v Streatham & Croydon, Home. Won 17-3. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, J R Monahan, J A Thomas, J M Galley, J S Parsons, B K Hartley (Oldfield Old Boys), P J K Parfitt, R J Orledge, P B H Heindorff, W K C Lye, D J Gay and P R Hall. It was a 1st XV appearance for Keith (Ben) Hartley, who had been playing Bath League soccer for part of the previous season and only came into prominence when he hooked for the Combination in April.
Bath made an excellent start to the season and soon ‘opened their account’ with Hall securing from a short line-out, sending last minute replacement Galley away on a splendid run to the opponents’ 25. He passed to Thomas, who left it for Donovan to force his way over. The visitors levelled with a penalty. Hartley won from the set-piece, but Galley made a poor try at a drop goal. However, the attempt put full-back Vincent under pressure and Donovan pounced for his second try. Things were not going well for the visitors; a perfectly taken penalty had sailed between the posts – only to be disallowed as a Streatham & Croydon player had been standing ahead of the kicker.
Bath made better use of their good ball and Thomas kicked a smart drop-goal. Streatham responded with a successful penalty by Vincent. Then Bath displayed some of their handling skills, when Parfitt burst from the back of a line-out, with the ball handled by Thomas, Donovan and Frankcom; this last named forcing his way over at the corner flag. Gay took a long distance conversion kick and landed the first goal of the season.
Near the end, a smart heel from the loose, enabled the ball to be moved out to Sibley, who dived over in the right hand corner. Frankcom missed with the kick, but Bath were home and dry.
Former Bath centre Haydn Leek made district side – Old Edwardians’ R.F.C. history. He had become the first President of that club to be still playing rugby. To mark the occasion, he raised a side composed several Bath and Bristol players to play the O.E.’s at Bathampton on 5th September 1967.
v Leicester, Away. Lost 8-17. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, V Williams, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, J M Galley, P S Jenkins, B J Collins, P J K Parfitt, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, K A Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall.
A late fight back was not enough to save the game and Leicester consolidated their stranglehold with two more tries. Bath’s first try was scored by Sibley, who picked up a diagonal kick from Thomas. Allen Gay converted, but Leicester led 8-5 at half time. David Gay and Duckworth combined for a movement, which started on the Bath line and just failed as Gay was bowled over five yards short of the Leicester line. Vaughan Williams slotted a penalty and Bath had high hopes of success. Unfortunately their expectations were dashed when Allen took an easy penalty and the late tries followed.
Bath failed in their bid to retain the Abingdon Sevens title.
v Liverpool, Away. Won 9-0. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, G P Frankcom, V Williams, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, R A M Whyte, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B H Heindorff, K Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall. Bath scored 2 penalties and a try.
Locals commented on Bath’s attractive game, in moving about and changing direction. It was evident that they had worked hard on their tactics. Peter Sibley’s penchant for open play was bearing fruit.
v New Brighton, Away. Drawn 14-14. Team:- A F Gay, J E Cousins, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, V Williams, J M Galley, D G Robson, R A M Whyte, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, K Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall.
At 38, Roger Whyte made a welcome, if brief, appearance in first class rugby, contributing 14 points with his boot, over the two Merseyside Tour games. His duties at Millfield School, did not allow for a full time commitment to Bath rugby, but his coaching advice had been invaluable. His success on tour, highlighted the need for a consistent goal kicker.
Eric Evans, the England selector was at the New Brighton game and could not fail to be impressed by the form of Bob Orledge, and Ian Duckworth.
v Ebbw Vale. Home. Lost 13-16. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, G P Frankcom, V Williams, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, J M Galley, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, K Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall.
In a game of varying fortunes, Bath had early success when good handling allowed David Gay to force his way through and slip to Bob Orledge; he crashed his way over for a fine try, which Williams converted. Then Bath were rocked back on their feet, when the visitors responded with a converted try. However, Bath regained their composure and Williams restored the lead with a penalty. Good handling by the visiting back row, brought them a converted try before the interval. (Bath 8, Ebbw Vale 10)
In the second half, Duckworth scored a sensational try after a 50 yards run, Williams converted, but it was not enough to save the day. Later, Ebbw Vale’s Evans crashed over for a try and Turner clinched the match with a smart drop goal.
v Bridgwater, Home. Won 16-11. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, J M Galley, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, K A Richardson, D J Gay and T D Martland.
