1982 to 1983

Match reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1982-1983

 

1/9/1982

v Cheltenham, Home. Won 38-11. Team:- C S Ralston, B Trevaskis, A Rees, J A Palmer, P Simmons, J P Horton, S R Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Williams, J Morrison, R Spurrell, P Simpson and J Hall. Replacements J Wilson and R Lye.

Simon Halliday and Chris Martin were off to Japan with the England Students’ Touring party. Doctor Charles Ralston became attached to the R.U.H. Hospital, and was to be regularly available.

It was a good start to the season, with Bath faster in thought and deed. They monopolised possession, there being a noteworthy performance from Jon Morrison in the second row, great games from Spurrell and Hall and newcomer Paul Simpson from Gosforth. It was Simpson who powered over for Bath’s first try after three minutes, for Ralston to convert. Next, Trevaskis stormed over for an unconverted try. In the second half, Cheltenham came back with a try and a penalty. Horton set up tries for Hall and Ralston, scored one himself and converted all three. “Hall showed his pace and determination as he raced from half-way for his second try, after being put clear by Horton’s huge dummy.” Spurrell scored from a line-out. Ralston converted both tries.

 

4/9/1982

v Pontypool, Away. Lost 16-37. C Ralston, B Trevaskis, A Rees, J Palmer, P Simmons, J Horton, C Stanley, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, R Matthews, N Williams, P Simpson, R Spurrell, J Hall. Simon Jones, back from Canada, came on for John Hall after 70 minutes.

The try count was 3:7 in the host’s favour. Eddie Butler skippered a great Pontypool side which sported a front row of Staff Jones, Steve Jones and Graham Price. Bath looked good for approximately ten minutes, in which they managed to score all their points. For the rest of the time, they were badgered and buffeted out of the game by one of the best packs in the business. Bath tried hard enough to plug the gaps, but inevitably defenders were lured out of position. Pontypool ran up 20 points in the first 30 minutes. “Bath looked positively punch-drunk.” For one purple patch Bath’s back row and half-backs began to click: Skipper Roger Spurrell’s drive and a flipped pass from Horton set up a try for Paul Simmons on the left which full back Charlie Ralston converted and newcomer Paul Simpson helped make a second for John Hall before half-time.” Pontypool replied with a penalty and a try early in the second half. Next, Palmer’s dazzling break and the third try brought Bath back into the game at 16-27.

Then the Pontypool ‘big guns’ were brought to bear to bring tries by Huish, converted by Lewis and Goff Davies. Bath had fallen apart at the seams.

 

11/9/1982

v Leicester, Home. Won 24-15. Team:- C S Ralston, D M Trick, A Rees, J A Palmer, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, C Stanley, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Williams, J Morrison, P D Simpson, R Spurrell and J Hall.

Bath made the most of their chances. Trevaskis scored the first try in the fifth minute, following one of Horton’s pinpointed cross-kicks. Then a break from a line-out created a try for Stanley on the half hour. Both were converted by Ralston, who also contributed two first-half penalties. In the meantime, Cusworth had been committed to a personal duel with his opposite number Horton. He took time to stroke over three penalties so that Leicester trailed 9-18 at the interval.

Angus Collington scored a second -half try, which Dodge converted. “Bath responded with more rousing back row work, useful contributions from younger members like Stanley and John Morrison, and the overall enthusiasm was finally rewarded.

Horton lifted things to a different plain with his beautifully flighted kick into Trick’s path and Ralston stroked home another conversion which was in stark contrast to the wasteful penalty efforts of Cusworth and Dodge.

It was no classic, but following the Pontypool experience, it did wonders for team morale.

 

18//9/1982

v Moseley, Away. Lost 11-13. A Watkins, D Trick, A Rees, J Palmer, B Trevaskis, J Horton, C Stanley, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, J Morrison, J P Hall, R Spurrell and P Simpson.

Bath were denied victory by an injury-time penalty by full-back Ian Metcalfe.

It was an untidy, error-riddled game, with neither side able to launch sustained attacks. This was ‘a hands in pockets – talk to the crowd’ day for David Trick. He did not receive a pass from start to finish! Hall, Spurrell and Simpson dominated in loose play, but Moseley’s Davidson held sway in the line-out. Paul Simpson scored from John Hall’s pick-up and pass. Then Palmer kicked a penalty for a blatant obstruction on Trick. After the interval, Moseley levelled with a penalty by Metcalfe and a try from Goodwin.

Next, a quick break ended with Stanley going over for an unconverted try. Meanwell countered with another Moseley penalty and Bath were hanging on to a one point lead. An injury time penalty award, left Metcalfe to deprive Bath of a fifth successive win over their Midland rivals.

22/9/1982

v Newport, Away. Won 12-3. Team:- A Watkins, D M Trick, A Rees, J A Palmer, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, C Stanley, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, J Morrison, R Gaymond, P D Simpson, R Spurrell and J Hall. Welsh Secondary Schools International, Stuart Barnes was at full-back for Newport, and scored the home side’s solitary penalty.

“A superb David Trick-inspired try was the crowning glory in a battling Bath effort which brought them only their second win in history at Newport last night at Rodney Parade.” “Horton played a miss-ball move to Watkins who drew the opposing wing brilliantly before setting Trick away on a blistering 60 yards run deep into the home half. He wriggled out of one cover tackle and then outwitted the defence with an inside pass to centre Alun Rees who galloped the rest of the way for John Palmer to convert.” Palmer kicked first and second half penalties to secure Bath’s victory.

Alun Watkins had a storming game against his former club.

Ronnie Hakin had returned from injury and was selected for Somerset in place of his injured Bath club-mate Nick Williams.

Horton, Palmer and Trick were reported as selected to face the touring Fijians at Redruth, with Spurrell as a possible replacement.

 

25/9/1982

v Llanelli, Away. Lost 10-15. Team:- A Watkins, D Trick, A Rees, J Palmer, B Trevaskis, J Horton, K Prosser, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, J Morrison, N Gaymond, P Simpson, J Hall and S Jones.

Combined work by Jones, Simpson and Hall had set up a try for Trevaskis, Horton dropped a smart goal and Palmer contributed a penalty. Bath looked to have done enough, but Llanelli snatched a last gasp victory when Selwyn Williams burrowed over for a try, which Gravelle converted. Gravelle also kicked a penalty and two drop goals. Young Keith Prosser had played a brave game at scrum-half.

