Tom Martland took up the Captain’s mantle determined to continue with the free running game espoused by Peter Sibley, but at the same time seeking to organise a more solid, grafting style in the forwards.
v La Rochelle. Home. Won 12-5. Team:- J Waterman (T and 2P’s), P B Glover, J R Donovan (T), G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, V Williams, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, G H Squires, P B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland, R J Orledge and P R Hall.
Referee Air Commodore G C (Larry) Lamb R.A.F.
A tough opener! A rampaging pack was difficult to counter, and the French seemed able to push the Bath eight about at will. Fortunately, the visitors neglected their handling and running skills. For most of the game they played tight, ten man rugby, which left Bath time to recover and utilise their somewhat rusty back line. On just over the half hour, Waterman slotted a penalty, and it was then into the second half, before Geoff Frankcom celebrated his return, with an inspired break to send in Donovan for a fine try. Waterman added a further penalty and capped a good performance with a spectacular try, following bursts by Williams, Glover and Donovan.
v Broughton Park, Home. Won 22-11. Team:- J Waterman (2P and C), P B Glover (2T), D G Wilce, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth (2T), V Williams (C), M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, G H Squires, P B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland, R J Orledge and R Walkey.
There was no lack of fighting spirit in this Bath side. Despite the loss of Orledge at the interval, and twice falling into arrears, they produced a memorable all round performance and came off worthy winners.
This was achieved by splendid efforts in the pack, where Collins, Plummer, Martland and Walkey were outstanding. The Bath wingers shared the try scoring with two each; Williams, and particularly Waterman, were on target with their kicks.
v Pontypool, Home. Won 14-9. Team:- J S Waterman, P C Sibley (T), J R Donovan, P B Glover, I F Duckworth (T), V Williams (C and PG), M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, M Haskins, P M B Heindorff (T), K Plummer, T D Martland, R Walkey, and P R Hall.
In the early stages, Bath were disrupted by Pontypool’s fiery back row of Williams, Ganes and Cobner, and the backs were forced to clear under pressure. Pontypool’s Rosser scored wide out. Then Williams was flattened after executing an astute cross kick. This assault, seemed to stimulate Bath, with Donovan and Walkey combining well. More constructive play got Sibley away to even the score at half time. Further tries followed from Heindorff and Duckworth and Williams converted the latter. Pontypool hotly disputed Duckworth’s try, and the game degenerated into an unseemly punch-up. Penalties were levied on both sides. This was Tom Martland’s 200th 1st XV appearance.
v Leicester, Away. Lost 11-14. Team:- J S Waterman (2P and C), M S Bull, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth(T), J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Squires, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland, R Walkey, P R Hall.
Bath were 5-11 down at half time. Leicester’s right wing Spence, scored within five minutes, followed by a penalty and a converted try by Barker. Bath then awoke after a Tigers’ error; Walkey took a misdirected pass and fed Duckworth for a try, which Waterman converted. Penalties by Chapman for Leicester and two from Waterman completed the scoring. Leicester’s captain was Kevin Andrews, the former Bath second row stalwart.
v Clifton, Home. Won 14-3. Team:- J S Waterman, M S Bull, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, B J Collins, J S Squires, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland (P), I Holmes and P R Hall.
Clifton’s stout defence kept Bath in check for much of the game. Their effort had the effect of slowing the flow of possession, and Bath’s unhappy backs, frequently received man and ball together. Notably, at the heart of the visitors’ forward effort, was none other than former Bath second row stalwart, Tony Jacob, who owned to be already on the wrong side of forty. At one point, Duckworth looked so surprised to receive the ball in a scoring position, that he fluffed his opportunity. “Emphasising again the value of a quick, loose heel, Lloyd shot away once again, Frankcom made a half gap and Waterman came up to provide Duckworth with a chance to make amends. The left wing sped round between the posts for Waterman, who had played soundly in a not over-taxed defence, to convert and give the home side a comfortable if hardly impressive victory.”
Duckworth’s was the only try, and as well as converting, Waterman slotted two penalties.
v Moseley, Home. Lost 11-12. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, V Williams, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, G S Squires, B J Collins, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland, K Walkey and P R Hall.
Three first class tries by Bath wingers, Glover (2) and Duckworth, in front of England selector Jeff Butterfield, should have been enough to subdue the Midlanders. However, both sides shared some scintillating movements and Moseley controlled matters at forward. Ten minutes from the end, Peter Glover provided the final try following a short penalty. Unfortunately, Waterman could not convert.
v Newport, Away. Lost 13-14. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, B J Collins, P J K Parfitt, K Plummer, P M B Heindorff, T D Martland, R Walkey and P R Hall.
