Sports Reports – 29th February

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1st XI
The 1st XI took part in a closely contested fixture against King Henry’s Coventry on Saturday morning. The game came off the back of two fantastic wins before half-term for Ratcliffe and many were expecting Ratcliffe to fly out of the blocks and take control of the encounter. However, it would be King Henry’s with the opening goal of the game, with their unusually high forward line proving too much for Ratcliffe to handle early on. It didn’t take long however, for Ratcliffe’s possession and control to turn into chances and it was Harry Antill with the final touch past the keeper after a great passing move. Soon after, Declan McAuley finished off another nice passing move to leave Ratcliffe 2 – 1 ahead at half-time. The game was always in the hands of the Ratcliffe boys as they ramped up the pressure in the second-half. It wasn’t until Jack Nightingale converted a penalty stroke however, that Ratcliffe felt comfortable. That 2 goal cushion was enough in the end and the game finished 3 – 1. Man of the Match goes to Jack Nightingale who showed tremendous composure at the back.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI lost 3 – 0 in a game that they played well in patches. Unfortunately they gave King Henry’s a 2 goal head start in the first-half which they couldn’t pull back. Despite losing players for various reasons this was still a game they could have won. Player of the Match was Kasey Newby who always wanted the ball in midfield and tried everything he could to get the team back in the game.

Ratcliffe hosted King Henry’s and the U15s didn’t know what to expect. Having never faced each other before, they went out with the mind-set of just playing their own fast paced game. Ratcliffe started brightly applying plenty of pressure and just after 10 minutes this paid off. A short corner was awarded and, after some flare from Reece Goodman working the ball past multiple defenders, he found Alex Purcell to slot home for Ratcliffe to lead 1 – 0.  After much of the same the pressure built until Toby Snell had a strike towards goal deflected in by a King Henry’s stick to make it 2 – 0 at half-time. The second-half started slightly more sluggishly and Ratcliffe stopped moving the ball around so well giving the opposition a window of opportunity, which they took, to make it 2 – 1.  Ratcliffe knew they would come under pressure towards the latter stages and needed to raise the tempo. They did just that through Seb Cooke and James Berns, who combined for the best move of the game, countering with lightning pace and a deadly finish from James to win the game 3 – 1.  A good performance and convincing win in front of a satisfied Ratcliffe contingent.

The U14 team eased themselves back after the half term break with their best performance to date against King Henry’s. Movement off the ball and creativity were vastly improved and good quality opportunities were created, resulting in a 5 – 0 win. Tom Binnie and Harry Best shared the Man of the Match spoils for their sterling work out wide.

The U13 hockey team enjoyed a comfortable 4 – 0 win against King Henry’s on Saturday. Player of the Match, Finley Back, scored a hat-trick and Archie Heaney bagged the 4th in what was a competent, but not outstanding, team performance. Ratcliffe struggled to break down a well organised defence which offered a different challenge for the team to overcome.

In an entertaining game the U12s beat King Henry’s 1 – 0. Ratcliffe dominated the game but found it difficult to score due to good opposition defence, particularly from their goal keeper. A well taken short corner routine from Louie Fletcher and finished well by Ollie Howard ensured a well-deserved lead but other goal scoring chances went begging. It was pleasing to see the team play with good width and movement. Xabier Xanotti and Roman Carpenter were Men of the Match for their excellent interplay down the right hand channel.

The U13 rugby team played with passion and a real intensity to beat a huge Welland Park Academy team in the Rugby County Cup Semi-Final, winning 27 – 15. It looked like it was going to be a tough afternoon for Ratcliffe when the opposition scored in the first minute but a superb response led by Finley Back saw Ratcliffe take the lead with two very well taken tries by Fin. James Turner scored one of the tries of the season taking a return kick and beating numerous players to score superbly in the corner. The game was in the balance with the opposition’s power runners proving difficult to stop, but two excellent tries from Connor Foster took the game away from Welland Park and a fantastic victory was achieved.  Well done to all the boys for their effort and commitment with James Turner and Fin Back Men of the Match. The final will take place before the end of term (date to be finalised) against either Loughborough or Leicester Grammar who play in the other semi-final. The best of luck to the team in the final.

Many congratulations to Finn Noble who took part in Event 3 of Elite Epee Series, one of junior fencings most prestigious competitions in the UK. In a field of 25, including boys selected for England, Finn fought his way to a deserved second place gaining a silver medal. This is undoubtedly his best result to date in his fencing career and stands him in good stead for representing Ratcliffe College for the first time next month in the Public Schools Championships.

Go Gold Awards
Well done to Harry Palmer who was also received a ‘Go for Gold’ award just before half-term.

 Sam Nightingale,
Boys’ Sports Captain.