 

29/9/1982

v Havant, Home. Won 21 -9. Team selected :- C S Ralston, A Gunner, C Book, B Roberts, M Sparkes, A Watkins, K E Prosser, C Lilley, P Knight, I Davies, D Barry, A Marriott, P Turner, M Sayer and R Lye.

Havant were guests at Bath as a thank-you for providing vital match practice following the previous winter’s match cancellations, due to heavy snowfalls. On the Rec., they provided spirited but wasteful opposition. Alun Watkins had a fine game, scoring one of the three tries, converting them all and adding a penalty. Keith Prosser and Nick Cox were the other scorers. Havant had to be content with three penalties.

 

2/10/1982

v Aberavon, Home. Won 17-16. C Ralston (Capt.), P Simmons, S Halliday, A Rees, B Trevaskis, A Watkins, K Prosser, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, A Marriott, M Sayer, S Jones and J P Hall. R Matthews replaced Chilcott after 75 minutes.

With seconds to go, and with a scrum on the Bath line, this game was saved by a tremendous shove and Kevin Adam’s strike against the head. This enabled Alun Watkins to get in the vital clearance kick, to get Bath out of deep trouble. It was a fitting climax to a thrilling match in which several second choice youngsters ‘won their spurs.’ At one stage, Aberavon had fought back from 3-14 down, but the makeshift side gave a display of considerable character: “They deserved to win by scoring three tries to one, and those all came in the first 25 minutes when half-asleep Aberavon were exposed time and again as Bath stormed forward.

Bath’s first forward drive, by young John Hall, provided superb second phase, Watkins used it perfectly and acting skipper Charlie Ralston came roaring up into the line to score.

Almost immediately, left wing Barry Trevaskis intercepted slow-motion Aberavon passing and raced 60 yards for Ralston to convert and though Lewis opened the opposition account with a penalty, right wing Paul Simmons scored again when full-back Andy Martin dropped Watkins’ high kick.”

For a while, Bath’s limitations were exposed as Allan Martin dominated the line-out; Lewis showed his class in slotting over a second penalty, created a try for Mike Edwards and reduced the arrears to within one point, by adding a superbly taken drop goal. Hall presented Lewis with another penalty for injudicious use of the boot. Bath battled on and were rewarded when Ralston kicked a penalty in the 62nd minute. In turn, Ralston was severely tested with some high kicks, but he held his ground, and there was no other way through Bath’s heroic defenders.

 

6/10/1982

v Wyvern, Away at Taunton. Won 76-3 in the first round of the Somerset Knock-Out Cup.

John Hall, Simon Jones and Paul Simmons all got three tries each and others came from Alun Rees, Dai Richards, George Norman, Ian Wakeling, and Andy Marriott while Chris Stanley converted ten. Wyvern scored a penalty by R McWilliams.” (No team detail extant.)

 

9/10/1982

v Liverpool, Away. Lost 4-12. A Collins, P Simmons, A Rees, N Cox, M Sparkes, D Richards, K Prosser, C Lilley, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, N Williams, S Jones, P Turner and R Lye. Replacements:- I Wakeling and G Norman.

Bath were severely depleted by County calls and managed just one try, by Martin Sparkes, against a side that were very strong defensively. Bath had two ‘gilt-edged’ chances to pull the game out of the fire. At 4-6 they were awarded two successive penalties within kickable distances. On both occasions, they opted to run with the ball. Lee and Williams put in strong performances and there was some fine tackling and touch finding by full-back Adrian Collins. On balance, Liverpool deserved their win, but it was a gallant display by Bath’s makeshift selection.

 

16/10/1982

v Bristol, Away. Lost 4-6. C Martin, P Simmons, A Rees, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J Palmer, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, N Williams, P Simpson, and R Spurrell and J Hall. R Hakin replaced Spurrell after 55 minutes.

Bath could so easily have won this ‘Derby.’ The teams turned round with Bristol 6-0 up, but facing wind and rain and one man short. Prop John Doubleday had been sent off for an alleged kick on Nigel Gaymond. Sadly, Bath put on a poor, ill-disciplined display and Paul Simmon’s late try was not enough to save the match. John Palmer had an off-day with his kicking and there was some disruption when Spurrell withdrew with a ‘dead-leg.’ It was Bristol’s battling pack that took the honours, as Mike Rafter’s command of the loose ball became more pronounced. Half-backs Richard Harding and David Sorrell had an edge on the Bath pairing. Chris Martin was extraordinarily cool under Bristol’s barrage of ‘up and unders.’

 

23/10/1982

v United Services, Away. Lost 16-18. (Team that took the field not published)

Bath Selection Committee opened their Monday meeting in contemplation of 21 players on various County calls, and also anticipating a phone call advising non-availability of Simon Jones. First on the availability list might well have been Bath’s faithful servant Clive Book, to make his seasonal debut in place of centre Alun Rees. Watkins arrived too late for the starting line-up and could only sit-in as a replacement, while his team missed several penalty opportunities. Services were providing five players for Hampshire, so the final selections could hardly be considered as representative of the two clubs. Shorn of their best players, Bath adopted a 10-man rugby strategy. Services took an early lead with Tomlin’s penalty. Next, Stanley scored a try after a terrific forward shove, but Services struck back with a drop goal and a converted try. In the second half, Gaymond bludgeoned his way over for an unconverted try. Bath’s ten-man tactics proved inadequate to the task in hand and the Services crossed for another converted try. Bath countered with a try by Turner, which Stanley again converted.

 

30/10/1982

v Neath, Away. Lost 21-22. C Ralston, P Simmons, A Collins, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, A Watkins, S Lewis, C Lilley, K Adams, R Lee, N Williams, N Gaymond, R Spurrell, J Hall, P Simpson. Martin Sparkes replaced Trevaskis in the 78th minute.

Bath failed to exploit Neath’s defensive weaknesses until the final quarter. Bath got far too embroiled in unnecessary niggle and questioning of referee decisions. Nick Williams’ indiscriminate tap-backs from the line outs gave Steve Lewis and Alun Watkins all sorts of problems. It was meat and drink to the abrasive Neath forwards, who were able to ‘rough up’ their opponents. A Watkins penalty gave Bath a second-minute lead, but Neath came back with such ferocity that they led 16-3 at the interval, adding two second half penalties. Eventually, two superb tries, by Simpson and Simmons, converted by Watkins, narrowed the gap to one point, but the Welshmen held out to the end.

3/11/1982

A Bath XV v Marlow, Home. Won 16-10. Team:- A Collins, D M Trick, N Cox, B Roberts, A Gunner, A Watkins, K Prosser, C Lilley, P Knight, I Davies, A Marriott, N Williams, D Parsonage, M Sayer, R Lye. Replacements:- I Wakeling and G Norman.

