v New Brighton, Home. Won 18-11. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, R J Orledge, P B M Heindorff, Alistair Watson, R Lye, P R Hall.
Post match comment from Peter Heindorff: “Not a bad start, though we weren’t really together.”
“Inability to get all the players to pre-season training sessions at one and the same time, has meant that Bath have had little chance to work out team tactics and specialist ploys.”
Tries by Lye (2) and Glover, with Waterman converting all three and landing a penalty.
v Pontypool, Away. Won 17-9. Team:- J S Waterman (T, 3P, 1C), P B Glover (T), R S Elliott, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B M Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, R Lye and P R Hall. This game marked the welcome return of Tom Martland following prolonged injury.
A win in Wales, but Bath came away somewhat dissatisfied with their performance. Waterman’s fine all-round game saved the day: “The full-back’s three penalties, all in the first half-hour, and a conversion of his own try proved to be the only difference in the final analysis.” There was some strong running by Glover, which produced a try and nice touches from Elliott and Duckworth.
“Sadly, though, Bath’s pack, if not completely out of steam, became extremely sluggish and the last quarter, territorially belonged very much to Pontypool.”
Waterman, Perry and Lloyd were prominent in defence, but the team as a whole, were lacking in fitness and match practice.
v Leicester, Home. Won 11-9. Team:- J S Waterman, M Polledri, J R Donovan, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P M B Heindorff, R J Orledge, P R Hall, R Lye and T D Martland. Only two points separated the teams at the end of an exciting encounter, which saw the lead change on two occasions. Leicester’s first try came after Waterman had fielded a high ball, and set off in one of his typical counter-attacks. Most unfortunately, Perry passed straight into the hands of centre Yandle, who had a clear run for Bath’s line.
The response was immediate: Spirited and adventurous handling by Bath, however, soon brought results with a glorious move begun from his own half by Orledge sweeping Leicester aside.
Superb backing up and changes in direction involving Duckworth, Elliott, Donovan and Polledri ended with Lloyd cutting through on the right wing and then giving a scoring pass for Waterman to slip over for a try which he could not convert.
And this was but the start of a concerted period of Bath pressure in which Martland and Hall were to the fore in a move in which Duckworth was just held up on the corner flag.”
Then another Bath fumble let in Barker, for the home side to trail 3-6 at half time.
In the second spell, Lye dummied his way through, for Hannell to score and Waterman to convert.
(8-6) Then Lloyd slipped in for a fine try (11-6). The Tigers reduced the difference with Gavin’s penalty, when Hall was caught offside. Bath had done well to tame the Tigers!
It was Peter Heindorff’s 300th 1st XV game, Ian Duckworth’s 100th, Malcolm Lloyd was on 101 and Philip Hall reached 359.
v Clifton, Away. Won 22-6. Team:- J S Waterman, D Taylor, J R Donovan, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B M Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath’s unbeaten record survived Clifton’s tigerish spoiling on their particularly narrow pitch. They eased off, leading 17-6 at the changeover, and contributed just one second half try which was snapped up by Phil Hall and converted by Waterman. Clifton had scored after just two minutes, when MacDonald landed a penalty for offside in the line-out. Bath forwards got into their stride and there were dominating performances from Parfitt, Orledge, Hall and Lye. Waterman landed two successive penalties. First Duckworth and then Hall scored tries for Waterman to convert one. MacDonald kicked another penalty for Clifton, but this was a small blip in Bath’s concerted dominance, which brought a runaway try for Lloyd. Bath then lost direction, until their final try in the 70th minute.
v Moseley, Away. Won 17-13. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, R S Elliott, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, T D Martland, R Lye and P R Hall .
Bath came perilously close to losing their unbeaten record for the season. However, they won through with a tremendous fight back. Bath had lead in the first half, with tries by Hall and Glover, countered by a converted try by McFadyean. (6-5) In the second half, Glover made a left wing dash for his second success, which Waterman converted. Then it was Hall’s turn, with an unconverted try. Next, Finlan scored for Moseley, and their score was improved again with a penalty try. when Duckworth obstructed. Downend converted.
Then came the best try of the match – begun and ended by Duckworth!
v Taunton, Home. Won 23-8. Team:- J S Waterman, D J Taylor, P B Glover, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth , B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B M Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath turned in a lack-lustre performance against Taunton, but were comfortable enough winners. Games with Taunton had degenerated into negative, frustrating encounters, and this was no exception. Bath hardly covered themselves with glory, twice having their feathers severely ruffled. The home side clicked into gear spasmodically as the backs looked strangely ill at ease. Undoubtedly, Malcolm Lloyd tried to do too much on his own and he and Perry often ran into trouble, with close marking opposition.
However, the Bath backs were clearly superior when they put their minds to it, and tries flowed from Glover, Elliott, Duckworth (2) and Hall, with Waterman converting one and kicking two penalties.
v Cheltenham, Home. Won 15-6. Ream:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, N Brewer, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, P M B Heindorff, R J Orledge, T D Martland, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath scored 4 tries, but no conversions in a hard-won victory. They showed a willingness to throw the ball about, but tight marking kept the Cheltenham line intact, although the visitors were continually on the retreat. Waterman became increasingly frustrated by missed penalty opportunities. Then Perry’s neat chip over the opposing threequarters enabled Donovan to dive over for the first of his two tries. Heindorff showed a good turn of speed in catching Bath’s own drop-out and leading a charge along the left touchline. There was one storming piece of play when Duckworth cut inside, burst through the centre and linked up with his right wing team-mate Glover, who raced the last 30 yards to touch down. The second half brought another try for Glover, but Waterman’s place kicking was still awry. Eventually, the full-back landed a penalty and Donovan contributed a second try.
v Bridgwater, Away. Won 19-6. Team:- J S Waterman, M Polledri, J R Donovan, N Brewer, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, K S Plummer, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, A Gay, R Lye and P R Hall. Played under Floodlight.
