Sports Report 21st November
In what was, by a long way, the First XV’s best performance so far this season, Ratcliffe disappointingly lost 20 – 23 to the final kick of the game in farcical circumstances: Ratcliffe kicked the ball out of play after the referee had said time was up, only for him to decide to play on for a bit longer! Ratcliffe had dominated large parts of the game against one of the strongest teams on our playing circuit this season and scored four well-constructed tries through Tiree Cover, Henry Wells, John Summerville and Harry Brookes. King Henry’s also scored four good tries and no one would argue that a draw would have been the right result. Everyone played well and should take great pride from their performances. It is hard to see what else could have been done to avoid the way the match ended.
Ratcliffe 2nd XV took on a strong King Henry’s side; the first 15 minutes saw Ratcliffe put in a good attacking performance led by Harry Goward’s powerful ball carrying. King Henry’s were first to score but Alex Purcell was able to pick a gap with a good run to even up the scores. It did not take long for the opposition to reply with a try before half-time, bringing the score to 14 – 7. The opposition began the second half strongly, yet Ratcliffe replied with Matt Lindley. The final score was 40 – 12 to King Henry’s. Man of the Match once again goes to Matt Lindley for showing excellent all-round defensive and attacking skills and never giving up.
On Tuesday 15th November the U15B took on Pitsford School. The start of the game saw a strong Ratcliffe side assert their dominance within their running play. Caleb Chan and James Harris made some good breaks and Will Blackmore scored two excellent tries with his power running. Pitsford had their own strong runners that posed a threat but strong defensive tackles from Harry Best stopped the opposition attacks close to the Ratcliffe try line on multiple occasions. The final score was a 24 – 22 victory to Ratcliffe and owing to his exceptional defensive display, Harry Best was awarded Man of the Match.
Against King Henry’s, Ratcliffe started brightly with Joshua Wong running in the first try within two minutes. Ratcliffe then played with a lot more effort and accuracy this week scoring a further three tries through Finn Matthews, Alejo Bergaz-Chaparro and Caleb Chan. Will Roberts added two conversions. Ratcliffe sat back on their lead and let King Henry’s draw level, only for an outstanding try by Tom Hammond to finally seal the win. Final score was 31 – 24 to Ratcliffe. Men of the Match were Joshua Wong, Alejo Bergaz-Chaparro and Tom Hammond.
In chilly conditions, Ratcliffe U14 returned to winning ways with a 27 – 7 victory over King Henry VIII School. Ratcliffe were dominant throughout the first half, having the majority of possession and controlling the breakdown. The team were clinical in attack and excellent with ball in hand, creating space in the midfield. King Henry VIII School rallied in the second half, but Ratcliffe remained committed and resolute in defence. Tries were scored by Sam Bullock, Connor Foster, Owen Lloyd, Osric Navti and Sam Seidu. Man of the match was Ben McGuinn for not only his commitment, but his exceptional defence and offloading skills on the wing.
In a very exciting and competitive game of rugby, the U13s lost narrowly to King Henry’s 22 – 19. Both teams played with a fantastic attitude and were hugely committed to the contest. Ollie Howard had a strong game both in attack and in defence, scoring two tries, and Harry Ashberry once again showed his commitment in defence pushing up hard to get a good interception score. Louie Fletcher kicked very well to convert two of the three tries. The game ebbed and flowed and at times Ratcliffe found it difficult to thwart the big Henry’s power runners. Ratcliffe were pushing for victory right to the end and the whole team must be commended on their outstanding effort throughout. Man of the Match goes to Jacob Storey for his excellent defensive work.
On Monday 14th November Dixie Grammar travelled to Ratcliffe for a rematch of the game at Dixie earlier in the term that had finished in a tantalising 20 all draw. Ratcliffe started the game superbly, dominating possession with excellent rucking only for the opposition to score a breakaway try. Ratcliffe hit back with an excellent score and in a highly entertaining game with both teams showing full commitment and skill, Dixie took the lead again before Ratcliffe came back with a good try from Temi Obiodum. In the last few minutes with the score at 15-all, Ratcliffe were camped on the opponents’ line but superb defence held us out for the game to once again finish in a draw. It was an excellent team performance by all with special mention to Jacob Storey and Cameron Cover for their excellent attacking play. Men of the Match were Xavier Henderson and Will Wright for their fantastic work up front.
