Sports Reports – 27th April 2015

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Cricket, 2nd XI
The 2nd XI opened their season with an excellent 21-run victory against Oakham’s 3rd XI with Alfie Brown captaining the side well. Ratcliffe restricted Oakham to 105 - 4, with Man of the Match Josh Macqueen taking 5 - 14, having posted 126 batting first. Nick Heywood , who top scored with 31, was well supported by Harry Reddin, 30, Richard Ward, 22 and James Marsh, 18.

The U15s started the season with a good win against Birkdale. Jack Nightingale was the star of the show scoring 73 not out in Ratcliffe’s batting total of 115, with Riam Mistry and Matthew Ward supporting him well. When Ratcliffe bowled, Jack then took four wickets and there were also good contributions from Harry Heaney and Riam Mistry with his mystery spin bowling, enabling Ratcliffe to bowl out the opposition for 71, to win by 44 runs.

Ratcliffe U14s travelled to Birkdale for their first game of the season. In strong winds and playing on a soft wicket the hosts decided to bat first. Ratcliffe bowled satisfactorily but too many full tosses were bowled which the Birkdale captain cashed in on, setting a very strong total of 126 from 20 overs to win. Ratcliffe were never in the run chase after losing too many early wickets and lost by 77 runs. Player of the Match was Nicole Spencer who batted through to the end.

The U13s lost to Birkdale by 49 runs, with many positives to take from the match. Birkdale batted first and made a fast start to their innings with a solid opening partnership. However, consistent bowling from Henry Wells, Harry Best and Dominic McKaig was supported by wickets from Ellis Gee and Joseph Evenden, with Birkdale reaching a total of 157 - 5. Ratcliffe’s innings got off to a shaky start with the loss of a couple of early wickets, but gutsy batting from Dominic McKaig and Kapil Soni, plus a very good partnership from Joe Collier (46 runs) and Ellis Gee, meant that unfortunately Ratcliffe were short of the total, reaching 108 - 6.  Man of the match was Dominic McKaig for his consistent bowling and mature batting performance.

The U12s started their season off with a 7-wicket win against Birkdale. Birkdale set the boys a competitive total of 95 to win, with all the wickets shared around the team. Captain and Player of the Match, Aled King, set the right tone with both his bowling (two overs for 3 runs) and batting, hitting a tremendous 56 not out. James Turner also stood out with his two overs going for only 2 runs.

As a result of winning the Leicestershire School County Hockey Tournament, the U12 hockey team qualified for the Midlands Regional Schools’ Hockey Tournament which took place on Thursday 23rd April 2015 at Cannock Hockey Club. The team won all four of their group games, scoring twelve goals in the process and only conceding two. They qualified for the semi-finals as group winners and went on to beat Warwick School in the semi-final in a closely fought game, 1 – 0. The final was played against Beachborough Prep School from Northamptonshire who had won the other group, so the two best teams were playing off in the final.  Ratcliffe played superbly in the final with tenacious defence and excellent attack; they did not allow Beachborough into the game. The final score was 2 – 0 to Ratcliffe and could have been more but for a string of excellent saves from the opposition goalkeeper. All ten players involved in the tournament were outstanding all day in their conduct and efforts both on and off the pitch and they should be very proud of their achievements. Special mention must go to Captain, Owen Lloyd and Finley Back who both played superbly all tournament and scored six goals each.

Tennis, 1st & 2nd Team
Worksop were the opponents for the senior tennis team. We were very lucky to squeeze the matches in between the rain showers and the girls coped well with the uncertainty. Both teams were well matched with all the games in the first two rounds going as expected, leaving everything to play for in the final round.  Excellent wins from Greta McKean and Imogen Power, and Sibella Chew and Rebecca Astill, resulted in the 1st team winning their match 5-4.

The final rounds of matches for the 2nds were close. Tilly Wheeler and Charlie Flowers played excellently, and almost took a crucial victory but overall the 2nds were unlucky to lose 4 - 5 in a well fought match.

There were pleasing performances from the U15 A & B teams, who consisted of players from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. Eleanor Shaw and Flora Colville did not look out of place in their respective A and B teams and both performed admirably. The A team had a comfortable 8 - 1 win; all players gelled with their respective partners, using the space on the court effectively. A combination of fabulous groundstrokes and volleys contributed to the win. The B team narrowly lost 5 - 4 with Bea Waters and Flora Colville winning 2 of their 3 games. A great start to the season.

Rounders, U14 and U15
The U14A girls beat both Mount St Mary’s U14 and U15 sides against whom they came up this Saturday. Mollie Page and Izzy Coombs received Players of the Match for their accurate decision-making. They also demonstrated how taking risks and being tactically aware of the game can be rewarding. Both the U14 and U15 girls scored many more rounders than Mount St Mary’s. The girls worked exceptionally well together particularly when covering bases while fielding.

The U12 Rounders team had their first match of the season on Saturday against Mount St Mary’s. With the weather holding out, the girls got off to a slow start, losing the first innings 8 ½ to 5 ½rounders. After a team chat, the girls realised they needed to take more risks when batting in order to score highly in the next innings. The girls worked hard on their fielding with Dani Hendry and Ellie Gallacher working well together, stumping 3 girls out at 1st base. All the opposition were out after 25 balls, leaving the girls with a big opportunity to score highly in the last 30 balls. All the team batted superbly and managed 10 ½ rounders, winning the match 16 - 14 ½ rounders. Player of the Match was Ellie Gallacher for her consistent batting and fielding. A great start to the season.

Volley Ball
On Wednesday 25th March a mixed 6th Form volleyball team played Welbeck College. It was great to see Emily Hollis, Niamh Philpott and Elena Wheatley play so well for the Ratcliffe team against an all-male Welbeck team. Despite not winning any of the four games played, the Ratcliffe team played some good volleyball and were competitive throughout. In one of the games there was only a three point difference in the scores and with a little more consistency and better setting, all the games could have gone Ratcliffe’s way. Ratcliffe fielded two separate teams with Charlie Pickering the Man of the Match for one team and Edward Cefai Man of the Match for the other. Both had excellent all-round games. Well done to all who played.