Flying wing Ian Duckworth won this game for Bath. The scores were level at 11-11, when he took a reverse pass from Jack Thomas and tore away on a 60 yard run which took him past the clutching hands of defenders. Side-stepping full-back Gummer, he raced on and planted the ball between the posts for Gay to convert. A classic try, it did much to assuage the comparative boredom of all that had preceded it. Bath’s back division had been otherwise, out of form. Allen Gay was the shining exception. Some observers thought that Bath’s ample possession had been misused disgracefully. Galley’s service had been somewhat erratic, Thomas dropped passes and the inefficiencies spread all along the back-line. Hillyard’s passing went completely awry. “Collins, admirably propped by Parfitt and Parsons, heeled consistently with and against the head, Heindorff supplied the drive and Orledge was again a success jumping and peeling from the line-out.” Orledge crowned his performance with a try, which was converted by Allen Gay. Gay confirmed his value to the side by adding two penalties.
Sibley had withdrawn with concussion just after half time.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Won 34-3. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, J M Galley, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, K A Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bath forwards dominated play and although the backs looked a bit ‘lack-lustre,’ points flowed at a steady rate. Dominating the line-out, Bob Orledge featured in a great deal of the play. Parfitt peeled from an early line-out and Orledge was on hand to score his third try in successive matches, with Allen Gay adding the extras. David Gay was also prominent in the open play. Later, Gay palmed down from a line-out, Orledge received and sent Parsons crashing through for the second try. Again Allen Gay converted. Tries followed from Sibley, converted Gay, Thomas, Donovan, converted Gay, Duckworth, with Gay’s fifth conversion, and a second try for Thomas. Edington landed a 35 yard penalty for St. Mary’s and then Duckworth raced over for his second try. Despite the high score, Bath were left to reflect on chances missed through badly timed passing.
v Clifton, Home. Won 17-0. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B H Heindorff, K Richardson, D J Gay and P R Hall. Sibley’s blind-side try came in the first minute.
Tries by Sibley, Donovan, Lloyd and Richardson without reply. Allen Gay kicked a penalty and a conversion. Clifton put up a particularly gritty performance up front, which occasionally eclipsed the Bath effort. Handicapped by a wet ball, the Bath backs tended to snatch at passes. Thomas and Lloyd were slow to settle down and Hillyard and Donovan had a quiet day in midfield.
v Old Wesley, Home. Won 11-6. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, G P Frankcom, J Donovan, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B K Hartley, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
The Dubliners were the first to score from a penalty award. They had missed at the first attempt, then Lloyd was adjudged off-side and Macken was successful from an easier position. The Old Wesley pack were dominating territorially and Bath had not yet reached their opponents’ 25. At last Bath got into their stride. Duckworth succeeded with a huge touch kick and then accepted a tap down from the front of the resulting line-out and slipped through for an unconverted try. Just before the interval, Connolly dropped a goal and the teams changed around with Old Wesley leading 6-3.
Increased resolve then denied Old Wesley possession. “Lloyd, whose whole-hearted efforts, even with bad ball, were one of the features of Bath’s play, played a most decisive part. It was he who, ten minutes from time, nipped smartly round a scrum to tackle his opposite number in possession (not for the first time). Martland gathered the loose ball and fed Hall who burst strongly into the 25 where, as he was submerged beneath a mass of defenders he managed to slip the ball to his scrum-half who had recovered his feet and backed up swiftly.
Allen Gay, to contradict his previous wayward place-kicking form, produced a glorious conversion from the touchline….. and Bath were home.” The Irishmen appeared to have run out of wind and were pushed backwards from a scrum. Lloyd seized his opportunity and dived over for his second try.
v Aberavon, Away. Drawn 6-6. Team:- A F Gay, I F Duckworth, P A R Hillyard, J R Donovan, P C Sibley, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S parsons, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Pete Parfitt’s brother, Alan joined from Oldfield Old Boys, and acquitted himself admirably. There was some debate as to whether it was right to ‘throw him in at the deep end.’ In the fullness of time – it proved to be an inspired selection.
“It was agreed to play the game under the experimental law limiting kicking in an opponent’s half, but it made little difference early on for Bath, who had to spend the opening ten minutes defending stubbornly.”
