1975 to 1976

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1975-1976

 

3/9/1975

v Taunton, Away, Won 35-3. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, M C Beese, T D Norris, J P Horton, C Perry, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, Rob Campbell, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, Lindsay Pritchard, G Pillinger, R Lye

Bath started with a bang, scoring 16 points in the first 20 minutes play. “They then lapsed into a long barren period of uncoordinated inefficiency before redeeming themselves with more spectacular tries which brought another 19 points in the last 20 minutes.” The game was regarded as a “satisfactory shake-down.” Ian Dunbar scored the first try of the season after five minutes and Davies converted. “Scrum half Perry with a searing burst close to the scrum setting up a ruck near the line, was mainly responsible for a neat try by Davies cutting through the centre.” The full score count was:- Tries by Dunbar (3), Davies, Parfitt and Norris, with Davies converting four and adding a penalty.

The “lively” Wheeler fulfilled a major role within the forwards. Dunbar showed considerable determination in the execution of three fine tries. At mid stage, Perry and Lye tended to over-elaborate close to the scrum and Horton had a relatively quite game. Waterman also had a fine game – but Ian Dunbar provided the ‘cutting edge.’

 

6/9/1975

v Pontypool, Home, Won 30-15. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, M C Beese, T D Norris, J P Horton, C Perry, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, L Pritchard, G Pillinger, R Lye.

In their first home game, Jim Waterman’s side gave a clear indication of immediate playing policy, with a fine display of adventurous handling and passing, to defeat the reigning Welsh Champions.

A total of five tries were amassed through Ian Dunbar (2), Mike Beese, John Horton and Geoff Pillinger. In form, John Davies converted two and also added two penalty gaols.

Chris Perry was off for ear stitching after ten minutes, and Robbie Lye took up his former Walcot Club role at scrum-half. Pontypool had a largely reserve pack, but still played in their usual rumbustious fashion. So much so, that Bath trailed 9-12 at the interval. Thanks to solid line-out work by Jenkins and the grafting of Pillinger, Pudney and Wheeler, and the silky skills of John Horton, Bath got back into the game. It was Horton’s long pass to Beese which enabled him to shoot through the centre and send away the impressive newcomer (Oxford Blue) Ian Dunbar. Another try of note, involved smooth interpassing between Horton, Norris and Waterman, which set up a try for the tireless Pillinger. Again Horton foxed the defence with a massive cross-field pass which led to Dunbar’s second try. Beese completed the rout in the closing stages.

TALKING RUGBY by John Stevens: “New skipper Jim Waterman is to be congratulated not only on the positively adventurous approach he has instilled into his side but for generating a general air of bubbling enthusiasm throughout the club.”

Bath’s pack was certainly among the lightest they had fielded in several seasons, but what they lacked in avoirdupoids, they certainly made up in mobility. This was no more obvious as when Geoff Pillinger was on hand for his try. Jim Waterman commented: “Not only was he up to take it, but Robbie Lye and Lindsay Pritchard were there as well and could just as easily have scored.”

 

10/9/1975

v Newport, Away, Lost 12-30. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, M C Beese, T D Norris, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, L Pritchard, G Pillinger, R Lye. It was Tim Lane’s debut 1st XV game.

Bath were brought down with a bump at Rodney Parade. Starved of good ball from the forwards, there was no repeat of the adventurous open play which was featured in the previous two games. They fought bravely enough, but as the Newport eight exerted a stranglehold on all phases of play they looked a well-beaten side. They soaked up no end of punishment and to their credit they only trailed 9-10 at the interval. Davies kept Bath on the scoreboard with three penalties and Horton snapped a drop goal, despite the close attention of the Newport back-row. It was Horton, Dunbar and Waterman who initiated several attacks from deep positions, but there was no way through Newport’s well organised defences.

 

13/9/1975

v Leicester, Away, Lost 7-37. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, M C Beese, T D Norris, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, B J Jenkins, R J Wheeler, L Pritchard, G Pillinger, R Lye.

Another disappointing set-back after such a promising season start. Leicester fielded a young, talented side which had already won a mid-week match with Nuneaton by 46-3. Ian Dunbar had got Bath off to an amazing start, when a loose scrum formed following the kick-off, Lane threw a long pass to Horton, who laid it on for Bath’s chunky winger to speed over in the corner. The Tigers levelled after nine minutes, with a try by Peter Wheeler and built on this with a number of thrilling tries. Bath were 13-4 down at half-time and their only second half success was a penalty by Davies. At the end, Lane made a promising break, excellently supported by Horton, but his final feed to Norris was well covered by the ever-alert Leicester defence.

 

17/9/1975

v Clifton, Away, Won 25-9. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, M C Beese, J Davies , T D Norris, M Sutton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, R J Wheeler, B J Jenkins, C Harry, D J Gay, G Pillinger.

Bath scored 19 points in the final 20 minutes to finally subdue Clifton. Until then, they had been tied at 6 points all on penalties, as Bath repeated an untidy and uncoordinated performance.

Late on, tries materialised from Norris, Dunbar and Lane. Davies converted two and added three penalties.

 

20/9/1975

v Moseley, Home, Lost 18-40. J S Waterman, A P T Hicks, M C Beese, J Davies, T D Norris, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, K M Plummer, B J Jenkins, D J Gay, G Pillinger, C Harry.

Bath were sunk without trace, by the well-drilled Midlands side. Poor defensive work and Bath’s paucity of possession made the visitors’ task all the easier; their backs gave a superior performance and it was a thoroughly deserved win. In all, they ran in seven tries to Bath’s one by David Gay. Davies kicked four penalties and added a drop goal. The large crowd were treated to an exhibition of “breathtaking running and support work.” “To be honest Bath were outpaced and out-thought by a much fitter and cleverer side and in fact did well to stick at a thankless task and get as many points as they did.” The Moseley side included Sam Doble, M J Cooper (who was outstanding), J G Webster and Nigel Horton.

 

22/9/1975

v Begles, Home. Lost 15-22. Home. Team:- J Waterman, T D Norris, M C Beese, J Davies, N Hudson, J Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A Parfitt, R Campbell, K Plummer, R Wheeler, D Gay, A Mills and B Lye.