The fixture revived on a once per season basis. Unfortunately, after a superb revival, it was another loss by the smallest margin: “They were 14 points down in half an hour and looked all set for a thrashing but then so completely did they turn the tables that mighty Newport were left gasping. Bath scored three tries to Newport’s two and twice the West Countryman’s new find, Roger Walkey, who hails from Cardiff, almost snatched victory, first with a 40- yard penalty which hit the bar, and then with a last minute attempt which dropped just under it.” Newport’s Keith Jarrett was watched by Rugby League scouts from at least three leading Northern clubs. Much of Bath’s forward momentum was generated from Lloyd’s and Brendan Perry’s tactical kicking. For the first time in his long and industrious career, Peter Parfitt was carried off the field on a stretcher, after being knocked out by a Newport forward. He was not gone long! Bath tries by Elliott, Duckworth and Walkey, with Walkey converting two.
v Devonport Services, Away. Won 40-3. Team:- W Casey, P B Glover (T), G P Frankcom, J R Donovan (T), G Squires, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd (T), P J K Parfitt, B J Collins (T), M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, T D Martland (2T), R Walkey (4P, 5C), P R Hall.
Walkey had a fine afternoon with the boot, with a personal tally of 22 points. Army winger H Barstow did not arrive, so Bath played reserve prop Squires on the wing. Portents of success were manifest when Collins took two against the head. Then Walkey scored his first penalty after a Services offside infringement. Bath dictated terms within the forwards and Bath’s first try came from Parfitt’s line-out peel, leaving Martland with a 40 yard run for the line. Newcomer, Casey showed promise at full-back. Bath should have achieved more from their fluid play, but tended to move the ball towards stand-in winger Squires, rather than to the speedy and experienced Glover. Nevertheless, constant pressure and possession brought tries for Martland, Lloyd, Donovan, Collins and Glover. Walkey did the rest!
There was an “out-of-the -blue” announcement that at age 22, former Welsh Secondary Schools’ International, Vaughan Williams had decided to give up first class rugby. A recurring injury problem was given as the reason, but it was thought that Williams was going through a despondent period as a result of indifferent form. He had also taken up his first teaching post. It was hoped that he would reconsider his decision. However, he did not play again.
News that centre David Wilce would be regularly available, having completed a three year course at St. Luke’s College. It later transpired that St. Luke’s invoked their first call option for Wilce’s services.
v Bridgwater. Home. Won 25-5. Team:- W Casey, P B Glover (2T), J R Donovan, B Perry, T E Simpkins (T), J A Thomas, M C Lloyd (T), P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, R J Orledge, K M Plummer (T), T D Martland, R J Walkey (T, P, 2C), P R Hall.
A re-arranged Bath side, gave a sparkling display, but the game was marred by winger, Peter Glover breaking his leg just above the ankle. At the time of his departure, Bath were already leading by 22 points. After a period of disruption, Plummer led a forward dribble and Lloyd was there to pick up and score. Other Bath tries from Glover (2), Simpkins, Plummer, and Walkey. This last named converted 2 and kicked a penalty.
v Aberavon. Away. Won 17-10.Team:- W Casey, J S Waterman, J R Donovan, B Perry, H R W Barstow, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, T D Martland, R J Walkey, P R Hall. Walkey scored 14 points out of 17.
Winger – Harry Barstow broke his leg just above the ankle.
Tom Martland injured his knee.
Bath put on a good display at forward, ably marshalled by fly half Thomas. There was a particularly fine piece of play when Thomas switched direction and linked up with the back row. In turn, Heindorff thundered off down the pitch, handing to Donovan and then on again for Waterman to touch down wide out. Undeterred, Walkey landed the extra points with aplomb. Shortly afterwards, winger Barstow was carried off. It was an unfortunate coincidence, that right wing Glover had been similarly injured the previous week. Tom Martland went down nursing his old knee injury and was off for a while. He made a limping return, but was not able to contribute significantly thereon. Bath were up against it for a while. It was most fortunate that Walkey struck a purple patch, with a tally of 14 points. These included two brilliant tries from 60 and 70 yards respectively.
v London Irish. Away. Won 11-9. Team:- W Casey, B Perry, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, R S Elliott, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell (T), A Parfitt, P J K Parfitt, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, R Walkey (2P, C), P R Hall.
Bath won by a single converted try by Hannell fifteen minutes from the end, and two penalties from Walkey – to the Exciles three penalties. A feature of the Sunbury encounter, was the come-back of ‘Irish glamour boy’ Tony O’Reilly at age 33. Walkey kicked a penalty after 17 minutes, when Brendan Perry was obstructed after a jinking run. O’Reilly’s moment did come and he actually carried the ball over the Bath line. Fortunately, Roger Elliott’s desperate challenge was enough to force the flyer’s foot into touch. The Irish pressed hard in the closing minutes, but Bath managed to hold out.
v Bristol, Home. Drawn 11-11. Team:- W Casey (T), R S Elliott (T), G P Frankcom (T), J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M R Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey (C), R J Orledge, P R Hall.