The U13B team put in a strong performance to defeat King Henry’s 45 – 19. Ratcliffe applied the pressure early on against a resilient defence but struggled to keep hold of the ball in contact. Despite a number of turnovers, King Henry’s could not get the ball out of their half. Ratcliffe took full advantage of this when Cameron Cover picked up the ball and broke through two tackles to open the scoring with a converted try. Shortly after, Ethan Chapman ran in a second try with some excellent play out on the wing. Following this, King Henry’s came back into the game and replied with a converted try of their own. Just before half-time, a powerful run from Ethan Bruiners brought Ratcliffe’s third try which Cameron Cover converted to make the score at half-time 19 – 7. The second half began with Ethan Bruiners at fly half and another strong run from him made the score 25 – 7 following his own converted try. Despite the score-line, it felt like a fairly even contest. King Henry’s replied with their second converted try of the game, this coming after the tackle of the match from Jacob McCahill. However, the opposition defence waned as the game wore on and Alex Thomas scored a hat-trick with some brilliant direct running with which the opposition could not deal. Man of the Match goes to Alex Thomas.
Ratcliffe had one of their toughest tests of the season against a strong King Henry’s side. Ratcliffe started well with a score from Joe Atkinson. From then on Ratcliffe struggled to move the ball through the phases and the opposition made them pay with some fine running in midfield. King Henry’s extended their lead with 10 minutes to play but Ratcliffe responded excellently with some good handling to set up Joe Atkinson for his second try. The opposition had the last word with another well-worked try to make the final score 30 – 10 to King Henry’s. Man of the Match was Cameron Mulvihill for his commanding role at fly half and for his efforts at the ruck and in the tackle.
Boys Sports’ Captain
The Under 15s made the long journey to Hillhouse with only a bare minimum of 11 players, and came up against a strong Hillhouse side, eventually losing 8 – 1. Ratcliffe scored their only goal of the game in the first half through Flora Coalville, but unfortunately for most of the half Ratcliffe struggled to get into the game against a strong and fit opposition. At half-time the score was 6 – 1. A much improved second half saw the girls make a real game of it, with Player of the Match Sofia Henderson doing a great job of marking Hill House’s key player out of the game. Unfortunately for the girls, the game was lost in the first half.
The U13 a team travelled to Leicester Grammar on Monday. This was the first seven-a-side game of the year and a good warm-up in preparation for their county tournament next term. The girls played some fantastic hockey and were unlucky not to score on numerous occasions. Leicester Grammar, however, converted their chances, leaving the final score 3 – 0. Players of the match went to Verity Mangham, who was superb in goal for her first time this season, and Maddie Bryant, who led from the back.
The U13B team lost against Leicester Grammar 7 – 2 in what was a highly enjoyable match for both teams, with some girls getting the opportunity to represent Ratcliffe in a fixture for the first time. There was some excellent defensive play from Daata Apiafi which led to lovely attacking play from Megan William, who was unfortunate not to score. Goal scorer and Player of the Match was Jessica Elton.
The U12A team had their best performance so far this season but unfortunately ended up losing 2 – 1. They dominated Hill House but could not find the back of the net more than once. They hit the post twice and had several other near misses, including Annie Jarvis’ slide into goal but it was not to be their day. A superb run from the half-way line and fine play by Amelia Wells set up Player of the Match, Vickie Wheatley, to score a well-deserved goal. However, a couple of errors resulted in goals for the opposition as they scored twice from limited opportunities. The girls should be proud of their performance.
On Saturday, the U12B team played their first away fixture against Hill House and came away with a well-deserved 3 – 0 win. The girls all fought hard; Chelsea Makandeni and Coral Keates supported each other exceptionally well in defence, clearing the ball successfully into attack. Lucy Tuttey displayed some lovely attacking play and scored the first goal of the match. Player of Match goes to Eleni Malhan who showed a constant high level of effort throughout the whole game, getting involved in some effective tackles alongside Amelia Tebbutt. Well played to all the girls!
The U14 netball team finished fifth in their county tournament, winning four games, drawing two and losing two. Their play was fantastic at times but they couldn’t maintain this. All players gave their all during the tournament playing eight games in a row. Player of the Match went to Amy Mason with her never say die performance.
Girls Sports’ Captain