Bath were 0-3 down at half time, but drew level two minutes into the second spell, when David Gay got possession and fed to Heindorff, who forced his way over wide out. Hall was penalised for not playing the ball and the ‘Wizards’ nudged ahead. The Bath pack was now driving forward with some purpose, and with 17 minutes remaining, Parfitt, the elder, burst away and slipped to Hillyard, who gave a scoring pass to Donovan. Allen Gay just missed with the conversion attempt. Bath had put up a good fight, and a draw was considered to be a fair result.
v London Irish, Away. Won 12-8. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B Heindorff, T D Martland, D J Gay, P R Hall.
Tries:- Duckworth (2). Penalties:- Allen Gay (2)
In bad weather, this was a scrappy, largely forward-orientated game, and International centre, Geoff Frankcom, had little chance to shine. When, at last good ball came his way, he completely wrong footed the defence, sending Duckworth in for his second try. There was a late Irish revival, but the Bath back row were able to close the game down.
v Bristol. Home. Won 6-5. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B Heindorff, T D Martland, D J Gay, P R Hall. Referee:- Group Captain (Larry) Lamb. Bristol were without Pullin and Rollitt.
Bath chalked up a memorable victory in greasy conditions, despite losing Allen Gay with concussion, after only ten minutes play. (He had collided with Hillyard) Bristol played a man short (Ainge) for most of the second half, but Bath took any chances on offer. In Gay’s absence, Martland moved to full-back, and astonishingly, Bath secured a heel ‘against the head.’ David Gay, Hall and Sibley featured in moving the ball forward, then Frankcom split the Bristol cover, only for Duckworth to fumble his pass. Bath performed well in adversity, when Donovan took the ball on the burst, and fed to Frankcom. This time Duckworth held his long pass, and raced over for his eighth try of the season.
Soon after half time Sibley gathered a wayward touch-kick, and wrong-footed the Bristol cover to score a fine try. Pearce scored for Bristol five minutes from time, and Nicholls added the conversion. At this very late stage, Allen Gay again took the field. Thankfully, the heavy work had been done and Bath celebrated a deserved, if narrow win.
v Bridgend, Home. Lost 3-11. Team:- D F Dolman, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, J S A Jeffray, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P S Jenkins, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, D A Lewis, P B Heindorff, T D Martland, K A Richardson, P R Hall.
With the Rec. well and truly under water, the game was switched to Lambridge. After just five minutes, Bath lost Keith Richardson with a suspected broken jaw; this coincided with the visitors taking a penalty lead. Twelve minutes later and Bridgend sent Maddocks in for an unconverted try and Bath were 0-6 down at half time. Bridgend controlled play in all departments and, despite the greasy conditions, their three-quarters handled with surprising skill. Notwithstanding spirited defence, and try saving tackles from Dolman, Bridgend scored a second try and converted. Hillyard kicked a penalty goal for Bath.
v Neath (Friday), Away. Lost 0-3. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay, P R Hall.
“Bath paid the penalty for poor finishing and weak place kicking with a defeat they did not deserve, but for which they could only blame themselves……….”
“Neath, shaken and battered by the determination of Bath’s forward effort, were able to escape unscathed because they did take just one of their chances and turned it into points.”
Bath were, simply, caught napping after 14 minutes; Fly-half Evans fielded a long line-out throw, sliced through indifferent tackling and sent centre Ball racing in from 40 yards.
Bath spent the rest of this bad-tempered match, trying to wipe out the arrears. Neath were renowned for their tough uncompromising play: “They were as hard and as ruthless as ever, handing it out in the tough exchanges
Bath’s pack, however, far from wilting away, just fought on, with the minimum of retaliation, and by pushing Neath off the ball repeatedly, gave further evidence of their vast improvement.
Young Allen Parfitt showed he is learning fast with another brave hooking display, benefiting from a fine shove generating from Heindorff.”
Hall, David Gay and Martland were everywhere and continually harassed the Neath half-backs, and setting up driving rushes. Unfortunately, Sibley and Duckworth were wasted.
v Saracens, Away. Lost 3-28. Team:- D Dolman, J S A Jeffray, J R Donovan, P A R Hillyard, J Baker, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, M Haskins, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, D Lewis, F C Hicks, T D Martland, I Holmes and P R Hall (Capt.)