David Trick took his only chance, and raced in from 55 yards for the try of the match: “He beat his opposite number with a superb change of pace, accelerated inside the final defender and swept through imperiously to score.

Otherwise the night belonged to Watkins who besides showing general class and polish, kicked two massive penalties, converted Trick’s try and made the other for Nick Cox.”

The game was to repay Marlow’s hospitality in providing much needed match practice during the previous season’s snows. Unfortunately Marlow’s floodlighting broke down and the match did not finish until 11.10 pm.

 

6/11/1982

v Harlequins, Away. Won 21-7. C Ralston, D Trick, S Halliday, J Palmer, P Simmons, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, R Hakin, N Gaymond, P Simpson, R Spurrell and J P Hall.

Bath fielded a near full side and showed considerable promise in the manner of their win. Despite the presence of England flanker David Cooke, the Bath trio of Simpson, Hall and Spurrell eclipsed their opposite numbers and along with Rob Cunningham, caused no end of havoc around the field. Nigel Gaymond was a tower of strength in the line-out. Bath had much the better of the first half, but apart from Horton’s early drop goal, points on the board had been eluding them. Then Horton got the ball, wriggled through the opposition and left Hakin to shoot over for the first try. Soon after, Simpson gathered a shallow chip, turned on a 40 yard burst of speed to outstrip all and sundry. Quins came back with their best period of the match with a try and a penalty. Ralston stayed in command of the home ground, and confirmed Bath’s superiority with two penalty goals. Finally, an extravagant dummy by scrum-half Lewis, left Simon Halliday an uncomplicated run-in for the another try.

 

10/11/1982

v Clifton, Away. Won 20-6. A Collins, P Simmons, A Rees, J Palmer, B Trevaskis, Dai Richards, C Stanley, C Lilley, K Adams, G Chilcott, R Hakin, N Gaymond, R Spurrell, P Simpson and J P Hall.

The Bath pack completely out-scrummaged their opponents, the back row combined fluent attacking sorties, with annihilation of anyone carrying a ball. It was only in the line-out that Clifton had anything approaching parity. Palmer provided an early penalty and a first half try came when Stanley broke wide, Palmer drew the defence, while the ball travelled to Rees, for an unopposed run to the line. Palmer converted and added a second penalty to make it 12-0 at the interval. Soon after restart, Trevaskis crossed in the corner and it looked all-over for the host side. However, Clifton stiffened up their defence and eventually countered with a converted try. Finally, a massive forward surge allowed Ronnie Hakin to touch down for a third try.

 

15/11/1982

v Newbridge, Home. Lost 3-12. Team:- C Martin, D M Trick, J A Palmer, A Rees, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, S R Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, A Marriott, N Gaymond, R Spurrell, P Simpson and R Lye. Subs. C Martin and A Marriott. It was Robbie Lye’s 444th appearance.

Newbridge thoroughly deserved their win against a Bath side, the majority of whom looked to be jaded, probably after their exertions at the weekend County matches.

The visitors put in a disciplined performance, as they swept to their 15th win in 18 games, and in doing so, took Bath’s ground record. After missing with an earlier attempt, Chris Martin landed a first-half penalty. The valley side’s slick style was masterminded by fly-half Paul Turner, who had a hand in most of the action. Horton, Palmer and Rees could find little room to manoeuvre and David Trick had a singularly frustrating afternoon.

 

20/11/1982

v Coventry, Home. Won 19-15. C Martin, D Trick, J Palmer, A Rees, A Watkins, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson. Coventry had not won at Bath for 17 years.

Horton marked his 300th game, by masterminding the Bath effort and adding a typical drop-goal for good measure. Chris Martin must have impressed the England selectors, initiating a number of counter attacking-moves, leading to a try for David Trick and one for himself. Rob Cunningham’s second half try created a try count of three to one in Bath’s favour. Watkins converted two .

 

1/12/1982

v South Wales Police, Home. Won 28-0.A Watkins, P Simmons, A Rees, J Palmer, B Trevaskis, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, K Adams, C Lilley, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson.

The Police side were more than willing to contest physically, but could not match the teamwork and expertise of the home side. Bath brushed aside the bruising, niggling challenges and ran in tries by Turner, Lewis, Rees, Simmons and Gaymond. Watkins converted one and added two penalties without reply. There was good line-out work and scrummaging, notably by Gaymond and Hakin, whilst a lively back row served to soften up the opposition.

 

4/12/1982

v London Scottish, Away. Won 21-9. Watkins, Simmons, Rees, Collins, Trevaskis, Horton, Lewis, Chilcott, Cunningham, Lee, Gaymond, Hakin. Spurrell, Turner and Simpson.

An slightly under strength side played excellent rugby for this away win. Horton began and finished Bath’s scoring effort with smartly taken drop goals. Tries flowed from Spurrell, Lewis and Trevaskis. Watkins added a penalty. The half-back combination of Horton and Lewis, behind a dominant pack was a recipe for a convincing win, despite the absence of four first choice players. Coach, Jack Rowell, was delighted with the afternoon’s efforts. After winning good possession, the backs demonstrated their ability to put it to good use.

 

11/12/1982

v Gloucester, Home. Won 21-12. C S Martin, D M Trick, J A Palmer, A Rees, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, S M Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R F Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson. Replacements:- A Watkins and A Marriott. The Match Programme welcomed popular Gloucester Officials:- Terry Tandy, Peter Ford, Micky Booth and Cannon H M Hughes for this South West Merit Match.

A PUNCH-UP

It was a hard, exciting and enjoyable encounter. No quarter was given or expected. Bath opted to play Gloucester at their own game, abandoning their free-flowing style for a battle of attrition between warring packs: “The game was not so much full-blooded, but rather full of blood, with punches being thrown with abandon, boots used for anything but the purpose intended and ugly brawls reviving memories of the bad old days.” This could not last indefinitely unchecked, and referee David Leslie gave Mike Teague and Richard Lee their marching orders for fighting in front of the main stand.

“The super-charged atmosphere could almost be cut with a knife, produced little running rugby, a glut of errors, and penalties galore, but quite a few heroics as well particularly in the defences.”

Steve Lewis scored Bath’s try early in the second half. Palmer had opened with two penalties, followed by a Horton drop-goal. Gloucester replied with a penalty by Paul Ford and a try by Teague, converted by Ford, so the sides crossed over at 9-9.

Following the re-start, Palmer added another penalty and the Steve Lewis converted try was to follow.

