Sports Reports – 30th November 2015

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1st XV
The 1st XV returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 55 – 15 win over Carres Grammar School. In cold and windy conditions, the side was returning to some semblance of the side that started the season. Charlie Pickering returned to the midfield to lead the side, Chris Curnick returned to the squad and there were debuts for several 2nd XV players who deserved an opportunity in the 1st XV. All in all it was a 9-try romp with Jack Hancock, Nick Heywood, Finbarr Lloyd, Ganesh Thapa and Seb Dewhirst all scoring well-taken tries. Harry Redding and Man of the Match, John Sommerville, both added a brace each in this pleasing contest. There was far more fluidity and control with much of the match being well organised to set-piece plays, but what was pleasing to see was lots of basic skills being well executed. However, next week’s visitors will demand much more from the side!

The U15s fought hard in a really good game against Carres. The opposition played a superb first 10 minutes from which Ratcliffe never quite recovered. An improved defensive display in the second-half kept the score-line respectable, but despite the best efforts of Man of the Match, Rory Stoker, Ratcliffe never really looked like pushing for victory in a 22 – 7 loss.

Against Carres the U14 rugby team won a tight contest 36 – 22. Ratcliffe played well in phases, scoring some pleasing tries from well worked moves. Harry Cuplin and Matthew Egglenton both scored, while Man of The Match, Will Westwood, proved to be the match winner, scoring four tries and kicking three conversions.

In a fantastic game the U13s drew 26-all with Carres. Carres dominated the first-half with their powerful runners scoring 3 tries to 1 from Ratcliffe, which was an excellent solo effort by Tom Page. Despite being under pressure, Ratcliffe still tried to play attractive, running rugby with good work in the midfield by Tom Page, Alex Tyszka, Owen Lloyd and Connor Foster, alongside some elusive running out wide from Sam Seidu. This was combined with some fantastic ball carrying, in the forwards, led by Will Oswell, Aled King and Thomas Leite. This enabled Ratcliffe to come back into the game, in the second-half, with excellent tries scored by Thomas Leite, Aled King and Sam Bullock. The final score was a fair reflection of two teams who played with superb effort and commitment throughout. Man of the Match was Will Oswell for his excellent all-round game.

Ratcliffe U12s produced a comprehensive 47 – 7 win over Carres. Led by joint Men of the Match, Elliot Lindop and Xavier Henderson, Ratcliffe defended superbly, forcing repeated turnovers at the breakdown. In attack, the boys moved the ball confidently, resulting in tries from Rajan Gupta, Ben Ashford, Cameron Cover, Elliot Lindop, Will Marsden and Captain, Louis Fletcher.

Sam Nightingale,
Boys’ Sports Captain.


1st XI
Ratcliffe 1st XI played away against Northampton High School on Saturday, a fixture which was going to be tough, but they came through to gain a very impressive 2 – 0 win. The girls played their best hockey of the season, passing and moving well and making the right decisions at the right time. It really was fantastic hockey to watch! Whilst it was not easy, the Ratcliffe girls were working hard and were on top from early in the game, opening the scoring with a fantastic finish from Kate Tyzska. Within 5 minutes, Ratcliffe scored another with a great finish from Olivia Back; taking us into half-time 2 – 0 up. The second-half was much the same, but this time we could not convert our chances, though the girls remained patient and carried on moving the ball well. Towards the end of the game, we had to soak up a bit more pressure from Northampton.  However, it was a convincing performance from our defence and we looked and remained solid. The final score finished 2 – 0, a great result and performance. It is not possible to pick a Player of the Match as everyone performed so well; therefore, the award goes to the whole team. Players’ Player goes to Alina Tebbutt.

The U15s had an extremely tough and bruising encounter, where hockey was not always the winner; however, they battled incredibly hard and eventually they were rewarded as they edged a close game 1 – 0 in their favour.  Both teams played fantastically well in defence, which resulted in attacking players being given very little opportunity to create openings to score. Going into half-time, it was no surprise for the score to be 0 – 0. The second-half mirrored the first and it was not until 3 minutes before the end that Ratcliffe finally found a way through, with Captain Olivia Carpenter finishing calmly. Players of the Match were Katie Honey and Molly Edwards, for their excellent defensive displays.

The U14s played a hard-fought game against a strong Northampton side; with both teams battling well, a 0 – 0 draw was a fair result. Both teams shut each other out in midfield and defence, with Players of the Match Mia Atkinson, Caitlin Lawrence and Bo Henderson between them closing down every Northampton attack. We had to work hard to find space and a way through, with some excellent positional play from Sharmel Yapa and Liyah Pinsent- Heskey, but we could not steal a winner.

The U13 girls lost 3 – 1 to a strong Northampton team. It was a midfield battle throughout most of the game. Luckily, Ratcliffe’s midfield trio of Aimee Cleminson, Lucy Antill and Becky Lindley were well up for the challenge and competed strongly right up until the final whistle. The opening exchanges were largely dominated by Northampton but it was Ratcliffe who got the opening goal. The move for the goal came from some superb play from Dalila Watson down the right wing who then proceeded to pick out Danni Hendry in the circle. From here Danni simply deflected the ball into the bottom corner with her first touch! A truly brilliant goal which sums up the quality and potential we have in this team. From this point, however, Northampton stepped up their game, and were a much tougher force defensively. It took courage and bravery in defence as Northampton continued to pummel the ball into the circle, but eventually they could not prevent Northampton from scoring 3 well worked goals. Players’ Player was Danni Hendry after a strong performance at centre forward. Coach’s Players were Annabel Mills and Eleanor Shaw who were terrific at relieving pressure from the back.

The U12A team had the performance of the day with an emphatic and strong 6 – 1 win over Northampton High School. In an end-to-end game, Ratcliffe created many scoring opportunities in the first-half, but only converted two of them. They came out even more determined in the second-half, with all the players playing a significant role in a whole team performance. Goalkeeper, Mathilda Creegan, made some spectacular saves and the whole team deserve to be Players of the Match. Elise Atkinson and Annie Bridgwood scored 2 goals each, while Annie Rose Reddin and Erin Sommerville scored the other 2.

The U12B played against Northampton High, and it was a close game from the start, with Ratcliffe narrowly losing 2 – 0. The play throughout the whole game was end-to-end and at times we had some great defensive play from Amelia Chapman, who created many opportunities from the back. At times, there were some great runs down the line from Amy Whitelaw and Freya Smith, which nearly lead to some goal scoring opportunities. Ratcliffe went into half-time 0 – 0 with nothing to split the two teams. The girls came out strongly in the second half, wanting to win; unfortunately, so did Northampton! In the end it was Northampton that managed to convert two of their chances, though the girls never gave up and fought until the end. Player of the Match goes to Amelia Chapman and Coach’s Player of the Match goes to Rachel Astill. Well done to all the girls.

Sibella Chew,
Girls’ Sports Captain.