2003 Yorkshire Regional Qualifying Championships
Just the eight bands for David Horsfield to judge this year, and that is a great pity and worry for banding in Yorkshire. There were 31 bands here in 1983.
The reduction in bands has also meant that success at the Finals themselves has been a little harder to come by than of late as well with the last Yorkshire winners being Frickley/South Elmshall in 1994 and Todmorden Old in 1995. Since then the closest a band has come to winning the title was in 1999, when Yorkshire Traction Honley came runners up. Apart from that it has been pretty low placings each year.
The good thing to report though is that all the winning bands here since 1992 are still going strong, so that is something to celebrate. Dearne Valley and the Friendly Band return back to the section this year after being relegated from the 3rd Section and for us at least there is one new band in the form of Grange Moor (we may be wrong here, so apologies if we are). Linthwaite will be hoping to make it a double triumph.
The bands will have to get to grips with an enjoyable yet difficult set work that should test them all to the full, so the winners will have to have mastered all the basics. Even though they are low on numbers then, it should still be a fascinating contest.
A band that has been up and down between the two sections in recent years, and so they will be keen to ensure that they bounce back once more this time. A new MD for this year’s attempt and they will be keen to at least repeat their double third placings of 1999 and 2000.
A band with a solid record here over the past four years and with Toby Bannan at the helm bringing a touch of Grimethorpe experience with him, they could well fancy their chances of improving on the last two years when they have just finished out of the top three. With three 4th places in the past four years then, could 2003 finally see them take that extra step?
Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge)
Another band that has yo–yo’d a bit between the 4th and 3rd sections in recent years and so they will be hoping that this year will be an upswing year. Relegated back after coming 9th and 10th in the higher section for the past two outings they will be keen to put in a good solid show here and make their mark.
Nearly made it last year when they came 3rd, Gawthorpe Brass are a solid band at this level who could well have it in them to go at least one better than 2002 and get one of those two qualification spots that are on offer.
We don’t know anything about Grange Moor we are afraid other than Duncan Beckley is the man in the middle for their attempt. If someone has informatio about the band then please let us know.
Last years winners could well be favourites once more to take the top prize in 2003. Last year they went on to the National Finals where they came 11th and that experience should hold them in good stead for a repeat performance here. The band to bet we think and as their past results have shown, a band that has continued to improve with each outing at Bradford.
Tony Whitaker directed the band into 5th place last year, and the experienced MD will be keen to repeat or even better that this time around. A young band if the title is anything to go by – an extra years practice should see them feature.
Thurcroft Welfare came 7th last year, an improvement of two places from 2001, and they will be keen to keep that upward improvement going this year as well. A new MD this time at Bradford, and the band will be hoping to a return to the 3rd section after winning promotion from this level in 1998.
2002: B. Thompson
2002: Linthwaite, Emley Brass
Yorkshire bands at the Finals:
2002: 11th, 21st
Last Years Result:
1. Linthwaite – S. Platten 179pts
With such a small field it is always difficult to be as accurate as possible with the predictions, but we think it could well be a repeat of last year with Linthwaite holding onto their title and having the chance to make the trip up to Dundee. We also think Dinnington may well make that final improvement and gain the other qualification spot this time around, with Gawthorpe and Friendly Band also challenging.
After that it could be a toss up between all the rest, but on the information we have we think it could be Dearne, Thurcroft and the and Lofthouse challenging hard.
Dark Horse: Lofthouse 2000.
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