Another Gloucester revival led to another penalty for Ford, but Palmer rounded off the kicking contest with his fourth penalty of this torrid confrontation. Teague was the third Gloucester player to be sent off in a very few weeks. It was all very physical!

 

12/12/1982

v Frome. Home. Won 46-6. Bath eased into the next round of the Somerset Cup, with a walkover win against their Junior neighbours. Predictably, Bath’s vastly superior technique was all too much for Frome, who battled bravely to the end. Their hero of the day was Roger Harding, who kicked a penalty and dropped a goal. Bath produced nine tries, scored by Trevaskis (3), Ralston (2), Watkins, Stanley, Adams and Simmons, and five were converted by Ralston.

 

18/12/1982

v Harlequins, Home. Drawn 13-13. C Martin, P Simmons, A Rees, A Palmer, B Trevaskis, C Ralston, S M Lewis, C Lilley, K Adams, G Chilcott, N Gaymond,    R F Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson. Replacements:- C Stanley and R Matthews.

A strong Quins side included internationals Jamie Salmon and W Cuthbertson. Brothers M and G Claxton teamed up with John Olver for a formidable front row.

Bath played purposefully for the first twenty minutes and were suitably rewarded when Gaymond scored following a tap penalty. Quins soon got the equalising try with Mike Russell’s blind-side break and went ahead with Ray Dudman’s conversion. There was considerable niggle amongst the forwards and Palmer’s first penalty had Bath trailing 6-7 at the interval. Dudman’s successful penalty kept Quins ahead until Palmer restored Bath’s advantage with his second penalty.

Woodhouse crossed for Quins and although Bath protested that he had been forced into touch-in-goal, the try was allowed to stand. Bath could still have won, but Palmer achieved only one success from three reasonably easy penalty chances.

27/12/1982

v Clifton, Home. Won 53-4. Team:- A Watkins, P Simmons, S Halliday, A Rees, A Gunner, J Palmer, C Stanley, C Lilley, K Adams, G Chilcott, J Morrison, J Patching, P Turner, J Hall, A Brooks.

It would be a fair assumption that everyone except Clifton enjoyed this Boxing Day fare. Bath romped in with some spectacular tries, with a less than full strength side. The pack rampaged through Clifton’s disarray, providing a non-stop flow of possession to the eagerly awaiting back division. John Palmer fulfilled a key role at outside half. Simon Halliday was at his incisive best and was well supported by a determined Tony Gunner on his wing. Chris Bird replaced Watkins right on half time displaying handling skills and penetrative ability. Bath tries from:- Gunner (2), Halliday (2), Patching, Turner, Stanley, Chilcott, Adams and Simmons, with Palmer converting five and landing a penalty.

 

1/1/1983

v Leicester, Away. Lost 9-21. Martin, Trick, Halliday, Palmer, Trevaskis, Horton, Lewis, Lilley, Cunningham, Chilcott, Morrison, Hakin, Spurrell, Simpson and Turner. Patching replaced Morrison.

In the early stages, all bode well for Bath. There was ample possession from line-out and scrum, Lewis was sending swift and accurate passes to an in-form Horton; Spurrell was leading an eager pack of forwards, who were harassing Leicester, and Martin was looking solid at full-back.

Then, all at once, the tide turned. Cusworth dummied a pass and fed Dusty Hare. He came into the line to create an overlap as wide as a barn door and indeed, horse-like,  winger Evans bolted 40 yards without a finger laid on him. Hare converted gratefully. Minutes later, another slick movement started by Cusworth sent Hare in to convert his own try. Bath were 0-12 down within ten minutes.

To their credit, Bath re-grouped and their hopes were revived when Martin landed a magnificent penalty goal from fully 50 yards. Following dismissal of Leicester lock Jackson, Cusworth wound up the first half with a neatly taken drop-gaol. Bath responded to Spurrell’s half-time pep talk. There was a flash of speed as Trick was brought into the action. “Then a vintage Horton run sent Trevaskis inches close. The tonic was working, bringing a Bath pushover try which Lewis scored and Palmer converted.” Now it was Leicester’s turn to shut out Bath’s midfield endeavours. Hare finally subdued Bath with two 45-yard penalties. The only substantial threat ended with a mistimed pass to Trick, just when the Leicester line was gaping.

Hakin was the game’s outstanding forward, but the whole of the Bath pack had fought tirelessly.

 

Programme notes (8/1/1983) : “We were of course disappointed. Nevertheless Bath played good football. Two missed tackles and two conversions by Dusty Hare equals 12 points.

Ronnie Hakin is now playing like an International. We are of course, very pleased to have him with us.”

 

8/1/1983

v London Welsh, Home. Won 16-11. C S Martin, P Simmons, A Rees, J A Palmer, B Trevaskis, C Ralston, S M Lewis, C Lilley, K Adams, G Chilcott, N Gaymond , R F Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner, P Simpson. Replacements:- M Sparkes and A Brooks. Sparkes replaced Palmer after 55 minutes.

VICTORY FROM JAWS OF DEFEAT

Steve Lewis plucked victory from the jaws of defeat late in the second half. A 3-11 deficit was turned into victory with two tries in the last eleven minutes. Lewis had a hand in both: “First he launched the tap-penalty move from which lock Nigel Gaymond powered over through the thickest of cover.

Then, after fly-half Charlie Ralston had converted to ease Bath ahead for the first time, Lewis made a wide sweeping break from a scrum to set up the clincher by No. 8 Paul Simpson.” Palmer had earlier scored a penalty and Ralston added another in the second half. It was all more than they could fairly have hoped for. The Exiles had adapted better to the heavy pitch and positive three-quarter play had produced two tries and a penalty. A try-saving tackle was symptomatic of Bath’s determination. Irish International lock, Ronnie Hakin, tackled Welsh full-back into touch-in-goal when it seemed certain he would score. Bath stormed to a victory, which for so long had looked beyond them.

 

15/1/1983

v Metropolitan Police, Away. Won 34-15. C Martin, M Sparkes, D Trick, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, A Rees, S Lewis, C Lilley, K Adams, G Chilcott, N Gaymond, A Marriott, R Spurrell, P Simpson and J P Hall.

Apart from a slow start and taking things easy at the end, Bath’s makeshift selection were still too good for the Police. A late reshuffle ended with Rees playing at outside-half and Trick in the centre. Trick was carrying an ankle injury from the previous day’s UAU game, and was eventually replaced by I Wakeling. A procession of Bath tries came from Halliday (2), Martin (2), Martin Sparkes, Trevaskis Both Martin and Lewis converted one each and added penalties. The Police side scored two second-half converted tries and an earlier penalty.

