Sports Reports – 16th November 2015

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Rugby - 1st XV

With 23 senior players unavailable this weekend owing to injury, illness and unavailability, the 1st XV match away against Wellingborough was always going to be a tough affair. Playing against the wind in the first-half, Wellingborough played superbly and put together some clever moves for their backs to score on four occasions in what was to prove the only key difference between the sides. In the second-half, which was a very evenly matched affair, the home-side added a further score after a couple of missed tackles. The result of 33 – 0 was not a true representation of the territorial percentages and with a lot of last minute changes to the side owing to injury and illness, the result was encouraging with many strong performances from those who stepped up at the last minute. Man of the Match was awarded to Ollie Thornton for an excellent performance at full-back, with some well taken catches and strong lines of running.

2nd XV

Despite being decimated by injuries and illness, the 2nd XV very nearly pulled off the most unlikely of victories. Only a last minute conversion, bringing the scores level at 17 all, prevented a memorable win. Jamie Lanyon, Dani Omarov and Man of the Match, Fintan Redmond, were Ratcliffe’s try scorers, while Micah Pinsent-Heskey kicked a vital conversion. The team were very well led by Captain on the day, Joey Higham.


Ratcliffe put in a good team display but ultimately succumbed to a free-running Wellingborough side, losing 31 – 7.  Callum Allsopp was outstanding as Captain and Bishnu Thapa led a strong defensive effort in the second-half.  Rory Stoker and Henry Wells made good runs in midfield and tackled hard throughout, with James Berns scoring the only try.


The U15B side played very well but fell to a good Wellingborough team, 32 – 7. The forward play led by Matteo Arranz was effective at the breakdown and in the scrums, while the backs were led effectively by Captain, Reece Goodman. All the team worked hard throughout and credit must be given to them for never giving up. Men of the Match go to Matteo Arranz and Alex Schoeller who showed consistent dedication in defence and attack throughout.


In a game of two halves, the U14s narrowly beat Wellingborough 21 – 19.  A superb start saw Ratcliffe score a well worked try through the backline.  Fin Back’s chip through created space for Will Westwood to collect and score in the corner. Two further tries, one for Fin and a further for Will, gave Ratcliffe a 21 – 7 lead at half-time. However, the second-half saw Wellingborough fight back, scoring two quick tries. Critically they missed the conversion to equalise and Ratcliffe defended resolutely for the final 15 minutes to hold on. Men of the Match were Fin Back and Jacob Dawe for their excellent commitment across the pitch.


In their best performance of the season, the U13s played superbly to beat a big, feisty and committed Wellingborough side 24 – 7. Ratcliffe dominated possession and rucked superbly and eventually the gaps appeared with Sam Seidu scoring a superb individual try. Sam Bullock had a typically strong performance scoring a further two tries, with Connor Foster finishing very well to score the final Ratcliffe try. The forwards’ rucking was outstanding throughout and Aled King had a particularly strong game. James Turner took high balls very well and ran strongly from full-back, while Tom Page had another excellent game at fly-half. Stanley Chell was Man of the Match for a superb all-round performance.

Sam Nightingale,

Boys’ Sports Captain


1st XI

The 1st XI lost 4 – 0 against Oundle, although they were unlucky not to get on the score sheet. After a good start we went behind to a well worked short corner routine. During the second-half we created a number of scoring opportunities but just could not find the final touch. Player of the Match, Emma Furlong, tried her best to drive the team on with some excellent defending and passes forward.


The U15 girls played their first game after returning back from half-term and unfortunately ended up losing 3 – 2, in a game they really should have won. Things started brightly for Ratcliffe, and they were rewarded mid-way through the first-half as they took a deserved lead through Molly Edwards, after some great build-up play by joint Player of the Match, Mollie Page. Unfortunately, against the run of play they were soon pegged back when Oundle scored an equalizer, meaning that the sides went into half-time all square. Ratcliffe started the second-half by playing their best hockey of the game and dominated for about 20 minutes.  However, for all their dominance they unfortunately only managed to score 1 goal, calmly finished by Isabelle Coombs and set up by joint Player of the Match, Olivia Carpenter. This proved costly as Ratcliffe appeared to stop playing in the last five minutes and they were punished by a persistent Oundle side that scored 2 late goals to snatch victory.


The U15B team had their second game of the season and they came up against a strong Oundle side, eventually losing 6 – 0. This score line, however, did not tell the fully story of the game, as it was only 2 – 0 with 10 minutes remaining. Ratcliffe had to work hard throughout the game to try and keep Oundle at bay, with Player of the Match, Ceri Graham, setting a great example to the rest with her work rate. Unfortunately, this intensity meant they ran out steam towards the end and Oundle were able to take full advantage of this, scoring 4 late goals. The final score line did not reflect the whole game and the girls should be proud of how hard they worked.


The U14s played extremely well against a strong Oundle side. For the first part of the game Ratcliffe dominated play. We moved the ball around effectively, patiently creating attacks and were rewarded with the opening goal. Oundle always looked threatening on the break and they eventually capitalised on their pace up front to level the game going into half-time. During the second-half both teams were determined not to settle for a draw and pressed hard to find the winner. With 5 minutes to play we came close with a handful of penalty corners, matched by excellent saves from the Oundle Goal Keeper. Then with 2 minutes to play, it looked like Oundle would sneak the victory had it not been for excellent defending from our defensive line, most notably from Player of the Match, Flora Colville, with some brilliant first runner defending on penalty corners. Despite the exciting and nerve-racking finish to the game, the score remained 1 – 1 and all the players had to settle for what was a fair draw. 

Sibella Chew,

Girls’ Sports Captain.