2006 North West Regional Championships - Third Section


What a record to uphold here. Whoever gets through here could well be one of the favourites come Harrogate itself, but they first have to overcome the tricky hurdle that is set by Gilbert Vinter’s Entertainments.

Sunday 12th March
Adjudicators: Roy Roe
Test Piece: Entertainments – Gilbert Vinter
Commences: 10.00am
Draw: 9.00am

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general@4barsrest.com stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section. 

David AshworthBMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw
Dave Ashworth

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (D. Ashworth)
2004: 16th (D. Ashworth)
2003: 11th in Second Section (rel) (C. Duxbury)
2002: 11th in Second Section (A. Widdop)
2001: 14th in Second Section (A. Widdop)
2000: 8th in Second Section (R. Curran)
1999: 9th in Second Section
1998: 8th in Second Section
1997: DNC
1996: 11th in Second Section

Dave Ashworth leads his band once more to the contest and he will be looking for a real return to form and a bit of luck in possibly equal doses. 7th last year was a fine return, but 8th at Butlins was a major disappointment and a major surprise too for many who hard them play on the day.   With the amount of determination the MD is sure to give, we think they could well force their way into the top six at least.  

City of Chester
P. Mottershead

Last Ten Years:
2005: 12th (P. Mottershead)
2004: 8th (D. Mitchell)
2003: 18th (D. Mitchell)
2002: 11th (D. Mitchell)
2001: 7th 4th Section (prom) (D. Mitchell)
2000: 15th 4th Section (D. Mitchell)
1999: 4th 4th Section
1998: 13th (rel)
1997: 14th
1996: 16th

City of Chester are certainly one of the busiest bands we come across at 4BR, and that genuine enthusiasm and work ethic may well stand them in good stead come the weekend. 12th last year wa a bit of a drop from 2004, but they should be confident of bettering that this time round and another top ten place should be the least of their ambitions.    

Douglas Town
Gordon Higginbottom

Last Ten Years:
2005: 10th (G. Higginbottom)
2004: 7th Fourth Section (G. Higginbottom) (prom)
2003: 9th (G. Higginbottom)
2002: 2nd (G. Higginbottom)
2001: 15th (G. Higginbottom)
2000: 11th (K. Mitchell)
1999: 5th
1998: 13th
1997: 11th

The great Gordon Higginbottom once more brings his band over the Irish Sea to enjoy the delights of Blackpool. They came 10th last year in their first year in the Third Section and that was a solid account that hopefully promised much. If they have maintained the type of progress that has seen them climb up from the depths of the Fourth Section to here in such a short space of time they should do OK once more.   

Eccles Borough
L. Webb

Last Ten Years:
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (K. Donaldson)
2003: 5th (K. Donaldson)
2002: 19th (C. Pownall)
2001: 13th (C. Pownall)
2000: 7th (C. Pownall)
1999: 11th
1998: 18th
1997: 13th
1996: 10th

Eccles will certainly be in need of a good result this year if they are to ensure their survival in the Third Section for 2007. 17th place was a bit of a disaster in 2004 after the fine 5th place of 2003 and the new MD will have his work cut out to make an impression here this time after a year away. We wish them well.  

Ian BatesonEccleston Brass
Ian Bateson

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd (I. Bateson)
2004: 7th (I. Bateson)
2003: 16th (B. Harper)
2002: 12th (B. Harper)
2001: 6th (B. Harper)
2000: 15th (G. Smith)
1999: 14th
1998: 8th
1997: 8th
1996: 8th

One of the form bands it seems after a fine performance at Brass at the Guild that saw them take the Third Section honours ahead of some strong competitors.  Third place here last year too saw them make it to Harrogate where they came a very creditable 7th place playing last band on. Another trip to the finals may well be on the cards again. 