Lacking eight first choice players, Bath were comprehensively outplayed and plunged to a heavy defeat against the north London club. Saracens scored two goals and six tries to Martland’s penalty goal. Apart from Martland’s eighth minute effort, Bath were never in this game. Saracens pack took four to one in the set scrums, and with the exception of stout resistance from Martland and Hall, Bath were unable to match the home side’s rampaging forwards. Evans, Sherriff and Lockwood monopolised the loose mauls and line-outs. Malcolm Lloyd was frequently Bath’s saviour, as he dodged the marauding loose forwards and put in crucial touch-finding kicks. He made a number of breaks from close to the scrum, and won his personal battle with his opposite number. Behind Lloyd – the backs could do little right, but David Dolman performed courageously at full-back, putting in a number of try saving tackles.
v Devonport Services, Home. Won 20-3. Team:- A F Gay, L Robinson (R.A.F. Lynham), J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, D Lewis, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bath emerged comfortable winners after being held at 3-3 until half-time. It was serviceman, L Robinson’s debut and he celebrated with two tries. David Gay stole the early limelight: “He raced up to halfway, and then kicked ahead dangerously, Phillips gathered, but was promptly nailed by Frankcom and the ball was slipped out to Duckworth, who slipped two tackles before scoring the first try of the game after 17 minutes. Martland failed to convert.” Bath took control: “but were frustratingly inefficient with their finishing.” Tries eventually flowed from Duckworth, Martland, and Robinson (2), with Allen Gay converting one and kicking two penalties.
v United Services Portsmouth, Away. Won 17-3. Team:- A F Gay, L Robinson, P A R Hillyard, J R Donovan, P C Sibley, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, M Haskins, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, D Lewis, T D Martland, P R Hall and K Richardson.
Robinson and Donovan were seven minutes late for the start, but it did not seem to matter as Bath’s heavyweights ‘held the fort.’ When fully manned, an enormous shove from the pack, sent Portsmouth sliding backwards and Heindorff touched down for Gay to convert. Next, Martland raced half the length of the field for a second try, which Gay could not convert. Haskins went over for another and United Services responded with a nicely taken drop goal. This was the homesters’ final scoring effort, before Hillyard streaked away for another try, capped by another touchdown by newcomer Robinson.
v London Scottish, Home. Lost 0-8. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, P A R Hillyard, G P Frankcom, L Robinson, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, J S Parsons, H A Hill, P J K Parfitt, P B Heindorff, D A Lewis, T D Martland, K A Richardson and P R Hall.
Bath conceded an early score, then picked up, with a better performance in the second half, but there was still a hint of desperation in their play. Scottish forwards dominated much of the line-out and the loose and Bath were, at times, very much on the receiving end. Allen Gay had a busy afternoon at full-back. Any pressure Bath eventually mustered was in vain, as at the end, a breakaway try by Greig settled Bath’s haggis.
v Llanelli, Away. Lost 3-6. Team:- A F Gay, L Robinson, J Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, V Williams, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, H Hill, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, K Richardson and P R Hall. Friday under floodlights.
Considered to be a magnificent performance to hold the Scarlets to one score, particularly in view of losing Alan Parfitt within minutes of the start. Ian Duckworth had an outstanding game and both sides were warmly cheered at the conclusion of a memorable encounter. Williams kicked Bath’s penalty.
v Rugby, Away. Lost 6-12. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J Donovan, P A R Hillyard, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, M Haskins, H Hill, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall. This was Bath’s first visit to the town with the proud boast of being the originators of the game of Rugby as we know it today. In a highly entertaining game, Bath went ahead after seven minutes when John Donovan scored a simple try, following a ten yard scrum. Mike James equalised for Rugby and then Gay put Bath ahead with an equally simple penalty. Thereafter things got complicated, as Rugby’s James came back with a couple of finely taken penalties. Later, Mike Timbrell charged down Gay’s attempted clearance to give Rugby a winning lead, which they held through to the end.
v Old Blues, Home. Won 34-0. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, V Williams, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, H Hill, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall. Bath worked off their Christmas excesses with a comfortable win against their traditional Boxing Day opponents.
In a suitably light-hearted atmosphere, Bath piled on the points, with little threat of reply
The try contributors were:- Sibley (2), Donovan, Duckworth (3), Parsons (2), and Martland, with Allen Gay and Vaughan Williams converting one each, and Tom Martland adding a drop goal, to complete the entertainment.
v Northampton, Home. Won 8-3. Team:- A F Gay, M Bull, G P Frankcom, J Donovan, I F Duckworth, V Williams, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, H Hill, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, I Holmes, D J Gay and P R Hall. Former schoolboy international, Bull, came in for Sibley.