It was Alan Gay’s 100th 1st XV game. His brother David, was going to catch up by January.
After early lethargy, Bath coasted to their eighth victory in a row against negative spoiling football.
Waterman was at the centre of many of the handling moves and Brendan Perry was a constant threat with his darting runs. Bath tries by Polledri, Brewer and Duckworth, with Waterman converting tow and kicking two penalties
v Streatham & Croydon, Away. Won 11-9. Team:- J S Waterman, M Polledri, N Brewer, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, T Martland, R Lye, and P R Hall.
Despite a lack-lustre performance on a bone hard pitch, Bath kept their 100% record – but only just! It was their 4th game in a week, and their weariness was there for all to see. The forwards generally lacked enthusiasm and cohesion, although Lye, Hannell and Parfitt were prominent in some stages of the play. They did little better outside the scrum, where Brewer and Donovan had off-days. The final score-sheet included two tries by Lye, and one from Duckworth. Waterman converted Lye’s first.
v London Irish, Home. Lost 17-18. Team:- J Watkins (C), M Polledri, G Phillips (Rosslyn Park), J R Donovan, I F Duckworth (T), B Perry, T Lerwill, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter (P), R J Orledge, P M B Heindorff, T D Martland (T), R Lye (2T), P R Hall. Jim Waterman and Michael Beese were playing against the Fijian tourists this day, with Malcolm Lloyd on the bench.
Four Bath tries, plus one conversion and a penalty goal, were not enough to hold on to the ground record. Irish countered with three tries, two penalties and a drop goal. Bath tried three different kickers for their four conversion attempts. On a misty, and somewhat unpleasant afternoon, there was little to interest the crowd in the early play. Bath were without several of their first choice players, and the forwards found it difficult to contain the Irish back-row. Outside half Moroney was the general, repeatedly sending Bath back with thumping kicks. It was Moroney who opened with a penalty when Lye was adjudged off-side. Three minutes later, he added another from wide out, after obstruction at a maul. Bath’s sagging morale was raised, when Carter succeeded with a penalty from 40 yards out, but it was only temporary respite, until the Excile’s winger, Randell scored in the corner. This further set-back seemed to goad Bath into action, and a good handling move yielded a scrum under the Irish posts. Lye picked up and ran strongly, passing to Hall and on to Martland, who forced himself over for a good back row try. Once again, the visitors scored, as John Moroney dropped a brilliant goal from 40 yards. Bath were 6-12 down at half time.
It had been an uncomfortable 40 minutes for Bath, and their troubles were not over: “Bath’s Hall gathered and made a splendid run up to halfway, but his pass was intercepted by Quaid, who burst through down the left wing, passing to Stevens and then receiving the return to brush off some flimsy tackles and score.”
More cut and thrust followed, before Lye responded to the challenge, forcing his way over from a scrum. Then Stevens scored a dazzling try for the Exciles. Bath’s final effort was initiated by Duckworth, allowing a determined Polledri to switch direction to Donovan – Hannell handled and finally – Lye dived over for a try, which Watkins converted.
It was a disappointment to loose a proud unbeaten record.
v Bristol, Away. Won 16-15. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G Phillips, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, J Ashcroft, R Lye and P R Hall.
Rugged, Tense, sometimes bad tempered and fluctuating fortunes – all the ingredients for a memorable local derby!
Bath made a bright start, and the third of their forays saw Malcolm Lloyd wriggle his way through for the opening try, which Waterman converted. Pearn closed the gap with a penalty. Pearn again figured, when his kick ahead induced Perry to pick up from an off-side position, leaving him an easy shot at goal. Bath came back immediately, as it was Bristol’s Watts turn to be caught off-side and Waterman gave the visitors a half time lead of 8-6.
Following tense encounters, it was as well that half-time arrived as fists began to fly.
Bristol were better at the restart; Morley broke out of defence and kicked on; the ball rebounded off Waterman’s legs, enabling David Tyler to gather and touch down. Bath’s unease was compounded when Pearn added another penalty. At last, Bath pulled out something extra: “It was begun when Hall won possession at the back of a line-out, and after Orledge had handled, Lye dummied through splendidly and finally it was Hannell who plunged over the line for a try which Waterman converted.” Bath applied further forward pressure: “A fine mark by Waterman and useful defensive kicking by Perry eased the pressure before Hall, not for the first time, earned the displeasure of the crowd for his ruthless play.” Pearn landed a 45 yard penalty to put Bristol in the lead.
Almost immediately, a great run by Duckworth heralded a triumphant win – albeit by one point..
“A glorious finish to a fine game at Bristol last Saturday, and those of us who have been privileged to watch many Bath and Bristol games will probably agree that this was one of the best ever.”
Programme notes 24/10/1970)
v St. Mary’s Hospital, Home. Won 25-5. Team:- M Polledri, G Steer, N Brewer, A F Gay, J E Cousins, G Phillips, A T Lerwill, J Longstaff, M Robinson, M R Hannell, P B Heindorff, B Jenkins, J E Ashcroft, R Wheeler, and P R Hall.
