Monday 25th April Sports Reports

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Cricket – 1st XI
Sadly, the 1st XI fixture this weekend was cancelled by Birkdale. The 1st XI will, therefore, start their campaign with the toughest game of the season on Thursday, taking on the might of the MCC in a declaration game.

U15
In an excellent game, the U15s won their first game of the season, beating Birkdale by 7 wickets. Joint Men of the Match Alex Purcell and Toby Snell bowled very well to restrict Birkdale to 146 runs all out, with Alex picking up 5 wickets and Toby 2. The same two players then put on a superb 100-run partnership when batting, with Alex scoring 39 and Toby 77 not out to clinch victory in the penultimate over.

U14
The U14s suffered a loss in their opening game, albeit in much closer circumstances than the reverse fixture last year. New boys, Jude Kinch and Carter Walker, both performed well. Despite promising signs from a number of batsmen, the team were undone by an excellent spell of off-spin bowling by Birkdale, which yielded 4 wickets for only 4 runs from 5 overs. As a result, Ratcliffe were only able to post 96 from their 25 overs. They worked hard in the field and bowled well, but the below par total proved too difficult to defend. Joe Collier picked up Man of the Match for an exciting cameo at the end of the innings and some good work in the field.

U13
The U13s lost an exciting game by 14 runs. After Birkdale scored 152 for 4 in their innings, Ratcliffe started the chase confidently. We were always up on the run rate until the last few overs, when we were unable to find the boundaries that we needed. Tom Page was the stand-out bowler taking two wickets from his 4 overs, but Man of the match was Fin Back who opened the batting and nearly saw the team home, scoring 68 runs.

U12
The U12s suffered a loss in their first game of the season against Birkdale. Under sunny conditions, Birkdale won the toss and elected to bowl first. Ratcliffe got off to a good start with Jacob Storey and Guy Heywood safely negotiating the opening overs while capitalising on poor deliveries before Jacob was out LBW for 13. With the score at 23-1 off 6 overs, all was looking well until a catastrophic collapse saw 6 wickets fall in the same over. 23-1 off 6 became 23-7 off 7. Ollie Howard (17) and Ben Ashford (6*) then weathered the storm with some sensible batting to help Ratcliffe reach 69 all out off 18.4 overs. In the second innings, Ratcliffe started off well with Joseph Davies (0-8 off 3) bowling tightly and Jacob S(1-7 off 3) getting an early breakthrough. However, some good stroke play from the Birkdale batsmen saw them knock the total off within 13 overs and only 1 wicket down. Joint Man of the Match goes to Ollie Howard and Ben Ashford for their gutsy batting performances when our backs were against the wall.

Midlands Hockey
In a very closely contested tournament, the U12 hockey team finished third in their group of five, narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals. A slow start with a 0 – 0 draw against William Brookes School in a game which Ratcliffe dominated, but in which they could not score, ultimately cost us. As the tournament progressed, the boys’ play improved. We dominated and won the second game 2 – 0 with two well-taken goals by Rajen Gupta. Against the eventual winners, Bishop Vesey, in the best game of the whole tournament, Ratcliffe lost 2 – 1 but worked tirelessly and skilfully throughout. Louie Fletcher scored the goal while at the other end Ben Jackson made some excellent saves and Ethan Chapman deserves a mention for his amazing goal-line clearance. The final game against St Bede’s was an evenly contested affair. Ratcliffe created enough chances early on  to win the game, only for the opposition to come back strongly to claim a 1 – 1 draw and a place in the semi-finals. With a better start and more clinical finishing, this was a tournament that this talented Ratcliffe team could and should have progressed in to the knock-out stages, but unfortunately it was not to be. Well done to the boys on their efforts in this tournament and throughout a very successful season.

Sam Nightingale,
Boys’ Sports Captain.

Tennis
Seniors 1 2nd Teams Combined 
A mixed 1st and 2nd tennis team travelled to Worksop for their opening game of the season. All couples played very well, with some great tennis on show. Rebecca Astill and Sibella Chew both played intelligent tennis, and only dropped two games throughout. Chloe Flowers hit many excellent winners, finding tight angles to put the ball out of reach of her opponents. Charlotte Hull and Alina Tebbut worked very well together, winning two good matches, while Tilly Wheeler and Emily Sellicks showed great enthusiasm, picking up vital games in close matches. The team spirit was particularly evident in the final two rounds as Captain, Sibella Chew, led the team to a close victory, after drawing 8 – 8 all in matches, with the overall result being decided on game difference. All partnerships had shown great commitment throughout, but a special mention should go to Chloe Flowers and Imogen Power who showed great competitiveness and desire to come back to 5 – 6 after being 0 – 5 down, which proved vital at the final count up. Well done to all the girls.