After a thrill-packed encounter, Bath emerged from 1967 on a high note, as they were only the fifth side to beat their midlands visitors. The Saints had exerted an early grip on the game, as they enjoyed line-out domination, stemming from Parsons and Larter. Bath’s chance came when Geoff Frankcom put in a neat kick to the corner, which bounced awkwardly for the defenders. Duckworth was in like a flash and Williams converted with a fine kick from the touchline. Bath’s covering and tackling was of a high order and Northampton’s break through did not come until the 32nd minute of the second half. An overlap was created and Moffatt went over for an unconverted try. Later, Malcolm Lloyd made certain with one of his characteristic blind-side tries.
v Leicester, Home. Drawn 11-11. Team:- A F Gay, M S Bull, J R Donovan, R Abel, T D Martland (DG, T, C), J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, H Hill, J S Parsons, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, I Holmes (T), K Richardson and P R Hall (Capt.)
MARTLAND’S MAGIC IN REC MUDBATH HELPS BATH HOLD TIGERS
“that versatile master of the unexpected.” Thus quoted John Stevens in the Bath Chronicle 8/1/1968.
Tom Martland led a dramatic second-half fight back to end the game all square. Bath scorers were Martland – drop goal, try and conversion. Flanker, Ian Holmes got the other try, after good work by Parfitt and Parsons.
This was one of Tom Martland’s finest, out of many outstanding performances, in a variety of positions. On this occasion, he was pressed into service on the wing. He was so often referred to as a utility player, which might imply mediocrity. In truth, he could play exceptionally well in any position.
I think he did managed to provide temporary cover for every position but the front five.
v Metropolitan Police, Away. Lost 11-19. Team:- A F Gay, P Sibley, , G P Frankcom (T), J R Donovan, T D Martland (C), J A Thomas (DG), M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, J S Parsons, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, N Carter (T), K Richardson, and P R Hall.
A well-drilled Police side denied Bath’s reorganised selection the essential quick possession, and consequently they had little opportunity to manoeuvre. The home halves of Napier and Gray dictated play and exposed the visitors’ defensive weaknesses. Bath’s second half revival came from a storming run by Orledge, enabling Niail Carter to score and Martland to convert. Frankcom dribbled through for a second try, and Thomas dropped a goal.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 36-3. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G F Margretts, I F Duckworth (2T), J M Galley, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B Heindorff (T), T D Martland (T), D J Gay (4T) and I Holmes.
This game featured a remarkable four-try performance from newly capped David Gay. St. Mary’s were generally overwhelmed by Bath’s fluid scoring spree. Despite injuries to Allen Gay and Donovan – there was no stopping Bath.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Won 22-15. Team:- G Mobley (C), P C Sibley (T), J R Donovan, G F Margretts, I F Duckworth, J M Galley, S J S Clarke (T), P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, J S Parsons (T), R J Orledge (T), P B H Heindorff (T), T D Martland (C), D J Gay (T), and I Holmes.
In sunny conditions, Bath just had the edge in this high scoring encounter. Gordon Mobley came in for the injured Allen Gay.
It was Gordon Mobley’’ first appearance since he fractured his jaw, playing against Leicester a year previously. John Steven’s match report observed: “A defensive effort cost Bath the services of Mobley, and Martland was called upon as his deputy.” In fact, it transpired that poor Mobley had again suffered a fractured jaw!
v Gloucester, Home. Lost 0-11. Team:- T D Martland, P C Sibley, J Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J M Galley, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H Hill, M Haskins, P B H Heindorff, J S Parsons, R Clough, K Richardson, W K C Lye. At the request of the County selectors, Tom Martland was played at full back. There was obvious interest on the eve of Somerset selection. Unfortunately, he had little chance to display his handling talents, and just failed with an early penalty attempt, and was well wide with a later penalty award.
“His (Martland’s) last appearance in the championship – when Somerset lost 14-18 to Gloucestershire in October 1965 – was at wing forward. This season, he has played openside, blindside, wing, centre and emergency full back for Bath, helping himself to six tries and 54 points in the process.” (Daily Telegraph 9/2/1968).
