Sports Reports – 17th March 2014

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1st XI

Our opponents this week were Princethorpe.  From the start, both 1st teams were up for the game and although the standard of hockey was not the best, the effort and work rate from both sides was outstanding. Ratcliffe opened the scoring from a penalty stroke that was brilliantly dispatched by Dominic Warne. Ratcliffe then doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time with a scruffy, but crucial second goal. In the second-half Princethorpe came back strongly and pulled one back, but Ratcliffe managed to hold on for a 2 – 1 victory, with Captain and Player of the Match Will Hoare leading by example.

2nd XI

The 2nd XI played their best hockey for some time but were unlucky to run out 2-1 losers to a Princethorpe team containing a number of their 1st XI squad. Seb Dewhirst was Man of the Match for his tireless work.


The U15s drew 1 – 1 with a well organised Princethorpe side in a most enjoyable game. Ratcliffe went in 1 – 0 up at half-time with a well taken goal by Louis Ayre following a sweeping move with the ball travelling the length of the pitch. Princethorpe came back into the game in the second-half, pressurising Ratcliffe and stopping us from playing our normal game and were good value for their equaliser. Ratcliffe pressed hard to continue their winning run but failed to grab the winner despite creating several chances. Paul Newton impressed on his A team debut but Harry Antill was awarded Player of the Match for an excellent all-round performance.


The U15B team seemed very lethargic in the first-half and were quite fortunate to turn round at half-time 1 – 0 to the good, through a breakaway effort by Finbarr Lloyd. An inspirational half-time talk by Mr Taylor saw the rejuvenated side scoring 4 goals in the first 5 minutes after half-time and Ratcliffe eventually ran out easy 6 -1 victors. Goal scorers were Tom Unwin with a hat-trick, Finbarr Lloyd 2 with Rion Yapp netting the sixth. Players of the Match were Paul Newton and Rion Yappa.


The U14s battled hard for a solid 3 – 0 win over a resolute Princethorpe side. After a tentative opening 10 minutes in which both sides competed hard for possession, the Ratcliffe boys upped their game and started to put quality passes together along with strong running lines into space. With some fine running on the wings by Man of the Match Jack Vinall and Harry Heaney, most of the play was in the opposition’s 25 and D. This allowed Jack to finish strongly with a well taken strike from close range. Shortly after, Sam Bird finished well after several short corners. Much of the possession was retained by Ratcliffe, but Princethorpe opened the second-half far more determined and organised. A well taken strike by Victor Rosell completed the score to end the match with a well-earned victory.


In a frustrating performance the U13s lost 3 – 0 to Princethorpe although the score line does not reflect the balance of the game. Despite dominating the game, particularly in the first-half, with some good build-up play, the team could not create enough goal scoring opportunities whilst at the other end the opposition were able to put away the few chances they had. Men of the Match were Elliott Fawdington for his good work at the back and Toby Snell for his excellent all-round play.


The U12s produced their best performance of the season at just the right time, with their Regional tournament on Monday. With a full strength side to pick from they went at Princethorpe from the first whistle, with Jo Evenden and Oli Welch having a lot of the ball in the middle of the field. This was supported by some excellent movement and work rate from Will Westwood and Jonah Carroll up front. It wasn’t long before the first goal came and yet again it was Will Westwood with the first of his two goals. Another three were to be scored before half-time by Jonah, Harry Best and Will’s second. Harry Best’s goal in Mr Willcock’s (Head of Hockey) words was the perfect goal: a great pass out wide from mid-field, a good lead run forward which was found by an excellent pass and a good cross which was tapped in at the back post by Harry. With the score 4 – 0 at half-time, the job for the second-half was to keep a clean sheet and score more goals. They managed to score another goal through Oli Welch and keep the clean sheet, which was exactly what was asked of them. Everyone played a part in the victory and for that reason this performance earns them team of the week.

County Hockey

After a strong showing in their County tournament the U13 hockey team went to the Midlands with the belief of being able to perform strongly in this higher tier of competition. Despite patches of excellent play, particularly from Man of the Tournament Alex Purcell, the overall results were disappointing. Despite creating at least ten easy goal scoring opportunities, the boys were only able to convert three of these into goals, and despite being the better team in three of the four matches played, they were ultimately only able to win one, draw one and lose two of their games. On another day it could have been so different and this team has the potential to reach the knockout stages of future Midlands competitions, if they can improve their finishing skills as their attacking build-up play is excellent.


Three Ratcliffe students entered the East Midlands British Youth Championship Fencing Qualifier in Mansfield last Saturday. Niamh Noble won a silver medal in the U14 Girls’ Epee and her younger brother Finlay Noble took silver in the U12 Boys’ Epee. Harry Palmer also competed in the Boys’ U14 Epee, where he fenced well and finished 7th out of 10, losing 15 – 14 to the eventual winner. The silver medals won by Niamh and Finlay mean that they have both qualified for the British Youth Championship Finals to be held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. This is a prestigious and large competition that has fencers from all over Britain, each representing their own region.





William Hoare,
Boys’ Sports Captain.


1st VII

The 1st VII picked themselves up after a close but disappointing 15 – 20 loss to Wellingborough, to win a tough and tactical game against Princethorpe 19 – 10. Shooters, Sorcha Grant and Fran Orton, hardly missed all match and the play through the court showed great timing and reading of the game. There were many turnovers, stemming from superb defensive circle play by Nima Patel, Olivia Gilchrist and making her debut, Megan Vincent. All the team rose to the challenge and should be proud of their whole team effort but Player of the Match goes to Sorcha for her consistently high quality play.