Davies scored all Bath points with penalties. Begles’ form was difficult to predict, as they had beaten Gloucester, but lost to Clifton. Bath played reasonably well, but never looked like scoring a try.

They conceded ten points in the first half hour, despite enjoying most of the possession.

“Parfitt took numerous set scrum heels against the head and both Mills, Gay and Lye did well in the loose but with sudden bursts of counter-attack from broken play, Begles again exposed midfield tackling weaknesses in the home defence.”

There were some bad-tempered exchanges following obstructions and late tackles. Bath continued to show considerable spirit, but it was the Frenchmen who had the flair.

 

27/9/1975

v Exeter, Away, Won 16-6. J S Waterman, T D Norris, M C Beese, J Davies, N Hudson, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, A Mills.

Bath’s possession was untidy and several penalties were conceded. It was just as well that gusty conditions inhibited Exeter’s place kicking. However, after ten minutes there was a penalty exchange between Davies and Exeter’s full-back Staddon. Exeter were excellent in defence, and at one stage Davies, Lye, Horton and Hudson were hauled down in succession; Staddon was particularly prominent in this respect. However, Horton put Bath ahead with a drop goal from the Exeter 25. In the second half, a loose ruck ended with Horton slicing through for a try which Davies converted to put Bath 12-3 ahead.

Near the end, Beese profited from a rare Staddon mistake for Bath’s second try. Farrell dropped a goal for Exeter, but Bath were home and dry.

 

4/10/1975

v Aberavon, Away, Lost 15-21. J S Waterman, T D Norris, M C Beese, J Davies, N Hudson, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, D J Gay, R Lye, A Mills.

Referee – Mr. D E Williams was injured in a collision and replaced by Clive Shell, the Welsh international who had been running the line.

The home forwards were quicker into their stride. “With only seven minutes gone Bevan in fact set up the first try of the game when he wriggled through the thickest part of the Bath forwards and linked up with Alexander who in turn sent Williams, the prop forward, over for a try.” Davies reduced the arrears with a penalty. Next, Aberavon’s Rees carved through for a try, which Martin converted. Davies kicked another penalty just after the restart. However, possession was at a premium as Bath were denied by the livelier Welsh forwards. Waterman constructed Bath’s only try. In the Bath 25, he took a quick throw-in and fielded it himself. He then came up into the line and the ball was deftly handled by Beese and Davies, before Horton took an inside pass, to kick ahead and win the race to the touch-down. Davies’s conversion added to an earlier penalty.

It was Kenny Plummer’s 150th First XV appearance.

11/10/1975

For the first time in history, the Club fielded four XV’s. It is well worth recording the names of the 60 players who appeared in Bath Club jerseys on this weekend:

1st XV v London Irish: Home, Won 10-0 J S Waterman (Capt.), N Hudson, M C Beese, J Davies, T D Norris, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, R Campbell, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, A Mills, C Harry, P R Hall. Reserve – L Pritchard.

Bath showed little imagination outside the scrum, despite taking the lead after sixty seconds with a John Davies penalty. It was a stop-start game, littered with injuries and penalty awards. In the second half, Horton and Waterman occasionally posed problems for the opposing defence. Davies missed with his fourth penalty attempt and Bath’s frustrations mounted as they made hard work of everything.

A period of sustained pressure eventually brought reward, when Horton dropped a goal from a set scrum. Then Bath finished with a flourish. Lane broke away close to the scrum and a well-timed pass enabled Horton to leave the defence standing for a fine solo try. Davies just failed to convert.

 

Bath United v Newport High School Old Boys: R Davies, C Thomas, R S Elliott (Capt.), A Green, M Richardson, M Sutton, C J Perry, M Butt, A Swann, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, P Boyle, D J Gay, R Lye, G Pillinger. Reserve – M Gould.

 

Spartans v London Irish III : B Thompson, P Paterson, D McLennan, J Bramall, J Whittock, A Broad, P Smith, N K Carter, J Russell, G Pitman, S Horton, A Litowczyk, J Roberts, R J Walkey, J Griffiths.

 

Bath IV v Cirencester 1st XV: I Barnes, P Jefferson, L Tucker, G Bevan, B Beddow, B Perry, P Evans, I Jones, C Silver, R Jacob, E Bishop, H Leman, A Barclay, W Walworth, S Richards. (Lost 6-28)

 

18/10/1975

v Bristol, Home, Lost 15-24. John Player Cup 1st Round. J S Waterman, T D Norris, M C Beese, J Davies, N Hudson, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, A Mills, P R Hall, C Harry. Davies completed his 100 points for the season.

In a typically bruising encounter, a capacity crowd witnessed Bath knocked out of Cup contention. David Sorrell’s personal contribution of six penalties was a deciding factor. John Davies kept Bath in the game with four penalty successes, Horton had dropped an early goal, but the issue was finally settled with a late try by Bristol’s Ken Plummer, which Sorrell converted.

Ten minutes from the start, the game had been marred by an ugly brawl, with fists flying in all directions. Later, Waterman was laid out in another unsavoury incident. Penalties continued to be levied thick and fast: “as the rugged forward battle showed no signs of abating and tempers flared.”

Bath were dumped in the First Round, and ’round’ was, perhaps, the operative word in this unpleasant niggling affair.

 

25/10/1975

v St. Mary’s Hospital, Away. Lost 13-22. J S Waterman, T D Norris, J Davies, J Bramall, C Thomas, H Sutton, T Lane, N Carter, M Gould, G Pudney, R J Wheeler, B J Jenkins, A Mills, C Harry, P R Hall.

At this point Bath were lying bottom of the Anglo-Welsh Merit table and this game did nothing to increase their optimism! Bath arrived without seven of their first choice players and looked very disorganised. John Davies raised their hopes with three penalties and scrum-half Lane scored a splendid corner try. Sutton made a late break for Bath, but was pulled down a yard short of the line. Referee H Stone (London Society) looks to have been fairly even-handed. He awarded 34 penalties – 17 to each side!

 

1/11/1975

v Bridgend, Home, Won 10-9. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, M C Beese, J Davies, N J Hudson, J P Horton, C J Perry, J M Meddick, A Edwards, G Pudney, R J Wheeler, K M Plummer, G Pillinger, P R Hall, C Harry.