“The driving force of Paul Simpson and skipper Roger Spurrell proved altogether too much for the police who could not cope either with the power of Halliday and Martin.”

 

Bath United stormed to a 54-0 against Cheltenham United.

 

19/1/1983

v Royal Navy, Home. Won 27-13. Team:- C Ralston, P Simmons, S Halliday, A Rees, B Trevaskis, A Watkins, K Prosser, C Lilley, R Cunningham, R Lee, R Hakin, A Marriott, R Spurrell and J A Brooks.

The Navy gave a good account of themselves, forcing Bath to pull back from 0-7 from the 20th minute.

Casting off their initial lethargy, Bath proceeded to throw the ball about. Young scrum-half Keith Prosser made some elusive runs and a tapped penalty provided a try for Richard Lee. A forward surge sent in John Hall, Ralston converted both and added a penalty to put Bath in the lead 15-7 at the interval. There followed a superb break through the middle by Halliday and Ralston converted his try. The Navy revived briefly, but Ralston completed his scoring effort with a third penalty.

 

22/1/1983

v Exeter, Home. Won 74-3. Team:- C Martin, D Trick, S Halliday, A Rees, B Trevaskis, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall, P Simpson. (Patching replaced Gaymond after 75 minutes)

Players almost queued up to score in this one-sided romp, for the highest score (to date) in the Club History.

“As scrum-half Steve Lewis, and the back row of Paul Simpson, Roger Spurrell and John Hall poured through all gaps close to the scrum and John Horton launched a wily string of back moves, the second-worst defeat in Exeter’s history was almost predictable.”

David Trick, on the right wing, was too hot to handle as he raced in for two early tries. On the left, Barry Trevaskis maximised on his opportunities and contributed three. Former Gosforth forward, Paul Simpson was not to be outdone and also scored a hat-trick. Other tries flowed from Hall (2), Cunningham, Rees and Lewis (2). Alun Lewis was also in fine kicking form and slotted nine conversions for a personal tally of 26 points. Exeter managed a first half penalty, but must have been thoroughly demoralised by this experience.

 

29/1/1983

v Northampton, Away. Won 19-16. “………..Bath produced an exhibition of rugby that had the connoisseurs (among them the late Lord Wavell Wakefield) purring in admiration. Bath inched home with a late piece of Horton magic that culminated with a David Trick try.” (Harry Barstow – Programme Notes)

This was Bath’s first win at Northampton for 52 years. John Horton set the pace with a near- touchline drop goal within three minutes of the start, and he continued to torment the Saint’s defence throughout. At the end, he also sealed Bath’s victory with a pin-point cross-kick, enabling Trick to run in for the match-winning try, which Lewis converted. Northampton had no counter to Bath’s back row in which Spurrell and Hall turned in outstanding performances. Horton was an inspiration, with his jinking runs, one of which set up Barry Trevaskis for a spectacular try, after a 70 yard movement. Horton also set up Halliday for a fine break through the midfield, converted by Lewis.

 

2/2/1983

v R.A.F., Home. Won 43-4.

A largely United side overwhelmed the Servicemen, who were outplayed in every phase of play. Mike Patching ruled in the line out and John Hall dominated from the back of the scrum. Full-back Ralston frequently attacked from deep and there were nice touches from John Palmer and Alun Watkins. Ralston opened with a penalty as Bath exerted their authority. Phil Turner bagged the first try. Next, Kevin Adams won a heel against the head and was on hand to take a final pass to touch down and for Ralston to convert. Bath were 17-0 ahead at the interval after a skilful run in by Watkins. Soon after re-commencement, there were tries for Hall and Palmer, both converted by Ralston and although the R.A.F. came back with a try by right wing Allison, there was no holding back and further tries flowed from Gunner and Simmons and a second one for Hall, one of which was converted by Ralston.

 

5/2/1983

v Rosslyn Park, Home. Won 35-12.Team: C.S. Ralston, D. M. Trick, A.G. Rees, S. Halliday, B. Trevaskis, J.P. Horton (c), S.M. Lewis, G. Chilcott, K. Adams, R. Lee, R.F. Hakin, A. Marriott, J. Patching, P. Simpson, J. Hall  Replacements: J.A. Palmer, R.Lye

Rosslyn Park Team: J. Graves, R. Sainter (P. Dacey), S. Fluskey, M. Grenhalgh, J. Gill, M. Jermyn, A. Lewis, P. Curtis, P. Keith-Roach, M. Renny, P. Ackford (c), G. Curtis, P. Stringfield, R. Montgomery, C. Schulert  Replacement: D. Bennett

For Bath: C. Ralston, D. Trick, B. Trevaskis, R. Lee, P. Simpson scored tries. S. Lewis kicked three conversions and two penalties. Jon Horton kicked a drop goal.

For Rosslyn Park: C. Schulert scored a try. M. Greenhalgh kicked a conversion and two penalties.

 

09/02/1983

v Weston Super Mare, (Quarter Final Somerset Cup) Home. Won 43-7. Team:- C.S. Ralston, P. Simmons, A.G. Bess, J.A. Palmer (c), B. Trevaskis, D. Richards, T. Stanley (A. Gunner), J. Davies, R. Cunningham, R. Lee, N. Gaymond, R. Matthews, P. Turner, J. Hall, P. Simpson.

Weston Super Mare Team: M. Fletcher, C. Brown, R. Marshall, N. Penny, P. Sibley, N. Hopkins, I. Briarley, G. Paul (c), S. Bagg, I. Disney, K. Fishlock, N. Redman, T. Whittle, A. Bradley, P. Psyk

 

Tries For Bath: C. Ralston, R. Simmons (2), B. Trevaskis, R. Cunningham, J. Hall (2) and G. Stanley scored tries. C. Ralston kicked four conversions and a penalty.

For Weston Super Mare: Phil Sibley scored a try and N. Hopkins kicked a penalty.

The Seasiders put up a game fight, particularly in the forwards. They were soon overpowered by Bath’s superior class.

 

12/2/1983

v Gloucester, Away. Drawn 7-7. Team:- C Ralston, D Trick, J Palmer, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, S M Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson.

Gloucester’s progress in the John Player Cup, hinged on Paul Ford’s injury time penalty attempt. Unfortunately for Gloucester, he was wide and short and the match was tied. Gloucester had trailed 0-7 at one stage as Bath had scored with a try by Trevaskis and a Horton drop goal. The home side pulled back with a try by Price and a drop goal from Jones and the game was an exact draw in manner of scoring. However, Bath moved forward on away advantage.