Into the second half and Bath were leading 11-5. In the final quarter, Bristol’s Gabitass and Tyler combined well to engineer a try by Collins. In the final minute, the game was ‘halved,’ when Gabitass forced through to dive over the line. Fortunately for Bath, Tyler missed the conversion. Full back Casey made the most of his opportunities, with a good try from Elliott’s kick-ahead.. Then Elliott beat two defenders to score in the corner. Walkey contributed a fine conversion. Frankcom completed Bath’s scoring effort, with a typical darting break, and was tackled over the try line – taking out the corner flag.
“After consultation with the Bristol Linesman referee Lovis first decided there was no touch-down, and awarded a drop out, but then, after Bath protests and another long talk with the linesman, reversed his decision and awarded the score which Walkey failed to convert.”
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 34-8. Team:- W Casey, R S Elliott (T), B Perry, J R Donovan, T E Simpkins (T), J A Thomas (T), M C Lloyd (2T), N Carter (5C), A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, I Holmes (T), D Lewis (T), P R Hall (T). Bath fielded seven reserves, nevertheless, their eight tries and Carter’s five conversions overwhelmed the Hospital side.
Casey figured in several of the high speed moves.
PLAYER INJURIES AND CAPTAINCY CHANGES.
Early season selection was disrupted by a spate of non availability:-
R J Orledge, P C Sibley, C Perry, H B W Barstow (Fracture), P B Glover (Fracture), B J Collins (Cartilage), B Fear, and D J Wilce joined skipper Tom Martland (Torn ligaments ) on the injured list. Tom Martland was obliged to hand over the captaincy to Peter Heindorff, the elected Vice captain.
Alan Townsend was to resign captaincy of the United, due to business commitments, and Jim Galley replaced him.
B Smallcombe resigned captaincy of the Spartans, after injury, and Simon Royal replaced him on 9/2/1970.
v Bridgend, Home. Lost 9-14. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and P R Hall.
In a dour, penalty dominated game, it was eight minutes from the end, before Bridgend’s Evans scored the first and only try of the game for Griffiths to convert. The full back had previously kicked three penalties for the visitors, to two by Walkey and one by Waterman.
“Skilful kicking into the box was part of Bridgend’s tactical plan and it nearly succeeded after five minutes when a bouncing ball eluded Elliott and he had to produce a remarkable recovery to prevent Jenkins from fly kicking through.”
v Saracens, Away. Won 11-6. Team:- W Casey, R S Elliott, B Perry, J R Donovan, T E Simpkins, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter (C, 2P), P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, A Watson, D J Lewis (T), P R Hall.
A weakened Bath side took Saracen’s home record, which had stood since February 1968.
There had been early reverses with a penalty by Saracen’s full-back Hunt, and an unconverted try when winger Allen dived on a loose ball. Thankfully, Bath then showed their best form and Donovan made a strong run for the corner. Parfitt was winning the hooking duel, and continued pressure yielded a penalty for Carter. Bath to trailed 3-6 at half time. Niall Carter levelled with a further penalty at the re-start. At the end, another Donovan burst and cross-kick brought a match winning try for Lewis, which Carter converted. Actually, a charging Saracens ‘palm’ assisted the ball over the bar. Under the new law, this remained a valid conversion, as there was no longer any advantage in just touching a kick in flight.
v Pontypool, Away. Won 35-14. Team:- W Casey (2T), R S Elliott, G P Frankcom (T), J R Donovan, B Perry (2T), J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P MB Heindorff (Capt.), K S Plummer, R J Walkey (3T, 4C, 1P), I Holmes and P R Hall.
Walkey showed good all round form, with a personal tally of 20 points in Bath’s remarkable win at Pontypool. His first try was a 60 second sensation! Bath won a ruck, Frankcom sent up a booming up and under, and caught full-back Lester in possession. From the supporting players, Walkey picked up and was over. Pontypool revived manfully, and Bath went through a patchy period, and were harried into several drop passes. An offside against Hall, allowed the Welshmen to draw level.
“At last Bath seemed to have learned their lesson and they stormed back into the attack from the kick off. After a maul on the home line Walkey did it again by picking up and forcing his way over for a try which he also converted.” His efforts seemed to take the stuffing out of the home side. To add to Ponty’s plight, that man Walkey added a 35 yard penalty! However, it was actually Walkey’s pass that was intercepted to let in Hearn for a try converted by Lester. Not to be inactive, Walkey was very soon called upon to send the ball between the sticks following teammate Casey’s try. In the second half, Perry took a long pass from Frankcom, rounded the opposition and scored. Again Walkey majorised.