A strangely unfamiliar Bath side showed early signs of their willingness to move the ball about against a young looking St. Mary’s team, playing one short until near half-time. Gradually, the old hands got things organised, and in the end, Bath were playing well within themselves. In the later exchanges some of the play became extremely scrappy, but it tended to be one way traffic towards the medics’ line. Tries flowed from Polledri, Phillips, Hannell, Brian Jenkins and Hall, with Phillips dropping a goal and conversions from Polledri and Radley Wheeler. Polledri also kicked a penalty.
v Neath, Home. Won 14-11. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G Phillips, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, M Robinson, N C Carter, P M B Heindorff, R J Orledge, J E Ashcroft, R Lye and P R Hall.
Peter Glover was very much the hero of this game, running in two glorious tries in a ten minute ‘purple patch’ – Jim Waterman did the rest, slotting 2 penalties and a conversion. Bath survived a second half siege by the Welshmen: “Surprisingly, however, Neath, despite territorial dominance and touches of individual genius outside, were unable to produce a decisive break until it was too late to matter, only a few minutes from the end. To an extent, perhaps, they paid for their own ruthlessness. Their fiery pack, sprinkled with reserves, too frequently overstepped the accepted mark of hardness to earn the repeated displeasure of the referee.” They nevertheless produced some sharp skilful football.
“Neath’s pack steadily tightened their grip again, and despite worthy efforts by Lye, Hall and Orledge, together with the usual sound spoiling of Lloyd, Bath needed more than a little luck to survive. That, however, they deserved, for generally they tackled bravely, none more so than Donovan, Glover and Waterman, while Phillip’s kicking did as much as anything to keep the Welshmen at bay.”
v Bridgend, Away. Won 9-3. Team:- J S Waterman (T), M Polledri, J R Donovan, G Phillips, P B Glover (T), B Perry, M C Lloyd (T), M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, J R Tredwell, R Lye and P R Hall. It was Bath’s 13th win in 14 games, and the one loss, to London Irish, had been a 17 points to 18 affair. However, Bath had to survive a fearful first-half pounding and were fortunate to turn around just 3 points in arrears. Bridgend’s left wing Davies had scored a try after just 2 minutes play. Bath’s back row of Hall, Lye and newcomer, Tredwell were heroic in defence. From the re-start Orledge and Heindorff came into their own with driving play which exposed Bridgend’s defensive weaknesses. Within 10 minutes Lloyd had scored a well worked blind-side try. Next, Waterman took advantage of indecision and raced through to touch down. This signalled a significant revival by the home team and the game moved onto a thrilling climax. Soon, a quick heel caught the home defence out of position, and Glover dived over after a 45 yard race.
Bath thus retained their position at the top of the English-Welsh Table.
v Saracens, Home. Won 9-6. Team:- J Watkins, I F Duckworth (T), G Steer, J R Donovan, M Polledri (2P), G Phillips, J Deverell, N C Carter, M Robinson, M R Hannell, D Atkinson, B Jenkins, J R Tredwell, J Ashcroft, and P R Hall.
There were eight Bath players away with Somerset and Peter Glover was playing for England under 25’s v Fiji, but in “a corker” of a match, the back-up players did Bath proud.
Bath led 6-0 at half-time, with a splendid try by Duckworth and a Polledri penalty. Soon after re-start, the visitors drew level with two penalties by Wilkins and Bath supporters shaped up for a draw.
However, the scratch Bath side were having none of it and following a period of remarkably good play, Saracens conceded a penalty 30 yards from the Riverside corner. Up stepped Polledri to put the greasy ball between the posts. It was probably the finest kick he had ever produced and it secured a Bath win six minutes from no-side.
“The ‘up and under’ second-half tactics initiated largely by Phillips led to the Saracens’ downfall – the fly half having a great game and contributing very much to the result. His partner John Deverell, making his first class debut, played splendidly and came out with great credit. So too did full-back John Watkins, and he was rarely at fault in the awkward conditions.”
v Newbridge, Away. Lost 3-11. Team:- J S Waterman (T), P B Glover, J R Donovan, G Phillips, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, John Ashcroft, R Lye and P R Hall. No place for the unlucky Tom Martland, who was still struggling back after knee ligament problems. The previous week he was in the Somerset back row against Gloucestershire. This week was selected at outside-half for the United!
The Welshmen thoroughly deserved their win, although Waterman’s try was voted the best of the match. Lloyd started the move, Glover ran the length of the field and served up the final pass to Waterman. Otherwise, Bath lost their away record in the rain and mud; there was a general lapse in form on a thoroughly miserable afternoon.
Newbridge full-back Brian Anthony, kicked two first half penalties and converted a Mel Davies try.
v United Services (Portsmouth), Home. Won 22-6. Team:- J Watkins, P B Glover, J R Donovan, M Polledri, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, M Robinson, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, B Jenkins, R J Walkey, J Ashcroft, P R Hall.
Despite release of six players to the County cause, Bath had a comfortable win over the Services.
Waterman, B Perry, D Gay, R Lye, R J Orledge and G Frankcom played for v Devon. (Lost 9-19)
Bath led 11-6 at the interval and doubled their tally in the second spell.
Tries scored by Donovan, Duckworth, Walkey, Phillips and Ashcroft, with Walkey converting two and adding a penalty. Walkey figured in much of the loose play, but had comparatively modest kicking success, judging by his own high standards. There were many dropped passes: “…..but for uncertain handling by the home threequarters, more tries would have resulted.”
