v Pontypool, Away, Lost 15-25. J S Waterman, R Elliott, D J Jenkins, P Binham, T D Norris, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, B Meddick, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Bath buckled under Pontypool’s forward pressure, after leading 12-3 at the interval. The back row of Gay, Lye and Hall dictated terms in the first half. Bath’s only try of the game stemmed from a short line-out; Hall took the ball and supported by Gay and Lye, drove through the defence to feed Elliott, who lost no time in speeding over on the left and converting his own try. Further back row pressure led to Elliott slotting over two first half penalties. However, Terry Cobner was able to raise Pontypool’s effort and two minutes into the second half, their first try was almost a carbon copy of Bath’s earlier success, Pugh scoring and converting his own try. Soon, Cobner was again on the ball and this time Taylor touched down for a second Pugh conversion. They went further ahead, when Cornwall scored a third, and they finally hammered home their advantage, when a Bath pass went astray and Collins flopped on the ball for Pugh to again add the extras. Elliott had reduced the arrears with a second half penalty, but Bath were well beaten.
v Taunton, Home, Won 36-8. J S Waterman, R S Elliott, D J Jenkins, P Binham, T D Norris, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, M R Hannell, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P F Hall (Capt).
The Bath back row again turned in a fine performance, admittedly, against fairly modest opposition. Jenkins and Wheeler were also prominent in a positive forward display. However, possession seemed to be untidy, which hampered the efforts of halfbacks Lloyd and Phillips. Waterman made some good runs from deep.
Despite some shortcomings, Bath tries flowed from Parfitt, Lye (2), Lloyd, Gay and Norris, with Elliott converting three and adding two penalties. It was felt that David Jenkins and Peter Binham had few chances to show their abilities and that there would have to be a better team effort against stronger sides.
v Leicester, Away, Lost 4-34. J S Waterman, R S Elliott, P D Binham, D J Jenkins, T D Norris, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, M R Hannell, R J Wheeler, B J Jenkins, R Lye, D J Gay, P F Hall (Capt).
Leicester went ahead with a 50-yard penalty goal by Whibley. Next, Leicester’s Wheeler had a hand in sending away wingman Duggan; when he was held up, Willars was on hand to cross for an unconverted try. The home side was again successful when Whibley kicked a second penalty as Bath could see the game slipping away from them. Elliott closed the gap with a try but Bath were already 4-20 down by the interval. Further Leicester tries followed as the home side combined for a very polished display. Bath responded briefly with good work by Binham and Gay, but they had little support. Leicester’s all-round play was too good for the Bath outfit.
v Hawick, Away, Lost 6-30. R S Elliott, T D Norris, N Hudson, D J Jenkins, D Flower, G Phillips, C Perry, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, B Meddick, W Mottram, K M Plummer, R Lye, R J Wheeler and P R Hall. Hawick fielded five Scottish internationals.
This was Bath’s first visit to the Scottish Champions and Bath were generally outclassed after putting up a brave fight. Surprisingly, Bath were the first to score when stand-off Geoff Phillips dropped a neat goal. Scottish centre, Jim Renwick replied almost immediately with a succession of three penalty goals. Elliott kicked a penalty and the sides crossed with Bath just nine points to six down. Bath had been doing well in the forwards with Wheeler, Plummer and Lye giving a good account of themselves. However, the Scot’s defence ensured that Bath could make little progress thereon.
Four minutes into the second spell, and standoff Colin Telfer put Hawick further ahead with a drop goal and four tries were to follow. The best was kept to last, when Telfer dummied through the Bath defence, for a 30 yard dash to the line.
v Langholm, Away, Won 8-6. J Waterman, R Hones, N Hudson, P Binham, D Flower, G Phillips, M Lloyd, W Mottram, M Gould, N Carter, R Wheeler, K Plummer, P R Hall, R Lye and C Perry. Peter Binham dislocated his elbow after 20 minutes play. Nevertheless, Bath fought on splendidly for a fine tour win by two tries to two penalty goals. “The Bath forwards secured a good supply of the ball and their backs showed real potential in attack.
Two brilliant tries, both of which were unconverted, were scored by Ken Plummer and Robbie Lye, who shrugged off several attempted tackles with almost contemptuous ease as they raced for their scores.” It was a deserved win against the odds.
v Moseley, Away, Lost 4-59. J S Waterman, T D Norris, N Hudson, D J Jenkins, R Elliott, B Perry, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, M R Hannell, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, R Lye, D J Gay, C Perry.
Chronicle Headline – BATH MASSACRED AT MOSELEY
Bath were soon in trouble, giving away a penalty to the grateful Sam Doble. The Moseley full-back featured constantly, both as a kicker and in support play. Finlan also contributed to Bath’s downfall, with a fine display at outside half. For Bath, Elliott had a blank day with his penalty attempts, and only David Gay was able to contribute to the Bath score sheet. He made a scorching touchline run to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try.
v Matson, Away, Won 18-6. R.F.U. Knock-out Cup. J S Waterman (Capt), D Flower, D Jenkins, N Hudson, C Perry, E Holley, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, M R Hannell, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R J Walkey and R Lye. Attendance 3000.