Bath took the unusual step of selecting a player straight out of junior rugby. The call was for Tony Edwards, aged 30, the Avonvale hooker. The Combination stalwart was needed because Alan Parfitt was injured. He was preferred to existing club back-up Martin Gould, who had deputised against St. Mary’s Hospital the previous week. Tim Lane was replaced by Chris Perry.

This was a boost to Bath’s confidence – albeit by just one point! At the very end, they were indeed fortunate to win. Bridgend’s Steve Fenwick was presented with a penalty opportunity and this, the last kick of the match, sailed inches wide past the uprights.

Bath had fought back against the odds: “Beese and Davies effectively blocked the middle of the field. Hall, Harry and Pillinger were everywhere in support and Horton held it all together with his splendid kicking out of defence, and Perry tightened things up close to the scrum to justify his recall.

Wave after wave of sweeping Bridgend handling attacks were repulsed by tigerish covering and tackling but it all looked like being in vain as Lewis took his penalty chances to put his side ahead.”

Davies, having missed three long-range chances, landed a penalty. Next, a moment of Bridgend panic gifted Bath’s Ian Dunbar a touch down and Horton landed one of his characteristic drop goals. Bath then held out to the final, most satisfying denouement.

 

8/11/1975

v Birmingham, Away. Won 19-14. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, J Bramall, M Richardson, M Sutton, T Lane, G Pudney, A Edwards, N Carter, K M Plummer, R J Wheeler, G Pillinger, P R Hall, C Harry.

Bath were 4-14 down at one stage and looked to be a beaten side. Fortunes improved when Birmingham’s full-back Harvey was forced to retire with a shoulder injury. The Bath pack gained the ascendancy in the final quarter.

This was the first fixture with the Midland side and Bath had eight away on County duty. Tim Lane (2) and John Davies got the tries and Davies converted two and kicked a penalty.

 

12/11/1975

v Bristol, Home, Won 12-6. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, M C Beese, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C Perry, J M Meddick, A Edwards, G Pudney, K M Plummer, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, C Harry. The match was well refereed by Ken Rowlands (Welsh RFU)

FOUR DROP GOALS

Sweet revenge as Bath ended their rival’s run of 11 successive victories. John Horton masterminded operations with three drop goals. Not to be outdone, his half-back partner, Chris Perry, added a fourth right at the end. Horton, with his immaculate tactical kicking, dominated all aspects of play. Alred appeared as reserve full-back for Bristol, and under pressure, his handling became more and more jittery, leading to most of Bath’s scoring opportunities. “Alred had started Bristol’s decline by missing two kickable penalties inside the first ten minutes.”

In the loose, Hall, Harry and Pillinger fought like tigers. Newcomer Litowczyk showed well in the line-out and Bristol were unsettled.

 

15/11/1975

v Newbridge, Away, Lost 6-14. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, J Davies, J Bramall, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C Perry, J M Meddick, A Edwards, G Pudney, K M Plummer, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, C Harry. John Bramall deputised when Beese failed a fitness test.

“Bath slithered to their eighth defeat at Newbridge this afternoon. They scored first, but were then subjected to long periods of pressure by the superior Welsh forwards, and weak defensive work cost them most of their points.”

Davies did well to lift a muddy ball for his two penalties. “As conditions worsened, mistakes abounded but both sides tried to run the now slippery ball with varying amounts of success.”

 

22/11/1975

v United Services Portsmouth, Away, Won 18-6. J S Waterman, M Richardson, R Hones, J Bramall, I Dunbar, J Davies, T Lane, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, R Lye, P R Hall, C Harry.

Bath were hit by County calls and fielded eight reserves. Nevertheless they chalked up four tries through wingers Richardson (2) and Bramall, and outside-half Dunbar. Davies converted Bramall’s try.

Much of the play was of an untidy nature, but both wings showed considerable determination and were rewarded accordingly.

 

29/11/1975

v Neath, Home, Won 15-9. J S Waterman, I Dunbar, R Hones, J Davies, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, R Lye, G Pillinger, D J Gay.

This was, nevertheless, a close call, with the result in doubt to the end. Bath eventually won by three tries and a penalty goal to 3 penalty goals to Neath. Neath enjoyed most of the possession, and their talented backs produced the majority of the slick handling movements in the game. The difference was that Bath kept their heads at vital times and tackled like demons when the line was directly threatened. Bath had led 12-3 at the interval, having taken all three chances as and when presented. Davies had taken a nasty knock and spent most of the second half limping away on the left wing. Nevertheless, he was on hand to bring off some try-saving tackles. Geoff Pillinger was standing in on the right wing, after Dunbar was off injured. Again, he contributed in no small measure in this unaccustomed position. “Bath owed much to their deputy wings, but they owed most of all to Horton, whose kicking constantly pulled them out of anxious situations and whose imaginative running, which his own side are beginning to understand better, spurred most of the infrequent Bath attacks.” Horton kicked a penalty. Try scorers were Chris Perry, Ian Dunbar and David Gay.

 

6/12/1975

v London Scottish, Home, Won 20-6. J S Waterman, K Richardson, R Hones, J Davies, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, P R Hall, D J Gay.                                                                                                                                                                              Fifteen minutes from the end and Bath were holding on to a two point lead: “At this point, however, Bath fly-half John Horton took a somewhat untidy match by the scruff of the neck and brought it back to life with another thrilling try.

Scrum-half Perry’ s openside break from a set scrum in fact created the chance and Horton seized it beautifully by accelerating up and taking an inside pass on the burst to dummy past the three remaining defenders.

It really knocked the stuffing out of the Scots who moments later brought more troubles on their own heads with some appallingly timed passing which enabled Hudson to intercept for Bath’s fourth try and provide Davies with his second conversion within a minute.

On the run of play Bath were undoubtedly flattered by the margin, but once again they were rewarded for tenacious defending and a growing knack of seizing a high proportion of their chances by inventive play.” (John Stevens) Richardson had scored the opening try from Gay’s angled grubber kick. Horton scored the second after a period which included some fine line-out work by Litowczyk and Jenkins.

