Sports Reports – 1st February 2016

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Hockey
1st XI
The 1st XI travelled to Worksop on Saturday where they met a strong and well-organised side. The game finished up 4 – 0 to Worksop in the end, with the Ratcliffe boys learning a few harsh lessons. For the first 15 minutes, however, Ratcliffe showed real signs of quality with some strong build-up play from the centre-back partnership of brothers Sam and Jack Nightingale. However, this passage of play did not materialise into enough chances for the boys which was possibly their downfall in the end. Against the run of play thereafter, Worksop opened the scoring with a slick move down the right. The cogs then started to turn in Worksop’s favour from this point onwards. With some notable injuries to Captain, Joey Higham and defender Tom Bramble, the Ratcliffe boys soon found themselves up against the ropes and struggled to find a goal. Joint Man of the Match award goes to Harry Redding with a superb second-half display in goal and Sam Nightingale with some brilliant defensive leadership skills.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI were unlucky not to win this game in the second-half after drawing 1 – 1. After falling behind in the first-half to a well-struck reverse finish, they certainly held their own in this encounter. After a few tweaks to their starting positions for the second-half, the boys really started to apply pressure to Worksop’s defensive unit, causing them all sorts of problems, forcing a number of short corners. It was from one of these that Seb Dewhurst scored with a low strike which flew past the goal keeper. This was the catalyst for the boys to really push for a winner in the last 10 minutes; unfortunately, some good goal keeping kept the scores level. Special mentions and Players of the Match must go to the whole team this weekend, because they are really trying to do what is asked of them and more.

U15A
This Saturday it was the U15s’ turn to play host, welcoming Worksop, Ratcliffe coming out on top with a well-deserved 2 – 1 win. The boys were briefed to expect a tough and physical encounter and this is what they got. After an uncertain start, Worksop worked the ball into the D finding their centre-forward unmarked; he produced a fine effort with his first touch, but Rory Stoker was well up to the challenge, covering the left post with a firm left pad. After withstanding a prolonged period of pressure, the U15s went on the offensive, with a flowing counter-attack in which the ball found its way to Reece Goodman who worked the space well inside the D and managed to unleash a squeezed shot into the bottom left corner, to lead 1 – 0. After a couple of changes at half-time, Ratcliffe went in search of another goal to which they came close on multiple occasions. Finally, a well-worked attack, started by the engine room’s most prolific fire-starter, Alex Purcell, made the most of an intercepted play. The ball scrambled across the goal mouth with left forward Seb Cook arriving just in time to tuck the ball away, to increase the lead to 2. Time played down slowly as Worksop piled on the pressure, winning two Penalty Corners in quick succession; eventually the ball was scrambled over the line and the away side had a glimmer of hope. Luckily Man of the Match, Rory Stoker, kept his nerve and clinched victory for his side by keeping the net safe for the remaining duration.

U15B
The U15Bs suffered a 3 – 0 defeat at the hands of a strong Worksop side. The visitors dominated most of the first-half, exploiting gaps in the Ratcliffe defence and scoring 3 before the half-time whistle. The second-half brought a much more positive performance from Ratcliffe with chances being created at both ends. Overall, a disappointing result, but there are many positives that can be taken from the game, especially from the second-half performance.

U14
The U14s produced a frustrating performance in their 3 – 2 loss to Worksop. Failure to mark closely meant Worksop enjoyed plenty of possession. Despite the best efforts of goalkeeper and Man of the Match, Harry Culpin, Ratcliffe ended up losing by one goal.

Sam Nightingale,
Boys’ Sports Captain.

Netball
Injury, illness and unavailability across all teams made this a particularly challenging weekend.

In a triangular match with Oundle and Repton, the 1st team put in strong competitive performances in their 15 – 9 and 10 – 4 losses. The changes in positions meant the team had to adapt their game play and they took time to settle in and challenged well, especially in the latter stages of the game, to put both Oundle and Repton under pressure. However, too many unforced errors enabled the opposition to capitalise on these mistakes, but the defending unit of Adelaide Muskwe, Emily Sellicks, Megan Vincent and Nima Patel restricted the scores from being greater. Kate Tyszka had her best game of the season and earned Player of the tournament for her never say die attitude, chasing down every ball. Emily Sellicks changed position 3 times and also earned Player of the tournament.
The 2nd team had a tough afternoon against two U16A teams, losing 15 – 7 and 21 – 8. Both opponents were a little sharper and confident but the girls never stopped trying and played some very good netball in patches. Player of the tournament goes to Katie Winston, but Ellie Cooper must get a special mention for trebling up as captain, player and assistant coach to Mr Taylor.