Despite a spirited performance the Gloucester club found Bath bouncing back from the Moseley drubbing. A try by David Gay was converted by Walkey, who also landed three penalties. David Jenkins took a snap drop goal from an awkward angle, and was pleased to see it bounce the right way when it hit the crossbar. Matson’s bustling style did give Bath some anxious moments, but Bath’s heavier and more experienced pack gradually took control. Gay and Walkey were particularly prominent.
v Old Belvedere (Dublin), Home, Won 37-4. J S Waterman, D Flower, N Hudson, E Holley, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, W Mottram, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall.
“Bath finally emerged from the fumbling ineptitude which has marred their start to the season………”
“The whole side played with altogether more life and determination and if their performance was far from perfect, the enterprise of their handling and their ability to conjure chances out of nothing was distinctly encouraging.” A new back division combination showed many innovative touches and this was reflected in the list of scorers. Tries by Flower, Holley, Duckworth, Phillips in the backs and Parfitt in the forwards. Wheeler converted three and landed three penalties. Phillips kicked one conversion.
v Exeter, Home, Lost 6-19. J S Waterman, D Flower, N Hudson, E Holley, I F Duckworth, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A G Parfitt, W Mottram, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt). This was a disappointing setback just as things seemed to be improving. Exeter’s fullback Bob Staddon was the dominant figure, as he initiated many of the attacks and seemed always on hand on critical defensive occasions. “Exeter continued to dominate as the Bath pack seemed to be rooted in lethargy.” Waterman, Hudson and Flower combined well, but the winger had too little space in which to work. Bath sprang to life in the second half: “….Hudson, Holley and Duckworth racing the length of the field, a move where Exeter fouled as Bath were about to touch down and the home side were awarded a penalty try which Radley Wheeler converted. Flower was prominent in another good move initiated by Phillips but Exeter weathered the sudden storm and came back but again Bath combined splendidly after a fine run by Holley.”
Both sides were still hammering away at the finish, but only Exeter could advance their position.
v President’s XV. Home, Lost 15-30. B Thompson, D Flower, N J Hudson, E Holley, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler (4pg), D J Gay (T), R Lye, P R Hall. Attendance 4000
Referee – M H Titcombe (GLOS.)
Alec Lewis brought a star-studded side which included 13 England players.
Bath were far from disgraced in such illustrious company. However, their visitors were quicker to the break down and provided real pace on the wings. Gay, Lye and Plummer were very much in evidence in open play. The President’s side took any opportunity to exercise their portfolio of skills. In one situation: “Old had soon completely fooled Bath with a dummy drop at goal, and with the defence drawn in-field, his switch of direction to the left again found Knight in line and Plummer’s pace did the rest, for Pearn to convert.” Undiscouraged, Bath kept fighting to the end. Their final score tally was: Try by Gay converted by Wheeler, who also kicked four penalties.
The Presidents side was:- P M Knight (Bristol), K Plummer (Bristol), J P Janion (Bedford), C S Wardlow (Coventry), A A Richards (Fylde), A G B Old (Middlesborough), A Pearn (Bristol), C B Stevens (Harlequins), J V Pullin (Bristol capt.), M A Burton (Gloucester), P J Larter (Northampton), C W Ralston (Richmond), A Neary ( Broughton Park), A G Ripley (Rosslyn Park), J A Watkins (Gloucester).
v Cheltenham, Home, Won 28-0. B Thompson, D Flower, N J Hudson, E Holley, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, R Lye, D J Gay, Ray Smith.
This was a comfortable win on home ground. Bath dominated from the early stages, with Lloyd stage-managing affairs around the scrum and Gay linking with Flower on the wing. The Cheltenham forwards were frequently bundled off the ball in the loose. In the end, Bath rather cruised home. The final score sheet being:- Tries by G Hughes, Lloyd and Lye. Two conversions by Thompson, two drop goals from Phillips and Wheeler added two penalties.
Improved scrummaging enabled Parfitt to take several heels against the head.
v Clifton, Away, Won 18-6. B Thompson, D Flower, E Holley, N J Hudson, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B J Jenkins, R Lye, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt).
Clifton led 3-0 in the early stages. Then ten minutes into the second half, Gay’s thrusting run signalled a Bath onslaught, which brought tries for Holley (2) and Gay, with Thompson converting all three.
Hooker Alan Parfitt engineered Gay’s try, with a dummying run more befitting a centre-threequarter. He linked up with Hudson, who wrong-footed the defence with an inside pass, which left David Gay for the final run in.
v Aberavon, Home, lost 10-18. B Thompson, D Flower, D J Jenkins, C Perry, G Hughes, C Phillips (Capt), M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, B Jenkins, R J Wheeler, R Lye, D J Gay, R Smith.
