Sports Reports – 14th September 2015

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Well done to the boys on a very good start to the season this weekend against strong opposition with 4 wins, 3 losses and a draw from the 8 games played.

1st XV

The 1st XV played in a spirited and organised fashion against a well organised and talented Princethorpe side who were smarting from a big loss mid-week. The game was an aggressive affair with neither set of forwards prepared to back down. Princethorpe had a pacey back line who had many options in attack and they took the lead with 2 tries that resulted from well organised back plays. That said, the Ratcliffe side rallied and scored 2 forwards’ tries by Sam Tyler and Luke Gyesi-Appiah from well executed passages of play, whilst the back line finished of a well-rehearsed move that saw Tiree Cover finish in the corner. Whilst it was a disappointment to lose 42 – 15, there was little difference apart from four well-finished tries from the talented Princethorpe full-back. Man of the Match was Charlie Pickering for his exceptional leadership and all-round play.

2nd XV

The 2nd XV beat Princethorpe 19 – 14. The backs were well organised and ran strongly when given the opportunity, but it was in the forwards where this game was won. A dominant performance by the entire pack allowed Princethorpe very little clean ball. Ben Dexter scored the first try with a forward drive from almost on the 22m line.  Daniyal Omarov ran over the line powerfully in the second-half and in between, Sam Bird finished off a lovely move involving both backs and forwards. Sam also kicked 2 conversions. The entire pack were awarded Players of the Match.


The U15 team opened their account with a hard fought win over Princethorpe. In a game of multiple mistakes and penalties, scoring chances were hard to come by. Moments of brilliance by Rory Stoker and Henry Wells looked to have set the tone to cruise to victory but Princethorpe fought hard, with the game ending with a 14 – 7 victory for Ratcliffe and James Berns Man of the Match.


Ratcliffe won an open, running game 24 – 21 with Reece Goodman and Sam Surridge scoring two tries apiece; Reece Goodman converting two of the tries.  There were some notable debuts for Matthew Garcia and Josef Hluchan in the centre who both ran straight and made the hard yards and also from Alex Petit on the wing. Matthew Wetton played extremely well at full-back, and the Captain, Reece Goodman, led from the front. The forwards, where a number of people were played out of position, proved to be a cohesive unit with Dagogo Apiafi making another impressive debut on the flank. Man of the Match was Sam Surridge for his powerful running and good work at the breakdown.


The U14 team made an excellent start to the season, beating Princethorpe 52 – 12.  An excellent defensive display limited the opposition in attack with the whole team tackling superbly. The front row had an excellent game, controlling the scrummage and winning ball against the head. The threat of the back line was evident throughout and Fin Back shone on his debut. The Ratcliffe try scorers were Will Westwood (4), Fin Back (2) and one apiece for Matthew Egglenton, and Alex Bown.



The U13s drew a fantastically intense game 7 – 7. Ratcliffe were still asleep when Princethorpe scored their first try after only two minutes but they came back strongly with a well-taken try by Aled King and a superb wide out conversion from Tom Page, which was ultimately a key kick in Ratcliffe not losing the game. After the initial scores, the game settled down into one for the defence purists with both teams tackling superbly and no more tries being scored despite some excellent attacking play all-round. The Ratcliffe boys should be very proud of their efforts as they had to defend for long periods in their own half but they were determined not to let the opposition score again. Man of the Match goes to the whole team for their spirited defensive efforts.




An inexperienced U13/U12B side suffered a loss in their first fixture of the season by a score of 45 – 12. The well organised Princethorpe side got off to a strong start, scoring a couple of well worked tries. As the first-half was drawing to a close, things appeared to be looking bleak for Ratcliffe. However, a few positive minutes of play led to Hugo Ziff breaking through the Princethorpe defence to score a try just before the half-time whistle to gain some momentum for the Ratcliffe boys. Despite the raised hopes at the break, the second-half was dominated by the visitors as they piled on the pressure and scored 3 tries in quick succession and took the game out of reach. Although the match ended in defeat, there were many positives to be taken from the game including good performances from Henry Bower, Guy Heywood and a Man of the Match performance from Hugo Ziff who always looked to be positive moving forwards.




The U12s team delivered its first win of the 2015-2016 season with a Ratcliffe 21 – 0 over De Lisle mid-week. Captain, Louie Fletcher, anchored an ambitious defence shutting down a hard running De Lisle attack. The first try was scored by Xavier Henderson after an excellent break. Full-back Xabi Zanotti scored at the end of the third-quarter showing evasive running skills to build the Ratcliffe lead to 14 – 0, with Louie Fletcher converting. Sam Storrey produced the final score of the game benefitting from some good handling. Man of the Match was Louie Fletcher for an excellent all-round game.


Ratcliffe were beaten 40 – 7 by a good Princethorpe side on Saturday. The team were let down by some poor defence and communication in the first-half, but showed a lot of attacking potential in the second, with Sam Linnett scoring a try from a quick tap penalty.  Man of the Match was Rajen Gupta, for his excellent attitude and the strength of his tackling.