 

13/12/1975

v Gloucester, Home, Lost 15-18. J S Waterman, H Richardson, J Davies, R Hones, N K Hudson, R Elliott, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, R Lye. John Davies’s third penalty established a personal points record, with a season’s total of 156.

His three penalties and conversion of Hones’s try were not enough to save Bath, who were defeated by the narrowest of margins. Chief thorn in the flesh was Peter Butler, who scored 14 of the Severnsider’s points. Perhaps there were forebodings when Davies was wide with a first-minute penalty attempt. “Sensible kicking by Elliott and Waterman gradually worked Bath upfield, but they too handled poorly.” Then a tackle was adjudged to be high and Butler opened his scoring portfolio. Davies kept Bath in touch and the sides shared eighteen points at the interval.

Penalties, if not pleasantries, were exchanged. Gloucester’s Bob Clewes scored a try, which Butler converted and the visitors appeared to be comfortably in control. Butler profited from yet another penalty award. Bath were getting nowhere until Hones sliced through the Gloucester defence for a brilliant solo try, which Davies converted. With ten minutes to go, Bath commenced to throw the ball about, oft times with some abandon. On one occasion the pass drifted behind Hudson, who chased back and was penalised for non-release. Fortunately, Butler was off-target.

“Bath eventually managed to get a foothold back in Gloucester’s territory, where they won another penalty but Davies was just wide of an upright.

It proved a crucial miss for Gloucester held on tenaciously until the final whistle.”

 

22/12/1975

v Llanelli, Away, Lost 4-36. J S Waterman, M Richardson, J Davies, R Hones, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, P R Hall, D J Gay.

Llanelli ran in eight tries to a solitary touch-down by Hudson, as Bath met their masters. On the positive side, Litowczyk and Brian Jenkins had a good day in the line-out, and Horton exhibited some of his deft touches. But they could make little headway against the faster thinking, fast moving ‘Scarlets.’ Bath’s try was a good one: “Perry, snapping up a loose ball inside his own 25, shot away up the right wing. Horton was up in support and both Davies and Hones handled well before Hudson touched down.” For the rest of their afternoon, they were back-peddling desperately under repeated Llanelli avalanches. Both Gay and Pillinger were forced to retire with nasty knocks. Once again, Phil Bennett was too hot to handle.

 

26/12/1975

v Clifton, Home, Won 40-16. J S Waterman, M Richarson, M C Beese, R Hones, N K Hudson, J Davies, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, R Lye.

This was good holiday fare for the Bath faithful. Against weaker opposition, Bath completed their first double of the season, running tries by Richardson, Beese (3), Hudson and Perry. Davies converted five and added two penalties for good measure. Notably, Chris Perry was able to exploit gaps close to the scrum and Davies moved the ball well. Hudson and Waterman were constant danger men, but it was Mike Beese who stole the limelight. Chris Perry’s solo try crowned his fine all-round display.

 

27/12/1975

v Northampton, Home, Lost 7-22. J S Waterman, M Richardson, M C Beese, R Hones, N K Hudson, J Davies, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, D J Gay.

The game turned on Northampton’s 18 points deluge in the last ten minutes, after Bath were sitting on a 7-4 lead. Fine support play brought a try for Phillips, which Raybould converted. Bath responded with Hones making a fine break through the middle. As he closed with the full-back, he chose to kick rather than pass, and the ball went straight into the hands of Raybould. After recovering from surprise, the Saints full-back set off upfield to present a gift try to George. Then Bath’s foolhardy handling in their own 25 led to another easy try by left wing Oldham. “With Raybould converting all three Northampton were home by a margin which must have been beyond their wildest dreams during the rest of an even match.” Bath’s try was scored by Beese and Davies kicked a penalty.

 

2/1/1976

v Leicester, Home, Lost 3-12. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, N K Hudson, J P Horton, T Lane, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, R Lye, C Harry, D J Gay.

Played out on a gusting, wild January night, mistakes abounded; whilst, adding Bath’s inept tactical display, made for a thoroughly demoralising start to the second half of the season. Somehow, Leicester adapted to the conditions. Apart some a few runs by Horton, Bath looked to be in a complete muddle. Davies’s penalty 15 minutes into the second half was all they had to show for their efforts and as time went on, they became increasingly panicky. Even Horton bowed to the pressure and fumbled a perfectly good pass. Paul Dodge picked up and dived over for the simplest of tries. Bath’s planned tactics, if they had any, were woeful, as their fitful performance played right into Leicester’s hands.

 

10/1/1976

v London Welsh, Away, Lost 7-29. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, N K Hudson, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, J Griffiths, D J Gay.

Bath crashed to another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of the Welsh Exiles, this despite their hosts losing international full-back J P R Williams with a severely gashed head. Bath scored a first half penalty by Davies and Hudson scored a try after the interval. London Welsh opened their scoring with a penalty by John Taylor when Perry was penalised for delaying the put-in.

“The Welsh were definitely more imaginative and always threatened to score whereas Bath were slow in most departments and never threatened much danger.” Bath’s try came when Perry opened up a yawning gap close to the scrum, Gay and Beese handled, sending in Hudson on the left.

 

14/1/1976

v Royal Navy, Home. Won 37-3. J S Waterman, M Richardson, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, Dougal Spaven (ex Stewart’s Melville [debut]), A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, J G Griffiths, D J Gay, G Pillinger.

Bath shook off their lethargy. Tries by Davies, Richardson, Perry, Horton, Griffiths and Waterman. Horton dropped a goal. Davies had a successful kicking day. Horton scored a gem of a try, after a sizzling, dummying run from some forty yards out.

The Times 15/1/1976: “The Admirals in the stand were in noble voice whoever called it ‘the Silent Service’ can never have attended a naval rugby occasion and their advice to the referee was frequent, and painful and free.”

 

17/1/1976

v Metropolitan Police, Away, Won 30-11. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, M Richardson, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, D Spaven, B Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, C Harry, R Lye. Davies hit the 200 point mark.