Bath lost Ray Smith with a dislocated shoulder, but even before this, Aberavon had the measure of Bath’s rearranged side. Dave Flower scored Bath’s only try and Thompson succeeded with two penalties. Bath managed some early pressure by intelligent use of a three-man line out, but Aberavon’s extra pace outside the scrum proved decisive. At one stage Aberavon ran in two brilliant tries in as many minutes. Bath fought back spiritedly, but the ‘Wizards’ proved too hot to handle. Smith’s departure had necessitated Lye moving to his wing position and David Jenkins moved to fly-half. Lloyd made some burrowing runs and there was good combination between Perry, Lloyd and Brian Jenkins. Flower’s try was some small reward for Bath’s second half rally.
v London Irish, Home, Won 9-7. B Thompson, D Flower, E R Holley, N J Hudson, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, D J Gay, R J Wheeler, R J Walkey, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Bath won an untidy, penalty ridden game in which there was more enthusiasm than skill, and the opening stages contained a high proportion of handling errors, and many chances were wasted. Bath’s penalty success were by Walkey (2) and Thompson. Their first came following a crooked feed at a set scrum and Thompson did the necessary. The Irish soon levelled with a massive touch-line penalty by veteran All Black Davies. The Irish were greatly encouraged when Beamish crossed for a fine try. The second half saw some good work by Walkey and Gay, who came close to scoring, but the move foundered when the pass was dropped. “Bath’s handling continued to be too bad to be true, with all their pressure coming to nothing.” It was left to Walkey to save the game with two second half penalties.
v Bristol, Away, Won 12-7. B Thompson, D Flower, E J Holley, N J Hudson, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, D J Gay, R J Wheeler, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall.
Played under floodlights. The win was a pleasant surprise to all Bath supporters. It had otherwise been a disappointing start to the season, but the team and Captain deserved all praise, for rising to the occasion against their old rivals at Bristol. Holley and Hughes got the tries and Thompson converted both. “With a tremendous team performance belying their indifferent record this season, they knocked Bristol right out of their stride, and by the end were audaciously dictating terms against a side previously beaten only at Cardiff.
It was a superb demolition job against a side which began almost arrogantly, but by the end were reduced to fumbling ineptitude.
Only for a fleeting period were Bristol able to develop and sustain that flowing, pulsating football for which they have become famous.
For the rest of the time they were subjected to constant hustling and bustling by Bath’s spirited heroes, who ran themselves top a standstill in support of one another.”
v St Mary’s Hospital, Home, Won 40-10. D Jenkins, D Flower, N Hudson, E Holley, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B Jenkins, R J Walkey, D J Gay, G Pillinger.
A nine try bonanza and two conversions gave short shrift to a lightweight and inexperienced Hospital’s side. “It took Bath less than two minutes to take the lead following a line-out inside the St. Mary’s 25.
Swift back-line passing enabled Holley to make a half-break and full-back David Jenkins who was up in support, knifed over for a try converted by Walkey.”
The final score card listed tries by David Jenkins (2), D Flower (3), G Hughes, G Phillips, R J Wheeler and R J Walkey, with Brian Jenkins converting two of them.
v Gloucester, Away, Lost 0-16. B Thompson, D Flower, E J Holley, N Hudson, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, J Meddick, A G Parfitt, N K Carter, D Jenkins, R J Wheeler, R Lye, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt). RFU KO Cup 1st round – 7pm kick off under floodlights.
Bath foundered under a mighty onslaught from the rampaging Gloucester pack, containing five of the recent selection for Western Counties versus the All Blacks. In fact, Bath succeeded in occupying their hosts 25 just twice during the whole of this one-sided match. By the finish, Gloucester had comprehensively steamrollered Bath to defeat by two goals and a try without reply.
“Burton, Nicholls and Cowling in their front row, supported by the real power-house of Brinn and Jarrett at lock, had Bath going backwards at a rate of knots and never able to settle as a result.”
The back row of Watkins, Pinkney and Smith completed Bath’s demolition. It was a rapid exit from the R.F.U. Cup competition.
v Bridgend, Away, Lost 10-22. B Thompson, D Flower, E J Holley, N Hudson, G Hughes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, J Meddick, A G Parfitt, W Mottram, D Jenkins, R J Wheeler, R Lye, D J Gay, R J Walkey.
The game was played under floodlights on the Friday because Cardiff played New Zealand on the Saturday. Bath made a careless start, giving their hosts a 10-7 lead. They rarely functioned with any efficiency, and a whole series of defensive efforts made it easy for a mediocre Bridgend selection. Bath failed to hold fly-half Ian Lewis, who was twice allowed to wriggle out of tackles and set up tries. Gay and Walkey figured in forward drives, Phillips put in some good tactical kicking and Hudson had a couple of probing runs. Phillips scored Bath’s try and Thompson managed two penalty goals. Otherwise, Bath had little to offer in an all-round sub-standard performance.
v St Lukes College, Home, Won 28-16. A Knowlson, G Hughes, D Jenkins, N Hudson, D Flower, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, J Meddick, A G Parfitt, N K Carter, D J Gay, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, J Lymposs, P R Hall (Capt)
The lead changed hands three times in the first 12 minutes, and play continued with both sides experiencing varying fortune. New full-back Knowlson had a reasonable debut game, converting one try and adding two penalties, while fellow new-comer Johnny Lymposs featured in good driving play. Bath established a slender 12-10 lead at half time, but were able to wear down the students in the second half. Tries by Hudson (2), Flower (2), and Lloyd.