Pontypool’s play had been “lethargic,” and two minutes later Walkey went in for his third try.
Ponty were now “disintegrating.” Casey shook off a tackler and sent in Brendan Perry for his second. Bath relaxed a little and Pontypool improved their position with a penalty and a try. Then another fine Bath move involving Frankcom and Donovan, sent in Casey for his second try, which Walkey converted.
Frankcom, who had masterminded much of the attacking play, crowned his efforts with a final try.
v United Services, Portsmouth. Away. Won 14-3. Team:- W Casey, R S Elliott, J R Donovan, A Gay, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, G Squires, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and P R Hall.
Bath made hard work of it, and a succession of sweeping three-quarter attacks were beaten off. With no score at the interval, Bath’s frustration continued until eight minutes into the second half, when Elliott crossed wide out for an unconverted try. “At this time Services lost Newsom after a violent head on collision with Gay, in which he suffered concussion. Bath were quick to take advantage and within a further two minutes they had scored again when Hall took a long throw-in at a lineout to burst through. Plummer carried on like a runaway steamroller and finally Walkey took a scoring pass to dive over the line for a try which he also converted.” The depleted Services narrowed the gap with a penalty by Robinson. Later Hannell and Plummer made an opening for Walkey to dash through for his 100 points for the season. At the end, Gay steadied himself, to drop an immaculate drop goal – It was Bath’s first of the season.
Tom Martland was still out with a knee injury; meanwhile, Pete Heindorff was doing a fine job as Acting Captain: “The burly lock forward is playing better than he has been for years, and, far more important than that, he has moulded the pack into a most determined unit.”
v London Scottish, Home. Won 32-11. Team:- J Waterman, R S Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and P R Hall.
Bath hit back from being in arrears to score 7 tries, converting 4 and adding a penalty for good measure. Ian Duckworth showed a return to his best form and scored 4 tries, Donovan managed 2 and Roger Elliott 1. Roger Walkey made 4 conversions and Waterman kicked a penalty. Roger Walkey had scored 105 points in 14 matches. Brilliant handling was a feature of this fine performance.
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 13-39. Team:- J S Waterman (2C), R S Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry (T), I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, R J Walkey (P), D J Lewis and I Holmes (T).
Not a good day for Bath! Gloucester amassed 19 points in the first half, with only Walkey’s penalty in reply. Gloucester’s Palmer was in fine fettle, as he kicked 3 penalties and 2 conversions. Bath’s main response came well into the second half, with tries by Holmes and Perry, both converted by Waterman. Bath made many mistakes, whilst in contrast, Gloucester handled well, and were quick to take advantage of Bath’s shortcomings.
v Llanelli cancelled because 12 Bath players were down with Flu.
v Oxford, Home. Won 27-9. Team:- J S Waterman, R S Elliott, B Perry, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, P J K Parfitt, R J Orledge, P M B Heindorff, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and P R Hall. It was Peter Parfitt’s 400th game.
Tries by Duckworth (2), Elliott, Hannell, A Parfitt, and Donovan. Conversions by Elliott (2), and Waterman. Also a final penalty by Parsons. It was a Boxing Day treat – carefree and free running, just right to work off the Christmas excesses!
v Newbridge. Home. Won 24-16. Team:- J S Waterman, R S Elliott, G P Frankcom, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, P J K Parfitt, K Plummer, P M B Heindorff, R J Walkey, D J Lewis, P R Hall.
Roger Elliott kicked seven penalties in seven attempts, which was remarkable by Bath’s standards. Bath’s try was also a fine effort, as Lloyd picked up and burst through, to spread-eagle the defence. Plummer was at his side, to bullock his way over. Elliott missed the conversion attempt. It was noticeable that the referee did not seem able to interpret the advantage law.
v Leicester, Home. Won 13-9. Team:- J S Waterman, B Perry, J R Donovan, R Elliott, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P B M Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and PR Hall.
Bath wrought sweet revenge over the Tigers tries by Donovan and Duckworth both converted by Walkey, and a Waterman drop goal. Duckworth’s late try was the winner, after Bath had been made to struggle over long periods of play. They had a wonderful start and an extremely satisfying finish. Waterman had landed a neat drop goal in the very first minutes. Leicester scored two tries and a penalty. It was as well that leading points scorer, Roger Walkey, was in good kicking form. Roger Elliott missed a sitter in front of the posts, his penalty attempt hitting the upright.