A suggestion to operate selection on a rota system was turned down by the players.
v London Scottish, Away. Lost 14-16. Team:- J S Waterman, R Elliott, M Polledri, G Phillips, J Cousins, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, D Gay, R Lye, and P R Hall.
Spectator comment: Referee R A Harding: “Blew the whistle far too hard.” London Scottish were awarded a Penalty Try. To cap it all, the referee allowed 8 minutes of injury time and London Scottish scored 5 points in the last few seconds. Indeed Bath were pipped at the post after leading 8-0 at half time, after a penalty by Elliott and his conversion from Robbie Lye’s try. It was penalties that kept Bath afloat in the second half, with successes for Elliott and Waterman. However, the Exciles stuck to their task Thorburn going in for a try, Smith adding a penalty and converting from a penalty try for an obstruction attributed to Waterman. Waterman’s penalty briefly gave Bath the lead, only to be shattered by Ian Smith’s injury time dash, securing their “amazing” victory.
v Gloucester, Home. Drawn 0-0. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, M Polledri, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, R J Orledge, P B Heindorff, D J Gay, R Lye and P R Hall.
Malcolm Lloyd sustained a serious Achilles tendon injury 30 minutes into the game and was operated on that night. In Lloyd’s absence, Phil Hall strove manfully at the base of the scrum.
An unsatisfactory draw was played out on the Rec., with dour play in muddy conditions. There was certainly no enjoyment for the two full-backs, who were obliged to mark under pressure, as each side tested their opponents with speculative ‘up and unders.’
Both sides showed flashes of handling skills, but play was mainly confined to the boot.
“The rugged battle up front seldom let up with Bath’s seven holding their own well. But the backs with limited opportunities, made little impression on a sound tackling defence.”
v Llanelli, Away. Lost 6-20. Team:- J S Waterman, R S Elliott, G Steer, M Polledri, I F Duckworth, B Perry, J Deverell (Old Edwardians), M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. Walkey scored a second half penalty and Orledge went over for a try in the closing minutes. Otherwise, Bath were often thoroughly bemused by Llanelli’s dazzling play, epitomised by their mercurial outside-half, Phil Bennett.
Gay was a late withdrawal from the back row, delaying plans to play Lye at scrum-half. Deverell (destined to become Major General Sir John Deverell O.B.E. ) came in at the base of the scrum.
However, contemplation of career or sporting successes counted for nothing, when the Welsh got going, and Bath, playing with commendable spirit, were nevertheless, playing the game on retreat and took a bit of a beating. Hill was their prodigious point scorer, who at the start of the game had already amassed 163 points in only 15 club appearances.
v South Wales Police, Home. Won 17-8. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, M Polledri, G Phillips, R Lye, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, B Jenkins, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D Gay, P R Hall.
Bitter winter conditions kept all but the most hardy at home this day. The pitch was frozen hard by half-time by a harsh biting cross-wind. There was an understandable reluctance to go to ground, but nevertheless, Bath clicked into action and David Gay touched down within three minutes and Walkey converted. The Police then got the frost out of their bones and responded with typical Welsh grit. Diaper dominated in the line-out and international fly-half Ron Evans marshalled star Police centres, Hall and Jenkins. It was Jenkins who scored in the twentieth minute, Protheroe added the conversion and teams were on level terms. Bath pulled ahead just before half-time, when Donovan stormed through a defence, understandably reluctant to tackle. As the weather deteriorated, Bath forwards renewed their efforts, exerting great pressure in the set scrums. Frankcom again showed some of the touches which had made him a favourite on the Rec., leading to Orledge sending Parfitt over at the corner flag. The next try came from Lye, and finally, Phillips raced in from 50 yards out, to complete a fine, in the playing sense, afternoon of rugby.
v Cardiff, Away. Lost 11-26. Team:- J S Waterman, M Polledri, J R Donovan, M C Beese, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Lye, M R Hannell, A Parfitt (2T), N Carter, B Jenkins, P B Heindorff, R J Walkey (P, C), D J Gay and P R Hall.
John Bevan scored for Cardiff after three minutes, but Walkey levelled with a finely angle penalty.
Bath rallied strongly after the disastrous 20 minutes that followed. In the opening stages, they seemed more preoccupied with coming to terms with the bone hard conditions, and quality of the opposition. In consequence, Cardiff established a 17-3 lead, and in some respects – the game was up! But Bath rallied bravely, even after losing Phillips with concussion, just before half-time. Polledri also withdrew briefly after a succession of knocks. Phil Hall stood back deep, operating in a combination of a temporary fly-half – and extra full back. By now, skipper Heindorff was handicapped by a back injury.
Remarkably, with Walkey, Hannell and Carter in the forwards and Lye at scrum-half, Bath began to rally. Waterman and Beese tackled valiantly and for the first time Cardiff were in check.
There was one lovely break out when Polledri got away on the right: “He found a rather surprising partner in hooker Alan Parfitt, who took time off from his duties in the tight to handle and run like a threequarter and in the process, sell possibly the best dummy of the afternoon.” This was Bath’s first try and after a counter-try for Lane of Cardiff, Parfitt was again in the action: “Parfitt intercepting a pass on halfway again sent Polledri storming away on the right, and after Jenkins had handled, was up to score his second try, which Walkey converted.”
