Sports Reports – 10th March 2014

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County Hockey

Many congratulations to the Boys’ U12 hockey team who won their County Tournament last week, beating Leicester and Loughborough Grammar on the way. The boys faced Leicester Grammar in their first game where a hat-trick from Will Westwood secured a 3 – 0 win. In their second game against Welland Park, Will followed up his hat-trick in the previous with another here for a 3 – 0 win. This left the toughest test to come against Loughborough Grammar but with the boys full of confidence, they finished the game 2 – 1 winners. It was a close game with goals being scored by Tom Binnie and another from goal machine Will Westwood! A draw in the last game against Brookvalle would have been good enough, but the boys were having none of that, finishing 4 – 0 winners with goals from Harry Best, Billy Hull and a ninth from Will Westwood. This left the boys with a tremendous record of played 4, won 4, scoring 13 goals and conceding only 1. This means that they now go forward to the regional rounds of the competition along with the U11s and U13s who have also qualified. Player of the Tournament was an easy decision to make with Will Westwood scoring 9 goals and defending when needed. This performance earns them the boys’ team of the week award.


The U15 rugby team were finally knocked out of the County Cup by Uppingham Community College. The game was largely an even affair but three moments of individual brilliance helped Uppingham pull away to win 21 – 0.  Alex Keay took Man of the Match for his never say die attitude.

On Saturday the U12 rugby team played a tough match against Syston rugby club, eventually losing 17 – 7. Despite an early Syston try, the boys fought hard in the first-half and a good try by Harry Culpin levelled the scores before half-time. Despite some good defensive work by Ratcliffe, Syston dominated the second-half scoring two more tries. Gianluca Bucci was Man of the Match for his strong ball carrying and good work at the breakdown.


Congratulations to Old Boy Sam Stabler who has just been named Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. This award is voted for by the league’s head coaches. Sam set a conference championship record in the mile with a time of 4:03.14 in the preliminaries, before winning the final in 4:10.61. The graduate student was also tabbed as the men’s outstanding runner. He claimed victories in the 3,000-metres (8:21.69) and ran a leg of the record-setting distance medley relay. The Lamar quartet including Sam won the event with a university-record time of 9:54:13, which broke the 18-year old conference record by five seconds and set a new facility mark by three.

William Hoare,
Boys’ Sports Captain.


1st VII

Mid-week game against QE, the 1st VII had to contend with 2 six-foot shooters but this did not deter their tenacity. This necessitated a change of positions and congratulations must go to defenders Chrissy Taylor and Nima Patel who rose to the challenge! This said, it was a whole team performance and the standard of shooting was excellent, with Player of the Match going to Nima.

On Saturday the 1st VII continued their more determined style of play against Mount St Mary’s where the winning score of 26 – 10 did not reflect the fight that Mount put up. The whole team had to work tactically to secure turn overs and once again Chrissy and Nima proved their worth. They set up some fluent attacking passages of play through the whole court which resulted in excellent goal shooting opportunities. It is difficult to give any one player, Player of the Match, as it was a fantastic whole team effort.
This performance earns them the team of the week award.

2nd VII

The 2nd VII secured a resounding 35 – 11 win against Mount St Mary’s. The whole team defended well, making numerous interceptions in all areas of the court. The whole team pulled together to create some polished and fluent attacking moves. Players of the Match were Charley and Chloe Flowers.

3rd VII

The 3rd VII started slowly in the first-quarter and were down 3 – 5 at the first break. An excellent second-quarter, with strong centre-court play and consistent shooting from Player of the Match Katy Westwood, saw us score 8 goals with no reply from the opposition; giving us an 11 – 5 lead at half-time. We continued the excellent play in the last two quarters, winning 21 – 10.

4th VII

The 4th VII faced their second match of the season mid-week against QE. The girls were really motivated towards the game and set off to a strong start, with a tough QE side and a few Ratcliffe players having to play for the other side, meaning it wasn’t going to be easy. After the first-half, the girls had an awesome lead against the opposition, through some great shooting from Eve Marshall, and mid-court play from the attacking players. QE made a few changes to their team, and managed to close the gap which Ratcliffe had gained. However, a strong Ratcliffe side didn’t let this deter them, and managed to increase their lead to a final score of 23 – 6. It was great to see all the girls participating and having a go at every position on the pitch, with special congratulations to Eve Marshall who was awarded The Player of the Match.


