BATH RUGBY LEAGUE CELEBRATE WINNING THE WEST OF ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL WITH THE MAYOR OF BATH

The squad had the fantastic opportunity of meeting Mayor of Bath – Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones at the Guildhall yesterday evening, the club also presented the following awards:

Clubman – Matt Warnock
Coaches Player – Rob Sully
Most Improved Player – Joe Wildman
Players Player & Man of Steel – Brandon Ball



The players put in a great shift this season working together as a cohesive unit. Thanks to the coaching staff Alex Burns and Matt Bodey for shaping a strong culture and environment within the group.

Thank you to Melksham Rugby Club for hosting us matchdays and Avonvale RFC for hosting our training sessions. Thanks also to partner club York City Knights RLFC for their advice and guidance.

Thanks to Strategic Partner Salters Garage who are now in the second year of supporting the club. Thanks also to the following player sponsors:

Oldland Electrical Services Ltd- Alex Dare M’Connell
Richard Griffin – Leigh Wheatley
Searle (Painting & Decorating) – Geoff Taylor
C2C Fitness – Luc Thomas
Dragonfly Education Trust – James Noott
Elite Tyre & Autocare Ltd – Brandon Ball
The Trevor Foster Award – Huw Parks
JD Services Ltd – Jordon Talbot
Lawes Steel Fabrication – Connor Breen
Lawes Steel Fabrication – Shai Bonnick
Suave Owl – Kieran Harvey
Auto Air Con – Rob Sully
Mike Bullen – Steven Grant
NKS Contracts Limited – Ben Thyer



Planning for 2019 season has started and we are looking for more good people to join the club as players, off field personnel, and sponsors/partners. We are really happy to discuss bespoke packages.

For more information contact Chris by email:
info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk or PM

Bath crowned Championship Fives Grand Final winners


WEST OF ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP FIVES GRAND FINAL 

Cheltenham Phoenix 30 

T: Alex Ratcliffe (5), Zack Taylor (15), George Jewell (43), Munro Third (77), Joe Hart (79) 

G: Sam Hughes 5 

Bath Rugby League 42 

T: Ali Frost (10), Connor Breen 2 (12, 49), Luke Cador (27), Ben Thyer 2 (40, 74), Jordan Talbot (54), Jack Burnett (71) 

G: Leigh Wheatley 2, Connor Breen 3 

(report by Matt Anniss)



Bath RLFC produced an entertaining display of expansive, attacking rugby to beat Cheltenham Phoenix 42-30 in a memorable West of England Championship Fives Grand Final at Shaftsbury Park, Bristol. 

The Melksham-based side scored eight tries in total, which was more than enough to secure the club’s first ever silverware. 



It was Cheltenham who started the brighter, though, opening the scoring on five minutes when Alex Ratcliffe crossed following a fine break by Hugh Howes. Sam Hughes slotted the extras. 

Bath hit back hard, taking the lead thanks to two tries in as many minutes. First, Ali Frost crossed unopposed, before man-of-the-match Connor Breen dived over following a thrilling break by impressive second-rower Ben Thyer. Leigh Wheatley converted both to give Bath a 6-12 lead. 

Less than three minutes later Cheltenham were once again level, Sam Hughes converting a fine solo score from Zack Taylor. An even period of forward-dominated play followed, before Bath once again edged ahead with two scores in the closing 13 minutes of the first half, both converted by the nerveless Breen. First, winger Luke Cador finished off an exhilarating team move, before Thyer barged his way over from 10 metres out on the stroke of half time. 



Cheltenham raised hopes of a brilliant second-half fight back when George Jewell dived over in the right corner just three minutes into the second half, with Sam Hughes adding a brilliant touchline conversion. 

However, Bath quickly reasserted their authority via the first of four consecutive tries that all but secured the game. First Breen scythed through the Cheltenham defence, before another unconverted score from Jordan Talbot stretched their lead to 32-18. Then, with valiant Cheltenham fading fast, scores from Jack Burnett – who received a superb inside pass from Breen – and Ben Thyer secured victory. 

There was still time for Cheltenham to pull two tries back – both converted by Hughes – with Munro Third and Joe Hart crossing the whitewash in the final three minutes. They were more than deserved on the balance of play, but sadly little more than consolation scores. 

The victory secured the Melksham-based side’s first trophy since their formation in January 2017. 

