1991 to 1992

by Peter Hall and Colin Gale

1991-1992

 

7/9/1991

v Pontypool Home, Won 28-12. A Lumsden, A Swift, I Lewis, P de Glanville, J Fallon, D Willett, I Sanders, G Chilcott, J Deane, V Ubogu, M Haag, A Reed, A Robinson, N Maslen, B Clarke. Referee – M Edwards. Ben Clarke’s (ex Saracens) 1st XV debut.  Replacements – A Saverimutto, M Crane & G Adams.

Despite amassing 14 points for the South West Division, John Callard had to give way to Audley Lumsden, who was selected for the fullback position.

Injuries and pre World Cup demands provided an opening for talented centre Iestyn Lewis, from Bath University. Reserve fly half Duncan Willett contributed 2 conversions and 4 penalties. It was a 1st XV debut for Ian Sanders.

“Winners against Pontypool last weekend, did not our young team learn a lesson or two from the Welsh Cup finalists. Andy whipped them into top gear by the interval, some sparkling running landing tries apiece for Iestyn Lewis, Jim Fallon and Audley Lumsden. And then… some of our newer boys learned that you’ve never won until the final whistle. So, thanks for the victory Boys and that exhilarating first half. And thanks to Pontypool too, for the lesson.”

(HARRY BARSTOW {Historian} Programme Notes 14th September 1991)

 

14/9/1991

v Llanelli, Home, Won 25-9. J Callard, A Swift, I Lewis, A Saverimutto, J Fallon, D Willett, I Sanders, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, M Crane, A Robinson, N Maslen, S Ojomoh.

Llanelli took the field as reigning Welsh Schweppes Cup holders and of course, Bath were Courage League Champions of England. Three tries, two converted and three penalties was a Bath performance to savour, and somewhat astonishing as Bath were without 14 of their first choice players. Replacements – C Atkins & T Davies. 18 stone Mark Crane agreed to fill in at lock, and performed creditably. Ojomoh, impatient to fill one of the flankers spots, was equally co-operative and knuckled down at No. 8 in place of Ben Clarke. Ojomoh made a particularly storming run in the second half and continued back-row pressure led to a try by Graham Dawe. A quick heel, just three minutes later, enabled Ojomoh to crash over for the final try. Scrumhalf Ian Sanders had scored earlier from Victor Ubogu’s lineout tap down. Conversions by Willett and Callard, and three penalties by Willett.

 

21/9/1991

v Cardiff, Away, Won 10-9. J Callard, A Swift, P de Glanville, I Lewis, J Fallon, S Barnes, I Sanders, G Chilcott, G Dawe, M Crane, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Replacements – C Dalby, J Deane, N Maslen.

It was Bath’s first ever win at Cardiff.

If at last, beating Cardiff on Arms Park was any sort of yardstick, Bath were indeed heading for a rosy season. However, it must be recorded that Cardiff were supplying nine of their best players to the Welsh World Cup Squad. Bath were without Richard Hill and Jeremy Guscott on England duty.

It was Bath’s eighteenth visit since fixtures commenced in 1924. Of the 17 previous games played at Cardiff, Cardiff had won 16 and one had been drawn (10-10 Jan 1990). Cardiff had made 23 visits to Bath, winning 12, losing 10 with one drawn.

Some thought Clarke was unlucky to be sent off for alleged stamping. It was an untidy and ill-tempered game, not improved by some wayward decisions by the referee. Bath operated with a seven man pack for 31 minutes of the game, as apart from his second half sending off, Clarke had already been out of action for stitches, following a boot in the face.

Barnes set up de Glanville’s try in the 52nd minute, after Cardiff had clawed their way into a 9-6 lead. Barnes missed the conversion, which was attempted from near the corner flag.

At the finish, the sides were equal on penalty successes, but the try sent Bath home happy.

 

23/9/1991

v Cullompton, Away, Won 56-4. M Buckingham, D Trick, L Heatherley, C Book, J Fallon, T Reeman, I Sanders, J Mallett, G Dawe, R Lee, P McCoy, M Crane, G Adams, M Sweett, A Stratton. Replacements – Ian Palmer, N Watson, T Gibbs – Palmer replaced Heatherley, Watson replaced Lee and Gibbs replaced Crane

The Devon Club were celebrating their Centenary, and the Bath Club’s visit fulfilled a long term promise to participate. Unfortunately, many ‘stars’ were absent, due to the World Cup and other commitments. A helicopter was timed to arrive, carrying the Rugby World Cup Relay Ball, as part of a relay covering the whole of the country.

Bath tries by Buckingham, Trick (2), Fallon (4), Sanders and Lee. Conversions:- Trick (2), Book, Reeman (4), Palmer and Adams.

