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North of England Championship

4BR trawl many past results to bring you this preview and therefore we occasionally make mistakes. If you do spot one, then please email us the correct information and we'll amend the article as soon as possible.

Second Section:

The Dolphin Centre
Saturday 16th March
Adjudicator: TBA
Commences: 10.00am

Competing Bands: Carlisle St. Stephen (tba): Cockerton Prize Silver (G. Catherall): Felling (R. Poole): Ferryhill Town (S. Robson): Flimby Saxhorn (tba): GT Group Peterlee (B. Holden): Langbaurgh Brass (T. Oldroyd): Pride Valley Brass (R. Morton): York Railway Institute (D. Warley)

A small nine band field will be tackling the dangers of the Ewald, "Symphony for Brass", and if reports from the rest of the country are to go by, then they will all find it a pretty tough test. Plenty of opportunities to show good balance, intonation and technical expertise will be put to the test and there may well be plenty of casualties.

Carlisle St. Stephens came 9th last year, their first in the section after being relegated due to them coming low down the field in both 1999 and 2000 when they were 9th. A famous old band with hopefully a secure future ahead of them, they will be trying hard to improve on their showing last time out.

Cockerton come to the contest off the back of winning the 3rd Section of the recent County Durham contest and they will also be looking to improve on their recent record here when they have come 6th in the past two years. Felling meanwhile also competed at the County Durham contest, when they came 2nd behind Cockerton. They were 8th here in 1998 and fell into the third section. Things have improved since and they won the third section in 2000 and survived with a bit of comfort last year. Could be a candidate for further improvement.

Ferryhill may be a band to really watch out for as they come to the Dolphin Centre on the back of two consecutive winning promotions. Relegated after coming 11th in the third section in 1998, they responded by coming 4th the following year in the bottom section before their triumphs in the fourth and third sections in 2000 and 2001. They recently came 2nd at the County Durham contest to go with 16th place at the Nationals and 4th at the Mineworkers championship.

Flimby Saxhorn were relegated to the second section for 1999 and have responded by putting in three good years of solid performances. 3rd in 1999 and 5th in 2000 and again last year show they can be in with a chance. Should be capable of getting a bit higher. GT Group Peterlee are a band that makes a return after missing last years contest. We don't know the reason behind this but they were poised to go up a section following two consecutive 2nd places here in 1999 and 2000. No recent form that we can find, but they could make a mark.

Langbaurgh Brass had a great year in 2001 and will be hoping try and gain yet another promotion. They won Pontins in 2001 in the Third section and came 4th in the National Finals and their record here is very good. They won the title in the third section in 1999 and have had a further 3rd and 2nd place to gain the step up for this year. Could be in with a good shout.

Pride Valley will be hoping to avoid the controversy that spoilt their second consecutive third place at the contest last year. Hopes will be high though as they come to the contest on the back of 3rd place at the Durham contest and 4th place at the Mineworkers. York Railway Institute came runners up last year here and went on the claim 17th place at the National Finals in Preston. They were relegated from the First Section a few years ago, but in the past two years in particular they have really improved and they have the talent to do just as well this time around.

2001 Result:

1. Westoe STCHT
2. York Railway Institute
3. Pride Valley
4. Horden Colliery
5. Flimby Saxhorn
6. Cockerton Silver

4BR Prediction:

1. Ferryhill
2. Pride Valley
3. York Railway Institute
4. Felling
5. Flimby Saxhorn
6. Cockerton

Dark Horse: GT Group Peterlee

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