The team was now well placed to challenge the Club’s all time record of 27 victories in a season, established by the 1950-51 side under Alec Lewis’s captaincy.
v London Welsh, Away. Lost 5-27. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Lewis and P R Hall. London Welsh exposed Bath’s limitations up front. Ideally, Bath needed bigger and fitter forwards when confronting heavier first class sides. To some extent they were missing the skills and experience of Martland, Collins, Orledge and David Gay.
This was a game in which the Bath pack were comprehensively outplayed. A try by Roger Walkey, converted by Elliott was Bath’s only contribution to the score sheet.
v Metropolitan Police, Away. Won 21-19. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, G Squires, A Conn, M R Hannell, K S Plummer, P B M Heindorff, R J Walkey, I Murphy, P R Hall.
In a game of mixed fortunes, utility player Roger Elliott scored the decisive try in the last minute.
In fact, Elliott involved with most of the action. Bath had taken the lead after 25 minutes, when crisp handling sent in Elliott for his first unconverted try. Later, Perry opened up the field for Lloyd to carry through and for Walkey to score. Up stepped Elliott for the conversion. The Police came back with an unconverted try, but Bath were 8-3 in the lead at the turn around.
Into the second half, and Somerfield intercepted Waterman’s wayward pass to score. Lloyd made a break and the ball was progressed by Perry and receiving a perfect pass, Duckworth raced on to score. Elliott obliged with the extras. Lax play brought rewards for the Met’s Somerfield and Morgan, with Allison converting. Ten minutes to go and Bath regained the lead, Plummer crashing over for Elliott to convert. Home outside half Napier kept the pot boiling with a smart drop goal and it was left to Elliott to win the game with the last movement of the match. Roger Elliott was happy to walk off with a personal tally of twelve points.
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Won 20-9. Team:- J S Waterman, B Eames (Oldfield Old Boys), B Perry, R Elliott, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, G Squires, A Conn, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R Fear (Midsomer Norton RFC), R J Walkey, I Murphy and C Perry. Bath completed the double over St. Mary’s with tries by Elliott (2), Duckworth (2) and one for newcomer Brian Eames. Walkey kicked a penalty and a conversion. Hospital’s, Young responded with three penalty goals.
Bath’s fifth and last try came when mounting pressure up-front paid dividends. With five minutes remaining the Bath forwards gave a huge heave-ho in the scrum, sending their hosts backwards. A quick transfer, and Waterman coming into the line – and Duckworth was over.
v Llanelli, Away. Lost 6-17. Team:- W Casey, J S Waterman, B Perry, R Elliott (2P), I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Conn, G Squires, P B M Heindorff, K Plummer, PR J Walkey, I Murphy and C Perry. Played under floodlights, it was a fine exhibition, with the participants providing 80 minutes of thrilling rugby. Llanelli’s coaching scheme was paying dividends, and they were probably the number one Club in British Rugby at that time.
Unfortunately, Bath were generally outplayed as their limitations were exposed. Roger Elliott countered with two penalty goals.
v Northampton, Home. Lost 11-30. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, G Squires, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, R Fear, P B M Heindorff, R J Walkey, I Murphy and C Perry. Bath succumbed to Saints forward power after a temporary lead of 8 points to 3. Plummer and Hall were out with injury and Bob Fear of Walcot and Chris Perry filled the vacancies. Feeble Bath tackling gifted an early try to centre, Sweet near the corner flag. Bath’s first attacks were “puny in comparison.” Against the run of play, Bath scored following a ruck, Lloyd bursting through the cover defence and sending a well timed pass for Thomas to cross and Elliott to convert. Then Elliott went over after a thrilling side-stepping run, which baffled the visiting cover. Then it was Northampton’s turn to score as Oldham burst through the Bath defence for his 21st try of the season. Line-out dominance soon brought another try for Oldham and Wright converted. Northampton remained in control and further scores followed from Prout (3), and Allen. Wright converted two of them. Bath made a late and spirited response and a good run by Waterman left Squires and Heindorff to handle, the scoring pass taken by Malcolm Lloyd.
v Rosslyn Park, Home. Lost 9-19. Team:- J S Waterman, P Glover, J R Donovan, R Elliott, B Eames, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, M Robinson, G Squires, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye (Walcot O.B.’s) and P R Hall. It was Mark Robinson’s 1st XV debut.
Peter Glover returned to the side after a long absence through injury. Bath had previously won every match against Rosslyn Park since 1967. However, the Park had won seven games in a row up to the previous Saturday, when they were narrowly defeated by Leicester. Their No. 8 Charlie Hannaford was reported to be in fine fettle.
Bath had gone through lean times since Christmas. JOHN STEVENS commented: “One reason, it strikes me is that the pack aren’t as fit as they were as a result their ball playing skill is limited.