 

28/9/1991

v Cork Constitution, Home, Won 13-3. J Callard, D Trick, P de Glanville, I Lewis, A Adebayo, S Barnes, I Sanders, V Ubogu, C Atkins, J Mallett, M Haag, A Reed, A Robinson, N Maslen, S Ojomoh. Ref – L Prideaux Replacements – T Reeman and V Seager. Reeman replaced the most unfortunate Adebayo. It was Adebayo’s first and last game for that season. He had fallen awkwardly on the slippery turf.

England Student’s prop, John Mallett, made his first senior appearance of the season.

Bath tries by Lewis and Ojomoh. Barnes kicked a conversion and a penalty. In blinding rain and a strong wind, both sides resorted to the Garryowen, but several attempts to make progress were gusted sideways into touch. Bath had set down their marker, when Iestyn Lewis touched down in the second minute of play. Ojomoh’s try came after Colin Atkins had won a heel against the head.

 

Begles, the French Champions had declined an invitation for a game on this date, and Honorary Fixture Secretary Geoff Hancock did well to secure the 1991 All Ireland Champions.

 

5/10/1991

Match with Newport postponed due to unavailability of players who were involved with World Cup, Divisional Championship, County Championship. There was also a string of injuries.

Newport were quick to condemn Bath’s late withdrawal, but as Jack Rowell retorted: “We were about to play one of the leading sides in Wales. With what? It’s not really on.”

12/10/1991

v Richmond, Home, Won 10-9. L Heatherley, D Trick, A Saverimutto, A Webber, I Palmer, S Barnes, I Sanders, V Ubogu, C Atkins, N Crane, A Reed, P McCoy, G Adams, N Maslen, S Ojomoh. Andy Webber’s debut 1st XV game. Replacements – C Dalby and J Deane – Dalby replaced Palmer

David Trick sped in for his 142nd try on his 222nd appearance. His ‘marginally’ slower colleague Victor Ubogu, on his 60th appearance, contributed his 16th try. Incidentally, Trick had also chalked up 38 conversions and 13 penalties at this stage of his career.

 

18/10/1991

v London Scottish, Home, Won 9-6. L Heatherley, D Trick, I Lewis, A Saverimutto, K Weeks, D Willett, I Sanders, R Lee (Capt), C Atkins, J Mallett, P McCoy, A Reed, G Adams, J Olds, S Ojomoh. Replacements – C Dalby and J Deane

This was a Friday evening kick-off, as England – Scotland were locking horns in a World Cup Quarter Final play-off on the Saturday. Richard Lee captained a makeshift side which played well enough.

Gareth Adams, Julian Olds and Steve Ojomoh were the predators and Andy Reed monopolised the lineout ball. David Trick was unlucky not to score after good runs and Saverimutto showed some good touches. Steve Ojomoh scored Bath’s try. Willett converted and added a drop goal.

 

26/10/1991

v Plymouth Albion, Home, Kick-off 12-30. Won 34-3. L Heatherley, D Trick, I Lewis, A Saverimutto, J Fallon, T Reeman, S Knight, J Mallett, C Atkins, V Ubogu, M Haag, A Reed, A Robinson, N Maslen, S Ojomoh. Replacements – I Sanders and J Deane

Laurie Heatherley showed good positional sense, as he waded in with some strong tackling. David Trick thrilled the supporters with a number of runs, crowned with a try after a 50 yard run.

Tim Reeman’s final kicking tally was, three conversions and four penalty goals. Young Mallett looked good and Jim Fallon had the occasional fling.

Steve Ojomoh opened the scoring, profiting from Reeman’s up and under.

Giant lock, Andy Reed was delighted to score a try against his former teammates. A previous tag that he was ‘a bit of a gentle giant,’ was blown away, as he cleaned up in the line-out and put himself about in the loose. Any further accusations that he might be a ‘softie,’ were blown away in a couple of off-the ball scuffles. His try signalled a general opening up in Bath’s play and first Trick and then Fallon carved their way through Plymouth’s tiring defence.

 

1/11/1991

v Neath, Away, Won 21-14. L Heatherley, A Swift, I Lewis, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, I Sanders, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, M Haag, A Reed, A Robinson, N Maslen, S Ojomoh. Replacements – S Knight, M Crane, C Atkins

This was the English Champion Club v Welsh Champions at the Gnoll on a wet Friday night. Bath sent a strong side, despite the absence of their current England and Scotland contingent. Stewart Barnes was the architect of the victory, with an outstanding performance from Andy Robinson, aided and abetted by Reed, Ubogu and Ojomoh. Tony Swift got the try, but the crowd acknowledged Stuart Barnes’s devastating kicking form, as he slotting over a conversion and 5 penalties. The main danger was Colin Laity, who scored a fine try; Reynolds got the other and Paul Thorburn converted.

Fortunately, Thorburn missed with two eminently kickable penalties.