Programme Notes (26/2/1983) : – ” A good performance by Bath at Kingsholm, Gloucester.

What a pity – we should have won!”

26/2/1983

v Fylde, Home. Won 31-12. Team:- C S Ralston, D M Trick, J A Palmer, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, S M Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R F Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson.

Bath let a young Fylde side off lightly, in patchy play. The home side was handicapped by the withdrawal of Chilcott (rib) and Hall (dead leg) in the second half.

Ralston showed impressive form, joining the line from full-back. Simon Halliday was able to penetrate at will, but Horton, whilst always there when necessary, had a comparatively quiet game. Wingers Trick and Trevaskis, had ample opportunity to show their pace. Trick got the first after 20 minutes from a Horton cross-kick. Scrum-half Steve Lewis bagged the second and converted his own effort. Trevaskis put Bath ahead on half-time with another speedy effort. “Ralston slotted over a penalty, the home pack combined for Ronnie Hakin to force his way over, Trevaskis’s determination was rewarded for a second time, and Simon Halliday got the best of all with a searing burst, which Ralston converted.”

 

2/3/1983

v Cheltenham, Away. Won 31-9. C Ralston, D Trick, A Collins, A Rees, B Trevaskis, D Richards, S Lewis, I Davies, G Bess, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson.

Cheltenham’s talents were limited to forward play and early determination led to centre Clive Minett landing a penalty, scoring and converting his own try. Bath sprung into action when Alun Rees split the defence and sent a long pass for David Trick to use his extraordinary speed to outpace the cover. Another marvellous move was to follow, when Trevaskis almost scored on the left, before the ball was switched to the opposite wing, for Trick to score his second. Lewis converted and Bath were ahead. Thereafter it was all Bath. Next, Ralston galloped up from full-back and straight through the home defence. Lewis contributed a penalty, quickly followed by a try, which he also converted. There were tries by Trevaskis and Gaymond in the final quarter.

 

5/3/1983

v Gordano, Away. Won 10-6. Semi-Final, Somerset Cup. A Collins, P Simmons, A Gunner, A G Rees, B Trevaskis, J Palmer, K Prosser, I Davies, G Bess, R Lee, R Matthews, N Gaymond, R Spurrell, P Turner and R Hakin.

There were some red faces as Bath made desperately hard work of beating a village side on the Gordano School ground. Bath gave an inept display, dragged down to their opponents’ level in a mauling, scrambling miss-match of a game. A narrow school pitch and a gale force wind added to the general discomfort. The homesters went ahead with a 15th minute drop goal, followed by a penalty, and Bath soon saw they would have to struggle for victory. Eventually, Bath managed to extricate themselves from a generally abysmal performance. “John Palmer, looping around his backs following a line-out, enabled centre Tony Gunner to touch down to reduce arrears and Palmer then slotted over two penalties.” They had scrambled through by the narrowest of margins, in a competition in which they had never been beaten.

 

7/3/1983

v Pontypridd, Home. Won 19-6. C Ralston, D Trick, J Palmer, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, I Davies, N Gaymond, A Marriott, R Spurrell, J Hall, P Simpson. David Trick was at his best and ran in two scintillating tries. Pontypridd, a workmanlike side, could not match this level of sophistication. Trevaskis also ran in two tries, to chalk up Bath’s 148th for the season. Palmer added a penalty. One Bath lapse allowed centre Mike Edwards to race 50 yards for Pontypridd’s try, which Gareth Llewellyn converted. Trick later withdrew with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Chris Martin. There was considerable concern in view of his England selection versus Ireland, the following Saturday.

 

12/3/1983

v Swansea, Home. Won 30-14. Team:- C Ralston, C Martin, J Palmer, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J Horton, S Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, A Marriott, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson.

This was one of Bath’s classic performances, but they did in fact, struggle for the first 40 minutes.

Swansea were brimming with talent, both with an aggressive ball-winning pack, which included line-out specialists Barry Clegg and Richard Moriarty, plus a talented back division.

Swansea scored first-half tries from Moriarty, Herdman and Mark Davies. Horton chalked up his 100th drop goal for Bath and Palmer kicked two penalties. Bath still trailed 9-14 and further Swansea onslaughts looked in prospect.

Then came the transformation. Barry Trevaskis made a smart interception for his 23rd try of the season, for Palmer to convert. Bath piled on 21 points, and everything went right as Swansea were made to look a very ordinary side indeed. “Roger Spurrell, John Hall and Paul Simpson rose to incredible heights as they got among the Welshmen whose cool composure suddenly disintegrated.”

Simpson and Marriott scored tries, which Palmer converted and the final nail in the coffin saw Chris Martin land a drop goal from near the touchline.

It had been Bath at their best, with supreme performances in the forwards and Halliday and Martin breaking down the visitors’ defence piecemeal.

Bath won the Sunday Telegraph Team of the Week title for this commanding performance.

 

15/3/1983

v Ebbw Vale, Away. Won 7-3. Ralston, Martin, Rees, Halliday, Trevaskis, Palmer, Lewis, Chilcott, Bess, Lee, Marriott, Gaymond, Spurrell, Turner and Simpson.

Bath struggled for the first twenty minutes, as Ebbw Vale dominated in the line-out. More pressure and the hosts went ahead following Stephenson’s 12th minute penalty. However, excellent work by Palmer, Halliday and Rees had the opposition rocking. Five minutes after the re-start Palmer opened Bath’s account with a well struck penalty, and thereon, Bath provided all the surprises. “At a scrum 40 yards out it seemed certain Bath would attack on the left. But Lewis instinctively sensed richer spoils lay in switching to the right.

With full-back Charles Ralston’s intervention the ball found Chris Martin. The England B. full back, playing on the wing, strode effortlessly away for a scintillating try.”

 

23/3/1983

v Exeter University, Home. Drawn 6-6. C Martin, D Trick, J Palmer, A Rees, B Trevaskis, C Ralston, S Lewis, C Lilley, K Adams, R Lee, A Marriott, N Gaymond, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson. Watkins replaced Ralston after fifteen minutes and John Hall replaced Spurrell after sixty-eight minutes.

Significantly, Richard Hill was at scrum-half and David Sole at prop, for the Students’ side. Two penalty goals from John Palmer saved Bath from ignominious defeat. Exeter’s spirited effort was rewarded with a penalty and a drop goal. Scrum-half Richard Hill was the game’s dominant figure and their full-back Simon Hogg was conspicuous for his forthright tackling. The Students’ wings were frequently brought into play. By contrast, David Trick “must have believed he was back in Dublin as he waited for passes which never came.

