation.
v Leicester, Home. Lost 3-9. Team:- I Balding, P Sibley, G Margretts, R Stevenson, B O’Mara, D Williams, J Galley, P Jenkins, C Buckle, P Parfitt, P Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, A Comer and P Hall. Bath could not counter Leicester’s all round solidarity. Margretts picked up and forced his way over for a try in the second half, but this only served to level matters, and Tigers’ pressure made Bath yield two further tries, for a comfortable victory. Bath put on a spirited display up front, but the back division resorted to progress by touch-line, via the unerring boot of Galley.
“In the closing stages played out in semi-darkness and torrential rain, Bath were plainly fighting a lost cause and Leicester were not troubled again.”
v London Welsh, Away. Lost 0-17. Team:- I A Balding, P C Sibley, A Gay, B O’Mara, G Margretts, D Williams, J Galley, P J K Parfitt, C Buckle, P S Jenkins, P B Heindorff, R Orledge, F J Hicks, A Comer and W Lye.
Bath were crushed at Old Deer Park, going down to their heaviest defeat of the season. John Dawes led his Exciles on two tries, one goal, a drop and a penalty goal-scoring spree, without reply.
Bath showed comparative lack of pace in the backs and the few scoring chances were wasted. Newcomer Fred Hicks and Parfitt did useful work in the forwards, the aforementioned putting in a gigantic relieving kick to provide temporary respite. Galley contributed some astute tactical kicking.
v Met Police cancelled because of snow and ice.
v Northampton, Home. Lost 11-12. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G F Margretts, I A Balding, A Russell, B P O’Mara, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, P Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, F Hicks, and P Hall.
“After full-back Roger Hosen had landed three goals, two penalties and a drop, in the first 17 minutes, Northampton had to fight a dour rearguard action with a depleted side, and just managed to hold on to beat Bath by a single point….” Bath’s first half response was a try by Sibley, arising from a Northampton miss-kick, which was duly converted by Balding, and he added a penalty, following a scrum infringement. (8-12 at half-time)
Leicester had the misfortune to lose Allen with a badly cut lip, and Taylor was badly shaken in a collision. The Saints were reduced to a seven man pack, and soon lost a further player, when fly-half Cooley pulled a hamstring.
Northampton battled to the end and despite Fred Hick’s late try, the remaining thirteen held on for the narrowest of wins.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Lost 3-8. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, I Balding, P Dewey, B O’Mara, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, P Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, F Hicks, and P Hall. Rosslyn Park scored two breakaway tries within 20 minutes, and Bath never really recovered their equilibrium. When their hard working pack held sway, the back division had an extremely limited portfolio. They started with 14 men, and were eventually brought up to strength by calling on, reserve forward Paul Dewey, who joined the three-quarter line. Balding landed a penalty in the second half, when wingman Ranson was adjudged to be off-side. The game deteriorated into an unsatisfactory maul, devoid of enterprise or constructive football.
“Galley engineered a penalty by breaking away from a scrum without the ball and catching Starr offside, but it was characteristic of Bath’s ineptitude that Balding missed the kick.”
v Cambridge University, Home. Lost 6-9. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, G F Margretts, I A Balding, J Cousins, D Williams, M Lloyd, P Parfitt, B Collins, P Jenkins, R Orledge, C Ruff, T Martland, J D Monahan and P Hall. Cousins tyry, Martland drop goal.
Bath fielded a very lightweight pack in an effort to inject more pace. The unfortunate consequence was that B J Morrison of Fettes & Pembroke, was able to clean up in the line out. The Varsity side also had the benefit of a good tactical and set piece kicker in Gethin of Neath. Bath missed two penalty attempts and William’s knock-on, threw away a certain try. Bath could so easily have won, but Martland’s drop and Cousins unconverted try were not enough. Bath rued the lack of a specialist kicker.
