Sports Report – 9th November 2015

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Rugby - 1st XV

Before half-term the 1st XV played their final game of the half-term with a tough encounter against a well-drilled Welbeck side, unfortunately losing 12 – 0. It was an encouraging and brave performance by the home side who played with ferocious intent from the start, making good ground with lots of big carries by Toby Smith and Ganesh Thapa. They were superbly marshalled by Captain, Charlie Pickering. Sadly, the lineout, normally a strong point of the side’s armoury, was blighted by the loss of Will Harkness in the warm up, who would normally throw in. That said, the boys worked tirelessly throughout the game and only the smallest of errors were to cost them dearly, with Welbeck capitalising on the smallest of mistakes at the end of both halves, to score two tries. Man of the Match goes to Ganesh who had a great all-round performance.

On Saturday the 1st XV put in a strong performance that resulted in a 17 – 11 win over Wisbech. Playing with the wind, in atrocious conditions, the first-half was an evenly matched affair, although ill-discipline at the breakdown gifted the home side two duly converted penalties in the early quarter of the match. However, well-constructed and sublime play from the backs saw Captain, Charlie Pickering, crash over the line just before half-time which was converted by Richard Ward to leave the score 7 – 6 to Ratcliffe at the interval. Playing against the wind in the second-half gave much cause for concern; however, the boys raised their game and after numerous phases Tom Brambell scored near the posts. With the extras added and a further penalty the score line was 17 – 6 to Ratcliffe with a nervous final 15 minutes to play. After considerable pressure was absorbed, a kick through from Wisbech was collected and scored, leaving 7 minutes to play with the score line at 17 – 11. There were several hairy moments in the closing stages but the lads held out to record a pleasing win. Man of the Match goes to Harry Brooks for some impressive runs and tireless work at the breakdown.

2nd XV

Before half-term the 2nd XV lost an exciting game against Welbeck 10 – 26. Ratcliffe started very strongly with David Hippisley-Cox finishing a flowing movement between forwards and backs. Welbeck responded strongly and established a strong lead by half-time mainly owing to disappointingly weak Ratcliffe tackling. The second-half was virtually one-way traffic with Ratcliffe enjoying long periods of possession. Despite this, Ratcliffe were only able to score one more try through Micah Pinsent-Heskey.  Ben Dexter was Man of the Match.

On Saturday, the 2nd team lost 12 – 8 to Wisbech. Jamie Lanyon scored and Matthew Ward kicked what deserved to be the winning penalty, but it was not to be. Sam Nightingale was Man of the Match, leading the side excellently in very difficult circumstances.


Weather and Ratcliffe errors conspired against us in the early part of the game, and allowed Wisbech to score 19 unanswered points in the first-half.  Ratcliffe’s forwards, led by Callum Allsop then led the recovery.  During the second-half, the forwards, who were dominant throughout, scored two quick tries, followed by  one by Man of the Match Rory Stoker, to bring the scores to 19 – 17 to Wisbech.  Luke Chilton completed the comeback with a well-taken try in the corner which was converted by Toby Snell.  Ratcliffe held out for the remainder of the half and won an entertaining game 24 – 19.


Well done to all the U15 and U14 boys who played in the seven’s matches between ourselves and Dixie Grammar on Thursday 15th October. All the Ratcliffe teams were victorious against Dixie and there was some excellent rugby played in the Ratcliffe v Ratcliffe matches.


On a wet and windy day, the U14s scored an impressive 8 tries, defeating Wisbech 48 – 0.  William Westwood, Matthew Elton and Matthew Egglenton scored two tries a piece, while Harry Thompson and Harry Culpin also crossed the try line.  Ratcliffe dominated possession, demonstrating a competitive edge at the breakdown and some direct running in the backline. Man of the Match was George Linnett who worked tirelessly throughout, making an effort to turn the ball over at the breakdown.


In difficult weather conditions the U13s scored 8 tries to comprehensively beat Wisbech 54 – 0. The teams’ main target for the match was to turn over the opposition ball which they were able to do regularly throughout and it provided some excellent counter-attacking opportunities, which were exploited superbly by Connor Foster and Owen Lloyd with two tries each. Tom Page had an excellent all-round game and his place-kicking was exceptional, only missing once. Stanley Chell ‘bossed’ the game from scrum-half, Sam Seidu scored a superb individual try and there were strong performances in the forwards from Archie Heaney, Will Oswell and Aled King. Man of the Match was the ‘jackal’ king, Sam Bullock, with a very impressive tally of seven turnovers.


The under 13/12B team recorded their first win of the season against Wisbech by a score of 25 – 10. A fairly even first-half saw Ratcliffe leading 10 – 5 at the break thanks to tries from John Wells and Ben Chilton. The second-half saw much the same with Wisbech dominating possession at times. However, the Ratcliffe boys stood firm and increased their lead thanks to a blistering run ending in a try for Will Wright and another try for John Wells. Overall, an impressive performance from a team with a lot of potential to improve even further and for individuals to challenge for spots in their respective A teams. Man of the Match goes to John Wells for his 2 tries and excellent organisation throughout the match.