 

9/11/1991

v Gloucester, Away, Lost 12-14. L Heatherley, J Fallon, I Lewis, P de Glanville, K Weeks, S Barnes, S Knight, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, N Redman, D Cronin, G Adams, N Maslen, S Ojomoh.

Bath’s first defeat after nine games. Redman and Cronin were rested after their World Cup effort.

Barnes severely castigated his forwards after this effort. Gloucester had monopolised possession, and it took a scintillating Barnes break in the 67th minute, ably supported by de Glanville, to finally send in the impressive Jim Fallon for Bath’s only try.

Barnes converted and added 2 penalties. Gloucester scored two tries and two penalties. The game degenerated into a succession of driving mauls and frustrating pile-ups.

 

Opening the Courage Championship

16/11/1991

v London Irish, Away, Won 26-21. L Heatherley, A Swift, I Lewis, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag,

N Redman, A Robinson, N Maslen, S Ojomoh   Replacements – S Knight and C Atkins

“It was a foggy start for the journey to Sunbury but when we arrived it was a beautiful sunny day and no wind. The ground was surrounded by BBC Television vans and a good crowd of loyal Bath supporters, displaying their blue, white and black colours. The Irish are truly superb supporters of their traditional game of rugby and real enjoyable Guinness!

Both sides were well represented, the Irish had six internationals and Bath with seven. A French referee from Toulouse was in charge of the game. The national Press were also fully represented for this opening League encounter.

This season the Irish had been promoted from the lower league and they gave Bath a thoroughly hard and difficult game, they were in the lead for much of the time. It was a tip-top exciting game with play swinging from end to end. Again Stuart Barnes was the controlling general, line kicking, tactical play and goal kicking kept his side continually pressing but the Irish did not let Bath have one idle moment.

The visiting side certainly did not dominate up front, strange as it seems we encountered problems in the line-outs. Nigel Redman and Martin Haag experienced difficulties with the Toulouse referee, who permitted serious interferences and some sad offside infringements, this did not help the visitors. Graham Dawe was unlucky not to have been awarded a try in the corner. Andy Robinson, who was well to the fore, had difficulties along with Bath supporters coming to terms with some of the official decisions. Steve Ojomoh made some really powerful forages and was well supported by the whole pack. Richard Hill, under pressure, gave his backs some good ball which was supported intelligently with sharply executed tries, all excellent moves, inspired by Stuart Barnes and finishing with tries by Laurie Heatherly, Tony Swift and Jim Fallon.

The game produced four super tries making it worth the day’s trip to Sunbury and full marks to London Irish for some excellent hospitality.” (JACK ARNOLD)

Barnes kicked a conversion and 4 penalties.

 

BATH IN THE DOC.

New Zealander, Laurie Heatherley had been a playing member of the Club since the previous season, and injuries had suddenly elevated him into selection for a Courage League game. The match was covered on the BBC’s Rugby Special programme, and an undeclared viewer queried his eligibility.

It transpired that he was indeed eligible to play, but had not been registered, which was a Courage League requirement. Despite an appeal, Bath were docked one League point.

Peter Jackson, the R.F.U. Senior Clubs’ Executive, stressed that the complaint had not come from the West Country.

 

23/11/1991

v Oxford University, Home, Won 19-3. J Webb, D Trick, P de Glanville, J Bamsey, J Fallon, T Reeman, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), C Atkins, J Mallett, M Haag, D Cronin, G Adams, S Ojomoh, B Clark. Ref – S Womersley  Replacements – C Dalby and T Beddow (ex Leicester and England Students hooker)

“Notwithstanding the disappointment of not seeing Audley Lumsden play against us, Oxford University brought a strong team to the Recreation Ground. Their fitness and quickness of thought was some compensation for their lack of strength and power against a competitive and well-drilled Bath pack of forwards.

Suffice to say that through these forwards, Bath technically controlled the game but were only able to show a lead of 7 points to 3 until the final ten minutes. In this period tries by Ben Clarke and Jon Webb-both converted- were added to the penalty goal and Jim Fallon’s earlier try. (Bath missed a fistful of penalty goal kicks).

The Bath threes disappointed on the day but space in the middle of the park for good movement and acceleration was limited in part due to some liberal interpretation of the offside law by the defending University centres. The Varsity match next month will be an altogether different occasion!”

(JACK ARNOLD)

In addition to his try, Webb kicked 2 conversions and a penalty goal.

 

Bristol were stunned to receive a cancellation of their Easter fixture on the Memorial Ground. Bath had offered them a non-league fixture on April 18th provided it was on the Rec. Instead Bath would now play top Italian side Treviso on this date. Honorary Secretary Clive Howard, insisted that they had already advised Bristol that they would be seeking a home fixture on this day.

