Sports Reports – 9th February 2015

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Hockey, 1st XI
After missing the last couple of games owing to poor weather, the 1st XI returned to action with a great performance winning 6 – 1 against Oundle. Ratcliffe were on top and thoroughly deserved to take the lead through Player of the Match Sam Nightingale midway through the first-half. This lead was increased by half-time with goals scored by James Robinson and Sam scoring his second of the game. Ratcliffe continued to dominate in the second-half scoring another three goals through Carrick Anderson, James Robinson and an own goal to seal a comfortable win.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI beat Oundle 2 – 1 with a resilient performance that stands them in good stead for the future. Ratcliffe took an early two goal lead in the first-half with goals from Seb Dewhirst and Player of the Match, Tom Brambell. Oundle did show more endeavour in the second-half but Ratcliffe’s 11 players stood up to the test with flying colours.

3rd XI
The 3rd XI lost to a strong Oundle U16B team. However, the game was not as one sided as one would assume, with Ratcliffe moving the ball well when in possession, although rarely getting in to threatening advanced positions despite Thomas Lowe and Kasey Newby’s best efforts up front. Work in defence was incredibly difficult as we found ourselves under waves of constant pressure, yet credit to the players; they never gave up and stayed committed to the cause right up until the final whistle! Men of the Match were Charlie McLean for some excellent saves, and Finbarr Lloyd for some excellent commitment in defence and midfield.

The U15s hosted Worksop and Oundle in an entertaining mini tournament. Ratcliffe beat Worksop 1 – 0 in the first game. The score line does not really do justice to Ratcliffe’s performance, linking excellent attacking play with composure in defence. Ratcliffe created several chances, but were only able to convert one; a fine reverse stick strike from Jack Nightingale at the top of the ‘D’. Facing a very strong Oundle side, who had comfortably beaten Worksop, Ratcliffe, started sluggishly allowing Oundle to dominate the first-half. Ratcliffe defended doggedly to limit their opponents to one goal and the second-half was a much more even affair, with Matthew Ward scoring a fine solo goal to keep Ratcliffe in touch. Ratcliffe pushed forward strongly, but this created space which Oundle exploited to run out 3 – 1 winners. There were excellent performances from several individuals but Ganesh Thappa was named Player of the Tournament for some outstanding saves.

The U15B team played a very competitive match against a good Oundle side, eventually losing 3 – 0. Ratcliffe defended well and also created some good counter-attacking opportunities, particularly in the first-half. There were excellent performances from both our goal keepers, Maciej Buczkowski and Arran Grant (half each), Robin Irara-Bagnall and Man of the Match Harry Palmer.

The U14 team had an excellent week. Although they lost their unbeaten record in a tight match against Warwick, victories against Thomas Telford and Queen Mary’s sent them through to regional hockey finals as one of the top eight schools in the Midlands area. On Saturday, they played Oundle in a very good natured game. The score was only 2 – 0 but realistically could have been more. Alex Purcell was Player of the Weekend.

The U14 rugby team were knocked out of the County Cup by a strong Loughborough Grammar team last week. The first-half was competitive and Ratcliffe produced an excellent defensive display to restrict Loughborough’s try count.  Rory Stoker and Henry Wells made some impressive tackles in midfield, although a well organised, strong running Loughborough back-line soon found space at regular intervals winning the game 50 – 0. Man of the Match was James Berns.

Congratulations to Seb Dewhirst who has been selected to attend the Leicestershire County U17s backs squad this week.

Many congratulations to Old Ratcliffian Sam Stabler who ran an amazing new personal best for the 3000m in Washington. Sam finished in 7:53.98 which was an outstanding achievement against some professional athletes including two-time Olympian, Matt Tegankamp. If you would like to watch the race please follow the link below.

Rory Thorne,
Boys’ Sports Captain.