Bath took control after a classic try. Waterman had come up into the line; Richarson was on hand to take the pass and handed on  to Beese to outflank the defence down the left touchline. Litowczyk and Jenkins dominated the lines-out and tidy ball enabled Beese to take Perry’s pass, this time speeding through midfield for his second try. The Police briefly reduced the arrears with a penalty, then it was Horton’s turn to weave his way through for his second try, this time under the posts. Davies converted with ease. Bath were too good in the open spaces and near the finish props Spaven and Pudney combined to set up another try for Perry. Davies converted two tries and kicked two penalties.

24/1/1976

v Saracens, Away, Drawn 6-6. J S Waterman, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies (2pg), J P Horton, C J Perry, D Spaven, A Edwards, G Pudney, B Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, PR Hall  DJ Gay                                                                                                                                                                                                        The outcome was ‘done and dusted’ in the first half, as Saracens scored a converted try to two penalty goals by John Davies. Horton made some characteristically dodging runs, but could not advance the cause. In the second half Hall was stopped just short of the Saracens’ line after strong support work by Hones, Horton and Gallop. As the half wore on, neither side could make the decisive break and a draw was the inevitable result.

 

NIALL CARTER

There was concern as to the playing future of prop forward Niall Carter. After returning to full training, he was continuing to have trouble with his knee, which was first operated on in 1973. Carter had been an outstanding member of the Bath and Somerset front row and, at his best, was considered one of the finest props of the decade. He managed only five first team games in the 1974-75 season, but suffered a serious set-back against London Scottish in December 1974.

 

31/1/1976

v South Wales Police, Home, Won 22-15. J S Waterman, C Thomas, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, D Spaven, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, D J Gay, P R Hall.                                                                                                                                                                                   The game was played on a bitterly cold afternoon, upon a bone hard pitch. However, John Davies certainly enjoyed this match with a personal tally of 4 penalty goals, a try and conversion of Horton’s try.

BOBBY SOCKERS!

There was not very much to report in a generally sedate afternoon until: “What had been a quiet game in trying conditions suddenly erupted into a bout of punching on the touchline and the referee spoke to both captains.”

Presumably, the miscreants were let off with a caution without a blemish on their character!

 

4/2/1976

v RAF, Home, Won 24-10. J S Waterman, C Thomas, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, D Spaven, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, D J Gay, P R Hall.

The R.A.F. side was coached by former Bath winger (1950’s) and Old Sulian, Sq/Ldr. Brian French.

John Davies was pleased to gain another monopoly of the scoring with 4 penalties, two conversions and a try – a tally of 20 points, to raise his season’s record to 249 in 30 matches. Horton created a try for David Gay off a short chip ahead out of defence. Perry, Horton and Beese had the R.A.F. side in all sorts of trouble. Phil Hall and Geoff Pillinger did a great deal of tidying up. Mason, Turner and John Orwin were prominent in the R.A.F. forwards, but Orwin certainly had an off-day with the boot.

 

7/2/1976

v Rosslyn Park, Home, Won 24-0. J S Waterman, C Thomas, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, D Spaven, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, D J Gay, P R Hall.

Rosslyn Park were worn down by Bath’s determined effort, orchestrated by the mercurial talents of John Horton. Bath led 9-0 at the interval, following a John Davies penalty and his conversion of 18 stone Litowczyk’s try. Beese scored a second try late on and Davies was again on hand to add the extras. His final tally was 3 penalties and 2 conversions. Horton obliged with one of his characteristic drop-goals.

 

12/2/1976

v Keynsham, Home, Won 23-0. Somerset K.O. Cup. J S Waterman, C Thomas, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, T Lane, J M Meddick, A G Parfitt, M Butt, P Boyle, K M Plummer, R Lye, C Harry, J Roberts.

Local side Keynsham put up a spirited performance in which mud bath conditions were a great leveller. The senior side had to contend with a series of “fiery footrushes and spirited spoiling.”

However, the final outcome was never in any serious doubt

Bath tries by Beese, Horton, Parfitt and Butt, with Davies converting two and adding a penalty.

 

14/2/1976

v Cardiff, Home, Won 9-4. J S Waterman, C Thomas, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, C Harry, P R Hall, D J Gay.

HORTON’S MATCH

This is the day that John Horton played a blinder! Although it was a team triumph, he gave a superlative performance against a strong Cardiff side, which included Internationals Gareth Edwards and Barry Nelmes:

“He first toyed with Cardiff, then destroyed them with his superb kicking and running and finally thwarted them with at least three superb cover tackles which definitely nailed the lie that he is weak in defence.” (JOHN STEVENS – BATH CHRONICLE)

The Bath pack deserved special commendation, for the manner in which they stood up to the heavy Cardiff forwards, who were aided and abetted by darting runs and sniping kicks from Edwards. Honours were just about even in the set piece scrummages, whilst Litowczyk, Brian Jenkins and David Gay took a goodly share of line-out ball. Horton was well served by scrum-half Chris Perry, who set up his partner with adequate time and space, either to put in probing kicks, or initiate his characteristic stepping attacks.

Beese scored the match winner, after Horton fielded a poor pass, chipped ahead, gathered – fed to Hones, who sent Beese away with a pass timed to perfection. John Davies added a conversion to his first half penalty.

As to ‘Up front’ – Phil Hall would have confirmed, that it was not a place for the faint hearted! A bruised and battered Gareth Edwards would have concurred.

 

17/2/1976

v Gloucester, Away, Lost 3-12. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, M Sutton, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, C J Gay, C Harry, G Pillinger. Bath’s run of eight games without loss was abruptly ended at Kingsholm.

The Bath pack appeared to become intimidated by Gloucester’s ruthless approach. Fidler was certainly lucky to stay on the field after felling Litowczyk with a well-timed right hook. “It set a pattern for a series of niggling if less serious incidents, and Bath let their reluctance to retaliate go to extremes. They lost their will to fight for the ball and their competitiveness, being happy to go rather insipidly through the motions in a thoroughly scrappy match.” Gloucester struck one purple patch lasting approximately 60 seconds when they ran in tries by Kingston and Jardine, who were able to penetrate a paper thin Bath defence. This effectively ended any serious Bath challenge. Davies kicked a single penalty goal from four attempts.

