Sports Reports – 29th September 2014

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Rugby, 1st XV
The 1st XV faced some tough opposition on Saturday and credit must go to the opposition for an excellent performance. However, the squad have been working well in recent weeks to build foundations and learn from their mistakes; at times in this fixture the Firsts showed signs of gelling together. Second-half tries from forwards Sam Tyler and Toby Smith proved the only reward for a battling performance. Toby was awarded Man of the Match for his hard graft, both in attack and defence.

2nd XV
The 2nd XV were simply outmuscled by an older and more physical side. With many injuries to our 1st XV, many players are moving up from the Seconds, leaving a much younger and inexperienced side at the moment. However, their effort and determination will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.

The U15s endured a stern examination of their resolve against a bigger and significantly stronger King’s Aston side. Ratcliffe led 7 – 0 at half-time thanks to a try by Harrison Grimmett. The second-half remained in the balance despite yet another try by Tiree Cover. Late in the second-half a fine individual score by John Sommerville secured a 17 – 12 victory with Robin-Irara Bagnall Man of the Match.

The U15B team had another performance of which they could be proud. Once again players learned and progressed as the game was played, with all players showing great potential and a really positive attitude to developing their rugby. Sadly the game ended in a 44 – 34 loss. It was impossible to give an individual Man of the Match owing to all players offering an outstanding performance. They should all be proud of their efforts.

The U14 team remain undefeated after a narrow 32 – 28 victory against Kings’s Aston. Ratcliffe competed well against a physical and pacey opposition, working hard at the breakdown and in defence. Ratcliffe found it hard to break the King’s defensive line although they did score a total of 6 tries, the last by James Berns after an excellent run by Ellis Pole. Men of the Match were Bishnu Thapa and Anthony Elumelu.

The U13s mid-week put in a good performance against a competitive Dixie team. The team passed the ball well to score some very good tries. Ollie Welch was superb in defence and Jonah Carroll had his best game of the season earning Man of the Match. Special mention to Omar Gergab, Ben Cook and Joe Hunt who all did well on their debuts for the team.

The U13s continued their excellent start to the season with a convincing 40 – 5 win over King’s Aston on Saturday. Will Westwood continues to play outstandingly well and there were strong debut performances from Ben Cooke with his excellent tackling in the forwards and Henry Wells with his powerful runs in the midfield. Men of the Match were Dominic Baggott for his tireless efforts and Harry Best for his excellent all-round game. Harry also wins the tackle award for Defensive Player of the Day.

Mid-week the U12s secured a 55 – 7 victory against a physical Dixie Grammar team. The game was rather scrappy and at times our attacking play was stifled, forcing our forwards to work incredibly hard at the breakdown to keep possession of the ball, which they were more than capable of doing!
Man of the Match was Archie Heaney for his tireless work around the pitch; on so many occasions he was the first man in at the ruck working to win the ball for the team!

On Saturday the U12s kept their unbeaten season going making it 5 wins out of 5 with an excellent display against King’s Aston. All aspects of our game were on top form, our forwards had the upper hand in the scrum and were stealing a lot of ball, as well as tackling like trojans. Ratcliffe proved too hot to handle with the ball in hand and showcased some good, clean, penetrating rugby which was a delight to watch for the spectators on the side-line, eventually running out 51 – 0 winners.
Man of the Match was Stanley Chell who was outstanding in defence, bringing down opposition players twice the size of him; as well as displaying great hands in attack and making the odd line break. A special mention also goes to Finley Back who has been outstanding all season and has scored 10 tries in in his last two games and 25 in total!

Rory Thorne,
Boys’ Sports Captain.

Hockey, 1st XI
It was great to see happy smiling faces from the 1st XI girls on Saturday when their hard work finally paid off and they got the result they deserved. It was a great team performance with a well worked opening goal from Olivia Gilchrist. Emma Milner added another followed by an Olivia Back short corner and 2 reverse stick finishes from Mimi Lallo. Player of the Match was Emma Milner who worked hard to support play and create opportunities. Players’ Player goes to Olivia Back.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2 – 0 win against Mount St Mary’s. The girls found it difficult to break down a very stubborn defence and excellent goal keeper who were camped in their 23 for most of the game. The deadlock was finally broken with a tenacious goal by Megan Gray which was followed up with a clever finish from Player of the Match Greta McKean, who with her back to goal managed to hit the ball in through her own legs.

The U15s played some of their best hockey to date. Ratcliffe were on the front foot from the start and raced into a 3 – 0 lead by half-time with some excellent attacking play from joint Player of the Match Lucie Prusinski. The goals kept flowing in the second-half with Georgia Holt and fellow Player of the Match Kate Tyszka finishing up with 3 goals each. This was an encouraging game for the girls, with a nice style of hockey being played at times. The final 6 – 1 win was thoroughly deserved.

Mid-week Ratcliffe and Loughborough U14 teams fought out a fantastic game. Whilst much of the game was end to end, Ratcliffe enjoyed the balance of possession. It was always going to be a single goal that decided the game and unfortunately it went to Loughborough on this occasion. In an excellent team performance, Jenna Pole stood out as the Player of the Match.

Ratcliffe were disappointingly held to a 1 – 1 draw by Mount St Mary’s on Saturday. Despite playing some nice hockey and creating several excellent chances, Ratcliffe could not find the winning goal in a second-half that was basically one way traffic. Olivia Carpenter scored Ratcliffe’s goal and Amy Baxter was Player of the Match.

Mid-week the U13s faced a very strong Loughborough team. The girls defended excellently and at half-time they had frustrated Loughborough, keeping the score to just 1 – 0. In the second-half Loughborough took advantage of our tiring team and converted 4 chances to win 5 – 0. Victoria Studd defended excellently, earning Player of the Match.

On Saturday they beat Mount St Mary’s 3 – 0. Ratcliffe started excellently, working hard to transfer play and find space. Holly Vinall was Player of the Match as her movement off the ball was excellent. Her creative play contributed to all three goals with Layla Bott scoring two and Ellie Hollinshead one. Well done to all the girls.

The U12s lost to a strong Loughborough side mid-week but bounced back against Mount St Mary’s on Saturday. Dominating the first-half, Eleanor Shaw put away one of several chances. Mount came out a different team in the second-half and scored a scrappy goal. The Ratcliffe team put up a determined fight to earn a 1 all draw. Aimee Cleminson was outstanding in defence, winning many tackles, taking the ball out wide and setting up a counter-attack, earning a well-deserved Player of the Match.

Cross Country
Congratulations to Mia Atkinson for continuing from where she left off last year, winning the Junior Girls’ cross country race at the weekend.

Angharad Lloyd,
Girls’ Sports Captain.