Bath defeated in another close contest with Vikings

On Saturday 16th June Bath Rugby League travelled away to Somerset Vikings who play their home fixtures at Hornets RFC, Weston a very attractive ground with a synthetic pitch. These pitches can sometimes be unforgiving to players though as Bath picked up a number of injuries and leg grazes.



The coaching staff had a challenge in picking the team as they had a number of players missing due to commitments to a number of teams participating in Frome 7s the same day. However, Bath possibly had one of the strongest 13 starting squad they have had all season and started with a bang with former Bristol Rugby player on debut for Bath, James Hall going over out wide successfully converted by Huw Parks who was also having his first run out of the season after returning from Australia. Somerset reacted quickly and it was soon 6-6. Bath were playing expansive Rugby and it wasn’t long before the ball was swung wide for another new signing Tom Hill to go over in the corner. Parks was unable to convert this one so the score remained 10-6 to Bath, but again Somerset scored a converted try to go ahead 12-10. Bath had the last word in the first half with Huw Parks going over for a typical hookers try to go in at half-time 14-12 ahead after missing the conversion.



At the opening of the second half Bath were beginning to tire due to a lack of fresh legs with Somerset going in for two successive tries with one converted taking the score to 22-14 in their favour. Huw Parks scooted in for another typical hookers try this time going in near the sticks, this time successfully converting his own try taking the scores to Somerset 22, Bath 20 with all to play for. Again, Somerset hit back with a converted try for them to go 8 ahead, Somerset 28, Bath 20. Bath still had the desire to recover with another debutant Ryan Goodman storming through the defence from 30 metres out, Huw Parks was on target with the boot this time to bring the score back to Somerset 28, Bath 26. Bath were beginning to have a number of players going down injured and had to play with less players on the pitch than Somerset so it was almost inevitable they would score again and did so to take the score to Bath 26, Somerset 32. The next play Somerset were given a penalty, but to everyone’s surprise including some of the Somerset players they elected to kick for goal 5 metres out when they had 13 players against Bath’s 10. Shortly after this Huw Parks went down with a head injury and the senior therapist called the game off on medical grounds due to the volume of injuries with 9 minutes to go.

Matt Bodey, Assistant Coach, commented regarding the performance, “For a weekend where we knew we would struggle for depth, I was really impressed with the performance that the guys put in. Leading at half time against the team top of the pool is something we can be proud of and really work from, even though injuries did get the better of us and we had to call the game off”.



A club spokesperson said, “With the Pool rounds coming to an end Bath RL will now look forward to the Championship 6’s where they will compete against other teams from across the West of England Division hoping to cap off the season with some silverware.”

Bath suffer friendly defeat to St Albans Centurions

On Saturday 2nd June Bath Rugby League utilised the free week to play a cross league friendly fixture against St. Albans Centurions at the neutral of Oxford RFC to reduce travel time for both clubs.



 

It ended in a heavy 60-4 defeat for Bath but the majority of the match day squad were playing their first few games in the sport. Of the game, Matt Bodey, Bath Rugby League, Assistant Coach, said “The guys playing on Saturday showed a huge amount of grit against the seasoned St Albans side.

Whilst it was a tough loss, there were a couple of really strong individual plays and performances, and there are undoubtedly positives to be taken from the game”. Steven Grant scored Bath Rugby League’s solo try of the day on his seasoned debut which was a great individual effort but was unable to convert his own try, but it was 16 year old Joe Wildman who was given the man of the match for his defensive and offensive efforts which were notable throughout the game, almost scoring a runaway try himself.



The club now look forward to getting back into league action with a home encounter against Swindon St George at their new home of Oakfields, Melksham RFC, kick off 2.30pm Saturday 9th June 2018. Looking ahead to the Swindon fixture, Assistant coach, Bodey, commented, “After a tense away fixture against Swindon earlier in the season, we will be looking to go one better and get the win against a strong side at home this weekend”

A club spokesperson commented, “Melksham is a great venue to watch Rugby League and I would encourage anyone from across the Bath and surrounding area to come and experience this all action sport.”

Training continues at Avonvale RFC in Bath on Thursday’s at 7pm. The club have the ambition of setting up a development side this season to feed the 1st team and really keen to welcome more prospective players to the club.

Sully gains player sponsorship for 2018 season…

Recent signing Rob Sully gains player sponsorship from AC Auto Air Con.



