1989 – 1990
v Pontypool, Home, Won 23-3. J Callard, A Swift, M Westcott, K Hoskin, P Blackett, A Saverimutto, R Hill, G Chilcott (Capt), J Deane (T), M Lee, J Morrison, D Cronin, K Withey, J Hall, D Egerton. Replacements – K Plummer, S Wilkes & P Miles – Plummer replaced Hoskin
A tenth minute drop goal by Alistair Saverimutto, set the scene for this fine opener. The bustling outside half, sent Swift over eight minutes later.
Pontypool’s rout ended in a brawl, with a ‘Ponty’ player, allegedly, trying to supplement his diet with Cronin’s ear!
Jonathan Callard had a fine debut game, on one occasion threading his way through most of the Pontypool pack, before sending in Deane for a try. Richard Hill scored two excellent tries, but his significant contribution, was the manner in which he controlled operations from the base of the scrum.
Mark Westcott converted Hill’s second try. Referee – R Quittenton (LONDON)
v Harlequins, Home, Won 32-12. J Callard, A Swift, K Hoskin, J Guscott, S Walklin (Plymouth Albion), S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton. Referee – C High (MANCHESTER) Replacements- S Knight, V Ubogu, K Withey.
Stuart Barnes had decided to opt out of Divisional and England consideration. In this first League game, he was demonstrably superior to Quin’s David Pears.
Harlequins were outplayed in the lineout, enabling Bath to keep up a constant attack. Despite this, Quins were 12-6 ahead after 20 minutes. John Hall had scored a try after four minutes, but a dodging run by Gavin Thompson and two Ray Dudman penalties gave the visitors a six point advantage. Bath’s second try came when Guscott kicked for front of posts. Walklin, Dawe and Guscott set up a ruck, from which Callard was on hand to cross the line. Keith Hoskin scored Bath’s third try and Andy Robinson was next to cross from a wheeling five- metre scrum. Next, ‘Man-of-the-Match,’ Hall surged ahead to sent in Barnes for his first try. Finally, Richard Hill’s sniping break made it easy for Barnes to skate across for his second try and fourth conversion.
v Steaua (Bucharest), Home, Won 35-12. J Callard, A Swift, K Hoskin, A Saverimutto, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, J Deane, G Chilcott, M Haag, N Redman, K Withey, P Simpson, S Ojomoh. It was Steve Ojomoh’s debut. Replacements – M Westcott, S Thompson, A Bick – Westcott replaced Callard
Referee was local ambulance man, Tony Spreadbury, a former pupil at Bath’s Beechen Cliff School, who was fast approaching the highest echelons of refereeing prowess.
Steaua Captain Florica Murariu, was outstanding, and scored two second-half tries. Tragically, he and other Romanian rugby players, were soon to be killed in Bucharest street fighting.
This was Stuart Barnes’s 100th game for Bath and his personal tally of 15 points (A try, a penalty and 4 conversions), left him 11 short of 1000. England ‘reject’ Richard Hill, scored a brace of tries for the second week running. Glyn Maddocks, a former Bath schoolmaster, was agent for the Romanian side, and freely admitted that Steaua: “were undone by two world-class half-backs.”
Bath’s third try epitomised the difference in rugby know-how: When the ball popped out, Martin Haag was first to react and set up a counter-attack involving Hill, Jonathan Callard, Tony Swift and Barnes, who sent Keith Hoskins the last 40 metres to the posts.” Barnes scored a penalty and Hill’s first try had Bath leading 23-0 at the interval. The second half degenerated into a forward slog. Blackett and Haag scored the first and second tries.
THE RELUCTANT REPLACEMENT
The Steaua squad was carrying a number of injuries, and David Trick was inveigled into being a replacement. When one of their backs went down, a very English voice was heard from the direction of their bench: “He looks perfectly OK to me…”
v Gloucester, Away, lost 6-13. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton. Referee – Fred Howard. Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu
This raw, physical League encounter generated that strength of partisan support and near unbearable tension that only Kingsholm and the ‘Shed’ inhabitants could muster. It was a gladiatorial tussle up-front and not surprisingly, Fred Howard eventually lost patience and sent Chilcott off for a kicking offence.
Bath were temporarily roused from mediocrity, and Egerton was in with a try, which Barnes converted. Then Blackett failed to hold a Guscott pass when a try seemed certain – and calamity as Morrison essayed to kick the ball dead, only succeeding in projecting the ball in-goal, for Kevin Dunn to touch down. The Shed was ecstatic!
v South Wales Police, Home, Won 40-15. A Hobbs, S Walklin, A Adebayo, K Hoskin, P Blackett, S Barnes, S Knight, V Ubogu, J Deane, S Wilks, M Haag, S Williams, K Withey, P Simpson, S Ojomoh. Referee – V Hosking. Replacements K Plummer & N Maslen.