“A Bath side disorganised by injury and illness slid to defeat in a scrappy, undistinguished match with Gloucester on the Recreation Ground.” (John Stevens – BATH CHRONICLE)
In the absence of Orledge, Bath were beaten in the line-out, and the team suffered from lack of possession.
v Cheltenham, Home. Won 13-3. Team:- A F Gay, P C Sibley (2T), G F Margretts, J Donovan, M Bull, J A Thomas (T), S J S Clarke, M Haskins, H A Hill, T Richards (C), P B H Heindorff, N Carter, T D Martland (C), F C Hicks and W K C Lye.
It was nearly half time before Sibley got over for the first of Bath’s tries, for Martland to convert. The supply of ball from the set pieces had been sluggish, and Clarke had to do a lot of clearing up at the feet of oncoming forwards. Bath were fielding five reserves in the pack, but they performed well enough in the second spell, to ensure a comfortable victory.
v Wasps, Away. Drawn 0-0. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, G F Margretts, J Donovan, I F Duckworth, T Hopson, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, M Haskins, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, K Richardson, W K C Lye.
“Referee Frank Lovis’ wry comment: ‘It was so bad I thought for a moment it was an international,’ was an appropriate summing up of the aimless, pointless draw between Wasps and Bath at Sudbury.
“Seldom can so much effort have been wasted needlessly in a match in which neither side could produce any cohesion and to which the result was eminently fitting.
In extenuation it was hardly a day either to play or watch rugby. A biting ‘nor easter quickly froze hands to the marrow and a second-half snowstorm added to the discomfort.
The conditions, however, could not completely excuse the succession of blunders and lack of basic techniques from both sides.”
“If anything, though, Bath had more excuse than Wasps for their ineptitude, because they lacked good possession for all but the final quarter of an hour.”
(Bath Chronicle 26/2/1968)
v Bristol, Away. Won 8-6. Team:- W J Hiles (C), P C Sibley, J R Donovan (T), V Williams, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson (T), S J S Clarke, M Haskins, H A Hill, P J K Parfitt, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
A goal and a try to 2 penalties, signalled a notable away win for Bath, and a first double win over their closest rivals for 17 years. In fairness, Bristol had fielded eleven reserves, and Bath were still made to work hard for their win. Bath were 8-0 ahead, after tries from Hopson and Donovan. (Converted by Hiles) Then, two gigantic penalties from Roger Hosen, threatened to wrest the game away from them.
The Bristol forwards put up a spirited fight right to the end, but Bath held on – somewhat lucky to win.
v Gloucester, Away. Won 18-6. Team:- T D Martland, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, R Able, M Bull, J T Hopson, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, M Haskins, K Richardson, P R Hall.
Former Gloucester player Terry Hopson, had an outstanding game for Bath, slotting over three penalties as well as putting in a fine display of tactical kicking. Additionally, Bull showed splendid acceleration to score his try, Martland kicked a penalty and Sibley dropped a goal. Unusually, Gloucester were outplayed at their own style of tight game. “While Parfitt and Richards were seeing to it that Hill won the cleaner strike, Orledge and Heindorff were even more dominant in the line-out and Richardson, Haskins and Hall really went to the rampage in the loose.” It was a hard, sometimes ill-tempered match.
v Swansea, Away. Drawn 6-6. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, R Able, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson, M Lloyd, T Richards, H A Hill, M Haskins, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bath took the lead after 25 minutes with a penalty by Hopson, but Ferguson brought Swansea level with a penalty just before the interval. The home side lost centre S Davies, with Achilles tendon trouble 12 minutes into the second half. Despite this, they were able to send in Rogers with a fine try near the touchline. Bath remained slow to take advantage of the extra man, and it was just 5 minutes from the end, before Martland pounced on a misfielded ball and drove over to level the scores.
v Newbridge, Home. Lost 14-21. Team:- W J Hiles (P, C), P C Sibley (T), R Abel, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth (T), J T Hopson, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M Haskins, P B H Heindorff, T P Richards, T D Martland (DG), R J Orledge and P R Hall. Near the end, Phil Hall was sent off, along with Newbridge player J Worwood. Some would say that Hall was unfortunate in his dismissal. There had been a number of flare-ups, and in this unseemly affair, Hall was apparently on the ground, being kicked. He retaliated, and in the general way of things – mayhem followed! As to the game, it was fast and exciting from start to finish. “Bath had half an hour of glory in which they played sparkling football, but then their effort gradually petered out and after fighting a brave rearguard action in the second half, they finally collapsed in the last ten minutes.” (BATH CHRONICLE)
v Richmond, Away. Won 8-3. Team:- W J Hiles (C), P C Sibley (T), R Abel, M Bull, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson (P), S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T P Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall. Played in blustery conditions, it was a fully deserved victory against in-form Richmond.