James D Monahan’s (ex Kingswood School) 1st XV debut game. Brother John, was already at Cambridge, and James was to follow.
v Cheltenham, Home. Lost 3-8. Team:- A Gay, P Sibley, B O’Mara, A Balding, G Margretts, D Williams, J Millman, P Parfitt, B Collins, P Jenkins, R Orledge, C Ruff, T Martland, J D Monahan and P R Hall. Bath had yet to win a match in the New Year, and several chances went begging. Millman was at scrum-half in place of the injured Galley, and immediately tried to get the backs moving, despite the soggy conditions. Cheltenham’s back row were lively in defence, and Bath could make little progress. At half time there was no score. Teague opened Cheltenham’s account with an easy penalty, and Balding equalised with a drop goal, which just tipped over the bar.
Bath were beaten in the last ten minutes, when Brooks hared away for a try and Teague converted from a difficult position.
v Oxford University (Abandoned after 65 minutes, in dreadfully wet conditions.)
Won 3-0. Team:- A Gay, Frank Way, G Margretts, P Sibley, J Cousins, I Balding (T), J Millman, P Parfitt, B Collins, P Jenkins, R Orledge, J Monahan, T Martland, F Hicks and P Hall.
v Wasps, Away. Won 6-0. Team:- A Gay, F Way, P Sibley, G Margretts, J Cousins (T), I Balding, J Galley, P Parfitt, B Collins, P Jenkins, R Orledge (T), J Monahan, T Martland, F Hicks and P Hall. Described as the best win of the season, it was encouraging to chalk up a win against a top London side, largely as a result of a fine forward effort, in which Orledge and Monahan were particularly prominent. Most of the game was played in pouring rain, so passing was at a premium. Allen Gay saved the day at the foot of a typical Wasps foot-rush, then Martland, and Hicks countered with some good work. Further pressure stemmed from a jinking run by Galley and near success after a John Cousin’s run. “Heavy rain was falling again as the Wasps got within striking distance.
Another tackle by Cousins brought relief, but Bath were under pressure. Another penalty kick by Parsons came to nought as the sides slithered into each other with gusto and Bath got off-side.”
Cousin’s splendid try came 10 minutes from the end, after Peter Parfitt, playing his 270th game – sent him on his way.
v Bristol, Away. Lost 8-12. Team:- A Gay, J Cousins, P Sibley, G Margretts, F Way, I Balding, J Galley, P Parfitt, B Collins, P Jenkins, R Orledge, J Monahan, T Martland, F Hicks, and P Hall. Bath almost made it at the Memorial Ground. Tries by Cousins and Sibley, and a conversion by Fred Hicks, were not quite enough to bring off an historic winner. The last time Bath had won at Bristol, was during the season 1950-51, when a drop goal by Paddy Sullivan (who was watching this game), earned Bath the verdict by 9-6.
v Swansea, Away. Lost 3-21. Team:- D Dolman, F Way, P Sibley, G Margretts, J Cousins, B O’Mara, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, J Monahan, R Orledge, T Martland, F Hicks, and P Hall. A penalty from Fred Hicks was all Bath could muster in eighty minutes of rugby. Swansea scored five tries for their first win in eight matches, whilst Bath succumbed to their 21st loss in 34 games.
v Newbridge, Home. Lost 8-12. Team:- A Gay, F Way, P Sibley, G Margretts, J Cousins, B P O’Mara, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, J Monahan, R Orledge, T Martland, W Carling and P Hall. Welsh Regiment officer, Bill Carling returned after a season or so absence. He had figured well for Cornwall against Somerset, on the Rec., before Christmas.