Ratcliffe U12s regretfully lost to Wisbech who scored in the last minutes of the contest to win 26 – 20.  Ratcliffe were well led by tries from Will Marsden, Xabier Xanotti and Captain and Man of the Match, Louis Fletcher, who also converted three times.



Congratulations to Jack Nightingale who has just joined Leicestershire County Cricket Clubs Academy. A very exciting and special achievement for Jack and we look forward to watching him develop over the coming years.

Sam Nightingale,

Boys’ Sports Captain.



1st XI

Ratcliffe had their first game back after the break and lost 10 – 0, as it proved to be unfortunately their toughest fixture of the season so far against a very good Denstone side (with several international players recruited from abroad) who worked the ball around, passed and moved well. Credit must go to all the Ratcliffe girls who worked tirelessly and remained positive throughout. Players of the Match went to Imogen Power who made some cracking saves and Olivia Back who never stopped working and was all over the pitch.


Waiting for report


The U14 girls played by far their best hockey of the season, controlling the match from the first whistle, winning the game comfortably 4 – 2. Liyah Pinsent-Heskey put us in front early on, showing great composure with a well taken goal, with an excellent assist from Flora Colville. We dominated the rest of the first-half, playing creative attacking hockey; however, it was Denstone who surprisingly went into the half-time break 2 – 1 in front. Despite the score-line, and pressure from a feisty Denstone team, Ratcliffe still played excellent hockey during the second-half with Players of the Match, Liyah, Flora Colville and Sofia Henderson linking up excellently in attack. We continued to press hard for a goal and were rewarded with goals from Sofia Henderson and Holly Vinall to take us into the lead with 5 minutes to play. Whilst some might have been happy to defend the 3 – 2 score-line, the girls had other ideas. A killer, defence-splitting pass from Mia Atkinson and another composed finish from Liyah took the score-line to 4 – 2 and sealed an emphatic victory.

Well done to the all the girls.


The U13 girls produced their best team performance of the season thus far with an 8 – 0 win away to Denstone. Denstone could not withstand the strong team effort and desire from the entire Ratcliffe squad, with their great passing hockey style dominating the game. Ellie Gallacher and Aimee Cleminson secured a hat-trick a-piece! Meanwhile Emma Turner produced two superbly taken goals. Players’ Player goes to Ellie Gallacher for her direct, attacking play from centre-forward, while Coach’s Player went to Danni Hendry who slotted into right midfield and made the position her own. Much appreciation to the many parents showing their support to the girls in Denstone, it felt like a home match at times!


The U12A hockey team thoroughly deserved their 9 – 0 win over Denstone,
which included a penalty flick taken very well by Elise Atkinson. Lessons learnt over the last half-term were put into practice as they used the full width of the pitch to create many scoring opportunities. Elise was top scorer with 3 goals, Erin Sommerville and Annie Bridgwood both scored 2, while Annie Rose Reddin scored the best goal of the match. Defenders, Amy Mason and Maddie Bryant, made it difficult, especially
in the first-half, for Denstone to penetrate the circle. It was impossible to give just one Player of the Match, so the award goes to the whole team for a great all-round performance.


The U12B team won 2 – 0 with a dominant performance against Denstone on Saturday. There was some great play from Amelia Chapman down the wing, which created our first goal from Olivia Crawley. This led to us going in at half-time 1 – 0 up. The girls came out strongly in the second-half, fighting for every play on the pitch. After some great defending and passing from Marley Totton and Sophie Wilson, we created our second goal of the match from Ella McNeeney. Player of the Match goes to Ella McNeeney for her excellent passing and work-rate throughout the match.



In the U19s’ County netball tournament, the 1st team lost by 1 goal to Oakham in the semi-final. Some excellent performances in the group games and quarter-finals saw the team work the ball well through the court, achieving high scoring results. Shooters, Charley Flowers, Kate Tyzszka and in particular, joint Player of the Match, Isobel Hose shot well, aided by exceptionally good feeds into the circle from the other Player of the Match, Olivia Back, who also held the team together in the centre-court along with Megan Vincent.  Captain, Adelaide Muskwe, led by example, chasing down every loose ball and making the opposition shooter’s life very difficult. A creditable performance but the semi-final had too many forced errors.

After a successful tournament it was time for the U13 Charnwood Final against Loughborough High mid-week. Ratcliffe played some lovely netball; however, they were not as sharp as Loughborough in the first two quarters and had to chase through the rest of the game. Player of the Match was Ellie Gallacher, whose shooting was on form, scoring goals from the edge of the circle. The girls played better netball in the third and fourth quarters, moving and creating more opportunities, but unfortunately could not quite make up the ground, losing 19 – 11.

The U12 team were unlucky to lose 8 – 7 having had to play extra time and then sudden death. They matched Loughborough in all areas of the court but Loughborough took a half time lead 5 – 3. Ratcliffe dominated the second half with outstanding play from Amy Mason and Player of the Match, Elise Atkinson. Excellent shooting from Annie-Rose Reddin and Annie Bridgwood enabled the team to capitalise on the excellent play and the final score was 7 – 7. A tense 4 minutes of extra time saw neither team score despite chances at both ends. Sudden death was necessary but it was Loughborough who came out eventual winners 8 – 7.

Sibella Chew,

Girls’ Sports Captain.