Hopson and Clarke dictate.
Half-backs Hopson and Clarke played to the windy conditions, by repeatedly kicking the ball behind the opposition’s back line, leaving Richmond to scurry back in defence. Bath forwards dominated the set pieces, with Orledge outstanding in the lineout, and the back row picking up any loose ball. “It was not particularly exciting to watch, and appreciated only by the rugby connoisseur but it was entirely sensible and achieved the object of victory.” (BATH CHRONICLE)
Hopson’s 25 yard penalty came in the 33rd minute. Later, Sibley scooped up an awkward ball and went off on a 45 yard gallop, swerved past the fullback to put the season’s points total past 400. Hiles converted.
v Sale, Home. Lost 12-16. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, R Abel, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson (4P), S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T P Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay and P R Hall.
This was an unexpected reverse, particularly as Terry Hopson had kicked Bath into a one point lead, which held until the last two minutes of the game. Then disaster struck, as Clarke essayed a grubber kick ahead, Nelson received and ran 50 yards to touch down near the posts, for Caulfield to covert.
v Moseley, Away. Won 12-11. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, V Williams, M C Bull, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson (2P), S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T P Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge (T), M Haskins (T), D J Gay and T D Martland.
Bath just won this exciting encounter. The midlanders took an early lead with a try by Hale, then after a general ebb and flow in play, Bath used a two man line-out; Martland gathered and sent in Haskins. Hopson landed Bath’s first penalty 25 minutes later. Next, it was Orledge who went over near the touchline, only for Sam Doble to reduce the deficit with a penalty. Then Moseley scored the best try of the match: “It was all the work of their two internationals, Finlan working the scissors with MacFadyean, who shot through Bath’s surprised defence for a try under the posts, which Doble converted to give his side the lead.” It was 25 minutes into the second half, when Bath took a match winning lead, when Moseley were adjudged offside under their own posts. Hopson secured an easy penalty. Bath held out for the last frantic minutes, which featured a fine run by Bull.
v Harlequins, Home. Won 21-8. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, M S Bull, V Williams (3C), I F Duckworth, J T Hopson (T), S J S Clarke (T), P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T P Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, M Haskins, D J Gay (T), T D Martland (2T)
A fine start to the Easter programme, with a handsome win achieved effectively, with fourteen men. Coker’s alleged body check caused Bull’s departure after only 15 minutes. He later returned, but was largely as a ‘passenger.’ Bath were inspired to outplay the Quins in almost every department. Orledge set off on one of his bruising runs from a line-out and from the ensuing ruck, a quick heel, enabled Hopson to scramble over, and Williams to convert.
“Bull’s departure brought but a temporary lull in Bath’s operations and it was Sibley, belying the wag in the stand who pronounced “e’s wearing ‘is concrete lenses,” by snapping up a Quins fumble on the half way and galloping away.
He did not quite have the legs on the defence but drew the cover before switching an inside pass to Martland who had moved out to fill the vacancy left by Bull’s absence.
From the restart Quins cut the deficit to three points with a remarkable solo try by Hiller, easily their most dominant personality and looking all over a Lion.”
Two excellent tries followed, Clarke’s solo effort, converted by Williams, emulating the earlier Hiller try. Then Martland again, after a spectacular effort by Gay. Coker contributed a try for Quins. Then Bath’s forwards combined for a grandstand finish: “Orledge began it with a devastating run from his own 25. Heindorff, dummying like a centre, carried on before switching inside to Richards whose quick pass enabled Gay to burst between two defenders and score for Williams to convert.”
v Percy Park, Home. Won 31-16. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, V Williams (P, 5C), R V Abel (T), J R Donovan, J T Hopson (2T), S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, J S Parsons, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge (T), M Haskins (T), D J Gay, and T D Martland (T).