It was 18 years old Nigerian student, Adedayo Adebayo’s debut. He was to quickly ingratiate himself to players and supporters alike – a strong runner and tackler on the field and a real gentleman off.
The season had already witnessed the arrival of Callard and Ojomoh. A succession of gifted players was being attracted from near and far. Success was breeding success!
Adebayo signalled his arrival with two tries in the first 20 minutes. Bath’s pace was unrelenting and tries followed from Walklin (2), Steve Knight, Withey and Hobbs. Barnes converted three and kicked 2 penalties.
v Neath, Away, Won 17-13. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, A Adebayo, P Blackett, J Guscott, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, N Redman, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton.
Most teams approached ‘Fortress Gnoll’ in fear and trepidation; not so Bath’s in-form outfit, in which Adedayo Adebayo was a new and exciting acquisition. He soon impressed the knowledgeable crowd, waltzing through two tackles and checking to lob an accurate pass to David Egerton. He bulldozed his way to within inches of the Neath line, handing to Lee for the final blind-side thrust. Bath took Neath’s unbeaten home record, which extended back 18 months and 34 matches! Principal agents for Neath’s destruction were the back row of Robinson, Hall and Egerton, plus a magnificent performance from second row, Nigel Redman. Bath’s first try came when Pete Blackett, worked a loop with Guscott, at outside half. Rapid transfer left Tony Swift to circumnavigate fullback Griffiths for a stunning try behind the posts. Callard converted. More slick handling enabled Swift to cross again in the 40th minute. Neath came back strongly in the second half and got within four points after tries by Alan Bateman and Colin Laity. Callard and Williams exchanged penalties, but Bath carried the day.
v Royal Navy, home, Won 43-3. A Hobbs, S Walklin, A Adebayo, S Halliday, J Johnson, A Saverimutto, S Knight, C Folland, J Deane, S Wilks, M Haag, N Redman, K Withey, P Simpson, S Ojomoh Replacements – C Book, N Maslen – Maslen replaced Simpson
The Navy side included Lt. Martin Sweett, who had been turning out for Bath United. Unfortunately his testing against the senior team lasted only nine minutes, as he left the field with a fractured ankle.
Adebayo was again in ‘all-conquering ‘ form, his athleticism speeding him through for his third try for the club. Bath struck a purple patch with tries by Withey (2), Adebayo, Walklin (2), Saverimutto, Deane and Johnson. Hobbs kicked a penalty and 4 conversions as the pride of the Navy were set adrift.
v Aberavon, Away, Won 32-6. J Callard, A Swift (Capt), M Westcott, P Blackett, A Saverimutto, S Knight, C Folland, J Deane, M Lee, J Morrison, N Redman, K Withey, N Maslen, S Ojomoh Replacements – S Bromley, D Cronin & C Dalby – Spencer Bromley replaced Callard
Tony Swift captained a youthful side and tries flowed from Saverimutto, Blackett (2), Adebayo and Withey. Conversions by Callard (2) and Westcott. Penalty by Callard and a drop goal from Saverimutto. Redman and Morrison dominated in the line out, and 19-year-old replacement, Spencer Bromley dovetailed into the Bath scoring machine. Much of the old ‘Wizard’ had long departed from Aberavon’s play.
v Rosslyn Park, Home, Won 34-6. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, P Blackett, J Guscott, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, N Redman, A Robinson, J Hall, P Simpson. Replacements – S Knight & J Deane
Ten minutes from the end, referee Matt Bayliss sent off John Hall following a late body check on former Bath flanker Tony Brooks. Hall went quickly and quietly and it was but a slight distraction after a fine team performance, which had seen a return to form for Simon Halliday. In fact, Hall’s departure sparked further life into his teammates, and Graham Dawe’s strike against the head, led to Tony Swift speeding away for his second try. Bath try scorers were Hall, Halliday, Swift (2), Barnes and Callard, with Barnes converting 5 out of 6. Rosslyn Park had to be content with two penalties by Graves.
v Exeter University, Home, Won 56-3. S Bromley, J Wray, C Book, M Westcott, S Walklin, T Reeman, S Knight, C Folland, V Seager, S Wilks, M Haag, P Miles, K Withey, N Maslen (Capt), S Ojomoh. Replacements – M Pratt & S Williams – Williams replaced Ojomoh
This was another merry romp, although winger Steve Walklin had a couple of bouts of petulance.
He had previously been sent off in the close season game with Toulouse. Add to this John Hall’s recent dismissal and the Club was beginning to fear sanctions if another player should get into trouble.
