Ralph Sweet-Escott was the third son of the Rector of Penarth and he followed his brother Sidney into the Glamorgan side during 1891, with his first appearance against Monmouthshire at the Arms Park seeing the two young amateurs play side-by-side for the Welsh county.
Like Sydney, Ralph also played rugby for Cardiff and won three Welsh caps between 1891 and 1895. His prowess at half-back stemmed from a fine partnership for the Cardiff club with Hugh Ingledew. The pair were duly chosen in 1891 for the Home Nations match against Scotland, but Wales lost the game by seven tries to zero and it was not until 1894 that Ralph was called up again, this time against Ireland. It was a game which also ended in defeat but his appearance in 1895 against the men from the Emerald Isle saw the half-back finally end up on the winning side.
By this time, Ralph had also enjoyed a successful career with Glamorgan in Minor County cricket as a forceful batter and occasional wicket-keeper. After honing his skills at King Henry VIII School in Coventry and Peterhouse, Cambridge, he played on a regular basis for Glamorgan in 1892 and 1893, before posting a maiden half-century against the 1894 South Africans at the Arms Park.
The following year he struck another half-century at the Cardiff ground, against Monmouthshire, before focusing his efforts on his career as an architect and surveyor, having been articled to work alongside John Price Jones – the man who had played a leading hand in the creation of Glamorgan CCC in 1888. Whilst working with Jones in Cardiff, Ralph also got married, besides becoming a founder member of the Barbarians RFC and playing lawn tennis to a high standard.
During the early 1900s he emigrated to South Africa and worked initially in East London as a mining engineer, before taking over the running of the Knights Deep Gold Mine in Germiston. Tragically, he contracted enteric fever during late October 1907 and died a fortnight later.
SWEET-ESCOTT, Ralph Bond.
Born – Essington, Staffordshire. 11 January 1869.
Died – Germiston, South Africa, 10 November 1907.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 18 v Worcestershire at Kidderminster, 1897.
Minor County Friendlies – 57 v Monmouthshire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1895 and 3/44 v Colts XXII at Cardiff Arms Park, 1893.