v Newbridge, Away. Lost 6-16. D Jenkins, G Hughes, N Hudson, E H Holley, D Flower, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, D J Gay, R J Wheeler, R J Walkey, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
This was a particularly poor display by Bath as Newbridge, who normally only fielded one side, were obliged also to play in a Cup game against St. Josephs at Cardiff. (They won that also)
“…….the performance of some of the visiting team was too bad to be true.” (Newbridge Programme Notes)
Bath never got to grips with the valley side’s makeshift selection. They were outplayed and shunted backwards in the pack, and the backs made every tactical and handling error imaginable. David Jenkins had an uncharacteristically poor game at fullback, but paradoxically, it was Jenkins who was involved in the best handling move of the game. Late on, he came up into the line and burst through for a fine try, which Walkey converted. It was one bright spot amidst a markedly inept performance.
v United Services Portsmouth, Home, Won 34-3. D Jenkins, G Hughes, N Hudson, A Hester, D Flower, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt).
It was A Hester’s first game for 1st XV. Although supplying several players to the County, Bath were too good for their Services opponents and tries materialised from David Jenkins, Hudson, Hester, Carter, Gay and Hall (2). David Jenkins converted three. Jenkins’s fine solo try followed his running into the line from deep, and selling a couple of outrageous dummies, which left him with a clear path to the line.
v London Scottish, Away, Lost 9-20. B Thompson, D Hughes, N Hudson, E Holley, T Norris, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, M Gould, J Meddick, B Jenkins, K M Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt). Bath led 9-6 at half time.
Bath’s fortunes were again on the wane as London Scottish put twenty points on Bath, with only three Walkey penalties by way of reply. The match was dominated by penalties until five minutes from the end, when Phil Hall’s enforced (cracked ribs) retirement heralded two unconverted tries by Simmie and Bigger for the Scots.
v Llanelly, Away, Lost 10-41. B Thompson, G Hughes, A Hester, A Hudson, T D Morris, E J Holley, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, B Jenkins, K M Plummer, R J Walkey, D J Gay, R Lye. Played under floodlights.
A very disappointing result. Bath’s need was to strengthen their resources with a few more experienced players. In a fast moving and open game, they certainly took a beating from more talented and experienced opponents. Bath’s main weakness seemed to be their inability to stop the Llanelli forays with decisive tackling. The Llanelli forwards punched the holes and their speedy backs profited accordingly. “Bennett’s twinkling running, side-stepping and changes of direction had Bath completely bemused and the searing bursts of his international colleague Bergiers were far too much for young Hester who was under the weather with flu” Lloyd gave Bath a superb solo try with a dummying run in from 30 yards. “Gay missed one golden chance after being put clear by Plummer, he redeemed himself seconds later by launching the move from half-way from which Holley wriggled through and Hudson put the finishing touches with a try converted by Walkey
Appropriately, though, Llanelli had the final word when Harries’ searching punt upfield caught the defence unprepared, and another sweeping move ended in a try by the powerful David.”
The traditional rag doll was not on the cross-bar. Evidentially it had been mislaid. It had been in Llanelli’s hands since December 1970.
v Neath, Home, Lost 16-22. B Thompson, D Flower, N Hudson, A Hester, T Norris, G Phillips, M Lloyd, W Mottram, A Parfitt, J Meddick, B Jenkins, K Plummer, R Lye, D Gay (Capt), R Walkey. Bath were awarded a penalty try which was not converted.
Match injuries affected both sides, but Neath successfully adapted to the circumstances and finally brushed off Bath’s challenge. Bath exerted early pressure but the Welshmen were always solid in defence. When Neath took their turn to attack, Bath soon got into all sorts of difficulties. “Walkey was dispossessed following a scrum near his own line, and scrum-half Meredith snapped up the loose ball to score a try which Poole converted.” Walkey was then successful with his fourth penalty attempt of the match. Neath fly half Edwards went off injured and Davies filled the gap. From this position he soon made a clean break to set up an easy, but unconverted, try for Jenkins. Bath suffered their share of injuries, then Walkey, who had moved to centre, landed his second penalty. Hudson returned to the field with his head heavily bandaged. Next, Beynon scored a good left-wing try. Soon afterwards Walkey was impeded and a penalty try awarded. Incredibly, Thompson failed from in front of the posts. Thompson later missed a tackle and a well-timed pass allowed Jenkins another easy try. Bath had no answer to increased Neath pressure and soon, it was the turn of prop forward Lewis to bundle himself across the line. Bath did finish well; a try by Gay was disallowed, but soon afterwards Lloyd cut through for the final touch down, which Walkey converted.
v Clifton, Home, Lost 18-22. B Thompson, D Flower, R Hones, A Hester, T D Norris, P Jenkins, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, B Jenkins, K M Plummer, R Lye, D J Gay (Capt), R J Walkey. Bath’s Christmas bon hommie was tested and found wanting, as they succumbed to a virtuoso kicking performance by Clifton’s fullback Mike Mason. He landed five penalties and a drop goal, leaving Hay to contribute Clifton’s one try.
“Indeed it all added up to about their most inept display of the season, utterly lacking in any obvious tactical plan, leadership or regard for basic principles.”
“The home pack in fact was utterly devoid of life and cohesion and as a result the young backs were set up for punishment time and again.”