Bath had to fight to win this one – literally! This was a game marred by two flare-ups. It overshadowed a fine start by Bath, when Margretts crossed after just four minutes, for Gay to convert. Bath were generally in command at this stage. Thomas kicked the first of two penalties after problems in the line out. After 30 minutes, Bath lost Margretts with suspected concussion and Martland was pulled out of the pack. Next Worwood went over to put the visitors ahead. A penalty to Bath eased the situation, and then Hewer dived over to put Newbridge in the lead. There were howls of disapproval from the crowd, as Hewer appeared to have been pushed into the flag by Way. Play was held up while O’Mara received treatment following a late tackle. It signalled an ugly outburst of fighting, with forwards brawling and fists flying. “The game was marred by another flare-up in the pack – quickly followed by yet another, in which Orledge was fouled.” Ten minutes from the end, Margretts re-appeared, but into the pack to make up the numbers. His presence seemed to inspire Bath to further effort and generated a fine try for Cousins in the corner. Bath were still a point behind and Hughes clinched the game for Newbridge with a last minute try.
v Gloucester, Home. Won 19-13. Team:- A Gay, F Way, G Margretts, W Davidson, J Cousins, V Williams, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, J D Monahan, R Orledge, T Martland, W Lye and P Hall.
Vaughan Williams (ex Millfield and Wales Schoolboy International) made his debut appearance.
“An action packed match, full of vivid movement, injuries and the unexpected, saw Bath make nonsense of the form book by demolishing Gloucester.” It was achieved against the odds, with a side supplemented by a number of reserves. They were also disrupted by the absence of Allen Gay, who was off the field for 20 minutes and only returned as a rather lame Number 8! By the end, Bath were carrying 3 casualties and it is a credit to their determination, that they threatened to run an unhappy Gloucester outfit off their feet. The first half ended at 3-3. It was seven minutes into the second spell when Tom Martland put in a huge kick upfield, took advantage of a slow clearance and dived over. It signalled a memorable upgrade in Bath’s fortunes: “It was a truly remarkable performance against traditionally one of the most difficult sides for anyone to beat, and I would not be surprised if some supporters are not still wondering whether it was all a dream.”
Bath Tries:- Martland, Cousins, Davidson, John Monahan, and Margretts. Lye converted 2.
Monahan’s 60 yard dash was memorable enough, but the remembrance of four injured Bath players, namely Davidson, Cousins, Hall and Parfitt, strewn about in his wake, may well linger longer in the memory of those that were there.
v Richmond, Away. Lost 11-32. Team:- T Martland (Capt.), P Sibley, J R Monahan, F Way, J E Cousins, W Davidson, J Galley, D G Robson, C Buckle, P S Jenkins, P B H Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, J D Monahan and P R Hall. Bath awarded a Penalty try.
Individual tries by Sibley, and Cousins, and conversion by Lye. 6 foot 5 inch winger, John Cousins again figured in the tries. Although he had played many games for the United, he had appeared for the 1st XV in 12 games and scored 12 tries, and was the Club’s top scorer at 1st XV level.
Bath were without David Gay, broken ankle, and Fred Hicks, with torn ligaments. In view of a spate of injuries, players had been requested not to participate in games outside the Club fixture list.
At one stage, Richmond were down to 14 men and still threatened to run Bath off their feet. “Apart from some spirited work by James Monahan and Lye in the back row, Bath had little to offer.”
v G P Frankcom’s XV. Home. Won 27-11.
Bath:- P Jones, J Cousins (Tx4), P Sibley(T), B O’Mara, F Way, V Williams, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, R Orledge, J Monahan, T Martland(T), W Lye and P Hall(T). Lye (2) and Martland shared the conversions.
Frankcom’s XV: C Webber (W.S.M.), J Monahan (Bath), P D Briggs (Bedford), G Frankcom (Bedford), W Bussey (Leicester), K Perry (Bristol), N Starmer-Smith (Oxford University), J Thorne (Bristol), B Rees (Cambridge University), E Gould (Oxford University), D Lewis (Stotherts), K Andrews (Leicester), P A Kitchen (Cambridge University.), R A M Whyte (Harlequins), and M Coley (Bedford) Referee Mike Titcombe (Glouc.)
Geoff Frankcom’s side suffered a number of late withdrawals, and in consequence were no match for the regular Bath line-up. To complicate matters, the celebrity side lost Pat Briggs with a broken finger. Vaughan Williams had a grand game, ably served by John Millman.