 

30/11/1991

v Nottingham, Home, Won 52-0 Pilkington Cup – Third Round. J Webb, A Swift, P de Glanville, J Guscott, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Ref – S V Griffiths  Replacements – S Knight and C Atkins

A ten try bonanza and Jonathan Webb slotted six conversions. Every back, except, the ‘ball distributor,’ Richard Hill scored. Guscott and Fallon bagged two each. A sad miss-match for Nottingham. Although the Heatherley set-back did not affect Cup progression, player focus on success in competition was increasingly evident.

Stuart Barnes masterminded much of their brilliant ploys, with flat passing close to the gain line, interspersed with lightening switches in direction. Bath backs were at their peak. Nigel Redman reigned supreme in the line-outs, and the pack was devastating.

Full try count:- Fallon (2), Barnes, Swift, Ojomoh, Webb, Guscott (2), Ubogu and de Glanville.

 

7/12/1991

v Northampton, Home, Won 15-6. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke.  Replacements – I Sanders and R Lee

“The game was controlled and eventually spoilt by the vastly experienced two front rows-delays in getting down in the set scrums, delays in inserting the ball, collapsing and wheeling repeatedly which unfortunately went on continually.

Jon Webb kicked five out of six penalty goals, John Steele one penalty goal and one drop goal. Northampton never looked like crossing the try line. Unfortunately it was dull spectacle for the BBC Rugby Special.” (JACK ARNOLD)

It was equally dull for the Rec. faithful, and in sharp contrast to the previous Saturday’s delights.

 

Jack Rowell was reported to be less than pleased that Nigel Redman and Graham Dawe were to miss the Bristol match as they would be away on a skiing holiday!

 

14/12/1991

v Orrell, Away, Lost 9-10. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Referee – C J Harrison . Replacements – S Knight & M Crane. Crane went on for Chilcott.

“This encounter was much looked forward to as the home side previously had never defeated Bath despite several close results. During the week the weather had been bitterly cold, we left Bath in the early morning and travelled by coach in thick fog for well over 100 miles with visibility never more than fifty yards, but as we hit the Cheshire county border, we are astonished to enjoy brilliant sunshine with no frost in sight. All the other 1st Division Courage League games were abandoned due to the weather; we were greeted on arrival with this information by the BBC television crew.

The game commenced in electric fashion, the visitors playing down the slope with the sun behind their backs, went early into attack, exerting good pressure-a splendid speedy back division movement-resulting in Tony Swift crossing the line in the right hand corner for a try, converted by Jon Webb from the touch line. Fierce forward exchanges were contested all through the game. Bath were most unfortunate to lose Gareth Chilcott with torn left shoulder muscles after 31 minutes, which certainly disorganised matters, despite how well Mark Crane substituted. Bath led for much of this game and territorially had the better of the second half up the slope.

Both Jon Webb and Stuart Barnes missed vital penalty kicks, the latter kicked a drop goal to enable Bath to again recapture the lead only for Martin Strett to steal the lead two minutes before the final whistle and clinch victory after a very hard titanic battle.” (JACK ARNOLD)

Carrying their 1 point deduction, Bath lost out on two more Courage League points.

 

21/12/1991

v Bristol, Home, Won 9-4. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, J Mallett, C Atkins, R Lee, M Haag, P McCoy, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Ref – J J M Pearson. Replacements – S Knight and J Deane.

“Conditions for this game, with gale force winds and slightly drizzling rain most of the afternoon, did not deter a large crowd of approx. 6000. With Bath short of five international forwards and a late withdrawal of Victor Ubogu, Bristol must have felt that this was their day for a long overdue win at the Rec., but Bath had other ideas.

Once again Stuart Barnes was a great tactician with huge high up and unders which created enormous defensive problems for Bristol, unfortunately the visitors showed very little sign of constructive attacking ability.

Philip de Glanville indicated both attack and defensive qualities; Jerry Guscott proved his ability to drop goals and our own young forwards filled the gaps, especially Pat McCoy and Colin Atkins along with John Mallett, with very strong support by Ben Clarke, skipper Andy Robinson was back to his international form. Jon Webb gave a fantastic display of long kicking out of hand, also kicking two penalty goals. Derek Eaves scored for Bristol with an injury time try.” (JACK ARNOLD)

Guscott dropped a goal after Fallon had thundered into midfield to set up a ruck.

Bristol’s pre-match optimism was again misplaced.

 

28/12/1991

v Swansea, Away, Lost 19-48. L Heatherley, M Buckingham, A Webber, J Bamsey, K Weeks, C Book, I Sanders, R Lee, G Dawe, M Crane, P McCoy, N Redman, A Stratton, J Olds, N Maslen. Replacements – K Plummer, C Atkins & J Mallett

Referee – W D Bevan. Graham Dawe was drafted in, immediately after the rigours of a Swiss ski holiday; he retired at half time with a ligament problem.