Steve Knight had a very active afternoon, providing a conveyor belt of passes to potential scorers. At the final count, tries were scored by Walklin (3), Westcott (2), Knight, Ojomoh, Miles, Bromley, Withey and Maslen. Tim Reeman landed six conversions.
v Toulonnaise, Home, Lost 14-26. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, J Deane, G Chilcott, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, P Simpson, D Egerton Referee – C Norling (Swansea) Replacements – K Plummer, K Withey, C Folland – Plummer replaced Callard & Withey replaced Egerton.
Toulon exploited Bath’s lapse in form and inflicted a painful defeat at a critical time in Bath’s Cup and League aspirations. The visitors bi-passed Bath’s line-out specialists by throwing to Eric Champ at the back of the lineout. Their fast moving backs contrasted markedly with Bath’s pedestrian mid-field efforts. Guscott, in particular, had one of his, thankfully rare, ‘disinterested ‘ days. Tony Swift was the exception and matched the French guile and speed, with a hat trick of tries. Barnes succeeded with one conversion kick.
v Bristol, Away, Won 14-13. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, N Redman, A Robinson, P Simpson, D Egerton. Referee – Laurie Prideaux (CORNWALL) Replacements – S Knight & J Deane
Bristol were actually 6-13 down at half time. Barnes had already scored two penalties, and it was again his genius that brought Bath through. The first try was by winger Tony Swift, following a Barnes break, and then, with just seven minutes of normal time remaining, Barnes grasped at Hill’s wayward pass and onwards to Blackett via Guscott, for a sensational match winning try.
In the last frantic minutes, Bath had some very shaky moments. On both occasions, Nigel Redman rescued the situation by fielding the ball just a few yards from the Bath line. From the ensuing scrums, Bath were able to clear their lines. Skipper Barnes commented: “If they can’t beat us in those conditions when will they ever?”
“If there was a turning point, though, it was when Richard Harding launched a hanging kick into the Bath 22.
Jeremy Guscott called the mark, but with the speed of thought that separates world class players from the rest, he quickly tapped the ball and then sent a spiralling kick beyond the halfway line. Bath never looked back after that.”
v Moseley, Home, Won 27-9. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, K Withey, D Egerton Ref – R Quittenton (LONDON) Replacements – K Plummer & M Lee
Following this match, the Bath club launched a crowd safety investigation. This followed the collapse of advertising boards as a group of brawling players tumbled into the crowd. As a result, a spectator, the former Bath and Somerset player, Jack Francis (aged 69), was injured by the melee. The incident resulted in Moseley’s Chris Spowart being sent off after running 20 metres to plant a punch on Andy Robinson. Jack Francis suffered cuts and abrasions to his legs, but a glass of whiskey soon had the ex commando back to his usual form.
Bath had scored 66 tries in 13 games and were sitting astride the First Division Championship. Moseley proved to be a tough outfit to handle and it was three minutes from half time before Bath took the lead. Bath tries from Halliday (2), Ubogu, and Swift, with Barnes kicking 4 conversions and a penalty.
v Orrell, Away, Won 9-6. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton Replacements – S Knight & G Chilcott – Chilcott replaced Egerton
Bath scraped home with a Barnes penalty in the 80th minute. Bath’s declared aim for more expansive rugby, was brought to a temporary halt. The traditional home of the sporting world’s best meat pies, did nothing to improve Bath’s appetite for rugby.
Orrell fielded a mighty pack, including the giant Cusani brothers and Kimmins. Sammy Southern was another thorn in Bath’s forward flesh. In the loose Orrell tackled like demons. John Hall was brought back from suspension and he and Ubogu provided the bulk of the Bath forward impetus. Thankfully, Barnes won the battle of penalties by 3 to 2 and Bath gratefully reached no-side, with the players’ post match remark: “Never in doubt!” In doubt – it certainly was!
v Wasps, Away, Won 18-9. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, A Adebayo, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, J Morrison, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, N Maslen. Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu – Knight replaced Barnes
This match will be remembered, if only for Adebayo’s shattering tackle on Andrews after eleven minutes of play.
“The home side retrieved possession but when Andrew received Steve Bates’s pass, Adebayo appeared out of the setting sun to rattle the Lion’s teeth and send the ball spinning loose.” (Bristol Evening Post) Barnes was quickly up to pounce on the loose ball, and he fed Hill, to send Swift away for the first of his two tries. Although visibly shaken, it was characteristic of Andrew’s resilience, that he scored all of Wasp’s points, by converting his own try and landing a penalty.
Bath really had the game wrapped up within the first half an hour, in a game that was widely regarded as the finest spectacle in the two years of competition.