Of Williams: “His distribution certainly could not be faulted and Bath’s centres Peter Sibley and Brendan O’Mara, given the room in which to move, used their contrasting styles to great effect. Sibley’s clever change of pace and direction took him through the defence time and again while O’Mara’s sheer determination carried him further than one would normally expect.” (Bath Chronicle 31/3/1966)
John Monahan, playing on the Franckcom’s XV wing, had the distinction of scoring against his usual teammates. John Cousins had a field day with four tries, using his long stride to outstrip a flagging opposition.
v Coventry, Home. Lost 3-25. Team:- D Dolman, F Way, G Margretts, B O’Mara, J Cousins, P Jones, J Millman, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, R Orledge, C Ruff, T Martland, W Lye, P Hall.
Coventry fielded six reserves, and were still able to annihilate Bath by 5 goals to a penalty by Bill Lye. Coventry’s George Cole converted all five tries.
“With a plentiful supply of good possession and Cole’s services to boost it, Coventry were threatening to run riot, with Bath’s defence too often content to stand and stare, or buy the dummy, which Griffiths in particular exploited to great effect.” Bath were overrun on the Rec.!
v Harlequins, Home. Won 8-5. Team:- D Dolman, J Monahan (T), G Margretts, G Frankcom, J G Cousins(P and C), P Jones, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, P Heindorff, D C Ruff, J Donovan, R J Orledge and W Lye. This Thursday evening game, provided Bath with their first win over the Quins on the Rec for ten years. Harlequins were forced to make a number of changes, as some players were caught up in traffic. John Parsons and Bob Stevenson were similarly held up. From the start Quins played their usual open game, but after half an hour’s play, were three points down from Cousin’s long range penalty. Then John Monahan profited from a rebound off a Quins player, and was happy to race away for Cousins to convert. Harlequins replied with a converted try by Hiller, and an intense period followed, with Bath struggling to keep the mobile visitors at bay. In the forwards, Parfitt, Ruff and Lye “worked themselves to a standstill.” Bath’s hero was David Dolman, who handled every manner of awkward kick and repaid with interest. He got through a prodigious amount of work, with clearance kicks and try saving tackles. At the finish, Harlequins were awarded a penalty from 30 yards out, from a none too difficult angle. There followed an unsportsmanlike cacophony of boos and whistles, as Hiller shaped to kick. He missed.
v Liverpool. Home. Lost 9-22. Team:- D Dolman, F Way, D Taylor, P Hillyard, J G Cousins, P Jones, J Galley, P Parfitt (Capt.), B Collins, P Jenkins, P Heindorff, R Orledge, W Lye, J D Monahan, and P Hall. Spectacular running rugby provided just reward for quick-thinking Liverpool. By contrast, Bath looked laboured and untidy in their play. The visitors’ scoring spree got under way in the fourth minute, when they took advantage of a break-down for Cunningham to touch down unopposed. Bath’s confidence was severely undermined and a penalty attempt by John Cousins “did nothing to worry the lively visitors.” The half-back partnership was not working well and Bath’s mistakes were quickly exploited by the Liverpool back row. Another break-down yielded a similar try to the visitors, which was converted. Hillyard scored an unconverted try just before the interval and the teams turned around with Liverpool leading 8-3.
Bath began purposefully at the re-start, with Hall and Lye leading an effective foot rush. Later, Heindorff thundered over for another try, countered by a spate of scoring from the visitors.
“If nothing else, Bath went down fighting, for they responded with one of the best tries of the game. The move was begun with Orledge in his own 25, and, after Hillyard had sped down the right, the handling was switched to the opposite flank, where Heindorff kicked ahead for Cousins to score.
In the last minutes Ireland scored a try for Liverpool.”
v Chateau Renard, Away. Won 15-3. Team:- D F Dolman, W Davidson (T), G P Frankcom, G F Margretts, F Way(2T), P Jones, J Millman, C Buckle, B Collins, D G Robson, P Heindorff, J D Monahan(T), T Martland, W Lye(P), P Hall.