“With almost their only real constructive move, Gay and Plummer did drive through to set up a thoroughly deserved try for the hard working Lye.” Pete Jenkins converted and also added the extras from Flower’s breakaway try. He also kicked two penalties.
v Northampton, Away, Lost 14-23. B Thompson, T D Norris, A Hester, E R Holley, W Flower, P Jenkins, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt (Capt), J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, R Lye, J Lymposs, G Pillinger.
In muddy conditions, Bath went down against a strong Northampton side, who were three points up in six minutes. Allen followed Moffatt’s penalty with a drop goal, and Allen again featured when he intercepted a wayward pass to race through from his home 25-yard line. Moffatt converted and added a second penalty, while Jenkins was off target with two attempts. (0-15 half time)
Soon after, Moffatt came up into the line to give Parker his scoring chance. Moffatt hit the upright, but the ball bounced the wrong way. Bath fought back gamely; Jenkins kicked a penalty and Norris scored an unconverted try. Jenkins kicked a second penalty. Northampton responded with a second try for Parker, and Bath Bath’s Parfitt dribbled through for the final try of an entertaining game.
v Leicester, Home. Won 42-0. D Jenkins, T Norris, E Holley, N Hudson, A Hicks, P Jenkins, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Great win against Leicester! A bit of history here, as the team contained brothers David Jenkins, Peter Jenkins and Brian Jenkins. (Last known occasion was 30/12/1893, when brothers B H, G G and H T Vincent played against Wellington. There was another occasion when four brothers played for Bath sides on the same day) There were 3 conversions David Jenkins and 2 Conversions and a try for Peter Jenkins. Other tries from Hall (3), Norris, Hudson, Hicks and Lloyd.
v London Welsh, Home, Lost 10-30. D Jenkins, T D Norris, N Hudson, E J Holley, A Hicks, P Jenkins, M Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
In a fast moving and entertaining game, the Exciles held all the aces against a comparatively inexperienced Bath XV, which included the Jenkins brothers – David, Peter and Brian.
Bath hardly needed a reminder of their frailties after a 42-0 triumph at Leicester. Nevertheless, Bath fought on valiantly against a powerful pack and an extremely talented back division. “Carter and Wheeler occasionally flashed into prominence too and fly half Peter Jenkins producing some useful kicking in support, the Welsh were never allowed to be entirely rampant.
Bath for all their spirit, never managed to stop the steady flow of possession to the Welsh back division and the inevitable outcome was that their tackling, no matter how brave, was not strong enough to stifle such a fluent side as the Welsh.” An early penalty by Peter Jenkins temporarily raised Bath’s hopes, but they were overtaken to the tune of 16-3 by the interval.
Bath’s fate was really sealed when the fabulous Gerald Davies got away for a superbly taken try. Bath tried to keep in the hunt, managing a try by Norris and a second penalty by Peter Jenkins, but the Exciles ran in two late tries to underline their mastery.
v Metropolitan Police, Home. Lost 4-15. D Jenkins, T D Norris, E J Holley, N Hudson, A Hicks, P Jenkins, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Played on the day Wales beat England 25-9, the home crowd were very unhappy with referee Major C W Byham. The Police were, unbeaten, and certainly a better side on the day, but there were strong performances from the Bath back row of Pillinger, Lye and Hall and second row Brian Jenkins. Winger Hicks scored a good early try, but David Jenkins was unable to convert. Brian Jenkins and Radley Wheeler did good work in the second row, but sadly, Bath slithered on to defeat.
v Saracens, Home, Lost 4-11. D Jenkins, T D Norris, C Perry, N Hudson, A Hicks, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt). It was a miserable muddy day, with much of the normal support tempted away by televised rugby. Bath were soon 0-3 down following a penalty by Croydon. Bath’s handling was particularly sub-standard, but they were more successful with forwards’ traditional kick and rush. Bert Meddick managed break-aways from the ruck on three occasions. Later, Peter Jenkins made a diagonal break to link with brother David. This created an overlap which gave Tony Hicks plenty of room to run in Bath’s only try. Saracens secured the game with tries by Cadle and Jackson.
v South Wales Police, Home, Lost 14-22. D Jenkins, T D Norris, C Perry, N Hudson, A Hicks, E R Holley, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt). Tries by Plummer, Gay, and Norris with Jenkins converting one.
Bath slumped to defeat after leading until the closing minutes. A late penalty enabled the Police to take the lead, while Wheeler’s penalty attempt rebounded back from the crossbar.
“Bath’s hopes of ending their losing run seemed to be fading away.
They then ended completely when Hicks and Jenkins waited for each other to go for a speculative kick by Ron Evans and the Police snapped up to send Roper careering over for another try which Evans converted.”
v Gloucester, Away. Lost 16-18. C Perry, T D Norris, A S Parkes, N Hudson, A Hicks, E R Holley, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, D Jenkins, K M Plummer, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall. Played under floodlights on a Friday evening.
After outplaying their hosts for much of the game, Bath’s indiscretions permitted Gloucester’s Peter Butler to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, as he put over two penalties with consummate ease. Bath had been playing fluent purposeful rugby, based on their pack’s solid scrummaging and astute use of the short lineout. Pillinger, Hall and Lye were the fulcrum of extremely lively loose forward play. Andy Sparkes, Captain of King Edward’s School, opened with a penalty, in his first game for Bath.