The 1st team were on fire and completely dominated Leicester Grammar in their 55-9 win. From the first whistle to the last, they did not let the standard of their play drop, neither did they lose focus and every player played a full part in the game. The pace was fast but played in a controlled manner with good defensive play throughout the court. The most pleasing aspect was the number of tips and touches they got on their oppositions passes, enabling them to set up many counter attacks. Shooter, Isobel Hose scored with 22 of her 25 shots, whilst Adelaide Muskwe, Emily Sellicks, Nima Patel and Megan Vincent denied Leicester space in the goal third, cutting down most of their shooting opportunities. Holly Blount and Olivia Back put in some excellent feeds to shooters, Isobel, Charley Flowers and Kate Tyszka. The whole team were Players of the Match.

The 2nd team had a nail biting 14-13 win over Leicester Grammar as both teams matched goal for goal. The 3rd quarter saw Ratcliffe pull ahead with a strong defensive performance from Natasha Walsh and Emma Taylor-Clark who took several crucial interceptions and rebounds which were then confidently converted at the other end by Becky Astill and Nicole Wong. The last quarter saw Leicester take a couple of crucial mid-court interceptions from which they scored but Katie Winston was instrumental in keeping Ratcliffe in the game. Seconds before the final whistle, Becky Astill made a good decision to pass from the edge of the circle to Mimi Lallo, who converted from under the post to make the final score a well-deserved 14-13 win. Katie Winston was Player of the Match for her strong defence in mid-court and great dodging all the game.

The U15A team had an excellent game midweek against Wellingborough. The game was end to end with both teams attacking with fluidity and creativity. Player of the Match, Isobel Hose, was excellent in the circle, shooting very well. Having lost a centre pass in the first quarter, the game then went with centre pass finishing 16-18 at the third quarter, setting up an exciting last quarter. The girls knew that they had to fight hard, but struggled to find the momentum they needed, eventually losing the game 24-20.
In their match against Leicester Grammar, the U15A team had a very competitive first quarter, drawing 2 all, with both teams defending excellently and getting the better of their attacking counterparts. Leicester broke through first, working their way through the Ratcliffe defensive trio of Nicole Spencer, Molly Edwards and Isobel Coombs, who played excellently throughout and earned themselves Players of the Match. At the other end of the court Ratcliffe struggled to break through Leicester’s circle defence. In the final quarter, Ratcliffe really came out with some fight, and played excellent, fast paced, intelligent netball. They found ways through the defence time and time again, and, with a more confident shooting display, won the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough to turn the game around completely, eventually losing 8-14.
The U15B team took time to settle in their mid-week 19-13 win against Wellingborough. Some good phases of attack were interspersed with too many careless errors and it wasn’t until the third quarter that the team began to play in a controlled manner which resulted in them pulling away to secure the win. Player of the Match went to Isobel Pullen but Ceri Graham also deserves special mention for her quality play.
The U15C team deservedly took a 19-15 win over Wellingborough mid-week. The girls were ahead from the first whistle with some excellent play through the court to the shooters, Olivia Delargy and Eve Baxter. Their movement and swift passing allowed them to get in to great positions. Liberty–Taylor Young took some brilliant interceptions in the defensive circle, and with composure, passed the ball out to the centre court. The Player of the Match was Finlay Buckingham for her excellent play at WA, bringing the ball quickly down court and brilliant feeding into the shooters.

The U14A team produced an outstanding team performance against Leicester Grammar School. From the first whistle the girls were out to win, passing the ball hard and fast down the court. Ellie Hollinshead and Abby Santaney showed excellent movement and shooting within the circle, working well together as a unit. Sharmel Yapa and Holly Vinall continuously made attacking and clearing drives to help create space and move the ball through the centre court. Ellie Baker, Layla Bott and Sofia Henderson made it extremely hard for the opposing shooters to do their job in the circle, through tireless pressure and man to man marking. This was reflected at the end of the third quarter, with the score being 6-2 to Ratcliffe. Unfortunately in the final quarter, Leicester fought back and managed to secure a draw of 7-7 at the final whistle. Player of the Match was awarded to Layla Bott for her persistent work and support throughout the court.
The U14B team put in a very good performance running out convincing winners, 22-15. They were too efficient for Leicester Grammar, putting them under pressure and demonstrating some excellent movement and attacking skills. The defence turned over the ball well setting up some excellent counter attacks. The shooters, Flora Colville and Mia Baker, combined well with their centre and wing attack and both displayed some outstanding movement skills in the circle earning them Players of the Match. Well done!

England Netball
Congratulations to Isobel Hose who has been selected to trial for the England U17 netball squad in Sheffield on 12 March.

Good luck to Olivia Back and Molly Edwards, who have been selected to play for Leicester U16 girl’s hockey team at the Club Regional Finals next weekend. If they qualify from here they will get the chance to play at the Olympic Park in April.

Sibella Chew,
Girls’ Sports Captain.