“Due to many absentees with squad sessions, unavailability and injuries, Bath paid dearly for fielding a very inexperienced side which included only three 1st XV regulars. Bath through injuries, had to use three replacements for M Crane (23 mins.), G Dawe (39 mins.), Ian Sanders (43 mins.)” (JACK ARNOLD)

Bath tries by Bamsey, Book, and McCoy. Clive Book converted 2 and kicked a penalty.

 

4/1/1992

v Harlequins, Away, Drawn 18-18. J Webb, A Swift, P de Glanville, J Bamsey, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Penalty tries awarded to Harlequins and Bath. Referee – D J Leslie. Attendance 7000. Bath replacements – S Knight and C Atkins.

Bamsey came in for Guscott, who was away on a modelling appointment in the States. Former Bath star, Simon Halliday played for Quins. There was an epic struggle between hookers, Moore and Dawe.

Harlequins fielded:- D Pears, M Weddereburn, W Carling, S Halliday, G Thompson, K Bray, R Glenister, J Leonard, B Moore, A Mullins, R Langhorn, T Coker, M Skinner, M Russell and P Winterbottom. Quins replacements M Hobley and M Short.

 

MATCH REPORT

“A Titanic encounter was in prospect as many supporters set off east on the M4, a dry day at the Stoop Ground they had one of their best crowds ever.

Titanic it certainly was to be, the ‘Quins were well represented, Bath had one or two absentees.

The game was a thriller, as Steve Jones of the Sunday Times said, it was one of the most illustrious matches he had seen recently and for a long time.

In my opinion Bath were made to suffer very early on with two unworthy decisions, which proved costly in the long term. Within three minutes Jon Webb, in front of his own posts, claimed a good mark which was not given, the Quins were awarded the scrum and put-in, from which Will Carling scored a try and this was converted. Almost immediately a London Society referee (who shall be nameless) running the touch line beckoned the referee from way back across the field about an innocuous line-out offence from which David Pears kicked an easy penalty from in front of the posts and that was 9 points. I feel that Bath were unjustly dealt with, but finally they made a great fight to draw level at 18 points each, after at one time being 18 points down. I was not impressed with the same touch judge – who should be completely neutral – administering instructions to Graham Dawe.

We know the Quins were held up on the Bath line on two occasions when they almost scored tries, they also had Troy Coker sent off after an early warning, but Bath were unlucky twice in the later stages.

Mention must be made of the tremendous efforts of Victor Ubogu, Steve Ojomoh and Ben Clarke. Full marks to skipper Andy Robinson and his team for not giving in.” (JACK ARNOLD)

Bath were having to work hard for their points, and they clawed this one back from 0-18 down.

It took a Jonathan Webb, injury time penalty to save this dramatic and frequently bitter struggle.

Bath got off to a terrible start, as Skinner sent in Carling for a converted try, followed by another Pears success, with a penalty against Dawe. The Quins piled over the Bath line, no less than three times, but Bath held them up. This fifteen minute siege was concluded with Quins being awarded a penalty try for Bath collapsing. Pears again converted and added another penalty for good measure. Then Bath were awarded a penalty try, quickly followed by two Webb penalties. (12-18)

With continued unpleasantness centred mainly around the forwards, Troy Coker received his marching orders. Dramatically, and right at the end, Barnes sent in de Glanville for the match saving opportunity. It was left to Webb to succeed with the touch line conversion kick. He did so handsomely, and Bath’s spirited performance had saved the day – along with enhanced prospects for the League title.

 

11/1/1992

v Leicester, Home, Won 37-6. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, I Lewis, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson,

S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Ref – F Howard. Guscott returned from the U.S.A. and partnered Iestyn Lewis;  Replacements – I Sanders and J Mallett.

de Glanville had ‘had an injury inflicted’ whilst scoring his try against Harlequins.

Andy Robinson was an early casualty with a rib injury. Ubogu moved to flanker and was an outstanding success. John Mallett substituted for the prop spot and his try came from an Ubogu tap down. Bath backs were ‘on song’ and the Tigers were deprived of useful ball. All the pack played well, with Ben Clarke outstanding. A smooth service from Richard Hill gave free reign to Guscott and company which showed in the try distribution:- Swift three, Fallon two and Iestyn Lewis one and forward, John Mallett one. Webb converted 3 and added a penalty.

Journalist Kevin Coughlan reported that Dean Richards looked like “yesterday’s man” alongside England ‘B’s Ben Clarke.

 

1/2/1992

v Coventry, Away, Won 18-13. J Callard, M Buckingham, J Bamsey, L Heatherley, P Blackett, D Willett, S Knight, G Chilcott (Capt), C Atkins, J Mallett, A Reed, N Redman, J Olds, S Ojomoh, D Egerton. Ref – M Fisher. Callard did all the scoring, with a tally of a converted try and 4 penalty goals.

David Egerton was back at long last, after injuring his shoulder against Rosslyn Park on April 13th 1991.