Gloucester came back immediately with a converted try, but Bath were soon on the attack: “And sure enough, after half an hour of strong forward play, scrum half Lloyd, varying his tactics far better than of late, cut through on the blind-side for Pillinger to put them ahead after Butler had missed the ball on his line.” After this big effort, it was Gloucester who established a first half lead with a try from Fidler, which Butler converted. Bath came back again, when Lloyd burrowed his way through the back row to touch down. Sparkes converted and soon added a 40-yard penalty. Next, Bath handled in the scrum to let in Butler’s penalty; then Bath failed to retire10 yards after another indiscretion, thereby bringing Butler into kicking range for his match-winning kick.
v Cheltenham, Away Won 24-7. B Thompson, T D Norris, C Perry, A Sparkes (KES schoolboy), A Hicks, E R Holley, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt), R Lye.
At last! An end to a losing run of five games! In fact, there was never any danger of them losing, but they threw away as many points as they scored. Cheltenham were steamrollered backwards in the set scrums and the back row of Lye, Gay and Hall stamped their authority on most phases of the game.
There were tries by Gay (2), Hicks, Parfitt and Hall, with young Andy Sparkes converting twice.
v Wasps, Home, Won 25-3. B Thompson, T D Norris, C Perry, E R Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, P R Hall, R Lye.
Wasps’ coach broke down and they continued their journey by taxi. The game started half an hour late, but the bright sunshine failed to attract more than a modest crowd. There were counter attractions on the Telly!
Bath’s first half try came when Parfitt broke from a lineout enabling Hall to force his way over. They continued to utilise the three-man lineout with success and Lye made a number of lively incursions. Wasp’s Davies landed a fine penalty, and Bath held a 4-3 lead at the interval. In the second spell, Bath played with more purpose and bright handling involving Chris Perry and Holley led to a penalty award. Thompson was on target and Bath were four points ahead. Bath piled on the points in an intensive last five minutes. Tries came from Lloyd, Hicks and Lye and Thompson converted three.
v Bristol, Home, Drawn 13-13. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, E R Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt). Bristol fielded seven internationals, but Bath were by no means overawed in this traditional local derby. In fact, they were leading Bristol until the final stages. Gay had opened the scoring with a try, converted by Thompson after seven minutes. Fortunately for Bath, the normally accurate Pearn, missed four first-half penalty attempts in a row. (and eventually around seven in a row) In the 30th minute more pressure yielded a penalty to Thompson and Bath were 9-0 in the lead.
Bath’s surging forward play had Bristol under pressure, but Perry was caught offside. Gabitass took up the kicking mantle and was successful at his first penalty attempt. Winger Morley was just kept out after two strong wing moves. Next, fellow winger Plummer made a 50 yard break before passing to Knight, who touched down under the posts. Pearn found his kicking form with an easy penalty to level at 9-9. In the final breathtaking minute Gay dribbled through for a try (13-9). Then, four minutes into injury time, tremendous Bristol pressure led to Pearn levelling with a try in the corner. Pearn failed with the final conversion attempt of the match.
v RAF, Home, Won 17-7. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, N Hudson, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Bath relaxed after their strenuous efforts against Bristol: “They still dominated the R.A.F. through their forwards, but much of the handling was off-key and they wasted many more points than they scored. In the middle of a rather muddled display, however, they did carve out three spectacular tries which was enough to bring a comfortable if not impressive victory.” Bath tries by Hudson and Burrowes (2), with Thompson converting one and kicking a penalty.
v Swansea, Home, Won 15-9, B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, E R Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
Bath had some lucky escapes as Swansea brought forward pressure to bear, backed by high up-and-unders from Protheroe. It took Bath twenty minutes to reach the Swansea 25. Lloyd’s raking kick had secured a lineout at which Swansea were penalised. Thompson made no mistake with a kick from an awkward position and was again successful nearer half time. Swansea came back strongly and a burst by Geoff Wheel forced a penalty in front of the home posts and Dyer cut Bath’s lead to three points.
The game developed into a dour, unyielding forward battle and it was ten minutes into the second half before Thompson’s 45-yard penalty put Bath further ahead. Swansea came back into the game and yet another penalty award allowed Dyer to reduce the lead from 45 yards. The first try of the match stemmed from a fine passing movement initiated by Lye; Holley opened a mid-field gap to put Burrowes speeding Away on the right. He was halted just short of the line and from the resulting scramble, Lloyd forced his way over, for Thompson to convert. Dyer’s late penalty served only to narrow the gap.
v Ebbw Vale, Away, Won 22-21. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, E R Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
It was the first and only victory in Wales that season. It was an injury time try by Chris Perry, which brought Bath home happy. Fifteen minutes from the finish, they were trailing 13-21: “Thompson, however, sparked the come-back by kicking his second penalty of the match and a storming last ten minutes left the Welshmen breathless and the winning points came from a short penalty near half-way.” “It was a fitting end to a topsy-turvy match in which the unexpected was always likely to happen – and usually did.” Thompson put over two conversions, and ‘Bert’ Meddick and David Gay contributed the other tries. Lye, Meddick and Gay featured in driving forward play. Thompson’s place kicking was proving to be invaluable. Sound in defence, he was often a source of inspiration in times of crisis.
