Sports Reports – 21st March

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Hockey U15
Loughborough Grammar were the opponents for the younger age groups this weekend. The U15 team started extremely brightly, showing intent and hunger to beat their local rivals. After a few minutes of possession, Ratcliffe won a penalty corner which was converted calmly by Reece Goodman with a low hard strike into the bottom left corner. The next ten minutes saw much of the same, with Ratcliffe controlling the game and it was not long until they notched up a second score to make it  2 – 0 and cruising. After conceding through a short and adding another through Toby Snell, Ratcliffe came in at half-time 3 – 1 to the good. The second-half was less eventful and a little more evenly sided; however, Ratcliffe had enough to see the game out with relative ease and control adding another through Toby Snell to make it a comfortable 4 – 1 win; the most well-rounded performance from the boys this year. Without a fine performance from the Grammar School keeper, it could have been a rout. The U15s have been a pleasure to coach and this performance signs us off well, playing the hockey we always set out to.
The U15Bs suffered a 2 – 0 loss in their final match of the season. The first-half produced a hard fought and extremely even contest with both sides defending well. The second-half continued in the same vein, with the addition of some good goal-scoring chances at each end. With the clock ticking down, it looked like the match was destined to finish 0 – 0 until Loughborough managed to bundle the ball into the Ratcliffe goal from close range with 3 minutes remaining. Ratcliffe threw everything at Loughborough in an attempt to steal a late goal; however it was not to be and Loughborough doubled their lead in the final moments. Man of the Match goes to Ellis Pole for his solid performance in midfield.

U14
The U14s signed off their season with a pleasing draw. After going a goal down they responded well, creating plenty of chances. The goal eventually came from a short corner and both sides were happy to share the spoils in an even game. Josh Chapman was Man of the Match in a new role for him in defence.

U13
All good things have to come to an end as the U13s lost their long unbeaten record this week. However, the fact that this came in an exciting Final in the Midlands Championships, earning the side a place in the National Finals, softened the blow somewhat. Although never at their best, Ratcliffe played consistent hockey to progress through the early rounds. The boys saved their best hockey for the crucial semi-final, winning 3 – 1 against a strong Winchester House seven. On the day, Trent deserved their 2 – 0 victory in the Final although it speaks volumes of the team that the boys were so disappointed with their performance. The boys look forward with eager anticipation to taking their place amongst the top ten U13 sides in the country, at Beeston on May 13th.
On Saturday the U13s rounded off the term with a comprehensive 6 – 0 victory against Loughborough. Playing their best hockey of the season, the team raced into a 5 – 0 lead in the first-half through a combination of individual skills and excellent teamwork. Fin Back scored 4 goals, including an outstanding overhead finish. Connor Foster and Archie Heaney rounded off a superb performance. Alex Tyszka was Man of the Match. 

U12
The U12s played their best hockey of the term winning 3 – 0. Ratcliffe dominated the first-half and scored a well-taken goal through Guy Heywood. We should have gone into half-time with a bigger lead but some excellent goal-keeping kept Loughborough in the game. Loughborough came back strongly in the second-half but tired in the latter stages as Ratcliffe continued to pass and move the ball superbly. Fittingly, we scored two late goals through Will Wright and Man of the Match, Roman Carpenter, to run out convincing 3 – 0 winners. Well done to all the squad on their fantastic attitude and excellent effort throughout the season.

Bath Hockey Festival
The First team ended their season with a great trip to the Bath Hockey Festival. It was a great opportunity for the boys to pitch their skills against opposition that they don’t face in their normal fixtures. In the three games they played, they acquitted themselves superbly with all games being very close encounters. They ended the weekend winning one and losing two. Highlights of the weekend were Seb Dewhurst coming in the team for the first time and fitting straight in, while Ben Pole scored the best goal we have ever witnessed. Many thanks to Mr Gilchrist who accompanied me on the trip.

Fencing
Congratulations to Harry Palmer, Jonathon Bellamy and Finley Noble who competed in the Public Schools’ Fencing Competition last weekend. Harry went on to win a bronze medal in the Junior Boys’ Epée, while Jonathon came 23rd out of 49 in the Mount-Haes sabre, and Finley 34th out of 94 in the Mount-Haes Epée.


Harry with his bronze medal.


Harry and Finley

Sam Nightingale,
Boys’ Sports Captain.

Netball

1st VII
We enjoyed a fitting end to the season for the 1st team with a 30 – 11 win over Loughborough High School. Ratcliffe overturned Loughborough’s first centre-pass and never looked back, playing a dominant game through all areas of the court. The combined whole-court effort from defence to attack, despite some careless passes, coupled with some excellent shooting from Kate Tyszka and Charley Flowers, cemented the win.