We are a mobile air conditioning regas and recharge service which operated within the Wiltshire area.

Our business has been running since 2009, and both engineers are fully qualified with the  Automotive Refrigerant Handling (to current regulation 307/2008)

We specialise in all makes and models of cars, vans, lorries and tractors.

we are available seven days a week and will come to you at home or work, at your convenience.

 

 



For more details visit www.acautoaircon.co.uk/

Player Sponsorship for Prop Ball

Bath Rugby League Prop Brandon Ball has secured player sponsorship for the 2018 season.




Based in Bristol Elite Tyre & Autocare have years of experience in the motor industry. We have two depots one in Thornbury and the other in Yate, both of which are fully equipped with the latest technology.

 

We supply and fit all well known brands of tyres including Roadstone, Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, Dunlop, Primewell and Bridgestone – all at extremely competitive prices. Our services also include vehicle repairs and servicing. Please contact us for a FREE no obligation quote.



Visit https://www.elitetyreandautocare.co.uk/   for more information.

Hooker Luc Thomas secures Player Sponsorship for 2018

New signing Luc Thomas has secured Player Sponsorship for the 2018 season



C2C Fitness offers personal training at our fitness studio or at your home or place of work. We also offer Sports Massage Therapy in South Wales as well as London.



We offer Dry Needling as part of the massage therapy in Wales and Hot Stone Massage as an alternative.

In addition, Ruth one of our trainers offers Pilates Classes at venues across South Wales.

Let us help you achieve your fitness goals. For more details visit: http://www.c2cfitness.co.uk/

Bath Rugby League agree to play home fixtures at Melksham’s Oakfields for 2018

Bath Rugby League have gone through some changes during the close season in terms of their training base and playing venue. After playing at Chippenham RFC in 2017, they have switched to Melksham RFC for 2018 home fixtures and training at Avonvale RFC in Bath, Thursday evenings from 7pm currently.




Chris Chatten, Club Coordinator said “I would like to thank Chairman of Melksham RFC Pat Holtom for his support in facilitating this arrangement and making it possible. Pat and his team at Melksham have been really accommodating and helpful in bringing League to the excellent facilities which they have. I would also like to thank Martin Bath, Chairman of Avonvale RFC and Kevin Moggridge for their support in allowing us to train at their facilities, which is very welcomed.

I would also like to thank members of Chippenham RFC which was excellent for the club in 2017. I would particularly like to thank secretary Phil Read and Grounds Chairman John Beacham for going the extra mile to give Bath Rugby League a great experience at the venue. Chippenham is a great place to play Rugby League for lots of reason, and would certainly not rule out playing Rugby League fixtures there again. I believe Melksham is also a great facility from lots of perspectives and should give us the stability we need in 2018.”

The club are also keen to develop arrangements with other facilities across the Bath and surrounding area. If your club would like to host a Rugby League fixture please get in touch.

On Saturday 26th May Bath Rugby League utilised the free week to take part in Westbury 10’s, with a large percentage of the squad unavailable due to the bank holiday weekend, Bath finished a creditable 5th out of 9 teams taking part in the men’s event.



The club now look forward to getting back into Rugby League action with an away trip to Cardiff (Blue Dragons) on Saturday 2nd June 2018. Training continues at Avonvale RFC in Bath on Thursday’s at 7pm. The club have the ambition of setting up a development side this season to feed the 1st team and really keen to welcome more prospective players to the club. The Cardiff game is an ideal opportunity to get involved as a friendly fixture where everyone will get a game and can try out in different positions.

Fight back to late as Bath lose out in Home fixture

Bath welcomed Somerset Vikings to The Oakfield Stadium on Saturday in the sides first home league fixture of the season. With good preparations during the week and a beautifully sunny day Bath hoped to get the ball moving in what was set to be a tough encounter.



However it was the visitors that were on the score sheet first with an early try from No.13 Marcus Brooker following a loose ball that was collected within the opening minutes. Somerset appeared to have caught Bath napping and the home side were deemed to be offside and the subsequent next set saw Brooker score once again.

Bath began to get themselves back into the game and some strong carries from Elliott Bowler & Brandon Ball gave the home side some great territory. This time it was the Vikings that were caught offside and Bath were able to get themselves deep into the oppositions half. With quick plays of the ball it was Hooker Luc Thomas who spotted the gap and dived over the line, Lawrence Haywood adding the extras.