Ex Millfield schoolboy, Chris Perry was adapting well to his selection at centre. He joined Bath from Oldfield Old Boys as a wing forward, but because of his lack of height had been encouraged to play at scrumhalf . He was rapidly gaining experience as a ‘utility’ player, but did not relish too many switches.
v Richmond, Home, Won 31-12. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, N Hudson, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt).
A very poor attendance to witness a fine win. The County Final at Bristol was a counter attraction.
For much of the game there was little to chose between the two sides, then Bath took control midway through the second half. (14-6 half-time)
Tries by Lloyd, Perry, Phillips, Burrowes and Hicks, with Thompson converting one and adding two penalties. Phillips was perfectly positioned to drop a goal when the forwards won from a maul.
v Bridgend, Home, Won 21-0. B Thompson, P Burrowes, E Holley, C Perry, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, W Mottram, A G Parfitt, J Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, P R Hall (Capt). A surprising and very welcome win as Bath continued to show good form. Tries by Hall, Burrowes and Gay were all converted by Thompson, who also landed a penalty. It was a far from friendly affair: “An ugly brawl broke out in midfield with punches thrown with a vengeance. Bath lost prop forward Mottram, who was taken to the dressing rooms with blood streaming from his mouth.” Following another incident the Bridgend hooker, Davies, received a caution. Bath stuck grimly to their task and Gay was unlucky to be stopped just short of the Bridgend line, but he was soon successful at a second attempt:
“….begun by Hall, who took a long line-out throw to burst away.
After Lye had made ground, Gay battered through and Thompson converted.”
v Bridgwater, Home, Won 48-3. Team:- B Thompson, A Hicks, E J Holley, C Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, F Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, P R Hall and R Lye.
Bath extended their unbeaten run to nine matches to establish a new points record of 718, against a weakened Bridgwater selection. Fly half Phillips prospered behind the ‘all-embracing’ efforts of Gay, Hall and Lye. Lloyd toyed with the opposition with several darting runs. The closing stages were marred by some bad tempered forward exchanges. Allan Parfitt was forced to quit the field with a back injury. Bath tries from Phillips (2), Burrowes (2), Hicks (2), Frank Carter and Plummer. Phillips dropped a goal and Thompson kicked five conversions.
v Sale, Away, Drawn 16-16. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, E J Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, F Carter, M Gould, J Meddick, R Wheeler, K M Plummer, D J Gay, R Lye and P R Hall.
Bath fell behind after three minutes. Sale scored a simple try following a scrum, just a couple of yards from the Bath line. It was a simple task for Davies to pick up and dive over, but Toone was off target with the conversion attempt. Bath gained territorial advantage and Phillips just missed with a drop-goal attempt; luckily the ball rebounded enabling Chris Perry to touch down and for Thompson to convert. Toone kicked a penalty just before the interval. (Half-time 6-7)
CHRIS PERRY BUMPS HORTON
“Perry was booked by the referee when he floored Horton after the fly half chipped ahead, and from the penalty Toone was just wide.”
It was Toone who ended a period of scrappy play with a magnificent 40 yard penalty to give Sale a 10-6 lead.
“Lloyd made a break in mid-field and with Sale’s defence expecting a pass he made 25 yards and then passed to Hicks, who had a clear run for the line.
Thompson was just wide with the conversion kick.
Perry put Bath into the lead again with a try which Thompson converted. But Toone equalised with two penalties to give Sale a draw their play hardly merited.”
v Newport, Home, Lost 11-12. B Thompson, P Burrowes, E Holley, C Perry, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, J Meddick, M Gould, F Carter, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye and P R Hall.
Newport ended Bath’s unbeaten run by the narrowest of margins. In a pretty inept display, with the backs hampered by slow possession from the forwards. Despite this, Bath managed a try by Phillips and a penalty by Thompson. There was a tremendous second-half revival at forward, and at the very end Hicks touched down for a try. Thompson was left with the unenviable task of winning the game with a touchline conversion. To Bath’s dismay, he was well off target.
Newport’s strength came from the marauding of Haines, Watts and Geoff Evans and strong mid-field running by Fuller and Edwards.
It was indicative of Bath’s troubles when Burrowes chased Phillip’s miss-kicked drop goal attempt, only to knock-on with no one to beat.
v Llanelli, Home, Lost 3-17. B Thompson, P Burrowes, C Perry, N Hudson, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, N Carter, A Parfitt, J Meddick, K Plummer, R Wheeler, D Gay, R Lye, P R Hall.
The Scarlets proved to be formidable opposition, but Bath put in a good performance, and were by no means disgraced against a crack team, who were masters of all the rugby skills. A solitary penalty by Thompson was not much to show for their effort. The Rag Doll was again absent.
“Alarming gaps began to appear in Bath’s defence, and they spluttered on unhappily on the retreat, with their pack very much subdued and their main attacking strength in the back row completely snuffed out.” It might be appropriate to consider who they were up against:-
Llanelly team:- R Davies, A Hill, R Bergiers, R Gravelle, J Williams, B Thomas, S Williams, T Crocker, R Thomas, A Evans, D Thomas (Capt.), J Pyles, A James, H Jenkins and G Jenkins.