Man of the Match: Connor Breen (Bath, scrum half)

Referee: Ian Waters (Southern RS)

(report by Matt Anniss)




 

Bath Rugby League make the Final!

Bath Rugby League secured their place in the West of England Championship Fives Final with a home win over Swindon St George ‘A’




On Saturday Bath Rugby League welcomed Swindon St George ‘A’ for the West of England Championship fives Semi Final in what would be the sides last home fixture of the season at Oakfields.

The two sides had met only a week earlier when Bath travelled to Swindon, coming out on top securing the Home Semi Final with 108 – 10 win, but going into the Semi Final Bath knew that Swindon would carry more of threat with a Final in sight.

From the kick off Bath would show there intentions early on and it wasn’t long before some good plays that Ben Thyer was able to break the defensive line and cross over for Bath’s first points of the day, Connor Breen was on kicking duties for the day and added the extras. (6-0)

Like the previous week; Swindon would put together some good plays themselves and capitalised on a Bath error, the following set saw Swindon St George’s Richard White cross over, the kick going just wide. (6-4) Bath soon bounced back and from the Kick Off Winger Luke Cador caught wide and broke multiple would be tackles to run through untouched and score under the posts, Breen adding the kick. (12-4)

Bath were completing sets and beginning to dominate the defence and it was Thyer who scored his second of the day with a strong carry from close range, Breen converting. (18-4) with Luc Thomas and Michael Harrison orchestrating the plays it was Cador who found himself wide and sprinted through with a jinking run to cross for his second of the day, Breen adding the kick. (24-4)

The visitors forwards would continue to batter the home line but the home defence remained strong ad the result set saw Bath build on the scoreline when Joe Wildman crossed in the corner, followed shortly by a hatrick Cador try and Centre Kyle Johns scoring an interception try. (38-4)

It was the returning Stevan Randall who would cross the line next with one of his trademarks carries which saw him break the defensive line and sprint to score under the posts. Breen added the extras and the half time whistle was blown. (44-4)

Half Time: Bath Rugby league 44 – 4 Swindon St George ‘A’


 


Swindon St George would score first in the second half with another from White, catching the home defence napping (44-8). However the score for the visitors was short lived when after a well built set from Bath saw Breen feed the ball to the hard running Mike Rutt who crashed his way over the line, Breen following up and adding the extras. (50-8)

The visitors were able to gain some territory with their next set and following a Bath error were able to score there final points of the day in the corner. (50-12)

Connor Breen showed some excellent footwork for Bath’s next points of the day when weaved his way through the line to go over the line under the sticks, following up and converting his own try. (56-12) From the restart Harrison challenged the line feeding a pass to Prop Brandon Ball who went the length of the field breaking multiple tackles to score his first try of the day. (62-12)

No to be out done by Luke Cador, Ben Thyer was next on the score sheet getting his hat trick for the day following a line break from the kick, Breen kicking the extras. (68-12) The final points of the day came from Forward Tom Culshaw who found himself out wide and sprint down the side of the pitch and dot down, Breen kicked the extras and the final whistle was blown. (74-12)

Final Score: Bath Rugby League 74 – 12 Swindon St George ‘A’




Head Coach Alex Burns commented on the sides win “I’m proud of the performance we put together against a much improved Swindon side. It is great going into the Final too having faced some difficult and testing periods in the game with Swindon on top. We knew this week will be a battle and that has prepared us physically and mentally. It’s fantastic to see this Squad have the opportunity to create a legacy with Bath Rugby League this early in the inception of the Club”.

Club Coordinator Chris Chatten, said, “It is fantastic to finish the season with a final. I know the lads will give it everything they have to bring some silverware back to Bath. I would like to thank Melksham RFC our host club, they have done everything they can to support us at their fantastic facilities, we look forward to growing our relationship with the club even further in 2019. Avonvale RFC have also been a huge support to the club allowing us to train there, which has also acted as a good central point for the player base. If you have not had the opportunity to watch Rugby League live yet, I would encourage you to get down to Dings RFC, Shaftesbury Park on Saturday 11th August it should be a cracker”.


Bath Rugby League will now face Cheltenham Phoenix on Saturday, 1pm Kick off at Dings RFC, Shaftesbury Park in the West of England Championship Fives Final – a side they know well having played them earlier in the season.