Cross Country


Congratulations to Alfie Thompson who has qualified for the Home International Junior Mountain Running team representing England on 19th September.


Well done to Mia Atkinson who finished 2nd and Alice Daniel and Alfie Thompson who came 1st in their respective County Cross Country races at the weekend.


Sam Nightingale,

Boys’ Sports Captain.


Girls Hockey


1st XI


The 1st XI played well in their first fixture of the season, against a well set-up Princethorpe team. The lack of match practice showed in the first 15 minutes with Princethorpe having the majority of possession. However, Ratcliffe fought hard and had a positive attitude which was evident in the execution of their well-worked goal, finished emphatically by Megan Gray. Ratcliffe worked well and absorbed a lot of pressure in defence; with special mention going to Millie Ellis who worked tirelessly and Hannah Grinham who made some excellent saves. Princethorpe just had that little bit more match readiness and ended up winning the game 4 – 1. Joint Players’ Player of the Match were Hannah and Megan.


2nd XI


The 2nd XI gave a very good account of themselves despite this 2 – 0 defeat. With a young team on the field it took a while for them to get into the match, but they produced some excellent hockey for most of the match. The only bit missing was a little bit more ruthlessness in the final third, which will come. There were pleasing performances all over the pitch with everyone showing enthusiasm and effort in abundance. Player of the Match went to Niamh Delargy whose determination and energy levels were clear for everyone to see.




The U15s entertained a very evenly matched Princethorpe side for their first game of the season. In a fast paced first-half which saw both sides have numerous chances, it was no surprise to see the teams go in 2 – 2 at half-time with goals from Olivia Carpenter and Emily Grimmett. In the end, the difference between the teams came down to the fact that Princethorpe were a little bit more match-ready having played a few more games. In a 10-minute spell at the start of the second-half, this was evident as Ratcliffe gifted Princethorpe 3 soft goals. Ratcliffe fought back well in the latter stages and were rewarded with a consolation goal scored by Emily Grimmett for her second of the game, but it was not enough as Princethorpe ran out 5 – 3 winners.  Joint Players’ Player of the Match were Isabelle Coombs and Ellie-May Bullock.





The U14s had their first game of the season against Princethorpe College. It was pleasing to see that the girls applied the concepts and skills they had worked hard on last season. We looked particularly strong in defence, and despite a lot of pressure from Princethorpe, we only conceded one goal. Elle Hall had an outstanding game in goal, earning herself Player of the Match. In the second-half Ratcliffe looked much more threatening in attack and started to create some good chances. We were unlucky not to score after a period of good sustained pressure, meaning the game finished 1 – 0 to Princethorpe. Well done to all the girls that played.


The U13 girls narrowly lost 2 – 0 to a strong Princethorpe side. It was a game of two halves, with Princethorpe scoring their goals in the opening half and Ratcliffe coming back strongly in the latter. Half-time gave the girls a chance to regroup and they came out strongly with some excellent game play and producing some chances at goal. Goalkeeper and Captain for the day Mimi Khan, was superb, making multiple, crucial saves throughout the game. The Players’ Player of the Match was awarded to Annabel Mills for her outstanding bravery in defence and pin-point passing to wide areas. The Coaches’ Player of the Match, which is awarded to the person who gives the most effort, was Aimee Cleminson for her fantastic work rate in the mid-field.




The U12A team put in a pleasing performance, despite losing 3 – 1 to Princethorpe. Co-Captains’ Elise Atkinson and Annie Rose Reddin led by example with their determination and perseverance. Goal Keeper and Player of the Match, Matilda Cregeen, did an outstanding job in goal, making some fabulous saves. The girls should be pleased with themselves, despite losing.



The U12B girls were very excited for their first game of the season against Princethorpe. The girls started with a strong dominating performance, stringing together some brilliant passes, which led to their first goal within the first two minutes of the game from Olivia Crawley. The girls improved throughout the game, thinking about the space on the pitch, using the width and communicating to each other. A further two goals came from Olivia Crawley to round off a pleasing first performance. Player of the Match goes to Marley Totton for her excellent defending and determination throughout the game. The final score was 3 – 0 to Ratcliffe. Well done to everyone on a great way to start the season.



Congratulations to Elizabeth Rigley who has recently been picked as a member of the Ladies’ Great Britain Speedway Squad.


Well done to Jade England who competed in the Pony Club Tetrathlon National Championships in August, after being placed in the top 4 in the area qualifier in July in the Junior Girls’ section (14 years and under), where she swam a personal best and was the only East of England junior girl to ride clear over a testing cross-country course.



Emily Dunne (year 10) and Aimee Cleminson (year 8) both represented Leicestershire and Rutland County Junior girls golf team on Sunday 13th September 2015 in a match against Lincolnshire at The Rutland County Golf Club. They both played brilliantly which helped the team secure their first win of the season.




Sibella Chew,

Girls’ Sports Captain.