Somerset Vikings continued to look threatening Bath giving them too much time on the ball, another attack close to the home side try line saw Brooker come up again for another try.

With stern words being spoken under the sticks the home side came back out eager to get back on top of the game – Some fast hands and hard running lines from the backs caught the Vikings offside again and a bulldozing run from Bowler saw him crash over the line for the second Bath try of the afternoon, unfortunately the follow up kick going just wide.

The game which kept swinging both ways was evident when the Vikings looked to punish Bath again this time with Jacob Hill scoring for the visitors, and from the following kick off Bath were able to capitalise on a loose ball with Luke Cador going over for his first try of the day. With a few minutes remaining on the clock the Bath back line was able to put the ball wide with Rob Sully going over in the corner.

A good fight back from Bath in the first half bringing the score to 22-28.

Half Time Score: Bath RL 22 – 28 Somerset Vikings RL

The heat of the sunny afternoon was beginning to take its toll and Bath were able to advantage of some sloppy plays by the visitors to gain multiple penalties and get themselves into good position. It was Brandon Ball who would get onto the scorecard next when a superb running line opened the defence for him to dive over, the kick being added to level the scores.

Bath took the lead shortly after when centre Mike Rutt challenged the line holding the defence and gave an offload to to Geoff Taylor who ran a superb line to cross over, the kick being added.

The lead was to be short lived after an error at the kick off Somerset regained the ball and were able to challenge the line from 10 meters out and eventually crossed the line. Bath however continued to apply the pressure and following a knock on Ben Thyer ran form his own 20 deep into the opposition half before being brought down, the referee also awarding a penalty but the following kick at posts went just wide.

The ever dangerous Somerset back line found a gap wide and crossed over this time by Jacob Hill with the conversion being missed and The Vikings retaking the lead with 10mins left on the clock. The game was certainly not over and Bath were able to regather and after some strong carries from around the park it was Kieran Harvey who was able to catch the defence static. Unfortunately the kick going short of the posts and Bath & Somerset were levelling once again.

With the dying minutes of the game Bath would have to dig deep and would have to hold out the final set of the game. The ball was played wide and put through the hands before a grubber kick back into the middle of the pitch saw Jacob Hill collect and go in under the posts.

A hard fought game which could have seen the scoreline go either way by equally matched sides ended with heartache for Bath as the final whistle was blown.

Final Score: Bath RL 38 – 44 Somerset Vikings RL

We caught up with Bath Head Coach Alex Burns after the game commenting “the end result was a very difficult one for the squad after fighting there way back into a game that many would have seen as over much earlier on. It’s a real credit to the belief in the ability within this squad to put ourselves in a position to win the game. Plaudits to Vikings though who shot out of the blocks, and managed out the game excellently. In the last two games we have won both second half’s convincingly. Moving forward we need to discover how to get that level of play right from the off. As I’ve said before we are trying to do something special with this Bath squad and I have full faith we will with patience & understanding of what our long term goals are. We are moving in the right direction 100% and everyone in the club can feel that.”



Following the sad news that Bristol Sonics RL have had to withdraw from the West of England league (we wish them the very best of luck and hope to see them again next season) Bath’s next Pool A fixture is on June 9th at home to Swindon St George. The club will continue training on Thursday at Avonvale RFC from 7pm – All news players welcome. The Club is also looking at options for friendly fixtures in the midweek and weekends.

Bath RL squad.
Chester 2. Parks 3. Thyer 4. Warnock 5. Cador 6. Haywood 7. Sully 8. Bowler 9. Thomas 10. Randall (c) 11. Ball 12. Frost 13. King
SUBS: Harvey, McConnell, Culshaw, Burnett, Rutt, Taylor, May

Bath RL push current West of England Champions Swindon St. George close on the opening day of the season!

Bath Rugby League kicked off Round 1 of their season campaign with an away trip to last seasons Champions Swindon St George (SSG) in The West of England Pool A. The side have been preparing well in preseason with Head Coach Alex Burns taking charge and a final preseason fixture held last Tuesday against the current Army Lawson Cup Champions, the Royal Signals RL squad.