Cardiff had the last word, when Edwards dropped a remarkable goal, but at least Bath had salvaged something of their reputation.
v London Welsh, Home. Lost 6-14. Team:- J S Waterman, P Burrowes, B Perry, D Burcher, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, J F Deverell, J Meddick, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, D J Gay, R Lye and R J Walkey (2P). It was David Gay’s 100th 1st XV game.
London Welsh included eight internationals and were embarking on a most glorious period of their history. The team included some exceptionally talented players:- J P R Williams, T G R Davies, S J Dawes (Captain), D Llewellyn, A Richards, R H Phillips, W G Hullin, T G Davies, A P Baker, I C Jones, T G Evans, J James, A Phillips, T M Davies and J Taylor.
Bath were again at prey to County demands, but nevertheless fought bravely against, arguably, the best side in the U.K. at that time. They were actually put in the lead with Walkey’s first of two penalties, but were overhauled by some amazing play. Bath covered and tackled bravely, with Phillips doing much to rally the side, and keep marauding forwards at arms length. Deverell showed his talents at scrum-half. For the Welsh, Mervyn Davies and John Taylor were constantly up in support, ripping away ball to their ever willing back line. T G R Davies was a constant threat on the right wing. J P R Williams was the great general at full back, moving into the line with devastating effect. John Dawes withdrew briefly for a knee strapping, but the Welsh skipper kept his dazzling side working to the last whistle. It was a thoroughly enthralling game.
Veteran, Peter Parfitt turned out for the United against London Welsh Druids. ‘Parf’ came up from Walcot to help out, at the same time as John ‘Bert’ Meddick was getting his first senior game. United skipper Allen Gay, praised the front row men: “It was as solid as a rock and you’ve got to hand it to Parf.”
v Metropolitan Police, Home. Won 6-0. Team:- J S Waterman, P Burrows, B Perry, D Burcher, N. Mathias-Williams, G Phillips, J Deverell, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
Despite steadily falling rain, Bath were soon in the lead with tries by John Deverell and replacement Neil Mathias-Williams. Deverell’s try was a solo effort from his chip ahead, a quick nip around the ruck, a kick on and a simple flop on the ball in the right hand corner, a bit too far out for Roger Walkey’s conversion attempt. Debut winger Mathias-Williams celebrated with his try shortly after, Walkey again unable to convert. It took the Met boys some 25 minutes before they could launch any serious threat, and Waterman’s stout tackling nullified the right wing’s foray. The standard of play deteriorated somewhat in the second half, and most of the steam seemed to have gone out of the home pack. Both sides kicked ahead speculatively, but neither advanced their cause.
This game brought home the need for floodlighting in order to have more flexibility with fixtures. Gate takings amounted to just £10. The Wales-England game was on the television, and when fixtures clashed – the Club’s gate money fell off drastically.
v Aberavon, Home. Won 6-0. Team:- J S Waterman, M Polledri, B Perry, D Burcher, P Burrowes, G Phillips, J F Deverell, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. Bath showed considerable enterprise in overcoming Aberavon in deteriorating, muddy conditions. Two first half tries secured this excellent result: “From a lineout on the Aberavon 25 Parfitt took a palm down at the front, burst away and handed inside to Orledge, who thundered out of two tackles to ground the ball safely enough amid a sea of spray.” Later: “Phillips handled, and after a fine weaving run by Lye it was Perry who got the touchdown for a try, which Walkey again narrowly failed to convert.”
Over- robust play, and a few flying fists characterised some of the second half exchanges and Ford and Mainwaring had a tongue lashing from referee Abbot. Aberavon had two penalty chances to level, but the wind and the water combined to nullify both attempts to save their game.
v Rugby, Away. Won 11-9. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, B Perry, D Burcher, P Burrowes, G Phillips, J F Deverell, M C Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, B Jenkins, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath had a full strength side for about 15 minutes of this game. David Burcher was 15 minutes late and some 18 minutes later Waterman and Deverell were both injured within a minute of each other. Waterman suffered double vision, but returned for the second half, but Deverell remained off for the rest of the game. Robbie Lye moved to scrum half and, as is so often the case at such times, Bath proceeded to raise their game: “Bath trailed by six points at the interval, after Stuart Martin had landed two penalties, but they got back into the game with a brilliant try, when Waterman caught a kick ahead and the ball passed through six pairs of hands in a sweeping move, before Brian Jenkins touched down near the posts for Roger Walkey to convert. Bath moved ahead with another fine move, which ended with Peter Burrowes forcing his way over the corner with Rugby slow to tackle.” Walkey kicked an earlier penalty.
v Rosslyn Park, Away. Won 22-20. Team:- J S Waterman, N Mathias-Williams, B Perry, D Burcher, P Burrowes, G Phillips, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, B Jenkins, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall (Capt.)
“My first impression of those first 35 minutes at Rosslyn Park were that Bath were trying to sort out matters which should have been cleared up in tactical training earlier in the week.”
(TALKING RUGBY -John Stevens) Bath were suffering from the long term absence of Malcolm Lloyd, and lately John Deverell, just as he was coming into form. Peter Glover and Ian Duckworth had not been regularly available. On top of this, the spell of bad weather and waterlogged grounds did not suite Bath’s open style of play.
