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Post Match Analysis:
West of England Regional Championships 2002

Third Section:
The Colston Hall, Bristol
Sunday 7th April
Adjudicator: Michael Fowles
Commences: 9.30am

1. Michelmersh Silver B. Kelloway: 10 192
2. RBL Crownhill (Plymouth) D. Stephens: 7 190
3. Helston Town E. Ashton: 19 189
4. Penzance Silver S. Thomas: 13 188
5. St Stythians D. Johnston: 9 187
6. Bristol East D. Beckley: 18 186
7. Cosham Concert Brass S. Dunster: 3 185
8. Filton Concert Brass N. Seaman: 14 184
9. Saltash Town D. Dobson: 4 183
10. Bream Silver N. Howard: 5 182
11. Tadley (Martin Grant Homes) M. GIbbons: 8 181
12. Ringwood & Burley B. Lawson: 1 180
13. Wotton-under-Edge & District Silver D. Thomas: 6 179
14. Swindon Brass F. Cowley: 16 178
15. Tewkesbury Town N. Morgan: 11 177
16. Torrington Silver T. Hutchings: 15 176
17. Portishead Town D. Hollister: 2 175
18. St Breward Silver G. Swan: 17 174
19. Calne Silver K. Webb: 12 173

When it came to picking a winner in the Third Section, Michael Fowles was given the choice of two outstanding performances from a group of six that on the day were head and shoulders above the rest for us.

He went for Michelmersh Silver directed by Brian Kelloway, and we couldn’t disagree, as they really did give a consistently well thought out and polished performance of the tricky St. Austell Suite by Kenneth Downie. Joining them at the Finals in Torquay will be RBL Crownhill under the astute guidance of Denzil Stephens and Helston Town directed by Eddie Ashton. Both gave very nice accounts of the set work that caught the essence of the fun and jollity of the first and third movements splendidly. Overall they didn’t quite have the class and poise of Michelmersh, but all three were worthy qualifiers in a very keenly fought out contest.

Michelmersh performed at the halfway point of the contest, and up until they took the stage, it was Crownhill who were clear pace setters off their number 7 draw. All that went before didn’t have the sense of musicality or technique that both these bands showed, and it wasn’t until right at the end when Helston played as last band on that the pair were challenged again.

Penzance Silver came 4th under the baton of Ray Farr no less, whilst St. Stythians were 5th and Bristol East a very delighted 6th place. All three put in good quality shows that had their moments of both very good playing and not so good playing and they were placed just about right for us. Overall our tips did well with 5 of the top 6 bands being tipped to come in the prizes in our pre match analysis, and all 7 coming in the top 10.

Below the prize list named off the stage, the standard fell away a little, with the bands succumbing to the evils of individual errors, poor intonation and a general lack of consistency through all three movements. The greater the degree of the problems they encountered was reflected in the results, and we had no problem with Michael Fowles assertion that from 7th to 12th it was a line up of Cosham, Filton, Saltash, Bream, Tadley and Ringwood. Perhaps Saltash and Bream could feel a little disappointed (in view of them being tipped to come 4th and 1st respectively by us), but when it came to the crunch they didn’t perform to expectations and were placed just about right.

The bottom seven though came up against too many problems in the set work for them to challenge and it was the usual evils that done for them all. Poor intonation and slack ensemble work were the main difficulties that they very nearly all encountered, and there was of course the obligatory slips, blips and blobs. It was difficult to really make a case for any of them to have been placed in any other order than that they found themselves in by Mr Fowles and we agreed just about with the placings that saw 13th to 19th taken by Wotton, Swindon, Tewkesbury, Torrington, Portishead, St. Breward and Calne Silver.

Congratulations though to the top six and the top three and Michlelmersh in particular. A tricky set work sorted the wheat from the chaff here, and the winners were a class above the rest, even if they were hard pushed by both Crownhill and Helston.

© 4BarsRest

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