Sports Reports – 10th November 2014

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Rugby, 1st XV
The 1st XV have had a busy three days, starting with Welbeck in the Leicestershire cup on Thursday. In an eagerly awaited return match and still sore from the loss back in September, Ratcliffe had revenge with an outstanding performance, particularly in the first-half when 7 unanswered tries were scored from forwards and backs alike. The 39 – 0 away win against a strong and imposing Welbeck side was a pleasing start to the second half of term. Following this win the boys had a home tie against Wisbech. Terrible conditions did little to affect the home side’s intention for quality set piece play and solid defence. With conditions to suit the forwards, Captain Rory Thorne scored 3 superb tries from catch and drive rehearsed plays. A solitary score from the opposition was the only downside to the day which finished 17 – 8 to Ratcliffe and the season firmly back on track.

2nd XV
The 2nd XV had a very good 14 – 12 win in an equally matched game. However, it was pleasing to see the Ratcliffe team, under the debut captaincy of Finbarr Lloyd, wanting it more and putting in the work needed to win. Man of the Match was Jamma Djamaladdin for his efforts and the try he scored, with James Robinson the other scorer.

U15
The U15s came through a fierce encounter with Wisbech to remain unbeaten. Conditions were conducive to Ratcliffe’s preferred, forward-orientated style of rugby and they executed well, playing nine men rugby. Wisbech also played well, using the wind to good effect with the half-time score 12-all. A burst of two tries at the start of the second-half secured the game with some impressive forward play, while Captain Harrison Grimmett capped the victory with a try in the final play of the match. Ganesh Thapa was Man of the Match in a 29 – 19 win.

U14
The U14 rugby remain unbeaten after a convincing 54 – 5 win against Wisbech. Some excellent support play saw Ratcliffe score eight tries. Seven of these were scored by the backline, who also produced an excellent defensive display. Henry Wells, Alex Purcell and Rory Stocker all scored twice; while Anthony Elumelu capped an excellent performance with the last try of the match. Toby Snell kicked seven of the eight conversions. Man of the Match was Henry Wells for his all-round attacking and support play.

U13
The U13s made a good start to the second-half of term with a 45 – 26 win against Wisbech. Ratcliffe were excellent in attack, scoring seven tries with four from Will Westwood and two from Harry Thompson. It was a shame that poor Ratcliffe tackling let Wisbech back into the game to make the score line closer than it should have been. Men of the Match were Harry Thompson and Harry Culpin for their strong ball carrying.

U12
The U12s picked up where they left off before half-term with an imposing 54 – 0 victory against Wisbech. A textbook display from our forwards provided a good platform for our backs to attack, with special mention to Sam Bullock who was outstanding around the breakdown. The backs ran hard and straight, exposing Wisbech’s inferior tackling, with both Fin Back and Tom Page scoring hat-tricks. Man of the Match was Harry Cusack ,whose rucking was excellent today, along with making some impressive carries when he had the ball in hand, all while playing through the pain barrier.

U13/12 combined
After a long drive to Wisbech, the students switched on quickly to get an early lead that they never looked like losing with impressive performances from the forwards and backs combined in a 36 – 10 win. Man of the Match went to scrum-half Joe Hunt for his great control and a few tries.

Squash
Congratulations to Jake Kirkby who won the Boys’ U13 squash tournament in Leicester over half-term.

Rory Thorne,
Boys’ Sports Captain.

Hockey, 1st XI
The 1st XI had a disappointing afternoon losing heavily to a strong Denstone side. Conceding early goals just made the task so much harder as the game went on and they struggled to get to grips with Denstone’s passing game. The girls themselves and the staff will be looking for a positive reaction this week in training.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI were unlucky to lose 1 – 0, conceding a goal in the last few minutes. Ratcliffe rode their luck at times but some excellent defending from all the girls kept Denstone out. With Players of the Match Greta Mckean who was outstanding in attack and Annabelle Tomlinson showing tremendous endeavour and determination, the girls will be looking forward to the games ahead.

U15
The U15s had their first game back after half-term and unfortunately never got going in a game where Denstone were the better team, winning 3 – 0. The game started fairly evenly with Ratcliffe having their best chances in the first ten minutes, but Denstone took the lead midway through the first-half and dominated the game from this point onwards. Player of the Match, Hannah Grinham, did all she could in preventing the score-line from being higher, in what proved to be a very under par performance from the team. Ratcliffe now need to pick themselves up and refocus in time for their next game, by rediscovering some of the play that they have developed and shown at times earlier in the season.

U14
The U14s drew 2 – 2 in a game which they could have won. Patches of brilliant attacking and defending play were interspersed with lack lustre performances and a lack of concentration in the last minute of the game allowed Denstone to score their second goal. Nicole Spencer, Molly Edwards and Olivia Carpenter had great games and Player of the Match goes to Emily Grimmett for her continuous determination.

U13
The U13 girls played their best match of the season in the 1 – 1 draw. Individually, Denstone were much stronger and demonstrated excellent skills, but Ratcliffe out-played them in every area of the pitch showing more determination, better fitness and excellent team work. We attacked well from defensive positions with Sharmel Yapa and Liyah Pinsent-Heskey offering excellent width and Holly Vinall excellent height, to give us plenty of space to play in. We used this very well, with Player of the Match, Mia Atkinson, dictating the play, encouraging us to pass the ball around well and all the girls made excellent decisions. Defensively we were excellent with Layla Bott organising the forwards to deny Denstone as much space as possible and further back, Abi Santaney rarely letting the opposition past her. The only goal Denstone scored was from a well taken penalty corner early on in the game. We threatened the Denstone goal throughout the game. We were finally rewarded with an excellent strike from Mia Atkinson to secure a well-deserved draw against a strong opposition. The girls should be congratulated on an outstanding performance.

U12
The U12A had a well-deserved 2 – 0 win with goals from Lucy Antill and Becky Lindley. They were strong in all areas of the pitch and special mention must go to Player of the Match, Mimi Khan, making her debut in goal for the A team, saving several potential goals.

U12 B
The U12 B team played a strong Denstone team. Having scored in the first 5 minutes they then went on to lose 4 – 1. However, the girls morale meant they continued to play well throughout. Dalila Watson and Kadie Cowlishaw earned Players of the Match for their outstanding effort in defence.

Netball
In their county netball tournament, the First VII team played some superb netball, using the width of the court well. In defence, the new partnership of Adelaide Muskwe and Megan Vincent showed what a force they are going to be next term, while at centre, Olivia Gilchrist used her excellent ball handling and agile movement skills to link defence with attack. Losing in the quarter-final to eventual winners, QE, was slightly disappointing but the level of performance all bodes well for their forthcoming season.

Angharad Lloyd,
Girls’ Sports Captain.