 

8/2/1992

v Northampton, Away, Won 13-9 Pilkington Cup – Fourth Round. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Referee – F Howard Replacements – S Knight and J Mallett – Knight replaced Hill and Mallett replaced Ubogu.

Jim Fallon scored a winning try at this Cup cliff-hanger, in the first period of extra time. Bath just had the edge from the beginning, and were 3 points up after Rob Tebbutt’s late tackle, just ninety seconds from the start. It would be invidious to single out praise for individuals, as every Bath player displayed courage, skill and experience under tremendous pressure. Come the end – both players and spectators were exhausted! The Saints’ rag-time band party were strangely silent.

Barnes kicked two significant penalties. The first came when Webb was shaping up to kick for territory. Up stepped Barnes, calling for the ball, which he despatched between the posts from 50 yards out. Olver, the Saints skipper, then protested that the kick had been taken from the wrong spot. Referee Fred Howard immediately awarded an additional penalty from the centre spot. Barnes was delighted to put another one over. These transgressions allowed Bath to advance from 3-6 down to 9-6 ahead. Saints briefly levelled with Steele’s penalty, then once again – a Bath Houdini act – as Fallon ran on to a Guscott pass, and hared off 40 metres for the match winner.

 

14/2/1992

v Blackheath, Away, Won 28-7. J Callard, A Swift, J Bamsey, A Webber, P Blackett, D Willett, S Knight, G Chilcott, C Atkins, M Crane, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, N Maslen, D Egerton

A Friday game in which the backs had another gala evening. However, it was all made possible from an excellent forward platform, provided by a good selection of experienced players. David Egerton showed a return to form. Bath tries:- Willett, Blackett (2), Swift (2), and Knight. Conversions:- Callard and Knight. Blackheath deserved some credit for the manner in which they stood up to their formidable opponents.

 

22/2/1992

v Bristol, Away, Won 15-6 Pilkington Cup – Quarter Final. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, S Knight, J Mallett, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Replacements – I Sanders and C Atkins

A Cup Quarter Final and a local Derby match; a capacity crowd – what a combination!

As is so usual, it developed into a dour struggle at forward and Bath had to draw on all their skills and experience to survive. Webb and Barnes were more successful with their kicking and de Glanville planted a lovely try near the Bristol posts. Steve Knight played well, replacing the injured Richard Hill, as Bath’s back row of Robinson, Clarke and Ojomoh gradually gained the ascendancy.

Webb – a conversion and a penalty. Barnes – 2 penalty goals.

 

29/2/1992

v Gloucester, Home, Won 29-9. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, D Egerton, B Clarke. Bath took Gloucester’s unbeaten League record.  Ref – S V Griffiths. Replacements – S Knight and J Mallett.

This was a vital League game, watched by a bumper crowd in dry conditions. The Gloucester pack were the first to impress, and after several surges, Neil Matthews was able to drop a goal. Tony Swift was over almost immediately after and tries followed from de Glanville, after Jim Fallon’s break. Then charge-downs gifted tries to Barnes and Guscott. Barnes was on target for five of his kicks (2 conversions, 3 penalties). Hannaford scored a try for Gloucester in the 62nd minute.

 

6/3/1992

v Newbridge, Home, Won 50-7. M Buckingham, A Swift, L Heatherley, J Bamsey, P Blackett, T Reeman, S Knight, D Crompton, C Atkins, G Chilcott (Capt), N Redman, A Reed, G Adams, S Ojomoh, D Egerton.

A crowd of just 1500 watched this Friday evening romp. Newbridge rested several players in advance of a Welsh League game. Bath were without three playing for England the next day, and six with the England B side in Rome. Bath started as they meant to continue and were fourteen points up within nine minutes. Steve Knight, Mark Buckingham and Steve Ojomoh’s contributions were memorable among the ten try scores. It was a good send-off for Laurie Heatherley, who was returning to New Zealand.

Bath tries:- Knight (2), Buckingham, Ojomoh, Adams, Chilcott, Blackett, Egerton (2), and Swift. Conversions:- Reeman (4) and Knight.

 

14/3/1992

v Wasps, Away, Won 24-12. J Bamsey, A Swift, P de Glanville, J Guscott, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, N Redman, M Haag, A Robinson, D Egerton, B Clarke. Replacements – I Sanders and J Mallett

John Bamsey was an able stand-in, as both Webb and Callard were injured. Four good quality tries ensued from Messrs. Hill, Fallon, Clarke and Swift. Barnes provided the extras, with two penalties and a conversion. The Bath wingers were on top form; Swift with his deft inside breaks, followed by rapid light footed acceleration. Fallon used his weight, strength and speed to power through despairing defenders.