Only in the last ten minutes did Bath play with any urgency, and then their second replacement John Hall, injected a little fire”

 

26/3/1983

v Richmond, Home. Won 32-18. Team:- J Palmer, P Simmons, A G Rees, D Richards, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, S M Lewis, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, R F Hakin, R Spurrell, P Turner and P Simpson.                                                                                                                                                                         A fine win without five first choice players, Bath tries flowed from Simpson (2), Lee, Gaymond and Trevaskis. Palmer converted three and added two penalties.

Bath bubbling with ideas: “took mistakes in their stride, and relaxed into their best, free-flowing mood, so this time their hard working pack outshone the backs.” Paul Simpson had a fine game at number 8.

Bath showed the flare and drive, now characteristic of their big match play.

 

2/4/1983

v Bristol, Home. Won 21-16. Selected team:- C S Ralston, S Halliday, A G Rees, B Trevaskis, J A Palmer, S M Lewis, G Chilcott, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R F Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson. Attendance 5000.

Bath topped a 1000 points for the first time in their history. In doing so, they despatched their local rivals, despite loosing scrum-half Steve Lewis with rib injury. Following this, Bristol took immediate advantage with a flush of 13 points in just five minutes. Major heroes in Bath’s incredible revival were Roger Spurrell, deputising as a makeshift scrum-half and Paul Simpson, who scored two memorable tries in four minutes. John Palmer had given Bath a first half lead with three penalties. Hakin and Simpson cleaned up in the line-out. Nibbs (try), Duggan (try), and Hogg (conversion, drop-goal and penalty) had their moments, but it was Simpson’s ‘double whammy, ‘ followed by Palmer’s conversions that settled the issue.

Importantly, the win secured a place in the following season’s John Player Cup competition.

4/4/1983

v New Brighton, Home. Won 53-10. Team:- C S Martin, D M Trick, J A Palmer, S Halliday, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, K Prosser, G Chilcott, K Adams, I Davies, J Morrison, A Marriott, R Spurrell, J Hall, R Hakin. Replacements:- M Sparkes (60 mins.) and N Gaymond.

Barry Trevaskis scored his 27th try of the season. The full try count was:- Trevaskis (3), Trick (2), Halliday (2), K Prosser, Palmer, Spurrell, Martin and Horton. Horton’s try brought the loudest cheer of the afternoon, as it was his first of that season. “Everyone played their part, but none more than Ronnie Hakin, John Hall, Gareth Chilcott and Kevin Adams.”

The Trevaskis ‘hat trick’ left him just two tries short of forward George Haydon’s record which had stood since the 1930-31 season.

Lucky Programme prize donated by Old Edwardian, John Flagg, also known as BIG JOHN – a Patron and loyal supporter.

 

9/4/1983

v Newport, Home. Won 13-7. Team:- C S Ralston, D M Trick, S Halliday, J A Palmer, B Trevaskis, J P Horton, K Prosser, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, R F Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson. Subs. G Richards and R Matthews.

The Gwent club had won 10 games in a row and received a rude awakening on the Rec. Their tactic appeared to be to keep the game tight amongst their formidable pack. Bath had other ideas; up front they countered Newport’s fury and eventually became masters in the loose. Roger Spurrell, John Hall and Paul Simpson gave Newport no room to manoeuvre and behind them John Horton directed operations, aided and abetted by midfield masters, Simon Halliday and John Palmer.

The electric pace of David Trick provided Bath’s first score, as he sent in Charles Ralston, for Palmer to convert. Horton’s drop goal nudged Bath in front. Newport continued to neglect their back division, so Bath proceeded to exploit the wide-open spaces, when Palmer and Halliday combined, to leave Paul Simpson to touch down for a final try.

 

12/4/1983

v Plymouth, Away. Won 30-3. C Martin, D Trick, A Watkins, J Palmer, B Trevaskis, J Horton, K Prosser, G Chilcott, K Adams, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, J Hall and P Simpson. A Brooks replaced Spurrell after 70 minutes.

Tries by Nigel Gaymond (2) and Richard Lee. Both John Palmer and Alun Watkins bagged a brace of penalties and Palmer converted all three tries.

Albion’s sizeable pack had won good line-out and scrum possession, and unsettled Bath in open play. They took the first half honours – not without a little skulduggery! Gareth Chilcott was subjected to repeated provocation, which went unpunished by the referee. Trouble ‘up-front,’ led to three outbreaks of forward violence. It was a useful South West Merit Table victory

 

16/4/1983

v Llanelli, Home. Won 31-28. Team: C.S Ralston, D.M. Trick, S. Halliday, J.A. Palmer, B. Trevaskis, J.P. Horton, K. Prosser, G. Chilcott, K. Adams, R. Lee, N. Gaymond, R.F. Hakin, R. Spurrell, J. Hall, P. Simpson. Replacements: C. Bird, P. Turner

Llanelli Team: M. Gravelle, P. Lewis, P. Hopkins, R. Gravell, K. Morgan, A. Williams, A. Davies, A. Buchanen, K. Townley, L. Delaney, P. May (c), P. Davies, N. Sanders, D. Pickering, A. Davies

For Bath: David Trick (2), Barry Trevaskis and Ronnie Hakin scored tries, John Palmer kicked three conversions and three penalties.

For Llanelli: P. Lewis, P. May and A. Williams scored tries, A. Davies kicked two conversions and two penalties. M. Gravelle kicked two penalties.

Bath continued in their winning ways, in a wonderfully exciting game in which the lead changed hands six times. Halliday was in fine form and his searing midfield runs, laid on tries for Trick (2) and Trevaskis. Llanelli were also in fine form, much of their inventive play stemming from Welsh centre Ray Gravell.

 

20/4/1983

v Maesteg Home. Won 45-10. Team: C.S. Martin, D.M. Trick, S. Halliday, J. A. Palmer, B. Trevaskis, J. P. Horton, R. Hill, G. Chilcott, K. Adams, I. Davies, N. Gaymond, R. F. Hakin, R. Spurrell, J. Hall, P. Simpson. Replacements:- C. Bird, J. Morrison

In appalling weather conditions, Barry Trevaskis laid on three of Bath’s tries and scored two of his own. This brought his season total to 30, which beat the 30 year old try scoring record.