Bath tries by Swift (2), Blackett and Dawe. Barnes converted one.
v London Scottish, Home, Won 40-4. M Westcott, F Sagoe, J Bamsey, B Cundy, J Johnston, T Reeman, S Knight, V Ubogu, G Chilcott (Capt), M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, K Withey, N Maslen, J Hall. Replacements – M Pratt & J Olds – Olds replaced Hall
Fred Sagoe returned for the first time since the Cup Final, to renew his acquaintance with first class rugby. He was facing fierce competition from Tony Swift and Pete Blackett. His immediate aim was a place in the Squad training at Lanzarote. The Bristol barrister certainly did himself justice in this game, with a hat trick of tries in an eight try bonanza. Others among the points were:- tries by Johnston (2), Knight, Ubogu, and Hall. Conversions – Reeman 4.
v Richmond, Home, Won 16-10. M Westcott, F Sagoe, A Saverimutto, J Bamsey, J Johnston, T Reeman, S Knight, V Ubogu, J Deane, G Chilcott (Capt), J Morrison, M Haag, K Withey, N Maslen, S Ojomoh. Replacements – C Dalby & S Wilks
At age 39, hooker Rob Cunningham turned out for Richmond against his old club. The former Scottish squad player was forced to retire before half time, with a rib injury. Bath had three first choice players on duty, but the makeshift selection eventually raised their game for victory.
Fred Sagoe picked up a brace of tries. Tim Reeman converted one and kicked two penalties.
v London Welsh, Away, Won 35-10. M Westcott, P Blackett, B Cundy, J Bamsey, F Sagoe, T Reeman, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), J Deane, V Ubogu, M Haag, J Morrison, K Withey, J Hall, S Ojomoh
The Excile’s halcyon days were long passed and they were currently fighting to stay in the Third Division. They were certainly no match for Bath, whose back row combination of Hall, Withey and Ojomoh were too hot to handle. John Hall opened the scoring in the third minute, following a 30 metre run. Tries by Pete Blackett, Ben Cundy, Martin Haag, Kevin Withey and Steve Knight, added to their discomfort. Tim Reeman converted four and added a penalty.
v Blackheath, Home, Won 65-3. J Callard, A Swift, J Guscott, J Bamsey, P Blackett, T Reeman, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, K Withey, N Maslen, and D Egerton. Replacements – R Nancekevill & J Olds
This mis-match, was just a procession of tries by Callard (2), Swift (2), Guscott (2), Blackett (2), Withey (2) and Redman. Reeman converted nine and added a penalty goal.
v Clifton, Home, Won 12-9. M Westcott, F Sagoe, M Sparkes, J Bamsey, P Blackett, C Book, S Knight, S Wilks, J Deane, S Kipling, M Crane, A Adams, K Withey, N Maslen (Capt), D Egerton.
Bath fielded a combination of senior, United and Spartans players. Clifton could have won this. In fact, there was more than a twinge of sympathy as Mark Westcott succeeded with the winning a penalty two minutes from time. He had kicked a penalty in the first half. A draw might have been the fairer outcome, but Clifton’s Simon Harvey missed a comparatively easy kick in injury time. He had previously put three penalty kicks between the posts. The only try of the game was awarded when the ball escaped scrum-half Steve Knight, he having clearly knocked on. Kevin Withey was on hand to touch the ball down. Protestations were to no avail as Westcott converted. It was down to Harvey to save the game – and he fluffed it!
v Swansea, Away, Lost 9-17. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, T Reeman, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, N Maslen, D Egerton. Replacements – K Plummer, J Morrison & S Kipling
It was always very difficult to win at the St Helens ground and this was no exception. Bath were without Barnes, and Gareth Chilcott stood in as captain. Incidentally, Chilcott’s family roots were in Ogmore Vale. Steve Knight scored Bath’s try, which John Callard converted. Tim Reeman contributed a penalty goal.
v Cardiff, Away, Drawn 10-10. J Callard, A Swift, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, P Blackett, T Reeman, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, A Bick, N Maslen, J Hall. Replacements – N Pratt, S Kipling, G Adams
Chilcott again skippered the side and had the distinction of being the first Bath captain to avoid defeat at the Arms Park. In fact, Chilcott was very disappointed by the result. The Bath pack had provided ample possession, but he pinpointed a mediocre performance by the backs. Although unsaid, he was probably referring to replacement fly half Tim Reeman, who stood up bravely, but was not, and could not be expected to be, in the same class as the injured Barnes. Bath had actually led 10-6 at half time following an outstanding performance by John Hall playing at number 8.. Reeman had opened the scoring with a penalty in the ninth minute, only for Cardiff to counter with a lucky try: “Centre Geraint John was dumped under the posts by Hall but the ball squirted free on the greasy surface to fly-half Craig Miller who attempted a dropped goal. Reeman succeeded in deflecting it, but only to John who picked up and dived over.” Reeman kicked a second penalty. Callard was off receiving treatment and scored on his return. Cardiff foolishly threw long in the line out and Hall robbed Howard Stone of the ball. His surge for the line ended in a ruck, from which Callard dived over on the blind side.