 

21/3/1992

v Rugby, Away, Won 32-0. J Bamsey, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, J Mallett, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke  Ref – C J High. Replacements – S Knight and C Atkins – Knight replaced de Glanville (65th minute)

Bath forwards put on an excellent performance against Rugby’s mauling specialists. The home side’s misdeeds brought two early penalties from Barnes. Then Bath were twelve points up after de Glanville ran from his 25-yard area, with Barnes adding the extras. Redman bludgeoned over for his first of the season, followed by Swift, Hill, and Robinson. Stuart Barnes final tally was 3 conversions and 2 penalties. Another fine performance from Ben Clarke must have impressed the England selectors.

28/3/1992

v Nottingham, Home, Won 25-15. J Webb, A Swift, J Bamsey, I Lewis, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, J Mallett, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, D Egerton, B Clarke. Replacements – I Sanders and T Beddow

Rather a dull start as the visitors sought to keep Bath in check. Nevertheless, Bath took an early lead from a Stuart Barnes penalty and on the half-hour Richard Hill stole through in the corner. Soon after, Dave Egerton scored directly from a line out, for Barnes to convert. Nottingham’s desperate defence kept Bath at bay for much of the second half, but after sustained pressure and two more Barnes penalties, Andy Robinson smashed over for Barnes to add the extras. For the visitors, Gregory kicked five penalties. Barnes converted two and added three penalties.

 

4/4/1992

v Gloucester, Away, Won 27-18 Pilkington Cup – Semi Final. J Webb, A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, D Egerton, B Clarke Referee – R C Rees. (London Society)  Replacements – I Sanders, J Bamsey, I Lewis, S Ojomoh, C Atkins and J Mallett.

Fair weather at Kingsholm. A 12,000 attendance – 3000 from Bath. Referee Rees was kept busy as the penalty count mounted. Bath wingers supplied the three tries and Barnes converted. Scores were level 9-9 at half time, and in the 62nd and 70th minutes, as Tim Smith kept Gloucester in touch with penalties and a drop goal. More drama as the game moved into extra time. Gloucester took the lead after Clarke was caught offside. Then, at the turn around, first Swift thundered through (95th minute) and then Fallon. (on the 98th minute). Barnes ‘did the necessary’ from wide out to seal a memorable victory. Bath could now contemplate the Final. In all, Barnes converted 3 and kicked 3 penalties.

Some Gloucester supporters thought that Fallon did not touch down for his first try.

We had it on no less authority the BILL AND BEN THE FLOWER-POT MEN: –

“From where we were – 120 yards away – it was clearly a fair try.”

AND AT THE END OF THE GAME: “The best thing about where we stood was our proximity to our final offensive on the Gloucester line – we saw the whites of Swifty’s and Spider’s eyes as they flew in for their tries and punched the ball right in front of us. Our fellow Bath fans forced to watch the game from the same place as us erupted in euphoria – we’ve never had that much excitement on the touchline!

We can’t wait for the Sports Centre end stand to be built – can we reserve a place now Mr President?” (‘Terrace Talk’ in the Match Programme)

 

11/4/1992

v Rosslyn Park, Away, Won 21-13. J Webb, A Swift, I Lewis, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, V Ubogu, G Dawe, G Chilcott, N Redman, A Reed, A Robinson, D Egerton, B Clarke. Ref – D J Hudson. T Beddow replaced Dawe (20th Minute)

Just one converted try by Jim Fallon, a 90th second drop goal from Barnes and a plethora of penalties. An untidy game in which Bath looked jaded after their Gloucester efforts. Dawe went off with an injured back to be replaced by Beddow. In turn, he was lucky to survive after a front row misdemeanour. ‘Andy Ripley’s side’ was to be relegated.

Barnes converted 1, kicked 4 penalties and a drop goal.

 

18/4/1992

v Treviso, Home, Lost 23-31. N Buckingham, P Blackett, I Lewis, A Webber, M Sparkes, D Willett, S Knight, R Lee, C Atkins, J Mallett, M Haag, P McCoy, G Adams, S Ojomoh, N Maslen (Capt). Bath fielded a largely second string side. T Reeman (1pg) replaced Buckingham.

“This visit of the Italian team provided a most interesting and really competitive game before an all-paying crowd of approximately 3000. The day was dry with grey skies and a little wind.

Bath fielded a much under strength side with only one regular 1st XV member. Treviso according to the programme were also much changed. Although Michael Lynagh, the Australia ace, was programmed, he did not play, he was suffering a leg injury, but he delighted many of the locals with autograph signing, he also spoke to the Hospital Radios broadcast at half-time which must have pleased the patients listening.

The game was controlled by Jim Fleming of the Scottish Rugby Union International Panel, who incidentally refereed the England v New Zealand game in the World Cup at Twickenham last October. It was pleasing to have someone who had made the effort and flown down from Edinburgh for his first visit to Bath.

