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Post Match Analysis:
West of England Regional Championships 2002

First Section:
The Colston Hall, Bristol
Sunday 7th April
Adjudicator: William Relton
Commences: 3.00pm

1. St Austell Town M. White: 2 197
2. Ocean Brass L. Rich: 12 196 qualify
3. Test Valley Brass S. Large: 15 195
4. Lydmet Lydney W. Ruston: 5 194
5. Swindon Pegasus Brass J. Winterflood: 4 193
6. Poole Borough P. Randell: 8 192
7. City of Bristol B. James: 6 191
8. St Keverne D. Greenwood: 14 190
9. Solent Concert W. Garner: 13 189
10. Lydbrook A. Culshaw: 10 188
11. Totnes S Davis: 3 187
12. Sherborne Town C. Buckley: 7 185
13. Woodfalls Concert Brass R. Bligh: 11 184
14. Weston Brass D. Tilling: 1 183
15. Forest of Dean J. Gwynne: 9 182

The conspiracy theorists out there had a bit of a field day after the results of this one – but as usual they were way off the mark, as St. Austell Town under the baton of the experienced (and winning) Melvyn White took the title with a fine performance of Royal Parks.

The “JFK” Brigade tried to point out that William Relton for the second time in two days had picked the band that played number 2, whilst simultaneously giving the death card and the last two places to the bands that played number 9 and number 1. Strange how some people think ain’t it? What isn’t strange though, but a little ludicrous is how Mr Relton hands out more points than Leicester City Football Club.

On Saturday, Woodfalls won with the absurdly high total of 198 points, whilst the band that came 7th were given 192. Here, St. Austell were given 197 points, whilst the band that came 8th were given 190 points. There is no denying that the bands deserved their victories, but there must be some correlation between the performance and the points awarded – and in both the First and Championship Section, the correlation wasn’t there at all. Saying that though, he at least got the order right in both cases.

Following St. Austell on the trip to Torquay will be Ocean Brass, who under Leighton Rich also gave a worthy performance of the set work that had lots of plus points and very few minus points (although a few more than the four Mr Relton thought). Both the winners and runners up were worthy qualifiers, although Test Valley Brass playing last band on gave a very good account of themselves that very nearly did enough to push into the frame. They just missed out by the narrowest of margins.

Below the top three, Mr Relton still gave very high points, but overall the standard started to fall away and although Lydmet Lydney who came 4th, Swindon Pegasus who were 5th and Poole Borough 6th gave worthy performances, all lacked consistency and they never really challenged.

The next two bands were the two bands that we tipped for the top, but on the day they found the going a bit too hard and they got what they deserved. Both however sounded good quality bands though and shouldn’t be too disappointed, although we do apologise for giving both the kiss of death. City of Bristol and St. Keverne will be back and will surely find themselves placed a little higher next time.

Below this the playing started to contain too many individual errors and a propensity to over blow and many of the performances lacked consistency and musical flow. Some played the first movement well, but had a poor second, whilst others did it the other way round. All handled the last movement well enough, but by then the damage had been done. Solent who were 10th, Lydbrook who were 11th and Sherborne Town who were 12th all had their moments – but moments they were and they couldn’t quite just connect them all together.

We had high hopes for Woodfalls Concert Brass and we tipped them to come 3rd, but come the contest they were a disappointment and struggled all the way through to come 13th, whilst Weston Brass and Forest of Dean filled the last two places (fairly for us – not for the UFO brigade) and found the experience very difficult.

Well done St. Austell then, and a famous band could well be back on the road to a glorious future after struggling for quite a while. It may not quite be the repeat of their 6th place at the London Finals in 1987, but it’s a huge step back on the right road. Well done to Melvyn White as well, as he continues to show that when it comes to the qualification business, he seems to have found the right knack. Both bands will take the short journey along the south coast to Torquay with high hopes of success.

© 4BarsRest

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