Nevertheless it was a win, with tries by Burrowes (3) Mathias-Williams, and Chris Perry. Walkey kicked 2 conversions and a penalty.
v Gloucester, Away. Drawn 9-9. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, R Elliott, B Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
Aware of their lack of cohesion, Bath had knuckled down to extra tactical training, which was particularly useful to the less experienced players. It began to show dividends at this match, earning Bath a creditable draw, under floodlights, in front of the ‘Shed’ faithful. They played very much as a unit, and enhanced hopes for a successful second half of the season. Phillips secured a drop goal and Walkey kicked two penalties. An early season ankle injury had reduced Walkey to 10 appearances, but the young Welshman had already notched up 50 points for his Club.
v Cheltenham, Away. Lost 11-16. Team:- T D Martland, P B Glover, R S Elliott, B Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, P R Hall, R Lye, R J Walkey.
With a sub standard performance, Bath lost their record of not being beaten by any English side this season, with a shock away defeat at the hands of Cheltenham. They started well enough, a long pass missing out Perry which was fielded by Martland; Peter Glover rounded his man, Walkey converted and Bath were 5 points up. The ‘garden city men’ came back with two penalties by White, and the first half ended on a high note, as: “Glover burst away down the right Walkey carried on, brushing off tackle after tackle and, after several forwards had handled, Lye scored an unconverted try.”
Cheltenham seemed to revive when Phil Hall was forced to withdraw with a nasty swelling on his right eyebrow. Receiving from a set scrum, Cheltenham moved the ball quickly, Redwood outpaced Bath’s defence to score a try which White converted. Hall returned but Cheltenham were still in the ascendancy. Bath looked to be in tatters, and uncharacteristically, Martland was having a poor game at full-back. Blake then broke from a line-out, brushed all asunder, scored and converted his own try. Bath looked a beaten side and gained little comfort when Walkey narrowed the margin with a well taken penalty. In the last quarter, Bath threw just about everything at the home side. However, particularly good efforts by Glover and Perry were to no avail.
v Wasps, Home. Won 22-14. Team:- J S Waterman, P W Burrowes, B Perry, R S Elliott, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P M Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. Winger Burrowes spectacularly suffered a broken leg.
Despite recent poor form, Wasps hustled Bath into early errors. Bath were on the retreat, but new scrum-half Ascott soon featured in good defensive kicking to relieve the pressure. Gradually, Bath’s forward momentum returned, and Wasps’ over-stretched defence, let in Walkey, who scored and converted his own try. There was still a demonstrative lack of urgency to Bath’s play, but they eventually sparked into life with tries by Burrows, Waterman, Ascott (a brilliant solo effort), and Duckworth. Walkey converted two and landed a penalty. Burrows withdrew with an ankle injury in the 60th minute.
Peter Glover played for England v France this day.
v Swansea, Home. Lost 13-14. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, B Perry, A Gay, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall. A 5-30pm kick off in view of the televising of the Wales v Ireland match.
Bath tries from Brendan Perry, Parfitt and Walkey, with Walkey converting two of them.
JOHN STEVENS comment: “A week after the event- and they’re still arguing about that penalty try which cost Bath defeat against Swansea on the Rec last Saturday.
Did referee Mike Titcomb award a penalty try at the time, or did he, as some have suggested, only make up his mind about it afterwards to cover a mistake in awarding a try to Roger Hyndman when he lost the ball? ” Titcombe maintained that he awarded the try because the Swansea player was tripped. “But whatever might be argued in years to come, the fact remains that Bath lost to Swansea, and moreover, deserved to do so.”
v R.A.F., Home. Lost 8-14. Team:- J S Waterman, N Mathias – Williams, G Steer, J Donovan, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bath lost this below par performance against an eager services side in which Bath’s own Geoff Frankcom, and R.A.F. captain, played a significant probing role. There were a couple of less experienced players in Bath’s back division, and the visitors were quick to exploit any weakness. Orledge dominated in the line-out, but the back row were slow to the breakdowns, reflecting the general lethargy of the whole team. As to the successes, Waterman’s strong run out of defence sent in Duckworth for his first try, which Walkey converted, and following good forward rucking, Waterman was again on hand to give Duckworth the scoring pass for his second.
v Richmond, Home. Won 22-14. Team:- J S Waterman, N Mathias – Williams, G Steer, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bath showed some attacking flare, to gain a comfortable enough victory in an enjoyable encounter.
Foundation for success was laid by solid line-out work by Orledge, fiery foraging from Walkey, and improved distribution by Ascott. Frankcom, was thankfully, on our side, and steadied things up in the centre. Phillips scored the first try after 15 minutes and Walkey converted. Next Ascott worried away at his opposite number and skirting an untidy heel, grabbed the ball from Martin, to score Bath’s second.
“Before the interval came an even more classic try when Phillips picked a set scrum pass off the floor, and missed out a centre, passing straight to Frankcom. Duckworth accelerated through on the left and Waterman, coming up outside him, produced a thrilling 40 yard run, shaking off two tackles in the process before squeezing over in the corner.” Bob Orledge stormed over shortly after half-time.
Walkey added two second half tries, and converted two on the day.
v Newport, Home. Won 12-8. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, G Steer, A F Gay, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, J Meddick, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall. Gate money £110
This was a welcome return of the Newport XV, who we last played on 2nd February 1952. On that occasion they won 17 points to 5. Geoff Phillips enjoyed this one – a win against his former club! What is more, he landed two drop goals! One of the best movements was at the very start: “Allen Gay, bursting through the centre, set up a second phase position, which brother David developed, and after Parfitt had joined in, Waterman came up in support, and Glover dived over at the right corner only to be recalled for having a foot in touch.”