Bath outplayed the home side, who had recently drawn with Nice. Sound teamwork at forward, provided a platform for positive half-back play, which kept the backs in the game throughout. Frankcom provided ample openings, which enabled Way (2) and Davidson to capitalise. Jamie Monahan got a fourth try and Bill Lye added a penalty for a fine win.
Two Bath sides this day – one on French tour.
v O.M.T.’s, Home. Won 14-11. Team:- C Thompson, J Edwards (T), P Hillyard, D Taylor, A Russell(T), I Vinter(DG), J Galley, P Parfitt(T), G Patton, F Williams, D C Ruff, D Lewis, J Donovan, A Comer (C), J Dupa. This win was some compensation for the loss in France. A largely scratch side, including only two regular 1st XV players, staged a valiant win against O.M.T.’s., but for poor finishing, they could have won by a convincing margin. They did Bath proud!
The forwards put on a fine show, none more so than hooker Patton. Parfitt was an inspiring leader and Galley and Vinter at half-back, did much to steady the side at crucial times. At centre, Hillyard and Taylor, may have been lacking in speed, but they supplied adequate ball to wingers Edwards and Russell for them to show their paces, and both scored tries. Parfitt had scored the first try in the 33rd minute. Cousins converted Edward’s try and Vinter dropped a smart goal.
“Bath deserved their success in which Thompson showed considerable coolness at full-back and made up for some slipshod tackling in front of him.”
v Nice, Away. Lost 9-17. Team:- D F Dolman (DG), J Monahan, G Frankcom, G Margretts, J Cousins, V Williams, J Millman, P Jenkins, C Buckle, D Robson, P Heindorff, R Orledge, T Martland, F C Hicks, and P Hall (2T). Bath’s first loss on French soil, on this, their third tour. Attendance 3000. Nice were reinforced by the inclusion of four guest internationals. In a splendidly open game, the Tourists were far from disgraced. They opened with a 35 yard drop goal from Dolman and Hall’s unrelenting hard work was rewarded with two tries. However, with four French internationals, Nice held all the aces.
The augmented Nice side scored a goal, a dropped gaol and three tries.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 0-19. Team:- C Thompson, F Way, G Margretts, D P Jones, J Cousins, I Vinter, J Galley, D Robson, C Buckle, J Parsons, P Heindorff, R Orledge, T Martland, J Monahan and P Hall.
Bath’s forward effort fizzled out as possession was squandered in misguided forays into open play. It might have been a different result if the forwards had kept things tight. In muddy conditions and a greasy ball, Exeter were able to plod away and profit on Bath mistakes. Too much was asked of the Bath backs in these conditions and there were generally below par performances. Until the pack commitment subsided, there had been encouraging foot rushes involving, Parsons, Buckle, Heindorff and Hall. The back row were slow to support in break down situations. Bath had precipitated their own downfall.
Floods brought cancellation of Pontypool match.
v Moseley, Home. Lost 13-19. Team:- D F Dolman, J E Cousins, R Stevenson, G F Margretts, W Davidson, V Williams, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, C W Buckle, J S Parsons, R Orledge, J D Monahan, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Ground conditions were wet and sticky, particularly on the notorious grass-less patch in front of the West Stand.
“A sudden burst of scoring, which brought them 13 points in 15 minutes before the interval, set Moseley on the path to a comfortable victory over Bath….”
Moseley moved the ball at every opportunity and Bath defenders were hard pressed to contain them.