It was the home side that kicked off and gave the visitors the first attacking set of the game, SSG showed some fearsome defence in the opening contest and on their returning attacking set showcased some speedy play at the tackle to release Prop Sam Collins who crashed over with Captain Conner Tomley adding the extras.

Bath kicked off well and were soon pressing deep into the home sides half with strong carries from Prop Elliott Bowler and Captain Stevan Randall and were able to shift the ball wide through the hands of Mike Harrison and Morgan Lewis to put new signing Kieran Harvey over in the corner, Leigh Wheatley adding the kick.

Swindon St George always looked dangerous on the ball and threatened across the park, and began to find gaps in the Bath defence which had held strongly. Swindon scored a few tries in quick succession catching the visitors napping with Hooker Stewart Hannah and centre Florin Palcau crossing over. The whistle went for half time and Bath would go into the break 20-6 behind.

Half Time: Swindon St George RL 20 – 6

After a talk from the Head Coach Bath started the better of the two teams in the second half and continued to press into the SSG half, Fullback Ciaran Chester caused constant headaches for the home side as he ran from deep and broke multiple tackles gaining some much needed territory. From the resulting plays and speed of the ball Prop Brandon Ball found a gap to sprint over for Bath’s second try of the day, Wheatley adding the extras.

Bath continued to look dangerous and carried well into the oppositions half but when SSG were given the opportunity they showcased why they were the current Champions and wasn’t long until Fullback Josh Williams broke the defence to cross over. However the visitors continued to apply the pressure and with Fullback Chester breaking the line once again he was able to put Jamie Hall through the gap and the Centre stepped the last defender to score near the posts, Leigh Wheatley adding the kick.

In the last 10mins of the game Swindon St George looked for another score but would be held up against a strong Bath defence, however Bath were penalised and SSG took the opportunity for a kick at the sticks and take the score further from Bath’s reach. In the dying minutes Bath were desperately looking to find a break for another score but time had run out and the final whistle was blown.

Full Time: Swindon St George RL 26 -18 Bath RL

Head Coach Alex Burns commented “Hugely proud of our performance against what we know is one of the best sides in the South West. In an immensely physical and demanding game, we fronted up throughout and with Ball in hand showed the danger we have right across the park. It’s a testament to where we want to be that we were disappointed after the game knowing we let a chance of a victory slip by. Credit to Swindon St George RL though as their class and groundwork through pre-season told. This group of players for Bath RL has great potential going forward and the awareness to know where we need to improve if we want to be fighting for silverware come the end of the season. As a club we are aiming to build something special and sustainable over the coming years and for us this was a massive leap forward in the right direction”

On Saturday Bath RL will welcome Somerset Vikings RL to their home ground (based at Melksham RFC) in Round 2 of the West of England Pool A, kick off 2.30pm.

Bath Rugby League Squad 1: Chester 2: Wildman 3: Harrison 4: Sully 5: Warnock 6: Wheatley 7: Lewis 8: Bowler 9:Talbot 10: Ball 11: Taylor 12: Harvey 13: Randall (C) Subs: Noott, MacPherson, Dare, Culshaw, Hall.

Alex Dare-M’Connell secures Player Sponsorship from Oldland Electrical

Alex played for the club in the inaugural RugbyFest exhibition fixture at the end of September 2017, and comes from the Bristol area. He has previously played for rivals Bristol Sonics in 2008 and 2012. In between and prior to playing League Alex has also played the Union code for Bristol, Clifton and even in Australia for Adelaide Falcons. His union position is prop, but has played second row in Rugby League.




The club would like to thank Alex for sourcing his own player sponsor and we thank Oldland Electrical for their generous support and partnership with the club for 2018.


 


The club still have a number of sponsorship opportunities available at all levels, please email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk or call 07810 552196 for further details. We are interested in developing mutually beneficial partnership to aid in the development of Rugby League as a relatively untapped sport across the Bath and surrounding area. A huge opportunity for the sport.

Player sponsorship is available for £120 per player for the season. Player sponsors will:
– be promoted on the club website www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk
– be promoted on social channels Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague – 1,081 Followers, Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague – 1386 likes, Intsagram: @bathrugbyleague_ – 966 followers to date
– mentioned in media releases in relation to sponsored player
– featured in match day programme/teamsheet

The club has also been featured in the trade Magazine Rugby League World and been reported on Rugby Leaguer and League Express trade weekly paper on a fairly regular basis.