Early tries had fallen to Spurrell and Adams and Palmer kicked a penalty. Trevaskis sent in John Hall for two tries. Palmer converted one and Bath were in command by half-time. His first try arrived 10 minutes into the second spell and further tries followed from Simpson, Martin and Davies, with Palmer converting one of them. Bath’s last scoring effort was the most memorable. Trick started from the home line and a breathtaking run saw him link up with his fellow winger and Trevaskis was home for his record-breaking try. The cheers had barely subsided as Palmer calmly added the conversion.

Bath then relaxed somewhat and Maesteg contributed two tries and a conversion, to complete an enjoyable, if damp, afternoon. It was Richard Hill’s debut at scrum-half.

 

23/4/1983

v Cardiff, Home. Won 28-9. Team:- Martin, Trick, Halliday, Palmer, Trevaskis, Horton, Hill, Chilcott, Adams, Lee, Gaymond, Hakin, Hall, Simpson and Spurrell.

Cardiff:- Goodfellow, Hadley, Barry, Ring, Cordle, Davies, Williams, Newman, O’Brien, Eidman, Scott, Edwards, Golding, Lakin and Charles.

Bath had enjoyed an unbeaten run since 1st January. In a superb game, they scored four tries to Cardiff’s one. Memorably, Trick glided in after a typical John Palmer break; Trevaskis chalked up an amazing tally of 32 tries for the season, and especially, the capacity crowd enjoyed ‘a Horton delight,’ as he chipped ahead – re-gathered and sent in the speedy Simon Halliday.

It was an exhibition of flowing back play, set up by an inspired pack, under the direction of Roger Spurrell. It was the most comprehensive victory over Cardiff, since fixtures began in the 1924-1925 season. Bath tries from Trevaskis, Halliday, Trick and Martin. Palmer kicked 2 penalties and three conversions. Martin had a particularly good game, the final score stemming from his breathtaking 70 yard run in.

 

27/4/1983

v Old Redcliffians, at Weston-super-Mare in the Final of the Somerset Knock Out Cup. Won 39-10. The Bristol District side proved to be no match for Bath’s ‘big guns’ and were ruthlessly cut down to size. “This was particularly true during that early points burst as Roger Spurrell, John Hall and Paul Simpson in the back row tore Red’s close cover to shreds, John Palmer wove all sorts of patterns through their defence and Charlie Ralston’s incursions from full-back left them flat-footed.”

It was the ‘Reds’ sixth unsuccessful final.

Bath tries by Hakin (2), Ralston, Trevaskis, Palmer and Gaymond, with Palmer converting all six. Steve Lewis added a drop goal. The last try, scored by Gaymond, was Bath’s record 200th for the season. ‘Reds’ spirited performance was rewarded with two tries, one converted.

 

30/4/1983

v Bedford, Away. Won 30-15. C Martin, D Trick, J Palmer, C Ralston, B Trevaskis, J Horton, R Hill, I Davies, R Cunningham, R Lee, N Gaymond, R Hakin, R Spurrell, P Simpson and J P Hall. Bath had gone 25 games without defeat.

Horton’s early try, converted by Palmer gave all the indications of a Bath walkover – but Bedford would have none of it. Their spirited and adventurous play made a real game of it. They soon closed the gap with a penalty from Simon Smith, who controlled most of their operations. John Palmer replied in kind, with his magnificent 40-yard penalty. Bedford responded to the challenge and Ian Peck darted over for a try, which Smith converted. The scores were level at 9-9.

Bath stepped up the pressure after the interval: “Charles Ralston, settling in admirably at centre, bolted upfield and fed the lightening Trick, who checked only yards from Bedford’s line, but saw number eight Paul Simpson thundering up in support for a try.

Another Palmer penalty was followed by further evidence of scrum-half Richard Hill’s exciting potential. Breaking unexpectedly from a scrum, he fed Trick who, turning in-field, glided effortlessly away for a try beneath the posts. A line out two yards from Bedford’s line soon followed Palmer’s conversion, and Simpson lunged over for his second try.

Still Bedford refused to concede defeat and, resolutely playing attacking rugby, they struck back with an excellent penalty and a drop goal from Simon Smith.

But fittingly Bath’s try in this record season of thirty eight wins stemmed from a move that proved so effective all season. Receiving the ball twenty yards out, Horton momentarily paused before kicking the ball behind Bedford’s defence. David Trick, far out on the right, moved in for the kill, his eager hands pouncing on Bath final 205th try of a memorable season.”

FOR THE RECORD

Bath scored 205 Tries. Try scorers:- Trevaskis 32, Simpson 18, Trick 17, Hall 15, Simmons 13, Halliday 11, Gaymond and Ralston 9, Martin 8, Lewis 7, Lee, Hakin and Stanley 6, Rees and Spurrell 5, Adams , Gunner and Turner 4, Cunningham, Jones, and Palmer 3, Horton, Marriott, Prosser, Sparkes and Watkins 2, Chilcott, Cox, I Davies, Norman, Patching, Richards, and Wakeling 1.

Barry Trevaskis shattered the individual try scoring record set by George Haydon in 1930-31.

In a season of high achievement, no fewer than 33 players touched down at some stage for the 1st XV.

Conversions (109) Palmer 39, Ralston 29, Lewis 18, Stanley 11, Watkins 5, Halliday 3, Martin 3, Richards 1.

Penalties (67) Palmer 40, Ralston 12, Watkins 6, Lewis 4, Martin 3, Stanley 2.

Drop Goals (13) – Horton 11, Lewis 1, Martin 1.

Top scorers:- Palmer 210, Ralston 130 and Trevaskis 128.

Appearances:- Spurrell and Trevaskis 42, Gaymond 41, Simpson 39, Chilcott 38, Palmer 37, Lee 36, Hall 34, Rees 31, Horton 30, Hakin 29, Adams 28, Lewis and Trick 26, Ralston 24, Simmons 23, Halliday 22, Martin 20, Cunningham 19, Turner and Watkins 16, Lilley 15, Marriott and Stanley 13, I Davies 11, Prosser 10, Morrison 9, Collins, Matthews and Richards 8, Lye 7, Gunner, Jones and Sparkes 6, Patching and Williams 5, Bess, Brooks, Hill and Wakeling 3, Cox, Norman and Parsonage 2, C Bird, Book, Burr, McCarthy, Pascoe, Roberts, Sayer, and Trott once each.

Career appearances:- R Lye 448, Horton 321, Palmer 195, Spurrell140, Chilcott 130, Lee 129, Simmons 129, Trevaskis 122 and S Jones 107.

 

 

 

 

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