The 1st team travelled to Solihull for their opening game of the season and put in a very spirited and encouraging performance, drawing 2 – 2. The girls showed great determination as they twice came from behind to level the score. It was at the start of the second half that Solihull took the lead. However, Ratcliffe scored almost immediately when, Aimee Cleminson who was more alert than anyone else, followed in a shot that struck the post for an easy tap in on her debut for the 1st team. Solihull then regained the lead mid-way through the half but again Ratcliffe equalised almost straight away with a fine solo run and finish by Mia Atkinson. Both teams had their chances towards the end but it was Ratcliffe that finished the game the stronger, with a flurry of penalty corners, that they unfortunately could not convert. Player of the Match, Hattie Lawrie, had a fine debut at centre half. A great start to the season girls well done.
The 2nd XI made a promising start away to a strong Solihull team but, unfortunately, lost the match 1 – 0. In the second half Solihull took the lead with an early goal. Ratcliffe managed to retain their composure and remained resolute and nearly scored when Jade England managed to break free on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. Unfortunately, the goalkeeper saved the shot and Solihull caught Ratcliffe on the break with a shot on goal saved only by Ihuoma Osuji who had a fantastic game. Player of the Match was awarded to Ihuoma Osuji for great goal keeping.
The 3rd team put in a good display for their first fixture of the season away to Solihull, which they unfortunately lost 2 – 1 in a very exciting game. Ratcliffe were a little nervous to start with but Captain Ellie Hollinshead and Vice-Captain Betsy Poll, led by example with a positive and determined attitude. The first half of the game was evenly matched and the girls worked hard for every tackle and free ball. This led to the girls finding a hole in the oppositions defence and Vice-Captain Betsy Poll scoring her first goal of the season. Unfortunately, the opposition won a penalty corner soon after to equalise and make the score 1 – 1. Ratcliffe put together some amazing passages of play but Solihull scored what proved to be the decisive second goal. The girls should be proud of their first performance as a team with lots to build on at training. Players’ Player goes to Isabella Whalley and Coaches’ Player of the Match goes to Betsy Poll.
On Saturday, the U15A team travelled to Oundle and got their season off to a great start winning 1 – 0. Creating lots of chances, the score could have quite easily been more than 1 -0, however, at times, our defence had to work hard to prevent the opposition scoring. With a new formation, the girls took a little time to settle into the game. The girls remained calmed and worked well, going in to the half 0 – 0 thanks to an unbelievable save by the opposition goalkeeper. It wasn’t long after the second half began that we scored with some great build up play and Annie Bridgwood calmly slotting the ball in to the back of the net. Player of the Match was awarded to Elise Atkinson who outstanding throughout.
The U14/15B girls’ hockey team had a difficult opening away fixture against a strong Solihull side with the game ending in a 5 – 2 loss. The Ratcliffe girls fought hard for the entire game and were leading 2 – 1 going into the final five minutes of the match. Player of the Match goes to Annie Jarvis, who stepped up to help out her teammates by playing out of position in goal. Captain Daata Apiafi led by example at centre back with a very organised defensive display. Fantastic attitude and effort was displayed by all the girls throughout the day. Well done everyone.
The U13A team started their season with confidence against an organised team from Hill House which resulted in a fantastic 5 – 0 win. The girls moved the ball well in the first half and scored goals through Georgie Daynes and Zoe Howling. Some fantastic distribution from Avani Gupta in the second half saw Ratcliffe really attack the wide areas of the pitch and score some impressive goals from Daisy Reddin, Georgie Daynes and Zoe Howling doubling their own personal total, making the final score 5 – 0. The whole team was awarded Players’ of the Match.
The Under 13B team had a fantastic start to the season against Hill House with a hard fought 1 – 0 win. Prior to the game the girls experienced pre-match nerves but quickly overcame these as the game began. The girls showed excellent counter attacking play throughout the entire game, resulting in the decisive goal being scored by Millie Woan. With all these aspects combined the U13B team registered a well-deserved 1 – 0 win. Players’ Player goes to Lola Hobbs-Brake and Coaches Player to Jayde Patterson, both showed outstanding resilience. The girls should be thrilled with their first match performance and should keep up the great work for the rest of the season.