 

19/2/1976

v Cheltenham, Home, Won 29-4. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, M Sutton, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B J Jenkins, D J Gay, G Pillinger, P R Hall. It was Phil Hall’s 572nd game for Bath 1st XV.

John Davies had another field day, employing a full portfolio of 5 penalty goals, a conversion and a try, ratcheting up his personal points tally to 298 in 35 games. Further tries by Hones and Sutton. Otherwise, it was all rather drab and uneventful. In their attempts to nullify the Bath halves, Cheltenham frequently strayed off-side – hence the penalties!

 

28/2/1976

v Wasps, Away, Won 13-12. J S Waterman, M Richardson, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, P Boyle, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, D J Gay, P R Hall.

It was that man Davies again with three penalty goals. John Horton marshalled the back division resources with his usual aplomb, and it was his break that sent Mike Beese in for Bath’s only try. John Davies was delighted to chalk up his 300 points! Pillinger and Hall rampaged to good effect.

 

5/3/1976

v Bristol, Away. Lost 10-13. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, N Hudson, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, P Boyle, B J Jenkins, G Pillinger, P R Hall, D J Gay. A generally featureless game degenerated into: “a never- ending saga of near misses, and marred by occasional fits of simmering violence, with Bristol just holding a strong Bath rally in the closing stages. Neither side gained any real mastery….”

“Edwards won several crucial heels off White even when on the retreat, Hall and Pillinger fought tigerishly to share the honours with Rollitt and Rafter and the menace of Horton clearly daunted Bristol a little.”

Horton scored Bath’s try and kicked a drop goal. John Davies kicked a penalty.

 

13/3/1976

v Swansea, Away, Lost 15-21. J S Waterman, M Richardson, M C Beese, R Hones, R Wyatt, J Davies, T Lane, D G Spaven, A Edwards, G Pudney, B J Jenkins, P Boyle, R Lye, C Harry, G Pillinger.

THEY DON’T COME MUCH TOUGHER!

Bath’s depleted selection put on a brave show at the St Helens ground. From the start, Swansea won most of the ball that mattered and Bath found it difficult to make any headway against a solid ‘All-Whites’ pack. Bath opened the scoring when John Davies kicked a penalty. This early encouragement brought more heart into their game and they were unlucky not to go further ahead.

By fair means or foul, Swansea gradually assumed ascendancy. “The home forwards, reputed for their hardness, attempted to overstep the accepted level and were twice penalised for kicking opponents. Each time Pillinger was the unlucky recipient.”

Waterman had a particularly torrid time facing up to the marauding home forwards. He eventually quit the field with a badly gashed head. Bath’s depleted defence was eventually overrun and Woodward was able to get around Pillinger for a try in the corner. Rees converted from an awkward angle. Davies put Bath back on terms with a 40-yard penalty. “Almost immediately afterwards the Bath fly half was punched after he had cleared, but fortunately recovered, as Waterman returned with a bound head.” Davies vented his spleen by planting the penalty between the posts from 40 yards out. At the finish Bath forwards were caught offside and Rees landed a penalty to make it 9-9. In the second half, Swansea virtually camped on the Bath 25 yard line, and had enough chances to score half a dozen tries

J W Davies scored a try for Swansea, which was converted by Rees. Next Hones scored for Bath and Davies converted. This signalled a period when Swansea pressure was galvanised to new levels. “Bath’s brave rearguard was dogged by ill-luck, and in stopping one ferocious Swansea attack, Waterman was badly hurt and carried off on a stretcher.” Swansea executed the coup-de-grace when Davies finished a right wing move with a decisive try, which Rees again converted.

 

19/3/1976

v Ebbw Vale, Home, Won 15-6. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, P Francis, K M Plummer, A Edwards, D Spaven, B J Jenkins, H Leman, R Lye, G Pillinger, C Harry. It was Paul Francis (University of Wales)– first game for the 1st XV. Also Leman appeared for the first time in the second row.

This was a far better performance by Bath’s re-vamped side. John Davies again featured by converting Hones’s try and landing three penalties. It was a hard, uncompromising, sometimes niggling encounter, but this time Bath maintained the upper hand. This was principally due to a fine performance by the Bath pack and, specifically, the spoiling of Lye, Harry and Pillinger in the loose. Despite his ‘roughing-up’ in the previous match, Waterman put in a fine performance with remarkably long touch kicks whilst under pressure. This time it was Horton who appeared to be the main target for attention and he was first put down with a short-arm tackle and, shortly afterwards, obstructed after kicking ahead. Hones’s try came from a typical break, then chip ahead by Horton.

“After this the Vale tended to argue among themselves and with the referee, and several fits of temper, ended in fists being thrown and the captains being called together.” Through all this, Davies was quite content to slot over his three penalties. Bath were caught napping at the end, when Ian Evans touched down for a try, which Steve Lewis converted.

 

23/3/1976

v Bridgwater, Away, Won 12-7. Somerset Cup Semi Final. J S Waterman, R Wyatt, M C Beese, R Hones, J Davies, J P Horton, C Perry, D Spaven, A G Parfitt, K M Plummer, H Leman, B J Jenkins, R Lye, C Harry, G Pillinger.

Bath were given a tremendous battle by a storming Bridgwater pack, but scrambled their way through to the Somerset Final.

“Bath, even in victory, certainly knew they had been in a game, even if it was something of a throw back to the dark ages of rugby football.

Bath just weren’t in a position to play rugby; Bridgwater didn’t want to and rather officious refereeing added to the frustrations in what was largely a bruising encounter.”

John Horton kicked two drop goals and John Davies kicked two penalties.

 

27/3/1976

v Richmond, Away, Lost 6-8. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, M Richardson, J P Horton, C Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, K M Plummer, B J Jenkins, H Leman, G Pillinger, C Harry, P R Hall.

Bath were pipped at the post in an evenly-fought match. Richmond were deserving winners, if only as the scorers of the two tries to two penalty goals by Bath’s Davies.

“Untidy forward play by both sides brought penalties which slowed the game down and despite a great effort by Bath in the closing minutes they could not pierce the Richmond defence.”