Kevin GibbsFlixton
Kevin Gibbs

Last Ten Years:
2005: 15th (K. Gibbs)
2004: 9th Second Section (P. Lockett) (rel)
2003: 10th (E. Campbell)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 6th 1st Section (rel) (C. Tenfijord)
1999: 9th 1st Section
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: 9th 1st Section (rel)

The stand out band if the form book is anything to go by of late and Flixton should be very confident of doing well here this year.  Last year's result was the only real blot on what became a great season and the talented Welsh MD has certainly got that winning touch about him at present as the win in the Second Section of Brass at the Guild Hall showed. If they play like that again the band can be looking for B&B in Harrogate.  

Lana Clough

Last Ten Years:
2005: 16th (L. Clough)
2004: 4th Fourth Section (L. Clough) (prom)
2003: Joint 4th (L. Clough)
2002: 5th (L. Clough)
2001: 9th (L. Clough)
2000: 17th (L. Clough)
1999: 2nd
1998: 12th
1997: 17th
1996: 10th

Lana Clough continues to do sterling work at Friezland and since she took over the reins they have certainly been moving in the right direction. Last year they found life a little tough in the higher division, but it was a hard working and solid marker nonetheless. We are sure the hard work has been out in by the MD and hopefully her players, so a march up the prize table is very much on the cards.   

Neil BowdenHazel Grove
Neil Bowden

Last Ten Years:
2005: 11th (N. Bowden)
2004: 12th (T. Emery)
2003: 10th (A. Hirst)
2002: 16th (A. Hirst)
2001: 12th (L. Hall)
2000: 13th (L. Hall)
1999: 10th
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 10th 4th Section
1996: 4th 4th Section

Hazel Grove has been bobbling about in the midfield places for a few years now - not really pushing for a top six place but never in danger of relegation. Last year they did it again, coming 11th and showing that they are at home at this level. Perhaps they don't really have that self belief to aim higher, but we may be wrong on that and they would love, we are sure, to prove us wrong come the weekend.   

C. Whiteoak

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (C. Whiteoak)
2004: 10th (B. Warrington)
2003: 12th (G. Smith)
2002: 3rd (S. Foster)
2001: 8th 4th Section (prom) (B. Warrington)
2000: 4th 4th Section (B. Warrington)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Middleton really pushed up the results table last year when they leaped from their 2004 position of 10th to just miss out on a trip to the National Finals themselves. If they can repeat that type of form once more a possible trip to Harrogate may well be the order of the day, but they are up against some strong rivals so they will have to be on top form.   

C. Larder
Last Ten Years:

2005: DNC (rel)
2004: DNC
2003: 4th
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 11th (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 8th
1996: 10th 1st Section (prom)

A return to the contesting arena for Morecambe after two years away. A few years ago they really were a band heading in the right direction, but it seems the wheels fell off and they have taken a while to get back on track.  We hope we see them in good health now that they are back and we wish them well.  

John RobertsNelson Brass
John Roberts

Last Ten Years:
2005: 13th (R. Holt)
2004: 18th (J. North)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom) (J. North)
2002: 10th (K. Richmond)
2001: 2nd (K. Richmond)
2000: 17th (K. Richmond)
1999: 8th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th
1996: 12th

A new MD at the helm for Nelson – the third in three years and they will be keen to keep moving in the right direction here after coming 13th last time out. That was a big improvement on the lowly 18th of a year before, and they showed recently at Brass at the Guild that they could be in line for atop ten finish at least after coming 7th there.  

Peter AshleyPemberton Old Wigan JJB B
Peter Ashley

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th in Fourth Section (prom) (P. Ashley)
2004: Winners (P. Ashley)
2003: 14th (P. Ashley)
2002: 6th (P. Ashley)
2001: Winners (P. Ashley)
2000: 20th (P. Ashley)
1999: 13th

Peter Ashley couldn't quite make it a repeat performance for his band last year at the contest in the Fourth Section, but by coming 5th they did enough to secure themselves promotion up a division. It is a step up in class and they found life a little tough at Brass at the Guild Hall recently where they could only manage 10th place out of a field of eleven. Hopefully that will give them an indicator of how much work they will have to put in to make a mark here.  