Most of the glut of tries Bath were scoring a month or so back stemmed from superb second phase possession; now that has nearly dried up.” Phil Hall’s foraging efforts had been ill-supported.
Adapted from WEEKLY CHRONICLE 12/2/1970
Bath Rugby officials were increasingly concerned that contractors had made little effort to tidy up the Recreation Ground in time for Saturday matches. Contractors and Bristol Avon River Authority were working on the Pulteney Weir and River Avon flood prevention scheme. The dispute arose over the contractors’ temporary access to the site, across the top end of the Recreation Ground. The area was eventually to be tarmacked, and general improvement was promised.
v Gloucester cancelled due to frost.
v Cheltenham, Away. Lost 0-3. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, M Robinson, G Squires, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, I Holmes, I Murphy and P R Hall. It was a hard slog in the Cheltenham mud.
Both sides found it difficult to establish any sort of fluency of movement. Cheltenham’s Roger Hosen tried a long range penalty, Duckworth and Peter Glover made some spirited dashes, but there was little else of note, in a scoreless first half. Most of the advancement was via the touchline, and here Hosen held a commanding advantage, when the wind was behind him. One enormous kick, brought Cheltenham to the Bath line, where R White gained possession from the line-out, and settled a somewhat disappointing game with the one and only try.
v Wasps, Away. Lost 17-22. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, J R Donovan, B Perry, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, M Robinson, N Carter, P M B Heindorff, K S Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye (Walcot) and P R Hall.
Bath put in a disappointing performance at Sudbury and went down to their fifth successive defeat at the hands of Wasps. They contained their hosts to a 6-11 lead at half time, but Wasps went on to double their tally. Bath lacked cohesion up front and their pack were generally outplayed by a Wasps pack who were yards faster around the field. Woeful defensive blunders let in the opposition. Nevertheless, Bath scored four tries, with Elliott, Heindorff, Holmes and Hannell going over. This last named scored the best try of the match. It was initiated by a strong burst from Donovan, who shook off tackle after tackle starting from the half-way line, ending with a perfect pass to Hannell. Elliott added a conversion to his earlier penalty.
v Bristol, Away. Lost 6-14. Team:- J S Waterman, H B W Barstow, A Gay, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye and P R Hall.
Apart from the occasional flash of inspiration, it was a pretty dull affair. Two early tries by Plummer, one converted by McKenzie, rocked Bath back on their heels. Nail Carter responded with a good try following a line-out, and a consolation penalty near the end. Rollitt had romped home in the corner, when Bath hesitated – thinking that he would pass to Plummer. Bristol were home and dry!
“Scrum-half Lloyd had a splendid match, repeatedly bustling round to dispossess Etheridge, and often wriggling through rows of coverers by sheer tenacity.” Brendan Perry did not appear to have full trust in his centres and tended to over-kick.
News that Tom Martland was on the mend since his injury at Aberavon in October. His knee had stood up to run-outs in the United. Unfortunately, he was to remain unhappy about his fitness prospects following a hard game against Bristol United.
He was to return to the 1st XV, as full-back, on the 4th April, in an Away match at Sale.
v Swansea, Away. Won 11-9. Team:- J S Waterman, W Casey, J R Donovan, P Glover, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye and P R Hall. It was a fine victory at Swansea, with A Parfitt touching down in the 36th minute, followed a fine try by Peter Glover, duly converted by Jim Waterman.
Duckworth got a third try, after a touchline kick and chase. Roger Blyth countered with a try for Swansea. The final minutes brought the crowd to a peak of excitement, as first Casey just missed with a drop goal attempt, and finally, Glover stormed away, only to be pushed into touch, a yard from the Swansea line.
v Ebbw Vale, Home. Won 9-6. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, A F Gay, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye and P R Hall. 6pm Kick-off, because Scotland v England was televised. Gate £53 8s 6d. Programmes £11 15s 0d. Bath went into this game needing just two tries to take their total into three figures for the seventh season in succession. It reflected the attacking attitude successfully adopted by the Club in the past few years. They only managed the one this particular game, through Donovan, while Waterman secured the match with two penalties. Nevertheless, Bath were beginning to rediscover their form.
v Harlequins. First time the Club had played on a Good Friday. Home. Won 27-6.
