Sports Reports – 15th September 2014

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Rugby, 1st XV
The 1st XV put on an impressive performance on Saturday, proving early in the season to be a hard hitting tough team to break down defensively. Last week’s Man of the Match, George Clayton, had another key game crossing for a score early in the second-half to give the 1sts a 19 – 10 lead going into the last quarter. Unfortunately, at this point the core of the team was ripped out cruelly through injury: Lewis Lancaster, Rory Thorne and Seb Dewhirst all limped out at a crucial point in the game. New to English soil, Chris Davis, one of our Australian exchange students, played well in a number of positions and really tried to hold the team together; for this he is credited Man of the Match. Princethorpe scored late in the game to snatch victory. However, there were many positives to take from the game.

2nd XV
The 2nd XV did not get off to the best start, being 19 points down after 15 minutes. To their credit, these were the only points that Princethorpe scored and Ratcliffe managed to score 12 points in reply. Unfortunately, a try that was given and then overruled was the difference between a loss and a draw. Player of the Match went to Jacob Holford and special mention to Jamal Pinsent-Heskey for their performances.

The U15s had a much tougher challenge this weekend as they faced a Princethorpe side set firm on avenging last year’s heavy loss. Ratcliffe proved up to the battle, however, and as the match wore on began to find holes. Tiree Cover scored his second try of the season and the team contributed 4 further tries with Ganesh Thapa, Jamie Lanyon and John Sommerville attacking well. Man of the Match went to Captain, Harrison Grimmett, who put in a fantastic stint in defence to ensure a 27 – 3 win and the second game being completed without conceding a try.

A new and inexperienced U15B team took on a well organised Princethorpe team. Ratcliffe had many new players in the side and they learnt very quickly as the game progressed. Two new boys stood out, Brian Leung playing in the front row and Danni Omarov playing at number eight who went on to score three tries. Men of the Match went to Danni for his impressive tries and Harry Palmer for controlling the game and organising the team constructively.

The U14 team produced an excellent attacking and defensive display to beat comprehensively Princethorpe, 56 – 26. Men of the Match Alex Purcell and Rory Stoker scored three tries apiece, while Toby Snell kicked eight conversions. The other Ratcliffe try scores were Luke Chilton and James Berns.

In an excellent game, the U13s lost 41-22 to a very big and very physical Princethorpe team. A fantastic first-half by Ratcliffe, with some inspirational play by Will Westwood, saw the team ahead 19 – 10 at half-time. Princethorpe came back strongly in the second-half, eventually overpowering a tiring Ratcliffe team. Will Westwood was once again the stand out player but Man of the Match was Matt Elton for his excellent running and brave tackling.

The U13B team played bravely and with spirit managing an exciting try and conversion from Tom Binnie. Player of the Match was Ellis Gee who performed consistently as our strongman in attack and defence. Final score: Princethorpe 42, Ratcliffe 7

Mid-week the U12s put on a very convincing performance in their first rugby match of the season, comfortably defeating an inexperienced De Lisle side 55 – 0. Their organisation around the break down and line speed were crucial in placing De Lisle under constant pressure, ensuring that they never stepped foot in our own 22, never mind getting near our try line. Man of the Match was Tom Page who scored two tries and played a role in many others. His vision was exquisite and ability to attack and exploit space in front of him ensured the opposition stayed on the back foot!

A whole team effort on Saturday ensured a solid 45 – 0 victory against Princethrope. The forwards worked incredibly hard in the hot sun to secure good, clean, quick ball; with our backs gratefully taking advantage of this, looking very organised and ruthless in attack, scoring some brilliant tries in the process! Man of the Match, Sam Bullock, demonstrated a world-class display in scrummaging; his line throwing was pin point and his tireless work in securing the ball at the breakdown was second to none! A complete all-round performance!

Rory Thorne,
Boys’ Sports Captain

Hockey, 1st XI
The 1st XI had a tough first fixture to open the season, and they started nervously, but they played some excellent hockey and the work we had done in pre-season really shone through.  Unfortunately, the girls got caught on the break against some very quick and skilful players resulting in a 3 – 0 loss. The girls should be happy with their first performance with lots of things to build on. Players’ Player goes to Imogen Power and Coaches’ Player to the whole team for their hard work and attitude.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI kicked off their season with an impressive 2 – 1 win against Princethorpe. The girls dominated possession for most of the game, keeping the ball moving and switching play effectively. Their work rate and willingness to play for each other meant that they could have scored many more goals than they did. A goal in each half was the difference between the team, with Megan Gray scoring the 2nd with a well taken finish. Player of the Match goes to Captain Elena Wheatley for her organisation and effort.

The U15s had a tough opening game against a very competitive Princethorpe side, who had a couple of strong players which made the difference. Both halves were very equal, with only 2 well-worked corner routines separating the sides going into the last 5 minutes. There were encouraging signs during the game for Ratcliffe with various players putting in maximum effort and having good games, none more so than Player of the Match, Niamh Delargy. As Ratcliffe got tired, Princethorpe scored 2 more goals in the closing stages, which made the final 4 -0 defeat a little bit harsh on the home side.

The U14s learnt a very important lesson on Saturday. You have to keep playing until the final whistle, not two minutes before the end. Having played some excellent hockey to be leading 1- 0 through a coolly taken goal by Olivia Carpenter,the team were disappointed to concede an equaliser right at the death. However, this was a very encouraging first game of the season. Players of the Match were Holly Bown, Eleanor Brambell and Katie Honey, all making their A team debuts.

U13 A
The U13A team drew 1 – 1 after taking a while to settle and conceding an early goal. However, as it was the first game of the season this was to be expected. They all worked hard to create space and move well. Ellie Hollinshead and Sharmel Yappa worked particularly well on the wings to create good opportunities for attack, with great wing play from Ellie setting up Liyah Pinsent-Heskey for the equaliser.  Abigail Santaney received Player of the Match for a solid, disciplined performance in defence.

For the first game of the season, the U13B girls showed great commitment and finished the game with a 2 – 1 win. Following superb defending, Bo Henderson, Betsy Poll and Vicky Studd worked particularly well in mid-field showing exceptional spatial awareness. The girls provided a number of accurate balls into Hannah Ball who received Player of the Match for her solid performance and outstanding finishes, scoring two goals.

U12 A&B
The U12 A & B sides had a successful start to the season winning 5 – 0 and 8 – 0 respectively. Both teams used the width of the pitch well and the A team defenders Aimee Cleminson and Emily McBallantine were outstanding, earning themselves Players of the Match. Annabelle Mills was Player of the Match for the B team for her high work rate throughout the match.

Congratulations to Mia Atkinson who ran the 800 in the Inter-counties competition on Saturday in Humberside and came 2nd in her race getting, recording a personnel best of 2 minutes 25 seconds.

Angharad Lloyd,
Girls’ Sports Captain.