 

Bath Rugby League secure home Semi Final with win over Swindon St. George ‘A’

Bath Rugby League secure home Semi Final with win over Swindon St. George ‘A’



Bath Rugby League have had a mix season of results with some extremely close games during the earlier West of England pool stages of the competition and most recently the West of England Championship Fives competition – a win against Swindon St George ‘A’ would see Bath Rugby League take a Home Semi Final against the same opposition on August 4th.

Bath came flying out of the blocks from the kick off showing their intent with two quick tries in the opening minutes coming from Winger Arbury and Halfback Michael Harrison, Captain Leigh Wheatley was kicking duties for the afternoon but missed the first from wide but converted the second. (0-10)

Swindon St George ‘A’ would soon have a run attack and put the visitors under some pressure before being able to turn over ball and build there way out of the half. The ball was moved wide and the young Winger Joe Wildman was able to cross over, Wheatley adding the extras. (0-16)

The next score came from a trademark run from Prop Brandon Ball when he was able to crash his way through to carry several would be tacklers across the line, Wheatley again on hand to add the extras. (0-22)

It was the home side who would be on the scorecard next as they continued to battle hard when Swindon St George’s halfback was able to put his Centre through a gap, the extras being added. (6-22)

Unforced errors would continue to give Swindon St George more territory but Bath’s defence held strong – and during the next set Bath’s Ali Frost was able to run a hard line in off Halfback Harrison and he’d run in from the 30 evading the fullback to dot down fr his first try for Bath. Wheatley adding the extras. (6-28)

It was the mercurial James Arbury who was on the score sheet next with three converted showcasing his evasiveness and speed to cross the line, Wheatley adding the extras (6-46) however a lapse in concentration Swindon St George were able to get a try of their own with the strong carries and runners breaking through the Bath line. (10-46)

Bath continued to build well in the sets and were soon giving another try when Hooker Luc Thomas sniped from the base of a tackle and sprint to the try line, Wheatley again adding the extras. (10-52)



Half Time Score: Swindon St George ‘A’  10 – 52 Bath Rugby League



Bath continued the second half as they’d finished the first with Arbury once again showing his pace and strength to cross over for a further two more tries (10-62)

The visitors were now playing expansive rugby with Wheatley and Harrison orchestrating the plays, strong carries from Johnny king and Alex Dare-McConnell would gain the side huge metres before the ball was played wide across the back line.

Centre Kyle John and Prop Brandon Ball scored would break through to score next with the centre breaking down the wide channel and Ball with another signature strong carry. (10-74)

A brace of tries from Fullback Steven Grant, Forward Ben Thyer and another two tries from Harrison culminated again from some great possession and building of plays.

Forward Johnny King was able to find a gap and break through and just before being tackled was able to put a wide pass away to Winger Wildman who dived over in the corner.

The final try of the day came from Halfback Harrison who crossed the white wash with Wheatley adding the extras before the final whistle was blown.

A special thank you to Swindon St George ‘A’ who battled hard during game and thanks to their hospitality after the game.

Final Score: Swindon St George ‘A’ 10 – 108 Bath Rugby League

Head Coach Alex Burns commented “This season has seen Bath make huge strides forward both on and off the pitch. The resilience the side has shown through a period difficult results has been outstanding and something the boys should take huge pride in. It has been evident from the sidelines the progress we have made, which is hard for the players when dealing with the disappointment of losses. However Saturday was a culmination of all the hard work the players have put in all season. It’s a perfect springboard for the play-offs and an opportunity for us to improve on last season by making the grand finals.”



Bath Rugby League will now face the same side (Swindon St. George ‘A’) in the West of England Championship Semi Final at Home (Melksham RFC) on Saturday 4th August with the winners taking on Cheltenham Phoenix RL in the West of England Plate Final at Dings RFC on Saturday 11th August

Ben Thyer sponsored by NKS Contracts Ltd for 2018 season

Ben Thyer sponsored by NKS Contracts Ltd for 2018 season



  • NKS Contracts Ltd was established in 1992 and has grown to employ a staff of more than 100 people.
  • NKS Contracts Ltd mobilizes daily over 35 fully equipped vans to service our client’s needs

Our clients include: Registered Social Landlords, Health & Education Authorities, commercial / retail facilities, plus many other blue chip organizations. The main geographical areas covered include, City of Bristol, Bath and NE Somerset, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Duo secure Player Sponsorship


Bath Rugby League duo Shai Bonnick & Connor Breen secure new Player Sponsorship for the 2018 season from Trowbridge based company Lawes Steel Fabrication LTD.