Team:- J S Waterman (3C, P), P B Glover (2T), J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, R S Elliott (3 Tries), B Perry (DG), M C Lloyd, N C Carter, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. It was the third time that the Quins had commenced their Easter Tour, with a loss on the Rec. This time it was quite a battering, with Bath crossing their line 5 times, converting 3, dropping a goal and kicking a penalty. “All the authority, poise, enterprise and, moreover, determination, came from the home side who handed out a lesson on the benefits which accrue from disciplined scrummaging and loose play.” For Harlequins, Hiller kicked two magnificent penalties.
v Cheltenham, Home. Won 12-6. Team:- J S Waterman, B Eames, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, W Casey, B Perry, M C Lloyd, N C Carter, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P M B Heindorff, K M Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath gave a lack lustre performance against a weakened Cheltenham side. It was all the more disappointing, in view of the Club’s fine performance against Harlequins the previous day.
Donovan was Bath’s first half try scorer, followed by second half tries from Lloyd and Holmes. Casey added a penalty.
v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Won 35-0. Team:- J S Waterman (T 3C), R S Elliott (2T), M C Beese (2T), A F Gay, G P Frankcom (T), J A Thomas, J M Galley, P J K Parfitt, M R Hannell, PO M B Heindorff, R Selway-Swift, R J Walkey (2T, C), R Lye, C Perry (T). Beese, now with Liverpool, guested for his local club.
An in-form Bath selection, played O.M.T.’s out of the game, with a fast and strong pack and free running backs. Heindorff led complete line-out domination and Lye, Walkey and Chris Perry were ever hand in a support role. Waterman started with a penalty, and then Chris Perry’s try opened the floodgates. Galley and Thomas dictated terms and Frankcom’s darting runs took the O.M.T.’s defence apart. Bath’s non stop attack yielded other tries from Waterman, Elliott (2), Beese (2), Frankcom, and Walkey (2), with Waterman converting 3 and Walkey 1.
v Sale. Home. Won 16-6. Team:- T Martland (DG), R Elliott, A F Gay, J R Donovan (T), J S Waterman (2C, 1P), B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall (T).
Martland’s long awaited return – at full-back!
Bath nearly scored in the very first minutes, as Brendan Perry broke away from his own 25, but a pass from Gay to Elliott went astray. However, a try was not long coming, when in the fifteenth minute, Donovan added the finishing touches to a sustained Bath attack. Waterman converted. Then the usually competent Perry gifted an interception try to Sale wing forward Barton, to claw back to Bath 5, Sale 3 at half time. At the change over, Bath’s pressure came to nothing, and Martland had to race back to minor in the nick of time. Then Sale were penalised under the posts and Waterman improved on the points margin.
MARTLAND’S FINE GOAL
“Bath kept up the pressure and went further ahead in a rather surprising fashion. An attack petered out when Lloyd carried on too far and Drake kicked upfield, but Martland gathering the ball on the bounce, dropped a remarkable goal from 35 yards. Toone kicked a penalty for Sale with ten minutes remaining.
Hall scored a try for Bath which Waterman converted.”
TOUCH JUDGE SENT OFF!
J F (Jim) Vaissiere, acting as Touch Judge, was sent off the field by referee Mike Titcombe, for shouting at the players.
Bath completed a clean sweep of April 1970 Easter successes for the third season in succession. There were two other milestones. In doing so, they topped 600 points, with a personal tally of 100 for Roger Elliott.
v Neath, Away. Lost 8-17. Team:- T D Martland, R Walkey, J Donovan, R Elliott, J S Waterman, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P Heindorff, K Plummer, I Holmes, R Lye and C Perry. A make-shift side travelled to ‘Fortress Gnoll,’ and returned well beaten.
“Their attacking aspirations lasted little more than 20 minutes during which they snatched a dramatic tenth-minute lead when John Donovan intercepted and ran the length of the field to score.”
Waterman converted, but did miss subsequent penalty chances. The visitors were forced on the retreat as the heavy Neath pack started to dictate play. Internationals, Lauder and Morris dominated in the line-out, and with the rest of the pack, took control of every phase. Walkey looked like a’ fish out of water’ out on the wing, and he eventually switched with ‘something of a utility’ player Chris Perry. Walkey contributed a penalty goal.
There was a fine game on the Rec. on the Friday night. Peter Parfitt led the United to a 19 points to 5 victory over Swindon, in a side which include seven players from the Colts XV.
v Llanelli, Home. Won 16-8. Team:-T D Martland, J S Waterman (T), J R Donovan (T), G Steer, R Elliott, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B M Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey (T, 2C, P), R Lye and P R Hall.
What a triumph! Bath overtook Llanelli to chalk up 25 wins, as thoughts of a record season heightened.
“From start to finish it had spectators bubbling with enthusiasm and all things considered, must probably rank as an even better performance than that recently against Harlequins.”
In fact, Bath were trailing by eight points after 20 minutes:
“During that time, when Bath were slow to settle they were teased, tormented and torn apart by Llanelli’s Welsh international fly-half Phil Bennett playing in the unusual role of full-back.”
