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Midlands Regional Championships 2002

Second Section:

Saturday 2nd March, Belvedere Club
Adjudicator: TBA
Commences: 11.00am approx

Competing Bands: Bilton Silver (Rugby) (B. Clarke): Brackley and District (J. Glynn): City of Stoke on Trent (M. Caveney): Croft Silver (S. Burton): Fairfield (Buxton) (C. Kitchen): Harborough (C. Groom): Harworth Brass (J. Davis): Hopkind Solicitors Blidworth (M. Wardle): Langley Band (M. Vause): Moulton '77 Brass (I. Rainer): Porthywaen (D. Thomas): Shipston Town (G. Coleman): Shirebrook MW Unison (M. Battersby): Shirley Band (D. Lea): Snibston/Desford (K. Steward): Stamford Brass (R. Prew): Stourport on Severn (D. Maplestone): The Wigston Band (G. Sleath): Whaley Bridge (T. Wyatt): University of Warwick (S. Hogg).

Another big line up for the Second Section will see 20 bands getting to grips with "Symphony for Brass Band" by Victor Ewald. Plenty of good bands and a few experienced faces at the helm of many of the competitors should see for a good contest. It's difficult to say who will come out on top as all the bands seem so evenly matched, so don't be surprised (not that you ever are) that we may be a proverbial mile out with our predictions.

Bilton Silver came 14th last year after being relegated the year before from the First Section so they should be hoping to improve further and try and get back to the section they survived in with some comfort in 1998 and 1999 when they came 12th both times, whilst Brackley and District have a good record of late here and came 6th here last year after coming 4th the year before. Should be there and thereabouts.

City of Stoke will be hoping last years result was a blip as they came 15th after 6th place in 2000 and runner up in 1999, whilst Croft Silver recovered last year to gain 11th place after a disappointing 20th the year before. Could well repeat their 7th places of both 1998 and 1999.

Fairfield have struggled in the past two years when hey came 19th last year and 15 the year before so they will be hoping to a return to the form that saw them get 4th place here in 1999, whilst Harborough and Chris Groom should hope to repeat last years 3rd place or even better. They went on to come a well-deserved 6th place at the Nationals, so they could be one of the favourites here this time.

Harworth Brass were promoted to the Second Section after winning the Third Section title in 1998, and has been steady competitors since coming 19th, 11th and 10th last year, so they are also going in the right direction and came 3rd recently at the Mineworkers Contest. Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth were 5th here last year after improving from 12th the year before and 8th in 1999. They were relegated from the First section after coming 18th there in 1998, and last year came 9th at Pontins.

Langely are in the Second Section for the first time after a few years of struggle in the First Section where they came 15th last year, 17th the year before and 19th before that. They will be hoping to do well and set the foundation for a push back to the higher section. Moulton '77 won the title here in 1999 but fell back in the last two years to come 10th in 2000 and 12th last year. They too will be hoping for an improved result.

Pothywaen and David Thomas have shot up from the Fourth Section in 1998 to gain successive promotions in 1999 and 2000 and came 8th here last year, which was a fine achievement. They recently won at Wychavon, so hopes will be high to carry on their rise. Shipston Town didn't compete last year but return this time after coming 13th in 2000 in the first year they competed after promotion the year before. Should be interesting to see how they do after a year off.

Shirebrook MW Unison are back in the Second Section after two years in the first Section when they came 18th in 2000 and 17th in 2001. Perhaps they were promoted too soon but they should be able to compete better here and could very well repeat their 5th place of 1998 or 6th place of 1999. Shirley are conducted by David Lea and his experience at he higher levels should be invaluable to a band that came 9th last year after being relegated the year before for the First Section. Their recent 2nd place at Wychavon could be a good indicator of their chances.

Snibston/Desford were 16th last year, their first back in the section after relegation in 2000, so they will be hoping for a better return this time out. Their recent win at the Mineworkers should be a good indicator of their current form and chances. Meanwhile, Stamford Brass will be hoping for a better result than last year's 17th place, which was a repeat of the year before.

Stourport on Severn has David Maplestone to lead their challenge and after being promoted from the Third Section after last year and following 5th place at Pontins, 3rd at Wychavon and winning at Rhyll they will be confident of doing well here. Wigston will also be hoping that they can improve on last year's 4th place, when they played very well and just missed out on a podium place. They have improved in the last four years since coming 14th in 1998, 16th in 1999 and 9th in 2000.

Whaley Bridge are in the Second Section this year after gaining promotion from the Third Section after coming 4th last year and 7th the year before. They came 16th at Pontins so will be hoping for better things here. The University of Warwick didn't compete last year but the year before won the Third Section and won the Fourth Section in 1998. They could be a dark horse this year.

2001 Result:

1. Towcester Studio
2. Tintwistle
3. Harborough
4. Wigston
5. Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
6. Brackley and District

4BR Prediction:

1. Harborough
2. Snibston/Desford
3. Shirley
4. Stourport on Severn
5. Wigston
6. Brackley and District

Dark Horse: Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth

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