Professional, local steel fabricating business with a fast turn around. Find out more details at https://m.facebook.com/LawesSteelFabricaton/

The Club would like to thank Lowe’s Steel Fabrication for their support and look forward to working with them in the future.

There are still lots of ways to get involved with Bath Rugby League – contact us at info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk

Bath lose in tough battle to Cheltenham Phoenix



Bath Rugby League welcomed Cheltenham Phoenix to Oakfields on Saturday in the first round of the Championship Fives, the sides hadn’t met before but like Bath the visitors had held their own in a very tough Pool Group with the All Golds, Forest Bulldogs & Swindon St. George ‘A’.

The home side were still searching for their first win of the season following many close battles with some of the top teams within The West of England league and had prepared well during the week.

It was Bath who were on the scoreboard first after a fantastic set which saw Hooker Luc Thomas score in the corner, unfortunately the kick just going wide. It was only a few minutes later that Bath scored there second of the day when Prop Brandon Ball crashed through multiple would be defenders to cross over the line, this time Leigh Wheatley adding the extras.

The home side were able to pin Cheltenham deep into their own 20 following good sets and accurate kicking from the halves.

The visitors always looked threatening when they had ball in hand and caught the defence napping from a scrum which lead to Cheltenham first try of the day, which was duly converted.

Winger Steven Grant looked to have dotted down in the corner following a kick through from Wheatley but was deemed to have knocked out of play.

With a scheduled water break at the 20 min marker (due to the extremely hot day) Bath attacked again with Half Back Connor Breen darting through the defensive line to score under the posts, Wheatley adding the kick.

The well needed water break gave Cheltenham Phoenix a much needed rest bite and with that came out firing after the 20 minute marker taking control of the remainder of the half crossing 3 times with all kicks being successful and now holding onto a narrow lead going into the half time break.


Half Time: Bath Rugby League 22-24 Cheltenham Phoenix




Bath came out well in the second and it didn’t take long before the side were able to get themselves into good field position, where Jack Williams found himself crossing over after bursting through the tackles. Although Cheltenham replied to this shortly after with a converted try of their own.

Bath were able to soak up the next set of plays and it was on the return set Kieran Harvey was able to get himself across the line with Breenadding the kick from wide. With the next few sets of play being held in the centre of the pitch it was Cheltenham who next scored with a break wide, the kick being added.

It was a tight contest in the run up to the next water break but Winger Grant was able to latch onto a wide pass from Centre Mike Rutt to dive into the corner. However the yo-yo’ing of tries between the two sides hadn’t stopped and the visitors were next on the scorecard adding another 3 tries before Bath answered with Second Row Connor MacPherson finding the gap to cross over, Connor Breen kicking well added the extras. Unfortunately time was running out for Bath to make up for the earlier lapses and the final whistle was blown.

Full Time:  Bath Rugby League 42-60 Cheltenham Phoenix



This Saturday Bath travel to Southampton Spitfire in Round 2 of the Championship Fives hoping to make up for the loss and put in a solid 80min fixture. The last time the two sides met Bath came out eventual winners at home but know that a trip to Southampton is always never an easy fixture.

If you are interested in playing, sponsoring, partnering or getting involved with the club in other way please contact Chris tel: 07810 552196 or email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk – The club train at Avonvale RFC in Bath, training nights have now moved to Monday’s 7pm

The club work in partnership with York City Knights who play in League 1 so have the opportunity to offer players a pathway into the professional game.

Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague
Facebook: facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague
Instagram: @bathrugbyleague_

Website: www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk

Bat RL announce strategic partnership with Salters Garage

A club spokesperson said, “They have supported us from the very beginning of the club last season and have come with us on a continuous improvement journey, so it made perfect sense to develop this partnership. Salters Garage become the clubs first strategic partner. We are keen to develop partnerships with other organisations too, if you are interested in exploring opportunities please get in touch.

I think sometimes we forget the club is only in its second season and has already come a long way. We are always looking for people and organisation who can help us achieve our medium to long term goals working in partnership.”

To find out more about Salters Garage visit: http://www.saltersgarage.com/

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.