Neil SamuelRainford Silver
Neil Samuel

Last Ten Years:
2005: 8th (N. Samuel)
2004: 6th (A. Jones)
2003: 14th (B. Harper)
2002: 6th (L. Nicholson)
2001: 11th (L. Nicholson)
2000: 12th (L. Nicholson)
1999: 9th
1998: 17th
1997: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1996: 6th 4th Section

Neil Samuel has been putting down some sturdy foundations in Rainford over the past 12 months or so and they should be confident of improving on last year's 8th place at least and possibly push for a podium finish. They recently came 6th at Brass at the Guild Hall, so that should give them plenty of encouragement.  

David ChadwickValley Brass (Haydock)
Dave Chadwick

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom) (R. Wyatt)
2004: 8th (D. Chadwick)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 8th
2000: 14th
1999: 9th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Dave Chadwick and his splendid young band came runners up here last year in the Fourth Section and then went on to take Harrogate by storm and win the National title in fine style. It was all pop and crisps in celebration afterwards and we think it may have taken them until now to calm down.  If they play like that again here they will make a mark for certain, but the youngsters may have to wait another year for a trip back to Harrogate.  

Wardle and District Anderson Brass
S. Conway

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (S. Conway)
2004: 4th (D. Beckley)
2003: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom) (P. Shaw)
2002: 3rd (P. Shaw)
2001: DNC
2000: 9th 3rd Section (rel) (C. Barnes)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 11th 3rd Section
1997: 10th 3rd Section
1996: 13th 3rd Section

Wardle are always a band to look out for at any contest and in the past two years they have shown themselves to be strong contenders here at this level. With so many young talented players in their ranks and excellent musical direction from the middle they shod be looking at challenging for a podium place or even better.   

Whitworth Vale and Healey
John Binns

Last Ten Years:
2005: 6th (J. Binns)
2004: 13th (J. Binns)
2003: 9th (R. Milton)
2002: DNC
2001: 11th 2nd Section (rel) (C. Myers)
2000: 13th 2nd Section (R. Milton)
1999: 7th (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 13th

The excellent John Binns continues to make a mark with Whitworth Vale and Healey and after coming 6th last year they will be confident of doing well here again. 5th place at Brass at the Guild Hall may be a good indicator how they may do here.  

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Trinity Girls, United Norwest 2000 Brass, Eccleston Brass
2004: Hoover Bolton, United Norwest 2000, Boarshurst Silver
2003: Diggle, Boarshurst, Hoover (Bolton)
2002: Wire Brass, Silk Brass, Middleton
2001: Manx Concert Brass, British Energy Morecambe
2000: Old Hall Brass, Skelmersdale
1999: Manx Concert Brass, Dobcross Youth
1998: United Norwest Co-op Normid 2000, Oldham Brass ‘97
1997: Ashton Under Lyne, Milnrow, Manx Concert Brass
1996: Hollingworth, Pemberton Old
1995: Goodshaw, Hollingworth

North West bands at the Finals:

2005: 6th, 7th, 9th
2004: 1st, 4th, 6th
2003: 1st, 2nd, 8th
2002: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
2001: 1st, 10th
2000: 4th, 7th
1999: 2nd, 11th
1998: 1st, 4th, 18th

4BR Prediction:

This has the makings of a fine contest for sure, but it would appear that one or two bands do stick out here as the favourites to progress through to Harrogate.

Flixton would appear to be the band to beat given their recent form and the same could also be said of Eccleston too. We take them to battle it out for the top honours. However they could be hard pressed by the likes of Wardle and District, Whitworth Vale and Healey, BMP Europe Goodshaw and Middleton. The brilliant youngsters at Valley Brass could spring a shock or two though and are our dark horses.
1. Flixton
2. Eccleston
3. BMP Europe Goodshaw
4. Middleton
5. Wardle and District
6. Whitworth Vale and Healey

Dark Horses: Valley Brass (Haydock)


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