U15
The U15A team had a disappointing game against Loughborough, losing 29 – 10. From the start, too many inconsistencies enabled Loughborough to capitalise on mistakes and their timing and execution of passes kept Ratcliffe on the back foot. Loughborough took control, despite some great defending from Olivia Carpenter and Player of the Match, Nicole Spencer.
The U15B team produced an excellent performance in their final game of the season, against a strong Loughborough side. Across the court they were well disciplined and organised. Defensively, Ratcliffe varied their tactics and took numerous tips and interceptions and frustrated the Loughborough attack. In attack, Players of the Match, Sarah Curnick and Megha Patel brought energy and intensity in the final-third and with the help of Olivia Delargy caused problems for Loughborough throughout the game. Going into the final-quarter two goals ahead and in a strong position to seal a victory, there was an end to end final quarter; unfortunately, the girls had to accept a 14 – 12 defeat. Well done to all the girls for an outstanding performance.

U14
The U14A team had a tough match against a strong Loughborough side losing 34  – 11 in their final match of the season. The first-quarter of the game looked promising, finishing 8 – 6 down. However, Loughborough stepped it up for the remainder of the game, and despite the Ratcliffe girls making some lovely drives and getting the ball down the court quickly to the shooters, they could not get across the line. Credit must go to the girls as they never gave up, getting lots of tips and touches on the ball, making it hard work at times for Loughborough to bring the ball down court. Player of the Match went to Ellie Hollinshead who did more than her fair share of work to bring the ball down the court into the shooting circle.
The U14B team also had a tough match against Loughborough, losing 19 – 2. With a few of the regular players missing through injury, it was a struggle from the start for the girls. Sophie Brown stepped in as Goal Shooter making a good addition to the team, but the Loughborough defenders made it hard for the girls to get the ball into the shooting circle. Everyone gave 100% effort and worked hard regardless of the score. Player of the Match was given to Ellie Baker who denied Loughborough the space to bring the ball down court for her persistent pressure and numerous turnovers.

U13
It was a disappointing 39 – 9 loss for the U13A team in their County Cup Semi-final against local rivals Loughborough mid-week.  The game started well but Loughborough soon showed their experience and took the lead and never looked back. Ratcliffe were a credit to themselves and did not give up against an extremely good team who were well drilled and who play a lot of netball together outside school. Player of the Match went to Danni Hendry.

U12
The U12 team were ready for a tough match against rivals Loughborough High. The staff and parents knew they were in for a treat and the girls did not disappoint. A sloppy first-half allowed Loughborough to pull ahead by four goals, but the U12s were not ready to give up and showed their true fighting spirit to pull back to one behind going into the fourth-quarter. They played some fantastic netball, with joint Players of the Match, Elise Atkinson controlling the play through the court, and Annie-Rose Reddin demonstrating fantastic movement skills and shooting prowess. With a minute to spare, they equalized and the game finished 14-all. Credit must go to all of the girls; they played out of their skins. The girls have had a superb season, taking on board all they have been taught and have been an absolute pleasure to coach. The U12A team put in a strong performance to beat Leicester Grammar 13 – 5 mid-week. It was a competent performance with the girls working hard in cold conditions. The defence worked superbly, turning over the ball on a number of occasions to set up many counter-attacks, resulting in some lovely feeds in to the circle. Player of the Match goes to Erin Sommerville, for her movement and shooting. Another well-deserved win. Well done.
The U12B team played extremely well in their last match of the season, losing 13 – 8 to Leicester Grammar. For three-quarters of the game, the quality of play was even, with some excellent shooting from Emily Curnick. Daisy Watson made some great interceptions in the centre-court, creating many more attacking opportunities. Unfortunately, Leicester ran away with the lead in the last-quarter. Player of the Match goes Rachel Astill for her excellent shooting and movement around the court.

Swimming
Well done to Brooke England who swims for Melton Mowbray swim club B team, who have been very successful in the Leicester Winter League, coming a very close second place in their League. Brooke won her individual races in all three rounds of the League, and was part of a strong U13 girls team who were unbeaten in all their relays (freestyle and medley).

Equestrian
Congratulations to Jade England, whose Junior team qualified for the British Riding Club Festival of the Horse Championships in the 100cm Eventer Challenge recently.

We would like to thank all the coaches and parents for their invaluable support of all sports this past term; it is hugely appreciated.

Sibella Chew,
Girls’ Sports Captain.