125 years at the Rec

7 October 2019

Yesterday marked 125 years since the first ever game at the Rec, as Bath Rugby beat Exeter 22-0. Scroll through some of the historic moments and read the Chronicle's first ever match report. 

Match Report – Bath Rugby v Exeter – 6/10/1894

Team: Faithfull, Bateman, F Soane (at three-quarter), MacTier, W F Long (At 18 years old, a product of Independent College, Taunton), Seers, G G Vincent, D’Aguilar, B H Belson, F C Belson, F Derrick, W England, D Bain, Ruddick and L J Fry.


“It was after four ere the match commenced before a fairly large crowd of spectators, considering the sixpenny gate. Soane started for Bath and the leather was weakly returned. A scrum was formed and the onlookers soon had the satisfaction of seeing a splendid piece of work by the home three-quarters. Vincent getting hold from the scrum handed out to Soane, the captain transferred to MacTier, who after a brief hold passed to Long on the left wing. The last named with a beautifully smart dodgy run, got through the Exonians, and landed a try. D’Aguilar took the kick which failed. The ball was taken down to the Bath end from the kick out, and the homesters had to save. But the Bathonians were soon pressing again. MacTier was the hero of the next piece of scoring. Getting hold from a scrum he jumped through the Exeter ranks while feigning to pass, and landed a try close to the right post. D’Aguilar quickly converted. While scrummaging near the Bath 25, Exeter was awarded a free for the ball not being put in properly. The shot went wide of the goal and was caught full by Soane, who after a fast run got rid of the leather, which was secured by G G Vincent. This quick player got clear through the Exeter men being remarkably weak at collaring, and the gallant little half just managed to score, an Exeter man who endeavoured to overtake him only succeeded in pushing him over the line. The kick by D’Aguilar, a difficult one, failed. Soon afterwards the Devonian were attacking and scrums were formed dangerously near the home rut. Forward work in which Bain and D’Aguilar were conspicuous, however, took the oval to half the distance. Here scrambling play resulted in a race between Vincent and the Exeter back for the ball which was kicked over the Exeter line. The visitor reached the ball first, but he lost it, and Vincent gained another try. The Exonians now commenced to have some of the game, and their forwards put in combined fast dribbles which made things warm for Bath and a scrum was seen a few feet from the Bath line. Bain, however, managed to get hold and punted into touch. From the line out and subsequent pack Ruddick was breaking away when half time was called with Bath leading by 14 points, a goal and three tries to nil.

Shortly after the restart Bateman and MacTier by an aggressive follow up gave Bath the advantage. The leather had got very greasy, and MacTier missing a pass in consequence the game was taken into Bath ground. The homesters responding to appeals to use their feet, the forwards carried the leather into the Exeter 25, Bain, Ruddick and Belson being prominent. Two free kicks gave the visitors some relief, and good work by Labbett resulted in the ball being taken into the Bath 25, and from here it was kicked dead. Some pretty rallying close to the touch line between the two backs was witnessed. Soane forged ahead by a hard plunging run, but nothing resulted. The ball was near the home 25 flag when Bath claimed and obtained a free for the Exeter half picking up in the scrum. Soon afterwards Derrick followed up grandly, he received a check, but it was only temporary, for after a bit of scrambling play the leather was carried across the mark and Derrick scored. The ball did not rise from D’Aguilar’s kick. Long, who had been doing useful work throughout, had a chance of getting off, but the ball was too slippery to hold. Soane and Belson, junior, shone in a dribble but this incident was eclipsed directly afterwards by a marvellous exhibition of running and dodging by Long, who, receiving from Seers, corkscrewed right through the Exeter ranks and placed a try right between the posts. D’Aguilar converted and Bath won by 22 points (two goals and four tries to nil).”

The ‘A’s played early v Argyle, and confined play to one hour, with the object of finishing in time to watch the senior’s match on the new ground.

Bath Rugby face Exeter Chiefs at the Rec in the first home game of the Gallagher Premiership season. Tickets are available online by clicking here or by calling the Ticket Office on 01225 536 900. 

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