U15A and U15B
The U15A and B teams beat Worksop, 8 – 1 and 3 – 1 respectively. County players, Sarah Astill, Eleanor Shaw and Rachael Astill led by example, showing excellent stroke technique and court craft, with their respective partners, winning all of their matches 6 – 0, putting Ratcliffe into an unassailable lead. The rest of the team showed some pleasing court play in spite of very little practice and it all looks good for the rest of the season.

Rounders

U15
The U15s had a tough start to the season with little preparation owing to their examinations. However, they were enthusiastic as ever and looking forward to their first game of the season. They started the match fielding and were up against a couple of girls who could really hit the ball hard. The girls fielded well but could not prevent the Rounders being scored, with Mount St Mary’s finishing their innings with a good score of 9 rounders. We went in to bat, determined to score but struggled owing to the tight fielding and good catching of the Mount St Mary’s girls. It was much the same in the next two innings; although we made some great catches and scored some well-worked rounders, we just could not catch them, losing 17 – 9. Player of the Match goes to Ceri Graham who made some great decisions, scoring some good rounders and contributing well in the field. 

U13 
The U13s had a brilliant start to the season beating Mount St Mary’s away from home. The girls won the toss, allowing them to field first and suss out their opponents. The girls collected the balls quickly and efficiently getting the ball back to the bowler, making it hard for the opposition to score any points. There was some excellent catching on display, enabling us to get the opposition out as well as some superb batting which meant we scored frequently. The final score finished with 10½ rounders to us and only 3½ to Mount St Mary’s.  Player of the Match was awarded to Ellie Gallacher who played an excellent match as bowler and contributed towards getting some of the opposition batters. 

U12
The U12 girls were raring to go for their first rounders match of the season. Ratcliffe batted first and scored 4½ rounders. Into the fielding innings there were some excellent displays of fielding skills from the team, enabling us to get all of Mount St Mary’s out, scoring only three rounders. It was close going into our second batting innings and Mount St Mary’s were much improved, keeping Ratcliffe from scoring many rounders. Mount then when on to play well in their batting innings, winning the game by 8 rounders to 7½, much to the disappointment of the Ratcliffe girls. Elise Atkinson won Player of the Match for some excellent bowling and fielding. 

Netball
The U12 netball team lost to Oakham in their County Cup Final played at De Montfort University as part of the Team Leicestershire Festival. The girls acquitted themselves very well, denying Oakham space and interrupting the flow of their game. All the girls had an excellent season and fully deserved their place in the final.
The squad consisted of Elise Atkinson, Annie Rose Reddin, Amy Mason, Erin Sommerville, Maddii Bryant, Amelia Chapman, Ella McNeeney and Rachel Astill

Equestrian
Congratulations to the whole equestrian team who have competed in a number of competitions recently. Over Easter, in the first competition, Erin Somerville, Kate Woodhouse, Jade and Brooke England competed for the School, helping the team win the 80cm team section. Erin was placed second individually in the 70cm class, and Brooke was placed 2nd individually in the 80cm class (both jumping double clears). The second competition saw Erin, Elsi Jacques, Jade and Brooke also compete in the first of four direct qualifying competitions being held around the UK which are direct qualifiers for the British Show Jumping Championships in August. The team won the 70cm team section (qualifying for the Championships in August), and came a very close second in the 80cm class, narrowly missing out on a second qualification. Brooke and Jade jumped double clears in both classes, and were placed individually (5th and 6th respectively) in the 70cm class. This is a great start for the School team in this League.
Over the weekend, Maddy Dunstan, Georgie Daynes, Erin Somerville and Kate Woodhouse finished on zero faults over two different rounds in their 70cm class and were placed 8
th overall, which is a fantastic effort considering that we have some very young and inexperienced riders, all of whom coped with the pressure fantastically. Our 80cm team jumped clear in the first line but the second proved trickier. They finished on just 4 faults which is a great achievement, but unfortunately they will probably miss out on the placings. In the final class on Sunday, India Beresford, Maddy Lindop, Olli Jackson and Jade England represented Ratcliffe in the 1m class. The 1m class is the biggest class, only 19 schools had qualified for this class, and no teams finished on 0 faults at the championships. Our team finished in 5th place overall, on a total of 8 faults (just 4 in each round), with double clears from Olli Jackson and Jade England.

 

Dancing
Enormous congratulations to Isobel Knight who has been selected to represent the GB team at the upcoming Dance World Cup in Jersey. We look forward to hearing how she gets on.

Sibella Chew,
Girls’ Sports Captain.