 

A DOG-FIGHT

3/4/1976

v Newport, Home. Won 9-4. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, K M Plummer, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, P R Hall, D J Gay.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Newport’s tactics frequently earned the displeasure of referee, Air Vice Marshall Lamb. Bath emerged triumphant from this dog-fight, with magnificent performances from Waterman, Perry, Horton, Beese and Hones in the backs, and unflinching dedication in the forwards. Davies kicked two penalties and Horton dropped a goal. Geoff Evans scored a try for the visitors – but Newport earned few friends on this performance.

 

THE ROUGH STUFF

Pre-Match – Bath Chronicle Friday 2nd April: “Newport, a disciplined all-round team lacking any really great established stars, also have great potential in their three-quarter line, so Bath will have to be at their best to stand a chance.”

A significant win, demonstrating that Bath could tough it out with the best of them.

 

Philip Hall sustained a ghastly facial injury, his lower lip area being practically detached. The wounding necessitated over 30 stitches. The incident was instrumental in generating a remarkable indictment of modern day rugby from Bath’s Honorary Team doctor David Protheroe.

Speaking to the Bristol Evening Post he commented: “There are certain injuries which in my opinion have been deliberately caused with malice aforethought. You get stud-marks with a full rotation, which means someone has put the boot on and twisted it. This is usually found on the back or buttocks area.”

It is appropriate to record that Hall had just returned to the field after having six stitches in a cut behind his ear.

John Bramall suffered a fractured cheekbone, playing for the United at Bedwas. His father took a hand, complaining directly to the Bedwas Club.

With hindsight, one might question the value of the Club continuing with these bruising Anglo-Welsh ‘friendlies.’

 

7/4/1976

v Weston Super Mare, Home, Won 22-7. Somerset Cup Final. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, C Harry, R Lye.

Jim Waterman was undoubtedly the ‘man of the match.’ “His dazzling excursions into attack posed problems which the brave visitors never really solved and though he failed to get on the scoring sheet himself, he set up two of the Bath tries.” At one stage Bath were 13-3 in the lead, but Weston staged a spirited revival and a try brought them within six points at the interval. Davies and Hazzard then exchanged penalties, before Bath, in the diminutive shape of Waterman, began to cut loose. Waterman made another successful entry into the three-quarter line, dummied in the direction of Horton, and created the space for Wyatt to speed through for the first try. Next, Hones worked a scissors with Beese and cut through the Weston ranks for a good try, which Davies converted. Weston pressed again and it was some time before Bath could make inroads. Once again, a try stemmed from Waterman’s running from deep to send in Wyatt for his second try. Davies converted and finalised matters by adding a second penalty.

 

10/4/1976

v Llanelli, Home, Lost 3-15. J S Waterman, J Davies R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, C Harry, R Lye.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Llanelli were not at full strength, but nevertheless were able to secure a comfortable victory. A John Davies penalty got Bath on the scoreboard.

“Two or perhaps three of our key players had off days, and one or two did not appear fit-or perhaps it was end of season stuff.” (Programme Notes)

 

15/4/1976

v Harlequins, Home, Won 39-9. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, R Lye, P Boyle.

Bath’s free running style was too much for a depleted Harlequins side. Quin’s back row ensured adequate possession, but Bath made better use of ball that came their way. Waterman was again prominent in sweeping up into attack and Horton was back to his best form.

“Waterman’s first attacking burst produced a try with Pillinger winning the subsequent ruck and Horton sending away Beese, whose well-placed chip enabled Wyatt to touch down and Davies to convert.” Ten minutes later, he made another run from deep and succeeded in bamboozling everyone, kicking ahead and winning the chase to the touchdown. Wyatt got away, but was stopped by a superb try-saving tackle by near veteran full-back Hiller. Two minutes later, Wyatt charged down a clearance and scored his second try. Horton piled on the agony with a smart drop goal, but Quins responded with a converted try. Bath were 19-6 ahead at the interval and then scored the best try of the match when Horton sent Beese speeding to the line. Hiller narrowed the gap with a penalty, but Bath were now ‘on song’ and proceeded to monopolise the play, contributing two more tries. Beese scored his second try from a kick and rush and Litowczyk forced himself over from a line-out. Davies converted both.

 

17/4/1976

v Broughton Park, Home, Won 16-13. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, M C Beese, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, N K Carter, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, R Lye, P Boyle, G Pillinger.

Broughton Park worked well to hold Bath to two tries. Bath had dominated for long periods, but they had difficulty in piercing the visitor’s stubborn defence.

The visitors were the first to score from Bond’s break which sent in flank forward Ron Davies, for O’Brien to convert. For Bath, Lye and Pillinger were excellent in support. Horton added some deft touches and Beese and Wyatt made some strong runs, but once again it needed the boot of Davies to keep the score-board ticking over. “He kicked two 30-yard penalties within four minutes and on the stroke of half-time, converted the long-awaited first try produced by a decisive burst from Beese after Perry had set him up.”

“Horton’s elusive running round the blind-side finally created enough space for Beese to link up with him and John Davies ran well before touching down in the right corner.”

 

19/4/1976

v Morley. Home, Won 18-9. It was the Yorkshire club’s first visit to the Recreation Ground. Bath enjoyed a clean sweep of Easter holiday wins. “A spectacular last-minute breakaway try by Bath’s left wing Bob Wyatt from an interception on the half-way line was one of the few highlights of a tight match yesterday in which Morley were hardly flattered by the final score.”

There was some good play by forwards Lye, Jenkins and Hall, but the side as a whole found it a bit of a struggle against a largely defensive outfit. Morley’s main attacking tactic appeared to be kick and rush.

Morley scored first with a drop goal by Parker, but Davies promptly equalised with a penalty. Winger Perigo scored a penalty after 30 minutes, but once again Bath equalised, with a beautifully judged drop-goal by Waterman from near the right touch-line. In the second half, Bath fell behind after another Perigo penalty. Once again, Davies levelled. Bath finally settled the issue with Wyatt’s try in the last five minutes. Davies kicked one superb touch-line conversion and added a third penalty

 

24/4/1976

v Bedford, Home, Won 35-7. Team:- J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, J Palmer, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, R Lye, and P R Hall.