The U15A team game was fairly evenly matched with excellent defence from both teams with Olivia Gilchrist and Megan Vincent playing very well. During the first three-quarters it was Wellingborough that were more effective in breaking through the defence and took an 8 goal lead. Ratcliffe had an excellent final-quarter, with excellent shooting from Holly Blount and excellent work rate from Yasmin Gill who were both Joint Players of the Match. Despite winning the final-quarter comfortably, the goal difference was not enough to steal the victory, with the final score being 21 – 16 to Wellingborough.


The U15B team had a well-deserved win over Mount St Mary’s. The opening quarter saw Ratcliffe leading 3 – 2 after some great shots on goal from Holly Brown. Emma Taylor-Clarke was excellent in defence, taking numerous interceptions on which mid-court players, Kate Scarborough, Megan Grey and Lauren Ball capitalised. In the last quarter, the opposition were relentless and the scores were pretty even. However, owing to some brilliant feeds into Charlotte Hull from Lauren Ball, Ratcliffe won 13 – 11. Players of the Match are awarded to Emma Taylor-Clarke, Holly Brown and Charlotte Hull for an overall great contribution to the game.

Mid-week the U15B team pulled off an excellent 19-all draw against Wellingborough. Captain, Holly Brown, led by example and marshalled her troops into working as a unit. Emma Taylor-Clark had an excellent game in defence as Wellingborough came from behind to take the lead going into the final-quarter. However, Ratcliffe were determined and were unlucky not to score in the dying seconds of the game.


The U14A team had a convincing 43 – 0 win over their opposition Mount St Mary’s. The opening quarter saw some excellent shooting from Captain, Kate Tyszka and at quarter-time Ratcliffe led 17 – 0. Isabelle Duckett had a superb game at Wing Defence putting immense pressure on the oppositions attacking play. Our circle defence, Beatrice Waters, Natasha Walsh and Beth Pickup held off all attempts at goal displaying some excellent defensive techniques. Olivia Back had a great game at Centre and Wing Defence, in one quarter she turned every centre pass from the opposition which the rest of the team were able to capitalise on. All of the girls played brilliantly and at times not in their preferred position, for this reason all of the girls have been awarded Player of the Match.


The U13 girls played some good netball throughout their 21 – 9 win. There were some lovely passing and movement phases with the ball played well into the circle. Mount St Mary’s defended well and made it difficult for the Ratcliffe girls to play flowing netball. Coaches’ player goes to Olivia Carpenter who played well in both attack and defence, making some lovely movements. Players Player goes to Mollie Page.


The U12A team beat Mount St Mary’s 22 – 3. The team were looking for a win to build their confidence ready for the county tournament next weekend. Ratcliffe got off to a good start with a 5 – 1 lead over Mount and the girls continued to work hard with some excellent play. Hannah Ball demonstrated some excellent shooting, while Sharmel Yapa was voted Player of the Match.

Uppingham Netball Tournament

Ratcliffe U15A netball team played in an invitational tournament at Uppingham on Saturday. The first group game was against Denstone and despite not playing to their full potential, won the game 9 – 8. The following three games were a lot tougher and the girls really raised their standard of play. At times they showed flair and skill in attack, and worked hard in defence to deny the opposition time and space. However, inconsistencies and lapses in concentration cost us too often, meaning we finished third in our group. Players of the Tournament were Megan Vincent and Olivia Gilchrist, who both worked hard to dictate the play and control the games.

County Hockey

The U12 Girls came third in their tournament. Their first opponents were a well organised Leicester Grammar team. The girls had most of the possession during the game, but couldn’t break through a very strong defence and were unfortunate to concede two break away goals, losing the game 2 – 0.  Loughborough Grammar were the next opponents; Ratlciffe started strong maintaining possession but the Loughborough girls were just too skilful and Ratcliffe could not come back from a couple of quick goals, losing this game. The girls’ next game was against Welland Park, Ratcliffe had a fantastic game, passing the ball well and converting their chances with goals scored by Sharmel Yappa one, and four from Mia Atkinson.  The girls went into their last game full of confidence, knowing that they had just won as well as played some great hockey.  Dixie Grammar were tough opponents and certainly had every player behind the ball and on the line.  Ratcliffe had plenty of shots at goal but the ball just kept on getting cleared of the line, while Dixie broke away and scored a well worked goal. However, Ratcliffe created many more opportunities with Mia Atkinson scoring a fantastic goal, making the final score 1 – 1. The girls should be very proud of their performance and work rate. Player of the Tournament goes to Mia Atkinson who worked tirelessly in both defence and attack.

Sorcha Grant,
Girls’ Sports Captain.