The U12As headed to Hill House for their first game of the season and came away with a well-deserved 2 – 0 win. There was a dominant display of attacking hockey in the first half through Sophie Bardsley, Olivia Monkhouse and Mollie Hunt, all using the width to Ratcliffe’s advantage. In the second half Alice Bower pushed forward to right mid and impressed everyone with her excellent work rate. Esme Slade kept a sheet clean with some awesome saves. Congratulations to Alice Bower who was awarded Player of the Match. It was a very encouraging start for this talented U12 team.
The U12B’s opening fixture of the season was an away game against Hill House and resulted in a fantastic 10 – 0 win. Ratcliffe started the game on the front foot opening up a 3 – 0 lead at the half-way stage. The attacking play continued into the second-half scoring a further seven goals to secure the impressive 10 – 0 victory. Four goals for Hollie McNeeney and Isabella Westwood and one each for Katie Bradley and Maisie Collier. All of the girls should be extremely proud of their excellent performance. Players’ Player goes to Hollie McNeeney and Coaches Player to Esha Karia.
The 1st XV started their season with a 20 – 10 loss away at Carres Grammar School. The very poor weather conditions were not really what the team needed with such a young side and eleven players making their 1st team debut. However, the future looks bright as Archie Heaney and Connor Foster, both Year 11 had excellent games and were awarded Men of the Match. Ratcliffe took the lead with a penalty by George Morgan-Jones but despite dominating for the next 20 minutes we were unable to convert that pressure into points. Carres came back with a penalty and converted try to make it 10 – 3 at half time. The boys continued to try and play expansive rugby despite the weather conditions and they scored a well work try through Oliver Welsh, converted by George Morgan-Jones to make the score 15 – 10. With two minutes to go and the team very much still in the game the Carres big centre broke through to score a decisive try to put the result out of reach. All in all, a good performance, especially in defence.
Tuesday, saw the U12s take an extended squad to play their first senior school rugby fixture against De Lisle School. Ratcliffe started strongly, keeping De Lisle camped on their own line for most of the first third, with strong carries from Harrison Rutherford and excellent tackling from Xavier Illsley-Ridge. This relentless attack took Ratcliffe into the first break with a two try lead, thanks to lethal finishing from Kim O’Sullivan. De Lisle came back strongly in the second third and small lapses in Ratcliffe’s defence allowed De Lisle to come back in to the game and eventually to take the lead. Ratcliffe didn’t panic, however; direct running from Jonah Walker brought Ratcliffe ahead once again, and disciplined defence in the last minute saw out the game and the victory to Ratcliffe 20 – 15. Man of the Match goes to Jacques Wilkins for his work rate in defence. Many thanks to the number of parents who came to watch.
On Saturday the U12s played Spratton Hall. The team were very positive throughout scoring tries at regular intervals. They moved the ball with intent and were aggressive in defence. Fin Martin and Xavier Illsley-Ridge controlled the midfield well and newcomer Kim O’Sullivan was deserved Man of the Match with his power running in midfield. Final score was 45 – 5 to Ratcliffe.
The U13s got their season underway with a convincing 40 – 15 win against De Lisle. The team showed discipline in defence and flair in attack to score eight tries, playing some attractive rugby in the process. George Atkinson and Kai Kirk performed well and Men of the Match were Vincent McKeefery and Riley Kirk who defended superbly throughout.
On Saturday, the U13s came down to earth was a bump losing to a well organised Spratton Hall side. A superb, early individual early try by Charlie Grayson saw Ratcliffe take the lead but Spratton came back in to the game to lead 15 – 5 at half-time. A more even second half saw Ratcliffe come back into the game with an excellent score by Riley Kirk but the boys tired towards the end and Spratton Hall scored late tries to take the game away from Ratcliffe. Men of the Match were Charlie Grayson and Harry Watson for their excellent all round games.
The U13B team lost 35 – 0 to Spratton Hall on their first match of the season. Ratcliffe were strong with ball in hand, but struggled to retain possession. They improved in the second half, but failed to capitalise on their chances. Men of the Match were Liam Hardy-Smith and Harry Carroll for their commitment all the way through the match.
Matthew Linley and Jenna Pole