Played on a bitterly cold afternoon, Bath had little difficulty in overcoming the Northumbrians. If anything, they were sometimes a bit too casual in their approach; towards the end Orledge scored a typically bulldozing try, then almost immediately after, gifted a try to Horobin, with a wildly speculative pass. Overall, Bath were too strong and fast for these Easter tourists.
v Old Merchant Taylors. Home. Won 16-10. Team:- R Baynes, P C Sibley, D Wilce, R V Abel, B Winter (T), V Williams (2C), S J S Clarke, J S Parsons (2T), B Cannell, T P Richards, G Tugwell, R J Orledge, T D Martland (T), K V Richardson and P R Hall.
Bath fielded a scratch side, which was slow getting into its stride. Roger Baynes, aged 19, was on his debut game, and he kicked accurately, and defended well. Most unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury, and went off ten minutes from the end. Youngsters, Barry Cannell and David Wilce had good games. John Parsons gave a storming performance, scoring two tries in succession, one converted by Williams. At the finish, Phil Hall was adjudged to have tripped an OMT player, and a Penalty Try was awarded.
v Llanelli, Home. Won 17-9. Team:- W J Hiles (P), P C Sibley (T), D Wilce, M S Bull, B Fry, J T Hopson (2P, C), D Price, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland (T), DJ Gay, and P R Hall.
“After another memorable victory, this time over Llanelli, prop forward Peter Parfitt was carried shoulder-high from the field to celebrate his record-breaking 356th appearance on the Recreation Ground last night.” (BATH CHRONICLE)
Former appearances record holder – John Roberts presented Peter with an engraved tankard and supply of drinks to mark the occasion. It had been a magnificent team performance, particularly in the forwards. Alan Parfitt won several heels against the head, and Orledge reigned supreme in the line-out. Barry Fry was a last minute addition to a scratch back division – and he had only turned up to watch!
Price, normally the 3rd XV scrum-half performed well and set up Bath’s first try: “He slipped round a scrum to smother Dennis Thomas near the Llanelli line and the outstanding Martland was there to pick up and send in Sibley who was easily the pick of Bath’s three-quarters.”
v Taunton, Away. Won 13-0. Team:- W J Hiles (2C), P C Sibley, D Wilce, M S Bull (2T), I F Duckworth, J Thomas, D Price, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, T P Richards, G Tugwell, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay (T), P R Hall.
This was Bath’s sixth victory in a row, and easily achieved at that! Several first choice players were not available. “Bath though, were in no mood to be ruthless killers. They did just enough to keep in quiet command, seldom rose above even third gear and generally seemed to decide that they had had enough exertions over Easter without adding to them unnecessarily.”
v Exeter, Away. Lost 11-19. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, R Abel, B Winter, J T Hopson (DG, C), D Price, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, J S Parsons, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay (T), W K C Lye (T).
As if still hung-over by their Easter exertions, a weakened Bath side came adrift at Exeter. The highlight of an otherwise indifferent performance was a cracking try by David Gay, following a 40 yard run. Bill Lye’s try came in time added on for injuries – but it was too little too late!
v Bedford, Home. Lost 3-9. Team:- W J Hiles, P C Sibley, D Wilce, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, J T Hopson, S J S Clarke, P J K Parfitt, H A Hill, T P Richards, P B H Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, D J Gay (T), P R Hall.
“Two tries by Bedford’s right-wing, Boult, in the first 10 minutes sent Bath plunging in their last match of the season ….” (BATH CHRONICLE)
Still off-form, and in pouring rain, Bath got off to a bad start and never really recovered. In the 25th minute of the second half, David Gay narrowed the gap with an unconverted try, only for
D P (Budge) Rogers to score the match clinching try ten minutes from the finish.
A Bath XV v Combination. Bath XV won 30-6.
FOR THE RECORD
Top Try scorers:- Duckworth 16; Sibley 13; Martland 11; Donovan and D Gay 9; Orledge and Parsons 6. There were 48 conversions, 8 Drop goals and 33 penalties.
Leading appearances:- Heindorff 39, Orledge 37, Sibley 37, Martland 35, P Parfitt 35, Donovan 34, Hall 33, Duckworth, D Gay, and Parsons 30.
Overall, it had been a good season
Bath suffered their fewest defeats for 16 years, and the results contained a far higher proportion of victories over the top clubs.
Tom Martland was again the top points scorer with 68. This was composed of 11 tries, 2 penalties, 10 conversions and 3 drop goals.
J D Monahan won his Cambridge Blue in the 1967-68 season.