2nd VII

The 2nd VII 28 – 25 loss against Princethorpe was a close, high tempo game where neither team was able to dominate. Quality play in all areas of the court was commendable especially from Mimi Lallo which saw her win Player of the Match.

The 2nd team deserved their well-fought win over a strong Wellingborough side mid-week. The girls started out steady and Wellingborough took advantage of this leading 7 – 5 in the first-quarter. They really stepped up their game in the second-quarter with Levina Ma massively influencing play down court and making some great feeds into the circle. Mimi Lallo and Charley Flowers capitalised on this and took us into a 12 – 9 lead at half-time. During the third-quarter the opposition closed the gap; however, solid defence from Lauren White and Poppy Williams ensured we were leading 18 – 16. After a nail biting final-quarter the girls won 24 – 21. Players of the Match were awarded to Levina Ma and Poppy Williams for an overall excellent contribution to the game and taking some great interceptions, which the rest of the team were able to take full advantage of.


The U15 team had a very good game, with patches of excellent play. They showed excellent grit and determination throughout, making it very difficult for Princethorpe to find a rhythm. After having their centre pass turned over early on in the first-quarter, Ratcliffe worked hard not only to win it back but take a comfortable lead which was held until the final-quarter. In the final-quarter Princethorpe took advantage of patchy play by Ratcliffe and brought it back to 16 all. Ratcliffe showed excellent fight, as they defended solidly and attacked with flair to retake the lead and win 19 – 17. Holly Blount was awarded Player of the Match for her excellent movement, shooting and defensive work.


The U14A team came up against a tough Princethorpe side, working hard and gaining a well-deserved win. The opening quarter saw some excellent shots being put away from our shooters Hannah Grinham and Kate Tyszka, giving us a 10 – 4 lead. In the second-quarter, the girls went out fighting and battled hard against a persistent Pricethorpe defence. Olivia Back, Isabelle Duckett and Callista Tsatsa worked the ball beautifully down court and were able to feed the circle consistently well. This contributed to our 16 – 7 lead at half-time. However, in the third-quarter the opposition came back fighting and our circle defence, Natasha Walsh and Beatrice Waters, really upped the pressure on Princethorpe’s attack to ensure we remained in front 20 – 11. In the final-quarter the girls stormed ahead and played their own game, working hard to turnover play and keeping possession, this ensured a 27 – 13 win. Players of the Match were awarded to Hannah Grinham for her excellent shooting and Olivia Back for a well fought match against feisty opposition.


The U14B team had a well-deserved victory over Princethorpe, demonstrating excellent teamwork throughout. In the first-half, solid defence from Georgia Holt, Beatrice Waters and Isobel Thomas combined with hard work from centre-court players; Annie Bridgwater and Lucie Prusinski saw Ratcliffe lead 10 – 0. Eager to keep this lead, the girls went out strong, fighting for every ball and turning over play continuously.  Bethany Pickup, Alex Offer and Niamh Delargy were brilliant substitutions at half-time and helped to keep Ratcliffe’s lead throughout the final-half. Nicole Wong and Lucia Cano played beautifully in the attacking circle, sinking the majority of their shots and reading off each other extremely well, securing a 17 – 3 win for Ratcliffe. Player of the Match was awarded to Nicole Wong for her faultless shooting and an overall great contribution to the game.


The U13A team played some great netball against a very slick attacking side, who had an extremely good shooter. The girls lost 26 – 9 with Player of the Match going to Izzy Hose, whose movement and shooting were excellent.

Mid-week the U13s had a tough match against Stoneygate, taking the advantage and leading in the first-quarter 9 – 4. Ratcliffe played some great netball, turning the ball from defence in to attack, eventually winning 16 – 14. The team was a very mixed group who were not used to playing with each other, and to come back from losing the first-quarter is a great achievement. Coach’s Player goes to Niamh Noble and Players’ Player goes to Ru Tsatsa and Eve Baxter.


Another tough fixture for the U13B team, but the girls stuck at it. Princethorpe had more possession and were able to take advantage of this, winning the game 13 – 5. Player of the Match goes to Izzy Coombs who made some excellent movements throughout the game.


The U12s had a mid-week 22 – 3 win against Stoneygate. The girls were looking for another win to stand them in good stead for their County tournament at the weekend. The girls worked really hard and tried to think about what we had done in their lessons. There were periods of really good play in the middle of the court by both Sofia Henderson and Mia Atkinson who continuously worked hard through the whole game.


The U12B team lost 9 – 4 in a close game with Princethorpe who won the game in the last-quarter. Player of the Match went to Bo Henderson.

County tournament

The U12s went to Leicester Grammar this weekend to compete in their County tournament. The girls were in a tough section against teams such as Leicester Grammar, Loughborough and Leicester High. The girls’ first game was against Leicester Grammar where  there was some good play by both teams, with everyone working hard and determined to progress through to the next round; however, Leicester Grammar scraped a 7 – 5 win. The next match was against Loughborough High, and again it was quite a contest between both teams, with the majority of the play in the middle of the court, caused by great interceptions from both teams, when the chances came. Ratcliffe were determined to make the most of it, but both teams couldn’t be separated, and it finished 3 – 3. The girls needed a win in the last match and faced Leicester High, with the girls getting off to a great start. You could see the girls’ determination to get through to the quarter-finals and the game was stopped with a 10 – 0 score line for Ratcliffe. It was an anxious wait, but the girls had done enough to progress into the quarter-finals against Kibworth. After half-time in the quarter-final, Ratcliffe held a 2 – 1 lead over Kibworth; however, it could have gone either way as both teams couldn’t be separated. Ratcliffe were unlucky and eventually lost 4 – 3.

Sorcha Grant,
Girls’ Sports Captain.