Walkey actually opened the scoring with a penalty, after Daniel was adjudged off-side. Bath’s lively effort was rewarded by a try by Allen Gay, and of course, Phillip’s match winning drop goals.
v Stothert & Pitt, Away. Won 19-6. Somerset Cup. Team:- J S Waterman, J E Cousins, G Steer, A F Gay, I F Duckworth, Martin Wood, C Perry, P B Heindorff, R Jenkins, A Parfitt, N Carter, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Martin Wood, a Culverhay lower-sixth schoolboy, came in at outside half, aged just 16. The works side made a good fist of it, demonstrating no end of fighting spirit and forthright tackling. But there was no major upset, and Bath piled on the points with tries from David Gay, Steer, Orledge and Chris Perry. Walkey converted two and kicked a penalty.
“NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUT DISCONTENT.”
v Bristol, Home. Lost 6-32. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, G D Steer, J R Donovan, I F Duckworth, T D Martland, R Ascott, B Meddick, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall. This was the 155th encounter, and Bristol exacted revenge for their earlier home defeat. Bath’s only reply amid a thorough drubbing, came from two Walkey penalties.
“In the end all Bath’s woeful limitations in tackling and covering and their lack of experience in key positions were exposed for all to see. But undoubtedly the most lasting damage was done in the first 25 minutes during which Bath, with one schoolboy error after another, allowed Bristol to build up a 14-6 lead.” “They were body blows from which Bath never recovered.” “If the crowd was stunned into silence, one could imagine the demoralising effect on the Bath players, who groped their way through the rest of the game without ever finding their true touch.” Playing behind a slow heel, all confidence drained away, as Martland and Ascott had nightmare games at half-back.
“To say the crowd were disappointed was an understatement, and Bath’s lack of real fighting spirit must have been doubly hard to bear.”
(Good Friday) v Harlequins, Home. Won 20-6. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G Steer, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, B Meddick, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay, P R Hall.
Following the Bristol debacle, the team confounded their critics with a storming performance against the touring Quins. “Within three minutes Parfitt, taking a tap down at the front of the line-out, sprinted 25 yards down the left touchline to put Bath ahead. Almost immediately Walkey led a foot rush to the Quins posts where Grant, trying to fly kick clear, sliced the ball across the in goal area and prop forward Carter followed up to score a try which Walkey converted.” Next, Phillips, showing superb form, dropped a goal from 40 yards out. From the back row, Hall, Gay and Walkey called the shots, whilst Parfitt and Orledge shone elsewhere in the loose. A second penalty by Walkey put Bath 17 points up at half time. Bath continued to dominate and Gay crowned a fine afternoon’s work with a late try.
v Broughton Park, Home. Won 17-3. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, G Steer, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, R Ascott, M Hannell, A G Parfitt, N C Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Walkey, D J Gay, and P R Hall.
The lively tourists made Bath work hard in the early stages, but starting with Walkey’s penalty Bath put together some constructive play. Duckworth combined with Ascott to pounce on a loose ball after a defensive slip. As half time approached, Glover got well away in the centre, feeding a lobbed pass to Phillips for an unconverted try. A period of scrappy play and a heel against the head, allowed Colford to drop a fine goal for the ‘Park.’ After a period of lethargy, Donovan crossed-kicked towards Parfitt, who grabbed the loose ball and touched down for Waterman to convert. Soon afterwards, another fine move, ended in a fine try by Glover.
v Old Merchant Taylors, Home. Won 24-6. Team:- J S Waterman, P B Glover, J R Donovan, A Gay, G Steer, G Phillips, R Ascott, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, D G Robson, B Jenkins, R Wheeler, R J Walkey, R Lye, I Holmes. Bath won all three of their Easter games, as O.M.T.’s succumbed to a spate of scoring, starting with Waterman’s penalty and followed by tries from Donovan, Lye (2) and Steer (2). Waterman converted two and Walkey one.
v Llanelli, Home. Lost 18-29. Team:- J S Waterman, I F Duckworth, G Steer, B Perry, J E Cousins, G Phillips, R Ascott, N Carter, A Parfitt, B Meddick, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall.
The Scarlets duly completed the double over Bath in a high scoring game. Phil Bennett was the chief architect of Bath’s downfall, scoring all but six of their points. Bath’s enthusiasm diminished as the game progressed, with oft-times token tackling and slow motion, hesitant passing, Bath had got off to a cracking start, with unconverted tries by Duckworth and Cousins. However, Bennett was quick to maximise on Bath faults, to the extent that Ascott’s service from the scrum declined markedly. Jenkins, Trueman and Gravelle drove through on his wayward passes. There were two fine penalty goals by Waterman, but this was merely a prelude to avalanche of points from Llanelli. Bath rallied near the end, when Walkey scored after a good forward effort and amid load applause, John Cousins thundered away down the right wing for another of his barnstorming touch-downs.
v Oldfield Old Boys (Somerset Cup), Home. Won 27-5. Team:- J S Waterman (T, P, 3C), J E Cousins, G Steer, B Perry (2T), I F Duckworth, G Phillips (2T, DG), C Perry, N Carter, A Parfitt, M R Hannell, P Heindorff, R J Orledge, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall.
v Exeter, Away. Lost 3-37. Team:- J S Waterman, I Holmes, P Hall, B Perry, D Taylor, G Phillips, R M Harding, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, B Jenkins, R Lye, D Gay and W K C Lye. Scrum-half, Richard Harding joined from Millfield School. (Later to join Bristol)
A re-adjusted team suffered an astonishing reversal, going down to their worst defeat of the season.
