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St Joseph’s Festival Preview – Group D

The final part of our four-piece preview to the 2013 St Joseph’s Festival focuses on Group D.

With both of last year’s finalists in the group, Millfield and John Fisher, this is certainly one to look out for.

St Joseph’s Festival 2013 Group D

Abingdon

John Fisher

Millfield

Stamford

Abingdon

Unfortunately it looks as though Saturday could be a bit of a tough day for Abingdon, they find themselves in an incredibly difficult group.

They are a team that has been on the rise over the last few years and are certainly capable of beating some top sides on their day.

Losses against Radley, St Paul’s, and KCS Wimbledon this season are hardly a poor reflection on them – these are three of the very best side, and the competitiveness of their fixture list ought to help this weekend and could allow them to spring a surprise.

Verdict – Plate

John Fisher

Fisher conceded their unbeaten record last week, which included a victory over RGS High Wycombe, with a defeat to Whitgift. However that defeat was by just a single point and Fisher came close to pulling off one of the comebacks of the season as they closed in on Whitgift towards the end.

They will relish the prospect of repeating last years final when they play Millfield and will believe that they can come away from that fixture with a victory. Millfield will be favourites but Fisher know they can beat anyone.

They must be wary of Stamford though, they could be the potential banana skin in their pursuit of a place in the Trophy group stages.

Verdict – Trophy

Millfield

Millfield go into this as champions and favourites, an excellent position to be in and one that brings with it a certain amount of pressure.

Certainly they are deserved favourites and have the players to do some real damage, though the weather may affect their incredibly adventurous style of play. They will be acutely aware though that with such short games anything can happen and that concentration must be at the maximum – these games are decided by very tight margins; something that captain Callum Sheedy can attest to after it took a drop goal from him to win the tournament last year.

They should qualify but they must be wary of any slip in concentration.

Verdict – Trophy

Stamford

Stamford are a late call up to the tournament as replacements for QEGS Wakefield and what a great addition they are to the tournament. While they may not have the history of QEGS they certainly have a big edge in recent form and so only add to the competitiveness of this group.

Last year they reached the plate final but they will be hoping to make it into the main side of the draw this year. They have one of the best home records in the country, over two years unbeaten, however their away form can be a little less solid – though not much.

The key for them will be to bring the confidence that they have shown against the likes of Stowe, Oundle and Uppingham into this group. If they can then they could cause some real upsets.

Verdict – Plate

For our other previews, please follow these links:

Group A

Group B

Group C

Tournament Overview

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