The match was really entertaining, Bath led for much of the game with Duncan Willet kicking four penalty goals and scoring a good try. Martin Haag registered his first try of the season. Steve Ojomoh and Gareth Adams were noticeable for some tigerish work in the loose. Tim Reeman replaced the injured Mark Buckingham (after 59 minutes) and kicked a penalty goal.

The top Italian side were very keen to open the game up and did so with some splendid three-quarter movements, having much pace and skill, with their running. In the second half Bath’s defence became shaky and the Italian scrum-half Crescenzo Mariano skated in for two tries. The Italians counter attacked the length of the field for a brilliant try and conversion from their captain Oscar Collodo.

In the last minute right winger Perziano intercepted and ran 80 metres before passing to Vizentine to cross for another score which Collodo converted to give the visitors victory by 31 points to 23.” (JACK ARNOLD)

Tries by Willett and Haag. 4 penalty goals by Willett and one by replacement Reeman.

 

25/4/1992

v Saracens, Home, Won 32-12. J Webb, A Swift, I Lewis, P de Glanville, J Fallon, S Barnes, R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, S Ojomoh, A Robinson, B Clarke. Referee – G Seddon. Sarries’, Justyn Cassell was sent off despite sympathetic protestations from Andy Robinson.

Replacements – S Knight and J Mallett. Andy Robinson’s brother Sean, played at full back for Saracens.

Bath tries by Clarke, Barnes (2) and Fallon. Conversions:- Webb (2). Penalties:- Barnes (2), Webb (2).

At the conclusion of this game, Bath were crowned as Courage League Division One Champions.

Press Officer Ken Johnstone recorded: “Coochie’ who himself epitomises the team’s spirit, sums it all up, “You can have all the skills in the World but without self discipline and cussed fighting spirit, they’re worthless. At Bath we never lie down and die.”

Bath brought home the silverware. The Championship win was a remarkable achievement, considering the early docking of a point, a loss away to Orrell, and a shaky draw at Harlequins.

It said much for Bath’s fighting spirit, in refusing to accept defeat – plus a little bit of luck!

Indeed, it remained to be seen whether their luck would hold in the Cup final!

 

2/5/1992

v Harlequins, Won 15-12 Pilkington Cup – Final. Team:- J Webb (1c & 2pg), A Swift, J Guscott, P de Glanville (T), J Fallon, S Barnes (1dg), R Hill, G Chilcott, G Dawe, V Ubogu, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke. Referee – F Howard. Bath Replacements – S Knight, C Atkins, J Mallett, I Lewis, J Bamsey & D Egerton

Harlequins:- Pears, Wedderburn, Halliday, Carling, Davis, Challinor, Luxton, Hobley, Moore, Mullins, Edwards, Ackford, Russell, Sheasby and Winterbottom. (Capt.)

 

WHAT A GAME!

Harlequins certainly started with a bang and it was only Guscott’s tackle that stopped an early Carling try. However, a penalty was awarded and Bath were three points down in as many minutes. Quins kept up the pressure for the whole of the first half and were rewarded with a try by Winterbottom, which Pears converted. (0-9) Webb and Pears then exchanged penalties and the first half ended with Bath trailing 3-12. Harlequin’s Ackford and Edwards had dominated in the line-out and the normally free flowing Bath backs had been preoccupied with defence.

However, the Bath fight back commenced and Webb added a second penalty. Fallon had come near to scoring, but Davis, Carling, Wedderburn and Bath’s ex, Simon Halliday figured strongly in defence. Amid unbearable tension, Ojomoh at last made inroads, and the way was open for de Glanville to outstrip the cover. With just two minutes of normal time remaining, and looking commendably calm, Webb kicked to level. (12-12)

 

WHAT AN ENDING!

62,000 spectators braced up for another 20 minutes of almost unbearable tension.

There were at least three attempts at drop goals – first Guscott and two from Challinor, each time accompanied by a nervous expellation of air from fired up, extremely partisan supporters. It was no place for the faint hearted!

Then Redman grabbed line-out possession, lobbed down to Hill and swiftly on to Barnes.

Time stood still as Barne’s drop kick approached the Twickenham uprights………………….

Harlequins sank to the ground in despair!

 

WHAT A SEASON!

It had been an outstanding season in which Bath triumphed, despite World Cup calls on the talents of Webb, Guscott, Hill, Cronin and Redman.

Pilkington Cup Winners and Courage League Champions.

Top spot with Stuart Barnes who scored 4 Tries, 17 Conversions, 37 penalties and 3 Drop Goals for 170 points in 22 games. Followed by Jonathan Webb with 2 Tries, 18 Conversions, 17 Penalties for 95 points in 15 games, and Jim Fallon 20 tries – 80 points in 25 games.

At this stage Stuart Barnes career record stood at 43 Tries, 309 Conversions, 215 Penalty Goals and 19 Drop Goals for 1492 points in 162 games.

 

This page was added on 18/09/2014.

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