The 3rd team, unfortunately, found themselves up against 2nd teams and consequently lost both games heavily. Such tough opposition was too difficult for them to cope with but the girls kept their heads and adapted their game play. Players of the tournament were Milli Ellis and Nicole Wong.

U15A
The U15A team faced very tough opposition from a strong Oundle side. In the first-quarter they struggled to break up the Oundle attack and so placed themselves under pressure when attacking. Having been out-played in the first two quarters, it was always an uphill battle, but the second-half showed that Ratcliffe were determined to not let Oundle run away with the match. Defensively, they were resilient and played intelligently to force Oundle to have to build considered attacks. Player of the Match, Nicole Spencer, was outstanding at goal defence and won some well-earned turnovers; however, the damage had been done and they had to accept a 23 – 9 defeat.

U15B
The U15B team started strongly with a 2-goal lead over Oundle at the end of the first-quarter. Despite this, Oundle pulled away in the second-quarter following a number of good interceptions. Ru Tsatsa, Holly Bown and Katie Honey worked tirelessly in defence putting pressure on the Oundle attack and contesting a number of rebounds. Isobel Coombs, Mollie Page and Megha Patel worked cohesively in attack moving the ball through the centre-court and accurately feeding the ball into the circle. The final score was 20 – 14 to Oundle.

U14A
The U14A team faced a challenging Oundle side and unfortunately lost 23 – 4. Despite the girls’ tireless efforts, Oundle were strong at bringing the ball down the court to goal. The team kept their heads up throughout the game and had some good phases of play, where they worked the ball smoothly to the shooters. Liyah Pinsent-Heskey was the Player of the Match for her consistent determination, effort and support throughout the game.

U14B
The U14B team were also defeated by a strong Oundle side. All of the girls worked hard throughout but unfortunately just couldn’t pull back Oundle’s early lead. Kate Woodhouse and Mia Baker worked well together in the attacking half, moving the ball through the court and feeding into the circle. Imma Petit de Miguel, on her debut match, earned Player of the Match with endless interceptions and great defensive play.

U13
Foremarke Hall were the opponents for the Junior teams. Both U13 teams were up against an organised and tough opposition. The girls maintained a positive attitude throughout and must be commended on their hard work and effort throughout. Unfortunately, both teams were unable to finish with a win. Players of the Match for the A team goes to Dalila Watson who was incredible throughout and Aimee Cleminson who never gave up and showed excellent movement skills. The U13B Player of the Match goes to Ella De Caestecker who was superb in defence.

U12A
The U12A girls played a very close competitive match, losing 10 – 6. An even contest in the first-half saw Ratcliffe hold their owing owing to some excellent defensive play from Elise Atkinson and Amelia Chapman, turning the ball over and setting up several counter attacks. However, Foremarke had the edge in the second-half, despite some excellent play between Maddie Bryant and Amy Mason in centre-court. Player of the Match goes to Elise Atkinson for her excellent defensive play and work rate throughout the game.

U12B
The U12B team started off well but were unfortunately playing against a much taller team who were dominant around the court. The girls never gave up and showed some excellent movement around the circles with some great play from Brooke England. Player of the Match goes to Olivia Crawley for her excellent communication and defensive play. Final score was 13 – 2 to Foremarke.
Fencing
On Saturday 30th January, Finn and Niamh Noble competed in the London Leon Paul junior series, both finishing 3rd. Finn finished 1st in his poule and was highest ranked before the Direct Eliminations. He had a field of 21 and had a bye into the last 16. He then had to fence 3 direct eliminations, narrowly losing 10 – 9 to the fencer that finished second. Niamh had a smaller field of 7 fencers, 6 of the fencers were internationals. She met the winner of the competition in the semi-finals and lost 15 – 6 after a long fight, taking all 3 periods of 3 minutes. Well done to both.

Sibella Chew,
Girls’ Sports Captain.