“In the closing stages Bath came slightly more into the picture but their sudden flush of enthusiasm was not supported with any great degree of skill and their indecisive handling made the task of the visiting defence that much easier.”
v Harlequins, Home, Won 37-10. B Thompson, A Hicks, E J Holley, C Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, F Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, P R Hall and R Lye. Bath were delighted to start their Easter programme on a winning note. It was the sixth year in succession they had beaten their holiday tourists. A tremendous forward effort enabled Bath to build up a 19-point lead in the opening 30 minutes. “During this period Parfitt took heel after heel against the head, line-out possession came almost at will and Hall, Lye and Gay were quite rampant, either as the main attacking force or by providing some superb support to fluent three-quarter moves.”
The Quins buckled and Nigel Starmer-Smith had a miserable afternoon standing in as fullback.
Bath tries by Holley (2), Burrowes, Gay, Hicks and Phillips, with Thompson converting 5 and adding a penalty.
v Otley, Home, Won 38-10. B Thompson, A Hicks, E J Holley, C Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, R Elliott, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, P R Hall and R Lye.
Bath cruised to a second holiday victory in a thoroughly entertaining match. The bustling tourists made a lively start. Gathering Phillip’s dropout fullback Horan evaded the advancing Burrowes for a fine try in the corner. They unsettled Bath, as the Yorkshiremen continued to play with fire and enthusiasm.
However, after ten minutes Bath were able to draw level. Debut Number 8 Mills penetrated the visitors’ 25 and neat handling by the centres, enabled Burrowes to touch down for Bath’s first try, which Thompson converted. Next: “Gay got possession and burst through a yawning gap in mid-field before kicking ahead and then beating the defence to the touchdown for his 14th try of the season.”
Soon Phillips got away on a typical darting run; Perry handled and Burrowes made a fine touchline run to touch down for his second try. Further tries came from Hicks, Perry, Burrowes again and Phillips (2). Phillips converted two of the tries, after Thompson had converted the first touch down. Phillips, soon to depart from the Club, ended the game on a high note. His second try followed a sparkling burst of speed and several mesmerising side steps.
v OMT’s, Home, Won 37-6. Selected Team:- D J Jenkins, T D Norris, A Sparks, J Bramall, G Hughes, G Hughes, R Harding, F Carter, M Gould, R Hawkesley, B Jenkins, G Erdozain, R Smith, A Mills and P R Hall. Bath fielded only four of their normal 1st XV choices.
Bath amassed 112 pints in their three Easter games. This was a debut appearance for Downside schoolboy John Bramall. He celebrated by kicking 21 points. The England 19 group squad player landed four penalties, and was successful with three out of four conversion attempts, adding a drop-goal for good measure. A natural centre, he played out of position at fly half, which made his performance all the more meritorious. Bath tries by Perry, Hughes, Hall and David Jenkins.
v Gloucester, Home, Won 16-7. B Thompson, A Hicks, E J Holley, C Perry, P Burrowes, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, F Carter, M Gould, R Elliott, B Jenkins, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, P R Hall (Capt), R Lye.
Bath ended their home commitments on a high note, with a substantial victory. It was their first home triumph over their local rivals since 1968. Bath provided all the fire, spirit and flare, despite fielding four forward reserves, including the entire front row. Props Elliott and Frank Carter supported Martin Gould well, as Wheeler and Brian Jenkins worked wonders in the ‘engine room.’ Hall, Lye and Gay dominated in the loose, allowing Phillips critical space and time to produce a fine exhibition of tactical kicking. Thompson was solid in defence as well as re-discovering his kicking prowess, with three good penalties. Phillips evaded Gloucester’s back-row clutches for a smartly taken drop-goal. Burrowes powered through three tacklers on route for his try in the corner.
v Bedford, Away. Lost 0-4. D Jenkins, P Burrowes, C Perry, E R Holley, A Hicks, G Phillips, M C J Meddick, B Jenkins, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lloyd, F Carter, M Gould, R Lye and P R Hall. The referee blew for ‘no-side,’ at least six minutes early.
It was a long way to travel for such a scrappy end-of season game. Bob Wilkinson dominated in Bedford’s line-out. The game was just five minutes old when Hall re-opened a gash under his left eye and was obliged to leave the field for attention. Bedford second-row Martin, scored the only try of the match.
SOMETHING TO EXCITE?
“Although Bath broke away on occasions they rarely looked like scoring and just before full time a Bedford three-quarter lost his shorts almost on the Bath line as the home side piled on the pressure.”
The selection was notable in that no fewer than nine players originating from Local Bath Clubs played in this match:-
David Jenkins (Combe Down) Tony Hicks (Walcot O.B.’s) Chris Perry (Oldfield O.B.’s)
Martyn Gould (Oldfield O.B.’s) John Meddick (Stotherts) Brian Jenkins (CombeDown)
Radley Wheeler (Frome) David Gay (Walcot O.B.and Oldfield) Robbie Lye (Walcot O.B.’s) Malcolm Lloyd and Philip Hall had played for the Club since they left school at 15.