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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.

Third Section:

The Dolphin Centre
Sunday 17th March
Adjudicator: TBA
Commences: 2.00pm approx

Competing Bands: Barrow Concert (tba): Bearpark and Esh Colliery (D. Oxlee): Billingham Silver (V. Evans): Dearham (tba): Ellington Colliery (D. Wright): Houghton Brass (T. Gibson): Lanchester (G. Tindall): Murton Colliery (P. Rosier): Swinton and District Excelsior (R. Rutter): Wansbeck Ashington Colliery (tba)

Another smallish field to tackle the delights of Kenneth Downie's very nice "St. Austell Suite" - and a good test it is. 10 bands include two relegated from the second section and three promoted from the fourth, so there is a good mixture with bands looking to maintain their promotion push and others hoping to return upwards straight away. Should make for an interesting scrap.

Barrow Concert are the first of the relegated bands after they couldn't maintain their position in the higher section after coming 8th in 2000 and 7th last year. They withdrew from Pontins and we haven't got a great deal of information about their current form, so it could be a mystery to how well they do.

Bearpark and Esh Colliery meanwhile came up in the opposite direction when they came second in the fourth section last year and went on to claim 8th place at the Nationals in Preston. They were winners of the fourth section in 1999 and followed that by coming 3rd in 2000. Could do well. Billingham meanwhile are the second of the competing bands to find themselves in the lower section following relegation. 7th and 10th in the last two outings meant a drop and so they will be hoping to at least repeat their 3rd place of 1998 in this section.

Dearham are the second of the promoted bands and they will be looking at least to consolidate their position in this section following two years when they have come 4th and then 3rd in the fourth section. No details as yet who is wagging and no indication of recent form, so they are a little bit of a mystery to us. Ellington Colliery come to the contest with a win in the Fourth Section of the County Durham contest in the bag and 2nd place at the Mineworkers, so confidence should be high. They have a solid record here and will be hoping to come a bit higher than the 5th of last year and the 6th of 2000. Is now the time?

Houghton Brass are another band that has competed well here and I the past two years they have edged closer to the prizes, with 5th place in 2000 and 4th place last year. Lanchester meanwhile come hear following their 3rd place at the County Durham contest and were third last year here. That was their first year in the section following their promotion in 2000 as runners up in the fourth section.

Murton Colliery recently won the third section of the Mineworkers contest in Blackpool and so will be looking forward to improving an their recent record here when they have come 8th in '98, 4th in '99, 8th in 2000 and 8th again last year. Swinton and District meanwhile will be looking to continue the rich vein of success they are in at the moment, and come here as fourth section champions as well as coming 15th at the National Finals at Preston and 5th at the Yorkshire ad Humber side contest.

Wansbeck Ashington Colliery will also be looking for a good result and will be hoping to come higher than last year's 6th spot and challenge for a return to the second section, where they last were in 1998.

2001 Result:

1. Ferryhill Town
2. Langbaurgh
3. Lanchester
4. Houghton Brass
5. Ellington Colliery
6. Wansbeck's Ashington

4BR Prediction:

1. Ellington Colliery
2. Lanchester
3. Murton Colliery
4. Houghton Brass
5. Bearpark and Esh
6. Swinton and District

Dark Horse: Barrow Concert

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