After the interval, Reeman missed a penalty attempt from the 22 metre line and another opportunity was lost.
There was an unseemly brawl amongst the forwards and Cardiff got the better of the exchange, in that their forwards were galvanised into action. Bath’s supply of ball became very limited. Cardiff winger Ford, sealed Bath’s fate in the 72nd minute, going over near the right touchline. Callard missed with a 40 metre attempt, and the Cardiff bogey remained.
Bath had not won at Cardiff. Fixtures started on the 24th December 1924.
v Bedford, Home, Won 76-0. J Callard (Tx3), A Swift (Tx4), S Halliday, J Guscott (Tx4), P Blackett, S Barnes (10g & T), R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall (T), D Egerton. Replacements – K Plummer, V Ubogu – Ubogu replaced Robinson
A RECORD ROMP
A 14 try bonanza with no response from Bedford. It demonstrated the wide difference in playing skills between leaders and trailers in the same division. “…..any resemblance to competitive rugby was entirely coincidental..” (Evening Post)
Bedford had already been involved in a 8-71 defeat by Harlequins!
Commendably, the match collection yielded £1,700+ towards playing kit for Romanian Rugby. Tragically, internationals Murariu and Durbac had perished in the fighting.
v Metropolitan Police, Home, Won 36-7. M Westcott, F Sagoe, A Adebayo, J Bamsey, J Johnston, T Reeman, K Plummer, V Ubogu, J Deane, M Crane, J Morrison, N Redman, J Olds, N Maslen (Capt), S Ojomoh Replacements – C Book & S Wilks – Wilks replaced Morrison
Jon Morrison’s hopes of representative rugby took another bashing. He was selected for this game, but he had the misfortune to pull a hamstring just on half time. The Met. proved to be lively opposition, but Bath’s scoring machine clicked into gear with a try by Westcott, followed by more of the same from Sagoe (2), Bamsey, Johnstone, Adebayo and Keith Plummer. Reeman converted 4. The Police scored a try and a penalty.
v Harlequins, Home, Won 9-0 Pilkington Cup – Third Round. Team: -J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes (1c & 1pg), R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton. Referee– I Bullerwell (E. MIDS) Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu.
HEAD TO HEAD
Played in a downpour, this match contained interesting head to heads between Barnes and Pears, Ackford and Redman, Winterbottom and Robinson, Skinner and Hall.
Skinner soon took a shattering hand-off from John Hall, to establish that particular pecking order!
Cronin scored Bath’s try, which was converted by Barnes, who also kicked a penalty.
Harlequins had selected their ‘heavies’ for this mud splattered tie. It did not work. At no time were the Quins given a ‘sniff’ of a try and their back row of Butcher, Skinner and Winterbottom, were battered into oblivion by the rampaging Robinson, Hall and Egerton. Hall was never bested by Skinner and Robinson was yards faster than Winterbottom. Egerton was a tower of strength in the line out. Redman had a remarkable game in competition with Paul Ackford.
“David Egerton won a line-out and Richard Hill fed John Hall who did well to keep his feet long enough to find Redman on the charge. When he was brought down, Hill popped the ball up to Damian Cronin who drove through a tackle and stretched out an arm to touch down under the posts.”
The game was wrapped up in the 49th minute when Barnes landed a penalty. A change of jerseys brought short-term comfort, but all was lost for the Quins. Eleven minutes extra time was not appreciated as it brought injuries to Quin’s centres Wood and Carling.
v Headingley, Home, Won 25-3 Pilkington Cup – Fourth Round. Team:- J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton. Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu. Four tries, three converted were enough to see Bath through.
It was significant that all the tries were scored by forwards, as Headingley’s well organised defence kept the Bath backs in check. Tries by Egerton, Hall (2) and Redman, with Barnes converting three and adding a penalty. Bath headed for the Quarter Finals.
“Meanwhile we were being treated to a virtuoso performance from John Hall, once again displaying the qualities that make him simply the best blind-side flanker in the game – Teague or no Teague.”
(A Friday ‘Friendly!’) v Gloucester, Home, Won 12-9. M Westcott, A Swift, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, P Blackett, S Barnes (4pg), S Knight, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, J Morrison, A Robinson, N Maslen, J Hall.
The evening kick off was delayed by 40 minutes; Roger Quittenton was the appointed referee, but he thought the match was on the Saturday. Ashley Reay (GLOS) took over at short notice. Replacement – K Plummer
The story of the match -Barnes kicked four penalties – Smith kicked 3.
The game was watched by former hooker Rob Cunningham, who was coaching at Richmond: “That was one of the quietist Bath-Gloucester games I’ve seen. I think perhaps both sides had their minds on other things – like next week’s games.”
v Richmond, Away, Won 35-3 Pilkington Cup – Quarter Final. Team:- J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes (4g & 1pg), R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, J Hall, D Egerton. Referee–A Turner (MANCHESTER) Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu Attendance 6000.
