2003 Midlands Regional Qualifying Championships
The 4th Section is notoriously hard to predict, and with 18 bands, it will be a hard contest to judge for the experienced Barry Thompson.
Bands from the Midlands haven’t done too well at the National
Finals themselves in recent years but they can boast one win when
Shirland Miners Welfare Training took the title in 2001. The rest
of the qualifiers have had mixed fortunes though and even though
there has only been the one victory since 1998, four of the last
five years has seen at least one representative gain a top six place.
The contest takes place a week later than the rest of the Midlands sections, so the band have an extra 7 days to put those finishing touches to their performances.
Bakewell fell through the trap door after struggling for a few years in the 3rd Section, but in the last two years they have more than held their own and last year improved their position by 3 and came 6th. That should give them the confidence to try and get a possible qualification spot.
The winners here back in 1994, Banovallum have had a difficult time of late at the contest and according to the records have not played here in two of the past five years. They came back last year to come 7th, so hopefully that was a sign of better times and they will be looking for further improvement this year.
Corby have held their own here since they competed in 2000 and came 6th in 2001. That has been their best result so far and they fell back a little to come 14th last year. Will be hoping for a repeat of 2001 at least.
Dronfield will surely be hoping for a good result here this year after being relegated from the 3rd Section after a few years in which they found it hard graft in the higher section. In 1997 they were playing in the 2nd Section so this has been a little bit of a fall. The climb back starts here.
Solid performances seem to be the hallmark of Dunchurch with a best of 10th place in 1999 and 16th in 2000. 12th and 13th in the past two years has been OK, but they will be looking for something a touch higher. Culd they squeeze into the top 10 this time around?
Enderby returned back to the 4th Section last year after having a bit of an up and down series of results here over the past few years. A best of 5th place in the 3rd Section was replaced by 11th place in 2001 and relegation. They held their own last year and came 11th, but they will be looking for something a bit better in 2003.
A band that has made rapid improvement in the two years they have competed here, and 20th in 2001 became 12th last year. Another leap could well see them push for a top 6 place. Who knows?
Kirkby Colliery Welfare
Another band that has made rapid improvement in their two years of contesting here. 22nd in 2001 was replaced with 15th last year – not ground breaking, but still a good solid step in the right direction. More of the same please.
Long Eaton Silver Prize
After five years of making up the numbers, Long Eaton finally made the breakthrough last year and came 3rd. Given that their best result before then was 13th, that was some achievement and they will be looking to show that it wasn’t a one off. They could well be up there again come results time.
The last time the band were in the 4th Section they were runners up in 1997, but since then they had an extended stay in the 3rd Section without ever quite hitting the mark. A return back last year saw them mount a serious challenge and we think they could well do the same again. A qualification spot maybe?
Phoenix West Midlands Brass
4th place on their first outing was an excellent achievement, and with a new MD at the helm they will be keen for a repeat this year. Apart from that there isn’t much more we can add.
Rolls Royce (Derby)
A bit of an up and down existence here in the past six years, Rolls Royce came as low as 25th in 1999, but recovered to come 7th in 2000 and then 9th last year. They will be hoping the horrors are behind them then and that another step up the prize list is in order.
Rushden return back to the 4th Section for the first time since 1995, and they will be hoping that it will be something of a short stay here. They had a couple of real good years in the 3rd Section in 1998 and 2000, but fell away in the last few years and were relegated after coming 19th last time out. The fight back starts here.
Skegness will be making their 4th appearance here this year and they will be hoping that they can make another jump up the table after coming 17th last year. That was a jump of 7 places from 2001, so that’s what they will surely be hoping for this time.
Another band that has been making steady progress in the right direction over the past few years. 24th in 1999 and 2000 was a steady start, but they have since bettered themselves in each of their last two outings. 18th place last year – something a bit higher this time would be just what they are looking for.
Matlock return back to the 4th Section after five years in the 3rd Section when they found it hard work making a mark. 9th place in 1998 wasn’t a bad start but after that they fell away and were relegated after coming 18th last year. They will be hoping to show that they can more than hold their own here and mount a challenge.
Tideswell were relegated to the 4th Section in 1999 and since then (with the exception of 2000 when they didn’t compete) they have improved on their two outings here. 18th in 2001 and then 10th last year could be the sign that they are ready to mount a serious challenge for a top six placing.
Wellington (Telford) Brass
Wellington make their third appearance here this year and they seem to be moving in the right direction if the results are anything to go by. 11th in 2001 and then 8th last year show they are moving in the right direction. More of the same will keep them happy this time around.
2002: WEM Jubilee
2002: Suite in B Flat – G. Jacobs
2002: S. Sykes
2002: WEM Jubilee, Leicester Cooperative, Long
Midlands bands at the Finals:
2002: 6th, 9th, 18th
Last Years Result:
1. WEM Jubilee – R. Thorne 185pts
Difficult to predict – 4BR has been left with more egg on their face than Edwina Currie could ever manage when it comes to looking in our crystal ball and we happily admit that we don’t really fancy our chances of getting all top six in the right order. One or two will do. Sorry if that sounds as if we are chickening out, but we are!
Looking at the form though this is what we opted for. Apologies for the bands we are putting the kiss of death on but we hope you can prove our inspired choices right. The rest can take heart that if they come in the prize list they can put two good old fingers up at us and have a laugh at out lack of knowledge!
1. Long Eaton Prize
Dark Horses: Rolls Royce (Derby)
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