However, Galley responded with a good break-away and Monahan was just short as he went for the line. Vaughan Williams registered his first points for Bath, with a ’round the corner’ penalty kick. “Moseley reacted violently. After a Doble penalty attempt had dropped short, they drove right to the Bath line, and after heeling from a scrum, all but scored through Hazeltine.” Campion scored from the very next scrum, as the Moseley pack wheeled over the Bath line. Doble completed an easy conversion. He followed up with a similarly easy penalty. Bath be-stirred themselves and Margretts tore through the Moseley pack, giving a scoring pass to Lye; Williams converted with a superb kick. Hatter then dashed Bath’s hopes by pouncing on a loose ball, following Dolman’s hesitancy. Then, Moseley ‘were out of sight,’ when Doble landed a penalty, wide out, from just outside the 25. Bath narrowed the gap when Hall dived over and Williams added extras.
v Taunton, Away. Won 11-9. Team:- D F Dolman, W Davidson, R Stevenson, G F Margretts, J E Cousins, V Williams, J Millman, P J K Parfitt, C W Buckle, J Parsons, J Monahan, R Orledge, T D Martland, D Gay and P Hall.
Bath notched up eight points in the first five minutes, only to be 8-9 down on the quarter-hour. Full-back Dolman had opened the scoring, after linking with a three-quarters’ movement for a superb try.
“Almost straight from the re-start scrum half Millman had stolen away from a loose maul with a startling burst which enabled the supporting Martland to touch down.”
Bath remained under pressure for most of the remainder of the play and it necessitated a devastating burst from ex-schoolboy international Vaughan Williams to finally rescue the game for Bath.
Tries:- Dolman, Martland and Williams, with Williams converting one.
v Bedford, Home. Won 51-3. Team:- D Dolman, J Cousins (2T), G Margretts, R Stevenson, J Monahan(4T), V Williams(2T and 9C’s), J Millman, P Parfitt(T), C Buckle, J Parsons, R Orledge, J Monahan(T), T Martland(T), D Gay and P Hall.
A truly grandstand finish to the Centenary Season!
A weakened Bedford were unfortunate to encounter a Bath side bent on moving the ball about in great style, and at top speed. Vaughan Williams, from Millfield School, masterminded many of the dazzling moves, and notched up a personal tally of 24 points. He not only scored two super tries, but landed nine conversions from a variety of angles and distances. As soon as Clive Buckle took a few heels against the head, it was obvious that the Bath back row of Martland Gay and Hall would have a field day, in disrupting the Bedford backs; Parfitt, James Monahan and Orledge moved around with the fluency normally attributed to three-quarters. Geoff Frankcom had a comparatively quiet match against his old club. Poor Bedford were described as luckless and overawed.
Attendances:- Margretts 43, Hall 40, Parfitt 37, Buckle 36, Heindorff 34. Galley and Martland 33. Allen Gay 29, Sibley 27. Jenkins 26, Orledge 25, O’Mara 23, Parsons 22, Lye 21, F Williams 20, Cousins 19. J D Monahan 16, Dolman 14, Balding 13, Comer 13, Farnham and Way 13, D Williams 11, Millman 10, J R Monahan 10, Davidson, Donovan, and Marson 9, Collins, D Gay, Hicks, Jones, Stevenson and Russell 8, Bodenham and Robson 7, Hand, Hillyard, Ruff and V Williams 5, Frankcom and Patton 4, Lloyd and Zuipa 3, Lewis, Taylor, Thompson, Vinter, and Woolford 2, Carling, Dewey, Doyle, Edwards, Hayes and Royal 1.
107 Tries scored – John Cousins 15, Phil Hall 10, Peter Sibley and John Monahan 9, Margretts and Martland 6, Heindorff 5, Davidson and Russell 4, David Gay, Lye, Parfitt, V Williams 3, Donovan, Orledge, J D Monahan, Parsons, Way and F Williams 2, Balding, Buckle, Comer, Dolman, Edwards, Galley, A Gay, Hand, Hicks, Hillyard, Marson, O’Mara, Patton, Stevenson 1.
Penalty Try 1. ( against Richmond)
17 Penalties:- Balding 4, Comer and Margretts 3, Lye 2, Cousins, Allen Gay, Heindorff, Hicks and V Williams 1.
43 Conversions:- V Williams 12, Comer 9, Margretts 6, Lye 5, Balding 4, A Gay 3, Cousins, Heindorff, Hicks and Martland 1.
7 Drop goals:- Martland 2, Dolman, Galley, Sibley, Vinter and D Williams 1.