SPACE, PACE AND GRACE
Kevin Coughlan’s comments in the Evening Post epitomised this stage in Jeremy Guscott’s rugby career. Somewhat enigmatic, he could be playing indifferently, and then suddenly turn on demonstrations of subtlety, beautiful silky touches of rugby, that no one could match.
And so it was in this Pilkington Cup Quarter Final. His first try in the 71st minute was fairly straightforward; a long pass from Damian Cronin left him a 25 metre sprint for the line, which was bread and butter to the British Lions and England centre. The icing on the cake was almost on the final whistle. He received the ball on the Bath 10 metre line confronting the Richmond team, who were spread defensively across the field. There seemed to be no way through: “But changing up from a deceptive cat-like amble, he glided past on the outside where there had seemed to be no room at all, side-stepped a defender behind the try line and then dotted down behind the posts.”
(Kevin Coughlan – Evening Post)
Livesey had opened the scoring for Richmond in the 13th minute, then after a number of missed chances, Peter Blackett brushed off two tackles to go over in the corner and Barnes converted.
Richmond came back strongly, but their fate was sealed when Hill forced his way over just before half time. Hill featured immediately after the interval; his grubber kick found a good line out position; Hall grabbed possession and was driven over by all and sundry. A pretty torrid forward battle followed and two of the Richmond pack had to be replaced. A misdemeanour, gave Barnes an easy penalty, and then Guscott switched on for the clever stuff.
A product of Bath’s Mini Rugby section: “His success has transformed his life. The erstwhile Bath brickie is now a public relations executive, male model and TV personality – all within the space of a hectic year.” ( Evening Post)
v Plymouth Albion, Home, Won 38-14. J Callard, A Swift, J Bamsey, B Cundy, P Blackett, S Barnes, S Knight, V Ubogu, J Deane, M Lee, J Morrison, N Redman, A Robinson, J Hall (sent off), S Ojomoh. Replacements – R Nankerville & G Chilcott
It had been a fine competitive game until Hall’s dismissal seven minutes from the end. Referee Prideaux might just as well blown for no-side, as the game switched off from that point.
Winger Walklin had shown well against his former teammates, scoring two of the Albion tries. The Bath pack had some uncharacteristically shaky moments, particularly when Plymouth’s number 8, surged straight through the Bath eight.
Bath tries by Swift (3), Blackett, Callard (2) and Bamsey, with Barnes converting 5.
Hall received a 90 day suspension, which ruled him out of contention for the Pilkington Cup progress.
v Nottingham, Away, Lost 9-12. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, D Cronin, N Redman, A Robinson, N Maslen, D Egerton. Replacements – S Knight & V Ubogu
Bath virtually blew their Courage League chances. Nottingham were without international squad members Moore, Hodkinson, Rees and Gray and Bath seemed to have adopted an inappropriately relaxed attitude at this vital stage. “The general lethargy extended to the scrummaging and back play and also pervaded the defence. (Evening Post and below) Bath spent the last 20 minutes defending. “Full-back Jon Callard could not be faulted but Bath made too many mistakes in other areas and eventually paid the price.”
Barnes handled all Bath’s scoring, with a try, a conversion and a penalty.
Nottingham scored a try, a conversion and 2 penalties.
v Ebbw Vale, Away, Won 26-7. M Westcott, D Trick, B Cundy, J Bamsey, J Johnston, T Reeman, K Plummer, V Obogu, J Deane, S Wilks, J Morrison, M Haag, K Withey, S Ojomoh, P Simpson. Replacements – C Book & M Crane – Book replaced Cundy
Bath rested a number of key players, but Victor Ubogu stepped into one of the vacant spots and played magnificently. Bath took a 12-7 interval lead, with tries by Cundy and Trick. Ubogu scored in the 53rd minute after a fine turn of speed. Withey scored soon afterwards and James Johnston scored the fifth. Reeman converted three.
v Newbridge, Home, Won 21-13. M Westcott, D Trick, A Adebayo, J Bamsey, J Johnston, J Callard, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), J Deane, V Ubogu, J Morrison, N Redman, J Olds, N Maslen, P Simpson. Attendance 2000. Replacements – K Plummer & M Lee – Plummer replaced Chilcott & Lee replaced Ubogu
Chilcott came off in the second half of this evening clash, with a ‘locked’ knee. There was concern that he might miss the following week’s Semi Final. There was better news from Barnes (leg injury) and Robinson (broken nose) and they expected to report fit for the next training session. Injury to Reeman, obliged Callard to play at stand-off and he performed creditably. Ubogu turned in another outstanding game and Adebayo scored an excellent try. Bath tries from Morrison, Johnston, Bamsey and Adebayo. Callard converted one and kicked a penalty.