“…. Bennett was popping up everywhere with superb dummying runs and changes of direction and producing the most devastating finishes which no defender looked like stopping.”
At last Bath forwards got organised, and fought back with such tremendous determination that Llanelli were completely knocked out of their stride.
The key to Bath’s change in fortune stemmed from the back row of Hall, Lye and Walkey. Carter, Parfitt and Hannell were no less mobile and Heindorff and Plummer grafted away in the ‘engine room.’
Brendan Perry turned in a truly outstanding display at half-back, which did not pale in comparison with Bennett. “Combining more determination with his usual brilliant acceleration, he knifed through the Welsh defence several times and once decisively, Heindorff backing him up to provide the scoring pass for Walkey to touch down and convert.”
They proceeded to give the Scarlets the most fearful drubbing. The Bennett ‘menace’ had been stifled! “There were Bath jerseys everywhere, cutting down one movement after another in a game so admirably controlled by Mike Titcombe.” There was a grandstand finish when, following an electrifying burst by Waterman, the ball went loose and Donovan came up like an express train, got the luck of the bounce and raced through a dumfounded defence to settle the issue beyond doubt.
v Taunton, Away. Won 12-6. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, J R Donovan, G Steer, P B Glover, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, K Plummer, P B M Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. A hat-trick for Peter Glover as Bath’s Record aspirations heightened.
The winger’s tries were the high spots. Much of the game was dictated by Taunton’s burly forwards, who in true Somerset tradition, “kicked almost everything above the grass that moved, and played their negative spoiling game to perfection. To say that Bath were unsettled by such tactics is an understatement. At times they were positively stunned by it all and thankful to escape unscathed.”
Despite the onslaught, Bath combined to gain tidy possession at vital times, and Glover did the rest.
The first try came after 18 minutes, when Brendan Perry shot through midfield and linked with Hall, who punted diagonally into the eager Glover’s hands. Late Heindorff drew two men for Glover’s second, and ultimately – Parfitt gathered and drew the defence before Waterman put Glover in for his third. Waterman had slotted a penalty. It was all copybook stuff!
v Rugby, Home. Won 20-5. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, R Elliott, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B M Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath chalked up their 27th win with a competent performance against the midlanders. Bath took the lead after 7 minutes, following a set scrum under the opponents’ posts. Perry missed out Donovan with a long pass to Frankcom, who rounded his opposite number in fine style for a splendid opening try. Rugby countered with a converted try, then an excellent passage of play brought further reward for Bath: “Glover gathered a misdirected clearance from Martin and slipped the ball inside to Perry who wriggled out of several tackles before handing on to Heindorff. He too, was stopped just short of the line, but Walkey re-gathered and it was Lloyd who nipped over on the blind side, too far out for Waterman to convert.” “Sensible kicking by Lloyd and Perry, in support of solid forward effort, kept Bath on top territorially in the closing stages of the first half.” Next, Elliott snapped up an awkward bounce, stepped out of two tackles, and touched down for Walkey to convert. (Half-time 11-5)
Three minutes into the second half, and a Rugby obstruction, provided an easy penalty for Walkey. Further Bath tries followed for Glover and Perry. “In the closing stages a dominant Bath side treated the crowd to some thrilling running from deep positions.”
v Bedford. Home. Won 20-6. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, R S Elliott, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. Bath were awarded a Penalty Try.
This game created a record number of wins in a 1st XV season.
Bedford were the unofficial club champions at the time, and Bath had the satisfaction of crossing their visitors’ line 4 times, plus a penalty try and a penalty. Bath tries:- Glover, Frankcom, Elliott and Lloyd. Conversion by Elliott and a penalty from Waterman.
Jim Waterman was constantly causing problems for Bedford, when initiating passing movements from deep positions. It was a tactic that he had employed throughout the season, and with such a talented back division, it was little wonder that the record book was being re-written.
v Exeter, Home. Won 16-10. Team:- T D Martland, P Glover, J R Donovan, G Steer, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B M Heindorff, K S Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
“There were flashes of that brilliant cohesive football and individual skill which has made them such a successful side, periods of shambling ineptitude and inevitability, disorganisation through injury.”
Bath were 5 points down within 2 minutes and had just stretched ahead immediately after half-time. At this time, Brendan Perry pulled up with a pulled hamstring and played no further part in proceedings. Two superb tries followed in succession, only for Bath to be rocked back on their heels, when Walkey was forced off with a damaged knee. Bath tries were scored by Perry, Carter, Lye and Donovan, with Walkey converting two. It was Robbie Lye’s first try in senior rugby. Exeter came back with a converted try in the last minute, but Bath’s ‘end of term’ joy was complete.