A superb display, with great passing movements, inspired by John Horton. Bath were 22-3 up at half time, and the second half was ‘exhibition’ rugby. Prior Park captain, John Palmer, made his first appearance that season, played on the wing and scored two tries. Horton’s tally was two tries and a drop goal. Other scores:- Davies 3 conversions, other tries by Beese and Hones.

 

WEST GERMAN TOUR – April 1976

“A Bath rugby touring team, made up of players from local clubs plus a couple of guests, brought off two crushing victories on a ten day trip to West Germany.

Skippered by Bath United full-back Roger Elliott, they hammered the 17th/21st Lancers 48-0 at Fallin Bostel near Hamburg in the opening match.

The Blau Gelb Club of Brunswick, including international fly-half Michael Kock and two other German trialists, proved a tougher nut, but the Bath side eventually came through 33-7.

The tourist’s successes mainly stemmed from the superiority gained by the pack but in the second game Elliott and his clubmate Tim Lane had much to do with the margin of victory.

The playing party was: Roger Moxham (Walcot O.B.), Stephen Hanney (Civil Service), Tony Gunner ( Corsham), John Whittock (Old Edwardians), Tim Sexton (Keynsham), John Oliver (University College of Aberystwyth), Roger Elliott (Bath), Tim Lane (Bath), Stuart Wilcox (Keynsham), Harry Appleby (Oldfield O.B.), John Gravell (Oldfield O.B.), David Pearce (Oldfield O.B.), John Pedder (Oldfield O.B.), Roger Haig (Oldfield O.B.), Christopher Lilley (Bath), Andrew Wakefield (Bath), David Whitley (Old Edwardians), Tim Dines (Chippenham), and Richard Fisher (Corsham).

Officials were Glyn Maddocks, Keith Mabe and Graham Mann.”

 

26/4/1976

v British Forces Germany, Home, Won 23-14. A late three try rally was not enough to save the touring Services side. Bath fielded a mainly United XV, reinforced by a few 1st XV regulars. The Servicemen had already beaten Newton Abbot and Teignmouth and lost to Bournemouth and Exeter. Robbie Lye was the first to score when he took advantage of a wheeling scrum. John Davies followed on with a penalty and Mark Sutton cut through for a beautiful solo try. Bath went further ahead with two more Davies penalties and a strong left wing run by Mike Richardson allowed Geoff Pudney to touch down, with Davies adding the extras.

The British Forces came back at Bath and their outstanding Number 8, Peter Ramplee, scored two gritty tries, one of which was converted by fly-half Paul Heptinstal.

 

28/4/1976

v Exeter, Home, Won 37-6. J S Waterman, J Davies, M C Beese, R Hones, R Wyatt, J P Horton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A G Parfitt, J M Meddick, B J Jenkins, A Litowczyk, G Pillinger, R Lye, P R Hall.

Bath and Exeter were the Cup ‘knock-out’ champions of Somerset and Devon respectively.

The win assured Bath of a place in next season’s John Player Cup competition.

The visitors played most of their game on the retreat and John Davies was on hand to punish any errors. His personal contribution totted up to 17 points, from four conversions and three penalties. Bath tries by Horton (2), Waterman, Hones and Wyatt.

 

1/5/1976

v Nottingham, Home, Won 10-6. J S Waterman, J Davies, R Hones, N Hudson, R Wyatt, M Sutton, C J Perry, G Pudney, A Edwards, J M Meddick, A Litowczyk, B Jenkins, G Pillinger, P Boyle, P R Hall.                                                                                                                                                                                                           It was a record- breaking 31st win of the season. Considering the successes, it was a strangely dismal game. “It was little to write home about, however, for the battle of two much-weakened sides produced a scrambling, typically end-of-season affair with little fluent football of note.” The only touch of drama was in anticipation of a final score. Both sides were tied at 6-6 up to the final minutes. At last, Bath got within striking distance. Wyatt took the ball forward strongly and, following a line-out, scrum-half Perry put his head down and burrowed through for the winning, and final, try of the season.

Two penalties had advanced John Davies’s season tally to 425 points – a new individual points Record!

 

It was Phil Hall’s last of 580 1st XV games. Thus ended a long and distinguished rugby career. He made his 1st XV debut on the 24th December 1960 under Angus Meek’s captaincy and developed into one of the most feared and respected flankers in the game. It could be said that he had taken as much punishment as he had dished out. Controversial and fiery at times, he was a ‘gent’ off it. His farming activities would now have first call, but he also intended to help out in off- the- pitch activities.

A great Club man who could look back on his rugby career with great pride.

 

THE STATS

TRIES (99):- Beese and Horton 16, Dunbar 10, Davies and Hones 7, Wyatt 6, Perry and Richardson 5, Hudson and Lane 4, Gay and Waterman 3, Litowczyk, Norris, Palmer and Parfitt 2, Bramall, Butt, Griffiths, Pillinger and Sutton 1 each.

PENALTY GOALS (98):- Davies 97, Horton 1.

CONVERSIONS (53):- Davies 53.

DROP GOALS (18):- Horton 16, Perry and Waterman 1 each.

Both Waterman and Davies achieved 100% attendance records, playing in all 50 of the Club’s first class games.

ATTENDANCES:- Davies and Waterman 50, Pudney 42, Beese and Horton 41, Jenkins 40, Pillinger 39, Hones and Perry 34, Litowczyk 29, Edwards and Meddick 28, Hall 27, Lye 24, Gay and Harry 22, Parfitt 21, Hudson 18, Lane and Plummer 15, Wheeler 13, Norris and Richardson 12, Dunbar and Wyatt 11, Campbell 10, Spaven 9, Boyle 8, Carter, Mills Thomas and Sutton 6, Bramall and Pritchard 4, Griffiths and Leman 2, Butt, Elliott, Francis, Gallop, Gould, Hicks, Palmer and Roberts once each.

 

Phil Hall now held the appearances record, but other high attendances to date were:- Alan Parfitt 297, Jim Waterman 238, Robbie Lye 237, David Gay 231, Bert Meddick 175, Chris Perry 171, Brian Jenkins 167, Ken Plummer 161, Mike Beese 128, Niall Carter 127, Nick Hudson 119, John Horton 108 and Geoff Pudney 103.

 

 

 

This page was added on 22/07/2014.

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