v Moseley, Away, Won 21-7 Pilkington Cup – Semi Final. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, A Adebayo, P Blackett, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, P Simpson, D Egerton. Referee – I Bullerwell (E. MIDS) Replacements – S Knight, M Westcott, J Morrison, M Lee, J Deane, K Withey
GUSCOTT LEFT OUT
There were some perceptive player selections for this Semi. Paul Simpson looked set fair for a Final place, with John Hall still under 90 day ban. Victor Ubogu established preference over Club stalwart Richard Lee. Bath had taken the controversial step of dropping, or was it resting, Lion’s star Jeremy Guscott. Perhaps it was to preserve one of their principle assets for the Final, or possibly to spell out that no one person’s selection was assured.
Rugby League predators were in the wings and Second Division Huddersfield made a £300,000 for Guscott’s services. It transpired that Guscott was thousands of miles away. He was in Hong Kong representing the Barbarians in the 7’s tournament.
Bath tries by Swift, Chilcott and Callard. Barnes converted two and added a penalty. They had obviously decided to disassociate themselves with recent poor form. There was a commanding performance from the Bath pack, as Chilcott gave Mark Linnett a torrid time in the set scrums. Redman was magnificent in the line out and his high leap ensured clean possession from Moseley’s re-starts. Victor Ubogu showed his pace in his Cup debut. Richard Hill controlled from the base of the scrum and Bath had the right mix of backs, with Adebayo and Halliday in combination. It was enough to see them through.
v Saracens, Away, Lost 7-9. Team:- M Westcott, A Swift, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, P Blackett, J Callard, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson (Capt), P Simpson, D Egerton.
Ben Clarke, excelled in a lively Saracens side, which also included Andy Robinson’s brother Sean. Bath played badly, and their League hopes faded away.
Sarrie’s coach Tony Ross launched a verbal attack on both Bath and Gloucester after this League disappointment. He forecast that the Twickenham Final would be a bore, as both sides were totally predictable and unable to adapt to changing circumstances. Arguably, he was compelled to eat his words, but Jack Rowell shared his amazement that the players did not adhere to the agreed tactics. They continued to shovel the ball out to the backs, in situations where a good shove from the pack would have propelled them across the try line.
A number of penalty opportunities were missed, despite the dry conditions. The brothers Robinson were in opposition.
Bath try by Egerton and a penalty by Callard.
v Newport, Away, Won 25-6. Team:- J Webb, D Trick, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, P Blackett, T Reeman, S Knight, V Ubogu, J Deane, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, J Olds, N Maslen, D Egerton (Capt). Replacements – K Plummer & S Wilks – Plummer replaced Reeman
It was an entertaining, if robust game, sympathetically refereed by the popular Clive Norling.
It was Jonathan Webb’s 1st XV debut, after transferring from Bristol, where he had earned 16 England caps. He celebrated with a 13 point tally, posing another selection question for the Final positions.
Bath tries by Blackett, Deane, Trick and Webb. Webb converted 3 and kicked a penalty.
v Llanelli, Home, Won 42-14. Team:- J Callard, D Trick, S Halliday, J Guscott, A Adebayo, J Bamsey, S Knight, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, J Olds, P Simpson, D Egerton (Capt). Replacements – K Plummer & S Wilks – Plummer replaced Halliday.
Llanelli’s Andrew Morgan scored a fine try after just 35 seconds and acting skipper David Egerton wondered whether this was going to be another drubbing. However, Bath resurrected some of their latent threequarter skills and Trick scored two in a row in as many minutes.
It was wonderful to see ‘Tricky’ take his man on the outside – a sure sign that he was in good form. Callard converted and Bath were 10-4 ahead after 15 minutes. Haag and Redman anchored the scrums to great effect and were hard to handle in the loose. A succession of splendid tries were manufactured by Trick (2), Egerton (2), Halliday (2), Guscott and Adebayo. Callard landed five conversions.
Llanelli scored three tries, one converted.
v Bristol, Away, Won 22-13. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, S Barnes, S Knight, V Ubogu, G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, K Withey, N Maslen. Replacements – J Deane
Hill, Guscott and Egerton missed this game as they were on England’s short tour of Bermuda.
Jon Callard took up the full-back position, while Jonathan Webb played for the United. It seemed probable that Callard was already pencilled in the Final. Adebayo was preferred to Pete Blackett and he justified his selection by scoring the game’s three tries. Haag deputised for Cronin. Barnes waded in with two conversions, a drop goal and a penalty. Bristol were unable to match the artistry of Barnes, the impetus of Adebayo and the sheer destructive power of Robinson, Redman and Haag.
v Cheltenham, Home, Won 70-10. J Webb, J Johnstone, P de Glanville, J Bamsey, P Blackett, J Callard, S Knight, G Chilcott, J Deane, M Crane, J Morrison, P Miles, K Withey, J Olds, N Maslen Replacements – A Saverimutto & G Thompson – Saverimutto replaced de Glanville & Thompson replaced Blackett
The odd statistician might have been interested in this runabout, but it was a game without significance.