Admittedly there were two wing-forwards in the three-quarter line, but there were a number of old hands, who might have shorn up obvious weaknesses. To compound their troubles, they arrived one man short, and they completed their team by requisitioning Robbie Lye’s brother Bill who had come to watch the game. He was then an Exmouth player. It started and continued as a shambles as Bath played second best in all departments. Waterman kicked the penalty, but it was little consolation for a humiliating defeat.
v Bedford, Away. Lost 8-11. Team:- J S Waterman(C), I F Duckworth, B Perry, A Gay, G Steer, B Phillips, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, Frank Carter, P B Heindorff (T), R J Orledge(T), R J Walkey, D J Gay and P R Hall.
Bedford went ahead within a minute when B. Page landed a penalty from the half-way line, and this score held until the interval. Although Bath forwards were able to hold their own, both sides looked jaded after a long season; Bath suffered from several missed penalty attempts by Walkey.
At last Heindorff, leading by example, was in the van of a mighty shove that grounded on the Bedford line, but Walkey’s conversion kick was way off the mark. “Janion cut through for a try which Page converted to put Bedford ahead, but Bath’s hopes raised again when Waterman went over for Orledge to convert.
It was all in vain however, for Steele scored again for Bedford and this time Bath could not wipe out the deficit.”
Bath were disappointed to lose both Tour matches, crashing unexpectedly to Angouleme at Pons, and then beaten by a reinforced La Rochelle side the following day. The main problem was the non availability of several of the first choice backs, and in consequence, there was little class outside the scrum.
v Angouleme, Away. Lost 12-33. Team:- T D Martland, J E Cousins, A F Gay, N Hudson, R Elliott, G Phillips, R Ascott, N Carter, A Parfitt, B Meddick, P B Heindorff, K Plummer, I Holmes, R Wheeler and P R Hall. The Local Mayor kicked off. The referee was described as very poor, and Bath looked a bit ‘under the weather’ (Perhaps the players had been checking out the local vineyards!) Skipper, Heindorff scored Bath’s only try, with Elliott kicking two penalties, and Phillips dropping a goal.
v La Rochelle, Away. Lost 6-17. Team:- T D Martland, J E Cousins, R Elliott, N Hudson, R Ascott, G Phillips, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, B Jenkins, R Lye, D J Gay and P R Hall. Again, lack of pace and experience behind the scrum, left Bath on the wrong foot and bereft of ideas, against a side which included several guests, including French international Henri Magois. Phillips scored a try and Elliott kicked a penalty.
v Bath & Somerset Police. Somerset K.O. Cup Winners. Won 13-8. Team:- J S Waterman, J E Cousins, G Steer, R Elliott, I F Duckworth, B Perry, C Perry, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N Carter, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, R Lye, D J Gay, P R Hall. Played out of season, by special permission. Bath scrambled to win the Somerset Cup at the conclusion of a season of very mixed fortunes. More bad news, as Duckworth was forced to withdraw with a torn shoulder muscle after 20 minutes. Bath tries by Brendan Perry, and David Gay, both converted by Elliott, who also kicked a penalty. At the finish of a scrappy and disappointing final, the Champions looked tired and jaded, and perhaps – glad it was all over.
OFFICIAL FIXTURES – 41 GAMES *
Player Appearances:- Hall 39, Carter, Heindorff and Alan Parfitt 37, Waterman 36, Hannell 35, Orledge 34, Bobbie Lye and Phillips 30, Duckworth 29, Perry 28, Donovan 23, Walkey 22, Glover 21, Lloyd 16, David Gay, Polledri 14, Elliott and Steer 11, Ascott and Martland 10, Jenkins 9, Burrowes 8, Ashcroft, Allen Gay and Deverell 6, Burcher and Meddick 5, Brewer, Mathias-Williams, Chris Perry and Robinson 4, Cousins, Taylor and Watkins 3, Frankcom, Holmes, Lerwill, Tredwell and Wheeler 2, Atkinson, Beese, Frank Carter, Harding, Longstaff, Billy Lye, Peter Parfitt, Plummer, Robson and Watson 1 each.
OVERALL PLAYER APPEARANCES TO DATE:-
P R HALL 395,HEINDORFF 334,DONOVAN 252,MARTLAND 221,B PERRY 213,ORLEDGE 171,FRANKCOM 133,DUCKWORTH 126,COUSINS 124,LLOYD 114,D GAY 109,WATERMAN 108,A GAY 104,HANNELL 102,A PARFITT 101,
Tries (113) :- Duckworth 15, Glover 12, Bobbie Lye 11, Hall, Walkey and Waterman 6, Alan Parfitt, Phillips and Burrowes 5, Donovan, Lloyd and Orledge 4, Ascott and Hannell 3, Niail Carter, Cousins, David Gay, Jenkins, Mathias-Williams, Brendan Perry, Polledri and Sterr 2, Ashcroft, Brewer, Deverell, Elliott, Allen Gay, Heindorff, Martland and Chris Perry 1 each.
Penalties (42):- Waterman 19, Walkey 17, Polledri 3, Elliott 2, Niail Carter 1.
Conversions (40):- Waterman 19, Walkey 17, Elliott, Polledri, Watkins and Wheeler 1 each.
Drop Goals (5):- Phillips.
• N.B.* The Somerset Cup and the two match French Tour were not included in the official player statistics.