Jonathan Webb kicked eleven conversions and scored a try. Kevin Withey touched down for four tries and Bath hit the 1000 points mark for the season.
The full try count was:- Withey (4), Miles (2), Blackett, Callard, Webb, Deane (2) and Saverimutto.
Conversions:- Webb 11. J Wallis (Somerset) refereed and kept his eye on the scorecard.
v Llanelli, Away, Won 31-19. J Webb, A Swift, S Halliday, J Bamsey, A Adebayo, S Barnes (Capt), S Knight, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Lee, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, P Simpson, D Egerton. Replacements – K Plummer & K Withey – Plummer replaced Halliday and Withey replaced Simpson (knee injury).
Most unfortunately, Simpson’s Cup aspirations were shattered – but enter front stage, the less robust, but highly talented – Kevin Withey.
Llanelli were played twice in three weeks with an aggregate score of 73-33 in Bath’s favour.
Six tries at Stradey Park showed that Bath were in good shape for the final.
Bath tries by Robinson, Bamsey (2), Adebayo (2) and Swift. Barnes converted 2 and scored a penalty.
v Leicester, Home, Won 26-15. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, A Adebayo, S Barnes (Capt), S Knight, G Chilcott, V Seager, M Lee, M Haag, D Cronin, A Robinson, K Withey, D Egerton. Referee – D W Matthews (LIVERPOOL) Replacements – K Plummer & M Crane.
This was Bath’s last game in the Courage League. The Championship Trophy was already lined up for the consistent Wasps Club.
Notably, Kevin Withey scored one of Bath’s five tries. Could he repeat for the Final?
It was a last appearance for Les Cusworth, who was sportingly applauded on to the pitch. There were further handshakes after the game as players, with their wives and children, congregated around the in goal area, and one was reminded that many of the Bath and Leicester players had become very close friends during their England Squad days.
Bath tries by Adebayo (2), Callard, Withey and Barnes. Barnes converted 3.
THE CUP FINAL VERSUS GLOUCESTER – EVERY RUGBY PLAYER’S DREAM GAME. (Unless your from Gloucester)
v Gloucester, Won 48-6 Pilkington Cup – Final. J Callard, A Swift, S Halliday, J Guscott, A Adebayo, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, N Redman, D Cronin, A Robinson, K Withey, D Egerton. Ref – F Howard (LONDON). Conditions:- Hot sun, perfect pitch. Replacements – S Knight, M Lee, N Maslen, J Deane, J Webb, J Bamsey.
It was Simon Halliday’s farewell appearance. He played a fine game, but failed to get a try.
In true Bath style – Barnes handed to ‘Hallers’ to wind up proceedings – and his Bath career, with the final conversion kick.
• The Cup Final – A sweltering hot day when Gloucester got everything wrong, and Bath did everything right.
• On the day, Twickenham was a sweltering cauldron. It was most noticeable that Bath players were primed to swig Gatorade at every opportunity. While the Bath boys refreshed, poorly prepared Gloucester dehydrated behind their try line.
• In the words of Kevin Coughlan (Evening Post) –
It was a triumph of: “Skill. sweat, psychology, and science….”
Kevin Withey set the standard, with a brilliant dash of some 70 yards from the back of a line-out, in the process, breaking four tackles.
Gloucester enjoyed ample line-out possession, but Bath’s fiercely competitive back-row play snuffed out their every move.
Gadd’s dismissal hardly enhanced their chances; there was an eerie hush as he trudged off the field in the 56th minute.
Tony Swift’s try from 90 yards out, was perhaps the highlight, on an afternoon when every score was a mini-classic in its own right. Dazzling play was concluded with forwards Dawe, Redman and Ubogu all scoring tries.
The full score board was:- Tries by Swift (2), Callard, Guscott, Ubogu, Dawe, Redman and Withey. Barnes converted 4 and Halliday one. Barnes kicked 2 penalties.
Gloucester’s Kevin Dunn scored a try which Tim Smith converted.
It was arguably the finest ever performance from a superb Bath side.
It was abject dismay for the proud Gloucester Club, who had seen the League Trophy slip away, and were now annihilated in the Club.
Bath players took an open-top bus tour the next day, amid loud cheers from hosts of jubilant supporters. A Civic Reception followed.
Season’s Top Scorers.
Stuart Barnes 7 Tries, 61 Conversions, 22 Penalties, 1 Drop Goal for 219 points in 22 games.
Tony Swift 26 Tries – 104 points in 28 games.
Points For 1166 Points Against 379